Folks can check that out here:
That is all for now.
I just received work that a new Frigga shrine is up and running. :)
Folks can check that out here:
That is all for now.
You know the week’s letter is a difficult one when I have to resort to Greek terminology in order to find an appropriate word! Still, the concept of kronos, or time, is worth discussing, particularly from a spiritual standpoint. You see, there are two Greek words used (particularly in theology) to indicate time: kronos, which means regular, mundane time and kairos, which means the right or most opportune time. Some theologians also use this latter word to indicate ‘ritual time.’ I’ll be talking about kairos next week; this week’s post is all about good old kronos, the here and now, temporality, and the process of rendering it sacred.
Those of you familiar with Greek theology will recognize that the word ‘kronos’ is often associated (incorrectly, I might add) with the God Kronos, sometimes pictured with a scythe very much like contemporary images of “father time.”(1) Kronos was the offspring of earth (Gaia) and sky (Uranos). When Uranos offended Gaia by banishing Her more unsightly children to the depths of Tartarus, She gave Her son Kronos a scythe and urged Him to deal with His father. Kronos fought Uranos, eventually castrating Him with the scythe and later banishing Him to Tartarus as well. In an odd bit of cosmic juxtaposition, the Goddess Aphrodite sprang from the place where Uranos’ severed testicles fell into the sea. Kronos was in turn overthrown by his son Zeus. Knowing that it was foretold that one of His own children would overthrow Him, He had attempted to prevent this by swallowing all the children He had with his wife and sister Rhea, but She hid Zeus, giving Kronos a stone to swallow instead. When Zeus was grown, He freed his brothers and sisters, defeated His own father in battle, and banished Him to Tartarus.
The later Romans adopted many aspects of Greek religion. They syncretized Kronos with the Roman God Saturn which accounts for many of the seasonal and calendrical attributions later ascribed to Him.
One of the things that I have noticed in my study of ancient Greek is that the Greek language has a specificity that English often lacks.(2) There are multiple words, for instance, for love: is it erotic, platonic, friendship, familial, romantic, etc. The language is painfully precise in its use of verbs when it comes to indicating when and for how long a thing was done. Whereas in Latin, you have one word that can mean a dozen things, in Greek you have a dozen words that can refer to various shadings of a single given concept--hence the careful specificity with regard to time.
Time is important. The way we engage with it, after all, is finite. I sometimes think of it as a river raft upon which we ride. The river will go on long after we have left the raft behind. It’s important then that we engage with the time that we are allotted wisely and well. Very few of us—myself included—actually do that though, and if we cannot navigate kronos effectively, will we even recognize those moments of kairos when they appear?
As someone deeply committed to developing devotional consciousness within my religion, I would like to posit a different way of looking at kronos. Each moment of our lives, each mile on that river of time, every second of the daily grind, every minute of our mundane lives is a chance to pave the way for kairos, those moments that the Gods are apt to seize and within which we can be transformed. Kronos creates and readies one for Kairos. It is the foundation, the architectural structure upon which those points of kairos rest. Understanding that has the potential to change the way we relate to every other aspect of our lives. It has the potential to change the way we relate to the very concept of ‘mundane’ or ‘mundane time.’ When we focus on living our daily lives well, we are building khairos.
Spiritual engagement takes practice just like anything else. Everything has the potential to be part of that practice; everything can be spiritual. Someone once asked me who is more likely to write a best-selling novel: the one who sits on his ass waiting for inspiration to strike, or the one who writes all the time, who practices, who gets out there and engages with the work? I think the answer is obvious and in many respects it’s the same with spirituality. Every moment of kronos is good, precious, and meant to be savored in and of itself, but it is also a moment of preparing oneself for kairos.
It is not a terrible thing, this goal of making each moment precious, mindful, and imbued with spiritual awareness. It’s a matter of shifting priorities, of learning to look at the world and one’s life a little differently and it enhances everything. Poet Henry David Thoreau spoke of wanting to “live deep and suck out all the marrow of life”(3) The key to that is mindfulness and active engagement. This is the way to navigate kronos. It leads to an awareness where in the end, it isn’t just those moments of kairos that are sacred; it’s all sacred. It all becomes kairos.
In this way, there are no small actions. There is nothing insignificant. Or maybe it’s all insignificant until the dance is completed. Either way, we can choose to live in a way that invests every single part of our lives with meaning. We can choose to engage, to be awake and conscious, to live fervently and passionately each moment of our lives on Midgard. That’s no small thing at all.
For this and many other reasons, I think time is sacred. It’s something to be treasured. I have friends in poly-amorous relationships and the coin of those relationships (from what I’ve been told) isn’t sexual fidelity, but time, time shared between lovers and friends. I know in my own life, being as busy as I am with a fairly brutal program in grad school I have very, very little free time. The time I parcel out to my friends –and I know it may not seem like a lot—truly is a precious gift at least to me. All of this has caused me to look differently at the very concept of time.
I’m lucky. I am by nature über-punctual (to the point that my adopted mom, who was Swiss, used to joke that I may not have gotten the Swiss house-keeping gene – my biological maternal ancestry is Swiss and German---but I sure did get double the punctuality gene. I could only concur. LOL). The whole concept of “Pagan Standard Time” seems idiotic, discourteous, and downright rude. I make it a point, out of respect for the people with whom I’m interacting and the work itself to habitually be punctual. (4) That being said, even I had to learn over the years to center my life around my spirituality. It doesn’t just happen. One doesn’t just develop devotional consciousness. One doesn’t just become spiritual. It’s a matter of personal discipline, working consistently to re-prioritize and to incorporate these things into one’s life, working to change the way you move through the world. Some days will be better than others but in the end, it takes practice, and attention, and most of all the conscious gift of time.
It benefits us in the long run to make that gift. It allows us to live in a world full of the brightest of colors, a world alive with meaning, possibility and most of all connection. It makes the sacred something that is lived and cherished here and now, not something that’s far away, untouchable or reserved only for a select few. It trains us as it were, to pour ourselves into living, and into loving the Gods, and into being better, more involved human beings. It also connects us to something outside of ourselves. Many indigenous traditions teach that one should evaluate one’s actions based on the effect those actions will have not just on oneself or one’s children but on the seventh generation. That’s good advice but it’s advice that’s impossible to follow unless one is living in a way that is aware and awake, in other words, consciously engaging with the flow and mystery of kronos.
Time is a magical thing: give a little bit to any particular endeavor and just watch your abilities blossom. This holds true not just in devotional work, but in the most mundane of things too. I first learned this as a ballet dancer: you practice every day or you suck. Every day of lost practice shows immediately in what one is able to do. As a philologist-in-training, I have to study Latin and Greek every day. If I take a day or two off, it shows. I’m rusty. Slow. I lose skill and facility. The words don’t come as quickly and I miss so much of their nuance. Spirituality is no different. Hell, life is no different. There may be times where I choose to take that day off, mind you, but I know exactly what I’m sacrificing.
In the end, I don’t think that it’s those moments of kairos—blessed gifts though they might be—that define us so much as how we engage with kronos. It’s the quotidian, the every-day, the mundane things that make us who we are. It’s what we do when things seem the most un-spiritual. It’s those choices, the patterns, pieces, warp, and weft of a life that determine who we are and who we can become spiritually and in every other sense as well. In all things, however, that which determines excellence, that which moves possibilities from the realm of chance to the realm of potential is time. Kronos is indeed the best and most precious gift we can give …to anything, including ourselves.
Lately, perhaps since I teach at an interfaith seminary, I have been asked quite a bit for recommendations of texts that will help explain polytheism. Poly-theology is a fairly nascent academic field so there aren't many but I've started a page listing what I feel are the most important works on Poly-theology currently on the market. Feel free to email me with recommendations.
The link to the page is at the left, right before my 'links" tag.
This one is seriously late, folks but, as the saying goes, better late than never. I’m afraid last week corresponded to finals week for me and well, studying for my Latin final took precedence over anything else (including sleep. Lol). Anyway, here’s my column for last week, a short one, but I hope, a stimulating or at least thought-provoking read. It’s a bit of a polemic, I’ll admit, but much of this is the outgrowth of a discussion I had recently with a colleague.
This article isn't really about the Jotnar, one of the three primary tribes of Holy beings in Norse cosmology; rather, it's about issues that arise every time Their worship is mentioned. Some of you reading this may not be Heathen and may not know anything at all about Norse cosmology or the infighting and denominational disputes that seem to so define the “community” (and I use that term loosely), but I can almost guarantee that y’all know at least one of the Jotnar by name: Loki, that most infamous of Gods (at least in our tradition). I think it’s safe to say that there’s nothing so controversial within our community as the question of whether or not to honor Loki and by extension His kin.(1)
Of course, some Heathens would tell you it’s no controversy at all. They’re the ones who have made a clear decision, for whatever reason as to which side of the divide they fall. They either like me, adamantly honor Loki, or like many of my detractors, adamantly don’t. There’s no room for compromise between the two poles either. For those who are finding their way in the religion, this particular issue is a minefield, particularly if they have a devotional affinity for Loki without being primarily dedicated to Him.
To put it mildly, Heathenry is a very polarized religion right now. Perhaps it has always been so. For whatever reason (and I’ll be discussing those reasons as I see them in forthcoming articles), it’s also a religion filled with fundamentalism and in some cases, flat out bullying. What is a fundamentalist after all, but a bully? For all the talk about restoring ancestral traditions, the only thing happening in large swaths of the community, is a pseudo-restoration forced through the unconscious lens of monotheistic dichotomy. ..something that would have been phenomenally alien to those self-same ancestors we so venerate today. Most people don’t even realize it. I didn’t for a long time. This isn’t really about honoring Loki or not honoring Him—Whom one honors is a personal decision after all. It’s about the dominant attitudes, what an academic might call Weltanschauung or world-view within American Heathenry today.
Contemporary Heathenry is –though many would deny it-- built upon an insidiously monotheistic mindset. I maintain this is true even though we claim many Gods. Last week, I wrote about Julian the martyr, who tried so hard to restore ancient Paganisms within the Roman Empire. One of the things that he actually wrote about was that he felt, no matter how Pagan he was, that he was tainted mentally. He had been raised and moreover educated Christian, you see, and he was well aware that there was this filter, this lens, this way of looking at the world with which he’d been inculcated, and of which he was largely unconscious. This meant that even when he didn’t realize it, it was possible that monotheistic attitudes and approaches, monotheistic ideas might creep in to his understanding of Paganism and he fought hard to be aware of this, fight it, and root it out of his thought processes. Each one of us, having grown up in a world two thousand years into what I like to call the Christian occupation, has a similar filter and it is a thousand, thousand times more deeply rooted. Before any true spiritual engagement can occur, we have to at the very least crack the wall of that filter, acknowledge that it’s there, start examining its seams, and eventually break it down. Most contemporary Heathens barely acknowledge the existence of such a filter---as though throwing Jesus away and taking on many Gods ---which they barely acknowledge as well, mind you---is enough of a conversion when it doesn’t even come close.
Why? Because even when we’ve cast off the chains of this ‘one god’ nonsense, we’ve still been patterned, inter-generationally I might add, to use certain tools (for instance, to rely on the written word for spiritual authority over and above any personal experience), to approach the world a certain way (in dogged binaries), and to assume that there is only one way to truth, to doing it “right” (which in turn leads to one allowing oneself the moral right to attempt to compel and harass everyone else into following that same one right way). These attitudes are deceptive. Moreover, they’re comfortable. They seem ‘right’ to us, because that is how we have been taught in our culture to define that which is correct.
I believe that Heathenry is in the state that it is in right now specifically because of this. I also think that any attempt to reconstruct ancestral traditions through this lens is destined to fail. This type of narrow thinking is diametrically opposed to the polytheistic worldview. Ancient polytheisms (and while the written material that we have is either very late or written by Christians, there is no reason to suppose that ancient Germanic and Scandinavian polytheisms differed in this) openly reveled in ambiguity. It’s the ambiguity, the lack of systematic, clearly defined unity (unity…you know, from unus, meaning one.) that is at the root of many of the conflicts I see within the community today.(2)
Not only do I believe that any restoration built along these lines is destined to fail, I think it should. Better that it fail than that we simply reinforce monotheism in our world under another—seemingly polytheistic---guise.
Am I saying that every single Heathen has to be involved in ecstatic devotion, or has to make offerings to Angurboda, or has to actively honor Loki? No. But I am saying that the discomfort we have with UPG, the over-emphasis on lore within the community, and the fundamentalism (which expresses itself not just in the insistence that there’s only one good way to be Heathen, but also in paternalism, misogyny, obsession with gender roles, homophobia, and a very, very subtle expression of white privilege that has made me literally weep for the future of our religions) that I see there have their roots not in the attitudes of our polytheistic ancestors but in Christianity, specifically a fundamentalist, white, Protestant Christianity the effects of which have remained largely unexamined within Heathenry at large (why, because it’s what people are used to and we’re not taught to think that the way we view the world is wrong).(3).
Jason Pitzl-Waters recently posted a news blurb about my involvement in a UN conference on May 10. As expected, several Heathen detractors immediately piped up with accusations and allegations. One brave commentator told them that they had not yet rid themselves of their monotheistic filter. I believe she was correct. She erred only in one thing: she used as evidence the fact that these detractors don’t worship Loki. That’s not what I would have called out, had I been the one commenting. That they don't worship Loki is between each individual and his or her Gods. That they try to compel others, thinking it appropriate to harass, engage in libel, and attack those who do not agree with them is the issue and one far, far more indicative of that aforementioned filter. The larger issue, to my mind, is that not only have many Heathens---and I can’t really restrict this to Heathens. I think all polytheists struggle with this at some point-- not rid themselves of the filter, but they then try to remake Heathenry in its image. That is the problem, not whether or not one worships Loki or any other Jotun Deity.
The Jotnar are the “third rail” in Heathenry. They threaten and challenge all of our assumptions about the Gods, morality, the importance of humanity, and the role of lore. If we rely solely on lore, of course we would be led to hate Them, to cast Them as the Heathen version of devils. If we rely on personal experience – the dreaded UPG—we might end up honoring Them or even devoted to some of Them. (More and more Heathens coming into the religion seem to fall somewhere in the middle). Over and over again, I’ve seen people badgering those who honor Loki about why they would hail or honor such a God. The answer is simple: because we love Him, because we have taken the time to develop a relationship, because He has been good to us. Because we have had direct experience with the Gods (something our polytheistic ancestors would comprehend and respect). The answer falls on deaf ears. What these people want to hear is that we worship Him and His kin to be rebels, to stir up trouble, or for some other distinctively puerile and unworthy reason. The real answer will always fall on deaf ears because people poisoned with that filter will never understand devotion. They will never, ever understand true commitment to any of the Gods, not even the ones of which they so hubristically approve.
That’s what annoys me personally about the Jotnar debate. I don’t care what someone else does in their personal worship. It’s not my business. That’s why it’s “personal.” What annoys me, however, as a theologian is the presumed hubris of assuming that we have any right at all to determine which Gods are “good” and “right” versus “bad” and ‘wrong.” It elevates human understanding and will to a level that I find at the very least impious. That I also find it wrong-headed and coming from a very Protestant way of looking at the world is a whole other factor, which I’ve already touched upon.
I suppose diversity is a scary thing. That’s what polytheism leads to: diversity of thought, of Deity, of worldview, of devotional practice. It’s inherent in the polytheistic filter. This was its greatest strength and, with the coming of monotheism and its promise of easy salvation, it’s greatest weakness. I would like to believe that we are wise enough to gird against that weakness (which is the weakness of men and women who lack focus, commitment, and honor) while at the same time celebrating its strength. While there may be lively debates within polytheism, there should not be the need to force someone to view the world and the Gods in a particular way. There should not be the need for such ideological exclusivity. Such an attitude is foreign to the way polytheism works. It is not, sadly, foreign to Heathenry.(4)
It doesn't have to be like that. The need to control and to dominate each other’s spirituality is not a polytheistic virtue. If the ongoing conflict and debates over the Jotnar can teach us nothing else, let it teach us that. Certainly we’ve a long way to go.
Well, I’m still wading through my finals, but I had time today while taking a little break from translating to put together the following –albeit short---list of interesting links to share. So check it out, folks:
Some amazing news from Norway: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/324906
An excellent document addressing privilege and racism. As far as I’m concerned, every Heathen ought to read this. We need to be examining this within our own communities because it’s there, more than I ever wanted to admit: http://corr.peacefuluprising.org/sites/default/files/attachments/2012-02/unpacking_the_invisible_knapsack.pdf
Great post, part of the Pagan Blog Project, by Maris Pai, that touches on the power of one’s land in shaping our Pagan consciousness: http://marispai.huginnpress.com/2012/05/08/i-is-for-ireland/
Finally, while I don’t usually do ‘cute,’ this is just too delightful not to share: http://www.g33kwatch.com/movies/story-of-a-five-year-old-avenger-meeting-the-avengers/?fb_ref=.T7HZnCfMZPs.like&fb_source=home_multiline
My colleague Sannion posted this recently on his blog (http://thehouseofvines.wordpress.com) having gotten it from this blog: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevinwax/2012/05/12/stick-with-your-work/. This is absolutely the best advice that any spiritworker, shaman, mystic, godspouse, godservant, priest, etc. could ever and i mean EVER be given. So I'm reposting it here. (I don't care of it originated on a Christian blog. It's still excellent and necessary admonishment). Thank you, Sannion, for bringing it to my attention!
Stick with your work.
This week's post (and people, let me tell you, "j" is a hard letter to work with!) is about Flavius Claudius Julianus Augustus, known as Julian the Apostate to Christians, and Julian the Martyr to many of us Pagans. Julian lived in the middle of the fourth century C.E., dying in 363 CE and during his all too brief reign, he tried fervently to drive back the insidious spread of Christianity and restore Paganism (albeit is more a pantheistic than purely polytheistic flavor of Paganism) as the major religion of the Empire. For this reason, he is counted amongst the sancti by many polytheists today.
I think that Julian is a tremendously important figure, and not just historically. It's important for contemporary Pagans and polytheists to know that Paganism did not just disappear. Ancient Pagans did not go gently into the dark night of conversion. Christianity was not universally embraced without question. There was an ongoing, generations long battle and the outcome and conclusion were not, as many Christians would have us believe, fore-ordained. The story of the spread of monotheism, in this case Christianity is one of indoctrination, ideological bullying, fanaticism, and bloodshed. There were, however, those who opposed it and there were those who opposed it at every level of society, from the more than 2500 men and women of the Saxons, hundreds of years after Julian, who laid down their lives rather than covert under Charlemagne to philosophers, senators, peasants, people of every walk of society all the way up to an emperor. There was resistance. As the cliche goes, history is written by the victor, and nowhere is that more fully true than in the story of Christianity's victory over ancient Paganism. We are not taught about that resistance ever. Christianity is presented as a natural and moreover a positive evolution in the nature of things when it was nothing of the sort. That's important to remember as we continue that resistance and continue the struggle to revive and restore our ancestral ways. But back to Julian.
It's actually something of a miracle that Julian survived to take the throne at all. He was the nephew of Constantine, the first Christian emperor, and after the death of Constantine, his successor, Constantius II massacred Julian's family to secure his own succession to the throne. To some degree this was the way of Roman politics, almost from the inception of the imperial system, but it cannot have been any less devastating to those who survived, like Julian. Julian was a child at the time of his parents' massacre and by some grace was left alive, though isolated and exiled from the centers of power. He was raised by his grandmother in Bithynia (ironically --to me at least--we have surviving letters of Pliny the younger, discussing the "christian problem" in Bitynia and asking the advice of Emperior Trajan. Christians were considered impious, possibly atheistic, and definitely offensive to public morals) and educated as a Christian.
While raised Christian, Julian rejected Christianity in his youth. Still, his work shows quite a thorough knowledge of the Bible and other extant Christian texts - not surprising since one of his primary teachers was the Bishop of Nicodemia, Eusebius. His rejection of Christianity was not the result of lack of knowledge of the new religion, but of quite a deep familiarity with it. He was perfectly placed to reject monotheism from a position of insight and understanding. Any contemporary Pagan reading this has, to greater or lesser degree, made that self same journey. Waking up and casting off those ideological chains…chains whose fetters run deep in our minds, in our hearts, in our spirits, is no small thing. Julian did it when it was far more potentially fatal a decision, and we did it too. That's something to recognize and in which to take heart. (I know when I first read about him, when I had only just become Pagan, I was stunned that as late as the fourth century, someone in power was trying hard to restore Pagan ways. It had quite an impact on me and probably contributed to my going into Classics).
Eventually Julian's exile was ended. He gained military experience in Gaul, in good Roman custom harassing some of the Germanic tribes there. Not unexpectedly, the relationship between Julian and Constantius II was apparently strained almost to the point of Civil War but before he died, the latter recognized Julian as his rightful heir and Julian became Emperor in 361 C.E. (I am of course, jumping over a significant period of Julian's early life where he became more deeply entrenched in Paganism, gained significant experience as a military leader, and learned how to exercise political power. I've provided a list of sources at the end of this article for those who want read more in depth material on him).
Julian was a very hands on leader, concerned about corruption in the imperial court and he made many administrative changes during the first part of his reign. The most controversial (and to polytheists the most beloved) was his attempt to halt the spread and political influence of Christianity and return Paganism to a place of religious and civil prominence in the Empire.(2) As an interesting aside, we do have two religious works written by Julian: a panegyric to the God Helios, and likewise a panegyric to the Mother of the Gods. Amongst his other surviving works, we also have 'Against the Galileans,' his polemic against Christianity. They're worth reading, though they should not be taken as theological works--Julian was not a theologian--but rather ought to be seen as the work of a high ranking, well educated Roman Pagan working in a social and political environment very, very hostile to Paganism in every way.
While very Neoplatonic in his approach to Paganism, his reputation as it has come down to us point to his having been a very devout Pagan. That his Paganism wasn't clean and betrayed some monotheistic influence was recognized by Julian himself who (from his extant writings) was well aware that his own mind was tainted and poisoned by his Christian upbringing. This is something to remember: all of us, having been raised in a very Christian influenced society need to be aware of the impact of that filter, that lens, that upbringing on our minds. We were all brainwashed and half the battle of growing in devotion to the Gods is ridding oneself of that mental and spiritual sickness of monotheism and its influences. It's insidious too.(1) Julian recognized this from the beginning and commented upon it in his writings.
As to his religious reforms, Julian's primary aim was to restore Paganism and to force Christians out of any positions of power or governance within the Roman state. Given the results of close to two thousand years of Christian dominance, we might call his attempts prescient. Here are some of the steps that Julian took after coming to power:
* He restored Pagan temples
* He repealed state funding for Christian bishops and other Christian clergy; in fact, he legislated heavily against Christians in general and Christian authorities in particular.
*He removed bishops and other Christian leaders from positions of legal, judicial, and forensic authority.
*Political favors or exemptions that had been awarded to Christians he summarily reversed.
*In 362 C.E. he did the thing no monotheist would ever do: he issued an edict guaranteeing freedom of religion.
(note, he didn't attempt to destroy Christianity, only to limit its influence within institutions of power. Persecuting Christians only made them stronger, so he took the wise position of tolerance instead, in a way guaranteed to undermine their resistance. This was an important step toward guaranteeing that Pagans would no longer be persecuted for their beliefs, though this was repealed after Julian's death by his successor).
*He attempted to create/consolidate Paganisms into a type of hierarchical "Church" that could actively rival and block the Christian Church. (While i don't agree with this necessarily, i can see why it seemed the right course of action given the growing power of the Christian church in the 4th century. He wanted to create an authoritative body that could block, point and counterpoint, the growing influence of the Christian church).
*He removed Christian teachers from public schools--particularly in the teaching of rhetoric, so necessary for political participation in Roman life. (This was a particular brilliant move as it not only caused severe financial damage to Christians but limited the options of those educated under Christian teachers for any type of civil or public employment).
*He also mandated the restitution of property and wealth confiscated from Pagan temples.
*He encouraged the return of heretical Christian leaders perhaps in an attempt to foster schisms within the growing Church.
*He did his best to clean up what was then a fragmented and disenfranchised Pagan clergy, advocating for a strict code of behavior and also advocating programs of charity to benefit the people (one of the ways in which Christians had won converts).
Julian died during a campaign against the Persians (an ongoing Roman obsession it seems) in 363 C.E. courtesy of a spear to the gut. There was and is some speculation that he was assassinated by a Christian soldier obviously doing his best to emulate Christ (yes, I'm being sarcastic).
Some might say Julian was fighting a losing battle and perhaps, in his own time that was true (many of us today lament, deeply lament his ill-chosen decision to fight the Persians. He he lived longer, who knows what he might have accomplished and how our world would be different as a result) but his story survives as an inspiration to those of us engaged in the exact same battle today. Moreover, as one of the sancti, as one of our honored forebears, we can call upon him in ancestral veneration for help, assistance, and guidance. I recommend laying out offerings to him, particularly in June, the month of his death.
Personally, I would love to see something of what I like to call the "Julian reforms" put into practice, limiting the effects and influence of monotheists in government. Do I think it's going to happen? No, not in our country or lifetime, but it's a dearly held dream of mine. Note the things Julian did not do. He did not advocate tearing down or otherwise desecrating Churches. He did not advocate randomly confiscating Christian property. He did not advocate hauling their clergy out into the streets and killing them…all of which Christians quite happily did up to the modern day and in some places continue to do, particularly if one counts the effects on the Americas of the Doctrine of Discovery. I think it's high time for a few "Julian reforms" personally, high time indeed.
1. the antidote to the virus starts with the ancestors,with honoring them and allowing them to begin guiding the process of removing the pollution, of un-brainwashing, of bringing clarity and connection.
2. There's a 'Julian Society' http://www.juliansociety.org/ dedicated to Julian's ideal of restoring ancient Paganisms to world prominence. This just tickles me pink. I may have to join.
For more information on Julian see:
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Julian_the_Apostate (always interesting to read about him from the enemy's perspective)
"Julian the Apostate" by G. Bowersock
"The Last Pagan" by Adrian Murdoch
"Julian's Gods" by R. Smith
There's also an interesting, and very well researched novel about Julian. I haven't read it in over fifteen years, but I recall enjoying it greatly when I did:
"Julian: A Novel" by Gore Vidal