Saturday, June 29, 2013

A few changes to the program

You may have noticed that the radio program has not aired on schedule very much this month, you may be asking why. Simply put, I WAY underestimated how much time it would take to record and edit the myths for your listening pleasure. As such, I'm making another revision (for the time being) for the first few months, until I really get a handle on things, I'll be doing an interview for the first Sunday of a month, and re-telling myths for the last Sunday of a month. This new schedule will take effect next month. I do apologize if I have disappointed anyone, however sometimes you gotta fumble a bit before you catch the ball, so for July, let's get at this again, shall we?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

DOMA is Overturned

Glory to Athene for granting the justices due wisdom

Glory to Hermes for granting us a good case with strong arguments

Glory to Zeus and Hera for bringing things to fulfillment

Glory to Dike for bringing about proper justice

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Exceeded 30K Views!

That's right, this lil' ole blog has gotten more than 30,000 views! To all my readers, thank you! As a thank you present, here is something stupid I drew.

[CD Review] Plans

Plans by Death Cab for Cutie

Overall Score: 9/10 

Death Cab for Cutie's album Plans does a wonderful job of raising questions and exploring what exactly love is, it takes you on a philosophical journey regarding this powerful and sometimes destructive emotion. Something that a lot of albums can't even come close to doing. 

The opening song "Marching Bands of Manhattan" touches on what it can be like to be in love with someone who is suffering from depression and who has withdrawn, and how the lover can too be consumed by the sadness that the beloved is experiencing. Next on the list comes "Soul Meets Body" a rather up-beat song invoking the imagery of music filling the air and some natural imagery to express the union of love. Then it slides into "Summer Skin" a sad down-tempo song about a summer fling running its natural course, even if one person has a lingering sensation and desire for it to last just a bit longer. 'Different Names' is a curious break from the rest of the CD, a mellow crackling song about traveling by one's self across different countries.

"I Will Follow You Into the Dark" is PROBABLY the most well known and well liked song on the album. The song is frequently played on the radio, and has had a lot of staying power for obvious reasons. The sound itself is very gentle and soft, and the lyrics poignant, discussing what love is, and the potentially eternal nature of it, with the singer promising to follow their lover into 'the dark' (death). He discusses what isn't love (fear, as he learned in 'Catholic School) and acknowledges the inevitability of death ("You and me/Have seen everything to see/From Bangkok to Calgary/And the soles of your shoes/Are all worn down/The time for sleep is now/Its nothing to cry about/Because we'll hold each other soon/in the blackest of rooms) and reassures their lover that s/he will not be alone in death (though, the singer is not implying suicide I believe)

The next song "Your Heart is an Empty Room" is about a listless and lonely man trying to find love but tied down by his obligations and responsibilities. Upon his house burning down he feels a sense of relief, as he finally is opened up to having a chance to love.

"Someday You Will Be Loved" is a rather sad song that I can (and I"m sure most can) relate to on some level. The song discusses the singer leaving behind a girl that was just a good and kind person ("Eyes all beauty and truth") but who he could not love. So, he leaves her. He leaves her a note saying that she doesn't need to feel too bad, because one day she will meet someone who makes him seem like a bad dream, and that her broken heart will someday. The affection the singer has for the jilted lover is true, though he knows it is right and for the best.

"Crooked teeth" is a slightly quirky song discussing regrets about starting a relationship that the singer knew was doomed from the start and that just doesn't quite work.

"What Sarah Said" is another one of the more touching and emotional songs on the album. The sound of the piano at the start reminds me of fingers tapping in succession on a chair (pinky, ring, middle, index) when a person is anxious about something. The song itself is actually the titular song(And it came to an end, that every plan, is a tiny prayer to Father Time), and for good reason. It discusses the truest test that any love can have is watching and waiting and knowing that your partner is dying and that all you can do is watch and by their for them, and not regretting a single second of being with them and though it pains you being there with them for the whole process of their death. It is poignant, and touching, and asks the listener "Whose going to watch you die?" or rather, who loves you so much that they could endure the experience of watching you pass. The song raises some difficult thoughts and feelings in me personally.

By contrast, "Brothers on a Hotel Bed" is a different kind of sad. It speaks of a couple whose passion has faded away due to the constant pressures of life, the monotony and the simple passing of time. How they sleep next to one another, not as lovers, but in the platonic way that two brothers might sleep in the same bed. The singers acknowledges that his age and the changes he has gone through may be the cause of the passion fading, It explores the melancholy of middle-age and struggling to realize that your youth has faded.

"Stable Song" is a slower paced song, which honestly, I had difficulty drawing meaning from.

I have to say that if you don't own this album, you should pick it up and give it a long listen. It is beautiful, touching, and makes you think about what it really  means to love, to hurt, to feel, and to simply just be human.

Music Video for "What Sarah Said" (some parts are 'muffled' unlike in the album) 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Undoing Ties

After giving it much thought and conducting some divination I have made a few decisions.

The first one is that I will no longer be attending the Unitarian Universalist Church. This has nothing to do with the people being mean (because they aren't) everyone at my local Unitarian Universalist Church were all very nice and kind and good people. I'm electing to cease going altogehter for a few reasons, the first one being that it just isn't meeting my needs. When I first started attending I was hoping to develop my own spirituality and get some insights into the spirituality of others, I thought it would be a good place to attend to learn more about other faiths in-depth, but I ultimately realized that Unitarian Universalists do have a certain kind of faith homogenity with some garnish on top. Really though, the Church is more about Social Justice issues and Humanitarian causes than anything, which ISN'T bad, it just isn't what I'm seeking out.

I'd also like to thank everyone at the Denton Unitarian Universalist Foundation for showing me hospitality, for talking to me, and for being my friend. I will not forget the coffee we shared and I definitely won't forget the teens that I had the pleasure of watching develop and come along on their own ruminations about God and faith. Reverend Pamela Wat was wonderful and I'm sure she'll bring the Foundation to even greater successes and heights

This lead to the next thing that I had to think about. Do I continue attending CUUPS? They are the only Pagan organization around really, but really I don't have more than a sprinkling of kindred spirits in the group. They are all fine and fabulous people and they at minimum pour libations to the Gods and Goddesses (even if occasionally  they just resort to the generic 'Lord, Lady, and Ancestors' ). However, I find myself cringing when I get into social situations with more than a select couple of people and there is a lot of attitudes held by many members that grate on me and that I don't feel I really have place to address or discuss heavily as it will just result in tensions, hurt feelings, and lets be honest, I am of a different faith than the majority of CUUPs goers. In fact, as far as I know I'm the only recon in the group currently. I've had a lot of fun with the group too! They have been a source of socialization, and connection and not feeling isolated among the vast wide world and the sea of Abrahamic believers.  However, I also feel that it is wrong to attend events solely for socialization and entertainment purposes. So I was (and still am) conflicted between what I want for myself and what I feel is right, pious, and proper. If you know anything about me, you will know what I have elected to do.

So it is with a heavy heart that I also bid a goodbye to CUUPS

Now that brings me to the last thing that I really had to grapple with. Do I want to be involved with the Pan-Pagan community? If so, why? If not, why? The answer I have ultimately come to is a relatively dejected 'no, but I have to'. I have too many connections with the Pan-Pagan community, plus Pan-Pagan events are great places to raise awareness for Reconstructionism and Hellenion. I have decided that I'm going to limit interaction though, I'm not going to try to engage in debates and many of the gen Pagan blogs I read I'm going to stop reading. I'm also  not going to attend Eclectic/Wiccan inspired rites and stick to rites, rituals and festivities performed by and for folks who employ the Reconstructionist methodology. In other words, a lot of my interaction will be on a person-person level, and I won't be participating in holidays like Beltane, Samhain, or Mabon (unless they are conducted by a Celtic Recon of course!). The internet flame wars get real ridiculous real fast and in person I find that most Pagans use terminology and have viewpoints that really are against the grain for me (again, going back to the fact that we aren't the same faith, but separate and distinct ones). So I hope to make some events and bring a Hellenic presence to these events, but I won't be attending Circles any longer.

I'm getting deeper into my own faith and realizing that I do need to discard some things and pursue others. I think that is okay, fine, and necessary. I need to get my ass in gear for Xenia and I need the feelings of loneliness to drive me to develop it further I think. I think this is for the best, and I think this is good, though it doesn't mean that I won't miss these things.

Deer Cave by loupiote on flickr

Monday, June 17, 2013

Why Hellenismos? Because Athena.

This past few weeks I've been going through some very personal changes which have resulted in de-realization and then an awakening of sorts. I wound up ruminating on why I am a Hellenist.

Why? That is always the question isn't it? Why?

Unlike some Hellenist, I have no love for Plato or Aristotle or Iamblichus or any of the other various philosophers. I was not drawn in and captivated by the myths more than any other mythology. Greek Theatre is amazing and fascinating, but not enough to embrace the religion. I have no Greek blood in me (at least that I can prove. A group of cousins claim we do, but I think that is a bunch of bullshit honestly)  I had (at the time of becoming a Hellenist) zero interest in Greece, no like of Greek culture, and a disdain for the country even. (I'm coming to appreciate Greek culture, very slowly). Why then did I become a Hellenist?

I ask myself this frequently enough. The answer is simple


Of course, I have grown closer to other Gods too (like Aphrodite and Hermes) but the root lies with Athena. In love of her I sought out her original faith and worship. In love of her I opened my first Burkert book and it grew and grew from there. She was the thing which caused me to open the door and step inside. From Athena all this grew.

I've always had an obsession with her, a fascination and an inclination. From the first time I read the myths (in the 6th grade) through High School and into college. I've always had this inclination towards Athena.  Seeing art of her was awesome, I liked vase paintings of her, depictions, paintings it didn't matter what as long as it was of her. So, after I got out of my Wicca phase and was searching for something deeper and more grounded in history Hellenismos seemed to be the most natural choice.

Through Athena I've come to the Gods.

Through her I do not stay though. It takes more than just one God or Goddess to make one stay and dedicate the time, energy, and effort it takes to reconstruct a religious practice. In Hellenismos I've found a love for their particular festival cycle, I've found an extreme liking for the ritual structure, I've found that the other Olympians are wonderful and awe-inspiring as well. I've found a comfort in the pouring of libations and all the little particulars I have found to be wonderful (even if there are some particulars that still confuse me or that I'm uncertain about)

Through Athena I've come to the Gods, and for Athena I want to build a temple.

After all, don't I owe all the kharis in my life to the grey-eyed Goddess?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

One Year

It has been over a year since I've moved into this house of mine.

A lot has happened in that year.

In that year, I've begun to dig into my faith deeply, formulate opinions, and come to know my Gods better. I've erected shrines, I've struggled with doubts, and I've developed a fairly consistent daily devotional practice.

In that year I've come more and more comfortable with my own sexuality. I may have come out at 15 but it takes actually being with another man to grow comfortable with it. My dad found out I was gay in this time.

In that year I've been hurt by someone, I've been lied to and felt only what could be called a sense of betrayal. In this same year I've come to date and fall in love with an amazing man who I've had the pleasure of being with for 8 months now. The first person who I'm certain that cares about me as much as I care about them. The first person that I truly and wholly see myself going places with.

In that year I have learned how to manage money a bit better, even if a bit too late. I have learned to budget and correct and to minimize frivolous purchases.

In that year I have failed. I bombed my classes, I did terrible. My GPA went from a 3.2 to a 2.078 I've errored and I've lost aid, I've suffered from true burnout and a mild depressive episode. I've learned to pull myself up by the bootstraps and repair some damage (after all, the classes I made at least a C in are the classes that I salvaged within the month).

In that year I have succeeded. I auditioned for and got cast as the lead in two shows, I got lots of good comments on the first (sadly no one reviewed it) and on the second I got a good review. I completed my Hellenion Adult RE Classes, and I have managed to consistently post on my blog.

In that year I have learned that the kindness of friends and strangers is wonderful and intense and is something unexpected. I have learned that people who you least expect to help may help. 

In that year I have grown. Lets see what the next year of living here brings. I'm sure whatever it is, it will be grand.
(photos not listed chronologically)

My first 'altar'

Libation to Hephaestus


Dionysia ta Astikia

Shrine to Athena

Me as Adam and JP Cano as Serpentem in 'Adam and Eve in the Garden of Delights, or Love'

Me as John Merrick in 'The Elephant Man'

Me as Cú Chulainn and Roq Hodges as Loch at D-CUUPS Beltane Ritual

My kadeuceus

My backyard

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pagan Survey Responses

So Elizabeth over on Twilight and Fire is conducting a survey. I highly suggest that you go check it out and send it to her! These are my responses. 

1. Name (real or “Craft name”)
Conor O'Bryan Warren

2. VALID email address (Please write it here even if it’s the same one you’re emailing me from! I ask for this so that I can contact you if I have a question about your replies.)

3. Age, gender, geographic location (country, state/province, and/or city).
20, Male, North Texas

4. How long have you been Pagan/polytheistic?
Since February 2012

5. What is your tradition (i.e. Wiccan, reconstructionist Heathen, eclectic, etc.)

6. Do you have any patron gods/goddesses or deities you are especially close to? If so, who are They?
'Patron' deities are different than in the Pan-Pagan community. My patrons (due to my various statuses) are Aphrodite, Athene, Hermes, Apollo, and Zeus. Gods I feel very close to are Athene, Hermes, and Aphrodite

7. How do you define your own relationship(s) to the gods? For instance, do you view one or more of Them as your beloved or spouse, or are They more like parents to you? Do you consider Them friends, allies, mentors? All of the above? None of the above? How does this differ between various gods?
To me the Gods are ultimately the Gods, defining them as a whole in terms of human relationships is very strange and complicated to me. Ultimately, to express it in clearest terms I think they are a kind of mentor, but also the giver of good things. They want us to learn and better ourselves and bless us with good things but will also not coddle us. Of the Olympians my feelings are as follows. Athene feels like a mentor and guide to me. Hermes feels like a 'buddy' and protector. Aphrodite feels *almost* like a mother to me, or something very grand and very compassionate and very kind towards me. Ares I feel distant towards. Zeus is a complex God who confuses me and I have difficulty connecting to at all, but I also recognize his power, and the same goes for Hera. They are a grand and complicated pair whose power and might is underestimated among some, they are the King and Queen for a reason. Apollo is a powerful God who I respect, but who I also feel a confusing mixture of closeness and distance to. Artemis I have had little experience with. Demeter I sense as being a motherly and mighty figure, while I have not had enough interaction with Poseidon to make an assessment. Hephaestus seems to be a diligent and good God and Hestia I have come to know as gentle, kind, with a quiet and stern might. Her power is great and her nature is very gentle and sympathetic.

8. How do you define “piety” as it relates to Paganism/modern polytheism?
For me piety is honoring the Gods as you should. It is giving them worship and respect, it is thanking them for the good things in your life and giving back a bit of what they give to you. It is acknowledging them and thanking them for their blessings. In addition it also consists of behaving properly, upholding oaths and promises, and performing specific acts for their honor alone.

9. Do you find this to be a useful or relevant term concerning your own relationship with the gods? Is it relevant to Paganism/modern polytheism in general?
Goodness yes it is relevant, important, and vital to all Pagan faiths in my opinion. When you remove the pious nature of acts, rituals, and thanksgiving you wind up doing it just to entertain yourself or for theatrical reasons and that is kind of disgusting in my opinion. We need to focus more on piety and less on ourselves in my opinion, the modern pagan movement is very much an egotistical movement. I think this is due to many folks coming to it out of a reaction rather than for theological reasons (as many people leave the church not for theological reasons but for social ones.) Those of us who left the church due to theology and embraced a 'pagan' faith due to theology tend to be more focused on piety in my opinion.

10. Is it possible to be pious without an established dogma or authority? Why or why not?
Yes, however I think it can be a tad more difficult. The fact of the matter is that EVERY pagan has dogma to some degree or the other, it is just the way of things, however being pious for a Hellenist consists of just making offerings and observing the household rites. We don't need an authority. Move on to the Cananite and Middle Eastern polytheistic faiths and well, things change. It depends on the tradition, but authority figures can and do help.

11. Is there anything you consider impious (i.e. behavior, modes of worship)? Why?
Oh Gods yes, people who are doing things simply for the 'entertainment' value of it are being impious as they are disrespecting the sacred nature of rites and sacrifices. Folks who render due honor in a respectful manner are being pious, folks who do it in a disrespectful way are being impious. I consider performing ritual and sacrifice while tainted with miasma to be impious(purity is essential. The Gods do not look favorably upon prayers when you are tainted with miasma), and I also consider conflating one's self with the Gods to be impious (for reasons that should be obvious).

12. Are you for or against the establishment and observance of rules about piety in your particular tradition and/or within Pagan/polytheist religion in general? Please explain your response.
Yes and no. On the one hand I think it could be helpful in curtailing some ego-centric behaviors, on the other hand I think it could cause even more fracturing within certain groups and schisms that would just be awful. Furthermore, there is a lot of complexity in actually defining this stuff, I mean, who decides what? How? With a central authority? What about people who don't comply? It simply wouldn't work. I lean far more towards no on this, I think we should curtail impious behavior within our own temples/temenos/demos/maestrum/jinja/etc by simply talking with folks and keeping ourselves real and honest about what we do and don't want.

13. Further comments, thoughts, observances?
I think a lot of the fear of piety comes from the Christian background of many Pagans and the fact that they left as a reaction and not due to theological reasons. Anything that remotely resembles Christianity they will decry and they will always, always, always decry it because it reminds them of that which they didn't like and so they assume it must be inherently 'un-Pagan' while being unaware of the fact that most pre-Christian polytheistic cultures did have standards and regulations for piety and impiety, and many current polytheistic faiths have standards for piety and impiety. To pretend they didn't is to deny history and deny the way things have been and currently are. Our standards will develop for our own individual faiths in their own time, some of us have standards already, others will have to wait, and others won't ever care enough to develop standards of piety.

Monday, June 10, 2013

I. Don't. Care. (Well, except I do!)

So, there we go, on the heels of the "PCP VS POLYTHEISTS VS JESUS-PAGANS VS TURTLE GOD: Can I suck Batman's dick?" we get into this whole turf war between Archetypalists and Polytheists and Humanists and blah blah blah. Sannion has issued his call for silence for the month of July, Halstead has gone on his own rant, and then there are like ten billion other posts about this on both sides. Both sides are being crazier than squirrels with rabies, both sides are producing their fair-share of Cuckoos(and note, I'm not calling Sannion OR Halstead cuckoo. Both make points I disagree and agree with) however this is TELLING and IMPORTANT for a variety of reasons.
Firstly, this further reinforces my idea that it would be better for Pagans to see ourselves as a sub-culture rather than a religious grouping. Because we AREN'T a religious grouping, as this debate is so evidently showing, we are a coalition of RELIGIONS not PATHS my friends, calling it a path really minimizes the importance and differences of each faith which creates a false sense of homogeneity . That is where we are getting hung-up. We are discussing things that can only be reasonably and intelligently discussed among co-religionists and not between religions. Hell, even religions have splits because of relatively minor disagreements (Lutherian Christianity for example). I honestly think that I, myself, am not in a proper situation to DEBATE opinions with other Pagans because we aren't in the same religious boat(and nor are they in a proper situation to debate with me). It goes the way of a Catholic debating with a Sunni, everyone adamantly holds their ground, no one goes anywhere, and it all winds up being circle-jerking with everyone being disgusted by all the Catholic and Sunni jizz everywhere. I see it as pointless, utterly and completely pointless to engage in debate, discussion, yes, debate? HA! NO. If I'm going to debate it will be live, it will be public, and it will be with intent, going keyboard warrior on the internet is just seeming dumber and dumber to me these days, because I simply don't care about it enough to waste two hours hammering out responses to someone. I know where I stand, and I know my foot being in the Pagan Community is somewhat tenuous at best, but I'm going to do what I do. When I host celebrations, I invite whoever I please, regardless of their deity stance, however I will not promote archetypalism, I will not promote monism, and I will not promote Atheistic and Humanistic Paganism. Why? Because, to me, promoting those things is basically the same as promoting Catholicism or Pentecostal Christianity. Those things are opposed to my morals to some degree or the other so I cannot in good faith promote them.

At the end of the day though, it doesn't matter whether I'm calling myself Pagan or Polytheist or Amish or Unitarian Univesalist or whatever, I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing. I'm going to continue holding my rituals and rites, I'm going to continue studying and synthesizing and making the information make sense, I'm going to continue working towards my dream of one day founding a real temenos, I'm going to continue doing what I'm doing, which is attempting to build a REAL LIFE community (not an internet one) for my co-religionists and myself. It isn't always easy, but I'm trying, and I strongly encourage Reconstructionists of all faiths to do the same.

I won't be going silent for July. It isn't in me to do so. I've never thought silence is a good way of handling things when the silence isn't depriving you of anything physical. 

I believe the Gods are real.
I believe some Gods appear in multiple cultures, yet I think each should be treated as individual
I believe they actively affect our lives
I believe tulpas and egregores can and do exist, but I do not think that the vast majority of Gods are derived from either source.
I believe that I can invite Humanists and Archetypalists to my rites and festivals and have them celebrate and behave themselves (as in, not be offensive or disparage belief in the Gods)
I believe all these things fully and totally with every bit of conviction I have.

However, there is a couple of things I know.
1) I know that we need to see ourselves as separate and disconnected faiths as much as Catholics see Sunnis as separate and disconnected from themselves and start seeing ourselves as a coalition of religious minorities.
2) The Pagan Community is not mature enough or developed enough to have interfaith dialogue. I'm disgusted by 'my' side and I'm disgusted by the other side too.

A picture from the Beltane rite in which I played Cú Chulainn. Were Morrighan or Dagda Gods I worshiped? Nope, but I delighted in giving them honor. Photo by Cathy Beckett 

My roommate who is Agnostic-Atheist pouring a libation to Hephaestus.

I don't care in a lot of ways, but I also do care. I don't want the community (the faiths will survive methinks) to be obliterated because folks can't wrap their heads around the fact that we are consisting of faiths as separate as Mormonism and Buddhism. Let's get our act together guys.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Donations for Story-Eyed Youth

If you were listening to Story-Eyed Youth and would like to make a donation to pitch in on operating costs (I incorrectly said 99 dollars, it is 39 dollars a month!) you can throw something at my paypal All donations sent will be applied towards the cost of the show, and after I meet cost for the month anything over will be used for things like prizes for competitions, various give aways and things of that nature.

Paypal Address:

Monthly Operating Costs: 39 USD

Current Funded: 0 USD

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Stage [Haiku]

The stage is hot now
The audience is watching
Two deep breaths. Now go.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Two and Two [Seeking Musician to Perform]

Seeking a musician to transform these lyrics into music. If you are interested contact me at 

There is sometimes a darkness
There is sometimes a feeling
There is sometimes a sometimes
There is sometimes a nothing

Two and Two has always made four
Two and Two has always made four

Arise, please get up
Little hero, little child
Arise, please get up
You have no clue, so don't think about it

Arise, please get up
Little hero, little child
Arise, please get up
You have no clue, clueless sacrifice

There are somethings and some things
You don't get a choice in this life
Advantages and disadvantages decided from birth
Sometimes far after
Yes, you don't get a choice
Accept your fate with a quiet
Grace and dignity
Be resigned to what is
Don't long after what won't be
Because the more you struggle
The more you fulfill your destiny

Arise, please get up
Little hero, little child
two and two has always made four

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Magnus Canem

Sadly I'm not a very good artist. However, some of you may recall that I was speaking about my suspicions about certain interactions and dreams I'm having been influenced by a something or the other. Well, I had this particular mood the other day, and went a little bah-ha and got. . .inspired?  I'm a terrible artist, and this isn't how they appeared in the dream, but here they are, as well as I can represent them.  

Full View

The 'Male'

The 'Female'

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About Me

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A young man living in North Texas. He is an actor, a Hellenistos, and a proud member of Hellenion.