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March 26th, 2009


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04:29 pm - Dawn comes lightly into ritual. . .
I remember watching the dawn break on Mt. Olympus, far above Litichoro and the sea. As I stood in the gray light of early morning, watching the mists roll over the mountain, I understood a little better the presence of the dawn in the mind of the poet, and the presence of the divine on Mt. Olympus.

Truly, the blushing bride of the sun, the virgin innocent who blushes fiercely and beautiully when she is seen at her bath, the girl who comes quietly through your window in the morning and brushes her warm fingers across your face and chest and thighs. . . truly, she was there. . .
This past weekend, I had the privilege of doing a ritual attunement and Gate opening that had nothing to do with the regular Two Powers we often use in ritual, but rather had everything to do with Eos, the Greek dawn goddess. I've gotten a couple of compliments on the part I played in the rite, and so I thought I'd share a bit of my own vision of the dawn, who I (of course) associate with the Vedic Usas.

The most important thing to know is this: my own conception of dawn is greatly influenced by those Vedic poets who first spoke of the figure of Usas, rightly (I think) referred to as the most charming figure in descriptive religious lyrics. As a result, I think of the dawn as a beautiful girl on the verge of full-blown womanhood, young and innocent still, touched by neither man nor hardship; yet conscious enough of her body to acknowledge, however slightly, nakedness and vulnerability. I imagine that dawn, personified, is something like this:

In my mind's eye, when I view the dawn I am looking through a keyhole at a young woman bathing in her room, which is richly furnished in dark wood, draped in fabrics with warm hues of orange and red. She may sing to herself, or hum, as she slowly and joyously washes in the deep waters about her, the colours reflecting in the ripples where the waters meet her skin. At length, she rises from the bath, the waters dripping from her bosom in the many colours of the morning, and though she is alone she blushes a deep and soft blush, the colours radiating out from her skin. . . but this vision does not last for more than a the most fleeting of moments, for in a fluid motion she draws forth a cloth that covers her nakedness, walks swiftly across the room and throws open the window to the blinding light of the sun.

In another vision, I see the cool, grey mists of morning enter through my open window. Coming close on the heels of the mists, the dawn rests her fingers upon my window ledge, warming it and drawing colour to it. She then creeps over the sill, gazing down upon me in my slumber, and rests her hand upon my brow, lightly warming me with the warmth of her own touch. Her fingers trail across my face, brushing my hair behind my ear, touching my eyelids, and trailing across my lips and down my neck. Her fingers pass over my chest and stomach, warming them and drawing the first sigh of the morning from my body. She paints the room in fiery colours, drawing pinks, reds, and vibrant oranges across earth and sky. It is this gloriously painted heaven and earth that I view when I open my eyes and find her already gone, though I can still feel her touch and see the joy with which she has painted my world.

Heh. And people think Usas is a patron goddess of mine. Does that look like patronage to you?
 
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[User Picture]
From:wishesofastar
Date:March 27th, 2009 04:21 pm (UTC)
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This is an interesting definition of patronage, and one I'd not heard before. Does this mean that there are other gods whom you feel you are "on par" with, or am I misinterpreting this?
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:March 27th, 2009 04:55 pm (UTC)
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Not really. I tend to see them all as being able to offer greater blessings than we could ever hope to repay, but the relationship with a patron is particularly special. I tend to look at it through the lens of *ghos-ti-, of course. . . it's a reciprocal bond that's without the idea that "everything will even out in the end."

I suppose that to some extent, with most relationships with the gods and goddesses, the spirits of nature, and the ancestors, I don't expect to receive much more than I put in. The more I put in, the more I get out, but it's an arithmetic progression, really. . . their blessings will always be greater than what I can offer, but not in the same way.

With a patron, I know that no matter how much I put in, I'm going to receive far more than I could possibly give, and on an exponential scale: if I put little effort forth, I'll get a small return that's still greater than what I put in, but if I put a great deal of effort, I find that I'll obtain blessings and rewards on an exponential scale (if, indeed, blessings could be "scaled": the "value" terms are pretty silly, really).

It's humbling, really. . . I suppose one could take advantage of a patronage relationship (look at Pip in Great Expectations, when he learns who his benefactor really is. . . he was all too happy with the relationship until Magwitch was shown to be the benefactor, though Pip eventually grows out of this and does his filial duty).

Still, I think that understanding that even these relationships can end with improper maintenance is important, and a sense of gratitude is vital to the relationship (though not guilt or fear of losing that patronage. . . those ideas don't belong here).
[User Picture]
From:wishesofastar
Date:March 27th, 2009 05:39 pm (UTC)
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Cool, thanks for the clarification.

I actually haven't read Great Expectations; I'm primarily familiar with the story through other literary references, and of course the brilliant South Park retelling (though I suspect the book doesn't include the Genesis device).
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:March 27th, 2009 05:45 pm (UTC)
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There is, actually, a pretty complete synopsis in the Wikipedia article. We had to read it in 8th grade. . . aloud. I couldn't have gotten around reading it if I'd wanted to in that sort of environment. . . and I wouldn't have read it if I'd had a choice, knowing what I do about how I was with literary classics that were assigned at that age.

Add one more South Park I apparently need to watch :)
[User Picture]
From:wishesofastar
Date:March 27th, 2009 05:56 pm (UTC)
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Thanks, I'm looking at it now. And yes, that episode is awesome; finally, Pip gets to star!

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