Three months ago, I shared some divination that I had done about our communit[y/ies]. The point of this divination, like most divinations I do, is to highlight growth areas that we may be missing that prevent us from being our best. I started doing this a few months ago due to social burnout and pessimism about our wider polytheistic communities and the feeling I often get that Eris has thrown her apple into our midst and Harmonia has peaced out.
💛 My hope is that those who have a hunger and need for this will stumble across it serendipitously and that the results and commentary will be useful, like found words in the agora. I don’t have any credentials and other people are way more experienced than I am, so please take everything with a grain of salt. 💛
The question: What course of action should [people in] the Western polytheistic revival communities take over the next three months to improve ourselves?
I used the Girls Underground Oracle, so the questions work best when they are phrased in ways that focus on the unfolding of a narrative or process, like a story being told from beginning to end. I made sacrifices to Apollon and asked him my questions. Hail to the holder of the steep cliffs and the one who dances in the bending cascades of trapped light. 🙌
I drew five cards, and here are the results:
- Look deeper. (#48)
- She stays in the Otherworld. (#41)
- The stakes are raised. (#15)
- Don’t give up. (#49)
- She forgets herself. (#18)
What is interesting to me about the first two cards is their relationship with depth and otherness, which I can’t help but compare to things in Platonic interpretations of myth. Deeper and depth can be interpreted in two ways in that sense — the depths (the sea) belong to Poseidon, who oversees generation. In the physical world, the ocean floor is a time capsule of detritus from what has come from the upper places. We take core samples to get at that deep history as if we are uncovering the memories of what was before, an afterimage and a sown sign of Mnemosyne’s lake.
Look deeper can also be interpreted in a very different way if we think of the One/the Gods as the central place, with us at the periphery of a grand circle; then, we are implored to go deeper into the circle and cast off whatever makes us peripheral. It is thus related to ideas of purification and setting aside ego, fame, and opinion for truth. The interpretation from the booklet encourages us to make no assumptions and/or to dig past superficial things because the meat of the situation is hidden from visibility and requires effort to uncover. This may suggest the second interpretation that I offered.
The second card, according to the book, emphasizes deciding to live an exceptional life and not imposing undue limits. I think this depends on what Otherworld means here. I would hope that this means remaining within the bounds of the temenos or sacred space, a centering of the Gods brought about by deepening (😀) commitment and working from a place of love and the vision(s) of where many of us want to be (i.e., thriving community, religious freedom, and so on, visions that admittedly will vary based on context).
The third and fourth cards got me thinking about Book Two of Proclus’ Commentary on Plato’s Timaeus where he discusses Atlantis, Athens, and warfare. Generation is a place where there is constant strife. Some may seek to blame the structure of reality for that, but one could also view it as an agon or competition staged in honor of the Gods. In the first place, whatever was found — whatever true heart was revealed by looking deeper — is important because it’s time for decisions, and all actions have consequences because they are the foundations of the future. The fourth card is a struggle itself, especially in the face of adversity; remember, life is poetry.
The entire reading comes back full circle with she forgets herself. I think that this connects nicely with look deeper because it is a mirror image of that process of stripping away to the essentials — do enough that it matters, but don’t do so much that all identity is lost. The description given for the card emphasizes forgetfulness in a lot of contexts that I would describe as negative (or, less negatively, new beginnings with only the essentials kept from before), but in a community context, this can also mean that seeking the integrity of the community will take priority over securing one’s individual needs. Everything in community is a balance between the individual and the various hierarchies and relationships in which le finds limself, and a healthy sense of service is important. “You forget yourself,” a phrase I always think of when I see this card, used to chastise people who break from what is socially expected, often in a way that is damaging because it heightens confrontation. This card could also be hinting that such a breach is on the horizon, for good or ill, as it can break the rigidity of habit and be the catalyst for needed change.
I hope that this was useful. Feel free to take or leave my commentary, as always!