Obligatory context: In 2020, due to feeling a lot of social burnout, pessimism, and pain about our wider polytheistic communities, I started doing a divination reading every three months about the polytheistic 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. My hope is that those who have a hunger and need for this will serendipitously find it.
💛 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. A single die comes with the deck, and this type of reading uses the die to set the number of cards to draw. This time, I was told five. I made sacrifices to Apollon and asked him this question. Hail to the God whose harmony is the dance of the planets, lyred into their orbits by the gravitational guiding point at each system’s center, O light-filled and wondrous God. 🙌
I drew the following cards:
- Don’t give up (#49).
- She journeys underground (#25).
- The path is labyrinthine (#7).
- She is changed (#39).
- Her trust is betrayed (#27).
The big theme in this divination is initiatory katabasis. We begin with an exhortation to keep going. This is important, as it is (a) the midpoint of the year and (b) doing work is what drives change. There are a lot of really s–tty things happening in the world right now, ranging from the extreme climate crisis weather to the pandemic to systematic human rights violations and beyond; there are also commitments that we have made, either collectively or individually, and projects that we want to bring to fruition.
This brings us to the second card, She journeys underground. A katabasis is a descent. It is a motif in initiations. At some historical oracular sites, the oracles were delivered in caves or cavelike structures. A journey downwards is also a widespread thing in myths when a character is about to undergo a change. Katabasis is also the way that Plato’s Republic is framed — Socrates goes down to Piraeus, a big hint that Plato’s Republic is discussing ideas that may not be obvious at first glance. That something called the “Girls Underground Oracle” contains a katabasis card and that underground journeying occasionally come up are not surprising.
In the context of Cards 3 & 4, however, the specific context of Card 2 seems to indicate initiation — that, or some kind of oracular or knowledge-gaining experience. Card 3 reveals that this is a labyrinthine path, reminiscent of the labyrinth that Ariadne guides Theseus through so he can kill her half-brother, the Minotaur. Do we have guides, or are we working on our own? Are we the guide? How do we relate to what is in this winding maze of paths (and note the singular path in the card; which paths have we opted to avoid?) — and are we related to what is within the murky depths, or are we guests who are alien to these paths and what is within them? Whatever the case, Card 4 indicates that a change happens — an initiation, perhaps, or a devouring, or a rebirth, or a simple change of outlook or state.
Card 5 was unexpected. I see a Dionysian and Persephoneic motif here. Persephone was given to Hades by her father Zeus without informing her or her mother about the arranged marriage; in the myth, this Goddess can represent the soul drawn down into generation. Dionysos was enthroned by Zeus, then devoured by the Titans only to complete Heaven and Earth in his pivotal encosmic role. My surprise at this card made me aware of the patterns in these myths and how they involve agents doing procedural things — or stopping procedural things, in the case of the Titans attempting to stop the handoff of power — and engaging in bureaucracy where multiple agents and wills are at play. It only led to more questions: Who are we associating with? Why? Do they consider us mutual allies? People are willing to harm those they consider outsiders in situations where there is presumed resource scarcity; many are also betrayed by accident when others panic and things just happen. How do we prepare for the inevitable betrayals in life, and how do we keep these betrayals from damaging our ability to trust at all? Who are we without others, after all?
I hope that this was useful. Obviously, there are a lot of questions — and I keep this open-ended, as I don’t know who will come across this page and what le will take away from the divination.
Feel free to take or leave my commentary, too, as always! The next divination will take place in early October.