Moving Forward

My mom says that when I was born, she saw a double rainbow out the window. This prompted me to be fascinated by rainbows when I was young — to worship Iris a bit as a preteen and teenager. To this day I love seeing them in the sky, and I feel very connected to the day of my birth.

I turned 35 today. It’s one of those symbolic birthdays: a shift from the demographic category of “young adult” or “older young adult” (depending on how the survey brackets the category, as the general one is “18-34”) to the amorphous “in my prime” time of life (35-whenever). Like many Millennials, I feel like I had an extended childhood because so many milestones have been delayed due to the economic crashes and having to expend so much energy to get my sh–t together. Of course, I am turning 35 during a stock market crash, so nothing has really changed in that respect.

During year 34, I prayed to Athene daily because I had a dream about receiving her icon. I concluded those prayers yesterday. It was good self-discipline. I even prayed to her on the days that I was recovering from the COVID-19 vaccine and could barely stand, albeit in a muted way, because honoring the commitment was important. As per usual, I also prayed with some intensity to Apollon, and that intensity has only increased over time. Sometimes I have this sense that I could worship all of the Gods in the cosmos through praying to Apollon and tipping into that vastness.

Over the past few weeks, I felt scattered in so many directions. I thought about Gods for Year 35 and came up with a few — Ourania, Polymnia, Belesama, and Eir. Ourania is from my childhood. I want to link to the beginning of my life in gratitude and love, and many of the questions I have about the cosmos and embodiment are, I think, her mysteries. We are each hymning our leader-God consciously or not, and the harmonizing power of the Muses, especially Polymnia, was something I wanted to hold consciously in my mind. I like Belesama and had that weird experience with her. Eir started coming up after I saw a beautiful icon of her in July 2021 when my mom was visiting and we started browsing pagan iconography Etsy together. I purchased the icon eventually, and there seemed to be potential there that was unexpected. Over the past few months, my midsis started mentioning her, and then that potential seemed like a maybe, maybe. Eir gives me a vibe similar to a doctor I vaguely remember as a child, that feeling of steadiness and calm in the hands of a trained professional, that sense of being in the presence of someone who has both vast knowledge and the compassion to use it wisely.

Yesterday, I made modifications to my daily ritual to implement today, and I loaded a new ePub onto my eReader for use in ritual with all of the changes that I’ve made to my daily ritual. During my post-ritual meditation yesterday, it suddenly occurred to me that unifying my prayers to the Muses within my prayer to Apollon would be best because it emphasizes the gathering-together part. Apollon is the Muses’ chorister, and I view him as mine, so it works. I am mentioning Euterpe as well because I want to get back into playing instruments (the flute for now), and beginning with the Gods is always warranted, to draw from what Proclus wrote in the Timaeus commentary. I will do daily prayers to Eir. For Belesama, I will note her briefly in the morning when I greet the sun after sleepily feeding my cat. I can prioritize Ourania if/when I do evening prayers — despite the rough impact of light pollution, I connect her to the clear night sky, as daylight opaques her mysteries. (Even knowing that that is my goal with evening prayers is a good thing.) I will continue praying to Athene because that connection is important to me.

The prayers worked out well this morning. I’m excited about the coming year, whatever it brings.

I’ve sunsetted my participation in Twitter conversations for more focused and less toxic social interactions and my contemplative and writing practices, although I’m not deleting my account because it’s probably a decent venue for announcements. Earlier today, I loaded up the innerstatues account with tweets to last it through the second to last week of July. Getting back into the flute is a self-discipline tool that I am using to determine if it is irresponsible or not of me to buy a lyre eventually. I always resented when I was younger that there wasn’t a string program at my school because I really wanted to play violin (but, as an adult, I think I actually would have preferred the viola or cello). I am an adult, and it’s my life, so why not live my best life? It’s also theoretically a prosocial activity to get back into music.

An example of the contemplations. I am actually following this general structure — a big chunk of stuff about the morning, often a few notes about things that came up during prayer, and another check-in at the end of the day.

I’m excited to have started a (not every day, as it depends on time availability) contemplative practice centered on passages from the Prometheus Trust green books, something I have intended to do for a while, but didn’t have the inertia to start. I have plans to work on prose again, and to do more reading. It is likely actually meaningful that I finished reading the Finamore and Dillon commentary on Iamblichus’ De Anima fragments on the 15th, as I picked up so much from Iamblichus and them that I know will be foundational for my thinking about the soul and embodiment and my own conduct. That’s a great way to start off one’s prime, with all of that at top of mind, not to mention all of the frolicking I did earlier today in the Anonymous Prolegomena to Platonic Philosophy and Damascius’ Philebus commentary while preparing new innerstatues content.

My mom is visiting for a few days. There is too much sugar in my apartment (but it is a celebratory moment, I will admit, so sugar is appropriate …). We went on a long walk in one of the city parks. She gave me a book ownership stamp that has the middle name that I actually want to have, Anna-Sophia, after my maternal great-great grandmother, instead of the middle name that I have now, which has been increasingly embarrassing as an adult because everyone I know keeps asking me if my parents are really into Ayn Rand (with, sometimes, cringe follow-up questions). My mom had no idea who that woman was was when she gave me the middle name Ayn. I may actually officially change it in the next few years, so it felt good to have my mother’s stamp of approval. She had suggested Anna-Sophia, actually, the second time I brought it up and asked if there were family names beginning with A that I could use instead.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

8 thoughts on “Moving Forward

  1. Bright blessings on you! I am always so impressed with your earnestness and willingness to look hard and tackle difficult things- and that you are so young! I am 64 and never have been quite as ambitious as you. Props and honors your way and I love reading about your progress.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy birthday! Mine is tomorrow.
    LOVE this, ‘ Sometimes I have this sense that I could worship all of the Gods in the cosmos through praying to Apollon and tipping into that vastness.’

    Liked by 1 person

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