Let’s begin with a small annual divination I did with the intention of putting it up here. The question was, “What three practices can anchor us in the Gods more fully this year?” and I want to show you what the answer was.
The cards were Get Curious, Trust, and The Weaver. I’ll leave it up to you if you want to interpret these, but if you can read cursive, here’s some of my initial writing about these three things. Of course, all of these cards — especially the idea of weaving — are very complex.
I hope that this is useful and apt for you. 💛 There are so many “surveys of the coming year”-style divinations being posted online now, and I figured those could be nicely complemented by something that focused a bit more on advice from the Gods on some general anchors. For this annual divination, I prayed to Apollon and asked him that question. The trust bit reminds me of a few lines from my book Acts of Speech in “△” (a poem for Apollon) —
and all that’s left is trust
our ability to breathe deep
to swallow truth into our lungs
as if feeding the roots of our minds
the vivid melody within
drawn out by you
It’s about two-thirds through the poem.
My daily ritual today lasted for about two and a half hours because it included a special prayer sequence. I wanted to start the calendar year off with something beautiful, offered from the bottom of my heart, and do an annual (private to me) divination pull, which accounted for about an hour and fifteen minutes of that big chunk of time. The annual divination I did for the coming year is more favorable than the one last year — that one had, like, only one card that wasn’t inverted or in a frustrated position — and I changed things up a bit so I had a growth/making the best of things card in addition to the actual divination piece drawn. Since it’s personal, I won’t show you the cards. However, the annual divination this year made me a bit anxious because of last year, and I’m happy that I had anchored myself earlier in the day by reflecting on some passages from Book 10 of the Laws. It was a lot like keeping myself calm when I get vaccinated, as I have trouble staying still with needles. You just have to remind yourself that your allotment is administering what you need sometimes. And that was really the one of the past two, three years for me.
Before all of that, though, I awoke a bit later than usual, honored the Gods of the Sun, and sipped my delicious morning beverage while doing a bit of journaling and final-stage editing of The Soul’s Inner Statues.
I started the new year reading some of Thomas Taylor’s hymns — I think I was in the middle of his one to Life or maybe to Apollon and the Sun when the clock struck twelve — while my girlfriend worked on worldbuilding for one of her art/prose pieces. I don’t know if any of you has read his “Hymn to Apollo and the Sun” because the end is so, so moving. There are a few of Taylor’s hymns in a book called Hymns and Initiations.
Last night, at about 12:30 or 12:45 AM or so after getting off the phone, I prayed to the Muses and did a compassion meditation. I think starting with a compassion meditation starts the new year off with the right tone, and yesterday — as I washed the floors and did laundry and put things away — I had been thinking about how much compassion meditation has become an essential part of my spiritual practice. Especially in how it has helped me process difficult emotions about people with whom I’ve had strife. Like, I think especially online and with algorithms agitating people the way they do, we can come into this really ossified, isolated space, and that does none of us any good. Compassion meditation helped me re-center myself, and it has truly solidified a lot of what I’ve learned from Syrianus/Hermias while reading in the autumn. I want to add more of that this year.
One of the reasons I was thinking so hard about compassion is due to the songs on my Discover Weekly playlist. I’ve fallen in love with “Shortcomings” (an artist collab among Bjurman, They Dream By Day, and Rospigg) and was listening to it on repeat a lot yesterday. I like Oh, I find the strength in my shortcomings, because it makes me think about acceptance and the growth mindset. It’s actually a perfect line for 2023 given the tone of my personal divination. I’d also been reading this document that I found online about gurus, teachers, and discernment, and I was mentally cross-referencing it against things said by ancient Platonists and the dynamics as they existed in their schools and what Simplicius says in his commentary on Epictetus and the social dynamics of modern paganism and polytheism today. It was a lot, all at once. Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat.
I’d like to close by offering this from Plato’s Laws, at 906b:
The Gods are on our side — as also are the guardian spirits — and we in turn are the property of the Gods and guardian spirits. What is fatal for us is injustice, and arrogance allied to folly; our salvation is justice, and self-control allied to wisdom, and these are to be found dwelling in the living powers of the Gods — though they can also be seen dwelling in us, just a bit — or something very like them.
I hope you all have a lovely New Year’s Day.
PS: Also, due to Twitter’s instability, I put a backup of the content for the “innerstatues” inspirational devotional content account on Tumblr at soulsinnerstatues.tumblr.com, and the posts will go up over the next 71 days — one every day at noon. There will not be cyclical updates there — it’s a one-and-done kind of thing, and at some point I’ll scrape down an archive of the posts. I had to like a few things because I was worried that Tumblr would get worked up about how much I threw in queue all at once during a two-hour period a few days back, but I made sure to keep my likes Platonic.