Sometimes I think the pagan community is this weird looking glass simulacrum where everything is completely the opposite of the way it should be. I mean, if you actually believe in the gods you get labeled a Nazi Fundamentalist. Or as the utterly brilliant Il Buon Dottore put it:
However, I think it’s pretty odd that Prof. Magliocco is defining an actual belief in the divine beings of a given religion as “fundamentalism.” In every other religion, such an acknowledgement is called…well…religion.
And then there’s the particular dead horse I’m flogging — look, I’m the Pagan Pope, alright; you’re treading on my turf, bub — Sam Webster’s proclamation that
Thou shalt not honor the Jesus if thou wouldst deign to call thyself a paganus
Or something like that. I may not have the wording quite right and I’m too arsed to look it up, but that’s essentially it.
I need something to keep myself occupied with while I get drunk before going out on a prowl through the city with the Harlequinade; so in response to Mister Webster I shall stitch together a cento poem comprised of lines drawn from the bebakcheumenon or god-inspired Ναασσηνοί, as preserved in the fifth book of Hippolytus Romanus’ Philosophoumena to prove that the two can indeed be wed.
The originating principle of perfection is the knowledge of man, while the knowledge of god is absolute perfection.
Since the foundation of the doctrine with them is the man Adam, and they say that concerning him it has been written, Who shall declare his generation? learn how, partly deriving from the Gentiles the undiscoverable and diversified generation of the man which they fictitiously apply to Christ.
But the Nile of the Egyptians offers up fertilizing mud and generating animals, renders up living bodies which acquire flesh from moist vapour.
There is neither female nor male but a new creature, a new man, which is Hermaphrodite.
Worshipping, however, Kyllenios with special distinction, they style him Logios. For Hermes is the Word who being interpreter and fabricator of the things that have been made simultaneously and that are being produced and that will exist, stands honoured among them, fashioned into the form of the phallos of a man, having an impulsive power from the parts below towards those above. And that this deity is a conjurer of the dead and a guide of departed spirits and an originator of souls has not escaped the notice of the poets.
This is the Christ who, he says, in all that have been generated, is the portrayed Son of Man from the unportrayable Logos. This, he says, is the great and unspeakable mystery of the Eleusinian rites, Hye, Kye! (“Rain, conceive!”) And he affirms that all things have been subjected unto him, and this is that which has been spoken, Their sound is gone forth unto all the earth just as it agrees with the expression, Hermes waving his wand, guides the souls, but they twittering follow. The poet means the disembodied spirits follow continuously in such a way as by his imagery he delineates:
And as when in the magic cave’s recess
Bats humming fly, and when one drops from ridge of rock,
and each to other closely clings.
These are, he says, what are by all called the secret mysteries which also we speak, not in words taught of human wisdom, but in those taught of the spirit, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receives not the things of god’s spirt for they are foolishness unto him.
And again, he says, the savior has declared the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of heaven before you.
Jeremiah himself remarked He is a man, and who shall know him?
These, he says, are the inferior mysteries, those appertaining to carnal generation. Now, those men who are initiated into these inferior mysteries ought to pause, and then be admitted into the great and heavenly ones. For they, he says, who obtain their shares in this mystery, receive greater portions. For this, he says, is the gate of heaven; and this a house of god, where the Good Deity dwells alone. And into this gate, he says, no unclean person shall enter, nor one that is natural or carnal; but it is reserved for the spiritual only. And those who come hither ought to cast off their garments, and become all of them bridegrooms.
Concerning these, it is said, the Savior has expressly declared that straight and narrow is the way that leads unto life, and few there are that enter upon it; whereas broad and spacious is the way that leads unto destruction, and many there are that pass through it.
The entire system of their doctrine, however, is derived from the ancient theologians Mousaios, Linos and Orpheus, who elucidates especially the ceremonies of initiation, as well as the mysteries themselves. For their doctrine concerning the womb is also the tenet of Orpheus; and the idea of the navel, which is harmony, is to be found with the same symbolism attached to it in the Bacchanalian orgies of Orpheus. But prior to the observance of the mystic rites of Keleos and Triptolemos and Demeter and Bakchos in Eleusis, these orgies have been celebrated and handed down to men in Phliom of Attica.
And in the greater number of these books is also drawn the representation of a certain aged man, grey-haired, winged, having his penis erect, pursuing a retreating woman of azure color. And over the aged man is the inscription phaos ruentes, and over the woman peree. But phaos ruentes appears to be the light which exists, according to the doctrine of the Sethians, and phicola the darkish water; while the space in the midst of these seems to be a harmony constituted from the spirit that is placed between. The name, however, of phaos ruentes manifests, as they allege, the flow from above of the light downwards. Wherefore one may reasonably assert that the Sethians celebrate rites among themselves, very closely bordering upon those orgies of the Great Mother which are observed among the Phliasians. And the poet likewise seems to bear his testimony to this triple division, when he remarks:
And all things have been triply divided, and everything obtains its proper distinction
That is, each member of the threefold division has obtained a particular capacity. But now, as regards the tenet that the subjacent water below, which is dark, ought, because the light has set over it, to convey upwards and receive the spark borne down from the light itself is the assertion of this tenet. I say the all-wise Sethians appear to derive their opinion from Homer
By earth I swore, and yon broad Heaven above,
And Stygian stream beneath, the weightiest oath
Of solemn power, to bind the blessed gods.
Therefore, he says, when, on the people assembling in the theatres, any one enters clad in a remarkable robe, carrying a harp and playing a tune upon it, accompanying it with a song of the great mysteries, he speaks as follows, not knowing what he says:
Whether you are the race of Kronos or blessed Zeus, or mighty Rheia, Hail, Attis, gloomy mutilation of Rheia. Assyrians style you thrice-longed-for Adonis, and the whole of Egypt calls you Osiris, celestial horn of the moon; Greeks denominate you Wisdom; Samothracians, venerable Adam; Haemonians, Korybas; and the Phrygians name you at one time Papa, at another time Corpse, or God, or Fruitless, or Aipolos, or Green Ear of Corn that has been reaped, or whom the very fertile Amygdalos produced— a man, a musician.
This, he says, is multiform Attis, whom while they celebrate in a hymn, they utter these words:
I will hymn Attis, son of Rheia, not with the buzzing sounds of trumpets, or of Idaean pipers, which accord with the voices of Kouretes; but I will mingle my song with Apollon’s music of harps, “evohe, euan,” inasmuch as you are Pan, as you are Bakchos, as you are shepherd of brilliant stars.