creative tension (part 2)

[Read part 1]

But, of course, it (or He) wouldn’t leave me alone.

In 2007, still feeling that the question was unresolved, I did two things: I started going back to the occasional service at shul, and I asked Sannion to request an oracle from Dionysos on my behalf, to see what a higher wisdom had to say about my dilemma.  The answer I got surprised me at first, although after sitting with it for a year or so, I see that the surprise was unwarranted. The details of His response are personal, but the gist was that the dilemma didn’t need to be resolved, that my best course of action was to accept the contradictions and work from within the space between those poles, that this was where my area of greatest creativity lay.

It was shortly after this that I became involved with Neos Alexandria; whether it was just the coincidence of Sannion’s involvement with the group and his channeling the oracle, or possibly a nudge from Someone, I still don’t know – but what I discovered when I started really looking into it excited me a great deal (and still does). Neos Alexandria is focused on honoring *all* the Gods that were worshipped in pre-Christian Alexandria, or at least providing a space for them to be honored, very much including Yahweh (named as Iao Sabaoth). A couple of the other members are also interested in Him, and at least one has written Him some lovely ecstatic poetry (that can be found on the website).

And my association with NA certainly has been creative! In addition to building the music pages for the website, I have had wonderful and enlightening discussions with a great bunch of intelligent, caring and thoroughly grounded pagans (the e-list is very active), helped copy-edit a couple of the books published through Bibliotheca Alexandrina, and generally had a wonderful time expanding my religious horizons.

I have been slow to actually try their worship format, due partly to a lack of time and partly to a certain timidity; I know that Yahweh accepts my worship in a Jewish context, and the Theoi accept my worship in a more traditionally Hellenic context, and I am hesitant about rocking that boat. However –  if, as I suspect, NA could prove the means to… not to resolve the contradictions, but perhaps to synthesize them… then I think I owe it to myself and my Gods to try.

I also have the prospect of becoming involved again with Jewish music on some level, as the rabbi of a small congregation nearer my home has expressed to me that they urgently need good voices. Not sure what will come of that, but the number of coincidences that surrounded that conversation are too numerous to list here, which makes me suspect that I’m being guided there (or at least patted on the head for finally getting the clue!).

And so, this is where I am on my journey today – pagan with Jewish leanings, and likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. (The unforeseeable future, of course, is another matter altogether.)

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7 thoughts on “creative tension (part 2)

  1. Pom

    Finally decided to comment after reading your blog for awhile. We have spoken a bit on ‘Mos Maiorum” – don’t know if you remember. (Working on ‘Lavinia’ btw and loving it – thank you again for the recommendation)

    Not a bad place to be – Pagan with Jewish leanings. I understand even if it doesn’t make a great deal of sense on the surface. There is a lot of depth within Judaism that has, IMO, plenty of room for Paganism and obviously the other way around.

    The best of luck on your continuing journey and may all of the Gods bless you in your pursuits.

    Pom /|\

  2. executivepagan Post author

    Hi, Pom. Yes, I remember – good to see you here! Sorry I haven’t been over there in a while, I’ve barely had enough time online to keep up this blog… :(

    Thanks for the comment and for your blessing!

  3. mahud

    I find the depiction of Iao Sabaoth interesting. Bird’s head, serpentine legs, etc. Not the typical representation of Yahwey by any means. Reminds me a bit of Cernunnos who also had serpentine appendages in some representations.

  4. Ketzirah Carly

    I think you know that I feel your struggle here. I’m not torn between Hellenic practice and Judaism, but Earth-based Magickal Judaism is not a well-trod path these days.

    Hellenic and Jewish practice do seem at odds, but that doesn’t mean it can’t work. The face of YHVH you speak to may be just fine with it.

    I also need to thank you for mentioning “Iao Sabaoth!” I’m reading “Ancient Jewish Magic” by Gideon Bohak and they mention a Jewish curse tablet that mentions Sabaoth. I’ve been researching this name with little luck. Adding Iao has lead me to what I was looking to learn! Thank you!!

    Feel free to email me if you want to chat more. You know I’m a huge fan of yours, so I’d be happy to be a sounding board if you need one.

  5. executivepagan Post author

    Ketzirah,
    Thanks for the offer and the kind words! I’ll take you up on that pretty soon, I imagine. Glad to help with the Iao thing… your book sounds interesting. I’ve read Joshua Trachtenberg’s “Jewish Magic and Superstition”, but that only mentions Sabaoth twice at all, and then only in lists of names that were called upon…

  6. Feral Boy

    mahud Said:

    > I find the depiction of Iao Sabaoth interesting. Bird’s head, > serpentine legs, etc. Not the typical representation of Yahwey > by any means. Reminds me a bit of Cernunnos who also had
    > serpentine appendages in some representations.

    That IS interesting — it reminds me of the section of Jung’s “Seven Sermons For The Dead”, in which he invokes Abraxas, a being who is said to be superior to both god & the devil.
    He is envisioned with the head of a cock and with snakes for legs.

    Illustration here: http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g36/unseen666/abraxas.jpg

    — Feral Boy

  7. mahud

    That representation of Abraxas is basically identical with iconic representations I’ve seen Iao Sabaoth; complete with shield and whip. Something definitely worth checking out. Thanks, Feral Boy.

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