Saturday, March 29, 2008

The thought that counts

One of my favorite Witches flew into town for a week (have broom, will travel, ha ha ha; Lordy, but I slay myself), and I took her to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts this afternoon to check out the Pompeii exhibit. Fascinating stuff, especially the artifacts relating to the religious practices of the day--the cults of Isis and Dionysus were both very active, and families venerated their ancestors on a daily basis at household shrines. All well and good, but what really blew me away was the Golden Bracelet.

Weighing in at just under a pound, the solid gold bracelet features two snake heads grasping a medallion depicting Selene, the Grecian Moon Goddess, wearing a lunar crown and surrounded by stars, and holding a scarf in an arc above her head. The image represents the dome of the night sky and Selene's sovereignty over it, and archeologists believe the bracelet was commissioned by the owner as praise to Selene for granting some unknown favor.

Okay, so most of us don't have the resources to crank out high-end accessories every time the Gods send some goodness our way. We light candles and burn incense and pour libations, knowing that our efforts, humble though they may be, are appreciated. But I'm thinking of that Wiccan guy who won the lottery last year, and how he swore it was an answer to his prayers. "I thank the gods for this gift," he was quoted as saying. "I don't know which one granted me this wish, but whichever one did, thanks!"

The whole "whichever one" thing drives me crazy--it's like asking your parents for a new car, and then, when they give you one, declaring, "Thanks to whomever may have given me this car!" In interviews, he claimed that he told the Gods he'd quit his full-time job and become a teacher if They'd let him win the lottery. However, he also announced that the Pagan seminary he plans to build will be an interfaith church with less emphasis on Deity and more focus on nature and spirituality.

Granted, he didn't specifically say that he'd teach about the Gods if he won the lottery, but it's kind of implied, you know? And maybe the Gods didn't have a thing to do with it; maybe They're looking around at each other and going, "Was that you? Because all I did was bless him with clerical skills and strong cheekbones." But if They did make him a multi-millionaire, and his response is to disregard Them entirely... yeah, not the world's healthiest juju. Should he take his new fortune and commission a wrist-shattering gold bracelet? Probably not. Should he be burning the fuck out of some candles and incense? Da.

Just be nice to your Gods, people. That's all I'm sayin'.

Incidentally, I found a lovely print of a fresco of Diana in the museum gift shop, which Jack dubbed "not blindingly hideous" after I got home and showed it to him. He's letting me hang it in the living room without complaint, so praise be to the tasteful Roman artist who created it. And to Diana for posing.


Anne Johnson said...

We at "The Gods Are Bored" really wish that exhibit would come to Philadelphia.

Evn said...

For what it's worth, there's a 4-star restaurant in Philadelphia called Pompeii...

Jack said...

A fresco of Diana is not judged in the same artistic light as say, plaster mariachi singers that stand 2 feet tall and look like a props from an 80's horror movie depicting animatronics coming to life and slicing people up. So let's not make Jack sound like he's unreasonable....mmmkay?

Evn said...

Those are heirlooms. And anyway, they live in the back of the closet, not out where people might actually see them.

Code Name Sarah said...

Those mariachis are awesome! But don't tell Jack I said that... *wink*

You know, the vast majority of lottery winners come to view their jackpots as a curse -- some literally. So you know, maybe that guy doesn't want to look bad for thanking his Random Gods profusely for something that will ruin his life eventually!

Just playin' Devil's Advocate. (Is there some non-Christian term for this practice? Should I play Trickster's Advocate? Pan's Advocate? Throw the agnostic animist a bone here...)

Lisa Adams said...

I recommend Coyote's advocate (just because I'm being weird here).

As for the rant *grin*. I'm right there with ya.

Evn said...

Coyote's advocate works for me!

Oh, and Li, if you get on A&J and look up "Goetic," you'll find a short-lived but bloody fistfight involving lottery guy.

Lisa Adams said...

Ahh *grin* Glad you liked the Coyote comment.

I'll check out Goetic. That should be fun. I'm currently enjoying my rambling "conversation" with a guy on Email_Witches who believes that the Divine gives him prophecies about the Catholic and Mormon churches.