Summer’s Eve is flowering-You mean the world to me and those trapped in-between; won’t you please come home darling girl?
Dear Denizens of Heart (that’s Earth with H moved to the front):
I feel for ya, and I suspect the last thing you wanna hear about is sickness, plagues, death—stuff that sticks it to you regarding how swimmingly short the trip here is. So I’m not a gonna do it. Instead, I’ll remind you, until Hathor’s cow jumps over every moon in the galaxy, about the rapturous nature of nature, the grandeur of glow worms and giant sequoias, the peculiar petrichor that permeates the air when earth rises up to greet what falls from above. Or shall I wax on about the lustiness of loam, the muskiness of manure? You’ll have to excuse the argot. I’ve been in the bowels of the Bronx in New York City with Hekate. We were running down a clue passed on by a loyal Sicilian pisano. He said my daughter had been at his godfather’s night club at 3 am. She was decked out in a tight fitting Kelly green bodice and matching ass hugging straight skirt, and was last seen leading a queue of literal rats and pesky party goer’s like lemmings—towards the wharf and her ship, which was appropriately named the Bullship Test Tackle.
Let me just say that no one brings out ones inner mafia gangster persona like having a difficult daughter does. Pandemic Pam is what they’re calling her this time. I knew letting her hang out with the royalty of raunch and his minions in the grotto thousands of years ago would come back one day to bite me in the butt. Pan was my logistics man. He was the original good shepherd, the randy man with the pipes, the bugger of baud. And news of his demise is completely false; I know for a fact he’s still romping and reveling like there’s no tomorrow at an undisclosed location down under. For him, there’s no tomorrow—there’s only the now. I promised I would keep the whereabouts of his den of inequity to myself.
Say what you want, Pan knew how to keep a party going for nine debauched days. The gig always began in the cemetery at twilight. Several thousand nymphs, neophytes, and human heathenites had fasted all day, taken a salt water bath, and been smudged and subdued with wacky weed. When my Heirophantes passed out the psychedelic punch and circulated the curious crescent cakes, the change was almost instantaneous. They started cracking jokes and lambasting each other, this quickly graduated to getting all touchy feeling and voila, le orgy. Some years it took five or so days to get them down the road and into the temple. Most of them stayed there until their families came and collected them.
Only a select few were led beneath the temple to the caverns where they were given bland, untainted food and a mulled wine sedative to ensure a brief respite before it got real, other dimensional, altered consciousness real and all that implied. I want to dispel the notion that we sacrificed humans, bulls, or pigs, or even doves at these rites. We did not, we do not, however those not invited down below often assume they might gain entry through sacrifice. Stupid humans. No one that drew blood in any manner was allowed into my inner sanctum. Those that tried—died.
Where were we, ah yes, as the bullship sailed from Napoli’s harbor with my daughter and her pup Sirius aboard, a pigeon perched on my shoulder and relinquished a scroll tied with a piece of pink silk. It said, “Mother, don’t be moody; go shake your booty. Maybe I’ll come home late spring, or in the Fall, or not at all.” That’s when I knew I had to do it—go to Plan P and contact my ex, Persephone’s dad.
I blame faux bro Zeus for breaking us up, though only my lover got broken. Why do I call Zeus faux bro? Because they got it so wrong—Homer, Hesiod, Ovid, Herodotus… I was 3rd gen divinity, a product of what you folks call parthenogenesis; Zeus was 5th gen, the divine offspring of Rhea and Cronus, to whom I was related through my sire Gaea. That turns some of you a whiter shade of pale, don’t it? The similarly named rock song, of course, paid homage to Zeus’ sis, Hestia, and her venomous vestal virgins. What would you expect from the empress of embers, the original fire starter? She’s a most disagreeable dame, but that’s another story for another time. Dylan wrote about Isis, crooners sing Venus’ praises, and what did I get? That randy Irishman Stoker named a ship carrying his vamp Dracula The Demeter! How do you like that? Don’t get me started on the ruses and subterfuges of Zeus, that despicable, demented demon of divinity.
Let me get the eon straight. Two eons ago, after a majority of lst and 2nd gen Titans decided it would be best to take an early retirement in the subterranean water resort you earth denizen call Tartarus, or face the techno wraith of Zeus’ zealous lightning bolt, shield, Pontus bag, and flood summon’er, and right about the time humans were getting the hang of walking upright, I met Persephone’s dad. Blew your mind again, didn’t I?
There’s more, and none of the ancient tomes tell it like it really was in the time before your time. My sire and her kindred kind left this solar system after spilling their sacred sperm and strutting their stuff. They left behind their successes and their whoopsees—Oreads, Dryads, Maiads, Nereids, Cyclops, Graeae, Sirens, and wee and terrible beasties. They bestowed on the denizens of Earth four essential elements, 223 other elements (of which you’ve only id’ed 118 so far) and much more, but not the means by which to take maximum advantage of the divine, discordian assortment of toss offs.
It was up to the 3rd and 4th gen divines to figure out what to do with the particularly curious cast of characters we called earthlings in Gaea’s honor. Do I say more? Can you stand the truth? You’ve invented both imaginative and disastrous origin stories. In one you created a godly version of Zeus you called Je-seus. In another, you claimed acid slobber dripping insect-esque aliens formed you by merging their DNA with yours. It’s so much simpler. To paraphrase the late, great Beatle John Lennon (not the insect), “ I am he/she as you are he/she as you are me and we are all in this together…” Or as one of your 20th century movie characters said, punctuate this: That that is is that that is not is not is that it it is.
Eons later, and it still causes terrible pain to say his name, the name of the only divine I’ve ever loved. He was a 2nd gen Titan, and though much conflicted about it, helped the then young upstart Zeus send many of the other Titans to Tartarus. It ain’t a bad place if you like floating glimmer palaces, artificial sun, and a heavy diet of seafood and ambrosia. Let me blow your mind again. If you had a riot of riches or natural gifts you were willing to pimp out, Hades was the man to know and the place to go—not Tartarus. Hades’ world hoarded the mineral riches of Earth. Though it was 190 degrees in the shade, he built every air conditioned luxury villa you denizens could image—it offered every vice, every fetish, every wish to scratch your itch. Or so I’ve been told. There are pale imitations of it on your surface if you care to visit—Vegas, Dubai, Rio during Carnival, Zurich during a heat wave…
My 15 year old darling daughter reigned there half a year with Hades. Pan taught her well. From autumn to spring, it was continuous party central. She was the pan-ultimate hostess. If you had the right coinage, Charon, awful offspring of divines Erebus and Nyx (darkness & night), would ferry you there and back for an extended weekend or hellacious holiday. You could party with Dionysus, Aeneas, Tethy’s, Nebuchadnezzar, Jack the Ripper, Vlad, Liz Bathory, and Hera (that’s right, that Hera) and do whatever you liked with whomever you liked doing it with. It was a parent’s worst nightmare.
Her father, quite the visionary, named her aptly. Phero and phonos equals ‘she who brings destruction.’ And there was the mess she left in the Bronx, Italy, the Far East…sorry bout that Heathenites. At least she left Sirius on the ship. With 100 or so new converts, Pandemic Pam fled to Florida where she dropped most of them off. She’d recklessly ignored the Eleusinian spring rites; my bestie Hekate (and elder sister) filled in. We made it work and were lucky—the spring rites are minor. The high rites, performed in the month you call September must include Persephone, or a disaster not seen since the previous eon, will most certainly occur. It’s at the Great Rites we reveal to a select few the secrets of the cosmos. Persephone has a particular propensity for implanting the probative value of the knowledge we bestow.
Both you and she are in dire need of her father and his wisdom. I suspect Hades put my daughter dearest up to this. It’s his idea to—cull the herd, milk the mayhem initiated in the early 1900s, and reinforced in 2001; and tweak the terror paradigm and call it a heightening of bio security—for your own good. He’d like nothing more than to have millions of you take a permanent dirt nap in Hades.
Not to jump ahead of my story—which Polyurethane Pandora figures into—but many qualities remain in her betrothal jar to aid earthlings evolvement besides winged hope—resilience, patience, generosity, gumption, grit, curiosity, irony, boldness, mercy, compassion, laughter, whimsy, gratitude, endurance, and the ever elusive peace … Now might be the time to reacquaint—to inundate yourselves with those qualities. Oh, there’s so much more to spill and set straight but I’ve nearly reached my word allotment for this month’s Maddening Moon column.
The last address I had for Persephone’s dad was a modest manor in Tir na nOg, where he was platonically cohabiting with and clerking for Fury triplets Alec, Tisi, and Meg. How he ended up there didn’t make much sense until I learned he also frequently filled in for the Tir’s sage resident ruler Manannán mac Lir. They had some mighty peculiar rules there. Hekate and I especially disliked the one we called the royal roach motel mandate despite the general ambiance of the Tir. You could check in but couldn’t check out. That made it challenging to get a message to her father, however, the fae whispered to me the Tir was down to its last few golden apple trees.
I offered to plant a fresh grove on the condition I be allowed to leave there after doing what I needed to do. For good measure, I threw in a crop of magical beans—the musical fruit that makes you toot. Manny agreed to the tradeoff, and I got to work. When I stood back to admire my handiwork while rubbing the Tir’s rich loose soil between my hands, he materialized, looking not a day over 3 eons. He’d let his hair grow long again and wore it neatly cornrowed. In keeping with the times, he sported faded jeans, scuffed boots, and a black, frayed, sleeveless muscle T shirt that said so Irish now my liver hurts. The irony wasn’t lost on either of us.
We stood there for mega moments, gawking at each other. I might even have drooled from the corner of my gapping mouth onto my left boob, or shed a tear, not sure which. Stars and crescent moons glittered in his eyes, and the lopsided smile I once treasured spread across his jawline, like a page of vivid prose; it was punctuated with dimples and parentheses of care.
I wasn’t as tidy as I wanted to be—multi-colored strands of hair undulated in the breeze like sylvan snakes and trellised down my face. I was wearing work garb—an off the shoulder blue cotton and silver embroidered top and figure hugging overalls. Several ornate baubles and hag stones swung from a belly level hemp cord. Tin earrings flipped and flopped like my stomach. I’d just removed a pair of wellies and was barefooted. What a surprise. He was less than six feet away when I blurted out, “Our forever 15 daughter’s gone rabid rogue; she’s spreading pestilence and pandemonium to our earthlings. You must intervene. And while you’re at it, drop kick those scurrilous scoundrels Zeus and Hades into another solar system once and forever.”
…to be continued, Part IV, When Doom is in the 7th House, and Arbiters Go Too Far…