I’m beginning the process of bracing myself for the coming festival — and this one requires bracing for. I’m not sure festival is the right word, really, for what it is. Next week, coinciding with the San Fermin bullrun (popularly known as the Pamplona Running of the Bulls) I’ll be holding my seven day vigil, and it’s a somber time. I thought, when the idea was a small grain inside my head, that this observance would be about angry indignation over the treatment and ritual slaughter of the ill-fated animals, and there is certainly that. But, things are not simply, and traditions are important to those that they are important to, and you cannot dismiss them just because they are not yours without giving them due consideration and without acknowledging that things that mean things to people mean things to people. To dismiss it lightly as barbaric, as whatever word choice you want to use here, is to make yourself no better than those who dismiss you lightly. Look, I’m pagan. My tradition is fairly new, is an amalgamation of all sorts of things that make no sense outside of my world. I am not going to dismiss what others are doing. There’s a whole industry that has been built up around the tourism of this event, and you know, it’s akin to people kvetching about McDonalds or Walmart or other such consumerism-based things — there are things terribly wrong with how the world *is* right now, but at the same time, a town’s economy is of vital importance to that town; a family’s income is of vital importance to that family, and we all do the best we can, even when our best sucks and our options suck even more. Moving to a place where people take things like rodeos seriously — they sound silly, in New England. Out here? People mean business — has granted me more compassion, I suppose. Which doesn’t mean I *like* it, and in fact, the idea of ritual murder that is not rooted is the sacred leaves me deeply disturbed. It only means that things are not simple. When are they?
I read as much as I can stand to read, thematically, and then I take a break. I’m trying to firm up some structure to this week long affair, but it’s largely open. Fasting will be involved. Energy work. Funerary offerings and rites, at the close. I’ll be marking the one year anniversary of my grandfather’s death two days into it, as if there’s not enough sobriety built into the event. Gods honored during the festival will be Poseidon (duh) but also Zeus, Hera, Dionysos, and the Dioskouroi, as well as other spirits. Mostly, mostly it’ll be sitting vigil.
I’m thinking about this, and thinking about the Small Thing Poseidon asked of me, and wondering, how? How could I worry about such a small thing when this looms on the horizon? I’m thinking about Love, about giving, about Gebo, about Poseidon, about people who Love their gods, about common threads is mysticism that transcends religions, and about what draws me to read/watch/study those people. I’m thinking about how much I love my gods, how much I love Poseidon, and how much I am willing to ache with the awareness that I hold, because He asks me to. And I will. Of course I will.