Queer Pagan Men Australia

The Wild Hunt recently published a column on Queer Pagan Men Australia (QPMA). I’m happy to say I attended their last meet up in September. I just came off the arse end of another mental breakdown (yeah, it’s a continued problem) and was heavily doped up on sedatives, but it was nice to chat and get some insight into the goals of the group. Especially with goals of moving offline and in person, also setting up groups interstate too.

It was a pleasure to meet Buck Agrios (of whom is one of the few in Australia who calls themselves a Dionysian). Also Ryan McLeod – I really appreciate the passion he has for paganism.

Overall I’m really excited by the plans and I hope to be more involved in future projects.

I stole photo from Instagram, (source)
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The Bacchic Martyrs and Initiation Anniversary

On the 7th of October I celebrated the Feast of the Bacchic Martyrs, this festival is celebrating the devotees of Dionysos that have been killed for their religious beliefs. (Dionysians were persecuted well before Christians.) I cannot describe the day in detail because, frankly, I can’t remember.  I was so heavily entranced that my actions were not my own and guided by someone else. With limited resources (as in money) I managed to craft my first thyrsos, admittedly a lot of it is made of artificial plants, but I see a ritual meaning of plastic as it is the ultimate dead thing. The thyrsos being a symbol of life and death, seems pretty fitting. Ironic even.

I also dressed formally as Δ the festival falling roughly in the same month of confirmations of initiation as The Dionysian Artist back in 2015.

I finished the Feast with a basic but delicious vegetarian pasta dish, a plate of  which was given at a crossroads by a funeral home I live next too. (Yeah, a funeral home is my neighbour, little wonder why I come in contact with the dead so often.)

Here are some photos that were *permitted* to be shared of the days activities.

The Wild Hunt Fundraiser

I’m very supportive of The Wild Hunt (TWH) and have been for many years. It is the only online, free, ad-free, non-profit Pagan News organisation, run by pagans for pagans. For better or worst it is a place within this vast internet where pagans have a voice that is officially recognised. Right now they running their annual fundraiser.

In support, my partner Wayne and I made a promotional video for the fundraiser. We tried to keep it lighthearted and slapstick… 😛 Please support the community that supports you.

The times I’ve been banned on facebook have all been unjust (FUCK FACEBOOK)

If there is one thing I despise on a personal and spiritual level it is censorship. Dionysians have an ancient track record of being banned and censored. Pythagorean/Orphic texts were banned very early, the persecution of Dionysians by Romans in 186BCE and the Senatus consultum de Bacchanalibus. Hell, one of our most important text/plays is The Bacchae by Euripides about an impious king attempting to suppress and censor Dionysos himself.

With facebook, banning increase in length the more often they occur. I’m now on 7 day bans, which will increase to 30 days until my account will be permanently deactivated. I mostly use facebook to mentor and chat with fellow polytheists and for sharing our artwork, my posts are mostly tame, inane or educational.

Anyway, here is a list of times I’ve had my account blocked on facebook, each time was for no reason, and all fits within FB TOS.

1.

October 23 2016
I was banned for sharing a photo of a “Modern Maenad“.  I originally shared the photo in 2012. I shared it as a response of politicising ancient symbols in the now, as it is an image protesting Greek austerity. It was taken by Dimitris the Athens and published throughout the internet, including facebook, and in magazines and newspapers.

Photo by Dimitris the Athens

2.

In 13th of May 2017 I was interviewed by the largest pagan news organisations The Wild Hunt. (By the way they have their yearly fundraiser going now!) For reasons which were never explained I was banned from facebook for sharing the article on my wall… I strongly suspect this was direct assault upon my religious beliefs.

3.

The latest banning begun on the 10th of October 2017. With my partner being banned for three days, I protested to facebook staff about the removal of the image and they apologised and restored it on my wall, I reposted the image, after they approved it, and I was banned for 7 days. (I wrote about the symbolism of the Manticore and my interpretation of the images here.)

The Manticore eating a Woman, By Wayne McMillan

I find the excuse of algorithms and bot moderation by Facebook to be bullshit for these bans. This is a direct assault on my freedoms of speech, expression and religion as implied in the Australian Constitution and the universal rights granted by the UN Charter, which my country agrees to and applies. Facebook is breaching universal laws that are directly affecting my business, my reputation, my religious practice – including mentoring. These blocks are causing personal harm in the form of depression and harming my mental health.


After my ban is over, I’m going to limit my use of the platform and reserve it to mostly use it just to private chat to my students. (Why people refuse to use email or read my blog nowadays is puzzling to me!?) Anyway, I might be more present on other platforms that do not have such outrageous, ethically and legally unjust rules and regulations.

My email: markos.gage@gmail.com

My twitter handle: @DionysianArtist

My tumblr: https://dionysianartist.tumblr.com

I have Instagram but don’t like it much, plus it is owned by facebook. My handle is markos.gage

Update of the Update of Facebook Censorship.

Okay… WTF?!?

As with previous posts an artwork done by my partner was removed and he was blocked for three days. I contested the removal of the image and facebook approved the image as it fits into community standards.

So I reposted the image along side the screen shoot and within minutes I got this:

So I’m now blocked for 7 days. To my knowledge they will not remove blocks even if it is in the wrong.

I’m about ready to fuck off facebook altogether. It’s a fucking useless platform.

On the Manticore

Sleeping Manticore, By Wayne McMillan

A Manticore literally means “Man-Eater” from early Persian and found a place in Greece/Roman mythos from various authors such as Aristotle, Pausanias, Pliny the Elder. Pausanias logically relates the Manticore to the Tiger, and really, given the reputation as hunting men and other predators and the intelligence of the tiger, it makes complete sense.

The Manticore makes a perfect monster, why? It embodies every fear of man, the lion, the scorpion and any other mix of terrible creatures, but nothing is more fearful than our fellow man, the face of the Manticore. The monster is humbling and a reminder that nature is a greater force than the human condition and the human is part of nature.

The images Wayne has created are to me, humbling. Both the male and female versions are frightening and disturbing, but that is what we need to see. Too often we put up these fantasies that we are above nature, that we rest within safe zones. This only serves to increase our fears of pain and death, to be confused when we actually experience what it is to be an animal. We shy from natural forces, when, at any time, the Manticore can strike us.

Censored from FB: Wayne’s Manticores

My partner Wayne is doing a series of Manticores, some are freaky and graphic, but still fall within realms of art. He describes them as satire, akin to something seen by Goya. Anyway something I want to make clear:

  1. Facebook posting policy, TOS, allows artistic representation of graphic subjects and nudity.
  2. These images are obviously artistic.
  3. The pictures are fantastic and related to mythology.
  4. The images are deliberately drawn in a non-realistic, cartoon-like fashion.
  5. The picture in question (The Female version) was banned for “sexual violence”, sexual intercourse usually requires two humans. A Manticore is not human, it is a monster. Their names literally mean “Man Eater”.

For your viewing pleasure, I proudly post them here.

Art Wank Questions (extended)

“Shit Rock” by Odd Nerdrum 2001

Doing street art is difficult, while I do enjoy it, sometimes it really gripes me. So I woke up today with questions that have been asked of me while I work on the street. Now, at the time I’m usually focused on art and in a mindstate that is unable to eloquently respond to these questions. Being in a mood today I wrote down a series of questions and my wishful responses (Originally posted on facebook.) I’ve put them here and also included an additional question, not asked on the street – yet asked a lot in the art world.


Art Wank Question No. 1: Are pastels drawing or painting?

Me: I don’t fucking care! If I was forced down and interrogated via torture though, I would have to say it depends on the application of pastels. When one looks at what makes a pastel. it’s actually no different from any other paint, it just lacks a medium to make it sloppy. So you can draw with it (just as you can draw with ink or acrylics) or you can paint with it (just as you can paint with ink or acrylics). My application of pastels is in layers, purposely designed to be built up. Sometimes between 2 to 10+ layers of pastel. Therefore I categorise *my* use of pastel as painting. But I use drawing/painting interchangeable because I DON’T CARE.


Art Wank Question No. 2: Is what I do on the street “Craft” or “Art”?

Me: I love Ancient Greece and look back to it a lot. They had no definition between a craftsman or an artist. The whole conception of an artist is very European and not really seen in other cultures, throw modern art theory into the mix… and boy… do you get a lot of pretentious philosophical bullshit. Like seriously… have you read the shit they say? I have, and I feel like doing a turd on their fucking faces after reading that blubbering diarrhoea.
A lot of folk say a reproduction of an artwork is “craft”, but the original is “art”. But I regard them as both. That said, in our case. as street artists and applying wank art theory, Wayne and I are being “artists” because of context of environment. Our street art is a performance, we are performance artists. That does not mean we’re faking it or anything, it means that the act of creating art (be it original or reproduction) is the art itself.


Art Wank Question No. 3: Do you consider your art kitsch?

Me: Okay, big fucking can of worms there, *cunt*. I get your subtle insult and it makes me angry, so I propose an art project: go lay on the tram tracks.
For one, kitsch art is an art movement, with a philosophical –art theory- backing. Do I agree with it? No. But if someone like Odd Nerdrum calls his art “kitsch”, it is (even though I would not regard it as kitsch). Second, I have two views on our art, our original art I do not regard as kitsch, because that is not the intention – in actuality the original art does not fall into modern art theory because it is devotional. But the reproduction art… maybe… it is designed and chosen to please people, however we do choose artworks that we like and will find entertaining for ourselves to reproduce… as art making can be *really* boring.
Anyways, in this Post-post-“Pomo” era, any art can be regarded as kitsch, modern art is old hat now and it got fucked over by Pop-Art and continues to do so ever since. I’ve never seen a contemporary piece which has truly made me feel awe or any emotion, (not even “shock” art) thus I’m pretty jaded towards art. Actually, if there is anything to say about this culture is that it is jaded as fuck. Everyone has the ability to see anything, read anything, do anything – people are over saturated to the point they can’t feel anything. The one fear I have is that Nietzsche will turn out to be a prophet with his “last-man” of nihilism, the cynic in me thinks that’s our next evolutionary step and maybe it should be.


*Bonus* Art Wank Question No. 4: What is an Artist?

Many of my gen are shying away from calling themselves artists, opting for stupid terms like a “creative”, like sit back for a moment and think on that:  *in a dry, stiffy, jaded hipster voice*: “Oh, I am a creative”, how fucking stupid does that sound?! Whatever.

I can’t tell you want and artist is because an artist is someone who calls themselves that. That’s the answer, simple and flat out.

Art is a broad spectrum of topics and subjects. One of the very few things I agree with modern art theory is that anything can be art. On a personal level I think anyone that endeavours to make something is an artist and if they don’t want to call themselves that, or do – fine by me. With The Dionysian Artists of old, not only the actors, writer or the director were considered artists, (craftspeople in their sense, as mentioned above), but everyone was given credit towards the play and named a Dionysian Artist. This echoes in film today with the credit reel including everyone, even the caterers, the drivers, the first aid etc., all of these people are involved in creating the film, which is indisputably a piece of art, thus they are all artists in that sense. This is how art should be viewed and what I encourage with The Dionysian Artist guild today. It’s a matter of altering our way of looking at “what is art”, “what is an artist/craftsman” and fucking respect art.


I think about art a lot, a lot more than other artists. I’ve studied it, read about it and write about it. You know what? I just find it so fucking frustrating that these are serious questions! That books, entire books, are written on these subjects here. Art should be direct, confrontational, without consent. In these moments there should be no thought or questions only awe.

On Going Mad

I’ve been trying to keep myself motivated and continuing to contribute to my blog, re: Dionysos Cyclopaedia and several other projects like a 111 divination card deck (first mention of that project here, more info soon I hope) and a massive public pastel drawing of Lord Shiva (who came to me in dream, even though I have little connection to Hindu gods).

Yet, things feel like I have come to a standstill.

I have suffered depression all my life, so much so, I don’t know what happiness is. This year has been a year where my mind has exploded. It begun on the 20th of February exactly a month after the Bourke Street Mall attack: where a mad man, on drugs, drove down the pavement I regularly work upon and killed several people, injuring many. This devastating event really hurt me and opened mental scars that had been lying dormant in my mind since I was a child. I have been suffering from severe depression / anxiety including agoraphobia and PTSD.

This has been the first time I have ever sort medical treatment and beginning to analyse and assess the things I hold dear. But most of the time I find myself physically crippled, I cannot do basic things to subsist as a human, like eating, sleeping, even going to the toilet. Most of these things link back to childhood trauma.

Ever seen 10 Cloverfield Lane? An awesome sci-fi film about a woman is ‘saved’ and locked in a bunker by a man named Howard who claims the world is ending (Howard is brilliantly played by John Goodman). Howard is a possessive domineering and damn frightening figure. I mention this film because Howard was my stepfather. He was authoritarian in every aspect of life.  He would stalk me when I was walking to school and watch me during lunchbreaks, then confront me for not doing “manly” things. He’d listen to me go to the toilet and walk in on me when showering. He would abuse me with food, force me to eat half cooked or raw meat and offal. He would hit me and call me stupid for being unable to read. Call me a pansy for being effeminate. Force me to be alone, lock me in dark rooms, knock on doors during private situations, force me to run, attack me for watching TV without his permission, etc. This made it feel like he was an omniscient presence.

The results being regressive memory, much of my childhood is missing from my life.

With the 20th February mental breakdown it came back, all of it, at once, in fast motion and slow motion at the same time. All those emotions, fears, anger – pent up for 20 years started overwhelming my brain. Since then I’ve been having “aftershocks”, panic attacks. Everyday household items “triggering” me. Like just last week, I picked up a power cord and suffered a memory, like I was living in that moment, of a forgotten time my stepfather hit me with a power cord.

So it’s been really, really hard for me to do things. Yes, I am seeking medical treatment, yes I’m trying to work myself out of this, yes I’m considering getting disability pension (the first time I have asked for welfare). But it’s really fucking tough, not to mention physically straining (fasting for days, makes me physically weak.)

Anyway, I hope this brings things up to date on my current situation. I have no idea how long this will last or when I will be feeling back to my normal self.

The Artists of this Art are GAY!

Being Out and proud is not a privilege I have. I have told reporters and film makers to be cautious of elaborating on my relationship with my life partner (13 years now!) because of the dangers of the street.
I worship the street, it is our Agora, a bustling mix of sanity of madness. On one side of the street is a multimillionaire dealing in the stock exchange, on the other is a homeless man openly smoking meth in a crack pipe. The extremities of the street is something I have to deal with every day, it is something I deeply respect and really it does take a toll upon me emotionally. I quite literally sit in the middle of it and draw pictures upon the ground. Not only am I in the middle of it, I soak it up like sawdust on a pile of vomit.
Now with that in mind, I hope that one can understand how vulnerable I am on the street. On the ground, hunched over, back turned to the mob itself, meanwhile exploring the alternate reality of Art, (which is transversive of the universe and mind in its mere function).
Being Out and Proud is not a priority, nor a concern. I don’t consider myself a gay artist, nor do I really don’t care about the whole subculture. I am gay. It’s as simple as that, it is how my brain works and what appeals to me. In actuality, this fact should not affect anyone, I’m a monogamous dude and dedicated to The Wayne, my beloved.

Australia is still one the few Western countries that has not legalised gay marriage. A topic I don’t actually care about, but it inadvertently affecting me as it’s now going towards a postal vote. The first serious attempt to deal with the subject.

On Saturday I was working by myself. Some thirty meters, on a amp, is a preacher. I know the guy, his name is “Dusty” and is a former alcoholic, gambler and abusive parent. He was an orphan and suffered from sexual abuse from Catholic priests when raised in a mission. Now that he has found God he transfers his self-justified anger and hate upon the masses on the street every Saturday. His offenses against me have included calling me an Idolater, a pervert, “semen spitting abomination” (which is a titled I take pride in!), telling people not to give me donations because, “I worship the devil”, that my art is “rubbish and should be destroyed” – you get the point. Anyway, he’s a fucking nuisance nutcase I have to put up with every damn Saturday.

Well last Saturday was naturally topical, on the “Wrongs of Gays” and “Gay Marriage”. How homosexuals are unnatural sinners before god – blah, blah – how voting Yes on gay marriage is a sin before god and an insult to our Christian nation.

Here I am *trying*, like really trying, to draw this beautiful reproduction of Bouguereau and being forced to listen to this shit. This same shit I’ve had to put up with my entire life. So I cracked it, I unplugged his amp and threatened the guy if he doesn’t shut the fuck up I’m going to knock his fucking teeth out.

He did shut up, but called the cops on me. I told them to fuck off, but explained to them, I am gay, I suffer from PTSD and a long list of mental problems because of people like that preacher, (a truthful statement: I suffered another severe mental breakdown a few days after this event).  Being reduced to animals, child abusers, being told I’m not untitled to basic human rights is what is called “Triggering”, used in its proper context, not in the way the term is thrown around online flippantly.

What “straight” people reduce to a political topic is an actuality to gays. Being gay is not being political. Expecting to be entitled to the same rights of others is not political.

Now, as my religious role dictates, I must be apolitical. It’s a really hard task. But I do not believe this is a political subject.

In my own religion marriage is a sacred act, it is holy and universal, it’s literally like death. Sex, gender does not even compute in the equations of what is marriage. So male/female only marriage is actually against my religious beliefs. By Australian laws on freedom of religion, I should be entitled to be married to my partner for religious reasons, regardless of if it is commonly recognised as being legal or not.

Anyway, being exposed to this garbage from this preacher, this despicable man, I came out on the street. I wrote in big bold letters “I am gay!”

As I mentioned at the start, this is a statement that can have serious repercussions to me. I’ve already been gang bashed, and Wayne has had his jaw broken for less. So it’s dangerous for me to do this. But fuck it. It needs to be said and I did.

I’m fucking proud of being homosexual, I think it is a sacred thing, it brings me closer to my god, to my love for life and to my partner. It’s about time for this backwater country stolen by whites and called “Australia” to embrace the universal rights of homosexuals.

Vote YES.

Monthly Shout out to Patreon sponsors and work updates

The title pretty much says it all! Thank you to my sponsors!!! Donations are my main means of income with most of our earning going straight back into making art. Here are some updates of street art and private work.
If you’d like to become a sponsor here is my Patreon.

My Miasma Book is Out

Galina’s book on Miasma is out and may be purchased here and here. I’ve contributed towards the book 😉

“Miasma, or spiritual pollution, is a frequently misunderstood concept within contemporary polytheism. While recognized as vitally important to guard against and treat in most traditions, it is nonetheless often ignored or even dismissed as a concern today.

And yet, everything good and solid in our practices begins with purification. It is what prepares us for devotional engagement, for encountering the Holy, for developing discernment, for being a practicing and devout polytheist. We can never hope to properly approach our Gods without taking into account the need for cleanliness in our work.

This book examines the nature and causes of miasma, sets forth the arguments for taking it seriously, and discusses simple and effective methods of cleansing the body, mind and spirit for both ritual and daily life.”

 

Source: My Miasma Book is Out

Opinions Have No Value

2010 The Bacchae, directed by Staffan Valdemar Holm

In the last week fellow devotional artists have been complaining about criticism directed towards them because of their depictions of gods or for not following ‘proper’ methods of tradition. Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa has even stated (publicly on facebook) that there has been threats and personal attacks against him for depicting Set…

This is really disturbing, especially in that these criticism and threats are sourced from supposed ‘pagan’ / polytheists. So I thought I’ll put forth some recommendations when dealing with divine art.

1. Foremost anyone who threatens an artist or encourages destruction of divine icons should be ostracised from the community. Iconoclastic behaviour should never be tolerated.

2. Regardless of skill, technique, manner, style, medium – so on, if a devotional artist calls there art that and is intended as a holy icon, it should be treated as such. It does not matter if they do not follow ‘traditional protocol’ or style, these works are sacred and free of criticism or personal opinion.

3. (Artistic) Constructive criticism is different from criticism and personal opinion. This is criticising the material side of art, how it is created, it is not criticising the content/context of the art. This form of criticism is to *better* the art and artists. To help in the future. In no way is this to be used as means to hurt the artist or diminish the sacredness of the work.

4. Regarding Graeco-gods and art. Greeks were unusual in terms of culture in that they broke from traditional protocol of icon making. One can see this in examining Greek art history, in the Archaic period they had symbolic styles akin to the Egyptians (who maintained their traditional expression for over 3,000 years!) Greeks, however, broke away from this and started “progressing” in terms of humanism and realism. This is usually divided into three epochs of Hellenic art: Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic – the latter usually merges and continues with Roman art. It is interesting to note that throughout history they went back in forth in terms of style, e.g. there are examples of Archaic style cult statues made in 1CE. This is to address the fact that art was not for viewing pleasure or entertainment, but holy expression. This expression was limitless, thus tradition gave way to expression – gods were/are depicted according to cult and artistic inspiration. Although we have plenty to look back too, I encourage free expression of the divine, even that which breaks artistic aesthetic of the Greeks, e.g., nude goddesses. The only authority of what is “proper form” is gods and the artist, if one does not like the depiction do not buy it or subscribe to it. It is that simple.

5. In many (most) polytheistic cultures there is no concept of *evil* like that found in monotheistic traditions. There is no black and white divide, good versus evil etc. Though there instances in religion when gods suffer some terrible event, even death at the hands of some adversary, this event becomes an important aspect of the god’s cultus, thus in such instances it may be acceptable to depict, and even give cultus to this adversary. A good example of this is The Toys of Dionysos that lead to the terrible death and cannibalism of my beloved Dionysos. In some variations of the myth Dionysos later learns to control and command the Toys and also the Titans that consumed him. Therefore the Toys and Titans become part of Dionysos’ retinue… to ignore this is to ignore an important aspect of the Mysteries and limits the gods’ teachings. The same can be said of other deities such as Set and Loki.

In the end only the artist and gods they are dealing with have authority on their art. Not the viewer, nor other artists, nor their mothers or fathers, nor the public or political authorities, nor fellow religious folk or rival religious folk. It is one of the very few forms that mortals are able to communicate with divine and to bring them forth into ‘reality’. No opinion or human insight can discount this holy act, in other words: Shut the fuck up!

 

Street Art Update

I wish to give my thanks to my Patreon sponsors, the donations I’ve been receiving has been really helpful lately. As a gift to my readers and admirers here is some updated photos of our work.

We’re making these pictures really fast and gathering a collection, if anyone is interested in buying feel free to email me for info.

Concerning The Spirits of Art : A Response

 

Concerning the Spirits of Art by Lo Keen

I’m very excited and pleased to own this cute little booklet by Lo Keen. It addresses something that is rarely mentioned by polytheist and animist artists and also has some strong words of encouragement in the process of creation and honouring our Divine.

Concerning The Spirits of Art is a reply to the artist and art theorist, Wassily Kandinsky, an important figure in modern art that eventually led to art movements like the Dadaist and proclamation of: Art is Dead. The booklet encouraging artists to return back to the roots of our ancestors in which they viewed art, in that art was viewed differently from the secular, ego based understanding of art now. This mirrors my own writing as The Dionysian Artist though I usually go back to Théophile Gautier’s statement of Art for Art’s Sake.

This is a response to Lo Keen’s work, it is not a criticism or review, I just thought I’d contribute to their beautifully written text and offer a slightly nuanced opinion.

First and foremost Keen addresses art from an animist point of view and encourages that we be conscious of how we make art, the origins of our materials and nature of our art. I highly encourage fellow artists to be aware of this also. I do not identify with the Animist title, but do believe it to be inherent in my practice.

It is not lost on me that binders of my paint come from sacred plants, some pigments literally come from sacrificed animal bone, that titanium white is named after spirits that killed and consumed my beloved god. Our brushes are made from hog, badger and horse hair. The glues from skins of animals, and the surface we paint on trees and plants. We make art from The Dead and this must be something we respect in order to not only honour, but control as artists.

It saddens me that nowadays with the mass production of art supplies that artists have lost this link to their materials. It is plainly obvious that the secularism of art came about with the invention of the paint tube. The artist became disconnected from the nature of their materials and instead of inventing their own paints and brushes, simply buy it from the art store. This is one of the reasons why I passionately study the materials I use, make my own tools and mediums. We are dealing with holy objects imbued with their own spirits. This likewise is why I encourage folk to avoid synthetic paints and materials, though, that all said, there is also a magic in synthetic paint with its origins coming from alchemical experiments.

Digital Art

Keen discusses the nature of digital art and its rise. Though not completely discounting of the possibly of its power they caution it from an animist perspective. Here is where I differ, my approach to devotional art making is through deliberate expression, with the nature of this expression being limitless. As long as the process is devotional in nature and conscious of that the value of sacredness cannot be discounted regardless of the medium or even skill proficiency of the divine artist. Apart from that however, I find digital art to be liberating and holy in its nature, this is the first time in history where artists are not inventing an illusion of light in art, but actually manipulating light itself to create art. Light being the most sacred substance to us and often called as the forerunner of creation, the inventor of creation itself. I think Keen’s points on this subject are totally valid, as in digital art relies on fossil fuels to be powered, it is not as intimate as physical mediums, you cannot touch it, grab it and smudge it. But still the process is expression of light, I find this exceptionally powerful.

Miasma in art making, is art making clean?

The booklet briefly explores the notion of ritual purity when making art, this is a topic that has been interesting me for a few months now and I plan to formulate my ideas into a properly structured essay. I believe artists are naturally miasmic creatures by their function, they channel spirits and demons, create divine images and invent illusion. They are magi that make art from The Dead. This is why there are tropes of the mad artists as they must suffer the repercussions of their hubris in making art. Yes, I specially use hubris, because like clowns, artists boarder between the realms of profound and profane. They are forced to deal with this ick, but I encourage embracing it (probably why I’m so damn self-destructive.) This however is the nature of my tradition, other sacred artists DO have strict protocol for cleanliness.

Art as augury.

I was very excited the Keen mentions this subject, as it is something I have dealt with myself. I view divination to be its own art form and one that I’m barred from performing due to my focus upon other arts. This is a personal taboo, I’m unaware if other artists have suffered these same issues?

Ego and Art?

Artists by my definition are naturally egoistical. They have to be in order to have the Will to create, but yes, in the process of art making the artist gets drawn into their own or another’s reality. They are forced to constantly question themselves, “is this the right colour?”, “is this the right brush?”, “is this the right application of paint?”. But artists are also decision makers and they do this by answering all those little questions that go through their head. In time and in practice they enter a ‘zone’ where these questions are eradicated and art making becomes naturalistic. The ego is stripped away and the piece is created – sometimes by another force. This is why I identify as the role Δ when making art and signing it (if I ever do sign my work). But the start of creating art also has to do with ego, so in this I believe it is a balance.

To end this little response I want to thank Lo Keen for this beautiful booklet, it makes a welcome addition to my collection of references to this subject and will be something I will refer to in future writing. I highly recommend that this should be read by others!

Acrylic Practice Pieces

I’ve been experimenting with acrylics lately and doing these smallish pieces (approx. 30x30cm) these pieces are for sale at $100USD each.

The Ambiguous Deity and Dionysos are originals based upon statuary, the Fayum is a copy, but stylistically different from the original. Apart from finishing touches I’m almost done with them.

For more info contact me at: markos.gage @ gmail . com

~Only Your Donations keeps this Art Alive~

I live a strange life and mostly rely on the donations of strangers to pay my way. Everything I do I try to make free for everyone. I do this by bringing our art out to the public and publish it online. I dedicate my time to art, religious and artistic mentoring and writing with no expectation of reward. I thank everyone that does contribute, you have my sincere gratitude.

If you’d like to contribute I have a patreon account (money I find myself reinvesting into the polytheist community) and have updated my Redbubble store with some new designs (I dare say they look super neat!) I also have art for sale and am accepting commissions.

As for my patreon I’d like to turn that into a kinda community, so I’m open to requests and questions!

Enjoy and thanks for keeping my art alive!