I’ve taken some time to update the Δ page. I find these things difficult to write. I hope I’ve expressed the correct concepts to my full intentions. If you have any questions please comment on the page.
The most important thing to note and keep in mind when approaching my work is my focus is a developing modern polytheist Dionysian religion heavily dependant on what we know of ancient sources, yet also adaptive and advancing in a contemporary setting.
My definition of Xenia:
1. An act of basic respect to strangers, a welcoming, freely giving what one can, ie., hospitality.
2. A guest respecting the hosts restrictions, accepting their gifts, thereby not asking too much of the host, ie., offering basic respect to the host.
Xenia is a major precept of my beliefs and practice. It is very important to me to welcome strangers into my household. As a Dionysian, I believe one of my many roles is playing host. It is a divine duty and one I maintain. Including housing homeless and friends alike under my own roof.
Something that is often not followed is the second definition above, guest respecting host. This has been a constant source of frustration for me. I don’t ask much of my guests, but when I request they leave, they should leave.
My ideal of Xenia extends outside my household and onto the street when I’m doing public pavement art. I am there to bring art to the streets for free, my work is my own and nobody pays me. I am giving as much or more as a person who has decided to support my work through a donation. It’s a beautiful, mutual and symbiotic relationship, an act that can fall into the category of Xenia.
That said, there are certain members of the public which do not respect Xenia, instead the seek to destroy my work and what I stand for.
Now before I go on a tirade I want to say that I have deep respect for anyone who is devotional, likewise I appreciate all forms of religion. However, here is the BUT, but I will not stand for anyone seeking to insult, convert, destroy / damage my art, physically or verbally attack me or people around me because they believe my work to be satanic, pagan, demonic or any other reason. If I tell a person to leave because I feel they are doing this, they should leave. It’s a very basic respect I would offer to anyone. If I was being a moron and they requested I leave, in the name of Xenia I’d fucking leave.
This is what annoys me, what really shits me, is that these people think they have some fucking divine right to harass me. Not only are they working against the precepts of their *own* religion they are committing hubris according to their faith. Socially they are also breaking a number of fundamental rights granted to me and also breaking the law. The artwork I present on the street is worth a lot, equivalent of a small car, if I decided to walk on or smash a person’s car because I believe their car is against my religion I’d be arrested right? I don’t understand why these rules are not applicable to my artwork also.
Ranting aside, I only request one thing of my guests: when I tell them to leave they should leave or else I have every right to grab my spear and start making a human kebab.
In October 2015 I encountered an issue with Society6 effectively banning me from using the name Hermes due to automatic censors. This unresolved issue is related to the trademark of the name, possibly from the French clothing and accessory brand Hermès. This was reported on The Wild Hunt.
Over on facebook, a friend and a co-owner of The Vodou Store, Caeli D’Anto has also been dealing with a similar problem. PayPal blocked a transaction because the item description used the name Isis.
Caeli claims it has taken a number of communications over a three week period before having the ban lifted from his account.
Terrorism is a valid fear in our communities, especially these morons blowing up sacred spaces, destroying history and killing the living. However we have to be aware of how much power they have over us through our own actions. Banning commonly used words and names from important internet infrastructure like PayPal is crippling our way of life and preventing honest, non-deviant business owners and customers from basic services agreed upon by PayPal’s TOS.
Words/names like Hermes and Isis are blacklisted and processed by an unthinking machine that cannot differentiate the complex and contextual meaning of words. What’s more they are sacred names, names of deities that have been used for thousands upon thousands of years. Names that are still used by Pagans and Polytheists to worship and honour their gods. It’s only in the last two years that the name Isis has been stigmatised by the Western Media.
Lastly, I admit I’m no anti-terrorist adviser but given that the Daesh cut out peoples tongues for speaking or referring to them as ISIS I seriously doubt they’d be stupid enough to use the acronym for terrorist online fundraisers… This all seems so nonsensical it’s making PayPal look dumber than the Daesh.
EDIT more info: Caeli D’Anto gave more insight into this issue:
Great post! Although it was actually 3 transactions that were declined. The worst part is that we would have never known had it not be for one of our customers contacting us letting us know that they couldn’t make a purchase. When I contacted PayPal, the rep mentioned that it “might be” because of the word Isis. They issued a ticket and they came back stating that they already declined the transaction so there is nothing they could do. They wanted to approvals of transactions on a per order basis which would have been an impossible task as we wouldn’t have known that people weren’t able to place orders. PayPal was the only one that had access to that information but only after the transaction was declined. It took many calls to get this resolved.
This is a collaboration between myself and my partner Wayne McMillan, Oil on board. It’s been one of my favorite pieces to work on, initially inspired by “Greek Eye Pots”. I draw up a design on the computer and transfered it to vector. Then Wayne turned the vector into a more organic sketch, I copied his sketch for the painting design and he painted the rest.
I can’t remember when I fell in love with David Bowie. I think, like many of my generation, it was the Labyrinth movie. I remember my grandmother and especially my mother being quite worried about that film. My mum hated it, LOL. Yet, my sister and I would sit there in awe of Bowie’s crotch bulge and would sing along to Dance Baby Dance and When the World Falls Down.
Music has always been very difficult for me to appreciate. I suspect it has something to do with my dyslexia, I strongly believe it’s an associated dyslexic symptom called, Auditory processing disorder. This means it is difficult for me to differentiate certain sounds from background noise, thus I never listened to music as a youth, nor really liked it as it often sounds like static to me.
One day as a teenager I was sitting in a car and Space Oddity came on the radio, the noise and the voice had me entranced as I could hear it, I asked my mum who it was and she said, “It’s that creep, David Bowie.”
From then on I was stuck. It was the noise that really grabbed me, he makes amazing noises.
Anyway, when I met my partner I was delighted to find out that he also experienced a similar adolescence of loving Bowie despite the disdain of his own mother. (I think it’s the whole apparent *OMG SO Shocking!!!* bi / homosexual thing?) My partner really got me into music, I didn’t start listen to it all the time until I moved out with him at twenty, since Bowie has been an daily feature of my life.
When I was later going through my Dionysian study period: where I spent two years eating book after book about mysteries and Dionysos, Bowie was the music I read too. It was here I started seeing connections between his work and the subjects I was reading. I wrote this in 2013:
“David Bowie in the persona of Ziggy Stardust. In the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Bowie takes on a sexually ambiguous, alien persona who wishes to bring message of peace and love, ultimately he is torn apart by his enlightened fans, which causes a greater revelation…”
… sounds pretty Dionysian. Then we have further elements like his backgrounds in performance of mime as well as adopting differing personalities throughout his lifetime as Pierrot and Harlequin and also adventures into theatre and movie performance.
Just even with the evolution of the personas of Bowie, he developed different characters for each phase of his music giving us a new take on the enigma that is David Bowie. I seriously doubt we ever saw who David Jones ever really was in his entire career as a performer.
Despite the changes of characters certain themes always remained, we see elements of Major Tom and Space Oddity throughout his entire lifetime, Ashes to Ashes 1980 discussed what those pills are, then Hallo Spaceboy 1995 continues the tale and then I Took A Trip On A Gemini Spaceship 2002 speaks of an astronaut lost in space shooting of his ‘space gun’ when thinking of his love. Blackstar music video finally features a deified Major Tom? whose skull is used to initiate ecstatic women… forty seven years of a developing a mythos concluding with the same Orphic themes first seen with the persona of Ziggy Stardust. Everything is beautifully linked, a narrative of enlightenment gifted to the world as a whole body of work.
The best thing about Bowie’s motifs are generic enough that anyone can walk away from his work relating to it and feeling the same elation as the next man. It is a long running epic poem mixed with performance…
A gift to mankind.
Finding time to work on my new blogging home has been difficult, but I’ve done some minor updates today.
First off, I want to explain the meaning and definitions for words used to categorise posts on this blog. Δ, Τέχνη, Λόγος, Λέξις you will notice are used in the tag line and the top menu. Some of these words may be difficult to understand, so allow me to explain my own definitions for the purpose of this blog.
Δ (Delta) is a symbol I identify with, to me it directly relates to my commitment to Dionysos. When used to categorise posts it is personal content. The symbol on the main menu links to my about. The category itself will relate to personal stuff or blog info updates.
Τέχνη (techne) literally means craft and art. Artistic content on this site will be shared under this category.
Λόγος (lógos) A very complex word, logos relates to many things from: holy words, philosophical / meaningful, religious discussion, in some cases: words of god, structures of the universe. (The word’s meaning is fascinating I’d recommend you look it up). My purpose for using this word is to categorise all content related to my religion and philosophy.
Λέξις (léxis) The usage of this word may be in incorrect context. It means: a manner or way of speaking, structure of language, grammar, casual talk. The definition for this blog is sharing, reporting or whinging about causal / mundane / extraneous things.
All of these categories may be inter-used depending on the content shared, hopefully this structure will allow readers to find whatever they are looking for.