Monthly Archives: July 2015

Melek Ta’us: Hope

A Month of Written Devotion for Melek Ta’us, the Peacock Angel

Melek Ta’us has never shown a particularly comforting face to me. He’s always been the teacher of hard lessons, the kind of teacher who uses sarcasm and silence to motivate you to earn their approval.

That kind of motivation doesn’t work so well for me. It tends to make me resentful and stubborn, and dig my heels in, or walk away. And then spend the next several hours beating myself up for my failure–After all, didn’t the teacher/coach/trainer just show me how little I was worth, with sarcasm and silence?

I hope to know a different face of the angel. Or, perhaps, to see the love behind the hardness.

Or, maybe, if I’m very, very lucky… To value myself in spite of the scorn or silence of people I respect.

—–
Ember’s doing it, too: MWD-Hope


Melek Ta’us: Dark

A Month of Written Devotion for Melek Ta’us, the Peacock Angel

I am in love with the dark. It’s my favorite playground: night, shadowy woods, ruined buildings, gothic music, horror stories and creepypasta… My most common internet pseudonym, Uncle Dark, is partly in tribute to this.

But that’s not what I need to talk about today. It’s fun to find joy in things other people find scary, but that’s not the real darkness. It’s just a trick of perspective. The real dark in my life is depression, is anxiety. Sometimes it’s so bad, I can’t leave my house.

Sometimes, it’s so bad I can barely move in the world at all. My overall health suffers, when I can’t muster the energy to deal with the daily details of my diabetes, with washing, with feeding myself. My connections to others, even to the gods, suffers when I fear reaching out to others, fear that I’m forgotten, unwanted, and worse.

It’s like being in Hell. It’s like crying, alone, in the dark, in pain, until I find some joy again, and it lifts me out.

Melek Ta’us knows this. Even when I cannot feel him, in the deepest dark, he is there.

Knowing this doesn’t often help, but it’s better than nothing.

—–
Ember’s doing it, too: MWD-Dark


Melek Ta’us: Light

A Month of Written Devotion for Melek Ta’us, the Peacock Angel

I have rainbow disco balls on my altar. Little ones, mind you, only a couple of inches in diameter.

One of the folks I know did a devotional for Melek Ta’us, in which these disco balls were given to each of the participants. I forget exactly how they were used in the devotional, but I do recall why.

In the crowd where I met the Angel, we were focused, though not exclusively, on the Feri attribution of queerness to him. Partly, this was due to the fierce beauty of him, and partly to the trials he went through on the way to finding his love of humanity. He found beauty and love even in Hell, which seemed to parallel the struggles of many of the queer folk involved in Feri, as they dealt with discrimination and hate on a daily basis, and yet found beauty and love in their own lives, and in each other.

Given the specific folks I was working with, the Disco Ball, as a sign of the clubs where some found such beauty, and also as a sign of taking joy in life to spite those who would see us die, seemed a perfectly normal thing to use in ritual.

So to remind me of light, even in the darkest times: Tiny, mirrored balls. Seems good to me.

—–
Ember’s doing it, too: MWD-Light


Melek Ta’us: Forgiveness

A Month of Written Devotion for Melek Ta’us, the Peacock Angel

It’s only quite recently that I’ve forgiven Melek Ta’us.

At first, I’d thought he wasn’t really listening to me, and that felt bad, but not unusual. Then, he took me, gently but still forcefully, so he could physically interact with someone else. That one burned.

The reasons for that go back quite a ways, and they mostly don’t actually have to do with the Angel himself.

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Give Thanks to Our Mighty Dead

As we progress through National Drunk People Blow Shit Up day, I’d like to take a moment to thank our ancestors who helped make this country what it is today. For good or ill.

Praise and thanks to the Mighty Dead
To all those who walked these ways before us
And made our road easier thereby
Ancestors of blood and bone; Ancestors of spirit
We remember you

We remember you,
Who lived in this land before Columbus, before Jamestown
Those who fought, who were murdered, displaced, betrayed
We beg your forgiveness, but not your forgetfulness
We beg your guidance into better, more just days

We remember you,
Who came to these shores in chains, survivors of the middle passage
Those who worked, who suffered, who died in bondage
We beg your forgiveness, but not your forgetfulness
We beg your guidance into better, more just days

We remember you,
Who built and taught and fought and died, our Founding Fathers and Mothers
Those who set our nation on its path, as best you could
We beg your forgiveness, but not your forgetfulness
We beg your guidance into better, more just days

We remember you,
Who carried on the legacy, who fought and struggled and built this nation
Those who struggled with the blood and the sin and the glory they inherited
We beg your forgiveness, but not your forgetfulness
We beg your guidance into better, more just days

We remember you,
Who learned from the past, from whom we might learn
Those generations from the first to walk this land to the one just passed
We beg your forgiveness, but not your forgetfulness
We beg your guidance into better, more just days

Praise and thanks to the Mighty Dead
To all those who walked these ways before us
And made our road easier thereby
Ancestors of blood and bone; Ancestors of spirit
We remember you.


Melek Ta’us: Beginning

A Month of Written Devotion for Melek Ta’us, the Peacock Angel

In Valerie’s Feri class, each of the students was asked to pick one of the gods we’d studied, and write a teaching ritual to introduce the god to our fellow students.

I picked Melek Ta’us because, at the time, I thought him to be the closest of the Feri gods to my beloved Dionysos. It wasn’t until later that I understood that Victor Anderson’s saying, “All gods are Feri gods” meant that I could worship Dionysos by his own name with the techniques I learned in Feri.

But, hey, it got me a new god for my altars, and who doesn’t love that?

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Melek Ta’us: Together

A Month of Written Devotion for

Melek Ta’us, the Peacock Angel

I was with my then-lover, now an ex-, in her backyard. She’d asked me to ward while she did some magical work of her own, and I was happy to help. I stood behind her while she did her thing (her story, not mine, to tell).

In my own vision, I was solid and quiet, a wall between her and the world. I reached around her, encircling, wrapping around and above and below. Things were going well.

That’s when I felt an itch on my back. An itch of the spirit, not the flesh. An itch where wings were scratching their way out. What the hell? I thought. But I remembered other times when I’d been warder, and had envisioned wings for myself, to spread around the witch I was warding. Sure, I thought, Let’s go with it.

This is the first important part, the vital part. I could have said no. I felt the beginning of the wings, and I knew I wasn’t doing it, consciously, but I chose to let it happen. For years, I blamed the rest on Melek Ta’us. But I let him in, knowing who was knocking.

Yes, I know how it sounds. Keep reading.

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Melek Ta’us: How?

A Month of Written Devotion for

Melek Ta’us, the Peacock Angel

I met Melek Ta’us while studying Feri witchcraft under Valerie Walker.

The Feri Melek is doubtless differnet, in manifestation if not in soul, from that worshiped by the Yezidi in their native faith.

One thing I want to make clear: I am not Yezidi, nor have I deeply studied (much less joined) their religion. I make no claim that what I have learned of Melek Ta’us, either through my Feri teacher or subsequent visionary experiences with the god, reflect Yezidi lore or practice. In those cases where I somehow come close, it is the power of the Angel. For the times when I am terribly wrong, and give offense to the people who first knew him, I apologize.

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Human Virtue

Does your religion help you to be a better human being?

To be honest, I’m not sure. It’s not like I’d be on a spree of rape, murder, and jaywalking without the gods. My moral code and reasons for behaving as a good person are thoroughly humanist, and would probably be much the same if I were not dedicated to anyone or even an atheist.

I’d probably be a Discworld atheist; the kind who wanders about muttering, “All gods are bastards,” and refusing to give them the satisfaction of feeling my belief. But I digress…

Mostly, the research I’ve done to ground my practice in ancient polytheism has also given me a wider lexicon of words and ideas for thinking about and defining my morality and ethics. Of course, any good study of classical philosophy would have done the same.

I’m a fan of virtue ethics, if you’re curious.

I do, however, consider how my friends see me, and whether or not they think I walk my talk. I include the gods and ancestors among these friends, and will occasionally ask them for advice. Sometimes they even answer.

If nothing else, my studies of ancient polytheism have taught me that the gods are not moral exemplars. “It was good enough for Zeus, it’s good enough for me. Now where did I put that swan suit…” is a bad basis for moral action.

My lover Ember and I have decided to go through Galina Krasskova’s Devotional Polytheist Meme questions together, over the next several months. We encourage our friends to follow along, and welcome links to other people’s answers in our comments, as well as your thoughts on our answers. Ember’s answer can be found at her blog, Embervoices.


Melek Ta’us: Who?

A Month of Written Devotion for Melek Ta’us, the Peacock Angel. Published just a little bit late.

When God created Humanity, God ordered the angels to bow before the new beings. Glory to the new chosen, glory to the heirs of God.

Melek Ta’us, proud first son of God, first among angels, would not bow before the new beings. Glory unto God, Glory only unto God.

When God heard this, God was angry, and God gave proud Melek one chance to repent. Still the angel would not bow, and so God created Hell. Still the angel would not bow, and so God cast Melek Ta’us into Hell.

Alone in Hell, the Peacock Angel wept. For seven thousand years, alone in hell, the Peacock Angel wept.

The first thousand years, Melek Ta’us wept for himself. He wept for his pain, for the loss of God. He wept for his shame, that God would choose to exalt humanity and punish his first and most glorious son.

The Tears of the Peacock Angel, the first angel, filled and flooded Hell, and doused the fires of the pit. But the fires rose anew.

The second thousand years, Melek Ta’us wept, pleading to God for forgiveness. He wept, and promised to bow before humanity, if that was what God demanded.

The Tears of the Peacock Angel, the first angel, filled and flooded Hell, and doused the fires of the pit. But the fires rose anew.

The third thousand years, Melek Ta’us wept for God’s pain. He wept, for he realized the pain he had caused God for the sake of his pride.

The Tears of the Peacock Angel, the first angel, filled and flooded Hell, and doused the fires of the pit. But the fires rose anew.

The fourth thousand years, Melek Ta’us wept for Heaven. He wept for his empty throne, he wept for his work undone, he wept for his empty corner of the sky.

The Tears of the Peacock Angel, the first angel, filled and flooded Hell, and doused the fires of the pit. But the fires rose anew.

The fifth thousand years, Melek Ta’us wept for Earth. He wept for the flowers fading in autumn, he wept for the beasts that died to feed others.

The Tears of the Peacock Angel, the first angel, filled and flooded Hell, and doused the fires of the pit. But the fires rose anew.

The sixth thousand years, Melek Ta’us wept for Humanity’s pain. He wept for their sickness, he wept for their deaths, he wept for the pain they would give one another.

The Tears of the Peacock Angel, the first angel, filled and flooded Hell, and doused the fires of the pit. But the fires rose anew.

The seventh thousand years, Melek Ta’us wept for Humanity’s promise. He wept for the seed of glory inside humanity, he wept for the beauty of the human soul.

Melek Ta’us wept in joy.

The Tears of the Peacock Angel, the first angel, filled and flooded Hell, and doused the fires of the pit. The tears of Melek Ta’us broke the walls of Hell, and the fires died for ever.

God saw the blue-skinned, gorgeous Peacock Angel born anew from fire and flood, and apointed him the leader of the seven angels who would protect and nurture the world.

God saw the blue-skinned, gorgeous Peacock Angel born anew from fire and flood, and apointed him the special guardian and teacher of Humanity.

And God withdrew from the Earth, leaving it to the angels.

And Melek Ta’us looked out across the Earth, and saw Humanity rising in all its varied sexes and genders and colors, and heard Humanity singing in all its languages, dancing in all its homes on the Earth.

And Melek Ta’us loved what he saw.

And Melek Ta’us said to Humanity, Oh my dear children, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. Oh my beloved, what beauty you will know, what lessons you will learn.

It’s a pity so much of it will have to be learned the hard way.

—–

Ember’s doing it, too: Who Is She?


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