Saturday, July 13, 2013

Mix-tape to Zeus

Alright, so it seems that I missed a bit of a deadline. Every month, Hellenion members pour a libation to a different Hellenic God or Goddess. Last month was Zeus' turn, but I must have missed a notification. I'm not a member of Hellenion, and will not be continuing this practice in the next Hellenic year, but I most certainly wanted to keep up the practice until then. Seeing as I missed His libation time and the mix-tape that goes with it, I will post the mix-tape today. I give libations to Zeus daily, so at least we're good in that department.



Handsome Poets - Sky On Fire

Back in the Summer of 2012, there were the London Olympics. Here in the Netherlands, every sports day ended with a recap in the 'Holland House', a meeting place for the athletes and the décor of a late-night sport's show. This song was the tune for that show, and it's irrevocably tied to the Olympics. As I have mentioned before, the ancient Olympics were held in honor of Zeus, and this song seems somehow fitting, not just because of the events I associate it with, but also the text.

The first time I heard this song, I thought 'Titanomachy'. Alright, I might spend a little too much time on my religion. That said, let me explain. This song screams victory song to me, the moment after the old generation is cast out by the new, and Zeus overlooks His new domain, knowing that the best is yet to come.

"Let's start a fire, a fire / new kids coming into town / lets get together / we take over now"
 
 

Christina Perri - A Thousand Years
 
Please ignore the horror that is Twilight in this video (or if you like it, enjoy it for all it's worth). In fact, I encourage you to listen to this one with your eyes closed. Imagine how Zeus comes to Hera in the form of a drenched bird, and she clutches Him to Her breast. He transforms back to his normal shape and overpowers Her, expressing His love for Her... or many years down the road, when Hómēros writes of Their love in the Iliad:
 
"Zeus, the Cloud-Driver, saw her, and instantly his sharp mind was overwhelmed by longing, as in the days when they first found love, sleeping together without their dear parents’ knowledge. [...] ‘Hera, [...] let us taste the joys of love; for never has such desire for goddess or mortal woman so gripped and overwhelmed my heart, not even when I was seized by love for Ixion’s wife, who gave birth to Peirithous the gods’ rival in wisdom; or for Acrisius’ daughter, slim-ankled Danaë, who bore Perseus, greatest of warriors; or for the far-famed daughter of Phoenix, who gave me Minos and godlike Rhadamanthus; or for Semele mother of Dionysus, who brings men joy; or for Alcmene at Thebes, whose son was lion-hearted Heracles; or for Demeter of the lovely tresses; or for glorious Leto; or even for you yourself, as this love and sweet desire for you grips me now.’” (XIV)
 
This is the mandatory love song, and as far as love songs go, I really enjoy this one. 
 
"Darlin' don't be afraid / I have loved you for a / Thousand years / I'll love you for a / Thousand more"


Carina Round - Shoot

Youtube does not have an album version of this one, so please fast forward to the 2:30 mark. Alright, yes, I will admit that I chose this song mostly because of the thunder and lightning. That said, I also want you to feel the atmosphere, the draw that is in this song. The desire to get lost in the current. This song reminds me of the many women and men Zeus has seduced; his draw too great to resist--like a thunderbolt straight through the heart.

"Come with me falling through the red clouds helplessly /  Come kiss me so that I can read your lips / I feel a shoot / I feel a thunderbolt / Under my body / I feel a shoot / I feel a thunderbolt / The entrance of your soul"

 

 Deb Talan - Comfort
 
I looked for a song that expresses the safety, the care, and yes... the comfort I experience from honoring Zeus in His many epithets associated with the home. On a daily basis, I honor Zeus Ephestios (Overseer of the Hearth), Zeus Kthesios (He Who Guards the Pantry), Zeus Herkeios (protector of the enclosure of the house), and Zeus as King of the Gods, and when I still did a lot of outdoor work, I prayed to Zeus Ombrios to keep the rain away. I think this mix-tape is turning out somewhat 'soft' is because His influence in my life is very caring, very sheltering. To me, He has never been the 'fire and brimstone' God of the Lightning bolt who punishes those who trespass on Justice. I know it is a part of Him, but He has brought me too many good things to focus on that.
 
This song is bout a mother's (or father's) love and care for a young child, and about the sacrifices you make as a parent to insure you child's wellbeing and happiness. I don't consider myself a child of Zeus, but this song oozes the comfort He makes me feel, and it is wonderful thing.
 
"In days to come / When your heart feels undone / May you always find an open hand / And take comfort wherever you can"
 


Jim Byrnes - Of Whom Shall I Be Afraid?
 
I wanted to end the mix-tapes with this song, not just for Zeus, but for all the Theoi. This version of the song was featured in the TV series 'Sanctuary' in which the singer plays a recurring character. The original version is much faster, and it doesn't quite convey the message, in my opinion. I sing this song to the Theoi sometimes, as I can't sing the hymns; I can just recite those. I have a few moderns songs that I sing to the Theoi in ritual, or when I'm in need of Their guidance; this is one of those. This is my pledge, my vow, to the Theoi. This is exactly the depth of my devotion to all of the Theoi, and Zeus--as King of the Gods--above all.
 
"I will go wherever you need me / On the river of roses or rain / I will follow the signs that you leave me / The mysteries of joy and of pain / I will search for light in the darkness / Though I stumble through shadow and shade / Oh if you are with me / Of whom shall I be afraid?
 
You have lifted me up when I have falling / Driving the ghost from my door / You have comforted me in my sorrow / Wiped my brow when I’ve been sick and sore / You have shared in all of my triumphs / And blessed the crops that we laid / Oh if you are with me / Of whom shall I be afraid? / Oh if you are with me / Of whom shall I be afraid?"


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