On June 12, 2016, a lone gunman walked into Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. He opened fire with a rifle and a handgun and shot and killed 50 people in an attack that just would not end. He left at least 53 or more wounded. The gunman was killed. The attack is the deadliest mass shooting in United States history, the deadliest incident of violence against LGBT people in U.S. history, and the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001. There are no words for the loss, the pain, the fear and the sheer stupidity in this act. It is an act that hurts to the bone, to the very core of our being. Fifty dead for a senseless and percieved ideal of a world of extremist Islamic perfection. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims and the survivors, who will wear the scars forever.

In the wake of this incident, I have had an influx of people asking me how they can honour the people who were murdered. Come nighttime, go out, dig a small pit and offer libations of milk and honey. Wear your hair down if you are a woman. Tie it, if you can, if you are a man. Weep. Show your anguish. Say a prayer to the Gods (like the one below, which I use) for reprieve and guidance. But most of all, talk about this incident. Talk to anyone who will listen about the fallen, by name should those names ever be released. If not, talk about them as a group. Let this day, this event, never be forgotten. In ancient Hellas, people believed that as long as the names and deeds of the dead were spoken, their spirit would stay 'alive' forever. And maybe, just maybe, having conversations about them will help stop the cycle.

In that same spirit, while you are down on your knees to dig that pit, I want you to dig a little bit deeper and when you sacrifice, I want you to sacrifice just a little bit more. When you talk about the lives lost in Orlando, I want you to talk about more people. I want you to remember that the people in Orlando are not the only ones who have died of terrorist attacks in this decade, this year, this month, or even on that day. In january there were 97 attacks all over the globe leaving 1193 dead, in February there were 66 leaving 1034 dead, in March 107 leaving 636 dead, in April 149 leaving 1012 dead, in May 195 leaving 1343 dead and in June, so far, 80 leaving 1148 dead. Since Orlando, already three more incidents took place in Iraq, Nigeria and Lebanon, leaving five dead. All of these people deserve your libations as well, be they victims of bombings, of stonings, of decapitations or shootings.

And so, as we have all had to do far too often lately with terrible crimes of war and ethics being committed every single day by both sides of all crisis affairs, I pray. I pray for those alive and those who are dead. I pray for those still clinging to life. I pray to stop those willing the cycle on. This is my prayer, may it echo in yours.

"May Hermes Psychopompos carry the souls of the dead safely cross the river Styx.
May Hades accept them favourably, and may the judges judge them fairly.
May Asklēpiós tend to the wounds of the injured.
May Ares instil in them the passion of life, and the strength of a thousand warriors.
May Hypnos sooth their weary minds, and cloud them in sleep.
May Dionysos calm their terror.
May They offer the same to emergency personnel and passers-by who were witnesses.
May Dikē who weeps at the injustice done upon all touched by this tragedy, clutch the strong thigh of Zeus the All-wise, and beg of Him the severest of punishments.
May All-Mighty Zeus send winged Nemesis to administer swift judgement.
May Her judgement take from the guilty parties an equal or greater price than their victims have had to pay.
May Hēlios the All-seeing whisper truth to law enforcement, and guide the investigation swiftly towards those who conceived of this terrible crime.
May wise Athena led Her aid to them.
May Zeus the All-mighty bless those who ran not from the area, but towards it, in an attempt to offer aid to those wounded or dead.
May He look favourably upon those who ran away as well, as the will to live is at the core of every mortal's life.
To all Theoi: a last plea. To protect those whom the media will persecute, but are innocent of the crime.
To protect the innocent scapegoat from the actions of a species in the grips of fear and revenge."

People of Orlando, USA, of Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Yemen, Nigeria, Afganistan, to those anywhere near violence and terror, my prayers are with you, and I believe the Gods are as well--all of Them.