New blog is up!

On this January 4, 2017, the day of the Vialia and also the first Wednesday of the year, I inaugurated my new blog, which you can find here. As mentioned in my previous post, O Moledro or “The Cairn” is entirely in Portuguese, aimed first and foremost to the idiosyncrasies of Portugal’s society and History, so as to better distance myself from the sometimes mind-boggling specifics from elsewhere. Hence why it also has a large section with scholarly-based articles on individual Iberian deities, coupled with ideas for modern cults. And as suggested by its title, the new blog has a very stressed mercurial emphasis, so much so that while it focuses on polytheism, specifically Roman, and also on religion at large, I will occasionally publish posts on other aspects of Mercury’s world – like astronomy, travelling, trekking, History, humour, languages and hey, maybe even sports. But just occasionally. In time, it may also work as a platform to start putting out the basics of a modern western-Iberian cult of Mercury, integrated in the wider category of Roman polytheism, but more on that in due course.

A Portuguese podengo (source)

A Portuguese podengo (source)

In the meantime, for the next few months, I’ll be restructuring this blog to turn it into an almost mirror image of my new one – which is now my main website. I don’t expect most of my readers here to know Portuguese and honestly, once you reach 200 followers, you want to make something out of that number, so I’ll be translating content, adding new pages to the top menu, deleting others and reviewing already published texts. Some of that has already been done: for those of you who missed it, there’s a new header image, the blog’s tagline has changed, the calendar joined the dropdown menu on Roman polytheism, the overall aesthetic matches that of the new site and the section on Iberian gods has vanished – because I’ll be replacing it with an English translation of the much more extensive texts I wrote in Portuguese. I expect to have it all done by the end of March, so that on April 4th I can add an offering to Mercury to the First Rites, thus redefining this blog; and as with the new one, it will become a platform for a Roman and western-Iberian cult of the swift son of Maia somewhere down the road. So if I spend a few more months in silence, it’s not because I gave up on this blog. Quite the opposite!

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Spes

In his Going Postal, Terry Pratchett calls hope “the greatest of all treasures”, words that are in my Postal Oracle, which I’m still fine-tuning. And in the spirit of review and adjustment of my fasti, I’m thinking of adding an annual feast to Spes, perhaps even using the sacrifice I have at the end of the year. I’ve been dedicating it to Bonus Eventus, but given that His role overlaps with that of Mercury, I may subsume the former into the latter and have yet another day of tribute to Maia’s son, perhaps coupled with a sacrifice to Spes. After all, the date is appropriate: it’s the darkest time of the year, but already it contains the seed of summer, so one hopes the sun and warmth will return; it’s the last day of December, so hopefully the New Year will be a good one; there’s even a Portuguese link to it, since Bartolomeu Dias arrived back in Lisbon from the Cape of Good Hope in December. And speaking of travellers, why not a cult of Spes Mercurialis, the Hope of Wayfarers? I hope your journey goes well, I hope nothing bad happens, I hope you come back safe. Though having two feasts to Spes isn’t a bad idea either, one for Her mercurial side on the final day of the year and another for Her alone, maybe in October, when winter is approaching, sunlight is retreating and one hopes things will turn out well, that we’ll get through the dark days and see each other on the other side of it.

All of this because yesterday I listened to Madredeus’ Oxalá, a song that I haven’t heard in a long time. And yes, the title is that word that comes from the Arab insha’Allah or “God willing” and is all about hope, be it on smaller or greater things. I leave you with it and its lyrics while I ponder about the matter.

Oxalá me passe a dor de cabeça, oxalá
Oxalá o passo não me esmoreça

Oxalá o Carnaval aconteça, oxalá
Oxalá o povo nunca se esqueça

Oxalá eu não ande sem cuidado
Oxalá eu não passe um mau bocado
Oxalá eu não faça tudo à pressa
Oxalá meu Futuro aconteça

Oxalá que a vida me corra bem, oxalá
Oxalá que a tua vida também

Oxalá o Carnaval aconteça, oxalá
Oxalá o povo nunca se esqueça

Oxalá o tempo passe, hora a hora
Oxalá que ninguém se vá embora
Oxalá se aproxime o Carnaval
Oxalá tudo corra menos mal

I hope the headache goes away, I hope
I hope my step doesn’t falter

I hope Carnival happens, I hope
I hope the people never forgets

I hope I don’t walk carelessly
I hope I don’t go through a bad time
I hope I don’t do everything in a hurry
I hope my future happens

I hope my life goes well, I hope
I hope your life, too

I hope Carnival happens, I hope
I hope the people never forgets

I hope time goes by, hour by hour
I hope no one leaves
I hope Carnival draws closer
I hope everything goes less badly