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


A man died, a god was born


Today, David Bowie died at the age 69. He was already a star when I was born and he impacted my life. Some of the songs I grew up with were his, some of tunes and lyrics that still resonate in my mind since my childhood and teens have Bowie’s voice. Not to mention his role in the 1986 movie Labyrinth . And I’m not alone in this. He was truly an artistic giant, multifaceted and multigenerational, a source of inspiration for bands, singers and fashions we all too often take for granted. He paved the way and rose to the stars. So by joining his ancestors, he becomes more than an awesome household god for his family. His influence vibrates far beyond the domestic walls and reaches millions – past, present and future. In many ways, we stand on his shoulders. And by his death, natural and inevitable, a god was born.

So hail, David Bowie! Hail, Artistic Lar! Thank for you your work, thank you for your magic! May you shine bright and bless us with inspiration for generations to come!

A month for Freyr: day 21

It’s the 21st day of the month, it’s time for my monthly devotional. I’ve been writing a lot about Ingui-Frey during these last few weeks, so instead of writing some more, I’m going to post a musical moment in His honour. Let sincere joy be an offering and the emotions pave the way for His touch.

I’m the king of my own land. Facing tempests of dust, I’ll fight until the end. Creatures of my dreams raise up and dance with me! Now and forever, I’m your king!

A month for Freyr: day 8

The Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa once wrote that all love letters are ridiculous and that they wouldn’t be love letters if they weren’t ridiculous. Of course, he meant this in the best of ways, for he also said that those who have never written a love letter are themselves ridiculous. So in the spirit of Pessoa’s words, I decided to add a sort of cheesy musical piece to Frey’s month:

I find that it’s perfect for those moments when you’re ridiculously happy, for no reason or many. Especially if you happen to be standing or laying on a beach, open field, hill top or a forest clearing on a sunny day.

The little thief

Today was the Mercuralia, Mercury’s oldest Roman festival. After breakfast and morning prayers, including the customary offerings on the Ides, I prepared for a small Roman ceremony to the Swift God. I put on white clothes, a piece of cloth to cover my head and gathered a bowl of water to wash my hands, wine, incense, grain and a strawberry, all next to the fireplace. There was also a slice of sweet bread, ’cause for some reason, as I moved around in the kitchen getting things ready, I though Mercury would enjoy it. Turns out He never got it. Why? Because when I left the living room for a brief moment before starting the ceremony, one of my dogs took the opportunity to cunningly steal the slice from the table. I didn’t even try to take it from the little thief: it looked like a perfect Mercuralia moment!

By the way, it happened at the sound of B-52s, which is my favourite soundtrack for a ceremony to the God of Winged Feet. Especially the World’s Green Laughter.

You’ll hear me calling…

I’m going to take a page from the book of Sannion and do something I haven’t done in almost three years: publish a musical post. I guess the fact that I’m not a professional artist is partly to blame for music’s absence in this blog, though offline I take my mp3 player pretty much everywhere and can’t do most of my thinking, writing or working without a soundtrack. Music stimulates the brain, nurtures emotions and religion is, in my experience, highly emotional. The right song in the right moment can lift you up to the heavens, let you feel the Gods’ breath, put you in a frenzy and bring you down to tears as They touch your innermost self. So here’s a little something that may do just that. By the one and only M83.

Let there be hope and joy!

Musical moment #1

I wondered if this was something I should post here, but religion is largely an emotional experience and music can be a tool when contacting the divine or the otherworld. As such, perhaps a track as vibrating as this one has its place in this blog, especially with my brain on hyperactive mode (despite the very high temperatures being felt in Lisbon)…