“When the time comes to you at which you will be forced at last to utter the speech which has lain at the center of your soul for years, which you have, all that time, idiot-like, been saying over and over, you’ll not talk about the joy of words. I saw well why the gods do not speak to us openly, nor let us answer. Till that word can be dug out of us, why should they hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?”
― C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces
This past weekend, for the first time we nearly had a full conclave of the Magistrates and Mystagogues of the Naos Antinoou. Since the establishment of this leadership model two years ago, our leadership has always been split between the East and West Coasts of the United States. Three of us find our homes in the Seattle and Portland areas of the Pacific Northwest, while the other two are in Baltimore and D.C. So, this near-conclave would have been cause enough for celebration, finally being able to break bread and share libation with friends and fellow devotees. But there was another occasion for this gathering, the initiation of our Magistrate Merri-Todd Webster into the Mysteries of Antinous, our first Mystai since we reformed and rededicated this group as the Naos Antinoou. Merri-Todd has been an ardent devotee for numerous years at this point, and has written many of the poems, hymns, and prayers that comprise our liturgy, so really it was only a matter of time (and lots and lots of planning!) before she was welcomed formally into the cult and mystery of our Beautiful and Beloved Boy, Antinous. And what a pleasure we had in doing so!
She flew to Seattle on Thursday, and was in Otter and I’s care for the next couple of days, showing her the sights and sounds of our beloved city and region, including Pike’s Place Market, our local witchcraft and occult shoppes, and the ever glamorous watering holes on Capitol Hill. She even got to experience some of the extremes this region is famous for cold rains followed by bright and shining days. On Satyrday, with the help of some friends from my coven in Kitsap, Otter, Sister Krissy Fiction, and I transformed a local community meeting hall into a beautiful temple, with dark and frightening tunnels leading deep down to the underworld. And it was there she journeyed, to come face to face with our God in the most intimate way we yet know how to create in this world. It was beautiful to witness and truly an honor to weave and welcome our new Sister into the fold of these Mysteries.
So, without further ado, please join us in welcoming our newest initiate into the Mysteries of Antinous. Welcome to our oracular queer death cult of sex and beauty, Merri-Todd – Hope you survive the experience!