Lifting the Aged Veil

And the boy is more beautiful than
she expected—
the old god more beautiful than
she wanted him to be.
Unworldly, unlined, glassy almost
sinister for the symmetry of
the eyes,

shining, lithe
like the poets’ conception.

Will you have me young?
he asks.
It won’t mean I love you 
with less 
millennia behind me.
Will you have me young?

he twines
his fingers into her hair.


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Hermes: “Will You Have Me Young?”


Poking around the Internet yesterday, I came across this photo and haven’t been able to get it out of my head. Usually, Hermes presents himself to me as somewhere in his mid-40’s. I know he is relatively young among the gods and I know, as the conception of Hermes evolved, youth was often ascribed to him, but, for some reason, that has been difficult for me to wrap my head around.

Then, this picture.

To me, it radiates a Hermes feeling in all his god-goes-to-earth “gloriosity” while, at the same time, presenting a youthful face that belies the aeons it has weathered.

A long time ago, Hermes asked me, “Will you have me young?” He meant, would I still accept him as a powerful god worthy of worship if he appeared in his youthfulness—would I still be able to take him seriously? Of course, I answered, “Yes,” but, up until now, I have only been able to grasp glimpses of what it means for his full measure of power to roil under the unlined flesh of a youthful body. Putting the concept together with a mental image eluded me. I was willing to understand, but not ready.

Then, this picture… and my understanding begins to dawn.

The gods are good that they will sometimes appear altered so we may understand them better in the beginning—so we will recognize them and not be afraid. I am grateful for that in my experience with Hermes, but the work is mine to do. If I wish to understand him, or any god, at a more than superficial level, It is my job to open my understanding as far as I can. Little visual aids found “coincidentally” are always a great help.


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If Hermes’ lean and glorious body were the vast Mojave desert, Las Vegas would be his golden erection.


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Denizen of the Ice-Hot Desert

imgp0129It started with green chiles.

A beloved friend of mine and I were eating some kind of delicious mystery meat all mixed with copious amounts of green chiles. The food element was graphic—lots of food-porn shots of the glistening meat and chiles. The taste was piquant. The meat was like a base note for the chiles, but the chiles were the star.

She and I were in a small adobe house in a desert somewhere—an extremely barren desert—endless white sky, no mountains in sight, only the occasional sagebrush or tumbleweed to break the flatness. Although it was blazing hot outside, (but more the type of “heat” you would get from dry ice—felt as heat but actually cold), and although there was a fire in the kitchen fireplace where the meat and chiles were stewing, the inside of the kitchen was comfortably cool and dark. We ate our meal sitting around a small, round wooden table near the fire which, although it had been built with wood as fuel, flamed blue and purple with hints of white flashing at its base. The food had been served to us in a single, very large wooden bowl. We ate out of it together, using long-handled, thick, and flat-ish spoons. We were greedy about eating our fill, but not greedy with each other. We wanted to make sure we got every last bite, but at the same time, wanted to make sure each of us got an equal and filling amount.

While we ate, a dark figure squatted in the corner near the open door. He had an ornate basket in front of him decorated with geometric patterns of red and green accented with blue woven into yellow straw. He rested both hands lightly on the basket lid, as if keeping something inside. He wore a worn thin and wrinkled but clean white button-up shirt, open at the collar and not tucked in. His pants were black and also worn thin, but clean. He had thick, black, wavy hair with an ever-so-slight touch of silver. His skin was silhouette black—face, hands, and bare feet. His eyes were negative space white. His fingernails, black-silver as his hair, were long and pointed.

Squatted in the corner that way, he was not menacing at all even though it seems he should have been. He was simply observing, not lying in wait. There seemed to be a real loneliness about him, as if he had not seen a traveller in this place, let alone two, in literal ages. One felt a great power emanating from him, but held back deep within. It seemed he had other duties, an official identity, but he had been silenced and relegated to this, not for wrongdoing, but for human fear, misconception, and attendant prejudice.

He could have grown massive and wild, and consumed my friend and I whole in a heartbeat, but he chose instead to nourish us.

When we finished the meal, she and I went to a basin over which there was a rusty water pump. The water, though crystal clean, was scarce, yet somehow between the two of us, we managed to get both the bowl and the spoons spotless. We placed them on a sideboard to dry, then turned to leave. As we approached the door, the entity’s gaze followed us. We stood to face him. My friend bowed and said, “Thank you Sir for your hospitality.” He nodded slowly in respectful acknowledgment. I reached out and stroked his silver-black hair, moving my hand down to caress his left cheek. When I did it, he closed his eyes and leaned in a little. Such ache. When he opened his eyes again, I whispered, “Thank you,” and smiled. He went to smile back, but it was more like the baring of teeth than a smile. I understood the intent.

My friend and I took each other’s hands and walked out into the endless desert, somehow moving up into the white sky. There was a great flash of white light, and we were in another place.


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That Hermes, Dionysos, and I
could lie
down in a bed together
just to lie

to speak of inner things
to lie
to lie
this bed bears no jealousy.


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My Stunning, Beautiful God

hermes-1I found myself in The House on Doheny—the contemporary home that is my usual rendezvous point for meetings with Hermes. It was early morning and light poured in through the sheer glass walls. The ocean in the distance serenely lapped the shore. The city below glowed pink in the early light as its million residents stirred to start the day.

I walked into the bedroom to put my things down and there found Hermes lying on the bed, nude, after just having bathed. He was dewy, awash in the morning light—his skin, his hair, his whole body glowing gold. His hands were cupped behind his head. His eyes were soft, looking at nothing in particular. He was as peaceful and contented as it is possible for any creature to be in this or any other world.

If I wrote that he was beautiful, it would be a gross understatement. Beautiful, however, is the only word I have for it. He was pure god. He was pure masculinity. He was pure sexuality. He was pure light. He was pure beauty.

He was the very picture of what true masculinity is: No need to conquer or exert power over anyone or anything. Assured. Enough in and of himself. A peacock fanning his feathers for no other reason than that they are beautiful and it pleases him that they are beautiful.

I was stunned still and silent. I was awed. Seeing him lying there like that, for no one’s sake but his own, is one of the most religious experiences I have ever had.

Beauty. Beauty. Beauty… My god. My stunning, beautiful god.


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Aldous Huxley on Godhood

Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley

All gods are homemade, and it is we who pull their strings, and so, give them the power to pull ours.

-Aldous Huxley, Island (1962)

The logistics of godhood is something with which I am deeply fascinated. This quote strikes at the core.

(And honestly, Aldous Huxley is such a hottie, both intellectually and physically, I don’t even know how he was able to stand himself.)


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