April is all by itself a month of some abandon, of spring and all the celebrations that go with it; of life, and sex, and love, of new things growing in the black earth, and as such it should be deemed a month to let go a bit, to be a little wild, to embrace some parts of yourself you might normally suppress…so live a little this April!
Yesterday began the festival of the Magna Mater, the Mother goddess, better known to the Romans as Cybele, and a seven day festival would follow, with the image arriving in Rome from Asia Minor, and feasting and revelry, as they celebrated the life that our mother gives us, and the very fact of that life giving us all the pleasures and trials of the world. It should be a reminder to all that, to paraphrase Anton Lavey, here and now is our Heaven, here and now is our day of joy, just as here and now is our sorrow and despair, and if only all those folk who are so anxious to get into heaven would give a little more thought to the world they’re in now, we might all live a little happier.
We live teetering on a funny line in America, veering from grotesque over indulgences ( like the thousand dollar omelet made with gold dust, or the more mundane triple patty extra cheese double burger) to extreme denials, starving ourselves or spending millions on weight loss and plastic surgery; no, never a happy medium with Americans! This month, surrender a little more to your baser urges, and you may find that they are not the trap they are made out to be. Rarely do your instincts lead you to over indulge, it’s only when you feel the need to deprive yourself, to completely cut off an indulgence like chocolate, or donuts, or soda, that you often swing into the occasional binge, thus perpetuating the destructive cycle. This goes for habits as well as food, like reading trashy novels or watching porn; if you find a way to limit these things without trying to quit cold turkey, you’ll be far more successful at mediating their influence. The needs of the flesh are not less important than the demands of the will, that is a fallacy that causes people to live “in their heads”, as it were, separate from their instincts, which is how god fearing Christians can bomb women’s clinics, or CEO’s can steal billions from ordinary citizens; being in touch with your instincts means hearing your heart as well as your head, and may help you to a clearer view of what is right and what is wrong. We sometimes dismiss the rogue out of hand, but one look at the place of that beloved character in myth and tales and fictions of all sort is that the rogue, whether the bow slinging Robin Hood or the blaster shooting Han Solo, is one who listens to their heart, who may disdain society’s laws, but always knows right from wrong.
Today is also the festival of the goddess Fortuna, LadyLuck, who more people probably venerate today with playing the Lotto and the Mega Millions than ever offered to her in the days of Rome; Luck is a wondrous thing, that gives and takes completely impartially, so do not try to woo her, as many a fool has, but in true pagan spirit welcome the Luck when she comes, and remember it when she goes, accepting the facts that the throw of the dice that rules so much in this world is beyond all but the gods, and in a sense that brings to life one of its greatest pleasures, the undeniable thrill of chance. Think well on a time when unexpected luck led you to a new friend, a new experience, a new knowledge, and even after she moved on, Fortuna left you changed a little bit for the better…and chances are you didn’t even have to but a lottery ticket for the pleasure of dancing with her!
Last but not least, a Happy 86th birthday to a true rogue and gambler, the inimitable Roger Corman, who took chances with the movie biz that made him and all of us richer, with movies that were fun, crazy, inventive, and true creative works from a man who never thought himself better or wiser than the public; get out your copy of The Raven, watch the irrepressible ad-libbing of Peter Lorre, the dignity of Vincent Price, and the quiet menace of Boris Karloff, then watch the duel between the latter two that thrilled us all on the 4:30 Movie those long ago afternoons, and be a child again.