Foreword: This post is by Markos Gage. It is semi-personal, semi-official. Some views may not be agreed with the entire collective of the Thiasos. However what is written in bold is recognised as official Thiasos tradition.
I suppose most know what has gone down in the Thiasos since last chat (16/10/14)
But for those who do not know: there was an announcement of animal sacrifice, that it is part of our tradition and it will be respected. This should not be shocking to members as Sannion has spoken about it many, many times beforehand. However this has resulted in a furore online in the whole polytheist/pagan community. People are being forced to face hard questions about themselves, about the Thiasos, about their membership, about how they view the gods. Members have left us. Perhaps most importantly our archiboukolos: Sannion, has left.
Sannion has decided to disconnect himself from the Thiasos community. He has stepped down. This puts all remaining members in an awkward position. Our teacher and sole holder of the mysteries has walked out of the classroom.
Before Galina posted this, the same thoughts and reaction that she expresses was felt by myself, it was not about the animal sacrifice to me, but about the complete disregard of the gods and our ancestors by those that started flinging insults and threats. I considered leaving the Thiasos and returning to solitary practice for the same reasons she expresses in that post. But I’m still here. Why? Because despite my personal disappointment of all of this, there are members who wish to continue and even though we have lost our bull herder there are bulls amongst us listeners who wish to continue honouring the gods in the Starry Bull tradition. As a collective of learners perhaps we’ll achieve what was planned by Sannion. He has given blessings for us to continue, there is a massive amount of information for us to continue doing so and no reason why we can’t succeed.
So let’s get this over with:
Animal sacrifice is part of the Thiasos of the Starry Bull tradition – there is no compromise.
If you do not like reading that then leave. There are other groups, mystery traditions and organisations you can be part of if you disagree with that statement, if you feel you are knowledgeable enough you can even start your own cult. I have no problem with that, nor do I care, nor will I join you. If you have a problem with our opinion on this subject, go express it on your own space, on your own blogs/websites/facebook pages. It will not be tolerated on this post.
Animal sacrifice is part of the Thiasos of the Starry Bull tradition. Yes. But this does not mean that we expect members to go killed animals personally. In fact I think it’s safe to say that we are all in agreement that it should not be done unless absolute respect is guaranteed to the animals wellbeing and are given to the gods in a safe, experienced and professional manner. If I personally find out that members are cruel or inhumane to any animal I will not only ostracize them but report them to the authorities.
Yeah, that’s a threat and a real one.
That is all I’m going to say on the matter, you can follow the links at the bottom of this post to get a clearer idea and/ or differing opinions that has been discussed so far.
Now is time for the Thiasos itself. Since Sannion’s announcement there has been behind the scene discussions with some members who have volunteered to continue to run the show. Really the structure of this has not altered that much at all, it’s still the same as it has been in the past year. We’re being cautious of what name you wish to apply to this group of dedicated members as we’re no different from other members in terms of initiation (we’re all still akousmatikoi, ‘listeners’) but we’re the active members that moderate and run the various websites, facebook pages, key contributors to this website, and team members of the various colour groups etc. Something I’d personally like to see is a degree of democracy, where other akousmatikoi should consider their voices equal.
Over the next couple of weeks, months even, we’ll be doing some surveys, polls etc. We’ll be calling out to find who has left and who wish to continue. We’ll restructure to cater the fact that the mysteries are currently not part of this community and refocus on training and education on Bacchic Orphism and the systems that Sannion has established for us.
If you have suggestions, recommendations, general comments leave them here or on facebook. Please keep it civil.