It’s been a month(!) since I got back from my two-week vacation to Italy and Greece.
I’ve been meaning to update my blog but as soon as I got back I began three-weeks of being very busy. I had sessions most days and was trying to balance the demands of that with the demands of several things I needed to attend to in my personal life.
Only in this last week have things slowed down. I have been spending the increased free time reevaluating my priorities, which included taking care of other matters and engaging in some quality self-care.
But, for now, let me tell you about my trip.
Preparing this post was an onerous task. I took over 3,000 photos over those two weeks. I went through each one and noted which I wanted to include here.
This post won’t mention everything about my trip. Just things that are relevant to this blog. This will mean there will be a lot of skipping ahead. Though seeing all these sites and art and history was a turn-on for me, most doesn’t belong here.
One relevant thing which will be mentioned a lot: Goddesses. You see, worshiping Goddesses was common before the the rise of the Abrahamic faiths, which were heavily Patriarchal and treated — and continue to treat — women pretty much like shit.
I was absolutely energized to see all the traces of Goddesses. In temples and sculpture and dedications. And it has been very much on my mind since I’ve returned.
My first stop was Rome.
The first day was just adjusting to the time zone change. Sleeping. And eating. And sleeping some more.
The next day, I visited the Vatican to see the Sistine Chapel and some of the museum.
As I walked down the hall, I immediately noticed this status of Ares and his very small penis. I always take note of small penises on statues. (And there are plenty.)
This appears to be a problem for Ares. There is another statue of him in the Louvre and he has a very small penis there, too. I think this affirms why men become “gods of war” or whatever. It’s an expression of Small Dick Syndrome.
I passed through the gift shop and saw this bust of Athena (which I considered buying but She was prohibitively heavy):
I’ve said this before, but if you didn’t catch it: I loved Athena when I was a child. I identified with Her (and still do). She was a lot more interesting to me than the stories of the Christian God I was being taught. (I can only imagine how I, or other children, would have been shaped had I/we been taught to revere Her instead.)
In the 3rd or 4th grade, I dressed up as Her for “be your favorite book character” day. I tried to make something like a battle-peplos out of a tablecloth; I coated my round, convex snow-sled with gold spray-paint to fashion a shield; and I asked a teacher if I could borrow the spear on which her American flag hung (she said yes). While my classmates were dressing as silly kid shit, I was fucking Athena.
Back to my trip.
Here’s what’s left of another tiny-cock(less) man found around the site of what’s left of Domitian’s Stadium in Rome:
Maybe it’s Ares…?
And for the foot fetishists, all that remains of this statue from the same site:
(If one of you fetishists would have been with me, I would have made you kiss them.)
Here, in the Roman Forum, is the remaining bit of the Temple of Vesta, Goddess of the hearth:
From another angle:
As you can see, it was a circular temple. It was about 30 feet (15m) in diameter and it contained the sacred flame of Vesta, which was kept burning by the attending Vestal Virgins. They believed that an “eternal” flame made Vesta happy and that She’d bestow good fortune upon the city of Rome in return.
Here is the remains of the small shrine to Venus Cloacina:
“Cloacina” is the Etruscan Goddess of the Sewer, and the Cloaca Maxima, which means “Great Drain”, was the sewage system of ancient Rome (it was one of the world’s first). Venus was then paired with this Goddess. Perhaps because She governed beauty and pleasure and you can’t have either without a good working sewage system, can you now? This shrine was built to honor how Venus Cloacina kept the city and its people clean and healthy.
In comparison, from a gift shop on Mount Vesuvius, here are some guys playing with their dicks:
So, women sustain cities and men play with their little dicks. Sounds about right.
Then, off to Pompeii… which was known for it’s lupanari…
…so much that they put cocks on street signs to direct people there:
And here we are…
Inside were frescoes that survived the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE. These were above the entrances to rooms and depicted various sexual positions. Here was one:
And here is one of the rooms:
Yes, that is a stone bed. Obviously they would have had something more comfortable over it. This is just a type of ancient mattress and box-spring.
Before I left, I saw some sexy things from one of the gift shops, which I naturally had to buy:
Here’s one of the photos of the frescoes from the book:
A Tale As Old As Time: he looks like he doesn’t know what he’s doing and she looks bored. 😉
And of course I had to get this:
…because if there is a magnet of a two-thousand-year-old fresco showing a guy licking a woman’s pussy, I must have it.
Then, I went to the island of Thira, also known as Santorini. Not much sexy to report here, but here I am at the excavation site in Akrotiri:
Akrotiri was a thriving port of the Minoan civilization. It was at this site that some beautiful frescoes were discovered. These frescoes date from the Bronze Age, circa 17th century BCE. I bought a reproduction of one of them from a store on Thira:
I also bought a reproduction of a statue of Astarte:
(I had the things I bought from this store shipped home and the guy forgot to send Her stand. He said it’s coming.)
I also bought this 12″ reproduction of the Minoan Snake Goddess:
The following items were purchased from a little old lady on my walk from my hotel to the town of Fira. Many stores sold these, of which there were several themes and styles. They were sold as “reproductions”. I’m not sure if they mean literal reproductions or if they mean emulations of ancient styles.
A small bronze statue of Artemis:
This resembles some of the bronze statues of the Greek Geometric era, circa 8th century BCE.
This is a small, clay amphora featuring Artemis:
And this a clay oenochoe (wine jug) featuring Athena with her owl:
The tags on this pottery said they are guaranteed as “handmade copies of objects from 6th-5th century BCE.”
Also, while I visited Oia (a town in the north part of the island), I met this dog named Janusz:
He doesn’t have anything to do with this blog (unless those of you with inner pets can relate to this), but he was a memorable part of my visit to Thira. He loved attention but was almost too shy to ask for it. He came and stood right next to me but wouldn’t look at me. Once I started petting and talking to him, he pushed himself into my leg, and when I knelt down he put his head on my thigh, only then would he peer up bashfully and look at me a little, like this:
Aw, sweet Janusz.
Then, I was off to Athens…
I had a view of the Acropolis from my hotel room. A zoom in:
I could look at it while lying in bed. 🙂
But why look at it in bed when you can go for a visit?
It was hot this day, and, as you can see, there were no clouds in the sky. Silly me, I did not put sunscreen on. I think I forget that I’m subject to this thing mortals call “sunburn”.
The Acropolis is the entirety of the area on this large hill. It literally means “uptown”. It was nearly entirely dedicated to Athena, who was the patron Goddess and namesake of Athens.
The Parthenon, the largest temple (behind me in the photo above), was a feat of engineering at the time of its construction. It took only 11 years to complete. It was actually a replacement for an earlier temple to Athena. The first, which was adjacent to the Erechtheion, was destroyed by boys during the Persian invasion in 480 BCE. Shortly thereafter, they begun construction on the temple you see the remains of today. The surviving structures were all originally spearheaded by Pericles, a statesman, general, and man who honored his Goddess.
The damage to the south side (seen on the left side of the photo) was due to what else: more boys fighting.
Another temple in the Acropolis is the Erechtheion. It was named after some hero, even though it was dedicated to Athena and Poseidon.
This is another replacement after the destruction of the first temple to Athena Pollas (Her “protectress” form). This is the view of the East side, which was apparently the entrance to Athena’s section. (Poseidon’s was on the north). I don’t know why Poseidon got a nod with this reconstruction. Maybe it was to appease him when Athena kicked his ass in the fight for Athens.
Here is a closer look of the porch of the Caryatids:
These are all replicas. The originals were removed and are now on display in the Acropolis Museum — except one original which was stolen in the early 19th century by the greedy English Lord Elgin. He took Her from Her home because he wanted to decorate his house with Her, and other artifacts from the site. He eventually sold Her to the British Museum where She now resides. (She really belongs with the others in Athens.)
Here are the originals, minus the one stolen (I marked what would be Her place with a red square):
Note the broken one in the back. This was when Lord Elgin tried to steal a second one. And when he had problems, tried to have Her cut into pieces to facilitate Her removal. This didn’t work and so She was smashed. This seems a good metaphor for the Patriarchal Male who doesn’t honor women: if trying to own them doesn’t work, cut them to pieces to reassemble as they see fit. If that doesn’t work? Destroy them.
Here is the temple to Athena Nike, built around 420 BCE:
“Nike” means “victory”. Athena Nike was Her battle-victorious form, and She was prayed to for success in war, or any other struggle, I imagine.
Here is the view when coming in the propylaea, the entrance to the Acropolis:
So: not one but three temples to Athena on the top of a massive hill that overlooks the city. And when destroyed by war, the temples were faithfully rebuilt. And even now Athens has a law that restricts how tall new buildings can be because the view of the Acropolis cannot be impeded.
Athena was clearly loved and revered.
What about Zeus? Hephaestus? Ares? Some of the other Olympiads?
Oh, they got temples. Down below.
Zooming in from atop the Acropolis…
What’s left of Zeus’s:
His temple is in pretty good condition, actually. It’s because it was used by people over time, such as a Christian church.
And all that’s left of Ares’s:
And for perspective, here is the Acropolis when viewed from the Athenian Agora, where the above two temples are located:
I find a lot of meaning in this.
I then visited the Acropolis museum, which includes many of the artifacts from the site, both from the structures themselves and excavations. One such find was this dedication from the sanctuary of Aphrodite Pandemos:
It explains how the dedicant, “…odoros”, makes an offering to Aphrodite from his first earnings and asks Her to grant him plentiful goods.
There were several other dedication stones like this in the museum. I believe the rest were all to Athena. They all read similarly: [name] dedicates this to [Goddess] from his/her earnings hoping She will grant them some kind of favor. I wanted to take photos of the others, but they were in a section of the museum where photography was prohibited.
See, folx, men (and women), used to give their money to Goddesses (i.e. Dominant Women) in hopes of being granted favor. This is an old tradition.
If you enjoyed My post and wish to honor this tradition, feel free to make an offering to Me.
And this concludes My entry! I had an amazing time and, while I’m glad to once again be enjoying the comforts of home, I left inspired and renewed. I’ve been energized by it since I’ve come back!