One year ago today, we embarked on our journey to Graceland. Yes, today is the holy and sacred day of the birth of America’s very own Horned God. For it has been revealed that Elvis Presley was a Sun King. It is a fact, is it not, that he personally awoke white, middle-class America’s svadhisthana chakra, and shapeshifted through his life from the splendid young Peacock God to the fat, laughing Dagda.
My friend Oak, elder of the Craft and a Most High Priestess of Elvis, writes, “It is becoming increasingly acknowledged that the Elvis phenomenon can only be categorized as the birth of a religious movement. Elvis’s home, Graceland, is one of the most visited and cherished spots in the country. Some visit out of curiosity, but many go as holy pilgrims, to honor and worship the divine spirit of Elvis. Bits of clothes, even single strands of hair (verified by Priscilla) are sold as sacred relics. There have been countless sightings of Elvis after death and many tales abound of miracles attributed to him.
“Unfortunately and inaccurately,” she continues, “most Elvisologists have equated the Elvis religion with Christianity, seeing Elvis as Christ-like figure and Elvis worshippers as similar to early Christians. This is dead wrong. Elvis is clearly a Pagan phenomenon!”
This year, in synchronicity with our own journey, Graceland Mansion celebrates its 70th anniversary. A special exhibit has just been opened for the occasion which will feature a number of holy relics, including the actual receipts for the building of the swimming pool, the sales receipts for the lions that guard the doorway, the 1957 bills for the redecorating Elvis Himself ordered, and the actual deed to the property!
While it is true that one might find some of this amusing (I do), it is also true that each of us has our own personal, mildly eccentric (okay, maybe very eccentric!) sacred objects, fetishes, and private practices that are somewhat outside of the usual definitions of spirituality, yet still connect us with Something Bigger. There are sects and cults of every kind, and they are, I think, mostly good and even necessary for us.
There are the worshippers of the Thunder Gods who gather on their Harley-Davidsons and travel around together. There are those who are dedicated to the Gods Set, Anubis, and Sirius, and so their lives revolve around their love of dogs, while others are in service to Bast and their cats.
Besides my somewhat accidental ordination as a Priestess of Elvis, I am a lifelong initiate of the modern Dionysian cult, as Joseph Campbell himself declared us, that finds ecstatic enlightenment through the music and concerts of the Grateful Dead.
My sister-in-law is an internationally famous Priestess of Bridge and one of my best friends is a world-class Handmaiden Warrior (some might call her a fanatic) of Scrabble. And don’t even get me started talking about the Cult of Knitter Witches!
As our journey comes full circle today, I invite you to set aside some time to consider the ways that the Graces have touched your life this year.
But also, I encourage you to contemplate and embrace the magical parts of your life that lie outside the realm of “serious” and even “normal.” Even though we’re Witches and Pagans, and are already pretty distant from the mainstream religious norm, we each need our own ways to enter the joyful realms of the wild and possibly silly (to outsiders).
We must, I think, find those wonderful and magical passions that are our very own, to which we surrender willingly, in order to become transcendent.
In the name of Elvis, may this day be dedicated to doing so.
And may we dare to be dorky.