There’s a man in New Orleans
Who plays rock and roll
He’s a guitar man
With a great big soul
He lays down a beat
Like a ton of coal
He goes by the name of King Creole…
Thank you. Thank you very much.
– Elvis Presley
All who know me well are aware that my mystical roots tend to be deeply Dionysian (as Joseph Campbell characterized Grateful Dead concerts). Yes, last year was my 40th anniversary as a Devotee of the Dead. But several years ago, I was also initiated into the Elvisysian Mysteries, by none other than respected elder of the Craft and the very most High Priestess of His Rites, Deborah Oak.
Thus, as I do each year on this day, I invite you to celebrate this holy and sacred day of the birth of America’s very own Horned God.
As Oak has written, Elvis was a Sun King of the modern age. 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. Oak has created a Temple of Elvis that I invite you to visit.
She 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 [..and it spawned an entire year and a day of devotion right here on my blog! – B...]
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,” Oak 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!
“In the landscape of popular culture, Elvis is the top cat Pagan deity, embodying many aspects of our Gods and standing for Pagan virtues over Judeo-Christian ones. The Christians have a long history of stealing and absorbing the best of Pagan traditions. They took our Yule tree and the eggs of Eostar.
“We can’t let them get away with taking Elvis! The King of Rock and Roll belongs to us. To that purpose, we need to claim him as ours and give him a place in our pantheons and on our altars.”
So Hail and Welcome, Mighty One of the Miraculous Hip Shake. Blessed be, Elvis: Divine Messenger and Awakener, He of the Blue Crescent Moon (he regularly performed at least two different Blue Moon songs that were wildly popular) surrounded by the Six Red Petals and Water encircling the Earth.
We love you tender!