Let Us Now Think Up New Deities…

Maybe I’ve read too much William Burroughs, but I can’t help but think our current spiritual and sacred life lacks inspiration.
I’ve long been wanting to put together a streetart series featuring small, shoebox-size temples to deities appropriate to our current city life complete with an offering ledge for passers-by to use and a description of what it is that each deity does…

Let’s see…what deities would suit today’s North American city? What deity would a street-artist like me or an urban planner (which I hope to become) worship? Feel free to contribute suggestions of your own to the pantheon…

Metronius- Metronius is the spirit of the city’s underground subway network and is believed to inhabit its maze of tunnels. He is typically depicted with four outstretched arms signifying the cardinal directional points, and stylized depictions of Metronius’s quartet of arms often appear at the entrances to subway tunnels. He is also known as the Guider, and when trains derail or power fails it is seen as a sign of his wrath. Sacrifices to Metronius are, without fail, conducted following one of these events in order to regain his favour. All who enter the tunnels and travel anywhere are under the power of Metronius, and those who exit the underground tunnels back onto street level typically knock twice on brass plaques affixed to the inside of subway entrance doors to show their gratitude to him for having safely guided them to their destination.

The subway system has given rise to other deities and cults, and none is so repressed as that of the Farejumper. Known by many names including the Dodger and Fleetfoot, statues of her show her face shrouded by cloth. Before the destruction of her shrines, those who worshipped her would leave offerings at an altar and call upon her to grant them the quickness needed to weave through or slip over the subway’s iron gates undetected and vanish. The more superstitious of the subway’s guards fear her evil-eye and distracting abilities and wear a host of charms to ward them off. It is said that thieves of all kinds offer up a portion of their plunder to her as thanks, and in darkened corners one can often see her totem sign- a stylized checker gate surmounted by an upward-pointing arrow- scrawled on a wall.

Status- Status is worshipped in many forms by a variety of social groups. Among the well-off, he is known as the Protector and by a host of other names and is seen as the defender of their priviledged place. Those with second-floor bedrooms will often mount a small statue in his honour upon the highest pillar in the staircase’s bannister or else upon the wall at the second floor threshhold. He therefore is seen as guarding the house’s inhabitants against a precipitous tumble down the social ladder. Members of the lower-classes will worship Status as the Advancer and the fulfiller of aspirations. He is also seen as a guardian of wealth and a protector against job-loss.


1 Response to “Let Us Now Think Up New Deities…”

  1. January 7, 2010 at 3:50 am


    love love LOVE this! I’m too congested and sickly to think of anything clever to contribute…

    but i dearly want to see these shrines.

    in ottawa




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