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Today, I painted.

And I got in the groove. It happens occasionally. It's the...thingy. For an hour or two, you can't lay a stroke wrong. Time sort of wanders off. It's cool when it happens. It doesn't happen very often. If I could tap into it at will, they would find me dehydrated, starved, twitching with sleep-deprivation, my wrists ginked up like frost-killed tree roots and my eyes shot with a fine red mesh, sitting in a pile of my own art and/or waste material.

Fortunately for all involved, I can't tap into it at will, and it doesn't last for more than a few hours, and leaves me wrung out like an elderly squeegee afterwards, but that's generally enough. I had only intended to get the painting started--it's one of the illos for Mongoose--and instead I did the entire piece in one mad sprint. And as I worked, the back of my brain went "Pling! Pling! Twang!" and a teeny voice arose from within the army of three-legged frogs on wheels and wombats wandering around with vague expressions and somewhat horrified lizards, and said "Yes. This is it. This is the style. This is where I want my art to go, at least for awhile."

And that is an excellent feeling, although I am not sure if I can trust it, since I get loopy and weird when I'm in that particular painting trance, and I sorta wish I could show y'all, the painting, but, y'know, NDA and all. But I'll post it as soon as I can.

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Henotheism! Yup, that's it!

Mithraism, which you mention, is logically enough worship of the god Mithras, one of the mystery religions popular through the Ancient World. It was a fraternal order, rather concerned with astrology, and which was worshipped by sailors, soldiers, merchants, and other people who tended to find themselves far from home.

Oh, and the book was "Gifts of the Jews" by Cahill (I think--my copy's in the centipede room and thus off limits for another few days...)

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