A Trip to See Eris
Seeking a Goddess in All the Wrong Places
-Michael J Dangler
Not everyone gets to visit their goddess. I'm one lucky sonuvabitch. Eris is always visiting me.
Last weekend, I took a Saturday drive. Where to, you might ask? Why, Eris, Ohio, of course, in order to visit Eris.
Eris is located about 15 minutes outside of Urbana, Ohio. It's kind of in the middle of nowhere, way out in the country, really. Plus, you need a really good map to find it. I ended up requiring a USGS map in order to finally pin down Eris' location. Turns out, Eris is at the crossroads of Eris Rd. and Millerstown-Eris Rd.
The problem is, Eris isn't actually a town. Eris is, rather, simply a place-name. It's in Concord Township. The USGS map gave me an exact location, though, and a pretty good road map will get you into the general vicinity, though every "pretty good road map" seems to place Eris, OH in a different place.
Well, on Saturday morning, I hopped in my car, five maps (just in case) including the USGS map in hand, as well as a compass just in case I needed to come up with a real, honest to Goddess orienteering to find my way there. This was a good choice.
I also brought a golden delicious apple, a button for sacrifice, and the concerns my LiveJournal Friends requested I take. And, of course, a camera to record as much as possible.
I had no idea what Eris would be like, but I envisioned lots of interesting things. I'm sure you do, as well. Because of this, I encourage you to indulge in those ideas first, before reading further. If you don't you'll lose those images forever when you see what it actually is like.
I noticed a few weird things as I drove, and saw my first Chaostar on the back of a Chevy Blazer in Urbana. I knew I was headed the right direction at that point. I also saw a hawk sitting on some power lines, so if you're into augury, there's something to whet your whistle until I get to the end.
I drove into town around 11 AM, after an hour and a half drive from Columbus to Eris, OH.
There, I saw the most beautiful thing I've seen in a long time:
I suspect that someone will turn that into an LJ icon very quickly.
My car was now on the corner of Eris Rd. and Millerstown-Eris Rd. This place is just a nexus of chaos. If you don't believe me, go stand in the middle of the intersection.
On the other corner of the intersection, you'll find the above sign.
This intersection is a four-way stop, and there was a small place to pull off. I did this (you'll see my green Saturn Ion in most of the pictures, next to the intersection), and then grabbed my maps to verify my location. I took the USGS map and the compass, and my camera, and went to work.
First, I verified where I was. Following that, I set off to take pictures of this Mecca.
Here is the approach I came from: this is what Eris looks like when you stand on the east and look west.
Here is Eris when you stand in the north and look south.
Here is Eris if you stand in the west and look east.
Here is Eris if you stand in the south and look north.
As you can see there isn't much to see in the "town proper." In each picture, you will notice that really all there is is the stop sign. Eris is not even a one-stoplight town: Eris is more of a one-sign town.
As I wandered about, taking pictures and trying to get my bearings, there were a few people around. Generally, they ignored me, but the map caught their eye. It's a very large map, and it looks official. One man asked me if I was looking for piping. "No," I replied. "I'm looking for a Goddess. She's about five-foot ten inches, probably wearing leather, and has some pretty wild red hair. Do you know Her?"
I've never been "stared at with mouth agape" before. No more questions were asked.
I looked around for the best spot to do ritual, but as Eris doesn't have a city line (or even a sign that says "Welcome to Eris" on it, which would have been stolen by roving bands of Discordians, anyway), I chose to do the rite at the foot of the sign for Eris Rd.
I set up my altar, which was pitifully small: one golden delicious apple and a button saying Queen of Chaos for sacrifices. But the sign made a great Axis Mundi.
I pulled out the concerns, and listed them as follows:
I suspect that Eris will be visiting each and every one of you with your requested blessings.
Proud of myself, I stood up, and looked around. No one was out, but I figured I'd probably outstayed my welcome. I grabbed my maps and went to the car, and drove off, stopping on the way at the nearest church. There was a graveyard there, and I just had to visit.
Could that be the location of the First Church of Eris? I don't know, but I like to think so. This was on the hill in the middle of a bunch of older graves, so it made me wonder how the Church fit there. I wandered for an hour, and finally was about to leave when I came across this gem:
Rest in peace, Dude. Rest in peace.
And that was my trip to Eris. I drove home, enjoying the scenery. On my way back to the interstate, though, I came across several bird flights. One was a hawk. The next was a crane. Finally, there was a flight of sparrows careening out of control. All in all, good omens for me.
I love Eris.