Dear Friends and Pagani,
Tonight it begins…
I have made to myself a promise to deeply engage my spirituality & spiritual practice, and my religious practices, this year. As I walk many religious roads this is a challenge, but tonight I begin to re-engage with Hekate, and really engage for the first time in a focused Hellenic rite for Her… a couple of days from now I will be engaging in my first formal Noumenia observance…
To start here’s a video to help me get into the mood…
This is the music that I will be listening to after I shower, shave and lay out some nice clothes… from the interesting band Daemonia Nymphe, a Greek band that uses ancient instruments and sticks to largely ancient and Hellenic Pagan themes…(info on their myspace and lastFM pages…)
I will post updates to this post tomorrow a little bit later, with more details.
… a little bit later!
So I started by shaving and cleaning up and changing into some clean, nice clothes. I had set up a candle, an incense stick (lavender) and holder, a length of rope braided into a rough flail, and my Athame, onto an small wooden chest with a purple cloth over it… although I need to get some good saffron yellow cloth since that color is associated with Hekate.
Now the fact that I include my Athame (a ritual dagger from Contemporary Religious Witchcraft) in a ritual to Hekate is going to cause some Hellenic Polytheists some wariness, or sneering condescension from the more fundamentalist minded.
In my researches I have found Daggers and Flails listed as items symbolic or associated with Hekate (I have yet to find any truly evocative Keys, which are also associated with Her) and using my Athame is both practical and symbolic. First off, I just don’t have a huge supply of daggers to chose from and my Athame, in my case an all metal kris-style dagger with a dragon shaped handle is what I have on hand; of course the fact that it is not only symbolic of my will and identity as a Witch helps. One of the most famous Witches and worshipers of Hekate (if not a very good model of healthy relationships or evenness of temper) in ancient literature is Medea; who is also associated with dragons. Then too the Athame is used to draw a Circle, to make boundaries, so it partakes of some of the same limnality that The Night Wandering Maiden does. All of these speak deeply to that core part of the soul that must be engaged for successful religious ritual. So for me, when I am honoring Hekate, this bit of cross-over will work, at least for now… She hasn’t made any objections if She does, or the Lady and Lord do, I will find some other way.
Anyway, I set the altar up, cleaned up while maintaining silence, preparing myself to make an Offering to Her. I lit a candle and listened to the music from the above video. Then while the music was playing I turned off the screen and simply listened for a bit. Once the music stopped I set myself before the altar and raised my arms in the Orens Position, as was done in prayers in the Ancient world; and, reading from a placard I have made I spoke the words of the Orphic Hymn to Hekate and lit the incense in offering to Her. I then read my own invocation/hymn to Her in offering.
I thanked Her for her Guidance and Presence and Blessings in my life as I sought to honor the Theoi and understand and seek the Mysteries. I asked for her guidance in how to approach the upcoming Noumenia and the worship of the Theoi and Spirits.
At this point I had the strong impression that I should get some barley to scatter for the next time I approach any of the Theoi in sacrifice; I also got the sense that She would urge me to wait a while, and study some more of the right practice and of the Gods of the Noumenia, and the Theoi in general, before engaging in that ritual.
I blew out the candle, and simply sat in darkness and silence for a while. I ended my time with Her by simply saying “Thank You.” with my arms in the Orens position once more. Then I left the room by backing out of it to give Her some privacy to enjoy the incense offered unto Her.
I will be reading more of my just recently received copy of Kharis: Hellenic Polytheism Explored and Greek Religion, and doing some more study online. I will also be lighting a stick of incense in memory and honor of the Theoi on the Noumenia rather than the more formal observance I had been contemplating.
That’s all on the topic for now,