A begining…

Dear Friends,

My Noumenia, a simple beginning to the Lunar Month as Hecate’s Deipnon (1) is the end…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I shower, and put on fresh clothes.  I gather the implements and clean them.  I begin.

I light the tea-light candle and place it in the stoneware scented oil warmer that serves as Hestia’s altar within my kitchen.  Making the first offering of some Olive Oil and dried Rosemary.  Having set the offering table I kindle a charcoal from the flam of Hestia’s tea-light, having tried to light it with a match and failed… yet when kindled from Her (for She IS the hearth and the hearth fires) it flares and sparks to life.

I place the coal into the fresh dish of salt that serves to hold the incense and coal ashes and place that upon a plate on the table.  I breath onto the coal to help it along to red hot life while praying…

“With the breath of my body,

And the work of my hands,

I praise the ancient Gods,

I praise the Gods of Olympus,

I praise the Gods that wander Gaia’s green self,

I praise the Gods of the Underworld, (2)

I praise All of the Gods and Guardian Spirits of this house.”

The words and phrases are interwoven and spoken repeatedly as I kindle the coal to life.   When it is fully alive with the fire I sprinkle some of the dried Rosemary onto it, letting the smoke purify me and my home and the offerings.  I speak the words once more.

The offerings for this, my first Noumenia in the new home are simple…

I take up a cup of Water.

“I make an offering of Water,

Cold Clean Water, Drinkable Water,

More than all too many see in a day.

I make an offering of Water unto the Gods and Guardian Spirits of this home,

I thank you for your blessings,

May you never thirst.”

(the offering is poured into an offering cup)

I take up the measuring cup of Oatmeal in my hands…

“I make an offering of grain, of Oatmeal,

A meal’s worth, more than all too many see in a day.

I make an offering of Oatmeal unto the Gods and Guardian Spirits of this home,

I thank you for your blessings, Even as I seek to learn how to better honor them,

May you never hunger.”

(the offering is poured into another offering cup)

“Thank you, and Blessed Be!”

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Not the most formal or recon-focused of Noumenia, but then I would tend to label myself a Hellenicly influenced Polytheist these days.  I also have a lot of irons in the metaphorical fire and need to do some more research on this practice…

I decided to wait a day after Hecate’s Diepnon, since I not only needed a day (or night) of rest, but I also wanted to wait until the crescent was at least astrologically present.  Then too I needed a day to do some laundry so I would have some clean clothes to wear!

Blessings to you all,

Pax

NOTES

(1) aka “Hecate’s Supper” where an offering is left at a Cross-roads.

(2) Don’t Panic U.U.’s and other non-Pagan readers, this isn’t as woo-woo or dark a phrase as it might sound to Abrahamicaly influenced ears.  Polytheistic cultures, like the ancient Greeks, tend to see the Gods as being everywhere.  Including Underground.  In the case of Ancient Greece, and some of the other Polytheistic paths, the Gods of the Underworld were a mixture of Fertility and Secrets and Afterlife and Wealth related Deities and associations.

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Holy Crow! This S*** is REAL!?!

(or, That Night at The Cross-Roads pt 1)

Dear Friends,

This very interesting post, by John H. Halstead over at Humanistic Paganism,  takes a look at the tendency to make the Gods into an entirely psychological phenomenon.   Some of the ideas in the post, including the idea of The Gods as something that not only brings wonder or inspiration, but also awe… that the Gods are something that happens to us.  This discussion reminded me of the first time I had an experience that convinced me the Gods are real.

(Those unnerved or wary of that statement are invited to re-read the Intro to this series of posts)

It was in the mid-1990’s after my mom had passed away and I was living in downtown Anchorage and working in Midtown.

My dear friend Lady Rhaevyn, who had dedicated me to the path and was very much a friend/mentor to me at the time… we ended up drifting apart for a while but then drifted back together as close friends and equals… but that was in the future.  Inspired, I suspect, by her now ex-husbands wild stories she had recently given me a sealed letter and told me to hold onto it for her and if “something” happened to her I was to give it to her parents. Looking back it seems awfully dramatic and perhaps a little silly, but at the time I was deeply worried, and she was short on giving me any details.

Not knowing what else to do I turned to the Gods, or rather a Goddess.

I was new to Magick and Wicca and was reading all sorts of things about the ancient Gods.  In particular I was intrigued with the Celtic Gods at that point because I am of Irish and Scottish descent and so had a blood-line connection to the Celtic Powers.  I decided to call upon the Morrighan.  In approaching this ancient, and fearsomely reputationed Goddess I made some decisions… it should be done outdoors, it should be done late at night, and light on the props… just words and Will and invocation and prayer, and for some reason I felt it should be at a Cross-roads.  It seemed to me that she took part in the issues of liminality and decisions and irrevocability that the Cross-roads take part in.  And Cross-roads are a widely reputed place of magick.

At the time I was working the night shift and walked home along some of the bike trails near West High School and Westchester Lagoon.  West High-school stands upon a bluff overlooking Downtown, where the whole downtown area sunk down closer to sea-level during the 1964 Earthquake.   Anchorage is blessed with a number of public parks interconnected with walking and bike trails, including the Chester Creek Green Belt… which ends at the above mentioned Lagoon.  The green-belt is sort of a border land between mid-town and down-town Anchorage and walking along the trail from West High-school towards downtown.  As you walk down the hill you have the mountains to the East of you, as they surround Anchorage, the Sky above you, and the River and Green-belt around you and Cook Inlet to the West of you.   just after you reach the base of the hill you come to a place where 3 walking paths/bike trails meet, in view of Earth and Sky and Sea (the traditional 3 elemental realms of Celtic myth).  Knowing of the importance of triads in Celtic myth and spirituality, I decided that my invocation should include three callings.

So one night, before leaving work, I washed my hands to ritually cleanse myself.    I walked from work to the top of the Hill, calming myself and trying to focus myself on the business at hand.  To breathe and center and prepare myself to prayer and magick.  Once I reached the top of the hill, I paused and adjusted my backpack, and started down the Hill knowing I was approaching sacred ground.  I spoke my invocations, calling Her by here many Ancient titles and pronouncing a few of Her names in mangled but well-meant Irish.  I spoke of my friendship, my fears, my hopes that She would protect my dear friend.  I spoke from my heart.   I finished my prayers and pleas as I entered the Cross-Roads…

There was an intense onrushing of Power and Presence, as deep and powerful and ancient as the Ocean and its tides or the majestic Mountains of my childhood.  I felt as if I was experiencing the approach of a Tidal Wave.  I stood there feeling as if I was being picked up and examined from every angle. Held carefully is strong yet gently cupped hands. Scrutinized to the deepest part of my head and heart and soul. Then there was a sense of…being judged, weighed and examined… a sense of decision,  and then She was gone.

I was left alone, at a cross-roads between Earth and Sky and Sea… adrift and stunned having truly ~experienced~ a God for the first time…

 

Intro

Libertas (whilst written before this series was conceived of, it fits a little too perfectly into the theme to be ignored…)

The Witches Goddess

The WitchFather

The Morrigan (this Post)

Hecate (And part 2 of That Night at The Crossroads)

Dionysus

The Honored and Beloved Dead

Spirits of the World Around Us

Brief note from a Blogger Bear with a lot going on…

Hey Friends,

Work schedule and informative meetings at Church and Ushering/Greeting @ Services this morning, and helping the increasingly mis-named Social Hour hosts (Rev. Kathy has suggested Coffee House – there are folks hanging out and being social in our Fellowship hall all through the 2 Services time window lately, even with the 3 religious education tracks (1 Green, 1 Social, and 1 Informational) … which – of course- serves to remind me I haven’t posted much about my U.U. faith community or how (for me) Unitarian Universalism and Paganism intersect… will be working to correct that.
Peace,

Pax

Reinventing The Wheel… Notes

Dear Friends,

Since folks are encouraging this project idea… I figured a few notes on Reinventing the Wheel were in order.

As I mentioned in my last post I am feeling the continuing need to realign myself with the natural world around me and figure out ways of honoring that relationship in my celebrations as a Pagan and Polytheist.   For my U.U. and non-Pagan literate readers, here’s some info about The Wheel of The Year.  It isn’t the only sacred Calendar used within Contemporary Paganism, there are many faiths and philosophies involved after all, but it is one of the more widespread and the one that I relate too.

I am starting with the Solstices and Equinoxes, as they are there wherever you are.  Indeed as a Wicca influenced Witch and Pagan in the 90’s and early Aughts living in Anchorage Alaska USA I was often struck by how it seemed silly to look at the Solstices and Equionoxes as Lesser Sabbats when they were such a dominant part of the natural cycle up there!  Then too the fact that the Cross-Quarters (the other 4 Holidays in the Wiccan and Neo-Pagan Wheel of The Year) were not in alignment with the local seasons…  It wasn’t until 2005 on a road-trip from Florida to Wisconsin that I got to experience Samhain as a harvest time for example.

So the Solstices and Equinoxes are in.  As are Full Moon’s for my Wicca-inspired worship, and 3 days from the astrological new moon… 1st day- for Hecate (dark of the moon) and Ancestor stuff, 2nd day- for The Noumenia (honoring the Hellenic Gods and Household Gods), and 3rd day- for the Agathos Daemon or Good Spirit that watches over us.

(Daemon is an old Greek word meaning ‘Spirit’, almost anything can have a Spirit and in the ancient view there were good spirits and bad spirits, early Christianity demonized the Spirits … except where they co-opted them by turning some of them into Guardian Angels….)

The Civic Holidays are in, and the services at my U.U. Church, and Samhain… hrm… time to get a wall callendar…