La Vie Avec Les Dieux

Sorry for being out of touch! My 29th year is proving to be very, very eventful, indeed.

IMG_20160124_235945

Shortly after the Vialia, the first full moon of the year called for a full table and an intimate dinner with the Two Lords and our household spirits.

IMG_20160201_075055

The end of January also called for a feast for those who blessed the opening month with many gifts (and there were many). May every month end with such gratitude!

IMG_20160208_085957

Didn’t get a chance to get my fortune read, but nevertheless welcomed the Fire Monkey at the oldest Chinatown in the world, our very own, where Jesus, Buddha, and the Shen have dimsum every night.

IMG_20160210_154024

A recent movement at work called for a lovely Wednesdate with Man’s dearest companion, His gifts are generous beyond count.

IMG20160214172614

Come Anthestêria, things got a little more earthy.

IMG_20160214_214719

Even this young bull was drawn.

IMG_20160214_214928

Bull meets mask in a perfect display of Dionysian imagery.

IMG_20160221_200949

On the last night of Anthestêria, we feasted in Their names.

IMG_20160221_201913

And shared the same feast with Them.

IMG_20160229_235946

One of the many unexpected but joyous events in my 29th year was deciding to move out from home (on the 29th of February, no less) and living with my dearest friend, the Indophile. It’s a bitter-sweet feeling to leave the place of your childhood to carve your own space in a strange city, but our lords are with us — we shall not weep. Here is our shrine at the new pad, our second home. They are generous beyond count.

IMG_20160301_171655

Of course, never a feast without the Goodly Gods in a new place. Here we celebrate the Calends of March, quite appropriately, on our first day at the pad.

IMG20160301095212

Despite being far away from the town I grew up in, praying with the same fire from home feels like I’m still there, praying with my family. And maybe it truly is so.

IMG20160301095230

Never forget the Goddess of cities who guards all.

IMG20160301095304

Old keys and new keys to old homes and new homes.

IMG20160301094727

Old spirits, new spirits — one fire and one song.

Roughly a month to go until I turn 30. Wondrous things are about to happen.

 

 

 

E is for Everyday Rites

I start my days pretty much like any other dutiful Hellene or Roman: I take my bath, I get dressed, then I proceed to the shrine to pray before a day’s work. I light a flame, recite the prayers, and break bread or pour wine (or both) for the Ones who bless. And incense, of course. You can’t miss the sweet-smelling smoke!

Camera 360

I try not to make it too elaborate, unless it’s a special day. As long as there’s a flame burning, a member of the family praying, and decent food to share — it’s proper and pious enough to bless my family and our deeds for a whole day.

Camera 360

My prayers can be spontaneous or recited from memory, but they usually follow a pattern, much like this prayer I wrote a month ago:

Every day, I sing of you,
O Gods and Goddesses of high Olympos,
who watch over the kindreds of Men
and the ordering of our world.

Every day, I sing of you
and your deeds.

Every day, I sing of you
and your blessings on me,
my kindred, and our daily affairs.

Every day, I sing of the kindly Daimôn of our dwelling-place —
O Lar familiaris —
and the Penates of my family.

Every day, I sing of the children of Hyperiôn;
bright Hêlios in the morning,
white-armed Selênê in the evening,
and rose-fingered Êôs when the twain meet.

Every day, I sing of well-founded Earth,
mother of all,
eldest of beings who feeds all creatures
in land, sea, or sky.

Every day, I sing of you,
mighty and noble company of my Ancestors,
from my father to his fathers,
to the line of our people back to the beginning.

Every day, I sing of you,
unseen neighbours who share this soil,
this air,
and these waters with us.

Every day, I sing of you,
my genius —
eautou daimôn —
and the guiding daimônai of my family members.

Every day, I sing of you all,
tirelessly,
endlessly,
joyously asking and thanking you
for your unending blessings,
gifts,
and friendship.

Every day, I will rise to meet you all,
as you rise to greet me
and my family.

Accept now these words
and these libations
And bless and watch over us now.

Of course, as it only “lasts” a day, I do this daily around sunrise with hardly any exceptions.

In the rare occasion that I can’t (I could be out of town or sleeping over at a friend’s house), I make sure I recite 1the appropriate prayers wherever I am around the same time. I also make sure to double the offerings and inform the household deities of my absence before I leave.

Here’s a prayer I wrote last year whilst I was on holiday in Siem Reap:

Guardians of our family,
Keepers of our dwelling and land:
hear my prayer from afar;
sweet and clear, may my words reach you.
Look after my family and our home today;
my friends and theirs, too.
Avert all evil and danger from them,
and keep them safe and happy and healthy.
With these words to you,
may all be well in our house and land,
and with our people.

Spirits of this place and Gods of this land:
we make the same prayer for us here;
as travellers and foreigners,
I give you your dues.
Be kind to us, Gracious Ones,
as good hosts do to their guests.

Hail the All-seeing and the Traveller!
To you, we pray for your sleepless watch on home and way.
And to the Gods of this land,
we pray for your affection,
that we may remember our journey here
with only joy and nothing less.

May it be so.

552983_10150825836416762_1442178269_n

What about you, how do you greet your deities each day?