… and may you share good food and drink with them, always.
… and may you share good food and drink with them, always.
In celebration of many good things that have come our way lately (and “many more to come still”, as our prayers always go), our House was happy to host a prasad of desserts and produce to our beloved spirits three Sundays ago. You are what you eat, they say, and boy, did we eat auspicious things!
Even if it isn’t exactly the start of your religious year, I’m sure–one way or another–the secularised Gregorian calendar has remained (or become?) an important part of our lives, if only just for bills or taxes. So, Happy New Year, folks! I hope you had a wonderful and auspicious Kalends of January!
In other news, as if the winter holidays weren’t busy enough (as they always are), I took the liminality of the season as a good time to bid farewell to the country of my birth and its spirits. Yes, I’m taking a giant leap to go on a journey that’s going to change my life as I know it. I’m not exactly sure when, but I’m hoping to make it happen within this year. In the words of Dionysos through the Oracle of Eugene:
“It is time to go. Make offerings to the spirit of this place so they will let you go peaceably.
“Light lanterns and release a dozen paper swans into the water and make a feast.”
“Invite all the spirits and the ancestors. Say your goodbyes, speak your intentions to them.”
“They will understand and bless you with the luck and success you will need in the year to come.”
And that I did.
I’m thankful for 2013, I really am, even if it was a little rough on me at first. Things are clearer now, and I know I’ll be thanking my people, my gods, and my spirit-friends again for this year in 2015. May all be well, may all be fortunate.
Gads, it’s New Year’s Eve tonight and I’m still here, sitting on my arse. It also happens to be the eve of the new month of Gamêlion-Peritios and the Egyptian month of Mechier.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s beyond wonderful that all three kalends are happening on the same day. If only I weren’t such a crammer. Well, writing about it usually solves the problem for me, so I hope this works.
Tonight: Last Evening of the Old Year.
Tomorrow morning: First Day of the New Year.
I’m an awfully anal man, and an even more awfully anal cultist from a very ritual-anal culture. May I have the right skill to get everything ready in time and may I have the wisdom to forgive myself if I don’t. Wish me luck and wit!
Despite all the work that needed to be done this week, I still managed to perform two very important ritual commissions: a petition of protection from Hermês as Guide of Travellers and a coming-of-age ritual under the auspices of Artemis as Nurse of the Young (Kourotrophos).
PS: My adventurous friend blogs at the Pagan Murmur. You should check him out!
Our ancestors knew well that dancing was a potent form of communion between worlds and the beings that lived in each of them. They danced within their tribes and city-states, danced with people of other countries, danced like wild beasts, danced to mark the passing of seasons, and danced to commune with the various spirits of nature and civilisation. Not much has changed since the first human being danced as the art continues to be a huge, meaningful part of human expression, no matter what belief or way of life. For almost every emotion known to Mankind, there has been a dance trying to express it. Is a dance religious or secular? Who knows and who cares…
It’s 17:00 GMT+8 and in the next hour I’ll be preparing for a dance cum ritual for the Dead, Living, and Lost at our household shrine. My babaylan-friend in Bacolod tells me that they’re going to do something similar at exactly 18:00 today, so I thought I’d have mine at the same time, too. It will be a dance of grief, of joy, of hope, and many other things.
If you appreciate this gesture, please consider sending aid to our brothers and sisters in the affected areas or let others know how:
Again my prayer continues to be, “May the Dead find their peace, the Living their joy, and the Lost their way back home”. Now, let’s get our arses working.
Through the years serving as some sort of “proxy-priest” for my family, I’ve experimented on several prayer routines, and despite being a devotional pagan for almost half of my life now, I’ve only been performing daily rituals for about 3 years. Before that, I would only hold rituals on special occasions or on days that I “felt” like it. In short, I wasn’t as “religiously religious” as I had hoped.
Things changed immensely after my father made his final journey West as I took the household rites a little more seriously with daily devotions offered to the ancestors and our gods, and regular sacrifices and libations, too. To me, it felt like I needed to take on bigger responsibilities as the paterfamilias [of ritual matters].I started out by establishing a steady routine with bi-daily prayers on behalf of the family to our Lares and Penates. Soon after, I began involving our tutelary gods as a whole, then each of them (sometimes in pairs or triads) on different days of the month.
My current prayer calendar repeats on a monthly basis, based largely on traditional Athenian customs, but also on certain Roman and other traditions, as well. (You might also want to check out Jonathan’s and Elani’s, too, for a more strictly Hellenic approach.)
Needless to say, every prayer starts with an invocation to Hestia–first born and last–and Hermês (“Nothing without Hermês!”). I find the hymns of Homer, 24th and 29th, to be perfect for this.
If that sounds like a mouthful, take note that these prayers only take around 15-30 minutes a day in total. Aside from the days of the new, full, and dark moon, all other days are really very simple: you wake up, wash up, and open the day; in the evening, you wash up, close the evening, and sleep. I don’t like very lavish or complicated rituals unless it’s actually a very special occasion or a feast-day that only repeats once a year.
I’m still getting used to all of it, though, and I’m, by no means, done experimenting. I especially need getting used to the waning days as I’m a little paranoid over too much exposure to the “darker” (but undoubtedly necessary) sides of certain gods. You can never be too careful when proxy-praying for an entire household.
I’ve written something about my yearly rituals, too, but I’ll save that for another time. Does anybody else have an established prayer schedule that repeats every month? or every week, perhaps? Do share if you do.
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