30 Day Paganism Meme: Day 17 ~ My ways of worship

Ideally, I get up in the mornings, I burn incense and recite hymns and prayers at my shrine, and before I go to bed, I do the same. The hymns and prayers are a mix of ancient and modern, and relate to deities per a monthly cycle as outlined by Hesiod. When the stress of life gets to me, I’m in a bad habit of letting that practise slip for days at a time.

Regardless, as I cook or bake, I pray to Hestia and Demeter and Hermes and Apollon (the latter two being keepers of livestock). When I’m out in the garden, I play music for Eros. On festival days, I make an effort to set aside some time for a special meal and ritual —whatever I can manage on my budget— and spend some time with the Theoi.

Basically, I make the Gods and my worship practises of Them a part of my every-day life. It’s not always a Big ritual. Usually it’s a small prayer, silent or whispered, and it’s also often just incense, a libation, and poetry. In ritual, I do my best to work as closely to the ancient Hellenic ritual pattern as possible — making exceptions for language, modern appliances, and occasionally I’ll use modern hymns or poems.

That said, I pay little attention to what other people are doing in their worship methodologies. It’s just generally too easy to concern oneself too much with what others do, to the point that one may actually forget to do for oneself. I just don’t think it’s healthy to keep tabs on what one cannot control, oneself. I figure, when I have my first open-to-public Feast of Eros next year, I will have control over the ritual structure, I will have control over who can stay, and I will have a small level of control over what guests do in the garden — if anybody who arrives is unhappy with the lack of cast circles, or with the absence of quarters called, they can do their own ritual at home, as part of the contract of Xenia is for guests to be respectful of the rules and customs of where they’re visiting.

When I first started exploring non-Abrahamic religions, I’d mentally “role play” the ritual scripts I read up on. Wicca seemed awkward (that is, for me, personally — no offense to those it works for), and the Neodruid scripts I found seemed a bit too much like Wicca. I never did find an apparently authoritative description of a Keltic ritual script, so on one hand, it came as no surprise to me that I couldn’t connect with those deities (but on the other, I know from the Theoi that proper ritual form is not needed for that connection).

Personally, I just think that Hellenic ritual structure1 just makes sense. It’s also simple in form and can accommodate a ritual as simple or as elaborate as it needs to be. No actions are superfluous for a basic devotional ritual, and the stages of offering, libations, sacrifice, can be elaborated within necessity. Since I’ve no interest in elaborate “magics” that necessitate drawing quarters and casting circles, this works fine.

1: There are some problems with Drew Campbell’s details in the ritual outline, but in general, the outline is pretty solid.

List behind cut:

0. Intro to meme
1. Beliefs – Why Hellenismos?
2. Beliefs – Cosmology
3. Beliefs – Deities
4. Beliefs – Birth, death and rebirth
5. Beliefs – Sacred sexuality
6. Beliefs – Divination, mysticism and various woo shit
7. Beliefs – The power of prayer/reciprocity
8. Beliefs – Festivals
9. Environmentalism
10. Patrons – Eros
11. Patrons – Apollon
12. Pantheon – Moisai
13. Pantheon – Adonis & the Flower Boys
14. Pantheon – Nyx & Kybele/Gaia
15. Pantheon – Every-One Else
16. NNymphai, Khthonoi, & The Dead
17. My ways of worship
18. Community
19. Hellenismos and my family/friends
20. Hellenismos and my love life
21. Other paths I’ve explored
22. Hellenismos and major life events
23. Ethics
24. Personal aesthetics and Hellenismos
25. Favoured ritual tools, and why
26. Any “secular” pastimes with religious significance, and why
27. How your faith has helped you in difficult times
28. One misconception about Hellenismos you’d like to clear up
29. The future of Hellenismos
30. Advice for seekers


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