Thursday, July 10, 2008

Neos Alexandria Weekly Ritual

I just completed the first NA weekly ritual. It took me about a half hour to complete, so not a hugely long one, but it felt right. Because I can't offer incense, and I can't burn anything but scentless candles, I offered pure water and barley as my libations. In the winter, I'll be able to use eucalyptus oil in a steamer pot as my incense, but right now it doesn't make much sense (just the candles alone heat the room up to the point where the fans can't handle it anymore, and don't talk to me about humidity). I trust that the gods understand my position, and have no wish to see me pass out from heat prostration.

I spent quite a bit of time purifying myself. I don't know if I'm suffering from miasma or not, but a lot of things in my life (outside of religion) have been chaotic. The move to Farnham's, settling in, closing out the old house, cooking and cleaning for more people, not being with Amo... these all contribute to stress, and in my opinion, to a general sense of miasma. I didn't really have the opportunity to shower (if I had, my ritual would have been much shorter), I did wash my face and hands with a lye soap scented with peach. It felt very "summery" and light, and I think it's what I needed. I used cold water, too, rather than warm or hot. I felt that was the most appropriate thing, and as close to pure water from a stream as we can get (we're on a well, not city water, so I know where the water comes from). I scrubbed my hands and arms up to my elbows, and then my face and neck. It felt very refreshing, and I felt light going into ritual.

I sprinkled water around for purification of my space, more because it's also my bedroom than because it's dirty. It harbors the same miasma I do, I suppose. I then lit candles for all the gods of Neos Alexandria (one candle in honor of them all), for the honored dead that we celebrate, for Hecate, and Dionysos, Asclepius, Hera and Zeus, Hestia, and Nyx. Then I lit a candle for my personal honored dead: Agnes, Eric, Grandpa, Nagymama, and Nagyapa. I also invited a couple of others, in honor of my family rather than myself.

I made offerings of pure water and barley to each of these gods, then said a prayer for each of the gods. I asked politely for guideance and love from my ancestors/honored dead, and asked a special favor of Zeus and Hera, and of Asclepius.

I whispered words to Nyx... she and I are just starting a relationship and I am finding my UPG about her to be very different, very bizzare in some ways. I need to do more reading about her, although there doesn't seem to be very much in the way of primary sources about her. In a way, she feels like a "grandmother" of sorts, although the images of her that I have received in dreams and visions always depict her as young and comely. Somehow that meshes together. I have her altar set apart from the other altars, and it has a shelf that is backed by a multi tiered mirror. When I offer worship and praise to her, I look in the mirror... but it isn't so much myself that I see. It's hard to explain. In the candlelight, with the dark around me, with my himation over my hair and part of my face, it is not me looking back.

See? I told you it was wierd.

When I was done my prayers and requests, I said thank you, and goodbye, and put out the candles. That was that.

I am still struck with Wicca disease in some ways. The Hellenic rituals that I do are not so "fancy schmancy" as the Wiccan ones, and are often much shorter, and more to the point. However, I no longer get the feeling that the gods are tapping their feet waiting for me to GET ON WITH IT, so I suppose I'm doing it right. I sometimes miss all the frippery I put into my Wiccan rituals, but I also understand the reasoning behind NOT doing those things as a Hellenic polytheist.
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