Monday, November 1, 2010

Dedication to Hekate

Let me begin this post by saying that I am typing while visibly trembling.. I am shaken, physically, mentally, spiritually... I am Hers. I am Hers now... I feel my mind filled with Her names.. My soul is crying for Her... Even my very body is shaking with Her memory...

Dedication is POWERFUL.

The rite itself was fairly simple.. On the floor, a napkin, a lit white candle, an old key, a small piece of cake, blessed salt water, athame and myself.. Myself? Hardly. I called all familiar beings in attendance and for witnessing this dedication. Gods, daemons, ancestors... All here to observe, confirm and witness... And in the very centre of the focus lay She, the Queen of the Night, the Mighty Initiatrix, the Cosmic Soul, my Goddess, HEKATE.

I did not plan the ritual ahead of time.. I decided it would be best if it came out of my inspiration and the influence of the Gods right there and then. I only had one thing decided, that the primary offering would be a drop of my blood, to seal and symbolize the offering of my whole self, the dedication.

It worked... not as I expected. As I sat there, calling Her in Her many names... Crying out for Her, presenting myself before Her, pledging myself to Her service.. for life. I swore no oaths, I took no vows... Yet this simple statement: "I am yours now.. I give you myself, my life, my service.. May be worthy of you..." holds for me greater weight than any elabourate oath, any detailed promise.. I feared making promises that I might not fully uphold... and She asked for none.. She simply asked for ME... and I gave Her myself... It was and is unbelievable.. the presences.. like many eyes watching me.. yet as a powerful flame, there was She, my Goddess, my Queen, my Mother... Her presence gentle yet firm, fleeting for the senses yet powerfully there... She saw. She heard. She accepted. I am Hers.

I tried offering a drop of my blood. I used a sharp, sterilized needle to pierce my fingertip... I couldn't. It's not that I cowered... I couldn't prick my finger! Not the tip, not the soft skin on the back of the palm, not the thin part between the fingers. I pressed, hard indeed, and I could not pierce my skin. I started trembling... A thought stroke me like lightining.. "This is not what I want"... Hekate did not want that offering. She did not want my blood. I stood there, needle in hand, trembling as if I were naked and out in the freezing cold... She wanted ME. My life, my words, my actions, my everything. She cares not for blood or offerings or rituals although She finds them appropriate and good. I left the needle aside.. and gave myself to Her. I am Hers.

I feel... I can't describe it. This is the Mystery. I cannot find words for it.. nor should I.. All I can say is this... I'll treasure it.. Hekate asks not for promises kept.. She asks for truthful devotion.. She asks for love and trust and wisdom and friendship and working.. I realized that even if at times I fail to keep my promises.. what matters to Her is that I am honest and true.. She wants me to know that I cannot keep all promises.. She showed me this during the preparatory month.. I only realized it now..

I have nothing else to say.. I can't even guarrantee the cohesion of all this.. It feels as if I am in a half-dream state.. I am unsure if I am really typing and describing anything.. I don't know if you'll read anything of meaning or mere ramblings... However, I promised this blog.. Earlier than expected.. She is here, She has always been here.. It's just that my eyes opened only now.. I feel Her.. Not overly so.. yet distinctly.. She is here. I am Hers.

Hail Hekate.. I love you.

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Hellenic Priesthood

NOTE: These are completely my own observations and conclusions. In no way do they represent a universal point of view or a concrete belief in Hellenism.

Before I discuss the Hellenic Priesthood I believe first I have to define what a priest is.

priest
n.
1. In many Christian churches, a member of the second grade of clergy ranking below a bishop but above a deacon and having authority to administer the sacraments.
2. A person having the authority to perform and administer religious rites.
tr.v. priest·ed, priest·ing, priests
To ordain or admit to the priesthood.

Obviously, I'm keeping the second definition. A priest is a person having the authority to perform and administer religious rites. How does that work in Hellenism though?

The Hellenic Priesthood is a bit different than other priesthoods such as the Priesthood of the Wica. First of all, it is divided into two different forms. I will call those "Liturgical Clergy" and "Devotee Clergy".

"Liturgical Clergy" is the term I use to refer to the part of the Hellenic Priesthood that holds the duties of performing and administering religious rites (as per the dictionary definition). However, the difference from other clergies is that the Liturgical Clergy is, more often than not, elected by the community or the organization they may be members of, they rarely undergo formal training and usually are simply chosen ritual leaders (as in people chosen to lead a ritual or ceremony without being ordained).

"Devotee Clergy" is a peculiar and less public part of the Hellenic Priesthood. On par with our ancestors' ways, the Devotee Clergy is a category composed by those people who may or may not be formally ordained and who may or may not have received training but are wholeheartedly devoted to specific deities and serve under them.

Before I further explain those two branches, I ought to present my sorting of the Hellenic religious scene. Note that this is not a hierarchy, merely a presentation of the religious scene. Everyone in this is equal to each other even though their duties might differ.

First Stage: Average religious follower: Any Hellenic Pagan may fall under this category. It's about your basic follower, that observes holidays and worships the Gods as well as delve into whatever practices they deem fit. Their relationship with the Gods and the community might be sincere and true but does not extend to service of either. Most do have patrons but not necessarily all of them do.

Second Stage: Liturgical Clergy: Any Hellenic Pagan may be elected to act as a priest/ess for a set time. Certain groups exist solely for this purpose and their members are permanent priests. The latter tend to also seek out formal training and possibly, ordination. Their relationship with the Gods and the community is again sincere and true, but in this case it extends to service towards both. Generally, a Liturgical Priest/ess may have patron deities but they usually perform rites regardless of the deity involved. They offer their services to the community by taking the role of leading rituals and ceremonies and occasionally offering counselling and other clerical services, albeit in a limited manner.

Third Stage: Devotee Clergy: Any Hellenic Pagan may reach this stage. A Devotee Priest/ess always has patron deities, usually seeks some sort of training and is considered a "specialty priest/ess". The reason is because their duties are specified to the specific Gods they serve (although of course they are able to perform other rites as well). They offer their service to the community in relation to their specified duties. This is similar to the ancient Greek priests/esses of the various deities. Those were responsible and in charge of a specific shrine/altar/temple and served a specific deity alone.

Most known priests/esses in the Hellenic scene today are Liturgical. The Devotee ones are less public and less encountered, usually because the Pagan community of today does not always have need of "specialty priests/esses". In addition, most people do not necessarily wish to take on such a duty (another reason why most Liturgical Priests are also temporary). A Devotee Priest is often called by his/her Gods to their explicit service and that is also a variation of a patron relationship. Not all patron relationships form priests.

Hekate - A Devotee's View

Hekate (Hecate is the Latin spelling and being Greek I prefer the Greek one hehehe) is perhaps one of the most misinterpretated and misrepresented deities in modern Paganism. From being given the Crone aspect when no historical or mythological source supports it verifiably (and because Neo-Paganism tends to cater to stereotypes heavily) to the misinterpretation of Her triplicity to unfounded overemphasizing of Her darker traits to virtually anything you can imagine.

Hekate has been misconstrued by many Neo-Pagans, mainly due to the lack of research and study of reputed sources (Hesiod's Theogony comes to mind as a very basic and vital work on the mythology of the Gods) but also, due to the overwhelming sense of "being special" that many Neo-Pagans seem to have. Note that this isn't a blog on poking the - admittedly big - portion of the "bad apples" in our big community tree. This is a post attempting to educate somewhat regarding a well-known but also exploited deity. However, in order to do so, one needs to shed light upon the shadows of ignorance and misinformation that cloud Hekate's image.

Before I delve deeper into Hekate's case, let me share some information on Her.

Hekate is the daughter and only child of the Titans Perses and Asteria. She inherited power over the earth, sea and sky from Her parents. Hekate is one of the very few Titans to have survived the Titanomachy and the Olympian reign "unscathed" (which is an allegoric/mythological way to portray the survival of Her cults and worship as opposed to that of most other Titans) as well as the only Titan to be praised equally to the Olympians. In the Theogony, Hesiod notes how Zeus praised Her above all others, did not take anything from Her power and even gave Her a share in the dominion of most other Gods. She is the one He often went to for advice.

Hekate is a Goddess of liminal places and times, key and torch bearing maiden, guide, psychopompe and "opener of ways". She is a counsellor and companion of those in need and protectress from and against witchcraft. At the same time She is the governor of all magical acts and believed to have invented theurgy. That is also why Hekate, alongside Hermes and/or Iris, was to be appeased and petitioned before any ritual act for the Gods, as She was the one (or rather one of those) responsible for and permitting the mortals to reach out for the Gods. Should Hekate refuse to aid you, your calls will remain unanswered and fall to deaf ears.

Hekate is also a Goddess related to the Moon (especially with the Dark/New Moon), childbirth (or more apporpriately, child-nurturing) and crossroads. She is one of the minor household deities, a protectress of the home and household from outside perils, alongside Hermes.

She presides over the darker side of the self as well as the inner one. She governs intuition, divination and insight. Hekate is the Goddess-In-The-Shadows but also the one who can pierce the shadows. She is a "dark Goddess" in the sense that She is Queen of the Unseen but not in the sense of negativity or "evil". Gods are beyond such human concepts.

She is a maiden Goddess and NOT a crone contrary to popular (mis)belief. Most mythological-related texts consider Her a virgin as well although some have her double as the mother of Skylla (by Phorkys - in the works of Apollonius Rhodius) or as the mother of Circe, Medea and Aigialeus (by Aeetes - in the works of Diodorus Siculus). Personally, I prefer the virgin Goddess theory since the rest conflict with the other mythological family trees.

Hekate is often portrayed as a crone due to Her association with Magic. In medieval times, the image of Hekate merged with the stereotypical image of an elderly, scary-looking woman over a cauldron. From that, as well as Her, somewhat "grim" duties, spawned the image of a physically old Hekate, which is, of course, mistaken.

Another "faulty" interpretation of Hekate's is Her triplicity. Due to the popularity of the Wiccan/Neo-Wiccan tenet of a Triple Goddess, other "Triple" Goddesses were mass-appointed and understood as being "triple" in the same manner. That is also incorrect. Hekate is triple in a literal sense. Being associated with crossroads and liminal places, Hekate is literally a "three-headed/formed figure", seeing in all directions. The Triple Goddess tenet of modern Paganism (specifically Wicca) is allegoric in the sense that it's related to aspects and periods as opposed to a literal, physical figure. In addition, Hekate was also portrayed often as a single person or as having three distinct bodies.

Finally, Hekate is a strict and stern Goddess. She can be very loving, warm and intimate with Her followers, especially those that praise and satisfy Her but She is also not as forgiving as other deities as well as intolerant of many vices, in a greater degree than most deities. A bright example is how She can be quick to remove (at least temporarily or until reformation occurs) Her favour and aid from even a devoted follower of Hers, should he/she stray from the path and fail to meet the requirements and standards set, not so much by the Goddess Herself, as much as by the person. Unlike other deities, Hekate is less direct and more influencial, meaning She works in more subtle and indirect ways as well as more affecting ones, since She approaches you in a gentle fashion as opposed to a strong, straightforward manner.

If Hekate calls to you, don't freak out. She can be strict but also very rewarding. As Hesiod says: "He who has her favour will be showered with riches, for it is within her power." (paraphrased). However, be wary. She won't tolerate the unworthy.

Constructing/Erecting An Altar

First, I should define what I mean by "altar": an altar for me is roughly a "place" (or better some sort of furniture like a small table or a natural construct like a flat rock) where active religious and other spiritual practices take place (or if you wish, the centre of the place those practices take part in). An altar is a construct that holds symbols appropriate to the practice and its theme at hand and/or where offerings and sacrifices are placed. An altar is traditionally dedicated to a deity or a group of closely associated deities and is used for specific purposes. Some altars are "catch-alls" in the sense that they are used for a multitude of purposes, although even then there's a common, underlying theme (such as various practices that all fall under "Witchcraft" or "worship").

Now, I'll get into constructing (or erecting if you wish) an altar. Before one does so, they should consider a few things: What is the purpose of the altar? What will it mostly be used for? Which deity or deities will it be dedicated to? How do that deity or deities tie in with the aforementioned?

After those are answered adequately, one should begin the actual construction. This has two parts: 1. physical construction (finding an appropriate piece of furniture or natural construct to use as an altar, accumulation of the necessary objects etc) and 2. spiritual construction (cleansing, consecration, dedication etc).

Part 1 - Physical Construction

First, one needs to find an appropriate object to act as an altar. A small table, a cupboard, a large, solid box, a flat rock, any of these will do. Then, one needs to gather the appropriate material. I will use "making an altar to Artemis" as an example throughout this blog.

Let's say, you picked a cupboard to use as an altar. Then you will gather the material you need to make it appropriate for Artemis. Things sacred to her will be necessary. For instance, oak leaves and acorns, (wild)flowers, fruits or animal figures/statuettes, a small statue of Artemis, a cloth to cover the cupboard (altar cloth) in green, orange or light blue (colours associated with Artemis), (gem)stones etc. The ritual tools can also be placed on the altar (e.g. athame, chalice, bell, wand, pentacle etc)

Before you place all those things on the altar, you need to place it in the room. Traditionally, North or East are the preferred locations, although if the alignment and organization of the room (especially if it's a room already used for something such as living room or bedroom) do not allow the altar to be positioned in either places or if perhaps the space is limited, one can place it elsewhere. What matters is that you should be able to access the altar freely and with ease and should have adequate space to either move it for rituals (such as in the centre of the room) or be able to encompass it in the ritual/circle by default.

The altar should be kept clean and organized and any offerings/placements renewed/replaced regularly. Especially if you have things that can rot or attract insects (fruits, flowers or food and drink offerings), keeping it clean and tidy is a must if you don't wish to honour your Gods with your altar crawling with ants, flies and bees.

If the altar is outdoors (such as a flat rock), the ornaments and objects can be removed when the work is done (you may even have to do so if it's in public place like a park) and insects etc are a necessary downside.

Now that all physical requirements are met, I'll proceed to spiritual construction.

Part 2 - Spiritual Construction

First, you need to arrange the altar and its items in a manner that is helpful (meaning you won't have trouble reaching for the necessary items nor will they hide or obstruct each other) and if possible, symbolic. Do so in a sketch or plan first and not literally (meaning don't place them yet, just plan how you'll do so). Before you place any items on it you need to cleanse and consecrate them. I'll provide a simple consecration (which can be found anywhere on the Net or in books in a multitude of versions and variations) with salt water.

Note that some items can be destroyed or damaged by salt water. If there's such a possibility or you're unsure whether something can be damaged, use a different method for that item (e.g. something made of paper won't tolerate water, some gemstones can be corroded by salt etc).

The cleansing should take place before the consecration (even if it is in a single ritual, it should preceed it). I cleanse items by sprinkling salt water and saying a small prayer to the appropriate deity (Artemis in this example).

Consecration

Take each of the items (things such as leaves, flowers, fruits etc don't really need consecration, unless they are offerings - of course, if you wish, you can consecrate them), place them in a small plate (or other container they'll fit in), sprinkle with salt water you have previously blessed and say while visualizing light (of your colour of choice, though appropriate to Artemis) descending from the sky and bathing the item:

"I now consecrate you, oh _____ (name of item), in the name of Artemis (as per the example), Goddess of the wilderness and of nature and protectress of the females of all species. May She, the Wild Maiden of the Crescent Moon, the Radiant Flame of the Olympian Gods, pour Her energy and blessings and power over you, oh ______ (name of item), and may you be dedicated to Her honour and service. May you be a fitting symbol of Artemis. So mote it be!"

Repeat until all items are properly consecrated.

After the cleansing and consecration of all items have been completed, you need to do so for the altar. Ideally, the cleansing should take place alongside the physical cleaning of the altar (perhaps as a small prayer accompanying the cleaning). If not, you can sprinkle salt water or smudge with a sage-stick, the altar and say a small prayer.

The consecration and dedication of the altar ought to be a bit more elabourate, since the altar is the centre of the sacred space and of the dedicated area. I will provide a full such ritual. Note, though, that this is made up right now, and has neither been tried nor used. Therefore, I'd advice against using it as it is and instead change at least a portion.

Altar Consecration and Dedication

Ingredients/Tools:
Three candles (white, orange, light blue or green)
A small branch with green leaves, a single large leaf or a flower
A bowl with twice blessed salt water

Place the three candles on the altar (which must be completely empty, without even the altar cloth) in a way so that they form an inverted triangle (the point should be towards you - make sure it is large enough and has adequate space between the candles)). Light the candles slowly, while visualizing light of the appropriate colour (same as the candles) appear and emit from them as you light them. Visualize that light "filling up" the whole altar, enshrouding it. Hold on to that for as long as you can. Then take the bowl of salt water and sprinkle some in the centre of the triangle and all around it, as if forming a circle. Say:

"Hail Artemis Goddess! To this altar may you descend, the circle of divinity that holds Earth. May you step unto this and make it part of your sacred domain. Hail Artemis Goddess, you I call upon, glorious Goddess, Wild Maiden of the Crescent Moon, Daughter of Leto and Zeus, Apollo's twin sister, midwife and child-nurturing Goddess."

Proceed to gently touch the centre of the triangle with the tree branch or the large leaf, continuing to do so in a sweeping motion, so as the branch/leaf will start at the centre, "exit" from the upper opening (the one on the base of the triangle), turn clockwise, continue and "enter" from the right opening, continue in a straight line and "exit" from the opposing, left opening and go anti-clockwise, ending the sweeping at the left opening again, tracing a full circle. The say:

"Your pace and dance makes sacred the land you touch upon Artemis, Great Goddess. May this altar be dedicated to you and your honour and your service from now and until you choose to undo it, gracious Goddess, Gaea's companion. So mote it be!"

Slowly extinguish the candles in what way you see fit, starting from the lower one (the one closer to you) and moving counter-clockwise (meaning the second candle you extinguish is the right one and then the left one).

Remove the candles, clean the waters and any other remains on the altar, place the altar cloth and the consecrated items, in the way you chose to arrange them beforehand.

The tree branch/leaf should either remain on the altar for a chosen amount of time (I'd say a week or six days since six is a sacred to Artemis number), placed in front of the statuette or main symbol representing Artemis or it should be respectfully disposed of (don't throw it away - it would be better to leave it at a garden or park or other place in the countryside). The salt water can be kept for future rituals and other methods that require it or you may pour it at your sink (not in a plant pot or other such place, salt is hazardous for most plants).

Hopefully, this completes the construction of an effective, dedicated altar. From this point on this altar oughts to be used in any working related to Artemis or her spheres of effect (it won't be appropriate to use it in irrelevant things, unless Artemis is your patron deity or you feel comfortable doing so or if the purpose of the altar is more broad and not "deity-specific" even if it is dedicated to a specific deity).

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Altars and Shrines

Due to realizing that I need to study ancient Greek Magic further as well as having a writer's block on that particular subject, I chose to put it on hold for now and make some posts on other topics instead of leaving this blog go inactive for too long.

In this post, I'll try and explain the meaning and use of altars and shrines in regards to one's path and workings as well as how dedicating either to a deity works.

Some things need to be cleared first. There are two types of votive/working places: altars and shrines. Altars are mostly for active workings (such as offerings, rituals etc or for religious Witches we may include spells and other magical methods) while shrines are mostly for passive workings (such as prayers, devotionals, honouring etc).

An altar dedicated to a deity means that said deity will preside over and influence the work done with the altar. If for example, I were to dedicate an altar to Artemis, that altar would have to be used in workings with a theme relating to one or more of Artemis' spheres of influence. It wouldn't be appropriate (and possibly less successful) to use it for something irrelevant to Artemis. Altars in antiquity were dedicated to a deity or deities with the intent of providing sacrifices and offerings and conducting rituals for those specific deities alone. A case that may differ somewhat for a solitary practitioner (though not only for solitaries) is that of a patron deity. If the one you dedicate the altar to, is your patron, then the "range" of the activities that altar is appropriate for, can expand (because a patron deity affects a far greater portion of your path, or even all of it, therefore all workings are, at least partially, to his/her honour).

A shrine dedicated to a deity means that said "place" is sacred to said deity and effectively a temple of his/hers. Offerings can take part there but usually what a shrine aims for is to create a more permanent sacred space, a small corner for your deity, where their presence and power is felt constantly (as opposed to the altar or circle, that goes "inactive" after the work is done).

Altars and shrines can combine, although, in my opinion, you're then overcharging it and possibly creating a "crowded" space. Too many intents and energies in one place and that can prove counter-productive.

Before you dedicate anything to anyone, you need to consider and decide what the purpose of the item/place is, what it is used for mostly, how will that change or be strengthened after the dedication, and how the deity chosen will tie with the aforementioned. If, for instance, you wish to only worship that deity there and not perform other workings (such as magical ones), then a shrine might be the way to go. On the other hand, if you wish to include your deity in your active workings, an altar is appropriate.

If you wish to simply have something representing your deity on your already existing and working altar, in order to effectively honour her during ritual or other workings and/or to have a visual of sorts or symbol of hers to remind of her presence, a statuette or picture or something sacred to her, is appropriate. In that case, you need to research (or reference to your notes/books/journal) what the associations and sacred symbols of that deity are. For instance, if I intended honouring Hekate on my altar, I would either acquire a statuette of hers or a picture or something sacred to her such as a cypress branch or a dark coloured (gem)stone such as onyx or black tourmaline. The same sort of research and accumulation of sacred symbols is part of erecting a shrine as well (albeit you will need more than one or two such symbols).

In any case, one can erect both an altar and a shrine separately. Some workings can be performed in either place (such as offerings and rituals) while others are specific to one of the two only (such as spells for the altar and prayers for the shrine). In the end, what matters is that what you do works and feels right for you and that the Gods accept it. It would be meaningless to erect a shrine you like only for it to end up useless because the deity/deities do not accept it (usually that happens due to conflict between the purpose/aspects/symbols/use of the shrine or altar and the deity/deities involved).

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Greek Magic

Greek Magic is the whole of those methods and practices of Magic that originated and/or are exclusively used by Greeks. I differentiate between Greek folk Magic, which refers to the magical methods used till later antiquity up to nowadays and are largely deity-free (meaning deities are, less often than not, called upon) and ancient Greek Magic which refers to the magical methods used in actual antiquity (mostly Classical and Hellenistic eras).

Greek folk Magic: mainly usage of herbal lore, folklore (i.e. stories and legends dealing with the Otherworld like fae and nymphs), chants, incantations, simple spells, “superstitious” actions, (casting out) the evil eye etc. I’m more well-versed in this because I have experienced it way before I even knew what Witchcraft is. Simple formulae like using herbs in a certain way, specific actions to bring about a desired effect, words of power etc are common methods of Greek folk Magic. Its characteristics are simplicity and effectivity. It touches the field of superstition because the old formulae can easily be shrugged off as nonsensical or their meanings forgotten. It can be exceptionally potent though, mainly due to the faith and energy backing it up through the centuries.

Ancient Greek Magic: I have to say I don’t know all that much about this mainly because I started studying it quite recently. However, I found out that the following practices were predominant: the use of effigies/poppets called “Kolossoi” and the use of bindings or “curse tablets” called “katadesmoi” (bindings). The use of spells is also quite common. It includes theurgy as well as theistic shrinecraft (in effect “enslaving” some of the Gods to do one’s bidding – possibly a cultural loan from Egypt). Although, Gods are rarely called upon to aid, their power is often utilized either by tapping in the energies of their holy sites and symbols (e.g. altars, temples, statues, groves, celestial bodies, plants and animals etc) or by the aforementioned “enslavement”. I have to say that I am not very interested in the latter and wish to modify any practices I take up according to my own desires and preferences.

Examples of Greek Folk Magic:

For protection from daemons*, curses** and enemies:

- Some fresh clover, soaked in vinegar and used to spatter the corners
of every room in the house, protects your home from daemons.
- Dried marjoram inside tulle and hanged from the main entrance of the
house, protects all residents from curses.
- Burn some dry ragweed in your fireplace (or elsewhere) and say the
name of the person who wishes to harm you outloud in order to free
yourself from his/her power/influence.
- A few willow leaves in the corners of the house, protect from curses.
- A few oak blossoms on the threshold guard from unwanted guests.
- If something of yours has been stolen, place a small sunflower
gathered in August near (or under if possible) your pillow and you'll
dream of the thief.
- A lemon tree leaf with your name inscribed with red ink (to
resemble/symbolize blood) on it and carried with you, protects you from
enemies.
- To drive daemons away from a house, bedew the corners with fresh
angelica (soaked in water) and chant: "Spirits of evil leave my place,
only spirits of good I want in this space!".
- To protect a house from curses, mix carrots leaves with salt and
sprinkle the mix around the house.

For good luck, health and wealth:

- Throw some fresh rose petals or blossoms in your fireplace to ensure
good luck.
- Some dry peony leaves in your purse or wallet, protect from bad luck.
- Some fresh clover in a pouch of red fabric brings good luck.
- Alfalfa in a cupboard, guards the family from poverty.
- A fresh, pink carnation carried with you, brings good luck and good
health.
- Wash your feet every night with rosewater so that they will "guide you
to treasures and money on earth".
- A piece of a May apple protects the bearer from poverty.
- After a blessing or a cleansing, burn some dry mint leaves along with
your incense to attract money.
- Soak some basil in water while reciting a chant/prayer of your faith
(e.g. a blessing or something along those lines) and then spatter with
it around your house or shop to ensure good luck and money.
- To increase wealth, keep your money in a wooden box made of cedar.

For love:

- Some sunflower seeds in your bathwater makes you irresistible.
- Some daisies in your bathwater make others more respectful and
admirring of you.
- Some dry laurel carried by a woman ensures a long and happy
relationship.
- To provoke love, give to the desired person a small pouch with dried
spearmint.
- Hold a few carnations in your hands tightly while you think of a
person intensely. It is believed that person will be swayed by you to do
as you please.

For wishes to come true:

- Burn some dried laurel leaves in your bedroom and before 7 days pass,
all your dreams will come true.
- Put some lavender under your pillow and before you sleep, think of
your desire/wish. If you dream something relevant then your desire/wish
will come true.
- Write what you desire on a piece of paper and fold it neatly along
with some peony and seal it with red wax. Hid it somewher ein the house
while saying: "Grant me today a wish, a big wish, a small wish, a tiny
wish, a huge wish. A wish here, a wish there, everywhere fast it grows,
grant me a wish to be happy.". Every 3 days move the charm and repeat
the chant. When the wish comes true, burn it.

-------------------------------------------------------

NOTES:

The style and beliefs appearing in these formulas are totally those of
mainly old, country folk. That's why they appear quite simple and
picturesque.

Explanatory notes:

Daemons: In Greek folklore and language, a daemon is simply the
general term for ANY spirit though mostly for malevolent ones (due to the Christian usage of the word) or of, at least, questionable morality. Thus, whenever the word
"daemon" appears in these formulas, it may mean any kind of
hostile/dangerous/malevolent/malicious spirit from a "ghost" to some of
the fae.
The actual word in the Greek text was "δαιμόνια".

Curses: In Greek folklore and language, a curse is any verbal or
magical act that brings about harm. From the mere "go to hell" to the
more elaborate magical methods the word "curse" is used.
The actual word in the Greek text was "κατάρες".

Credit for the compilation of these traditional/folk, magical formulas
goes to the Greek occult website http://artofwise.gr/main.html
The direct link to the "Traditional Folk Rites" is: http://artofwise.gr/html/categories_content/praktiki/paradosiakesgities.html

In the next post, I’ll explore some of the possible uses of some of the ancient Greek magical methods, specifically, how I intend using them.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Hellenic Hearthcraft (Part 2)

A little later than I wanted but here it is: the second and final part of Hellenic Hearthcraft. In this post I'll share the methods I use (since I am unaware of what others do), what spirits I work with specifically and how as well as what goals this craft helps to reach.

METHODS: My Hearthcraft is not the average household workings that most Hellenists would delve into. I deeply entangle Witchcraft with it to the point that working Magic with the household Gods is the core of my Hearthcraft. Since this "turn" of my practice is pretty recent I haven't expanded on to it much. Therefore, most of the methods listed here are "to be tested/tried out" and as such I might change them should they not work. I use and/or plan to try out the following methods: spells, working with the household deities and other spirits, putting up what I cannot call by anything else than beacons or transmitters/receivers (I intend to use some sort of item that will draw to itself and pass to the home whatever I design it to draw - like positive energy, protective spirits, prosperity, health or anything else - as well as the opposite - items that will channel/weed out anything negative depending on what I intend them to weed out), blessings of various types, wards, doing chores in a certain mindset and possibly other methods I have not yet thought of.

Spells: I intend using spells for prosperity and familial well being (such as to promote communication, positive feelings etc) to make residing with each other more easy and fruitful. I won't use spells for other reasons since I believe they could hinder and be hindered by the other methods that will have the same goals.

Working with Deities and Other Spirits: I intend working with the household deities and various other spirits to promote the well-being of the household in all fields. I want to work with them both in terms of Magic (aiding me in spells, rituals etc) and in terms of spiritual relationships. I do not wish to make use of theurgy or shrinecraft because I want to try and approach both the Gods and the other spirits in a more friendly manner. I'd much prefer them helping me out willingly (such as warding the house) than being forced into that.

Specifically I will and already work with the household deities: Hestia, Zeus Ktesios and Erkeios, Hekate, Hermes and Apollon Agyieus. I also want to build relationships and work with the following spirits: Agathos Daemon (of our household) and the nymphs Daphne, Platanis and Chloris which are the nymphs of the predominant plants and trees in front and in our house (despite the fact that the names would denote specific mythological figures, I use them as the names of the nymphs of each type of tree/plant - thus, Daphne for laurel, Platanis for plane tree and Chloris for all the small plants and flowers in our balcony and in front of our house).

Beacons, Transmitters/Receivers: This is an idea I had and I am unsure whether it is actually plausible/effective. I plan on trying it out as soon as possible. I want to use a physical representation of what I envision as a transmitter and/or a receiver of sorts that will "filter" the energies that circulate and and out of the house. I want these receivers to draw in and imbue the household with positive energy and attributes that will promote its overall well-being as well as the transmitters to draw out and dispose of negative energies and harmful tendencies (such as anger, frustration, lack of communication and patience) that hinder the household's overall well-being. I'll elaborate more on what I will do once I get down and design something.

Blessings: This encompasses more than "blessing the house". I plan to not only perform a ritual blessing for the house but also to make blessing-offerings: like a small portion of my food in honour of Hestia, libations for the other Gods and spirits etc.

Wards: I want to place wards so as to effectively protect the house from threats and negativity. I plan to "tie" them to Zeus Erkeios, Hekate, Hermes and Apollon Agyieus since they are the protector deities of the household. Additionally, I will use physical representations for the wards (either pebbles or something more 'permanent' like the existing trees). If I do use the three plane trees in the front of the block of flats we live in, I will also employ the help of the Platanides Nymphs of these trees so as to guard and supervise the wards. This also means caring for those trees to ensure the well-being of the Platanides.

Doing Chores with a specific Mindset: This means doing whatever chores are to be done (within but also outside of the house) while being conscious of which deities are honoured by them (Hestia and Zeus Ktesios) and that they actively help the household. That way the energy raised will effectively aid the household as opposed to the grumpy attitude of "why do I have to do THAT?" which in reality is counter-productive.

GOALS: Hearthcraft helps aiding the household in a spiritual/energy manner in addition to physical labour. It promotes things such as health, communication, familial well-being, financial well-being, improved living (the house feels more like a true home than simply a place where you are staying), safety.

This is the end of the Hellenic Hearthcraft posts. The following posts will be on Greek (folk) Magic.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hellenic Hearthcraft (Part 1)

Since I finished with definitions, I'll start addressing each aspect/field of my path and practice individually. I figured it's better than providing both an explanatory notes post AND an individual post, since a) that would make everything too long and detailed and b) it's confusing.

This is a post on Hellenic Hearthcraft specifically. I realized that I cannot really give extensive explanations and notes on what it is because it is a tremendously localized and personal practice. Meaning, my Hearthcraft will be very different from someone else's even if he/she were Greek (similarities would be in some of the deities involved, certain core practices etc). Therefore, I'll provide some general info and explanations on its various sections and then explain and share my own version and how I perform this craft. I'll break it down to sections (such as deities and other spirits, methods, goals etc), provide examples where possible as well as include what I intend to do in the future.

Deities: In Hearthcraft one works with the following deities (some are aspects of deities): Hestia, Zeus Ktesios and Zeus Erkeios, Apollon Agyieus, Hekate and Hermes. As far as other spirits are concerned one works with the Agathos Daemon of their household as well as their ancestors. Personally, I work with the aforementioned deities, recently started working with the Agathos Daemon of our house and I also plan to build relationships and bonds with the loca, nearby spirits (namely the nymphs of the trees and greenery in front and in my house, specifically the plants in the pots in our balcony) soon enough. I have not yet approached my ancestors although I also intend doing so.

Hestia: the Goddess of the Hearth, herself. The most significant and central of the household deities, she presides over the household thoroughly. She is the first and the last to be hailed, welcomed and bidded farewell. Traditionally, the first and last pieces of food from a meal are to her honour.
Moreover, it is traditional to have a fire always lit in her praise. However, I cannot keep anything, even a candle lit always (and the fire hazard is not the only reason). In order to compensate for the lack of lit fire, I keep a piece of rock (lava actually) from the volcano of Santorini, in a high and visible place.

Zeus: Zeus as Ktesios and Erkeios is one of the household Gods, second to importance only to Hestia. As Ktesios he is "he who protects the prosperity of the household". As Erkeios he is "he who protects the safety of the household" since 'erkos' (where Erkeios comes from) means 'fence'.

A traditional offering and symbol of Zeus Ktesios is the Kathiskos. The Kathiskos is a jar (or other type of bucket/item that can store) filled with goods that represent the household's prosperity (e.g. fruits, olive oil, sweets, bread etc). It is sealed and kept hidden/stored away. Zeus Ktesios can also be associated and depicted as a snake - the house serpent, which is a protector of the prosperity of the household too. This is also a popular depiction and association of the Agathos Daemon.

A small altar on Zeus Erkeios is usually placed outside (since the fence is outside of the house and he protects it's safety from outside 'invasions'). Little is known about his worship. If the outdoors altar is not possible (e.g. in the case of an apartment with no garden), he can be included in the central altar alongside Estia and Ktesios.

Hermes, Hekate and Apollon Agyieus: Their role as household Gods is one that demands for their aspects as Gods of the roads. Alongside Apollon Agyieus ('of the streets'), they are deities that protect from outside threats coming 'from the roads'. Idols (as in physical depitctions, figures and symbols like statues) of Hekate and Hermes may be placed outside usually in a special enclave or other structure (like a shelf) next to or otherwise very close to the main entrance of the house. Hekate, as a ruler of the crossroads, Hermes as a God of boundaries and Apollon as a God of roads receive simple food offerings in common days and there are no special acts needed in their worship in this case.

Other spirits: the worship and honouring of other spirits occurs in Hearthcraft as well: the Agathos Daemon of each household as well as the ancestors of the family. In some cases, other deities to which the family may have a connection (e.g. a family of scholars may have a deeper relationship to Athena and as such include her in their Hearthcraft and worship) are included in the workings.

Agathos Daemon: The Agathos Daemon (meaning 'good spirit') is a spirit of the home and hearth, protector of the prosperity of the household and of the family. He is often portrayed as a serpent (snake) or less often as a young or short man carrying symbols of prosperity and abundance (cornucopia, bowl, ear of grain, poppy etc). He is closely associated (in his serpent form mostly) with Zeus Ktesios although they are not the same. He is revered and offerings left at the threshold. Often, especially in rural areas, a lone snake living within the household (or the owned territory in general) was protected and fed, thought of as the representator/follower/messenger of the Agathos Daemon.

Ancestors: this is largely a personal matter and one of the points where Hearthcraft differs from family to family. In general, the ancestors of a family are revered and honoured, offerings left at the altar and/or crossroads and libations poured for them in the house's hearth or altar. They are thought to aid the safety, wealth, power and general well-being of the family.

Since this proved too long, I'll continue it in one or more additional parts.

Definitions

I feel I can't quite start sharing stuff and theories before I explain to you how I define key words and terms. So, in this post I'll attempt to accumulate all possible terms and words I'll be using in my future (and past) posts. I know I'll miss some of them but hopefully this will be a rare sight. If you find any concept I have not explained, please ask in a comment and I'll reply. ;)

PAGANISM - Paganism is the whole of those religions, spiritual paths and faiths that are a) inspired, b) influenced, c) based on and/or d) revivals/reconstructions of old and ancient religions and systems of belief and worship of the Old World (Europe, Mediterranean lands and Mesopotamia), which are simultaneously NOT parts of the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam and all their "heresies" and related faiths).

Paganism is divided into: a) Paleo-Paganism, b) Meso-Paganism and c) Neo-Paganism.

Paleo-Paganism includes the ancient religions and systems that resided within the borders of the Old World (e.g. ancient greek religion, anglo-saxon/norse faiths, sumerian religion etc).
Meso-Paganism refers to the various revivals (mostly short-termed and with little numbers in followers) of the ancient religions and faiths during the Middle-Ages, hence the "meso" prefic, meaning "middle". An example of this is Georgius Gemistus Plethon, who lived during the later Byzantine times and advocated a return to the Olympian Gods. He followed a neoplatonic, archaic-esque, eclectic one could say form of the Hellenic religion.
Neo-Paganism is the term referring to the whole of those religions and belief systems baring the characteristics mentioned in the above, first definition of Paganism and which are followed AFTER the 18th century (aka in the modern times).

MAGIC - I define Magic as the utilization of energy through the use of Will to bring about a desired effect. Through this basic definition, every consious act upon a solid thought is Magic. I also use the term Magic to refer to the occult practice which includes literally hundreds upon hundreds of ways, methods, customs and formulae. Generally, I add to it a term to specify the field (i.e. candle magic refers to the field of magical practice utilizing candles as a tool). Magic is also divided in: wishful thinking, prayer and active workings. These are by no means universal facts, just my own views and theories on Magic. Also, the latter three "forms" of Magic are mostly 'catch-all' categories that include many alternative and similar concepts.

GODS or DEITIES - I use the terms deities and Gods interchangeably because that is my understanding and use of the Greek equivalents.
Deities for me are sentient, sapient, conscious energy entities that are also distinct, individual but co-operating beings. I believe they have their own Will and that they fuel and maintain the natural laws. I believe deities are also the caretakers of the rest of Nature.
Additionally, I define the Divine as: not a supreme being or anything of that sort but merely the name of the "species", of the whole of Gods. All deities together are the Divine, just like all humans together are humanity.

CRAFT - Witchcraft, the Craft of the Wise, the Art, the Craft and by many other names. Witchcraft for me is the magical system utilizing Low Magic (sometimes with a touch of ceremonial/High Magic) usually in the form of folk Magic. It differs depending on the cultural version used. This means the Witchcraft of the British Isles is different yet under the same category (umbrella term 'Witchcraft') as Greek Witchcraft. It may or may not be religious in nature and may or may not be theistic. It is first and foremost a system of practices, methods, ways and customs utilizing Magic.

TOOLS - This will be a little long. The tools I use (or at least would LIKE to use - I am quite limited in what I can use and what I can't - the ones with * are the tools I can't but want to use) are the following: athame, boline, chalice, pentacle, candles, *incense, Book of Shadows, notebook, pendulum, deck of cards, bell and various temporal items (such as rocks, feathers, tree leaves etc).

Athame: a double-edged, dull knife used to direct energy in workings. It has an aggresive quality. It's also called 'a Witch's weapon'. This is my main tool and represents Fire in my mind.
Boline: a knife used for cutting in the physical plane (as opposed to the athame which is strictly for spiritual use). My boline is a swiss army-like knife.
Chalice: a cup with blessed water. It represents Water and I use it in ritual settings mostly. Due to the lack of resources and privacy I use a small, common cup.
Pentacle: a disc with an engraved, encircled pentagram. Represents Earth. Don't laugh but due to being unable to find or make one, I made one out of hard paper. At least it works haha.
Candles: I generally use candles regardless of colour (the already often mentioned of inability to gather supplies) and when I have enough privacy to light them (I feel REALLY uncomfortable and cannot work without privacy, something largely lacking in my home). I also blow out the candle flame because that for me signifies the end and sealing of the working.
Incense: Additionally to the lack of privacy I cannot use incense out of my mother's intolerance of it (weird how a smoker cannot stand other scents eh?). I'd much like to use incense but eh, life's hard hehe. I use a feather in its place as a symbol for Air.
Book of Shadows: A Book for Shadows for me is a journal type of book with blank pages, used for writing down info, spells and rituals, one's progress etc. I have two in a sense: a large notebook with blank pages which I call "my unofficial BoS" and is where I write everything as well as make changes and corrections and a leather-covered, hard-cover book with blank pages I got in London. This will be my "official BoS" and it will be where I will record spells, rituals, specific info, hymns etc carefully and after having reviewed them.
Notebook: I use a small notebook for quick recording of info and designing a working (sketchily so).
Pendulum: A divinatory tool. It is used for yes-or-no type of answers and is one of the simplest divinatory tools. My pendulum was made by me using a string and an old key (from our old apartment). I consecrated them and I now have an efficient pendulum.
Deck of cards: Another divinatory tool but for more complex answers. My deck is not Tarot but an eastern-ish deck called Deste. It was popularized here in Greece by a writer and practicing witch (although she calls herself things such as "tzan", "wise woman" etc) whom I consider a little full of hot air (although I don't doubt her experiences and workings). It has worked wonders so far (at least from the moment I ditched the manual and used my intuition for the meanings).
Bell: The bell is used to singify various parts of a ritual or working (like the beginning and the end etc) as well as to banish negative entities and welcome positive ones (its chime acting both as sort of an 'alarm' and a beacon).
Various items: Rocks, feathers, herbs (rarely so), leaves, dirt (as in soil), seeds and many more are used depending on the working at hand and mainly for their symbolic connotations (e.g. seeds for symbolizing fertility, beginnings etc). The items used vary greatly.

THE ONE: I view as the One the singularity of energy that existed before the Big Bang. The One for me is also called The All, The En and Existence. I believe that after the Big Bang (the Great Division) the singularity, the Monad that is the One became Many. I call the Divided One, the Plurality, Nature and Existence. Everything is part of the One and everything has a "spark" of the One. The One is not Divine for it exceeds Gods. Gods are part of the One as everything else though they are the greatest in power and most perfect of Its parts, that's why I liken them to Its "Soul" or "Mind".

SPIRIT and SOUL: A spirit for me is any energy entity. Spirits with a physical form (body) that is also living (living organisms) are called souls.

LOW MAGIC - Low Magic is Magic used for physical matters. Its fields cover concepts such as health, wealth, protection, love, spirits of this plane (i.e. nymphs) et al (and their counterparts as well). Some Low Magic practices are spells, charms, enchantments, wards, divination etc.

HIGH MAGIC - High Magic is Magic used for spiritual matters. Its fields cover concepts such as deities, spirits of different planes (i.e. demons or angels), unity with the whole etc. Some High Magic practices are invocation, evocation, channeling, meditation, rituals etc.

I believe this is enough for the basic definitions and that I have covered everything. The next post (which I'll create shortly to maintain the feeling of unity between these posts) will be the explanatory notes and details on the aspects of my practice discussed in the 'What I Do' post. Specifically, they will refer to exactly what it is I practice and perform of those things mentioned as the axis of my path.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

What I Do

Since I covered the "Who I Am" part I thought I'd also post the "What I Do" shortly after so as to maintain a connected feeling (that and I am in a metaphorical writer's heat hahaha).

In the end of the previous post, I said that in this one I'll discuss my path and practice as these are right now. In order to do so, I have to list the fields my path and practice focus and touch upon. I'll include a small definition/brief description but further explanations will be given in the upcoming post(s) on definitions and explanatory notes. Also, note that some of those listed are still in the theoritical state (meaning I still research/study and have not practically tried/used them). This leads to me providing with less info/practical experiences. I hope you won't mind that too much, since I am still a newbiew of sorts (especially since this form of my path is quite recent, though a major, here-to-stay, change).

The fields I explore are:

Hellenic Hearthcraft - This field deals with worshipping and working with household related deities (e.g. Hestia, Zeus Ktisios, Zeus Erkeios and others), Magic dealing with the thriving, prosperity and general well-being of the home and hearth (in Greek the word 'οίκος' [oikos] is used which didn't only mean "house" as it does today, but referred to the building, the hearth [εστία - hestia named after the Goddess or vice-versa] and the surrounding area [usually the owned 'territory']) etc.

Greek (folk) Magic - This field include but is not limited to Magic worked by the Greeks both ancient and modern. Ancient Greek Magic includes but is not limited to: the use of effigies (called "Κολοσσοί" - Kolossoi), curse tablets/binding spells (Latin 'defixio' - Greek 'katadesmoi' - both meaning 'bindings'), charms, love-related spells, protection (mostly against witchcraft) etc. Greek folk Magic refers to the later antiquity (aka medieval) and modern practices of the Greeks. It includes but is not limited to: herbal lore, spells (for love, protection, health, wealth etc) as well as curses, customary/lay/folklore methods and formulae (meaning, specific seemingly superstitious actions with symbolic and magical meanings - example: putting some lavender under one's pillow to make wishes come true) etc.

Working with Daemones - This field refers to the interaction, communication and co-operation or even manipulation of those spirits known to the ancient Greeks as "daemones" (a daemon was any spirit greater than a human/non-human up to minor, mostly rustic, cthonic and agricultural deities - example: a nymph, a river God and the cthonians: Hekate, Persephone, an aspect of Zeus, an aspect of Demeter and others, could be called daemons - a Titan or an Olympian would never be called a daemon unless referring to a cthonian aspect they possess [as is the case with Demeter and Zeus]).

Minor Ceremonial Influence - My practice has somewhat "simplified" and is not as ceremonial as it used to be. However, I don't and won't completely drop the ceremonial aspects as I deem them helpful and necessary in certain cases. This field deals with rituals both magical and religious.

Spellcraft - I list this individually, because when I cast spells, I often do so without adhering to the liturgy of, let's say, Greek or ceremonial Magic. This fields has to do with the various magical formulae (excuse the latin plural but I like it better) used by me: spells, charms, curses (only one haha though planning on a second ugh) etc.

Finally, I'd like to mention a field I aspire to research and study, which is also kind of tricky and shady: Greek shamanistic practices. I am aware of two: necromancy and iatromancy. The first oughts to be known to you, my readers, but for those ignorant of what it really is: it's the communication and use of spirits of the deceased mainly for divinatory reasons (but not only). The second, iatromancy, is less known: it's a meditative, healing practice which makes use mostly of incubation. You might have seen it mentioned in ancient Greek myths related to Asclepius. It's the "healing sleep" the patients had in his temple during which they saw visions of Asclepius and later were healed (or at least their recovery was aided). Those inducing the state of incubation to the patients were the iatromancers, those priests/seers versed in guided meditation for healing purposes. Iatromancy, as the name suggests, also includes divination (through various means, though once again, mostly through incubation) concerning medical problems.

I hope this was interesting and somewhat informative. The next post(s) will be on definitions as well as explanatory notes and expanding on the practices mentioned and briefly discussed here. Then will follow posts dedicated to each practice (and possibly subcategories of each field) individually.

Who I Am

OK, introductions time! As I already said most, if not all of you know me well enough but I think this is needed.

My chosen nickname is Alorer. I am 19 years old (soon to be on April 19th) and a Greek. I live in Athens. I've been involved with Paganism and the Occult for about 5 years now.

Here's my spiritual and religious progress: baptised as a toddler like the vast majority of Greeks, I grew up as a Greek Orthodox Christian. However, my mother being atheist and my father (although his influence was miniscule since my parents divorced when I was still 9-10 years old) believing in some sort of higher power as well as the fact that my family is largely secular and non-religious save for my devout grandma (who mind this, never pushed her religion on us - the family and relationships in Greece differ greatly from the US and other countries - here most parents won't mind if their mothers/mothers-in-law take their kids to church or whatever) made it so I was never very religious. My familial environment was (and still is) also highly paranormal-friendly (I really can't call it in any other way), meaning things such as energy, spirits, "psychic abilities" and such were not only accepted but embraced. My mother frequently commented and still does so, on how sensitive I always was. So, I got into Paganism and the Occult (especially the Occult) with already established "foundations".

At the age of 12, I started questioning and doubting much of Christianity (note that in Greece all schools are obliged to teach a religious course, which for nearly all years of school, primary and high, deals with Christianity and specifically Orthodox Christianity almost exclusively). This resulted in my rejection and "departure" from its midst (not that my family or I were much involved, again with the exception of my grandma). For a few months I was "wandering" since I didn't feel drawn to anything I knew religious-wise. While trying to find a fitting path, I contemplated on what I believe in and decided I do believe in a higher power of sorts but I do not have a name or figure for it. Later on, I learnt that was called "agnosticism".

Around the age of 13, I finally found a footing, something I could use and research for: the ancient Greek religion. Frustrated by the complete lack of any sort of details in school books and curriculum as well as in my own books, I turned to the Internet. Pretty quickly I found info on Gods and celebrations far more detailed than the sketchy, fairytale-like descriptions in school books. That lead to me finding Greek Reconstructionism and although I never considered myself a Recon, I did approach the Pantheon of my ancestors. Additionally, I approached some of the Egyptian deities in their hellenized forms (e.g. Thoth as opposed to Tehuti).

As time went by, I ended up disappointed and disheartened by the attitude, behaviour and some of the views of the Greek Recons I was reading and researched about. That led to me leaving Hellenic Polytheism as well, at least as far as naming and identification went. I maintained a relationship with my Gods (mostly Athena, Apollo and Artemis - the relationships in this point were quite impersonal and "professional"-only).

Now comes the "juicy" part (hehe). This might make you laugh or drop your jaw in surprise but it's true and it's the reason I am here writing this today, no matter how silly it sounds. I thought about researching this "Wicca" thing I heard mentioned in Charmed a couple of times as well as whether Magic truly exists (as I said I already had foundations in paranormal/occult beliefs and fields such as energy, what it is, how some use it, spirits etc). I have to say I never really doubted the old cunning folk (well, as far as the Greek equivalent can be called that based on the similarities and linguistic approach) and I always thought people could "do stuff". So, research got me more than I bargained or ever hoped for. It fit so utterly that I was dazed. I researched more and more deeply and began studying.

And this takes us to my mid-fifteens. After taking up the label of Eclectic Wiccan and joining a little community called "WiccanTogether", I considered that my path truly started unfolding. As time passed, I dropped the Wiccan aspect (mostly thanks to the education provided by the discussions with my beloved Trad Wiccans - you know who you are, little Elders :P ) and began identifying as an Eclectic Pagan Witch. This is the name for my path I go by for a little more than 2 years now.

And with reaching this crucial point in my little story, I'll end this post. In the next one, I'll discuss my path itself as it is now.

Welcome or rather Khairete!

Welcome to my totally new blogspot! It will be a place for me to post stuff regarding my practice as well as a method to keep me motivated (since I have the issue of leaving things in the middle, unfinished). Since it's my very first time with a blog, I ask that you bare with me and my... mediocre results!

I intend to include things such as: the deities I work with (info on them, perhaps some of the hymns I made/will make for them - as soon as I translate them that is - etc), sketchy descriptions and sharings of rituals, spells and other formulas I use (I won't be handing out details so don't even ask), my "calendar" (the sacred days) and of course, the aspects and fields my path focuses and touches upon. Additionally, I will include my own conclusions, theories and beliefs, definitions and terminology and many other things.

I'll start with definitions and fundamental beliefs so that you'll know where I come from and what is the base for my practice/actions and things I'll be saying in the future. The first actual post will be a summary of my path (what I believe in, how I call my path and its aspects, what I do etc) and a little about me (although most, if not all of you reading this will know me). Next I'll make a post with definitions (and explanatory notes) and then expand on each of my path's aspects.

Hope you'll find this somewhat interesting!