Wednesday, August 21, 2019

I'm Still Alive!

Wow. More than TWO years since the last time I posted. Since this blog's beginnings back in 2010, there has never been this long a period of inactivity from me. I won't make excuses or jokes this time since it seems I only repeat myself every year! That said, I will give an update of my life and path for the past two years for anyone (still?) reading.

In the last real post, two years ago, I listed the various reasons and happenings in my life between 2016 and 2017 that kept me busy. There have been plenty of major changes since then and most are directly related to the things I was taking about in that post.

Here's what's new with me. First, the bad things:
  • I got a job at a warehouse towards the end of 2017 till the middle of 2018. While the company I worked for wasn't completely horrible, the conditions of the job itself were literally backbreaking. I was working overtime constantly, ended up in relentless pain that permanently injured by left thumb and worsened the state of both wrists, and the pay was, while the legal minimum, truly measly. All aspects of my life - mental health, social life, spirituality, art - took a huge hit. 
  • Unable to endure the warehouse job, I managed to land a retail job in mid-2018. While seemingly better at first, especially in terms of time (less hours which meant marginally less money but way less physically crippling), it turned out to be even worse as the boss was an atrocious creature (I have trouble calling her a person) whose unpredictable, insulting, and demanding behavior left me in a constant state of extreme anxiety and exhaustion. For those unfamiliar, I suffer from chronic generalized anxiety and depression and I've fought for years to return to a more healthy state of mind and life. Those two day jobs, especially the retail one, took me many steps backwards in terms of mental health progress. 
  • In the end, at the beginning of March 2019, I was fired after demanding to be paid the money my boss owed me. That, coupled with four months of stressful, and ultimately futile, efforts to get my money as well as solve a number of other major issues, nearly destroyed my religious and magical practice, reducing it to a mere shadow of a spirituality. I'm still dealing with the psychological (and financial!) aftermath of this past year and a half of bullshit, unfortunately.
  •  The Hekatean group I was in that operated under the auspices of the Covenant of Hekate ended up disbanding due to inactivity and the departure of core members. I still maintain a good friendship with the couple that started it and we occasionally do rituals or magic together but we're no longer a formal group of any kind.
  •  During 2018, I was also undergoing training for eventual initiation in the Aurum Solis. Unable to cope with yet another source of pressure and being truly drained of time and energy, I ended up stopping the training. While mulling that over, I realized I was seeking initiation for the wrong reasons and the personal revelations that realization ignited changed my thinking and approach on many things in my life, especially in spiritual matters.
     
  • The Stardust Compass apparently went inactive some time during my disconnect from my practices. As such, I have completely let go of that particular system.


Now, onto the more positive stuff:

  • My boyfriend and I moved together in mid-2018 and have been living together since then. It has been amazing but also very challenging, especially since it's the first time for both of us. Building and maintaining your own, truly independent household is both incredibly rewarding and stupidly difficult!
  •  I continue to have a magical relationship with my best friend, although mundane life has caused it to wax and wane in activity.
  • My relationship with the Witchfather has grown exponentially since the last time I posted here. The development of the Triskelion Path as a whole has also reached new levels and Hekate has elevated me to new strata of understanding I was not expecting. There will be much to do and share regarding the Triskelion in the near future.
  • Finally, my art and writing have grown a lot, both in terms of quality as well as in terms of productivity. My goal is for 2020 to be a year of publications and full-fledged work in those matters.


So, that's the cliffnotes version of the past two years of my life! I will jinx this again and say I'm hoping to post more in the coming months. I've been inspired recently so I'm revitalizing my online presence in regards to religious/magical matters, such as making a Pagan/occult-focused Instagram account. I found that doing so helped keep me productive and accountable with my artistic goals so I'm hoping it will do the same for my religious and magical stuff. Here's to more content!

P.S. I've also changed my online name to Chelydoreus. It's my public "magical name" and, in an effort to shift my mindset to a more professional approach, I've decided to also make it my screen name.




Thursday, June 8, 2017

Minor Amendments

There are two things I'd like to update on this blog (and, in time, go through all posts, tags etc and change them):

  1. The part of the Triskelion formerly known as "the Wildwood Druidry" has been (tentatively perhaps) renamed to "the Wildwood Art". While all influences and info I've posted on it remain valid, I thought the name was lacking and didn't express it properly. It also had the risk of being misunderstood and cause unnecessary friction with actual Druids. So, Wildwood Art it is.

  2. The second change, this one being more drastic, is a change in my Services. I'm simplifying the whole thing in the hopes of both attracting more clients who might have been intimidated by the seemingly complex page and info as well as to just make it easier and manageable for me. You can check the updated Services HERE.

Coming and Going Or Why I Can't Post Regularly To Save My Life

An entire year of inactivity on this blog after promises of regular updates and upcoming projects. And, out of the blue, I post an Aretalogy of Hekate as if no "dead period" had passed.

Rightfully, my readers, you would ask "what the eff?".

Honestly? I've been tremendously busy and, for once, it wasn't so much with mundane matters but predominantly with spiritual ones. The Three Days of Hekate from last year initiated (hah!) a veritable avalance of progress, duties, spiritual and magical work, and synchronicities without end.

Here's a brief description of my year between the Three Days and today just to show how engrossed I've been in my practices and path, in no particular order:

  • After the Three Days of Hekate in late May 2016, I participated in a three-day Hellenic festival called the Prometheia in early/mid-July 2016. It was an indescribable experience and while I did write up a modest recounting of my experiences there, I haven't posted it since I feel it just doesn't do it justice. To give you an oversimplified idea of the whole thing: 3 days of free camping on Mount Olympus under Zeus' blessed oaks surrounded 24/7 by (mostly) like-minded individuals and all sorts of rituals, celebrations and other happenings. I was truly plunged in what could very well have been the daily lives of my Hellenic ancestors. Incense filled the air at all times, hymns could be heard at any given moment, I stood besides my co-religionists in ritual and I experienced the virtues of friendship, love (agape), hospitality and the ineffable Mysteries. I was present during naming ceremonies and I participated in private, deeply moving conversations with dear friends. I even ended up participating in an impromptu oracular ritual involving Hekate for the first time in my life and it utterly shattered any doubts or skepticism I had regarding oracles. I can only describe the whole thing as a truly magical experience. I sadly can't attend this year but, given how it's been going strong for over 2 decades (last year was the 21st festival!), I am certain I will get to experience it again in the future.
  • My work with the Amaimaketon Vasileian Sanctuary of the Covenant of Hekate and the private magical/devotional group of Hekateans bloomed and culminated into official membership in the Covenant (after years of failed applications due to technical issues) during this year's celebration of Her Sacred Fires.
  • I recently formed a powerful working relationship with my best friend after strong urging from our patron deities. This is the one thing I can't really talk about besides this short mention due to its very private nature. Nevertheless, it is one of the most demanding projects I have on my plate right now. 
  • During ecstatic work with the Wildwood Art, I was approached by a figure that identified itself as the Black Goat of Mysteries, the Witchfather, the Man in Black, and the Devil of the Craft. Of all things that have happened to me over this past year, His appearance, call, and our work have been the most unexpected and unpredictable. In our considerably few interactions compared to beings I've worked with or worshipped for years (like Hekate), the Witchfather has been almost terrifyingly and tangibly real and manifested. His is a path I neither expected nor devised nor intended and though He came along with the Wildwood AND under the auspices of Hekate, He fits in neither NeoHellenic Witchcraft nor the Wildwood Art. Perhaps He is the "missing" leg of the Triskelion after all. My work with him so far has been... illuminating, to say the least.
  • My work with the Stardust Compass has taken an unfortunate backseat, so to speak, during all this. It's still there, it still calls to me and itches my soul for involvement but I am stretched towards too many and too demanding directions. I have promised myself to return to it come Autumn because it sings a song to my spirit that fills gaps, however small or hidden, that nothing else does.
  • I have been advised, both by Gods and fellow devotees/practitioners, to pursue training and participation in the Ordo Aurum Solis, something I had been mulling over for a few years now. While financial and spiritual reasons haven't allowed me to tackle it just yet, it is something I will definitely move towards and attempt as soon as possible.
  • From a mundane perspective, I've been working on my comics and writing as well as devoting a lot of time to my relationship with my boyfriend (practically fiance). Living with family, good, supportive, loving family is not a bad thing but at the age of 26 at the time of writing of this piece, it is a bit too much. So, I'm working as hard as I can to gain my much desired and needed independence which will remove a lot of limitations on my life, especially on the spiritual/religious/magical part.

That's just the cliff-notes version of the past year. When I performed those transformative rituals during the Three Days, I knew they'd open up the way for a lot of new and challenging things. I just didn't think it would turn out to be this busy! Now, none of this is truly an excuse or justification for not posting on here. If anything, it reinforces my view that I'm a sloppy procrastinator when it comes to blogging. Still, I think I owed you, my readers, an explanation and an update of sorts for my absence. Let's hope I can keep some semblance of activity on here from now on!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Aretalogy of Hekate



I am HEKATE.
I am She of the Many Names.
I am Hekate of the Crossroads.
I am the Torchbearing Mistress of the Night.
I am the Keybearer of the Ineffable Mysteries.
I am Hekate of Heaven, Earth, and Sea.
I am at all places and none at once.
I am the Crossroads and its Liminal Heart.
I am the World Soul and from Me the River of Mysteries springs forth.
I am Triple Hekate, Friend of Kore, She who consoles Demeter and soothes the pain of loss.
I am the Kourotrophos, namelessly honoured by mothers with their cries during labour.
I am the Psychopomp for the Lost.
I am the Queen of the Dead and of the Infernal Realms.
I am She who treads Olympus and Hades alike.
I am Hekate, Unconquerable Queen, Daughter of my Father and heiress to His might.
I am Hekate, Veiled with the Starry Night-sky and Bringer of Oracles, Daughter of my Mother and heiress to Her gift.
I am the Initiatrix and the Creatrix and the Mother of All Souls.
I am the Cauldron of the Witch and the Wisdom of the Cunning Man and the fearful prayer upon the lips of the wary traveler.
I am She who provides to the poor and the wealthy alike.
I am Hekate, Many-named, Many-formed, equally honoured by mortals and immortals for eternity.
I am She who births the Witchblood.
I am She who grants the First Flame to the soul of man.
I am Hekate of the Obscure, Hekate of the Renowned, Hekate of the Mighty, Hekate of the Hidden.
I am the Goddess of Liminality and I am found on every threshold.
I am the one that brings all together at the roots of the World Tree which I feed with my own essence.
I am the Witch Queen, terrible in my splendor, mighty in my Craft, teacher of the gifted and the restless.
I am the Mother of Theurgy, who taught humanity how to become like Us.
I am the Mediator of the Mortal and Immortal Realms, for prayers can be heard and answers received in accordance to my Will.
I am Hekate, thrice-adored, thrice-worshipped, thrice-honoured.
I am She of the Darkest Night and the Brightest Day, She of Dawn and Dusk and of the changing Moon.
I am She who holds the universe in Her palm yet sees every single candle flame.
I am the Flame and the Shadow and the Soul Crystalline in the Heart of the World and in the souls of all living things.
I am the Lurker in the Cave, the Keeper of Secrets, and the Wielder of all True Names.
I am the Primary Initiatrix and all Mysteries flow from me.
I am HEKATE.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Days of Hekate III: Labrys Full Moon Ritual and Wildwood Workings



On Sunday, May 22nd, I attended a public ritual for the Full Moon hosted by Labrys on Philopappou Hill in downtown Athens (it’s a hill next to the Acropolis). It was a very beautiful ritual: we were gathered in a circle around the altar, the only light coming from the illuminated city around the hill, the torches held by some of the women participating and the various candles and oil lamps on and around the altar. 


One of the torchbearers invoked Hekate with a hymn I hadn’t heard before, although parts of it were familiar. I didn’t have the chance to ask afterwards but I think it was a hymn crafted personally by her and included pieces of other hymns as well. It was beautiful, wild, and moving to the point that I couldn’t recall the hymns to the other Goddesses afterwards. The whole ritual was exceptionally pleasing, aesthetically and energetically.


There was a bit of a problem though. It got really cold to the point that I couldn’t stop shivering. Unwilling to break circle to get my jacket or to interrupt the gorgeous ritual in any way, I silently called upon two of the Four Guardian Spirits: Mother Bear of the North and Brother Wolf of the South, two important spirit animals in the Wildwood Druidry. That actually helped a lot! Slowly, I began feeling a sense of warmth emanating from inside me (my “centre”, the point in my body I visualise as my core and centre during centering and meditations, located a little above the solar plexus) which extended to my entire body. It faded somewhat at times during the ritual because my focus was divided but, other than that, it worked better than I expected. 


After the ritual, we had a simple feast of sorts, sharing salty foods and red wine and having fun as a community (it looks a lot like an outdoors party, in fact!). As always, I only took a few sips and offered the rest as a libation. Even so, I felt a bit “tipsy” and unstable on my feet and I was positively buzzing with the energy of the ritual, despite being dead-tired from the hours of standing. When I got home, I was too charged up to rest so I performed an ecstatic rite for the Wildwood Spirits, a working that brings me in communion with them through the use of a veil, ecstatic dance, and “spirit-talk”*. I thanked them for their aid with the cold and then decided on the spot to use this as a chance to do something I had in mind for a while: request entrance to the Wildwood Realm under their auspices**. I uttered my request and, while still in trance, drew a card from the Wildwood Tarot deck to serve as the answer from the Spirits. It was an overwhelmingly positive and reassuring card, essentially the Spirits screaming “YES!” to me in regards to my request. Deeply moved, I thrice blessed and thanked the Spirits and slowly finished the rite.


Thus concluded the Three Days of Hekate, which began with Her Sacred Fires, continued with the Nomen Rite, and finished with a public Full Moon ritual and a private Wildwood rite. Those three days were filled with potent energies and presences, moving and powerful experiences, and a lot of hope and determination for the future.

__________________________________________________

*Spirit-talk: Speaking while in trance and communion with Gods or Spirits, with minimal control over my speech, allowing the inspiration of the Spirits and the words of my soul to come forth, unhindered by the conscious mind. It is essentially a type of oral automatic writing, as well as a type of channeling and mediumship. The Gods and Spirits don’t possess me or talk through me per se – rather, it is a way for me to open up to their guidance and inspiration completely as well as speak what is True and what comes directly from my soul (thus all speech during spirit-talk is Words of Power and can be considered the same as spell utterances and incantations). It is an important tool in my spirit-work as it allows me to remember what transpires but also to gain insight and gnosis that would otherwise be hidden from me. It also allows me to express my true will, intent and feelings without relying on scripted prayer or invocations or stumbling to find the proper words.


**Entering the Wildwood Realm: This is part of a bigger subject that I will discuss on this blog at some point. Long story short, it is part of a process for working with and experiencing the Wildwood Realm and all its Spirits, and it refers to getting the permission of specific Spirits before entering the Wildwood, for a host of reasons, such as protection and guidance. While it is entirely possible to enter the Wildwood without permission (it’s not a closed-off realm) and even experience it in different ways (“enter it from different gates”, if you will), requesting permission is a necessary step for entering the Wildwood in a specific manner and being able to fulfill specific conditions and workings in the future, as per Triskelion and Wildwood Druidry practice.

Days of Hekate II: The Nomen Rite



On Saturday 21st of May, I performed a rite for which I was preparing for months.  The reason behind such lengthy preparation was that the Nomen Rite was as important as my dedication to Hekate and, in some ways, even more binding and serious for me. It was a long, intricate ritual, lasting a bit more than 2 hours, making it one of the lengthiest rituals I have ever performed in 11+ years of practice. It was also rather taxing and demanding in terms of invocations, maintenance and work. Truly, it ought to have been a group ritual, with at least two more people to help but, alas, the Triskelion is a solitary path (for now?).


The Nomen Rite, as the name suggests to those familiar with Latin, was my naming ceremony. In this ritual, I took a special name – a “magical name” for the first time in my entire Pagan life – that was revealed to me by Hekate and the Wildwood Spirits, and one I had to take if I was to commit fully and truly to the Triskelion and open up all channels and gates for the road ahead. At first, I was only aware of one name I had to take but during the preparatory period, I was “told” that it had a supplementary name-title indicating “where my heart was born”. 


I’ve mentioned this before here, and now I can finally talk more about it. Specifically, divination and spirit communion explained that I can, now, reveal the Great Spirit that has been aiding me in this work as well as a good deal of the Rite itself and a part of my name: the supplementary name-title. I am under oath not to reveal my “core name”, sadly. I also cannot share details of the Nomen Rite such as the invocations used or my Naming Oath (although I can tell you roughly what I swore). The Spirit that has been aiding me is the Heron and my new name is Chelydoreus, taken after the name of the village where I’ve spent nearly every summer of my life, the place where my maternal grandmother was born and raised, the place I consider my true home: the village of Chelydori, between Mt. Evrostini and Mt. Chelydorea, where Hermes found the tortoise he used to fashion the lyre, according to myth.


The Rite itself was deeply potent. Here’s the outline of the ritual: 

1.       Preparation:
·         Self purification
·         Space purification
·         Gathering necessary tools, offerings, etc.
2.       Casting the Magic Circle.
3.       Invocation of Hekate:
·         Hekataion Hymn, Orphic Hymn
4.       Invocation of the Wildwood Court:
·         Invocation of the Four Guardian Spirits
·         Invocation of the Heron
·         Invocation of the Horned One and His Lady of the Moon and Forest
5.       Rite of Manifestation of Hekate's Seal
6.       Main Working:
·         Declaration of the ritual's intent
·         Naming Oath (Όρκος Ονομαστικός, Sacramentum Nominis)
7.       Offerings, libations, hymns and prayers of praise
8.       Red Meal*
9.       Closing.


*Red Meal: Yes, this is indeed like the Traditional Witchcraft practice. The name and way to perform it were revealed to me by the Wildwood Spirits and after researching it out of curiousity I was shocked to find that it is an already existing and established rite - I thought it was a unique request from the Spirits!


One of the peculiarities of the ritual was that, even though the presences of the Gods and Spirits invoked were stronger than usual, I got very little in terms of communication and practically nothing in terms of epiphanies or revealed gnosis, despite my continuous requests to be shown what comes after this and what I should do from now on. After a lot of effort and communion, Hekate finally had a message for me: “You know what it is that must be done following this and We have nothing more to impart at this time.” In other words, we’re not going to spoon-feed you everything, you’re way past that stage. Do your own dirty work. Duly noted!


The offerings were nothing spectacular, sadly, but both divination and my intuition pointed towards them being very well-received, which made me very glad. Feelings of insecurity and inadequacy are some of my biggest personal “demons” and being told that even the small things – the only things – I am able to offer are happily accepted is a much needed reassurance.


This whole Rite and the naming itself primarily served as a dedication, of sorts, to the Triskelion. I committed myself fully and formally to this path and system and to the Gods and Spirits that come along with it. No more excuses, no more feeling bad about “dry spells” or periods of inactivity, no more arm-chair occultism. Moreover, the days after the Rite I found myself more open and sensitive to the Otherworld and receiving a lot more revealed gnosis that before – or, at the very least, more detailed and complete gnosis as opposed to the bits and pieces I was getting before. Indeed, other workings and divination confirmed that many spiritual “gates” within me and in my path had been opened and certain aspects of my work are finally accessible to me. In many ways, the Nomen Rite was a kind of spiritual initiation akin to what I experienced during my dedication to Hekate and felt very much as the – somewhat overdue – next step from the dedication.


That was the Nomen Rite or, perhaps more accurately, the Nomen Experience. I have a lot of things to still share here, beyond this; my account of the Three Days of Hekate is still not complete. I also have many other writings and work to finish and post. Until next time:


I am CHELYDOREUS, devotee of Hekate, practitioner of the Triskelion, Polytheist, Witch, Pagan, a student of the Mysteries indulging in the Great Work.