New Moon 4/14/2010

Dear Friends,

Here is how I spent my evening…
I woke up at around 5pm and made some coffee and a peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich for breakfast.  Showered.  Puttered around on the computer and ran to the store before sundown, and did some cleaning in my room.   It wasn’t going to be pristine but I at least put things in order and sorted my usual creatively exploded environment into piles…

… besides of the Theoi, Hekate seems to be the least concerned or bothered by the occasional mess as she stands a bit outside the usually more metaphorically Apollonian world of the Theoi, although I think she certainly appreciates some effort at the proper respects…

I set out a purple altar cloth.  Upon it I placed an incense holder, a stick of incense, the small black ceramic Sake bottle that I have adapted to use as a vessel/lamp in my honoring of Her, and a copy of the Homeric Hymn to Hecate.

To set my mind in the proper mood I listened to the Waterboys song Church Not Made With Hands and let my mind wander around the Internet… opening myself to Her inspiration and stopping off at a few interesting and synchronous spots along the way.  Then I took a deep conscious breath, and listened to Daemonia Nymphe’s Nocturnal Hecate.

I sat in silence for a few moments, then I took a handful of barley and held it in my hand.  Pouring it from hand to hand I contemplated the flavor, the texture, the taste, and the fact that for many in the world today and for so many in the ancient world this might be a meal’s worth of food.  When I felt I had truly reached some understanding of what I was offering, I poured the barley into the black ceramic Sake pitcher.  I placed the tea-light candle into the spout portion, and lit it.  I raised my hands to the heavens and read the Hymn.

Then I lit the incense from the candle flame and sat in silence for a while open to Her inspiration and being thankful for her blessings.

And now to work, and to Work, and to contemplate her inspirations…



Hekate and Hellenic Polytheism on the New Moon

Dear Friends and Pagani,

Tonight it begins…

I have made to myself a promise to deeply engage my spirituality & spiritual practice, and my religious practices, this year.  As I walk many religious roads this is a challenge, but tonight I begin to re-engage with Hekate, and really engage for the first time in a focused Hellenic rite for Her… a couple of days from now I will be engaging in my first formal Noumenia observance…

To start here’s a video to help me get into the mood…

This is the music that I will be listening to after I shower, shave and lay out some nice clothes… from the interesting band Daemonia Nymphe, a Greek band that uses ancient instruments and sticks to largely ancient and Hellenic Pagan themes…(info on their myspace and lastFM pages…)

I will post updates to this post tomorrow a little bit later, with more details.

… a little bit later!

So I started by shaving and cleaning up and changing into some clean, nice clothes. I had set up a candle, an incense stick (lavender) and holder, a length of rope braided into a rough flail, and my Athame, onto an small wooden chest with a purple cloth over it… although I need to get some good saffron yellow cloth since that color is associated with Hekate.

Now the fact that I include my Athame (a ritual dagger from Contemporary Religious Witchcraft) in a ritual to Hekate is going to cause some Hellenic Polytheists some wariness, or sneering condescension from the more fundamentalist minded.

In my researches I have found Daggers and Flails listed as items symbolic or associated with Hekate (I have yet to find any truly evocative Keys, which are also associated with Her) and using my Athame is both practical and symbolic.   First off, I just don’t have a huge supply of daggers to chose from and my Athame, in my case an all metal kris-style dagger with a dragon shaped handle is what I have on hand; of course the fact that it is not only symbolic of my will and identity as a Witch helps.  One of the most famous Witches and worshipers of Hekate (if not a very good model of healthy relationships or evenness of temper) in ancient literature is Medea; who is also associated with dragons.  Then too the Athame is used to draw a Circle, to make boundaries, so it partakes of some of the same limnality that The Night Wandering Maiden does.   All of these speak deeply to that core part of the soul that must be engaged for successful religious ritual.   So for me, when I am honoring Hekate, this bit of cross-over will work, at least for now… She hasn’t made any objections if She does, or the Lady and Lord do, I will find some other way.

Anyway, I set the altar up, cleaned up while maintaining silence, preparing myself to make an Offering to Her.  I lit a candle and listened to the music from the above video.  Then while the music was playing I turned off the screen and simply listened for a bit.  Once the music stopped I set myself before the altar and raised my arms in the Orens Position, as was done in prayers in the Ancient world; and, reading from a placard I have made I spoke the words of the Orphic Hymn to Hekate and lit the incense in offering to Her.  I then read my own invocation/hymn to Her in offering.

I thanked Her for her Guidance and Presence and Blessings in my life as I sought to honor the Theoi and understand and seek the Mysteries.  I asked for her guidance in how to approach the upcoming Noumenia and the worship of the Theoi and Spirits.

At this point I had the strong impression that I should get some barley to scatter for the next time I approach any of the Theoi in sacrifice; I also got the sense that She would urge me to wait a while, and study some more of the right practice and of the Gods of the Noumenia, and the Theoi in general, before engaging in that ritual.

I blew out the candle, and simply sat in darkness and silence for a while.  I ended my time with Her by simply saying “Thank You.” with my arms in the Orens position once more.   Then I left the room by backing out of it to give Her some privacy to enjoy the incense offered unto Her.

I will be reading more of my just recently received copy of Kharis: Hellenic Polytheism Explored and Greek Religion, and doing some more study online.  I will also be lighting a stick of incense in memory and honor of the Theoi on the Noumenia rather than the more formal observance I had been contemplating.

That’s all on the topic for now,



New Moon, Noumenia, and Me.

Dear Friends and Pagani,

A stick of incense burns upon my altar.  An offering unto the Theoi on the Noumenia.

In ancient times the Noumenia honored Selene, Apollon Noumenios, and The  Household Gods; including Hestia, Zeus, Hermes, Hecate, Appolon Ageieus, the familial Agathos Diamons, and ones honored Ancestors.   Many contemporary Hellenic Polytheists will take this time to honor and make offerings to all of the Theoi.

Technically I am three days late, as the first sliver of the waxing moon, which the ancients considered the New Moon and the start of the new month; however it was on a walk earlier this evening that I caught my first sight of the moon since the astrological New Moon.  It helps that I am being inspired by recent discussion of how to handle food offerings on the Neos Alexandria ~ discussion group on Yahoo.

The basic discussion was that once food has been offered to the Gods, it becomes blessed as They partake of its essence, and then the worshiper may eat the food offered to the Gods.   (the general feel, based on UPG and some historical sources, is that food offered to the Dead is better left out in the woods or perhaps burnt)  Because of my current financial status I have to rely on discussion groups and online sources of information about my worship of the Theoi.  Although admitedly almost 40 years of being a history geek have certainly helped to inform my online research… and I am finding a little money here and there to start buying books to increase my knowledge and understanding.

And still I practice.  I pray to Them, I make offerings of incense, and now apples, and water… maybe some juice or wine….  Practice, practice, practice… Pray, sit in meditation, breathe into my Center, going for walks, writing out my thoughts and feelings and doing my best to become the best me I can be; both for myself and for the Gods.

“Every day, in some small way, I reweave myself, I rebuild myself.”

I am not only dealing with the recent break-up of my increasingly mis-named Life Partnership with the Big Guy; I am dealing with all of the old patterns and hurts that I have acknowledged for years but never really wrestled with, everthing that came roiling to the surface after the break-up.

I am doing it though!  I am finding my way.   I am learning who I am and what is important to me.  I am building my spiritual and religious practices and figuring out how to work within and build upon my relationships with the Theoi, and with the Lady and Lord of the Witches, and the other Gods who I encounter and have encountered in my journey.

I am learning how to budget, and how to eat properly, and how to date and laugh and live and love; both again and for the first time.

For all of these blessings, and all of the blessings in my life, I thank the Gods.  I offer my words and sweet smelling incense unto Them.



Praying and Pouring

I went about my day today in a bit of a daze.  Strange hours of sleep and a lot of emotional ups and downs.  I’ve written some of my thoughts about Prop 8 and its ilk already.

I didn’t do any sort of formal ritual today.  I simply prayed and made some offerings.

I lit some incense for President Bush, President Elect Obama, and for John McCain and their guiding and guardian spirits.  I lit some Incense for the Lord and Lady of Witchcraft.  I poured some libations of water and wine to my beloved dead and to the Mighty Dead of the Craft and to our Fallen Soldiers.  I poured Water for Hecate.  I poured Wine for Dionysus.  I drank some wine and though some thoughts and am trying to assess a question on the minds of a lot of people right now.

What can I do?

I’m still working on that one.  I have a lot more praying and thinking to do.



Bouncing off the Gods…

Cat Chapin-Bishop of Quaker Pagan Reflections has been posting on her own Spiritual Journey recently.  Her discussion of experiencing the touch and Inspiration of the Divine has me thinking about some of my own encounters with the Gods.

In my own experience of Paganism – Witchcraft (non TIW/BTW) – one either invites the presence of the Gods or Directly invokes Them.  Over the years I have wavered between the two activities.  Experiencing the Divine through ritual and gnosis is a lot like a roller coaster ride.  There are ups and downs and slow climbs and fast drops and exhilaration and fear and sometimes all you can do is strap yourself in and hold on for dear life.  This business of relating to the Gods is also sometimes quite subtle… like hearing a piece of a favorite song from the open window of a passing car as you drive upon the highway… a hint of something dear as you travel through your day.


The first time I felt a sense of connection or Touch of Divinity was as I sat before an altar meditating one day.  I sat cross-legged on the ground (what they were still calling, when I was a small boy, Indian-style.)  Meditating when an image of the Horned God came into my mind, His form super-imposed with my own, both of us sitting with our backs against and inter-grown with an immense tree.   Looking back I also had a sense of being showed something or how to do something…
“Not quite, more like THIS!”

That image has stayed with me for years as my grounding and centering imagery.


One of my acquaintances was, at best troubled.   At worst he was facing some type of mental illness, he claimed multiple personalities and based on my own experiences and observations I would tend to believe him.

I was circling late one night and prayed to the Goddess for guidance on how to help him.  I literally heard a voice say…
“Love Him!”

At which point, more than a little spooked and startled, I whirled around looking for the source of that voice so fast that I put out the Southern Candle and nearly knocked over the Altar.


The first time I felt the undeniable and powerful touch of the Divine, where I had no doubt, no question of did I imagine it…  Itwas one night as I was walking home from work.  A dear friend had given me a letter and told me that if anything happened to her I was to give this letter to her parents!  (Ah, our 20’s…)  I was deeply concerned and I started thinking what to do.  It was early on in my journey as a Witch and it was also the early 1990’s and all-things-Celtic were popular and shiny…

So it made perfect sense to me since I wanted to see my friend protected and deffended when I decided to pray to the Morrigan.  (I can already hear any Celtic recons in the audience chuckling to themselves…)

Late one night as I was walking home along some bike-paths on the outskirts of downtown Anchorage, I approached a place where three oths met.  Somehow in my mind a Cross-roads, despite not having any direct association with the Morrigan, seemed an appropriate place to call upon Her.  A limnal spot, a place of choices and consequences.  As I walked towards the cross-roads I framed my intention in my mind, I called to her and prayed to the Raven of Battles for my friends safety and protection, and She heard me.

There was the sudden sense of the inrushing of presence, like a tidal wave of Presence.  I remember feeling as if I was being picked up and looked at and examined from every angle and at the same time looked through to the deepest parts of my Soul.  I felt small, insignificant and helpless before this presence.  Then, a sense of… approval and assent?   Then a sense of this same powerful presence leaving me, rushing away swiftly like the wind.

I stood there, stunned, not knowing what to do or how to do it…. my mind reeled from the reality of the moment and the realization that, in fact, “this shit is REAL.”  (as a Witch of my acquaintence once put it…)

It was then that I felt another presence, a gentle and nurturing presence, amused by my foibles take me in hand.  Not taking over me, but guiding me.  There was a sense in the back of my mind of an amused older person saying things like…

“That’s just the way the Gods are sometimes….”


“It’s all right, these things happen… Just go home and go to bed, you can deal with this later…”

I had little to nothing do with the Morrigan or the Celtic Gods since that night.  Although it now occurs to me that I must make some offerings of thanks to the Raven of Battles for hearing and answering my petition.  It is only in recent years that I had realized that the second presence, the gentle guiding and oh,so amused one who led me back to my home, was Hecate.

I posted this story and a Heathen of my acquaintance told me, “you’ve been tapped!”

I am still sorting out my relationship with and devotion to Hecate and the Gods of Greece as a part of my religious life as a Witch.


More experiences in this vein later…

Begining… again and again…

Tonight is the New Moon and I have honored Hecate.  I made some offerings of incense and poured a libation of consecrated water.  I also sent a prayer of thanks and remembrance to my Honored Predecessors… my own term for those members of the honored dead who were Queer.  In a sort of cultural, or perhaps subcultural, way they are my Ancestors too and I feel a need to grant them a special recognition.

I have been rereading A Book of Pagan Prayer by Ceiswr Serith.  A very useful little book, I highly reccomend it!  I contains a lot of wisdom and information about relating to the Gods through prayer and of the different types of prayer one may offer up to Them.  I found some inspiration in the pages of this book, and indeed some great prayers to Liberty for the upcoming U.S. Independence Day.

The last few weeks I have been just kind of coasting along.  I think I have somehow switched the Winter Solstice stasis/hibernation patterns of my youth for a Summer Solstice Stasis now that I live in a land of Stifling heat and humidity.  I have also been thinking, some, about this annual pattern of ‘hibernation’.  Everything but the most necessary duties, work and some housework, is dropped.

I am feeling betwixt and between as I realize I need something more than Solitary practice at this point in my life.  I also feel intimidated as I contemplate trying to immerse myself in Witchcraft and how shall I ballance that with building my career in the Hospitality and Restaurant industry?

I think… no, I know I need to meditate more, and pray more.  I need to open myself up to the inspiration of the Gods and I need to learn to listen to Them and to the wisdom of the world around me, as well as that quiet voice of Wisdom inside myself.

Strange.  I find myself thinking about a truly spiritual life and how it is sometimes like climbing up a seemingly endless series of fire escapes.  You work and you strive to reach a level and then there is more work ahead of you.  Living a faith, any faith, is like that.  It is a continuing journey, an eternal blossoming forth into the light of the Divine.

New Moon 2~7~2008

In place of casting the Circle, a Blessing…

“In this night, and in this hour,
With this head, and heart, and voice of mine,
In this place, I call upon magicks power,
To Reawaken and Rekindle the spark Divine,
In each cell and atom of this now holy place.”

Then the invokation…

“I call Einodian Hecate,
Lovely dame, of earthly, watery, and celestial fame,
Sepulchral, in a saffron veil arrayed,
Pleased with dark ghosts that wander through the shade;
Persian, unconquerable huntress hail!
The world’s key-bearer never doomed to fail;
on the rough rock to wander thee delights,
Leader and nurse be present to our rites;
Propitious grant our just desires success,
Accept our homage, and the incense bless.”

Lit the insence, toasted the Goddess, and poured a Libation.


Hecate is at once the Thousand Faced Night,
And the Torch Bearer, Guardian and Giude through the Wilderness…


I am experimenting with blessing a place, trying to reawaken or rekindle the inherint divinity of a place rather than casting Circle. A Circle is one way of working magick and creating sacred space, but there are others.

I like to think that by not limiting the blessing or holyness with a boundary that, maybe, eventually, that rekindling of holyness will spread like a wildfire, or like water spilled in a Libation. Washing over every atom and cell of creation, touching and transforming the world.

Hmmm… I’ve got a LOT of blessing to do!



So tonight was my second ritual honoring Hecate.

It was nice, a pleasant piece of time spent pouring a libation to Her, and raising a toast to Her, and thanking Her for Her guidance and for the blessings I have had in my life.

Nothing dramatically woo-woo, although while my own dog stayed calmly on the couch it did amuse me to hear the far off barking and howling of other dogs in the area. Coincidence or Sign, I don’t know. It made me smile though.

It is strange for me to notice some of the changes I have already experienced in the last month.

It seems as if grounding and centering is something that comes in an instant now. I think about it for a moment and I’m there. The visualizations and imagry that were once an integral part of this process for me are not a requirement for me anymore. I remember the images and associations, but I no longer feel a connection to them.

It does not feel like a loss, although a part of me feels as if it should.

Having given myself over to Hecate and Dionysus I know that I am inviting changes into my life. I don’t fear change as much as I once did, even a few weeks ago…. is that another sea change wrought by Their presence in my life?

I have a lot of questions about this… I need to talk to some folks about these changes…

My mundane life is going well, work is progressing and I have a good chance of becoming full time at the theme-park. My final semester of school is half-way over. Soon I will Graduate. Another ritual, another transformation.

I have been finding distractions with readings and gaming online, but I think I am ready to set my old pattern of disctracting myself from looming changes with trivialities. On some deep level I feel like I am being re-woven into someone new. Given how much time and energy I spent trying to discover who I really was and to like myself, this seems both exciting and bothersome.

“When one door closes, another door opens…” ~ nearly every regular character on Charmed… among other folks who’ve said that…

I haven’t posted here for much the same reason, not only the lack of time with my recently hectic work schedual, but also the reflex action of shying away from dealing with serious things. Not wanting to write here, not wanting to think about what is going on within me and what comes next. So much of my life, heck- so much of our society, seems to be about NOT dealing with things… with making excuses or avoiding responsibility.

Not trying to be anxty here, just factual and observational…

more later…

"A flawed offering is still an offering."

So my work schedule at the theme park has gone into overdrive and my schedule has been moving around like a five-year-old on Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs!

I wasn’t able to perform my libation or prayers to Dionysus on the First Quarter as planned. Exhaustion and a lack of time contributed to this, as did my own feeling that I should strive to honor the gods to the best of my ability. I was feeling increasingly guilty about not being able to honor Him as planned and prayed to Hecate on this one day before work.

“Even a flawed offering is still and offering.”

The words or though very clearly entered my head. They had that indefinable feeling of being something to pay attention to, and of coming from outside myself, that I have learned to listen to/notice/respect over the years. I thought about it for a few minutes, turning the idea and its implications over in my head.

The Gods know us at least as well as we know ourselves, heck they have an outside perspective so they usually know us better that we know ourselves… even at first acquaintance. They are more than capable of knowing what is sincerity and what is superficial.

It seemed like Hecate was telling me to go for it, so I did.

I uttered a simple prayer to Dionysus, offering a portion of my heart and life to Him and explaining why I was doing so, and my new found relationship with Hecate. In response I felt an unfolding of joy and good cheer and received a bit of personal wisdom.

Tonight I intend to honor Them, and those Gods who have touched my heart and mind and soul in the past. An early Full Moon, as it were, for this wandering and wondering Witch.

Everything she touches changes…

It has been one week since the New Moon, and I celebrated my first New Moon with Hecate. I feel different, this post is about trying to pinpoint how.

I have tried to do some of my grounding and centering excercises, and I do get grounded and centered, but it’s like I don’t quite have to think about the steps to get there.

I also feel… insulated from the world around me… not a lot… but noticeably so.

I also feel, somehow more witchy, or more like I have in the past when I have focused on doing ritual to honor the Gods, or when getting ready to do magick, or when noticing some significant sign. It isn’t a constant thing, but its like I will feel it at the drop of a hat, and it’s much easier to get into that frame of mind.

Anyone with thoughts or advice feel free to advise or theorise!


I am trying to wait until the First Quarter to pray to and pour libations to Dionysus… but its like every time I hear music I feel the urge to dance, and celebrate…

Wading through Deep Waters and Ancient Rythms…


My First Hacatean Moon… and other musings…

So I celebrated Hecate for the first time formaly on the New Moon a few days ago…

Simple creation of sacred space and a reading from one of the ancient Hymns to Hecate… I thanked Her for Her guidance so many years ago, offered myself and a part of my life to her while also explaining my desire to offer a part of my life to Dionysus and why I was doing such…

In this case it was a very gentle sense of presence, nothing dramatic, but a sense of having been heard.

I offered libations of water and wine.

a simple begining…

My next celebration will be of the First Quarter which I am celebrating as a time of honoring Dionysus… given the metaphors and symbolism of both growth and ballance it seems an appropriate time to honor Him.

Full Moons will be for them both and for honoring other Gods and Goddesses who have touched my life…

The Last Quarter is planned as downtime and a time for purification and contemplation…

more later… I need sleep…

Getting in touch with myself and my journey….

I am still trying to sort out my own faith and practice as a Witch right now. I’ve started working on an article comparing the myths of Dionysus with the processes of grape growing and wine making… I am also sorting out my own thoughts on a piece about the power of the Pagan Dollar for Pagan spenders and Pagan business people…

It would be very easy to set my journey aside for a while right now… new school term, the final one, starting this week… and one of the busy seasons comming up at work… but I shall perservere… I am waiting until the New Moon to Circle… I need to get in touch with Hekate… I think the Waxing moon shall be for Dionysus … not sure how to handle the Full Moon yet with the two of them… still sorting a lot out as I said.


The Autumnal Equinox and my new life…

So Deborah Lipp over at Property of a Lady has a good post about the Autumnal Equinox’s place or role in Wicca and reminds us that this was also when the Greater Mysteries of Eleusinia were performed in the Greece of the Ancients…

As I wrote to her, I’m in kind of a transitional place about the Autumnal Equinox myself. In Alaska it was easy… the Equinox is a very visible and powerful turn of the wheel the 12hour by 12 hour borderline between the Light and Dark halves of the year. Its next to impossible not to become more contemplative and turn inward with the temperature dropping and the hours of night beginning to outnumber those of the day.

Heck living up there makes you really question the idea of the Equinoxes and Solstices as “lesser” Sabbats! (as some sources call them)

Now, in Florida (for my 2nd year), its just sort of there…

I have yet to really relate to it as the Pagan Thanksgiving that some folks like to cite it as. This despite having helped with and even hosted/coordinated Pagan Pride events in the past. I think next year I shall do something grand… A large family style dinner with friends and fellow Pagans. A cornucopia, the scents of a great big family meal, a hint of incense, Autumnal colors, and most of all, friends and family, toasting with wine and juices those things we are most thankful for at this turning of the wheel.

Wine… funny that… in the last couple of weeks so many coincidences have lead me to surrender myself to Dionysus and to Hekate. Randomly surfing to sites with Hellenic Recon and Ceremonial Magick related info to them both. Finding my Wines class text book and opening it to the page of Enology’s origins in Ancient Greece.

It feels that I have found a piece of what I’ve been seeking recently in a God and Goddess of the ancient days… a little intimidating that they both held court over Mysteries in surrendering myself to them I am wading into infinitely deep waters and on some level I know I will have to swim through powerful currents.

I have been reading Their prayers and praises, Their myths and stories, the words of those also dedicate to Them. The Boisterous Lord and the Light Bearing Lady. I have been seeking understanding of Them by studying and researching Their symbols. The Dagger and the Thyrsos, Wine and Cross-Roads, Black Dogs and Wild Cats.

The cross roads… as a former life-long Alaskan THAT seems appropriate on the Equinox. As I take my first steps on a new road within my journey I wish each of you well in yours. May Her Torches light your way, May his Drums help lighten your step.