Discipline is something that I still don’t feel like I am succeeding with, and I don’t feel like I’m making the connections I’m supposed to make, so I’ve decided to take on a new project. In addition to my continued Sun devotional, I have written a generic COoR rite for my personal use, the purpose of which is to make connections with new deities that I have never worked with in the past. This generic ritual states that the purpose of this is to aid me on my path toward clergy, and to help me make connections that I have never had before. To begin with, I want to work through the Greek pantheon, because while it is my hearth, I have focused much of my attention on Athena so I don’t always have the connections I feel that I should at least try to experience.
I decided to start this process this week, because it was once again time for my monthly retreat to happen. I spent all week working to perfect my base ritual, and managed to get it to a point that it can be used repeatedly by simply replacing my deity of occasion and focus of the ritual. I have also left a space in the “Working” section of the ritual that will allow me to do my Trance work each week in the same ritual. I have decided that doing Trance work in the ritual for each deity, and trying to make it specific to the deity of occasion may be an interesting way to try to complete these courses, and may give me a chance to further connect with each of them.
Initiate the Rite
Light the fire candle
Shining Ones, I ask for your blessings on this path as I work to build new relationships with the Hellenic deities and foster my spiritual growth on my journey toward ordination.
Cleanse hands, head, and heart
Through this cleansing water, may my actions, intentions, and emotions be pure.
Light Hestia Candle
Glorious Hestia, goddess of the hearth and home, as I work to honor my connection with the Gods I ask you to join me and as I welcome them into my home.
Light Earth Mother Candle
Earth Mother, you who support and sustain all life, I ask you to join me as I continue my journey and work to build my spirituality.
Statement of Purpose
I stand before my altar, purified and ready for ritual. By performing this rite, I hope to expand my spiritual and ritual experience, while also building relationships with those deities that I have not previously connected with. I hope to build positive relationships with them, while also growing to understand my own path more clearly. Today, I am here to connect with __________________.
(Re)Create the Cosmos
Sacred Fire, flame of the hearth, gateway to the Shining Ones, this is the center of the cosmos. I kindle this fire in warmth and love. Sacred Fire, burn within me.
Offer whiskey to the fire.
Sacred Well, waters of wisdom, gateway to the Ancestors, this is the center of the cosmos. In the depth of the water flows wisdom. Sacred waters, flow within me.
Offer silver to the well.
Sacred Tree, pathway between the earth and sky, gateway to the Nature Spirits, this is the center of the cosmos. You are the path between all worlds. Sacred tree, grow within me.
Offer incense to the tree.
Open the Gates
I now call to Hermes, the messenger of the Deities and gatekeeper for this rite. I ask that you guide me through the cosmos. Let my words and actions carry to the otherworlds. Hermes, open the gates!
Offer feathers to Hermes
Inviting the Three Kindreds
Shining Ones, those who have been worshipped for millennia, deities of my hearth and many others, you who have guided me through life, I ask that you join me in this rite.
Make offering of oil.
Ancient Ancestors, those who have passed on before me, ancestors of blood, land, and heart, you who have helped me to become who I am, I ask that you join me in this rite.
Make offering of tobacco.
Nature Spirits, those who share this realm with me, spirits of land, sea, and sky, you who have shared my land and home, I ask that you join me in this rite.
Make offering of bird seed.
Deity of Occasion
This is where I will insert the invocation for the deity of occasion.
Prayer of Sacrifice
Through my feelings, thoughts, and actions I honor the Kindreds. They have given me guidance, inspiration, and motivation. It is with love, honor, and respect that I have offered my hospitality. Mighty Kindreds, I honor you. Accept my offering!
Make offering of mead.
I take an omen so I can receive a message from the Kindreds. What words do you have for me?
Call for the Blessing
I have given my praise freely and now receive a blessing in return. Mighty Kindreds, may your blessings be given to me.
Hallow & Affirm the Blessings
Behold the Waters of Life!
Drink the waters.
This is where I will insert specific trance work depending on the Deity of Occasion.
Thanking the Beings
_______________, thank you for attending this rite. I am honored to know you and experience your presence. Thank you __________.
Nature Spirits, thank you for attending this rite. May your knowledge and protection continue to make my path clear.
Ancestors, Thank you for attending this rite. May there be peace between us until we meet again.
Shining Ones, thank you for attending this rite. May you continue to guide and bless me on this journey.
Closing the Gates
Hermes, thank you for your guidance and protection as I have walked between the worlds. Now, I ask that you close the gates. Let the tree be but wood, let the well be but water, and let the fire be but flames. Let the gates be closed!
Thanking the Earth/Hearth
Gaia, divine mother, thank you for your support and sustenance on this journey. May my work continue to honor you.
Hestia, mistress of the flame, thank you for attending this rite. May your warmth and hospitality be shown through me.
Closing the Rite
I have done as my ancestors did and as my children will do. I will go into the world blessed by this newly found connection with _______________________ secure in the knowledge that I am on the path I am intended to be on. This rite is closed.
To begin these rituals, I decided to start with Hestia who is the goddess that the Greeks honored both first and last. I had previously written a prayer to her for my Liturgical Writing course, so I decided to put it to use to see how well it worked. When retreat day came, I woke up and said my impromptu prayers at my altar, and started my day. During lunch and supper I said my prayers of gratitude to Gaia for her continued sustenance and support, and spent the evening reading over the ritual I had written to make sure everything sounded the way I wanted it to. After I had put my son to bed, I completed the full ritual, and I’m quite pleased with the results. I think this will help me put a standard practice into place, while being varied enough to not get bored or frustrated with the process.
The flame is lit, to build our hearth and to welcome Hestia to the rite.
“Hestia, glorious goddess of the hearth,
You who we honor both first and last.
You embody both hearth and home
And guide us with your warmth.
With your name, we ignite the hearth fire.
Come forth and dwell in this space.
“We offer to you our mead, first bottle of the season,
to honor you first, before all others.”
“Hestia, gracious goddess of home
Goddess of the living flame
You who keep the hearth ablaze
And inspire us with your light.
With your name, we start our rite.
Come forth and dwell in this place.”
“Through you, may our hearts warmed.
Through you, may our homes be bright.
Through you, may all who join be welcomed.
And through you may our intentions be pure.
Hestia, magnificent goddess,
Come forth and encounter this rite.”
I received positive omens that I am on the right path and that I am taking a step that is pleasing, both to me and to the Gods. Since I decided to try to incorporate my trance work into these rituals, so once I made it to the “working” portion of the ritual, I picked up Hestia’s candle from my altar, and placed it on a low shelf. I then sat upon the floor and focused my eyes on the flame, which was hidden behind the sigil of Hestia that is etched into the candle-holder. Initially my vision doubled and I watched the flames dance and move. I found myself drifting, and remembering fondly the flames of my pass. I had thoughts of camping as a child, telling stories by the fire. I could feel the warmth of the Midnight Flame as I talked into the wee hours of the night. I saw the shadows of the flames as I spent hours talking with my new protogrove after our very first ritual. All of these flames showed me the community I was in, and helping to build. All of these reminded me just how important the hearth is to me, and made it quite obvious that Hestia has been present in my life for much longer than I realized. I think this will be a very interesting experiment overall.
Greek Alphabet Oracle -- Eta -- The life-giving Sun will care for you
Gamma -- You will have a successful harvest
Theta -- You have the helping Gods of this path