Tag Archives: greek

Using Indo-European Liturgical Language

Using Indo-European Liturgical Language

1) Translate the following liturgical phrases into your Hearth Culture language:

Modern Greek – dictionary used noted in the Bibliography section

  1. We are here to honor the Gods.
    1. Είμαστε εδώ για να τιμήσει τους Θεούς – Eímaste edó gia na timísei tous Theoús
  2. So Be It. (or a similar finalizing statement)
    1. Let it be! – έστω – ésto
  3. Ancestors, accept our offering!
    1. Ancestors, accept this sacrifice! – πρόγονοί, αποδεχθεί αυτή θυσία – prógonoi, apodechtheí aftí thysía
  4. Nature Spirits, accept our offering!
    1. Spirits of Nature, accept this sacrifice! – πνεύματα της φύσης, αποδεχθεί αυτή θυσία – pnévmata tis fýsis, apodechtheí aftí thysía
  5. Gods (Deities), accept our offering!
    1. Gods, accept this sacrifice! – θεοι, αποδεχθεί αυτή θυσία – theoi, apodechtheí aftí thysía
  6. Sacred Well, flow within us!
    1. ιερή πηγάδι, ροή μέσα μας – ierí pigádi, roí mésa mas
  7. Sacred Tree, grow within us!
    1. Sacred tree, grow within us – ιερή δέντρονα, φτάσει σε ύψος μέσα μας – ierí déntro, na ftásei se ýpsos mésa mas
    2. Sacred mountain, rise within us – ιερή βουνό, υψώνομαι μέσα μας – ierí vounó, ypsónomai mésa mas
  8. Sacred Fire, burn within us!
    1. ιερή φωτιά, καίγεται μέσα μας – ierí fotiá, kaígetai mésa mas
  9. Let the Gates be open!
    1. Let the way between/path be open! – προκαλούν οι διαδρομές για να ανοίξετε – prokaloún oi diadromés gia na anoíxete
  10. Gods, give us the Waters!
    1. θεοι, μας δίνουν την αγιασμός – theoi, mas dínoun tin agiasmós
  11. Behold, the Waters of Life!
    1. ιδού το αγιασμός της ζωής – idoú to agiasmós tis zoís
  12. Ancestors, we thank you.
    1. Ancestors, we thank you – πρόγονοί, εμείς σας ευχαριστούμε – prógonoi, emeís sas efcharistoúme
  13. Nature Spirits, we thank you.
    1. Spirits of Nature, we thank you – πνεύματα της φύσης, εμείς σας ευχαριστούμε – pnévmata tis fýsis, emeís sas efcharistoúme
  14. Gods (Deities), we thank you.
    1. Gods, we thank you – θεοι, εμείς σας ευχαριστούμε – theoi, emeís sas efcharistoúme
  15. Let the Gates be closed!
    1. Let the way between/path be closed! – προκαλούν οι διαδρομές για να κλείσει –  prokaloún oi diadromés gia na kleísei

 

2)  What do you consider to be the importance of using phrases in a hearth culture language other than Modern English (or your own native language) in ADF ritual? (Minimum 200 words)

Because all ADF rituals follow the same order of ritual, they often look very similar.  This is important because it allows us a commonality of practice with ADF.  However, the importance of using hearth culture language within an ADF ritual stems from the ability to add that hearth culture flavor to the ritual.  This can allow the folk to connect more deeply to the spirits and hearth culture in general, however it can also cause confusion and disconnect from the ritual as a whole if the language becomes a barrier to understanding and engagement. The benefits of using your non-native language within a ritual I think largely depend on the size of the ritual and familiarity of the group.

In a large group ritual, I think hearth culture language should be kept to a minimum. It works best when it is short, and/or doesn’t carry important liturgical meaning. Simple phrases, like “so be it!” often work well.  They are short, to the point, and often easy to repeat.  However, longer phrases that are important to the liturgy, especially if the folk are expected to repeat them, can make it more difficult to connect.  This is particularly true of folks who do not follow the hearth culture in question.  If the folk don’t know what is being said, they will have a harder time focusing their intent and staying engaged with the ritual.  The phrases within this course are often the ones that we use as call and response phrases in our grove.  I wouldn’t want to use them in a large group ritual because those call and response phrases are an important part of our liturgical flow, and help bring the folk and their energy into the ritual.  I think it’s important that they know what the phrases they’re saying mean.  For instance, when connecting to the Fire, Well, and Tree, and we say “Sacred Tree, Grow within me!”, if the folk don’t know what that phrase means, they will not have the benefit of that guided and deepening connection. The trouble with using your non-native language in ritual can be seen historically as well with the Catholic Church, who had trouble with its congregants due in large part to a language barrier (Placher 186-7).

In a small group ritual, where all the participants are familiar with both the ritual structure, and the phrases being used, I think it can be a powerful tool. The use of hearth culture language can help the folk feel more deeply connected to a specific hearth culture.  There is some intense power and group-mind building that can happen when all in the ritual know what is going on.  I have felt this when I practiced with my Hellenic Demos, and the language came easily, we all knew what it meant, and it was tied to our own practice.  I have also felt the power in it a little bit when I’ve attended a ritual put on my Grove of the Midnight Sun, and they’ve made calls in Old Norse.  The difference there I think is that I didn’t have to repeat the phrases, and sometimes the phrases were translated into English for us following the Old Norse.  I could feel the energy shift, though still felt a slight sense of disconnect from the ritual itself due to not understanding what had been said.

Bibliography

“English to Greek.” Word Reference. Web. 9 Mar. 2016.

“Google Translate.” Google Translate. Web. 11 Mar. 2016.

Negre, Xaiver. “Modern Greek Dictionary Online Translation.” Words and Wonders of the World. Lexilogos, 2002. Web. 11 Mar. 2016.

Placher, William C. Readings in the History of Christian Theology. Philadelphia, PA: Westminster, 1988. Google Books. Web. 11 Mar. 2016.

Sophistes, Apollonius. “Hellenic Magic Ritual.” Hellenic Magical Ritual. Biblioteca Arcana, 2000. Web. 7 Mar. 2016.

Sophistes, Apollonius, and Thexalon. “Ritual Phrases in Greek.” Oi Asproi Koukouvayies: White Owls Kin. Ár NDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship, n.d. Web. 7 Mar. 2016.

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Prometheia

Processional- 

Song: “Journey to the Temenos” by Jan Avende

Children of the Earth

Journey to the Temenos.

In reverence and mirth

We join our hearts as one.

 

We’ll make offerings

As our voices sing

To the Kindreds here

That our hearts hold dear.

 

Purification- (written by Jan Avende)

*Celebrants will cleanse hands in a bowl of salt water, and dry on a clean white cloth.*

 

Look within yourself, and set aside those things that will not serve you in this rite.

Look within yourself, and strip away the miasma that clouds your visions.

Look within yourself, find the center of you, and come be welcome in this sacred space.

 

Opening Statements- (written by Jan Avende)

Children of Earth, we come together today, the longest day of the year, the Summer Solstice, to celebrate Prometheia, honoring the Mighty Titan Prometheus.  It is fitting that we honor him today, as the Sun rides high in the Sky, burning bright for all to see.  Prometheus is friend to all mankind, having stolen the Divine Fire for us, so that we may live in comfort and joy, and be joined together through the community that the Fire offers us.  With our focus on Community this weekend, joined together here at ComFest, let us honor the Kindreds with reverence and love in our hearts.

 

Opening Prayer: (Three Cranes Liturgy)

The spirits of the sky are above us.

The spirits of the land are around us.

The spirits of the waters flow below us.

Surrounded by all the numinous beings of earth and sky and water,

Our hearts tied together as one,

Let us pray with a good fire.

 

Hestia- (written by Jan Avende)

The Children of the Earth call out to Hestia!

First born and last born,

you are the Lady of our Hearth and Heart.

Your fire burns strong in us,

And we ask that it burn brightly here on our hearth now.

Hestia, sweet fire maiden,

Join us here.  Be our good fire and sanctify our hearth.

Warm us and light our way.

Hestia, accept our sacrifice!

 

All: Hestia, accept our sacrifice!

 

Earth Mother- (written by Jan Avende)

The Children of the Earth call out to Gaea, the Earth Mother!

Great Gaea, you who gave life at the beginning of all things,

You who ground us in your soil and sustain our being.

Through you, all the children of the earth are blessed in their harvests,

Through you, are all creatures given life.

You are Ge, the Earth, and Gaea, the mother,

O Holy Goddess and Bountiful Spirit,

We delight in your rich earth

and sing to your bones.

Gaea, Earth Mother,

Meet us at the boundaries.

Join us at our Sacred Hearth and be warmed by our good fire.

Aid us and guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.

Gaea, accept our sacrifice!

 

All: Gaea, accept our sacrifice!

 

Surrounding Sea- (written by Jan Avende)

The Children of the Earth call out to Okeanos, the Surrounding Sea!

You who encircle the Earth with your nine shining streams.

Bull-horned god, you drench us in calm and understanding,

In magic and mystery.

From your waves you share with us love and beauty.

You guide the rising and setting of the stars.

Father of river, wells, and springs,

Your serpentine form wraps the powers of the waters around us all.

Okeanos, Surrounding Sea,

Meet us at the boundaries.

Join us at our Sacred Hearth and be warmed by our good fire.

Aid us and guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.

Okeanos, accept our sacrifice!

 

All: Okeanos, accept our sacrifice!

 

Sky Father- (written by Jan Avende)

The Children of the Earth call out to Ouranos, Brilliant Sky Father,

You who shine down your wisdom,

Who drape us in your star-studded cloak,

Your primal forces breathe life into us.

Air and Sky, whirling and swirling, calling us

to the beginning and end of all.

Starry Heaven, covering all the Earth in your power.

Your azure form that knowns no bounds,

Whom none can tame as you whisper the world to life.

Ouranos, Sky Father,

Meet us at the boundaries.

Join us at our Sacred Hearth and be warmed by our good fire.

Aid us and guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.

Ouranos, accept our sacrifice!

 

All: Ouranos, accept our sacrifice!

 

Inspiration- (written by Jan Avende)

The Children of the Earth call out to the Muses Nine!

You of verse, history and emotion: Kalliope, Klieo, Erato.

You who dance and act: Terpsikhore, Melpomene, Thalia.

You of science and prophecy: Euterpe, Ourania.

You who sing through me the hymns of my heart: Polyhymnia.

Sweet-voiced Muses: Meet us at the boundaries.

Join us at our Sacred Hearth and be warmed by our good fire.

Kindle the Fires of Inspiration in us as we walk the Elder Ways.

Muses, accept our sacrifice!

 

All: Muses, accept our sacrifice!

 

Two Powers- (written by Jan Avende)

Children of Earth, take a moment to calm your mind and body. Breathe deep and close your eyes. Listen to the sound of your own breathing. Hear your heartbeat thrumming inside you. Pause for a second and just listen.

 

***Pause***

 

See in your mind‘s eye where you stand now and picture yourself walking away from where you are.

You‘re walking towards a deep and old forest. Feel the cool, damp earth on your feet. As you enter the forest feel a cool breeze brush your cheek, refreshing in this summer heat.

 

Notice the sounds around you. A gentle rustling of leaves, perhaps from the wind, perhaps made by a squirrel bounding by. Notice the sunlight dappling across your face. The joys of summer caressing your face, filling your soul.

 

As you are walking deeper and deeper into the forest you suddenly come upon a clearing. There is a small pond in the middle of the glade surrounded by trees around the water‘s edge. One of these trees calls to you and you glide over to it. Place you hands on the trunk and feel the rough bark against your palm. Feel the ancient wisdom emanating from it.

 

Turn and place your back against the tree. Feel yourself sinking into it, becoming part of the tree. Feel your toes mix with the roots twinning down into the earth. Allow you mind to follow those roots and tendrils as they creep ever deeper, until suddenly they plunge into the cool deep waters far below the surface of the earth. Use the knowledge of the tree to pull those waters up through your roots. Feel them approaching you, up and up, until they reach your toes.

 

Feel the waters pulsing up through your toes and heels, moving up your legs and pooling in your groin. Feel them surging up into your chest and down your arms. Feel your branches swelling and cool waters seeping into your fingers, your leaves. Feel the waters rush up and fountain out the crown of your head, your uppermost branches and leaves, and come cascading back down into the earth to soak back down cooling your roots again. Having taken your fill, feeling replenished, allow those cool, dark waters to bleed back down into the earth.

 

Again feel the wind brush through your hair, your leaves. Feel as the sunlight shines down on you, brightening and invigorating you. Allow your leaves to take in that bright, golden light. Let it convert to pure energy and infuse your head and chest with light and energy. Let it saturate your branches and flow into your finger leaves. Feel as it washes down through your groin and flows down you legs and energizes you down to your roots. Having absorbed as much light as your body will hold, let the remainder reflect back off you, back into the sky.

 

Feel how the combination of the cool waters and the bright light mixes within your body. Feel how it mingles and brings a new awareness to every essence of yourself. Let your attention drift over yourself from your roots, to your trunk, and on up to your leaves.

 

Let a breath of wind catch one of your leaves and watch as it drifts downward to land fall lightly into the pond. Watch as the water ripples outward from this light touch. Allow your awareness to follow this ripple outward and see as it collides with other, similar ripples. As you follow those to their source you see that they also come from fallen leaves.

 

Now seeing all these leaves in the water creating ripples that touch and rebound off your own, you notice all the other trees surrounding the pond. Reach out your awareness and sense that these trees are all part of this grove. Reach out and feel that you are not alone in this glade, but rather you are surrounded by the warmth of your kin. You are all here together.

 

Take a moment and allow this feeling of togetherness and oneness to soak into your mind, your heart, your bones and your soul. Listen to the breathing of those around you. Your hearts beat as one now.

 

***Pause***

 

With this new realization that you are here among family, you begin to disconnect your self from the tree, just as all those around you do. Wiggle your toes and separate them from the roots. Wiggle your fingers and feel the leaves fall away. Roll you shoulders, allowing you to step out of the tree and once again become your own self.

 

As you now look around you see that while before you came to this glade alone, you now are leaving among friends. It is time now to turn away from the glade and walk back out of the forest. Listen, as before, to the sounds around you. You can now hear the laughter of friends, and you feel now not just the warmth of the sun, but the warmth of companionship. As you break out of the forest and head back towards your body here, keep that feeling that you are now one with the people around you.

Now, step back into your body and take deep breath to settle yourself back in. Wiggle your fingers and toes. Now begin moving your arms and legs just a little as you feel yourself come back to this place. Here, among kinfolk, we may now move on with the work we have for today.

 

All:

“The waters support and surround us.

The land extends about us.

The sky stretches out above us.

At our center burns a living flame. 

May all the Kindred bless us. 

May our worship be true. 

May our actions be just. 

May our love be pure. 

Blessings, honor, and worship to the holy ones.”  

(- Ceisiwr Serith)

 

Recreate the Cosmos & Place the Omphalos- (written by Jan Avende)

Let this area around us be purified sacred space where we go to meet the gods, and the gods descend down to meet with us.

 

Let the smoke from our sacred fire carry our voices to the heavens to be heard by the gods.

 

I place this omphalos at the center of worlds, just as it marked the center of the ancient world.  My hands, like two eagles, flying to meet in the middle and establish this as the sacred center of worlds.

 

Through this sacred center, let the World Tree grow, plunging deep within the earth to touch the Sacred Waters below and reaching through the sky to embrace the Sacred Fires above.

 

Standing here at the Center, it is now time to Open the Gates to the Many Realms.

 

 

Opening the Gates- (written by Jan Avende)

Let this water become the Well, and open as a Gate to the worlds below.

Our connections deepen to the Chthonic beings as the Gate is opened.

 

Let this flame become the Fire, and open as a Gate to the worlds above.

Our connections deepen to the Ouranic beings as the Gate is opened.

 

Let this Omphalos stand at the center, and mark our sacred center here and in all the world.  Let the tree wrap its roots around the stone and sink into the Well, and let it’s branches stretch upwards and reach for the Fire.

 

We stand here, connected at the Sacred Center to all the realms of Land, Sea, and Sky.

Let the Gates be Open!

 

Gatekeeper- (written by Jan Avende)

We now seek assistance in maintaining our connection to the Other Realms, and so we call on a Gatekeeper:

 

The children of the Earth call out to Atlas,

Great guardian who holds the earth and sky asunder.

You stand as the axis mundi, amongst the pillars connecting the many realms.

Driving the stars before you as the very heavens revolve around you.

Your feet know the depths of the sea and you hands the clouds of the sky.

Mighty Mountain, with your starry crown,

I make this offering to you and bid you welcome.

Meet us at the boundaries

Join us at our Sacred Hearth and be warmed by our good fire.

Aid us and guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.

Atlas, accept this sacrifice!

 

All: Atlas, accept this sacrifice!

 

And now, Atlas, I call to you and ask that you act as our Great Guardian here.

Be our Star Crowned and Earth Shod Pillar.

Be the Mountain that holds the earth and heavens asunder.

Hold our axis mundi firm and maintain our connection to all the realms.

Atlas, Guard the Gates!

 

All: Atlas, Guard the Gates!

 

Children of Earth, The Gates now stand open and protected.  Let only truth be spoken here.

 

We have come together today for the Summer Solstice, where the sun stands at its brightest in the sky, and it is right and proper that we do as our Ancestors did before us, and honor the Kindreds on this holy day.

 

Who calls to the Ancestors?

 

Ancestors- (written by Jan Avende)

The Children of the Earth call out to the Ancestors!

Those of our blood and our bone, who have given us life.

Those of our heart and our hearth, who have guided our steps.

Those of our friends and our folk, who strengthen and deepen our relationships.

Those Mighty Dead, Seers, Priests, and Bards.

Apotheothenai, Heroes among the ancestors who have shaped our world.

It is to you we call out to and to you whom we make sacrfice.

You have taught us the ways of old and given us the path to walk,

You have toiled and worked so that we might grow in our gifts,

And bring strength and love to our community.

Ancestors, Mighty Dead,

Meet us at the boundaries.

Join us at our Sacred Hearth and be warmed by our good fire.

Aid us and guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.

Ancestors, accept our sacrifice!

 

All: Ancestors all, accept our sacrifice!

 

Children of Earth, see in your minds eye the Ancestors stepping out from the mists and joining us here at our sacred fire.

 

Who calls to the Nature Spirits?

 

Nature Spirits- (written by Jan Avende)

The Children of the Earth call out the Spirits of Nature!

To the spirits of soil and stream,

To the spirits of stone and tree,

To the spirits of fur, flesh, fin, and feather,

To all those spirits who dwell amongst us

as Protectors, Guides, and Helpers, we call to you!

Dryades and Naiades, dwelling in forest and stream,

Oeriades and Nephalai, dwelling in mountains and clouds,

Lampades and Haliai, dwelling in cave and sea,

Nymphai, Mysterious Spirits who care for all our realms,

we walk amongst your blessings and listen to your sweet songs.

You who, through your living, teach us the ways to honor the Earth.

Spirits of nature, Nymphs of all the realms,

Meet us at the boundaries.

Join us at our Sacred Hearth and be warmed by our good fire.

Aid us and guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.

Spirits of nature, accept our sacrifice!

 

All: Spirits of nature, accept our sacrifice!

 

Children of Earth, see in your minds eye the Nature Spirits stepping out from the mists and joining us here at our sacred fire.

 

Who calls to the Shining Ones?

 

Shining Ones- (written by Jan Avende)

The Children of the Earth call out to the Shining Ones,

Bright and shining Theoi,

Mighty Gods and Goddesses on high.

You wise seers and honey-tongued bards,

Shining your light of knowledge and inspiration down on us.

You courageous warriors and skilled crafters,

giving us virtues to strive for and tools for our work.

You hearth tenders and grain guarders,

providing for us each and every day.

Mighty Titans, lighting the Fire of our Fathers,

we are forever indebted to you.

Brilliant deities of land, sea, and sky,

your brightness illuminates our lives.

We hear your voices echoes across our souls,

As you walk with us, guiding us, each day.

Theoi, Shining Ones,

Meet us at the boundaries.

Join us at our Sacred Hearth and be warmed by our good fire.

Aid us and guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.

Theoi, accept our sacrifice!

 

All: Theoi, accept our sacrifice!

 

Children of Earth, see in your minds eye the Shining Ones appearing from the mists and joining us here at our sacred fire.

 

DotO Prometheus- (written by Jan Avende)

Surrounded now by all the Kindreds, we call out especially on this day to Prometheus.

 

Prometheus, flame-haired Foresight and friend of mankind

The Children of the Earth call out to you!

Sculpting our flesh from the banks of the sacred River Styx

You made us: Children of the Earth and starry Sky.

You see the future, and know what may come.

You stole the Divine Fire, the Sun itself,

Giving us this gift of Fire, knowing the cost to you.

Through you we know the ways of the land,

We gather together as community, bound together by your gift,

Though this gift yet binds you to the Earth.

The Fire, burning light of the Stars, burning light of the Sun,

Meant only for the Gods.

You won it for us, your Children.

Your fiery spirit burns hot and strong,

sharing its heat with us here on Earth.

Flame-haired trickster, and Mighty Titan.

Your wisdom shines brightly down upon us

As the Sun rides high in the Sky today.

Prometheus, you who sacrificed for us

So that we may sacrifice for you and all the Gods.

We call out to know and honor you this day!

Come, be warmed at our Fire, that we have kept burning for you,

Join us at our Sacred Hearth, that we would not have if not for you,

Meet us here at this time when the Fire is strongest,

And continue to aid and guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.

Prometheus, Fiery Titan,

Accept our Sacrifice!

 

All: Prometheus, accept our sacrifice!

 

Have the Folk brought praise?

 

All: We have!

 

Then come forth now and make your offerings!

 

(Praise Offerings)- 

Song: “Come Pray With Me”

(Music: Traditional                  Lyrics: Jan Avende)

 

A Fire lit with piety in the center of the rite

The Druids pray around it, around the fire’s light.

They call to the Gods and Goddesses so bright.

Sing praise you joyous pagans, and come pray with me!

 

Sacred Waters far below, flow into our Well

With our voices raised together, our song will surely swell.

Remember all our Heroes, their stories we’ll tell.

Sing praise you joyous pagans, and come pray with me!

 

CHORUS

So it’s into the Grove, and beside the Tree

Come you pious pagans, and make your offering

Let’s honor the Kindreds of Earth, Sky, and Sea

Sing praise you joyous pagans, and come pray with me!

 

Standing tall and strong is the all-connecting Tree

Beneath its arching branches we stand in harmony

Honoring the spirits so wild and free.

Sing praise you joyous pagans, and come pray with me!

 

CHORUS

 

We pagans all together still long for the day

When we’ll honor the Earth upon which we lay.

She holds us forever, in her arms we’ll stay.

Sing praise you joyous pagans, and come pray with me!

 

CHORUS x3

 

Final Sacrifice- (written by Jan Avende)

We have made many offerings this day.

See now as they burn, smoke rising to the heavens.

See now as they sink, into the depths of the well.

See now as they traverse all the realms and are delivered to the Spirits we have called.

We now make one last offering, one final sacrifice,

to honor the Sprits and ensure our gifts are received.

Prometheus, Kindreds All, Accept this Sacrifice!

 

All: Prometheus, Kindreds All, accept this sacrifice!

 

Omen- (written by Jan Avende)

Having given offerings to the Kindreds, we now seek to know what blessings and advice they give us in return.

 

*Seer crushes and makes an offering bay*

 

Apollo Mantikos guide my hand.

See with my eyes, Hear with my ears, and Speak with my voice.

What blessings or wisdom do we receive…

 

From the Ancestors…

From the Natures Spirits…

From the Shining Ones…

 

Waters- (written by Jan Avende)

Calling for the Waters

Having given of ourselves, and received wisdom and blessings in return, we now seek to take of those blessings to enrich ourselves for the work that is to come.

We seek to fill ourselves with these blessings so that we may be thusly imbued with the sacred powers and apply ourselves to the work ahead.

 

All waters are by their very nature sacred,

We set aside these Waters, for they have been won for us.

We ask that you allow us to partake of them and of these blessings,

To take these sacred waters into our hearts and our minds.

Shining Ones, give us the Waters!

 

All: Shining Ones, Give us the Waters!

 

We ask for The Waters of Community.

We call forth these Waters from the Well of Fellowship.

We draw these Waters forth, to sparkle in the air about us,

That we may feel their cool mist surround us,

And quench our thirst in the Summer’s heat with their blessings!

Shining Ones, give us the Waters!

 

All: Shining Ones, Give us the Waters!

 

We open our hearts and our minds to the blessings we have been given.

As we stand amongst the Kindreds,

Amongst our Folk, and amongst our community

We call forth these Waters as our due.

We stand, united with all the Powers of the Worlds, ready to receive the blessing!

Shining Ones, give us the Waters!

 

All: Shining Ones, Give us the Waters!

 

Hallowing the Waters

Let the brightness of the Shining Gods fill these waters with the omens we have received: [Omen, Omen, and Omen].

 

Let their blessings grow in strength, just as the sun has cycled to its greatest power today,

Let the blessings shine with the brilliant power akin to this Summer Solstice Sun.

Theoi! Shine your blessing down upon us, and fill our Sacred Cup.

 

When we share these Waters

We share our own wisdom and love.

We prepare to do the good work of the Kindreds in the world.

We prepare to grow and nurture the community in which we live.

 

Shining Ones: Hallow these Waters!

 

All: Shining Ones: Hallow these Waters!

 

We, your children, rejoice in your gifts

Bless our spirits and our lives with your magic and bounty.

As we celebrate the strength of our community here today.

 

Behold, the Waters of Life!

 

All: Behold, the Waters of Life!

 

Receiving the Blessing

*waters are passed and quaffed*

 

“Blessings in the Waters” (by Traci Auerbach)

May the power of the Kindreds be shown to me.

May the omens and the blessings be shown through me.

May the blessings in the waters fill my soul.

May the wisdom of the Kindreds make me whole.

 

Working- Receiving the gift of fire and community from Prometheus

Story: The Finding of Fire (retelling of Hesiod, written by Thexalon)

 

In the earliest days of the world, there Gods, and there were Beasts, and there were Men. The Men feared the Gods, because the Gods were much older and much wiser than Men. And the Men feared the Beasts, because the Beasts were faster and stronger than Men could hope to be. Sometimes the Beasts would attack the Men’s village, and the Gods would send hail or drought, and the Men suffered. So the Men came together in council, and decided to leave tribute for the Gods and Beasts in the hopes that they would be left in peace.

 

The built a high altar and left trinkets for the Gods, and left food for the Beasts in the nearby forest. The Gods seemed to listen to the Men, and sent no more hail or drought, but the Beasts did not understand Men’s gifts and continued to attack the Men. And so the Men suffered still.

 

One of the Gods was named “Foresight”, and it was his job to observe and predict what would happen. He had an idea, and went to the king of the Gods to explain it:

“Ah, sir, you see how those Men down there keep offering us gifts? Perhaps we could make them our allies by helping them against the Beasts.”

“Why do we need allies? We’re Gods, and the Men have nothing we care about.”

“Not even the occasional dalliance?”

“You leave my private life out of this! And don’t tell my wife! Now listen, remember why I’m in charge here? I overthrew my father and his crew. He overthrew his father and his crew. These Men are our children – what do you think would happen to us if they got too strong? We cannot help them, and that’s all there is to it.”

“But wouldn’t it be nice to have Men down there happily doing what we want? We could enjoy more of their gifts, watch their triumphs in our name, …”

“Enough! You are forbidden to do anything to help them, do you understand?”

But Foresight had known what the king might say, and he had a plan. He went to the highest parts of the heavens, and took a small piece of the Fire he found there, and headed down to the Earth to give it to the Men.

 

But the king of the Gods noticed what Foresight was doing, and knew he had to stop Foresight from delivering his gift. He sent a storm, and flung a lightning bolt *KABOOM!* at Foresight. The king then rushed to where Foresight was, grabbed him and dragged him to the far ends of the Earth, and chained Foresight to a rock, and sent a bird to peck at him every day.

 

Some Men heard the commotion, and came to investigate what had happened. There they discovered Fire, still burning, forgotten on the battlefield. They were scared of it at first, but decided this might be useful, took it back to their village, and tended it, and cared for it. The Fire kept them warm, it allowed them to see at night, and the next time the Beasts attacked the Men brought out pieces of Fire and scared the Beasts away, and the Men could prosper.

 

Generations went by, with Men becoming stronger and wiser with the help of the Fire. And one day, a great hero of Men was wandering the Earth when he discovered Foresight, still chained to the rock.

“I was wondering when you would get here!”

“How did you know I was coming?”

“Listen, I am Foresight, and I knew that if I helped Men one day Men would find me, and help me in return.”

“But why are you chained here?”

“That’s not important right now. If you release me, I will be an aid to Men henceforth.”

“But how do I get you out? If these chains are too strong for you, a God, surely they are too strong for me.”

“Remember the tool that saved you from the Beasts? Try that.”

The hero took the Fire bundle from his pack, and rekindled it near the chain. As the chain heated, it became weaker, and Foresight and the hero pulled and bent and tugged until Foresight was free.

 

Foresight was good to his word. And so now, if you have a difficult decision to make, sit quietly by the Fire and listen carefully – the voice of Foresight will whisper from the flame and tell you the path of wisdom.

 

Working: Receiving the gift of fire and community from Prometheus (written by Jan Avende)

 

*a tea light is given to each celebrant.  A taper is lit from the Fire,

and used to light each candle in turn*

 

Children of Earth, think now on the gifts that we have received.

Prometheus knowingly made a sacrifice,

so that we might have such a bright and shining gift.

Think on the community that can be built around a Fire.

Think on the prayers that can be spoken around a Fire.

Think on the offerings that can be made around a Fire.

 

In it’s simplicity, this flame burns hot and strong.

When you lack for community, let this flame remind you of your folk.

When you lack focus, let this flame be your guiding light.

When all the world seems dark and unforgiving, let this flame brighten your heart.

 

Children of Earth, the gift of Fire is ours,

and through it we may continue to find joy and light,

warmth and community in our lives.

Take this flame, extinguishing it for the moment,

Back to your hearth, where you may again rekindle it.

With it’s life and light, be warmed and reminded of the joy today.

Rejoice, for we have the gift of Fire!

 

And now, Children of Earth, having honored the Kindreds, received their blessings, and done good work, it is time we thank those we have called so that we may take the blessings we have received out into our community and out into the world.

 

Thank Prometheus- (written by Jan Avende)

Prometheus, Flame-haired trickster,

For you presence here today,

And for all the gifts you have given us,

We say: Prometheus, we thank you!

 

All: Prometheus, We thank you!

 

Thank the Shining Ones- (written by Jan Avende)

Bright and shining Theoi,

Mighty Gods and Goddesses on High.

You who shine down your wisdom upon us

And walk with us, guiding us, each day.

We say: Theoi, we thank you!

 

All: Theoi, We thank you!

 

Thank the Nature Spirits- (written by Jan Avende)

Nature Spirits and Noble Guides,

You who, through your living, teach us the ways to honor the Earth.

Nymphs of all the realms, as we walk amongst your blessings

And listen to your sweet songs,

We say, we thank you!

 

All: Nature Spirits, We thank you!

 

Thank the Ancestors- (written by Jan Avende)

Ancestors, Mighty Dead, Heroes,

Those of our blood and bone,

Those of our friends and folk,

Those of our hearth and home,

You have taught us the ways of old and given us the path to walk,

You have toiled and worked so that we might grow in our gifts.

We say: Ancestors, we thank you!

 

All: Ancestors, We thank you!

 

Thank Atlas- (written by Jan Avende)

Great Titan and Mighty Mountain, Atlas.

You who have stood as our Star-Crowned and Earth-Shod pillar,

Holding the earth and sky asunder, aligning them as our axis mundi.

You have stood firm as we celebrate here today.

You have Guarded the Ways for us as we rejoice here today.

Accept this gift now *make offering* and know we honor you for the work you do.

For the connections you’ve helped us to maintain,

And for aligning the cosmos itself,

We say: Atlas, we thank you!

 

All: Atlas, We thank you!

 

Close the Gates- (written by Jan Avende)

Let this Well be but water, ever sacred in its own right,

but no longer a Gate opening to the many paths.

 

Let this Fire be but a flame, ever sacred in its own right,

but no longer a Gate opening to the many ways.

 

Let the omphalos no longer be the Center of the Worlds holding us at the Crossroads.

 

Let the Gates be Closed!

 

All: Let the Gates be Closed

 

Thank Ouranos- (written by Jan Avende)

Ouranos, Brilliant Sky Father,

You who shine down your wisdom,

Who drape us in your star-studded cloak,

Your primal forces breathing life into us.

We say: Ouranos, We thank you!

 

All: Ouranos, We thank you!

 

Thank Okeanos- (written by Jan Avende)

Okeanos, great Surrounding Sea,

You who encircle the Earth with your nine shining streams,

Guiding the stars and the tides.

Your form laps against our shores as your Waters wrap us in their blessings.

We say: Okeanos, we thank you!

 

All: Okeanos, We thank you!

 

Thank Gaea- (written by Jan Avende)

Gaea, Earth Mother, All Mother,

You who gave life at the beginning of all things,

You who ground us in your soil and sustain our being.

We walk lightly upon your bosom as we honor you.

For you support this day and all days,

We say: Gaea, we thank you!

 

All: Gaea, We thank you!

 

Thank the Muses- (written by Jan Avende)

Sweet voiced Muses Nine,

You have sung with my voice, danced with my feet,

enflamed my passion, and sweetened my words.

For the fire you have filled us all with

And for letting it pour forth in harmony and wisdom

We say: Muses, we thank you!

 

All: Muses, We thank you!

 

Thank Hestia- (written by Jan Avende)

For Hestia, I pour these last libations.

First-Born, and Last-Born,

Lady of the Hearth

And Keeper of the Sacred Flame.

Though your flame may go out on our hearth,

May it continue to burn ever strong within our hearts.

Hestia, we thank you!

 

All: Hestia, We thank you!

 

Recessional-

Song: “Walk With Wisdom”

(- Sable)

Walk with wisdom from this hallowed place.

Walk not in sorrow, our roots shall ere embrace.

May strength be your brother, and honor be your friend,

And luck be your lover until we meet again.

Indo-European Mythology 1

  1. List and discuss the major primary sources for the mythology of three Indo-European cultures, including their dates of origin and authorship (if known). Discuss any important factors that may cause problems in interpreting these sources, such as the existence of multiple revisions, or the presence of Christian or other outside influences in surviving texts. (minimum 300 words)

Norse:

The major primary sources for Norse mythology come from the Prose Edda, written by Snorri Sturluson, and the Poetic Edda. These were written after the rise of Christianity, in the 13th century CE, and as such one should consider what influence Christianity had on these myths. The myths were written down based on oral tradition, and by authors whose cultures had already been exposed to Christian influences. Other sources regarding the Norse and Germanic peoples come from invading cultures, like the Romans. This means that when examining these sources the reader should take everything with a grain of salt.

 Greek:

The major primary sources in Greek mythology are those written by Hesiod and Homer, around the 8th Century BCE. This includes Hesiod’s Theogony and Works and Days, Homer’s The Odyssey and The Iliad, as well as the Homeric Hymns, written by those who followed in Homer’s tradition. The work of Homer, while influential and an excellent resource for Greek myth, should be carefully chosen when used for interpretation of ancient religion because there are so many translations. There is also the issue that the majority of the Greek lore started out as an oral tradition, and thus, changes likely occurred before Homer began writing it down (“Homer”).

Vedic:

The primary sources for Vedic lore are all contained in the Samhitas, which was written during the early Vedic period, somewhere between the 17th and 11th centuries BCE. The Samhitas is a collection of the four Vedas: the Rig-Veda (for recitation), the Sama-Veda (for chanting), the Yajur-Veda (for liturgy), and the Atharva-Veda (which was named after a type of priest). The Rig-Veda is the largest and most important of these. Unfortunately since no physical remnants remain of the Vedic time period, reading from the Rig-Veda and trying to reconstruct the religion of the time is a lot of guesswork done in the context of a Christian society. It is simply a collection of hymns, though most of the hymns are to Indra, Agni, and Soma (Puhvel 46). One of the problems in understanding this work is that the connotation of some words has shifted in translations. For example, in the word mitra, the meaning shifted from “contractor” to “friend” (Puhvel 48). There is also the current problem of the knowledge that Hinduism has grown out of Vedic lore, and thus current culture and current influences may have an effect on the reconstructed worship of this ancient religion.

 

  1. Summarize, then compare and contrast the myths of at least two Indo-European cultures with respect to the following topics (you need not use the same two cultures as a basis of comparison for each topic): (minimum 300 words for each)

tales of creation

Both Norse and Greek mythology describe a tale of creation that begins with a sort of nothingness, a void, that is then suddenly expanded and organized to create the world. In both myths, after the world is created, the various things that make up the world and the beings that live there are added. The Greek tale of creation is told in Hesiod’s Theogony. In the beginning there was nothingness, a void of Chaos. From Chaos came Gaea (the earth), Tartarus, and Eros. This titanic form of Eros (procreation) caused Gaea to create Ouranos (the sky), Ourea (the mountains) and Pontos (the sea), and Chaos to also create Nyx (night), Erebus (darkness) and Kronos (time). From these beings the rest of the world continued to form, from the oceans, to the sun and moon, day and the air, the beings that dwelt on the earth, and then the Titans. The Greeks continued to talk about how the Olympians came to be from the Titans, and the betrayal that led to the Olympians becoming the principle gods of the land (Hesiod Theogony).

The Norse myths describe the creation of the world as it came into being guided by three brothers: Odin, Vili, and Ve. In the North was icy Nilfhiem, and in the south was fiery Muspell. In the middle was Ginnungagap, a mild place where Ymir, a frost giant, lived and sweated out the race of frost giants. This is similar to how in Greek lore there was a place of Chaos, and then from that void came Gaea, where things could begin to live and thrive.

The Norse myth goes one to explain how Ymir was killed by the three brothers, Odin, Vili, and Ve as they grew tired of his and the other frost giants evilness. This is much more violent that what happens in the Greek myth, where Eros served as a catalyst for the creation of the rest of the things. The Norse world was made out of Ymir’s body. His flesh became the earth, his bones the mountains, his blood the lakes and seas, and his skull the sky, held up by four dwarves. The brothers took the embers from fiery Muspell and threw them up into the sky making the sun, and moon, and stars. This follows a similar pattern to Greek myth when Gaea created the sky, mountains, and sea and how then other parts of the world were formed from there.

The Norse brothers Odin, Vili, and Ve then divided the world so there would be a place for the giants, Jotunheim, and a safer place made of Ymir’s eyebrows, Midgard. This division of the world in Greek myth happens earlier in the creation of the world. Gaea (who holds both the realm of man and Mt. Olympus, the realm of the gods) and Tartarus both come from the void of Chaos. The Norse brothers then made man and woman from an ash and elm tree and put them in Midgard. In Greek myth the addition of man comes much later, and the gods must experiment with different types of mortals until they finally create the race of man as we know it. In Norse myth the Sun and Moon were children of a man, Mundilfari, and were put in the sky guiding the chariots of the sun and the moon while chased by wolves. The dwarves were made from the maggots that had crawled over Ymir’s body. This differs from the Greek myth where the Sun and the Moon were Titans, from the line of Gaea.

The creation story in Nordic lore explains next how Odin, Vili, and Ve built their own realm above Midgard, and called it Asgard, and they were linked together by Bifrost, the rainbow bridge. The Aesir all crossed the bridge to dwell in Asgard. All the regions of the world are under the branches of Yggdrasil, the great ash tree (Crossley-Holland 3). In Greek myth, the realm of the Gods is not as firmly separated from the realm of man. The closest place is Mt. Olympus, which exists on Gaea, just as the realm of man does.

tales of divine war

Divine war, as described in the lore of various Indo-European cultures, is often the tale of a new set of gods replacing an older set of gods. Often the older gods have more primal qualities, and the newer gods introduce levels of wisdom and reason. This can be seen in the Greek myths where the Titans have many more of the primal qualities, having been the creating forces of the world, and the Olympians begin to introduce new concepts, like justice and order, into the world. This is similar to what can be seen in the Norse divine war between the Aesir and the Vanir. The Vanir, being fertility and wilds gods have more primal qualities, whereas the Aesir are more logical, creating order in the world. In the treaty that exists in the Norse myth this is even more pronounced, as the Aesir give Honir and Mimir (thought and memory) to the Vanir, even as the Vanir teach some of their more primal and magical skills to the Aesir via Njord, Freyja and Freyr.

The divine war that is most recognizable in Greek mythology is the war between the Titans and the Olympians. The story is told in Hesiod’s Theogony. The Titans were the gods that came first, out of Gaea and Ouranos. During this war, the sides were not as clear as initially implied, since some Titans sided with the Olympians and other Gods who fell into neither category also were involved. The overthrow of the Titans takes place when Rhea, mother of the Elder Olympians, saved Zeus from being eaten by his father, Kronos. This was the beginning of the division. Zeus and the Olympians were constantly at odds with his father, Kronos, and the Titans, and war broke out that lasted ten years, with neither side being able to win.

Zeus appealed to the other Elder gods, specifically Obriareus, Cottus, and Gyes, who had been cast down by Kronos, to aid him in the fight. They recognized that if the war continued, only strife could come out of it, and so, having been rescued by Zeus after having been betrayed by Kronos, they decided to join the ranks of the Olympians and other deathless gods to fight Kronos and the Titans. At this point Zeus no longer held back his power of thunder and lightning, and seemed likely to destroy the world itself in his wrath. With the new aid of Cottus, Obriareus, and Gyes they were able to bury Kronos and the Titans in rocks down in Tartarus. There they are guarded by those three, bound in chains, and sealed off from the rest of the worlds by a great golden fence made by Poseidon (Hesiod Theogony).

The divine war in Norse mythology is between the Aesir and the Vanir, and the tale is recounted in the Völuspá of the Poetic Edda. It seems as though they are fighting to determine who should receive the honor, worship, and sacrifices of man. Odin leads the Aesir after he has tried to kill Gullveig three times over with his flaming spear, and the Vanir retaliate. It looks like neither side can win, similarly to what happened in the war between the Olympians and Titans, and so they exchange hostages. Honir and Mimir for Njord and his children: Freyja and Freyr (Bellows). In both myths members from each group of gods needed to be switched sides in some way so that one side could come out victorious. In this sense it is interesting to note what values carried forward as the new gods came into power. 

tales which describe the fate of the dead

The Norse and the Greeks both have stories that delineate where the dead go after life. The Greeks have a very complex view of the afterlife, with proper burial of the dead being very important in getting the psyche to its final place, and the Underworld is a huge place with many different ends for people within it. Generally speaking though, those who were heroes in their lifetime, or who did good deeds, were sent to the Elysian Fields (Homer Odyssey), while those who committed crimes were punished in Tartarus, which is also where the Titans who fought against Zeus ended up (Hesiod Theogony).

The Norse view of the afterlife is similar in that those who are heroes in life, who die valiantly in battle, are picked up by the Valkyries and taken either to Freyja or to Valhalla. Valhalla is a wonderful place where the warriors can fight all day and feast all night. When Ragnarok comes, these warriors will fight with Odin in the last battle. Others who die a less eventful death are sent to Hel, the Goddess and the place, which is very cold. Hel appears to also be where Gods who die are sent, as in the case of Baldr.

In both Norse and Greek myths access to the Underworld is said to lie somewhere to the north. In Greek myth, it is “somewhere in the northern mists, on a shore at the ends of Ocean, among the Cimmerians on whom the sun never shines” (Puhvel 138). In Norse myth when Hermodr is sent to bring Baldr back from the dead, he must ride Sleipner “downward and northward” until he gets to the gates of Hel (Puhvel 214). It is interesting how this general view of the Underworld has shifted from being presumably north, to being to the south, which is what we typically think of now as “down” since the invention of maps. I think it is likely that since in both cultures the further north they would travel, the colder and less civilized things would get. To the north were likely places that either had no life, or where life was so alien to what they were used to that they found it difficult to recognize.

  1. Explain how each of the following elements of ADF ritual does or does not resonate with elements of two different Indo-European cultures (you need not use the same two cultures as a basis of comparison for each element): (minimum 100 words each)

Earth Mother

In ADF Ritual the Earth Mother is honored both first and last.  In Greek mythology Gaea is the Earth Mother.  She is honored as the supporting force of the world, and a Titan Goddess.  The Earth was still honored in Ancient Greece; however, for the purposes of a deity that is honored both first and last in Greek cosmology, that place goes to Hestia.  She is the Goddess of the hearth and home and is honored both first and last in ritual for all that she provides for us, and as both the first- and last-born of Kronos (Hesiod). So, worshiping within the Greek hearth culture in ADF, honoring the Earth mother fits, though not as the first and last honored in ritual.

This differs from the presence of an Earth Mother type deity in Norse mythology. In the Prose Edda, in the Gylfaginning, there is an explanation of how the earth was created and divided up, but the earth is not personified in the same way that it is in other cultures (Sturluson). In this case, the earth seems to get convoluted with the spirits of the land. So honoring the Earth Mother in a Norse context as a deity figure in ADF ritual does not resonate well, though respecting and thanking the earth for the bounty it provides does. 

Deities of Land

The Deities of the Land are those Gods and Goddesses who dwell on the earth with man. In Greek mythology this get convoluted because the Twelve Olympians are designated because they dwell in the sky on Mt. Olympus, but they are clearly not all Sky Deities, and each have their own role that they fill. Generally I consider the Land Deities to fall into two categories: the domestic (including the hearth) and the wild. So, in Greek mythology some Land Deities in the domestic sense may be Hestia, Demeter, and Dionysos, whereas some of the wild Land Deities may be Pan, Gaea, and Artemis (Atsma).

In Norse mythology the Deities of the Land are generally the Vanir. Some of the deities in the wild places are Skaði, Goddess of winter and the hunt, as well as fertility deities such as Freyr and Freyja. A more domestic land deity could be Gefjun, an agricultural goddess that helped with plowing the land to make the earth in the beginning, and Idunna , guarding the orchard of golden apples (Sturluson).

In ADF ritual we don’t generally worship the deities by division of location, though that is not to say that they aren’t honored, just that they are more often grouped collectively as the “Shining Ones.” However, when doing invocations to the Shining Ones it is not unusual to see them divided up in some way and called upon based on the archetype they represent, such as “Those Shining Deities who dwell in the realm of Man.” So in both Greek and Norse mythology is makes sense to honor the Deities of the Land.

Deities of Sea

The Deities of the Sea are those Gods and Goddesses who have dominion over the waters of the earth. I would consider this to be both the freshwater sources and the saltwater sources. We don’t do much with the sea deities in ADF, and when we do they generally get clumped in with the deities of the land as those who dwell in the realm of man.

In Greek mythology the older, Titan God who has dominion over the waters is Okeanos (Hesiod Theogony). Okeanos is the firstborn of the Titans and is the great freshwater river that encircles the earth and is often paired with Tethys, as the mother of all rivers.    It is interesting that the English word for Ocean comes from Okeanos, but when we refer to oceans we are referring to bodies of saltwater and Okeanos is associated with freshwater. In Greek mythology the God that is in charge of what we would consider the sea is Poseidon. He has dominion over the saltwater ocean, and he is the one that the people would pray to in order to gain his blessing in sailing out to sea (Hesiod Theogony).

In Irish mythology the Deity of the Sea that is most recognizable is Manannan mac Lir, the son of the sea. Similar to Greek mythology, the saltwater sea is associated with horses, and the waves are often described as having the look of horses. Manannan is often called to work with the Folk as a Gatekeeper because he can “travel beyond the ninth wave.” The freshwater deity within Irish mythology is Danu, the flowing one. She is associated with the sacredness of pure water sources, such as rivers like the Danube (Rees).

It makes sense to honor the deities of the sea within the Greek or Irish hearth culture, but as we don’t generally worship the deities by division of location in ADF, or the deities of the sea specifically, I would say it currently doesn’t resonate. I think if people did begin to honor the deities of the sea more, that it would definitely resonate, but in current practice it simply isn’t done that often. By expanding our understanding of the Deities of the Sea to include both freshwater and saltwater entities it becomes easier to identify with them, and honor them in ritual. I think the reason we don’t often honor the Sea Gods in ADF may be because many of our members are in land-locked areas, or even if they do live near a water source, their livelihood or life is not intrinsically linked to the sea like it was for the ancients. I think this is something that members can and should begin addressing as nature awareness. Just as they explore how they interact with the land around them, exploring how they connect with the waters of the earth is equally important. If that were the case, I think worshiping the Deities of the Sea would resonate more within ADF ritual. 

Deities of Sky

The Deities of the Sky are those Gods and Goddesses who have dominion over the things in the heavens, above the realm of man. In Greek mythology some of these deities are Titans, some major gods, and some minor gods. The Titans, Helios and Selene are the Sun and the Moon, respectively. Zeus is the Olympian taking the role of the thundering/ weather deity, while some of the minor sky deities are Boreus, Iris, and the Aurai.

In Norse mythology, just as not all Olympians are Sky Deities, not all of the Aesir are either. Sunna is the light of the sun. Thor is the Thundering God, though unlike many of the other Indo-European mythologies, he is not the patriarch of the pantheon, but rather the son of the patriarch, Odin.

As before with the Deities of Land and Sea, in ADF we typically don’t specifically worship the deities based on their location, so in that sense this does not resonate with ADF ritual; however, they are often honored as deities of the occasion. The Sky Deities who are associated with the sun are often honored at Winter and/or Summer Solstice as a deity of the occasion.

 Outsiders

The Outsiders in ADF liturgy are those beings or things that are cross with the purposes of the ritual. In Greek mythology the role of the outsiders could be given to the Titans, though they are not typically shunned in Greek myth, but were rather just the older generation of gods. Popular culture likes to paint them as the ‘evil’ that came before the Gods, but in most cases this is highly inaccurate. Ancient Greek culture puts much more emphasis on coming into ritual clean, both physically and spiritually (Hesiod Works and Days). Thus, the portion of the ritual designated to treaty with the Outsiders would fit best with the purification of entering ritual space and ‘casting off’ those things that aren’t needed, or would be at cross-purposes with the ritual within yourself, and in that way it does still resonate with ADF ritual.

In Norse mythology the giants are most often given the role of Outsiders. The frost giants are those beings with whom Thor was always fighting. In the lore they are even separated from the rest of Midgard by mountains, and there is a wall around Asgard in part due to them (Sturluson). The treaty with the Outsiders in this sense is a more traditional bargain where an offering is given in exchange for the beings leaving the ritual alone, and resonates a bit better with ADF ritual.

 Nature Spirits

In Greek mythology the spirits of the land are generally called nymphai. The nymphs are broken up into categories based on what aspect of the land or natural phenomena they are associated with. For example, the dryads are associated with trees, the okeanids with freshwater and rain clouds, the naiads with the rivers, the anthousai with flowers, and the epimelides with pastures and meadows (Atsma “The Nymphai”).

In Irish mythology the sidhe-folk would be what we could consider to be Nature Spirits. They, like the nymphs, were otherworldly, but didn’t carry nearly as much weight and interacted with humans on a much more regular and intimate level. The sidhe-folk are said to live in mounds or hillocks and show mankind wondrous things. Sometimes these are good, and sometimes the sidhe-folk are acting mischievously and causing trouble (Squire 136).

In both mythologies these beings resonate well with how we approach the Nature Spirits as one of the Kindreds. In ADF ritual I think we offer more generally to the spirits of the land and the nature that surrounds us, not necessarily deifying things as much of the lore suggests was done in some way in the past. We also offer to the more otherworldly creatures though, which fits very well with the lore.

 Ancestors

The Ancestors are those, often heroic or wise, who have come before. In both Greek and Norse mythology the Mighty Dead and Ancient Wise are revered and honored, which resonates very well within ADF ritual. The other aspect of working with the Ancestors to gain knowledge and guidance is also well supported in the lore of both cultures.

The Greeks have several myths that involve going to speak with the dead either to get advice, gain wisdom, or retrieve loved ones, as with Odysseus when he goes to meet Tiresias (Homer The Odyssey) or Orpheus when he tries to bring back Eurydike (Atsma). The heroes, such as Herakles, Perseus, Jason, and Odysseus are also remembered in the stories and myths that were told. In addition, we have evidence that the ancient Greeks participated in Ancestor worship. For example, one of the Greek festivals celebrated was Genesios, a festival to honor the dead (Parke).

The Norse also honored their dead, as is evidenced by the lore in reference to where the Honored Dead would go, namely Valhalla. The heroes, such as Sigurd, were also remembered in the stories and myths like in Greece. Another similarity is going to the dead to gain wisdom. In Baldr’s Drapa, Odin goes to the underworld in order to find out why Baldr is having bad dreams. He raises the dead and forces the corpse, the volva, to talk to him and reveal the reason why (Bellows). There is also evidence of seiðr magic, or communing with the spirits, likely the dead, for knowledge, with Thorbjorg the Volva in the Saga of Erik the Red (Sephton).

 

  1. Discuss how the following seven elements of ADF’s cosmology are (or are not) reflected in the myths of two different Indo-European cultures. For this question, please use the same two cultures as a basis of comparison for the entire question. (minimum 100 words each)

 Upperworld

The Upperworld is the world of the Gods, specifically the Shining Ouranic Gods. In ADF we call to the gods of the Upperworld often for their wisdom and power. In Norse mythology this place is in Asgard. This is where the Aesir, the guardians of man, dwell alongside the Einherjar, slain warriors, in Valhalla, the Vanir in Vanaheim, and light elves in Alfheim. Asgard is connected to the other worlds via Bifrost, the Rainbow Bridge (Crossley-Holland xx-xxv).

In Greek mythology this place is Mt. Olympus. This is where the Olympians and others of the Theoi dwell. While Mt. Olympus is still part of the earth, it is inaccessible to man. The majority of the myths in Greek lore have to do with what the Gods do when they are in the realm of man, or how they interact in the middle realm, before going back to dwell on Mt. Olympus. So, while they live in the sky, on Mt. Olympus, above the middle realm, the place itself is not well defined like it is in Norse myths (Atsma).

Middleworld

The Midworld is the world where Man dwells, sometimes with various mythological beasts, nature spirits and other Gods. In ADF we call to the beings in the Middleworld to join us at our fire and accept our reverence for sharing this world with us. We know we’re not alone here, and seek to walk in as much harmony as possible with all the beings that dwell alongside us in the Middleworld.

In Norse mythology the Middleworld is called Midgard and a vast ocean that contains Jormungand, the world serpent, surrounds it. Jotunheim, the land of the giants, and Utgard, the giants’ citadel in the outerworld also exists in the middle of the Norse tricentric view of the worlds. Man also shares Midgard with the Dwarves and the Dark Elves (Crossley-Holland xx-xxv).

The Greek middle world is not as well defined as it is in other cultures. The whole world is described as the earth, which is completely encircled by Okeanos, the deep-running river. There is a great sky dome (Ouranos) that stretches over top of the earth, from river’s edge to river’s edge. Even the sun, moon, and stars were said to rise and set in his waters. Below the earth is the pit of Tartarus. It forms a sphere that contains everything divided into two hemispheres. In the top half, live the gods and men, and in the bottom, the Titans (Atsma).

Divisions Of Middleworld (e.g., 4 Quarters, 3 Triads, 8 Sections)

In Norse mythology Midgard was divided vaguely into four different sections. Midgard was the land of Man and surrounded by a vast ocean. Beyond the ocean was the land of Jotunheim, where the giants dwelled. Their citadel was called Utgard. North of Midgard was Nidavellir where the dwarves lived, and south of Midgard was Svartalfheim where the dark elves lived (Crossley-Holland xx-xxv).

The best division of the Greek middleworld would be the land, sea, and sky. The land, deified in Gaea, is defined best as a disk that is surrounded by the encompassing waters of Okeanos. Okeanos would be the sea, the deep-running river that holds the land together. The sky, deified by Ouranos, is the dome that covers the sea and the land. This fits within ADF cosmology, specifically with Ceisiwr Serith’s prayer: “The waters support and surround us / The land extends about us / The sky stretches out above us” (Serith).

Nether/Underworld

The Underworld is the Land of the Dead and the chthonic deities. In ADF the Underworld is where we direct our call when we’re seeking to gain the wisdom of the Ancestors and the Deities that dwell there alongside them. In Norse mythology this is Niflheim, and the citadel is Hel. Hel is the realm of the dead for those who didn’t die valiantly, and those who are considered evil pass through Hel to die again in Niflheim, the world of the dead. There is also Valhalla, which is technically in the Upperworld, but is the place for the warriors who die in battle to go (Crossley-Holland xx-xxv).

In Greek mythology the Underworld is where Hades and Persephone rule over the dead. It is divided into multiple realms for the dead to dwell, based on how they lived in life, including Tartarus and the Elysium Fields (Atsma). Some interesting similarities between the Greek and Norse Underworlds are both are said to be far to the north, both have a river that separates them from the realm of the living, both are in some way guarded by dogs, and both can substitute the name of the ruler (Hel/Hades) for the name of the place.

Fire

In ADF we hallow the Fire and call to it as a Gate between the worlds. In ritual it becomes more than mere flame and becomes one of the ways that the Kindreds hear our words more clearly and are able to receive the sacrifices we send them. Fire is an important part of Greek culture and resonates well within ADF cosmology. It is how the sacrifices the Folk make actually get delivered to the Gods. This sacred fire is deified in Hestia. She is the sacrificial fire and the hearth fire, dwelling both in the homes of man and on Mt. Olympus. Because she is the sacrificial fire, every time sacrifice is made, part of it goes to her. She is honored as the first- and last-born of the Olympians, and because she chose to continue serving the hearts and hearths of man (Hesiod Theogony) (Atsma).

In Norse culture fire is seen as important, especially when used to send off the dead. The dead in Norse myths, for example, Sigurd and Baldr, had funeral pyres that were lit. A similarity to Greek culture is the fire being seen as a way to send sacrifices to the deities. Perhaps this is why it made sense to burn the dead, because if they were going to Valhalla, then they were going to the realms of the gods, and could be delivered there via fire, the same way the sacrifices were.

Well

In ADF we hallow the Well and call to it as a Gate between the worlds. The liturgical phrasing that is often used is “Let our voices resound in the Well” meaning that we’re calling through this Gate so that, like the Fire, the Kindreds might hear our words more clearly. In Norse mythology there are three Wells that immediately come to mind. They are said to be at the roots of Yggdrasil, presumably feeding the World Tree. There is the Well of Memory (Mimir) where Odin gives up an eye to gain the knowledge and wisdom that is there. This is also where Heimdall leaves his horn until Ragnarok comes. There is the Well of Fate (Urd), where the Norns live and carry out their business. There is also the well where the dragon Nidhogg lives (Hvergelmir). It is from this place that he delivers the insults to be carried by the squirrel Ratatosk up to the Asgard (Crossley-Holland xx-xxv).

Okeanos is the “deep-running water” and “completely encircling” river of the world. All waters are said to draw their source of water from Okeanos, all rivers, streams, seas, and deep wells (Homer Iliad). This fits into ADF cosmology because we view the Well as the deep, chthonic waters that are the source of all waters, and that all waters are by their very nature sacred. The Underworld is said to lie on the far shore of the River Okeanos, which also continues the theme that the Well is in some way connected with how we communicate with the Ancient Wise. In this case, one would have to cross the river (reach through the Well) to gain their wisdom. The theme of the druidic number nine is also carried through in the waters of Okeanos. He is said to have “nine loops of silver-swirling waters” that split off to form the rivers of the world (Hesiod Theogony).

Tree

In ADF the Tree serves as the axis mundi, as the crossroads between the worlds. We hallow it and call for it to open as a Gate between the worlds so that we can feel connected to all the worlds around us. It serves not only as the center of our world, but aligns to the centers of all the worlds allowing our words, actions, and sacrifices to be more easily received by the Kindreds. In aligns our world with theirs so we can feel closer to them.

In Greek mythology the omphalos is the center of the world. It was established as such when Zeus wanted to find the center and sent his two eagles to fly in opposite directions around the world. Where they met, at the Delphi, was considered to be the Center, and the omphalos, the stone that was given to Kronos to swallow in place of Zeus, was placed at that spot at the Oracle of Delphi. The omphalos is said to allow direct communication with the gods. There were also “many sanctuaries in later Greek culture centered on a sacred tree” and ancient Hellenistic celebrants did dances in order to establish a connection between the worlds (Jones 6).

In Norse mythology Yggdrasil, the ash tree, is the world tree. It is considered to be the center of the worlds. Its branches stretch over all the worlds, and its roots grow through all the worlds. The squirrel, Ratatosk, is able to use Yggdrasil as a pathway to travel between the worlds and deliver messages. It truly serves as an axis mundi in the cosmology of the Norse myths (Crossley-Holland xx-xxv).

 

  1. To what extent do you think we can offer conjectures about Indo-European myths in general? Are the common themes strong enough that the myths seem like variations? Or are the differences so powerful that the themes are less important than the cultural variations? (minimum 300 words)

When looking at Indo-European mythology I think it is absolutely fascinating how there are similar themes that present themselves across the cultures and ages. In Comparative Mythology, Puhvel makes an excellent argument for the similarities between the various Indo-European cultures to be more than mere coincidence. The cultures seem to have a similar myth cycle. Campbell makes similar arguments in his presentation of the monomyth in The Hero With A Thousand Faces when describing the archetypes and trials in the hero’s journey.

The archetypes that present themselves in the various myths give us a wealth of information that can be used to help reconstruct myths, or at least give us general information about a specific culture. For example, in cultures that are missing archetypical myths, such as a creation myth for the Celts, or any wealth of Gaulish information, the lack of a myth doesn’t mean that one didn’t exist, simply that we don’t have the records of it anymore. There are archetypes that cause some deities to seem extremely similar, though they have different aspects. These deities are distinct and different beings with similarities that exist due to the common themes pervasive throughout human life, and the great unanswered questions that are raised as we examine the human condition. The deities in each culture fill the roles of the archetypes that are needed.

I think the themes across the myths are strong enough to allow us to postulate what missing myths might have looked like; however, the differences are also very important in giving us information about individual cultures. If we accept there is a common myth cycle across the Indo-European cultures, then it is the differences between the myths that will teach us the most about a particular culture’s values. Not all pantheons will have a deity that takes on all the same roles, or even a role at all. This can help to tell us what roles were often combined in the thoughts of the people in that culture, or what roles didn’t hold value in a particular culture. The similarities of the myth cycle, and the differences in the specific myths allow us to study what kinds of things were important to the peoples of the different cultures.

We can also look at language to see the similarities in various deities. For example, the Thundering Sky God is a strong archetype present across the Indo-European cultures, and in Greek myth Zeus “is in name identical with the old Vedic sky-god Dyaus (Indo-European *Dyews ‘Bright Sky’)” (Puhvel 130). Similarly the Norse Thor shares a root with the Gaulish Taranis, both reducing to *thunar-, meaning thunder (169). The similarities in the roots of the deity names are another point towards showing these archetypical roles being filled across Indo-European cultures as they are needed.

All in all, I think the similarities in myth cycles and language point towards the commonalities being more than just coincidence. It seems likely that all of the Indo-European cultures came from some base culture that then spread out and painted its way across the continent, sharing the language, myths, and values as it went. With that hypothesis we can use what we know of the myths and the languages to explore and compare the differences in the cultures and the values that they held.

 

Bibliography

Atsma, Aaron J. The Theoi Project : Greek Mythology. 2011. Web. 06 Apr. 2012 <http://www.theoi.com/>.

Atsma, Aaron J. “The Nymphai.” The Theoi Project : Greek Mythology. 2011. Web. 06 Apr 2012. <http://www.theoi.com/Cat_Nymphai.html>.

Bellows, Henry Adams. The Poetic Edda. Lewiston NY: Edwin Mellen, 1991. Print.

Campbell, Joseph. The Hero With A Thousand Faces. Novato, CA: New World Library, 2008. Print.

Crossley-Holland, Kevin. The Norse Myths. New York: Pantheon, 1980. Print.

Evelyn-White, Hugh G., trans. The Homeric Hymns. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1914. Perseus Digital Library. Web. 16 Apr. 2012. <http://www.perseus.tufts.edu>.

Hesiod. Theogony ; Works and Days ; Shield. Trans. Apostolos N. Athanassakis. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2004. Print.

Hesiod. “XXIX: To Hestia.” Trans. Hugh G. Evelyn-White. Hesiod, Homeric Hymns, Epic Cycle, Homerica. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1922. Bartleby.com. Feb. 2010. Web. 10 Feb. 2012. <https://www.bartleby.com/241/229.html>.

Holland, Leicester B. (1933). “The Mantic Mechanism at Delphi”. American Journal of Archaeology 37 (14): 204–214.

“Homer.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2011. Web. 06 Dec. 2011. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/270219/Homer>.

Homer. The Illiad. Trans. Samuel Butler. The Internet Classics Archive. Web. 25 Apr. 2012. <http://classics.mit.edu/Homer/iliad.mb.txt>.

Homer. The Odyssey. Trans. Robert Fagles. Ed. Bernard Knox. New York: Viking, 1996. Print.

Jones, Prudence, and Nigel Pennick. A History of Pagan Europe. London: Routledge, 1997. Print.

Parke, H. W. Festivals of the Athenians. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1977. Print.

Puhvel, Jaan. Comparative Mythology. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1987. Print.

Rees, Alwyn D., and B. R. Rees. Celtic Heritage: Ancient Tradition in Ireland and Wales. London: Thames and Hudson, 1961. Print.

Sephton, John, George Ainslie Hight, and W. G. Collingwood, trans. Viking Sagas: Erik the Red, Grettir the Strong, and Kormac the Skald. St Petersburg, FL: Red and Black. 2008 Print.

Serith, Ceisiwr. “Blessings, Honor and Worship to the Holy Ones.” ADF Neopagan DruidismAdf.org. Web. 25 Apr. 2012. <http://www.adf.org/rituals/chants/land-sea-sky/blessings-honor-worship.html>.

Squire, Charles. “The Gods in Exile.” Celtic Myths and Legends. New York: Gramercy, 1994. 132-52. Print.

Sturluson, Snorri. The Prose Edda. Trans. Arthur G. Brodeur. Vol. 5. London: Oxford UP, 1923 Scandinavian Classics. New Northvegr Center. 2009. Web. 14 Apr. 2012 <http://www.northvegr.org/>.

Dedicant Oath Rite & Reflection

I took my oath on July 16th, the night following the full moon.  I stood before my altar, which is pared down and simplified because we are in the process of moving, and I began ritual in the way I have become accustomed to using for important rites of passage that I want to have a Hellenic bent.  Throughout the opening of the ritual, I didn’t feel any different really than I do when I do morning devotionals.  The sense is “yes, I’m being listened to, but just in a kind of cursor sense.”  It was when I called out first to my patrons, and then to the Oath Keeping Gods to witness my oath that I felt a sudden, strong connection . It was almost like, “Oh, this is a really important occurance… perhaps we should pay close attention.”  I could tell the Muses were flowing through me.  I didn’t pre-write any of the invocations to my patrons, but I felt my words sweetened by the Muses as I spoke.  I didn’t stumble or trip over any of my words throughout the whole.

Calling out to Helios and to Zeus was really the moment I realized this was it, this was the oath I was taking and calling on two of the most powerful Gods of Oath-Keeping to witness it.  I asked them to see through me and into the truth in my heart, and that if I spoke falsely, or failed in my oath, that they should condemn me to the Erinyes.  Here is what I swore:

I come forth now, a Child of the Earth, to profess my love for the Old Ways.  I come forth now to commit to following my heart along this path, and that I shall strive to continue learning.  I have sought knowledge and inspiration, and now that I have taken the first steps, I pledge myself to this path.  Shining Ones, Nature Spritis, Ancestors, All, hear me now, as I offer up these sacrifices and swear:

I will uphold the Old Ways and live by the virtues given by tradition.  I will strive to keep the feasts and to learn about culturally specific holidays.  I will continue to study the lore so that I may learn the ways of the Ancients.

 

My Patrons, hear me now as I offer up these sacrifices and swear to you:

Artemis, I will stay wild and free in my heart.  I will strive to protect the environment and all growing things.  I will stand up for those who lack the means to do so for themselves.  Hold me to this oath.

Apollo, I will strive to keep the Delphic Maxims, and to continue my learning of omens and healing.  Hold me to this oath.

Dionysos, I will live, truly live, every day.  I will strive to seek transformation for the better.  Hold me to this oath.

Poseidon, I will ride out the storm and I will continue my journey along this path.  Grant me safe voyage as I swear to seek truth and right.  I will strive to control my temper when I need to, but also to lash out when the situation warrants.  I will seek help when I need it.  Hold me to this oath.

 

Thundering Zeus, Keeper of Oaths,

Helios, Bright Beacon of Truth,

Moirai, Mighty Spinners of Fate and Destiny,

Hold me to the oaths I have spoken this day.

Should I fail to adhere to what I have sworn

Send me to the Erinyes so that they may exact their vengeance.

  • I used the Greek Alphabet Oracle for the omen-taking.  I’ve learned to voice record my omens if I want to even come close to remembering them, so I’ve basically transcribed what I said.  The first of the questions I asked was “What should I continue to think on?”  I drew Kappa – To fight the waves is difficult; endure, friend.  I need to learn when to fight and when to endure.
  • “What work is still ahead of me?” I drew Mu – It is necessary to labor, but the change will be admirable.  I have a lot more work ahead of me.  It’s going to hard.  It’s going to be difficult.  And it’s going to be very, very worthwhile.  This is the first step on this path, and there are so many more to come on the journey.
  • “What messages from Artemis?” I drew Tau – You will have a parting from the companions now around you. We’ve had our parting, and we are meeting again on the new path.  And my work may take me places where others can’t follow me.
  • “What messages from Apollo?” I drew Alpha – The God Apollo says you will do everything successully. Thanks for the vote of confidence!
  • “What messages from Dionysus?” I drew Rho – You will go more easily if you wait a short time. Transformation is difficult, and sometimes you must wait until you are ready for it to begin the journey.
  • “What messages from Poseidon?” I drew Khi – Succeeding, friend, you will fulfill a golden oracle.  I have a destiny.  I have something that I’m working towards, and though I may not know it yet, I will get there.
  • I felt power vibrating in this ritual.  I got very shaky there when I was actually speaking my oath, and speaking of what would happen if I were to speak falsely or break the oath.  I’m also always amazed by how nervous I feel when I think about taking omens, but then how easily the words and meanings flow when I’m actually drawing them.  The pictures just appear in my head and the Muses and Apollo flow through me and set those pictures to words and help me to describe them.

 

Following is the full script for my Oath Rite:

 

 

  1. Pre-Ritual Purification
    1. Bathe, dress in clean, ritual clothes. Enter ritual space.
  2. Procession
  • Purification of the Sacred Space (Khernips)
    1. Wash face and hands in fresh, clean water outside of ritual space.
    2. Incense may also be included in the purification.
  1. Ritual Lighting of Sacred Fire
    1. Light the Sacred fire with the flame of Hestia.
  2. Tossing of Barley (kanoun)
    1. Barley is thrown into the fire, and scattered all about the ritual space for further purification of the space.
  3. Statement of Intent

I come to this sacred space today to declare myself a pagan and to dedicate myself to this path I choose.

 

  • Call to the Muses (“To the Muses” by Underflow):

http://underflow.livejournal.com/20975.html

 

Clio, mistress of history, holder of tales

old and new, you know of truths long lost to time.

In days of old lay wisdom, goddess, in the experience

of our elders lie lessons more precious than gold.

Through you do we gain understanding, through you

do we discover the legacy of the past.

Clio, goddess, child of Olympos, I honor you.

 

Euterpe, giver of delight, words of the heart

are yours, sonnets and ballads and poems of love.

Goddess, we see your hand in the songs of Sappho,

we hear you in the interplay of metre and rhyme.

By your art we hold open our souls to the world;

your touch gives voice to the truth within us.

Euterpe, goddess, child of Olympos, I honor you.

 

Thalia, joyous goddess, ivy-wreathed goddess,

in your works we find laughter, an excellent gift.

In wit there is wisdom, good cheer builds good will,

and a merry heart lightens the weight of the world.

O goddess of comedy, what in life surpasses

the delight we know in your mirth and merriment?

Thalia, goddess, child of Olympos, I honor you.

 

Melpomene, you sing of our sorrows, of hardship

and struggle, of perfect despair and savage fate.

So strange it is, that tales of melancholy

and ordeal should bring us pleasure, and yet it is so.

You teach us, muse, that each step and misstep we take,

unknown and unthought, directs our luck and our lot.

Melpomene, goddess, child of Olympos, I honor you.

 

Terpsichore, graceful one, in dance you take delight,

in swaying form and nimble step, in the heartbeat

of the drum. In the practiced pace of the rhythmic waltz,

in the wild, whirling joy of the maenad, we know you.

As the heart speaks, the body moves; as the body moves,

the mind transcends all and pauses in awe and reverence.

Terpsichore, goddess, child of Olympos, I honor you.

 

Erato, honey-tongued goddess, persuasive one,

beloved of lovers, wrapt in myrtle and roses,

companion of Eros, you know of longing

and devotion, of the flame that burns within us.

Yours are the words that warm our hearts and our loins,

that stir our desires, that turn us from thought to action.

Erato, goddess, child of Olympos, I honor you.

 

Polyhymnia, goddess who grants to the poet

the shining spark of divine inspiration,

whose gift guides us to speak of the mighty ones

with love and with reverence. With prayerful lips

we approach the gods, with words of praise and devotion

given us by you, O ever-mindful one.

Polyhymnia, goddess, child of Olympos, I honor you.

 

Urania, celestial goddess, reflective one,

cloaked in the shimmering stars, eyes cast toward the night sky,

yours are the seekers of reason and truth, yours are

those who struggle and strive for understanding,

who conceive the unseen, who argue the unknown;

your gift, a level head and a wandering mind.

Urania, goddess, child of Olympos, I honor you.

 

Calliope, elder muse, wise-hearted sister,

mother of silken-voiced Orpheus, friend of Homer

whose gift of mighty words for noble deeds inspired

verse enduring, tales undying, fame everlasting.

Granter of fine voice and fair speech, of a swift wit

and a ready tongue, of the skill to shape legends.

Calliope, goddess, child of Olympos, I honor you.

 

  • Honoring Hestia

For Hestia, I pour these first libations,

First-Born, and Last-Born,

Keeper of the Sacred Flame,

Tender of the Hearth and Guardian of the Home.

I sing your praises.

 

  1. Centering with the Land, Sea, and Sky
    1. Land  (Gaea)

Gaea, Mother Earth, ground me in your soil.

Hold me in your arms, let my roots sink down

And be nourished by you.

 

  1. Sea  (Okeanos)

Okeanos, Mighty Ocean, flood around me

As I feel the ebb and flow of your waves.

Pull me to the watery depths, let me bob on the surface and

Let the tide lap around me as I come ashore.

 

  1. Sky (Ouranos)

Ouranos, Brilliant Sky, encircle me in your great dome

Let your breezes whisk by me, and as I breathe in

Fill me with endless infinity.

 

  1. Placing the Omphalos at Sacred Center & Creation of Sacred Space

 

*place omphalos and anoint with oil*

I place this omphalos at the center of worlds, just as it marked the center of the ancient world.  My hands, like two eagles, flying to meet in the middle and establish this as the sacred center of worlds.

 

*sprinkle water around the boundary*

Now let this area around me be purified sacred space where I go to meet the gods, and the gods descend down to meet with me.

 

*waft incense smoke around those gathered, or pour oil on fire*

Let the smoke from my sacred fire carry my voice to the heavens and be heard by the gods. 

 

  1. Orphic Hymn Honoring the Gods
    1. “Friend, Use it to Prosper” by RC Hogart (pg 40) with small adaptations by J. Krueger.

Hear this song.

Know a scared way.

 

Thundering Zeus,

Father of Gods,

Mother Earth, shining sun,

Splendid moon and starry night,

 

Poseidon, king of the poignant sea,

Shadow haired Earth belter;

Demeter of the grain harvest,

Delicate Kore, Dawn in dark,

We honor you.

 

Arrow pouring Artemis;

Blazing Apollo, sun beam archer

Whose joy sings songs of prophecy at Delphi;

Intoxicating Dionysos,

We honor you.

 

Impulsive Ares,

Quick to spill blood;

Hephaistos, lord of artistic fire;

Great Aphrodite, risen from foam to light

And dark Hades, lord of shadows,

We honor you.

 

Hebe, giver of youth;

Virile Herakles, master of work;

Artemis protector of birth,

Opened of the gates to Earth,

We honor you.

 

Dike, mother of justice,

The noble God Piety,

Brilliant Nymphs,

And musical Pan, lord of all,

We honor you.

 

Sacred Hera, queen of Gods,

Beautiful Memory and pure Muses,

Golden Leto, gentle Dione of Dodona,

Clanging Kouretes, domestic Korybantes

And all children of Zeus,

We honor you.

 

Idaean Gods, the sky angel,

Hermes, runner on winds,

Agathodaimon, poppy in hand,

Gentle spirit of good luck;

Themis of the prophetic eyes;

Primordial Day and Night.

Faith and Fortune forever entwined,

We honor you.

 

Kronos, eater of children;

Motherly Rhea; Thetis veiled

Deep blue,

We honor you.

 

Okeanos, nymphs of the brine,

Steady Atlas, shining Eternity

And endless Time, we honor you.

 

Splendid lake at the shore of death,

The Gods who rest beside it,

Spirits good and bad,

Irresistible Fate, we honor you.

 

Spirits of light and of fire,

Of water, earth and shadow,

We honor you.

 

Leukothea, bright Dawn at sea,

Amorous Semele,

Mothers of great Dionysos,

We honor you.

 

Honey tongued Nike, drunk with success;

Asklepios, skillful hunter who raised the dead;

Dread Athene, master of war

Who leaped full grown and armored

From the head of father Zeus,

We honor you.

 

Thunders and winds caged in mighty columns,

Roaring in furious fight for release.

Attis, father of spring and immortal Adonis,

Beginning and End, we honor you.

 

We honor you all

And invite you

To a feast of love.

 

  1. Offerings to the Theoi as a whole

I pour these libations now for all the Greek Gods,

Those dwelling on Mt. Olympus,

Those dwelling in the world of Men,

And those dwelling in the deep Underworld.

I sing your praises.

 

  1. Offerings to Patron Gods
    1. Artemis
    2. Apollo
  • Dionysus
  1. Poseidon

 

  • Calling on the Witnesses to the Oath

For the gods who witness the lives of men,

And for the gods who witness oaths

I pour out the next shares,

For it is under your auspices I come.

 

  1. The Moirai

For the Moirai, I pour this libation.

Mighty spinners of Fate and Destiny,

Binding the world together with fragile strands.

You work adamantine shuttles, weaving human threads

Artfully blending lives together. 

I sing your praises.

Of Klotho, she who spins, drew forth my thread on my birth.

Of Lakhesis, she who measures, follows my steps and directs the consequences of my actions with the counsel of the Gods.

Of Atropos, she who cannot be turned, will be waiting at the end to cut my thread.

I sing your praises.

 

  1. Helios

For Helios, I pour this libation.

Great, all seeing father of Supreme Justice,

You who witness the oaths and promises made by all man-kind.

Faithful defender, and the eye of right

You who are ancient, wise, and strong.

Let your brightness pierce my soul

And see in me what is true.

Hears my words and my thoughts,

And know that I speak honestly this day.

Helios, I sing your praises.

 

  1. Zeus

For Zeus, I pour this libation.

Father of Justice and Keeper of Oaths,

I call out to you to hear me this day

And to witness this Oath I take.

Let your thunder wash over me,

And the sky flash with your arrival.

Blind me and bind me in truths spoken.

Thundering Zeus, Oath-Keeper

I sing your praises.

 

 

  • Working: Oath

I come forth now, a Child of the Earth, to profess my love for the Old Ways.  I come forth now to commit to following my heart along this path, and that I shall strive to continue learning.  I have sought knowledge and inspiration, and now that I have taken the first steps, I pledge myself to this path.  Shining Ones, Nature Spritis, Ancestors, All, hear me now, as I offer up these sacrifices and swear:

I will uphold the Old Ways and live by the virtues given by tradition.  I will strive to keep the feasts and to learn about culturally specific holidays.  I will continue to study the lore so that I may learn the ways of the Ancients. 

 

My Patrons, hear me now as I offer up these sacrifices and swear to you:

Artemis, I will stay wild and free in my heart.  I will strive to protect the environment and all growing things.  I will stand up for those who lack the means to do so for themselves.  Hold me to this oath.

Apollo, I will strive to keep the Delphic Maxims, and to continue my learning of omens and healing.  Hold me to this oath.

Dionysos, I will live, truly live, every day.  I will strive to seek transformation for the better.  Hold me to this oath.

Poseidon, I will ride out the storm and I will continue my journey along this path.  Grant me safe voyage as I swear to seek truth and right.  I will strive to control my temper when I need to, but also to lash out when the situation warrants.  I will seek help when I need it.  Hold me to this oath.

 

Thundering Zeus, Keeper of Oaths,

Helios, Bright Beacon of Truth,

Moirai, Mighty Spinners of Fate and Destiny,

Hold me to the oaths I have spoken this day.

Should I fail to adhere to what I have sworn

Send me to the Erinyes so that they may exact their vengeance.

 

  • Omen

What should I continue to think on?

 

 

What work is still ahead of me?

 

 

Any special messages from my Patrons?

 

 

  1. Thanking the Witnesses of the Oath

 

  1. The Moirai

Klotho, Lakhesis, and  Atropos,

Mighty Weavers of Fate and Destiny.

Thank you for joining me today

And witnessing this oath.

 

  1. Helios

Helios, Bright and Shining Truth Seer.

Thank you for joining me today

And witnessing this oath.

 

  1. Zeus

Father Zeus, Keeper of Oaths.

Thank you for joining me today

And witnessing this oath.

 

  1. Patrons
    1. Artemis
    2. Apollo
  • Dionysus
  1. Poseidon

 

  • Return to the Ordinary

For all the Theoi I pour these final libations.

Mighty deities, we offer you many thanks for joining us today.

May the door always remain open,

The fire always burn,

And our voices always sing in harmony.

 

Removing the omphalos


For Hestia, I pour these last libations,

First-Born, and Last-Born,

Keeper of the Sacred Flame,

Tender of the Hearth and Guardian of the Home.

May you always keep my hearth-fire burning bright.

 

Greek Alphabet Oracle

I’m starting to learn about the Greek Alphabet Oracle, and as such am trying to learn the meanings associated with each letter of the Greek alphabet.  I got the information on the oracle here.  What I tried to do was take the meaning of each letter and write it in a  phrase that began with that letter or sound.  This is what each of the Greek phrases did, so “translating” it has been slightly more difficult.  I would eventually like to turn this into a song of some sort for a better mnemonic device.  I’m using the dice method right now until I can make my own set of “Greek Runes” and plan to take an omen each day.

Alpha

  • All you do is successful

Beta

  • Because you asked for help

Gamma

  • Gaia gave you the fruits of your labors

Delta

  • Deciding how to act and when strength is necessary

Epsilon

  • Eager to see the results of union

Zeta

  • Zeus causes the storm: flee before his anger

Eta

  • Every word you speak, Helios knows the truth

Theta

  • Throughout your journey, you will have the gods help.

Iota

  • If you lose all else, your hard work remains

Kappa

  • Keep on enduring the inevitable with courage.

Lambda

  • Learn that blessings come from the most unsuspecting places

Mu

  • Much good will come through labor and toil.

Nu

  • Notice when strife has come, for it is a sign.

Xi

  • Expectations should be rational

Omicron

  • Only what you plant will yield a harvest

Pi

  • Perseverance through adversity will win many battles.

Rho

  • Remain a short while and you will proceed more easily.

Sigma

  • Stay and hold your ground

Tau

  • Travelers must eventually part ways.

Upsilon

  • Understand whether you should seek a noble quest, or whether your quest is being hindered.

Phi

  • Fate is yours alone – take responsibility for it and do not blame the Gods.

Khi

  • Completion of your goals is excellent

Psi

  • Suitable judgment has been passed down by the Gods.

Omega

  • Onerous times await you.