A Healing Ritual for Mental Health

Mental Health is something that so many people struggle with, myself included. It can seem hard to see the hope and the light when the world seems to be covered in darkness and nothing but feelings of bleak desolation. While religion is no substitute for other medical interventions, such as therapy and/or medication, is definitely has its place in making things more bearable. When the flame seems to have gone out, we can pray in hopes of finding it’s light again.

While this is a full ADF Core Order of Ritual, the working section can be performed as a stand alone piece, particularly if performing the whole ritual seems daunting. The ritual can also be performed on behalf of another, though please do make sure you have their permission first to offer prayers on their behalf.

Continue reading “A Healing Ritual for Mental Health”

Affirmation Sigil: I can overcome this.

[Image: A line drawn graphical sigil. Text sigil for firing "I can overcome this": cnVrMThS]

 

Dealing with all manner of situations and emotions means that sometimes you need to remind yourself that you can do this.  You are strong enough to handle what life is throwing at you, and you can overcome it.

With the way the political climate is right now, I know a lot of us are struggling, myself included.  The big, black dog of depression has a really easy path to sneak up on us and follow us around.  There are a lot of self-care options out there, and ways to combat the depression, anxiety, and generally triggered state that many of find ourselves in these days.  I’ve found that working magic alongside the other self-care things I’m doing is a good way to keep pushing through.

My favorite way to use sigils like this one, that are meant to be a reminder and a focus for the hard work of fighting depression, is to put it directly on my skin.  My favored method is using henna, since that takes time to prep and apply, thus focusing my intent, and then it stays on for at least a week, maybe more.  However, if you don’t have access to henna, it can certainly be applied with a pen or sharpie, as long as you focus your intent while drawing it on.

I hope others find this as helpful as I do.

[this post originally appeared on my Patreon.  Please head over there to support my work]

Journal Entry from Div, Trance, & Magic 2

Representative Journal Entry from Divination 2, Magic 2, or Trance 2

14 May 2014
Apollo Full Moon.
This was the Apollo full moon, so I wanted to bless our divination tools. Everyone was using sortilege so I had everyone pull one symbol from whatever system they use and give a brief interpretation. And it was awesome. We had something like 4 variations on sun and light, some in rebirth and new beginnings, some on gifts given or earned and some on the work of the journey. And then after everyone shared the meanings I wound them all together and it all fit so perfect.

Then we let the light radiate over and through our tools and into us. *shivers* the juju. It was awesome. There was that buzz inside yourself that happens when you really know the magic is working.

And, I totally forgot to turn on my recorder. I thought about it. Because I knew this would be a divination that wasn’t for me per say. And when it’s not for me its like a conduit and I don’t remember what I said. But it was awesome. And afterward each person was telling me how it all rang true so much for them. There’s bits and pieces, but it was not meant to be recorded apparently.

I wrote down all the symbols, so I can get close. (Nu, the strife-bearing gift; Sowilo, the sun/victory; Gebo, gift; Birch, new beginnings; Khi, fulfills the golden oracle; Gamma, Gaea the earth, ripe fruits of our labors; The Clinging, illumination and enlightenment; The magician, power/willpower and creativity; Eta, Helios who watches all watches you, the sun; 8 of Stones, apprenticeship and practice of skill; Ivy, the journey, guidance, and travel; 7 of Arrows, insecurity, and facing your doubts; Honeysuckle, lay down your burdens/have fun; Iota, there is sweat, work hard; Rebirth, new beginnings) But not the exact words that I said.

It was something like “with the bright like of the sun illuminating our path, we have been blessed with many gifts. It is now time to take these gifts and focus our willpower and creativity to work on and practice our skills as we set down our burdens so that we might pick up burdens anew as we, face our fears and set out on our new, enlightened path”

Everything just seemed to fit together so perfectly. The script for the working is below, and the whole thing was couched within the basic Hellenic COoR I use.

Set-up:
– all participants have divination tools
– three burning candles with enough space in the center for all tools to be placed OR if outside, space for everyone to stand around the Fire in a circle
– offerings of bay or oil

We come together now in the presence of all the Theoi, but most especially Apollo Mantikos, Apollo Aphetor. Prophetic One, Giver of Oracles.
Klûthi mou, Apollon! (Hear me, Apollo!)
Elthé moi, Apollon! (Come to me, Apollo!)
Deûro Mákar! (Hither, Blessed One!)

We come with our tools, and we come with open heart and empty mind. We ask that you give us the gift of the Mantis, and the gift of your blessing, that our Sight might be improved.

*All Speak Together or Call & Response*
Phoebos, Radiant One,
Shine your light down on me.
Mantikos, Prophetic One,
Send your truth down to me.
Aphetor, Oracle Giver
Send your wisdom down to me.
Proopsios, Farseeing One
Send you visions down to me
Leskhenorios, Converser
Send your voice down to me
Loxias, Speaker
Send your words down to me.
Pythian Apollo, of Delphi,
Let your Oracle speak through me.

*if all are using a sortilege, each person draws a single lot and interprets (otherwise each person seeks an omen in whatever manner they generally use); whoever took the rite’s omen should make sure they are drawing lots from the full set for the working*

We have received the blessings of [all omens].

Apollo Mantikos, Prophetic One,
I seek to know of these omens.
Let your truth be told through me.

Apollo Aphetor, Oracle Giver,
I seek to know of these gifts.
Let your wisdom flow through me.

Apollo Leskhenorios, Converser,
I seek to know of these messages.
Let your voice speak through me.

*Seer makes offering of Oil and/or bay*

These blessings and wisdom that we have received, when taken together, grant us [interpretation of all omens together]. Reflect a moment on these gifts and how they pertain to your Sight.

*pause*

We now take our tools of divination and ask that they be infused with the gifts we have received.

*tools are placed in the light of the fire*

*All Speak Together or Call & Response*
We stand at the center,
In the light of the moon, in its fullness,
And by the light of the Fire, and the truth it reveals.
We stand infused with the blessings,
In the presence of the Kindreds,
With open heart, and empty mind.
We call now for the powers of the Mantis (Seer)
to fill us, and radiate over our tools,
Blessing us with the gift of Sight.

*envision the fire’s light filling the tools to blinding capacity*

Fire, Bright Fire!
Light, Shining Light!
Truth, Radiant Truth!
(repeat 3x)

Our tools thus blessed, and our Sight thus confirmed.
We each now stand, mantis in our own right.

Esto!

Solar Eclipse 2017 Sigil Work

I decided that for the solar eclipse in 2017, aka the “Great American Eclipse”, that I would be doing some sigil work.  As a quick primer of what sigil work is, the idea is you have a focus, often a phrase, that you convert into a symbol.  You then “charge” the symbol in some way before “firing” it.  The process is designed to move the focus of your work from your conscious mind into the collective unconscious so that it can activate and your focus can come to fruition.  In practice, this means you want your sigil to be simple enough to draw, but complex enough that you can’t draw it again from memory.  You’d have to reference the original to be able to do it.

 

So, I gave some thought on what kind of magic I wanted to do in relation to what the solar eclipse may already be empowering.  The Sun can represent what is easily known, the conscious mind, logic and reasoning.  The Moon can represent what is typically hidden, the unconscious, emotion and intuition.  So, in this case, my focus is allowing my intuitive brain to take precedence over my logical brain, specifically for the purpose of enhancing further magical work and devotional relationships that I may develop over the next 6 months.

 

My next step was to actually create my sigil.  I use a stylized letter elimination method for creating my sigils.  Because “sigils are monograms of thought” (Austin Osman Spare) I took my focus: “Allow my intuitive brain to take precedence over my logical brain, specifically for the purpose of enhancing further magical work and devotional relationships that I may develop over the next 6 months” and converted it to the simple phrase “Intuition over Logic.”  I then thought it would be cool to put Inituition in the Moon, and Logic in the Sun, and draw them overlapping.  literally Intuition over Logic.  Next was to remove repeat letters from each word, and stylize them into my symbols.

 

a stylized symbol that resembles the moon passing across the sun with symbols in each planetary body.

 

My symbol now created, now I needed to transfer it to a pinhole camera.  I transferred it to a piece of foil and punched out the design with a thumb tack.  When the eclipse happens later today I will be charging my sigil as the eclipse occurs, nearing totality.  (We’ll have 86% totality here).  At the point of max coverage I will fire my sigil off, releasing my focus into the unconscious so that it can manifest.

 

the sigil punched into a paper plate held out in the sun and projecting the image onto a piece of paper

 

If you desire to do similar work, you can either create your own sigil for your personal focus, or you are welcome to print off this design and use it as a template for punching out your own magical pinhole camera.

Liturgical Writing 2

1) Define “votive offering” and write a prayer (including stage directions if applicable) for a votive offering. (100 words for definition; minimum 75 words for prayer)
A votive offering is made as bargain with the spirits, and is typically phrased as an “if-then” statement. This means that if the spirits do something for you, then you promise to give or do something in return, rather than giving something first and asking that they do. A votive offering relies less on having a *ghosti relationship with a spirit, and more on an economical transaction and promise to pay after the service is rendered. In some ways this reverses the concept of “I give so that you may give” and instead phrases it as “if you give then I can give.”

Mighty Theoi, Brilliant Shining Gods,
To this end do I petition you:
Help me to find a new home for me and my family.
I shall sing your praises should you aid me!

Hestia, Goddess of my Hearth, I call out to you!
As we are seeking a new home, one that we can call our own,
Continue to burn bright here, and light the fires at those others hearths
so that they may become welcoming to us.
When we find a new home, I will give you sweet oil and barley
and tend your flame each morning.

Zeus, Protector of my Home and my Family, I call out to you!
You’ve kept us safe in our dwelling, and aided us in finding gainful employment,
I ask now that you continue your support of me and my family,
and help us in our search to find a home of our own.
We when find a new home, I will give you libations of deep red wine,
and burn sweet incense so the smoke may fill you.

Hermes, Traveler and Trader, I call out to you!
Guide my feet as the search for a home continues,
and when it is found, honey my words, O silver-tongued one,
That our offer may be accepted and we may proceed with making the home our own.
When the home is found, and our offer accepted, I will give you ripe strawberries,
Dipped in barley and cream, that the sweetness may spread through you.

Mighty Theoi, Brilliant Shining Gods,
Lend your strength to this task at hand
and you shall partake of the gifts I bring!

2) Write three prayers, one each for three of the following occasions (no minimum word count):
lighting a sacrificial fire: “Calling Hestia”
I call out now to Hestia, Goddess of the Hearth and Keeper of the Sacred Flame.
You burn ever bright within my heart, and I ask now that you burn brightly upon my hearth.
A flame, kindled upon the earth, pillar of smoke reaching to the Heavens
that it may connect us to the realm above so our voices may be heard.
I make this first offering to you, Hestia, as you prepare to accept the sacrifices made today
And see them carried to the mighty Theoi.
Hestia, be welcome here as you become the Good Fire around which I pray.

a meal blessing: “A Children’s Mealtime Prayer”
Mother Earth gives us grain and bread
And all the food that keeps us fed.
Now the meal is about to start,
So we thank her from our heart.

remembering a recently-passed ancestor: “For Dan’s Crossing” (Sept 10, 2014)
Beloved Dead, Ancient Wise, Ancestors:
One of our own begins his journey tonight.
He comes to join you, wrapped in Crane-feathered cloak.
Borne aloft to cross the veil by the sweet and gentle wings of Garanus,
And held safe and secure within those wings for the journey.
His passage has been paid by kith and kin
As we set his spirit free to join you.

Light the fires along the way,
To brighten his path as he travels.
Prepare the hall for a great feast,
To welcome him when he arrives.
Show him the way, and where to drink,
And guide him in this new role.
Watch over him as he makes this transition,
As he begins this adventure.

Dan, the Ancestors await, to greet you with joy in their hearts.
Fly now, and know you will be welcomed.
Fly now, and know we will celebrate your time with us.
Dan, farewell for now, and safe travels on your journey.

3) Write two prayers, one each for two of the following occasions (no minimum word count):
opening a Grove business meeting
As we gather tonight to continue the good work we do as a Grove,
Let us remember that all here are Children of the Earth.
As we speak, let our voices carry respect;
As we listen, let our ears hear honestly;
As we think, let our mind seek what is best for the community.
So be it!

for blessing a house (the middle part of this borrows heavily from MJD’s work in the Crane Breviary “Anagantios Moon”)
*flame is kindled just before crossing the threshold of the house*

I call out to Hestia as I kindle this fire here,
that she may light and warm this hearth
and bring blessings for all who dwell here.
Hestia, as I enter this place, I ask that you enter with me
Filling this home with your light, protection, and hospitality.

*flame is carried to each room in the house, ending in the kitchen. charm below is spoken in each room*

May this flame brighten the lives of those who dwell here,
May its light fill this space: from wall to wall, from ceiling to floor.

*upon entering the kitchen, light a new candle for the individual/family*

May this flame brighten the lives of all those who live or visit here,
May its light fill this home: each room from wall to wall, from ceiling to floor.
Hestia, flame kindled here on this hearth,
be welcome as the Good Fire as you light and warm this home.

The hearth kindled and brightened,
I call out now to Zeus Ktesios, who protects the wealth and possessions of this home,
And to Oikoyro Ophi, who protects the individual/family in this home.
Strong Father of Justice, Faithful House Serpant,
enter this home where the Fire burns bright
and grant this hearth, home, and individual/family the blessings of bounty
as you lend your protection to all those who dwell here.
Let your power and protection be bound to this Oikos
for as long as they dwell here.

4) Write a magical working for a full ADF rite suitable for use in a group setting, including stage directions as appropriate. (no minimum word count)
For the Full Moon honoring Hepheastos, the Smith God and Crafter, we will be making ink from the ashes left from our burnt offerings and the Waters gained the Return Flow. This ink can then be used focusing the intent for other magical work, from sigil work to staining divination tools to spelled tablets or prints.

Items Needed:
1 part ash from burnt offerings
1 part water from Return Flow
1 drop white vinegar (optional for ink stability)
bowl that can be stained (for mixing)
hard-bristled brush (for mixing)

To being mixing the ink put the ash in the bowl, add the water. Each person participating in the working will stir and mix the ink with the brush while saying the charm below (the charm can then also be said when reconstituting the mixture or making more). When it looks like ink, mix in a drop of vinegar, and you’re done.

CHARM:
Great and Mighty Hephaestos, Master of the Tempering Flame
Sooty God, who is famed in many crafts,
Renowned metal-smith and skillful worker,
Inventive and Resourceful One,
Your fame and glory resound with each strike of your hammer on anvil.

We have made offerings, consumed by the Fire.
Our gifts have risen on smokey pillar to the Heavens above.
All that remains here is charcoal and ash.
Take what is left, Skillful Creator,
Take the leavings, the forgotten, the dross
And guide our hands in finding use for this too.

Now mix your magic with our
as we seek to create tools from the discarded.
Ash from the Sacred Fire,
*put ash in the bowl*
Water from the Holy Well,
*put water in the bowl*
Bound now together as we chant these words:
*begin stirring and mixing as you chant. repeat as necessary until it is well mixed*

Aithaloeis Theos! Sooty Hephaestos!
Grant us your skill as we mix this ash!
Polymetis! Resourceful Hepheastos!
Grant us your skill as we mix this ash!
Klytoteknes! Famed in Crafting Hepheastos!
Grant us your skill as we mix this ash!
Polyphron! Ingenius and Inventive Hephaestos!
Grant us your skill as we mix this ash!
*once ink is made, add drop of vinegar if desired to stabilize the mixture*

With this ink thus created
Let us not forget the power of sacrifices made.
Let us not forget the power of Hepheastos, the Crafter,
In his ability to create powerful tools
From even those things considered useless or waste.

With this ink, we may now focus our intent for future tasks.

5) Write one complete ritual for an ADF High Day. The ritual must be substantially original and suitable for use in a group setting. (no minimum word count)

Vedic Spring Equinox: Honoring Indra
(This ritual was performed at Three Cranes Grove in March 2015: all parts written here are by Jan Avende unless otherwise noted)

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 sea and sky,
Our hearts tied together as one,
Let us pray with a good fire.

Statement of Purpose
Children of Earth, we come together today, when the world hangs in balance, and all is seeking to be renewed and rejuvenated. We come to honor Indra today, the Vedic God of the Storm. He who won the Waters for us and has made it possible for us to receive the blessings of the gods. In the springtime, the storms often rage, and rain pounds to the earth. From these storms we are given the life-sustaining Waters that renew the land, wash clean our beings, and rejuvenate our spirits. So, on this Spring Equinox at the Good Fire we have kindled, let us honor the Kindreds with reverence and love in our hearts.

Purification
*participants walk between two people, being censed and asperged. Cleansed by the waters, and filled with the smoke*

Earth Mother
The Children of the Earth call out to Prithivi!
Prithivi, we are your Children!
You span the heights, and give sustenance to all beings.
Rich Earth Mother, upheld through Sacrifice.
Born of the Waters, birthing the Waters, home to the Waters,
Pour out for us now delicious nectar and fill us with your splendor.
Agni who dwells deep within you:
The Fire at your heart and ours.
We sing praises of your woodlands and hills.
We sing praises of your mountains and streams.
All who worship and make sacrifice do so on your bosom,
You come from Order and maintain Order in your seasons and cycles,
Gold-breasted Prithivi, keeper and giver of treasures
Join us at our Sacred Hearth and be warmed by our Good Fire.
Aid us and Guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.
Prithivi, Accept our Sacrifice!

Inspiration: Soma Pavamana
Sweet, purifying Soma,
Roaring into everlasting, immortal life.
Bringer of gods. Bringer of light.
Light like the yellow tawniness of the fire.
Bright like the shining Sharyanavat.

Sweet, purifying Soma,
I drink you, intoxicating elixir.
Giver of life. Giver of strength.
Honey-sweet and thick, sliding down my throat
Filling me with Hero’s wealth.

Sweet, purifying Soma,
Flowing and freeing in your stream of juices.
Receiver of praise. Receiver of sacrifice.
Your joyous draught overflowing in creativity
Makes us better than we are.

Soma, fill us with your exilir!
Suffuse us with your body
As we seek to make sacrifice and honor the Gods.
Soma, accept our sacrifice!

Attunement 
Breathe deep, finding your center. Let your body relax. Breathe deep, feeling the tension drain from your shoulders. Breathe deep, feeling the tension drain from your face. Breathe deep, feeling the tensions drain from you arms and legs. Breathe deep, feeling the tension drain from your hands and feet. Breathe deep, and just be for a moment.

*Pause*

Calm now, at peace and centered, see in your minds eye mists rolling in around you, the wisps licking across your skin and obscuring your vision. Allow yourself to exist for a moment in this liminal space, expanding and reaching out for clarity without seeing.

*Pause*

A brightness begins to solidify in the mists: As you focus on it, it grows and you see it is a flame, glowing and flickering with warmth and power. This is the fire of your hearth. The fire of your community. The fire of sacrifice. Let its glow wash over you.

*Pause*

The colors of the fire ripple and dance in and out. See the spirits of the Fire as they reveal themselves. These are the spirits of your home, who cleanses and blesses your space. The spirits of your community who strengthen the ties amongst the Folk. The spirits of sacrifice, who carry your offerings to the gods. As you watch the spirits of the flames, see the colors dance in your mind’s eye. See the white hot spark of inspiration. See the warm orange glow of the burning hearth fire. See the bright yellow spirit of dance and joy. See the deep red glow of community. See the brilliant blue flame that is focused in the night. See the rippling black across the embers. See the shining lights of colors that only you have seen. Listen to the crackle and pop of the fire as the spirits call out to you.

*Brief Pause*

Feel the power of the fire brighten within you as the warm envelopes to you and dances around your limbs. See around the roaring fire the faces of those who worship in this space with you. See as the glow touches each of them and you, brightening us, and filling us with warmth.

*Brief pause*

Now step away from the flames and head back towards the edge of the firelight, as the mists thicken again. Feel the wisps licking across your skin and obscuring your vision. Breathe deep and become again aware of your hands and feet. Breathe deep and become again aware of your arms and legs. Breathe deep and become again aware of yourself. See the mists roll back as you again exist in this place warmed by the Fire, and surrounded by all those who pray around it.

ReCreation of the Cosmos 
The world was made from the Great Being Purusha!
The Lord of Immortality, who through his sacrifice, gave birth to the world!
His Head became the Heavens, where the Ancestors dwell;
His Body became the Atmosphere, where the Shining Gods dwell;
His Feet became the Earth, where the Spirits of the Land dwell.
Springing forth from his mouth, Agni, the Priest of the Gods, leapt into the world
and a Fire was kindled upon the Earth.
A Fire for Hospitality.
A Fire for Protection.
A Fire for Sacrifice.
These three Fires burn at the Center.
Their light stretches out through all the realms,
and their smoke carries our words and sacrifices to all the realms.
These three Fires mark this place as our Sacred Center.

Gates 
Now, with the Fires burning and the Center we look to the sky as we call out for our Gatekeeper.
One who stands at the boundaries and walks the liminal places between the Realms.
Ushas! O Daughter of the Sky!
You who arise from your bath each morning dripping dew upon the land.
Rosy maid, your brilliant face breaks through the Clouds,
Parting them to shine your light upon the world.
Hopeful Dawn comes: ever rising, ever resplendent,
Still there, breathing life into the world with your radiance.
Burning away the gloom that seems it will never leave.
Imperceptibly you lightens the clouds from grey to pink,
Caressing them to life, until suddenly
The sky is alight and singing new songs of hope.
As you awaken the world to life, and rekindle the Fires upon the Land each morn,
So too do you awaken our pious spirits to sing the praises of the Gods.
Ushas, Accept our Sacrifice!

Ushas, Goddess of the Dawn,
Come to us now on this holy day when the world hangs in balance.
Break through the clouds and aid us in rekindling the Fires upon the Earth
As we seek to Open the Gates, Walk Between the Worlds, and make Sacrifice.
Call Agni, the Priest of the Gods, to us, so that we might pour forth our offerings.

Rekindle the Fire of Hospitality, and let it burn here and within us,
Connecting us to the Spirits of the Land, with whom we walk in balance.
Rekindle the Fire of Protection, and let it burn here and within us,
connecting us to our Heavenly Ancestors, who’s knowledge guides our steps.
Rekindle the Fire of Sacrifice, and let it burn here and within us,
Connecting us to the Shining Gods, who we make offerings to.

Three Fires kindled and burning strong,
Connecting us to the Earth, the Heaven, and the Atmosphere.
These flames burning here and in all the Realms.
Ushas, part the Clouds and Open the Ways,
so that our Sacrifices may be carried forth and our voices heard!
Let the Gates be Open!

Earth (Spirits of Forest)
The Children of the Earth call out to the Spirits of Forest!
You who dwell on the Earth and fill the lands about us.
Allies and guides, whether you be of flesh, stone, or plant.
May the Sun warm you, and the Waters fill you,
The Mountains protect you, and the Earth support you.
We come into this space that is yours,
To be as you are in our honoring of the Kindreds.
We see you, Spirits of Forest, All you Sylvan Things
Stepping through the seven regions of the Earth
out across the many-colored grasses
where the Waters flow down from the mountains and out to the sea.
We see you rising in the east to greatness
with a hundred, thousand branches as we lift our ladles and bring you gifts.
Come to our Fire, Spirits, and meet us at the boundary
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 Forest, Accept our Sacrifice!

Atmospheric (Deities)
The Children of the Earth call out to the Shining Ones!
You who dwell in the Atmosphere and fill our every breath with divinity.
Brilliant, Mighty, and Awful, we sing your praises.
Bright and splendid, burning and flowing
We see your power and beseech you to come to us,
Gracious and kindly-hearted, and partake of our sacrifice.
We call and call thee, bliss-bestowers,
come to us at dawn and midday, at dusk and midnight.
Be with us as fires strengthen our prayer and our sacrifice:
Wise and Mighty, Loving and Kind, Ancient and Powerful.
You are streaming with abundance, pouring out treasures untold.
Come to our Fire, Shining Ones, and meet us at the boundary
Join us at our Sacred Hearth and be warmed by our Good Fire.
Aid us and Guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.
Shining Ones, Accept our Sacrifice!

Heavens (Ancestors)
The Children of the Earth call out to the Ancestors!
You who dwell in the Heavens and inspire us to reach for the stars.
Sons of mighty Asura, supporting the heavens,
Bound by the life-giving Waters
You search out the path to glory and lead the way.
Come Fathers, and sit on the grass with us
Join us in the warmth of the sun and sweetness of the waters.
We see you as Yama’s hounds roam among us, brindled and dark-eyed,
as they seek those who would ever dwell in the sunlight.
Come to our Fire, Ancestors, and meet us at the boundary
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!

DotO: Indra 
The Children of the Earth call out to Indra, the Cloud Rider!
On eagles’ wings, borne across the land,
You rush up from the sea upon the very clouds
That bear the waters.
Mighty Indra, Bright as Suns,
Come to us and stand by us in our need.
You are drawn onward by the tawny coursers,
sparks that strike the sky, O Tempest God,
We call to you!
Come down to us from the skies, O Wanderer,
making light where there was none,
making form where there was none.
Golden and Thunder-armed Indra,
You who struck down the Dragon,
and won the Waters for us,
Come, come!
Burst forth from the Clouds and drive us on to glory
as a bull drives on the herds.
Bright Thunderer, full of Soma,
We hear the cows roaring, bellowing, at your victory as you approach.
Come to our Fire, Indra, and meet us at the boundary
Join us at our Sacred Hearth and be warmed by our Good Fire.
Aid us and Guide us as we walk the Elder Ways.
Indra, Accept our Sacrifice!

Prayer of Sacrifice: Agni 
Agni, Bright One, Priest of the Gods,
We have given of our love and our wealth to the Kindreds.
Now, as this sacrifice is poured out, take it, and carry our voices to all the realms:
Through the Forest, where the Spirits may partake of it,
Through the Atmosphere, where the Shining Ones may partake of it,
Through the Heavens, where the Ancestors may partake of it.
Kindreds all, Accept our Sacrifice!

Omen (Fire scrying)
*seer makes an offering to the Fire of Hospitality and seeks the wisdom and blessings there*

*seer makes an offering to the Fire of Protection and seeks the wisdom and blessings there*

*seer makes an offering to the Fire of Sacrifice and seeks the wisdom and blessings there*

Return Flow 
**note: this portion of the rite was performed as a children’s ritual playlet during the rite in March 2015**

Cast:
OFFICIANT: The person who is doing the Return Flow portion of the Ritual
INDRA: The Vedic Storm God
VRTRA: The Dragon
CELEBRANTS: The folk at the ritual
STORM-BRINGERS: sounds of the storm (can be the same as the CELEBRANTS if needed)
Optional Cast:
DRAGONS: Vrtra’s family
SACRED COWS: to represent the Waters and Blessings

*following the Seer’s pronouncement of a positive Omen*

OFFICIANT: These are indeed good omens.

OFFICIANT: But you should know that until Indra won the Waters for us, we could not have received these blessings because Vrtra the Dragon hoarded them all for himself and his family.

OFFICIANT: Here is Vrtra now, and he is holding onto [omen], [omen], and [omen].

VRTRA: These gifts are mine! All mine!

OFFICIANT: But the people wanted the blessings too, and they knew only the mighty Indra could help them now. So they called out with one voice: “Indra, Give us the Waters!”

CELEBRANTS: Indra! Give us the Waters!

OFFICIANT: Listen: Do you hear him coming? Here comes Indra the Storm-Bringer!

*STORM-BRINGERS shake noisemakers as Indra enters the stage*

OFFICIANT: In the thundering clouds with his lightning bolt in hand, Indra demands:

INDRA: Vrtra! You have to share the blessings!

OFFICIANT: Vrtra roars mightily and retorts:

VRTRA: No! These gifts are mine! All mine!

OFFICIANT: And the people knew Vrtra was going to hold onto those gifts of [omen], [omen], and [omen] with all of his might. So they again called out: “Indra! Give us the Waters!”

CELEBRANTS: Indra! Give us the Waters!

OFFICIANT: And Indra heard their plea and prepared to do whatever was necessary to win the waters for the people. He again shouted to Vrtra:

INDRA: Vrtra! You have to share the blessings!

OFFICIANT: But Vrtra again roared his denial and shrieked:

VRTRA: No! These gifts are mine! All mine!

OFFICIANT: Indra grew angry that Vrtra wouldn’t share the blessings with everyone, and as his anger grew, so too did the sound of the storm.

*STORM-BRINGERS shake noisemakers*

OFFICIANT: The people knew now was the moment. Now was the time to give Indra all their support. And so they called out one final time: “Indra! Give us the Waters!”

CELEBRANTS: Indra! Give us the Waters!

OFFICIANT: The storm rumbled as Indra went into battle with the mighty Vrtra, his lightning bolt held high. With a flash he struck down Vrtra with his lightning bolt. The Dragon bellowed as he fell.

OFFICIANT: The waters, the blessings, the gifts were now free. The mighty Indra won them away from Vrtra the Dragon and brought them to us.

*INDRA brings Waters to OFFICIANT*

OFFICIANT: These Waters are infused with the blessings of [omen], [omen], and [omen]. “Behold! The Waters of Life!”

OFFICIANT: As these Waters are poured out for each of us, remember how they were won for us, and how we sing the praises of the Storm God who won them.

OFFICIANT: See how the gifts of [omen], [omen], and [omen] can flow into our lives. See how they can flow into our grove. See how they can flow into our community. See how you and the world can be renewed and rejuvenated by these Waters so courageously won and freely given.

OFFICIANT: Drink deep, Children of Earth, and be blessed!

Thank DotO 
Mighty Indra, Thunderer, Drinker of the Soma Juice,
You who have won the Waters for us.
For joining us today, raining down your blessings upon us,
and lending your Magic to our work as we step forth into our lives,
We say, Indra! We thank you!

Thank Ancestors 
Mighty Ancestors, you who have delighted
in the sunlight with us this day:
For joining us today, sharing your knowledge and joy with us,
and lending your Magic to our work as we step forth into our lives,
We say, Ancestors! We thank you!

Thank Deities
Brilliant Shining Ones, bliss-bestowers,
so full of the riches you’ve freely poured out:
For joining us today, kindling a fire of piety with us,
and lending your Magic to our work as we step forth into our lives,
We say, Shining Ones! We thank you!

Thank Spirits of the Forest
Spirits of Forest, moving softly through the realms of the land,
and rising in greatness like the great trees:
For joining us today, teaching s to walk in balance with the Earth,
and lending your Magic to our work as we step forth into our lives,
We say, Spirits of Forest! We thank you!

Close Gates 
Now, with the Fires still burning and the Center we look to the sky
As we call out once more for our Gatekeeper.
One who stands at the boundaries and walks the liminal places between the Realms.
Ratri! O Child of Heaven!
Your Sister, Bright Ushas aided us in our arrival, as is her due.
Now we ask that you aid us in our depature, O Ratri, as is your due.
Twinkling-eyed Goddess, adorned in all beauty
You bring Order to the World as you guide us from Dusk to Dawn.
So watch over us, Ratri, as we seek to close the Gates.
Shepherd us safely on until we come to this shared space of brightness and worship again.
Ratri, Accept our Sacrifice!

Now, Child of Heaven, Goddess of the Glittering Night,
Come to us and aid us as we Seek to bid farewell to Agni,
Walk Between the Worlds once more, and Close the Gates.
Agni has kindled three brilliant flames before us, bright and strong.
They have been well-fed of our sacrifices, and consumed with delight.
Now let these fires once more become but flame.

Let the Fire of Sacrifice no longer burn here and within us,
but dissipate out into the Atmosphere.
Let the Fire of Protection no longer burn here and within us,
but dissipate out amongst the Heavens.
Let the Fire of Hospitality no longer burn here and within us,
but dissipate out across the Land.

Ratri, as this, our Sacred Center, is no longer lit and shining brightly with Sacrifice,
As we travel between, no Fire at our Center,
Let the Gates be Closed!

Thank Inspiration
Sweet, purifying Soma, bright and potent and overflowing,
Honey-sweet intoxicating elixir:
For joining us today, filling us with the joyous draught of Hero’s wealth,
and lending your Magic to our work as we sang the praises of the Gods,
We say, Soma! We thank you!

Thank Earth Mother 
Rich and Bountiful Prithivi, we are your children, and you are our Mother,
We growth and flourish as you growth and flourish.
For joining us today as you do every day, and supporting us always in our work,
Earth Mother, we return to you all that is unused as we seek to continue to walk in balance.
Prithivi, Earth Mother! We thank you!

Closing the Rite (Three Crane Liturgy)
Go now in Peace and Love and Fellowship, Children of the Earth,
This rite is ended!

Works Cited:
Thomas, Kirk. “The Nature of Sacrifice”. Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship. ADF. 2011. Web. 4 Apr 2015. <http://www.adf.org/articles/cosmology/nature-of-sacrifice.html&gt;.

Introduction to a New Deity

An important part of our relationship with the deities revolves around *ghosti and hospitality.  Part of hospitality is a politeness when you are first meeting someone.  A good way to meet new people is through mutual friends, and having one introduce you to the other.  This is similar to the way a relationship with a deity can develop. A devotee, or someone else who has familiarity with a deity can act as a liaison or intermediary to help forge a new bond.
This is structured to allow the devotee to call out to the deity and honor them with words and offerings, and then to introduce them to the new person who wishes to work with them.  They use their personal authority to encourage the deity that as they make offerings, there are others who also wish to do so.  The new person then speaks, and makes their first offering to the deity, asking them to come to them and begin to grow that bond so that they may continue to worship the deity.
Devotee:
[Deity], hear me!
[insert appropriate invocation and words of praise]

[Deity], I come here on behalf of [person].

They wish to develop a relationship with you,
And come bearing gifts.
As I have worked with you, honored you, and praised you,
I ask now that you turn your attention to [person].
They wish to work with you, honor you, and praise you.
[person]
[Deity], I am [name],
and I come with gifts for you.
*make offering*
Come to me so that we get to know each other
and so that I may work with you, honor you, and praise you.

Making Sacred Ink

For the Full Moon honoring Hepheastos, the Smith God and Crafter, we will be making ink from the ashes left from our burnt offerings and the Waters gained the Return Flow.  This ink can then be used focusing the intent for other magical work, from sigil work to staining divination tools to spelled tablets or prints.
Items Needed:
1 part ash from burnt offerings
1 part water from Return Flow
1 drop white vinegar (optional for ink stability)
bowl that can be stained (for mixing)
hard-bristled brush (for mixing)
To being mixing the ink put the ash in the bowl, add the water.  Each person participating in the working will stir and mix the ink with the brush while saying the charm below (the charm can then also be said when reconstituting the mixture or making more).  When it looks like ink, mix in a drop of vinegar, and you’re done.
CHARM:
Great and Mighty Hephaestos, Master of the Tempering Flame
Sooty God, who is famed in many crafts,
Renowned metal-smith and skillful worker,
Inventive and Resourceful One,
Your fame and glory resound with each strike of your hammer on anvil.
I have made offerings, consumed by the Fire.
My gifts have risen on smokey pillar to the Heavens above.
All that remains here is charcoal and ash.
Take what is left, Skillful Creator,
Take the leavings, the forgotten, the dross
And guide my hands in finding use for this too.
Now mix your magic with mine
as I seek to create tools from the discarded.
Ash from the Sacred Fire,
   *put ash in the bowl*
Water from the Holy Well,
   *put water in the bowl*
Bound now together as I chant these words:
   *begin stirring and mixing as you chant.  repeat as necessary until it is well mixed*
Aithaloeis Theos! Sooty Hephaestos!
Grant me your skill as I mix this ash!
Polymetis! Resourceful Hepheastos!
Grant me your skill as I mix this ash!
Klytoteknes! Famed in Crafting Hepheastos!
Grant me your skill as I mix this ash!
Polyphron! Ingenius and Inventive Hephaestos!
Grant me your skill as I mix this ash!
   *once ink is made, add drop of vinegar if desired to stabilize the mixture*
With this ink thus created
Let me not forget the power of sacrifices made.
Let me not forget the power of Hepheastos, the Crafter,
In his ability to create powerful tools
From even those things considered useless or waste.
With this ink, I may now focus my intent for future tasks.

Crafting a Magical Working

Crafting magical workings can be quite a daunting task, especially if it is something that you are new at, or have very little experience with.  There are some things you can do to help you grow in confidence and experience with your magical work.  If you’re doing magical work for one of the advanced study programs, remember: you should be experimenting and trying new things out, and writing down what does and doesn’t work so that you can learn from them. 
 
First off, if you’re struggling coming up with ideas for what to do for magical workings, or if you have an idea but don’t know where to start or how to begin writing it, my best suggestion is to go to the texts of folks who have already done it.  By this I mean primary sources.  The Greek Magical Papyri, the Artharvaveda, the Galdrabók, and other such texts.  These are excellent sources of inspiration.  I’d also like to note that while I think it’s imperative to get some practice writing your own workings, there is also nothing wrong with doing workings that others have written.  It is good practice, and can really help you get your feet wet and gain confidence.  Additionally, if someone has written a really good magical working for something you really need, there is no need to reinvent the wheel, and you shouldn’t be afraid to use that working and write up your own experience using it.

Second, I’d try to remember that not all magical workings have to big and huge, and it’s far more important that they are meaningful to you.  There’s nothing wrong with big, huge workings, but if that is all you are doing, you will probably end up getting burnt out rather quickly.  For many of the advanced study programs you nee dot be doing regular magical work.  For me, this meant that I aimed for at least one magical working a week.  

 
This may seem excessive, but I think it’s important to look at how you view magical workings.  For me, magic is often a tool in my toolbox for accomplishing something, and the question I ask myself is “Would I take a mundane action to try to resolve or aid this situation?”  If the answer is yes, then I have met the requirement for the magical working to meet my own moral standards.  So, after consulting the gods via divination, I will proceed with a magical working.  My thought process is that if I truly want something to happen or manifest, and have determined that it is the right course of action and morally sound, then there is no reason why I shouldn’t use all of the tools I have to achieve my goals.

Third, having determined that you’re going to do a magical working and as you’re planning what kind of working to do, remember that for the advanced study program work you’re going to have to have at least three magical workings that have “demonstrable, intended results” and that you’ll have to explain how the results manifested.  So, be sure that at least some of your workings will have results you can explain in that way: meaning not everything should be energy work or something similar or you may find yourself frustrated when you go to answer that question.    I had good luck with this by doing some workings where I wanted to change the expected outcome of something, or alter the quantity of something.  Though I imagine you could have good luck here with healing work as well if you have a baseline on which to base what the original outcome would have been without magic.

Fourth, I found it helpful to categorize the types of magic that I do, and then rotate what kind I was doing so that I didn’t get tired of any one specific type.  I categorized based on both intent and method.  Categorizing the various types of magic like this also helped me come up with what kinds of workings to do, as well as better brainstorm new kinds of magic to experiment with.  It also allowed me to mix and match intents with methods to practice all different kinds and ways.  For example, you can do healing work via energy, or charmed candles, or tinctures/tonics that are actually consumed, or talismans that are worn, or spirit arte (working with helper spirits), or toning, or spoken charms, or any manner of things.  Each of those is a different working.  This means if you know you are good at healing work, then you can stick with healing for awhile but try a whole bunch of different methods.  Let’s say you then find that you’re good at making talismans.  You could then use that as a jumping off point to try other intents like protection, blessing, inspiration for creative arts, manifestation of specific things.  Then you just keeping moving on in that fashion, letting the intent inspire the methods, and the methods inspire the intent, and back and forth and back and forth.

I’ve listed below some specific ideas (note the mix and match with methods and intents that could be done with these).  Most of these I’ve tried, and items with and asterisk* have a full working written up (full disclosure, most, though not all, of these are Hellenic in nature).  Feel free to ask questions about any of them.

– Spoken charm to bless the tools you use for your work
– Using materials sacred to a deity associated with divination to increase your Sight with divination tools.*
– Toning for healing a physical ailment
– Blending ingredients to soothe a fussy or teething baby*
– Spoken charm to create a purification/grounding and centering stone (included below)
– Creating an amulet/magical object for prosperity*
– Knotwork to use as needed for wisdom and guidance*
– Talisman for protection of material goods*
– Spoken charm to bless mode of transportation (shoes, bike, car)
– Talisman for the protection of young children and/or mothers*
– Spirit arte to increase milk production for breast feeding (this was done each week)
– Spoken charm for canning food for the winter
– Use blessed waters to create a protective charm for the home* (this is renewed each month)
– Spirit arte for bardic inspiration
– Visualization of a ‘fetch’ to help during trance work
– Spoken charm with offerings to introduce a person to a deity and encourage a relationship to form*
– Carve a binding tablet to stop someone from bothering you (magical restraining order)
– Tea used for grounding and centering in a time of chaos

To wrap up, here is one of the workings I’ve done.  I’ve found this one particularly nice because I, like many people, find having a worry stone or fidget calming and centering.  The creation of this stone includes magical intent alongside that simple tactile form of self-soothing.
 
Creation of a Purifying Grounding/Centering Stone
Magic: Let the maelstrom strip away those things that are pulling in our unwanted attention.  Let the stone stand firm at the center of the swirling storm, and help us to maintain our own center.
– need a stone (or some other focus object), myrrh, and salt.
Poseidon, Earth Shaker, Wave Bringer:
You whose trident stirs the mighty maelstrom,
whose waters wash us clean in the storm.
I bring you this gift of salt for your realm, and myrrh for your delight
As I ask your aid in this working tonight.
You teach us of endurance and patience:
The calm in the raging storm.
You teach us of strength and perseverance:
The gates holding the Titans at bay.
You teach us of persistence and change:
The ebb and flow of the tides.
*each person takes stone, holds it at their center, and speaks:*
“Poseidon, may this stone mark my center,
Holding me firm and strong here within myself.
Let the whipping winds cyclone about me
Stripping away the miasma I carry.
Strip away the obstacles I put up in front myself.
Strip away the extraneous emotions and thoughts diminishing my focus.
Let me stand firm at the center,
Even though the storm may rage about me.
Though the maelstrom spins, I stand strong.
Like this stone, I stand firm upon the Earth:
Unshaking and unafraid.
Like this stone, I stand firm amidst the storm:
the waves breaking around me, the riptide passing me by.
Like this stone, I stand firm and strong
Here at my Center.”
Poseidon, Lord of the Deep,
Connect us to the foundations of the Earth
And help us to find peace and joy
in the blossoming waves of the storm.

Magic 1 for Priests

Survey:

 1) Discuss the importance and actions of the magico-religious function as it is seen within the context of general Indo-European culture. (minimum 100 words)

Within the context of the general Indo-European studies and applying Dumezil’s Theory of Tripartition, a culture is divided into three social strata: the priestly strata, the warrior strata, and the herder-cultivator stratum.  The magico-religious function would fall into the first strata of people (Littleton 4-5).  These are the people who serve as magicians and priests within their culture, as well legal and justice role. When looking at the lore from an Indo-European culture, it should be noted that the gods associated with the first function were often paired in order to include both roles. One of example of this is Odin and Tyr in Norse mythology. Odin fulfilled the magician and priest role, while Tyr fulfilled the legal and justice role (Mallory 131-2).  It was the function of the magician to perform rites of passage as needed, but also to act as seers and spell casters for both individuals and institutions within their culture.   It was the duty of the priest to be sure that all proper forms of sacrifice were observed and that each necessary holiday was celebrated appropriately.  They would also perform rites of passage as needed, as well as preside over other seasonal and cultural celebrations.  In some cases the function of the priest and the magician would overlap, however their paths diverged more in some cultures than others.  The legal aspect of this first function was fulfilled by the community leaders, whether this was a king, members of the Assembly, members of the Senate, or a clan leader.

 

2) Identify the terms used within one Indo-European language to identify ‘magic’ and ‘magician’ examining what these terms indicate about the position of the magician in that society and the practice of his or her art. (minimum 100 words)

There are a variety of terms that are used to describe magic and magician, and the connotation of the word would change depending on which term is used to describe a magical person or magical act.  Mageia, the Greek word for magic, is what is practiced by the magos or magi, the magician or sorcerer.  The term magi comes from Persian, and when used in Greek, refers to a foreigner.  There is a kind of grudging respect because they are skilled in and responsible for “royal sacrifices, funeral rites, and for the divination and interpretation of dreams” (Graf 20), however due to the cultural and political tensions between Persia and Greece, they were not trusted.  The Heraclitus prophecies threaten these “wanderers of the night, … the magi, … with tortures after death” and with torturing by fire because “the mystery initiations [are] impious rites” (Graf 21).  There are other subsets of terms used to describe the various magicians.  The agurtes were beggar priests, to whom people could go for individual work, with the likelihood that the amount you paid them would effect what they told you.  The mantis was a diviner.  He was the freelance diviner, as opposed to the institutional diviners.  Both of these people were defined in the Derveni papyrus as “a professional of rites” (Graf 21).  They were lumped in with the night wanderers because they were privy to and specialized in the secret rites.

 

3) Discuss the existence and relative function of trance-journey magic within at least one Indo-European culture. (minimum 100 words)

In many Indo-European cultures trance work is often linked to divination of some sort. Trance and trance-journeying appear to be a common method for conducting divinatory magic.  The most prominent example of trance-journey magic within ancient Greece remains the existence of the institutional oracles.  These women would enter a trance state in order to commune with the divine and receive answers from the spirits.

For example, the oracle of Delphi (the Pythia) was said to sit above a chasm in the rock, on a three-legged stool, and breathe in the vapors of the mountain. The ancients believed these vapors were the breath of Apollo, and by breathing it in, he (or his daimons) would possess her and speak through her (Johnston 44-7).  This is the idea that “when this prophetic potency mixes with the Pythia’s body, it opens up channels through which her soul can receive impressions of the future” (46-7).

 

4) Discuss the place of alphabetic symbolism as part of the symbolism of magical practice within one Indo-European culture. (minimum 150 words)

Within ancient Greece the use of the Greek Alphabet in divination was, while not the most famous method of divination, a useful tool for many people.  A common method for this style of divination was to place pottery shards that had been inscribed with the letters and shake them in a drum frame until one or more leapt out (Sophistes “Oracle”).  Divination was a deeply ingrained magical practice within ancient Greece.  It is interesting to note, however, that the institutional oracles were likely not using the alphabet system to divine, but were rather much more likely to be engaging in enthused prophecy (as discussed in question 3) (Johnston 44-7). The freelancer diviners were more likely to use the alphabetic or other tactile methods for divination. Part of the reason for their use of these methods was likely because they were operating on a smaller scale than the institutional oracles, and as such needed a wider variety of tools because they were “clarifying problems on the spot” (109). Additionally, because they were freelance entrepreneurs, they were “willing to expand their repertoire as their clientele demanded” (177).

The letters of the Greek alphabet are used in the creation of amulets.  This can be seen in the variety of examples within the Greek Magical Papyri.  For example, PGM VII. 206-7 describes the creation of an amulet to prevent coughs.  The magician takes hyena parchment and inscribes a series of ancient Greek letters upon the talisman (Betz 121).

When referring to sounds, it is interesting to note that sometimes within the Greek Magical Papyri, there are direct instructions on how a specific sound is to be made, and the feel of it in your mouth.  For example, in PGM V. 1-53 it directs the magician to pronounce AOIAO EOEY by saying “the ‘A’ with an open mouth, undulating like a wave; / the ‘O’ succinctly, as a breathed threat, / the ‘IAO’ to earth, to air, and to heaven; / the ‘E’ like a baboon; / the ‘O’ in the same way as above; / the ‘E’ with enjoyment, aspirating it, / the ‘Y’ like a shepherd, drawing out the pronunciation.”  This detailed description implies that the exact way in which the letters were said, and the exact sound they made, was imperative to the successful completion of the magical act, in this case, creating and working with an oracle (Betz 101-2).

 

5) Discuss three key magical techniques or symbols from one Indo-European culture. (minimum 100 words each)

Rites of Binding (defixiones)

Binding spells are found in the curse tablets that are scattered across the ancient world, most notably in the Mediterranean area.  They are texts, primarily written on tablets of lead, that are intended to force another to the magician’s will, or make them unable to follow their own desires.  The texts themselves are divided into five different types of spells: judicial, erotic, agonistic, anti-theft, and economic.  In these cases, while the written texts have allowed us to study them, the part that is more important is the rite itself where the binding is carried out (Graf 119-123).  The text of who is bound and in what way conveys the intent of the spell, but there were also instructions for the magician for how and where to send the tablet down, whether by burying or sinking or nailing, etc.  The magician treated with chthonic beings to help him carry out the binding spell (134-5).

Divination

There are a whole host of techniques revolving around divination.  The famous methods of divination involve the use of direct visions either directly to the querant or through an intermediary (Graf 197).  This is what is seen at the Oracle of Delphi and the Oracle of Dodona.  This type of divination uses trance work to determine the message.  There are instructions to conduct such a direct vision in the Greek Magical Papyri specifically with Apollo in PGM VII. 727-39 (Betz 139).  There is also the use of augury to conduct divination, as well as knucklebones (or astragaloi) and basic lots for sortilege.  This is what we most often use in modern paganism.  Some other methods include divination through lamps, mirrors, or bowls of water.  These methods often have an elaborate set of directions to prepare the magician and the object for use.  For example, one set of instructions in PGM IV. 221-258 explains how to take a bronze vessel and fill it with a specific type of water depending on who you wish to contact, as well as the words to say over it in preparation (42).

All of these methods of divination are magic because they depend on having a relationship with spirits in order to achieve the results you desire.  Even if the result is no more than being able to interpret an omen, to be able to do that you must develop a relationship with a spirit to do so properly, and convince, cajole, bribe, etc. them to get their help in the matter.  Because spirit arte is working with spirits to achieve the goals of your work, divination within the Hellenic hearth culture is a form of spirit arte.  If you want something, including the answer to a divinatory question, then you have to find a spirit and win them over to your cause in order for that thing, or that answer, to happen.  This is seen time and again within the Greek Magical Papyri, as spirits are called for both simple and elaborate tasks (Betz).

 Amulets

There are a great many examples of amulets begin created and worn to achieve a certain end.  In paging through the Greek Magical Papyri, there are hundreds of examples.  One category of amulets has to do with healing.  The magician takes the material required and inscribes a series of letters or sigils.  The person the spell is for then wears the amulet.  PGM VII. 213-14 describes wearing an olive leaf about the neck as an amulet, with a shape that looks like a cone inscribed on the shiny side of the leaf, and a crescent moon inscribed on the dark side of the leaf (Betz 121).   Another description of an amulet is PDM xiv. 1003-14 which gives instructions on how to create an amulet to cure gout (244).

 

6) Discuss the relative place and methodologies of magic within your personal religious/spiritual practice. (minimum 100 words)

I have struggled with the concept of magical work, partly because for me it is so entwined with both trance and divinatory work.  Magic, trance, and divination all contain pieces of the others that make it difficult for me to pull out just one of them and discuss it independently of the others.  Magic is simply prayer with intent, and so it is a very broad term that can encompass many things.

When I do magical work, it most often takes one of five different forms: trance work, divinatory work, ritual magic, healing work, or bardic work.  And these forms can happen at the same time, and often do.  I often use trance in combination with all of the forms, as well as independently to better focus the intent of the work, or to gain a clearer or more intense understanding of the desired outcome.  When I do divinatory work, I always call on Apollo Mantikos to aid me, making this a form of spirit arte.  Ritual magic is the kind of things that happen within a ritual.  Within ADF these are things like opening the gates and calling for the blessings.  When I do healing work, it is most often done with the aid of a spirit.  I make offerings to the spirit and call on them to help me focus my intent and lend energy to the person in need of healing.  Bardic work is done through trance and calling on various spirits for inspiration.  An initial offering is made to a spirit, and the outcome is often the creation of a bardic piece that can then be used to further honor the spirit.

 

Practicum:

7) Healing Work – Provide and explain one example of healing magic from an Indo-European culture, and write an ADF-style healing working based on that example. (min. 150 words for example explanation)

The Artharvaveda is a collection of spells, prayers, charms, and hymns designed for a variety of purposes.  Many of these relate to healing work that can be done.  The example quoted below is a charm for teething, specifically for the first two teeth that break through.  The text of the charm calls directly to the teeth themselves, as well as to Agni.  Many of the healing charms within the Artharvaveda call to Agni.  I think this is both because he is the priest of the Gods and the one who accepts sacrifices, but also because Fire itself is purifying when dealing with illness or pain.  The charm calls on Agni to sooth the teeth that are breaking through the gums.  Offered to the teeth themselves are rice, barley, beans, and sesame, with the intent that the child will eat these rather than harm his parents.  This is especially apt, as breastfeeding a teething infant can lead to biting, which is supremely uncomfortable.   The next part of the charm asks that the teeth come forth gently and that the fierceness, the pain, be passed away from the body.

“VI, 140. Expiation for the irregular appearance of the first pair of teeth

  1. Those two teeth, the tigers, that have broken forth, eager to devour father and mother, do thou, O Brahmanaspati Gâtavedas, render auspicious!
  2. Do ye eat rice, eat barley, and eat, too, beans, as well as sesamum! That, O teeth.. is the share deposited for your enrichment. Do not injure father and mother!
  3. Since ye have been invoked, O teeth, be ye in unison kind and propitious! Elsewhere, O teeth, shall pass away the fierce (qualities) of your body! Do not injure father and mother!” (Bloomfield VI, 140)

“HYMN CXL

A blessing on a child’s first two teeth

(1)Two tigers have grown up who long to eat the mother and the sire:

Soothe, Brāhmanaspati, and thou, O Jātavedas, both these teeth.

(2)Let rice and barley be your food, eat also beans and sesamum.

This is the share allotted you, to be your portion, ye two Teeth.

Harm not your mother and your sire.

(3)Both fellow teeth have been invoked, gentle and bringing happiness.

Else whither let the fierceness of your nature turn away, O

Teeth! Harm not your mother or your sire.” (Griffith CXL)

 

In creating this healing work for modern use, I have written a charm to be said while mixing the ingredients together for “Dr. Tally’s Soothing Tooth-Tiger Liniment.”  As a baby is able to start of solid foods around the same time that they will be getting teeth, I decided that a concoction that can actually be consumed and eaten by the child easily would be the way to go.  One of the ingredients called for in the ancient charm is beans.  Chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) are the main ingredient in hummus, which can be easily eaten by most infants who have started on solid foods (though it may cause gassiness).  Both rice cereal and barley cereal can be mixed into the pureed chickpeas, and then seasoned with just a little bit of sesame oil or tahini.  This will create a pureed food that even babies who are just starting solids could eat, as it could be thinned with as much water as necessary for them. There have been reported cases of sesame seed allergies, so as always, before introducing new foods to your baby, consult their doctor.

To make “Dr. Tally’s Soothing Tooth-Tiger Liniment” combine the following ingredients in a food processor while saying the charm that follows (alternatively, say this charm over the dish before you serve it if you aren’t the one who made it):

  • 1 can of drained chickpeas (or chickpeas that you’ve cooked yourself)
  • 2 Tbsp tahini (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp rice cereal
  • 1 Tbsp barley cereal
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • water to desired consistency

“Fierce and sharp tooth tigers, you who have broken through,

Be eased, bright tigers, in your work by this gift.

Come forth, and bring with you smiles of joy, rather than grimaces of pain.

Be soothed, sweet tigers, and be not over eager in your entrance.

Come forth, and partake of this share allotted to you.

Fierce and sharp tooth tigers, born of blessed Fire, be warmly welcomed here!”

 

8) Warding Work – Provide and explain one example of warding or protection magic from an Indo-European culture, and write an ADF-style warding working based on that example. (min. 150 words for example explanation)

There are many examples of protective talismans within the Greek Magical Papyri.  PGM VII. 206-7 describes the creation of an amulet to prevent coughs.  The magician takes hyena parchment and inscribes a series of ancient Greek letters upon the talisman (Betz 121).

In other parts of the Greek Magical Papyri there are direct instructions on how a specific sound is to be made, and the feel of it in your mouth.  For example, in PGM V. 1-53 it directs the magician specifically in how they should pronounce AOIAO (101-2). The materials used, the letters and words inscribed, and the words spoken were all important parts in the creation of talismans.

Each Hellenic Full Moon ritual I lead has a magical working in it.  During the Artemis full moon, we created protective talismans for the children of the folk who normally attend (or for the children of those close to those who normally attend).  I wrote out the text for the working, and we did it in a call and response fashion.  I felt that it was important for each person to speak the words themselves, because they knew who the talisman was being created for, and could better focus the intent.  It was also important for each person to speak the words due to the power that the verbalization of those words carry.

I fashioned this protective working after some of the amulets in the Greek Magical Papyri, such as what things were done to the item in order to make it fit for the intended use.  For example, PGM VII 149-54 gives instructions for grinding and mixing ingredients (goat bile, water, rosemary, saltwater) to sprinkle about to prevent bugs/fleas from getting in the house (Betz 119). In the case of this working I wanted the talisman infused with the powers of the land, sea, and sky, as well as ensuring that the child would be looked after by all the Theoi and by Artemis specifically, so I considered what types of things could be done to put those aspects into the talisman.  I also considered what words to say to accompany the creation of the charm. PGM VII 370-73 gives instructions on what to wear as well as what to say to keep wild animals, aquatic creatures, and robbers away (127).

Creating a Protective Talisman:

  • Need a token of some sort that will be on or near child/young mother
  • Need blessed waters, cypress or walnut (both sacred to Artemis), and incense

We come together now in the presence of all the Theoi, but most especially Artemis, protector of children.

I take this token and ask that it be blessed.

Blessed in the light of the moon which has infused these Waters.

Blessed in the presence of the Maiden, who watches over all children.

Blessed by the breath of the Theoi, who watch over us all.

Let these waters wash clean (this child) as they infuse this token.

*blessed waters form the Return Flow are sprinkled on the token*

Let this plant, sacred to Artemis, fill (this child) with strength, and protect (her) from all harm, as it infuses this token.

*cypress/walnut is rubbed into the token*

Let this smoke breathe life and joy into (this child) as it infuses this token.

*incense is wafted around token*

Infused with the blessings and in the presence of the Kindreds, we call now for the powers of Land, Sea, and Sky to combine with ours and with the bright, fierce essence of Artemis, to seal this intent into this token.

*brief pause to focus and visualize intent*

Esto!

 

9) Purification Work – Provide and explain one example of purification magic from an Indo-European culture, and write an ADF-style purification working based on that example. (min. 150 words for example explanation)

The Greek Magical Papyri contains examples of amulets and talismans that aid in the work of the magician.  There are many spells that are designed for the consecration of tools.  One such is PGM IV. 1596-1715 (Betz 68-9).  This particular spell calls on Helios to consecrate a tool, which in the example in the Greek Magical Papyri is a stone, though it indicates that it can be any object.  A great portion of the words that are said are praising the work of the god.  This spell is designed to invoke Helios in each of the hours that he is seen in the sky, and for each hour provide a skill to the magician and his consecrated object.  Towards the end of the spell, the magician would speak: “Hear my voice in this present day and let all things done by this stone or for this phylactery, be brought to fulfillment, and especially NN matter for which I consecrate it” (Betz 69)

The magic that is being done here in the modern working is a visualization of a maelstrom stripping away those things that are pulling in our unwanted attention.  The swirling maelstrom then purifying us and allowing us to find our center.  We are consecrating a stone to help us stand firm at the center of the swirling storm, and help us to maintain our own center.  The working focuses not only on the purification of the individual, but also in maintaining that purified and grounded state.  It uses the imagery of the sea and the omphalos as the axis mundi to center the individual who is creating this tool.  For this working you will need a stone (or some other focus object), myrrh, and salt.

“Poseidon, Earth Shaker, Wave Bringer:

You whose trident stirs the mighty maelstrom,

whose waters wash us clean in the storm.

I bring you this gift of salt for your realm, and myrrh for your delight

As I ask your aid in this working tonight.

*salt and myrrh are offered*

You teach us of endurance and patience:

The calm in the raging storm.

You teach us of strength and perseverance:

The gates holding the Titans at bay.

You teach us of persistence and change:

The ebb and flow of the tides.

*each person takes stone and holds it at their center and speaks:*

“Poseidon, may this stone mark my center,

Holding me firm and strong here within myself.

Let the whipping winds cyclone about me

Stripping away the miasma I carry.

Strip away the obstacles I put up in front myself.

Strip away the extraneous emotions and thoughts diminishing my focus.

Let me stand firm at the center,

Even though the storm may rage about me.

Though the maelstrom spins, I stand strong.

Like this stone, I stand firm upon the Earth:

Unshaking and unafraid.

Like this stone, I stand firm amidst the storm:

the waves breaking around me, the riptide passing me by.

Like this stone, I stand firm and strong

Here at my Center.”

Poseidon, Lord of the Deep,

Connect us to the foundations of the Earth

And help us to find peace and joy

in the blossoming waves of the storm.”

 

10) Introspection – Having done the above work, provide detail of your understanding of why self-knowledge and introspection are critical for working with magic and how you intend to pursue your own course of self-understanding. (min. 350 words)

The work described in the practicum for this course, as well as the work done in Magic 2, have both helped to inform my understanding of why self-knowledge and introspection are critical for working magic. They have helped me consider how I approach magical work, what methods I use, how I determine what magical work to do, and how my work reflects on how I am perceived by others.

Self-understanding and introspection are essential for every person who practices magic, whether or not they consider themselves a magus or magician.  For me this becomes a discussion of ethics, and a discussion of ethics within my practice turns towards the Delphic Maxims (Oikonomides).  Personal introspection falls under maxim #8 “Know Thyself” or perhaps “Be Yourself,” depending on the translation. This requires a person to examine their personal values, and determine why they feel the way they do, and how to best act in accordance with those values they have come to own.  Many other values are accounted for within the maxims that help to guide who that “self” is that you should strive to know and be.

In the work described in the practicum, I looked at what type of magic would actually be useful to me and to those who were attending the rites where that magic was performed. Part of the introspection was setting aside ideas for workings that would be ‘cool’ or ‘flashy,’ but not necessarily be the best way to accomplish the goal of that work. This required me to deepen my understanding of myself. An understanding of yourself requires that you know who you are and continually exploring who you want to become.  It requires an understanding of how your actions and inactions affect yourself and others, and your view of yourself and how others perceive you.  This does not require you to cater to or be afraid of how others will view you, but at least have an understanding.  This understanding as you grow will help you to distinguish the role that magic is taking in your life. I believe there is always a danger that hubris can overtake a person, and in the case of magical work, this hubris can be more devastating as the magician breaks from reality.  One of the guiding maxims that I think helps to curb hubris is to “Be (religiously) silent.”  It is more important to do the work than talk about all the work you have, or could have done. One of the things I’ve noticed as I’ve done the work for the initiate path as well as the beginning work for the clergy training program (including the practicum for this course), is that my view of myself will affect the way that others view me, and the best course of action for me is to let my work speak for itself and let others determine their view of me from my actions.

An understanding, and continual drive for better understanding, of how you view yourself and how others view you will help to keep hubris from taking root and destroying both the self and any relationships that may exist.  You should like who you are, and act in such a way that you continue to do so.  If you don’t like yourself, then you should be able to take steps to fix that.  You should also have an understanding of how those around you view you, and be able to accept that view.

Ways that I pursue a course of self-understanding are first by examining (and re-examining) my biases.  It is important for everyone to know their biases so that they can account for the ways that may pre-dispose them to a certain belief or outcome.  I do divinatory work to consult the divine on whether or not an action (magical or not) is called for.  I meditate on how my actions will affect myself and others. I work to determine what I view as right and wrong, and where my line is that I won’t cross.  I do my best to stay honest with myself and true to my gods, because in the end, I have to answer to my conscience and my gods.

 

Works Cited:

Betz, Hans Dieter. The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation: Including the Demotic Spells. Chicago, Ill.: U of Chicago, 1986. Print.

Bloomfield, Maurice. “Hymns of the Atharva-Veda.” Sacred-Texts.com. Sacred Books of the East. vol 42. 1897. Web. 14 Oct. 2014.

Graf, Fritz. Magic in the Ancient World. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1997. Print.

Griffith, Ralph T.H. “The Hymns of the Atharvaveda.” Sacred-Texts.com. Sacred Texts. 1895-6. Web. 14 Oct. 2014.

Johnston, Sarah Iles. Ancient Greek Divination. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell Pub., 2008. Print.

Littleton, C. Scott. The New Comparative Mythology: An Anthropological Assessment of the Theories of Georges Dumézil. Rev. ed. Berkeley: U of California, 1973. Print.

Mallory, J. P. In Search of the Indo-Europeans: Language, Archaeology, and Myth. New York, NY: Thames and Hudson, 1989. Print.

Oikonomides, Al. N.. “Records of “The Commandments of the Seven Wise Men” in the 3rd c. B.C..” Classical Bulletin: 67-76. Web. 1 July 2014. <http://www.flyallnight.com/khaire/DelphicMaxims/DelphicMaxims_CB63-1987.pdf>

Sophistes, Apollonius. “Hellenic Magic Ritual.” Hellenic Magical Ritual. Biblioteca Arcana, 2000. Web. 18 Apr. 2014. <http://omphalos.org/BA/HMT/>.

Sophistes, Apollonius. “A Greek Alphabet Oracle.” A Greek Alphabet Oracle. Biblioteca Arcana, 1995. Web. 18 Apr. 2014. <http://web.eecs.utk.edu/~mclennan/BA/GAO.html>.

The Importance of Self-Understanding and Introspection

The work described in the practicum for Magic 1 for Priests, as well as the work done in Magic 2, have both helped to inform my understanding of why self-knowledge and introspection are critical for working magic. They have helped me consider how I approach magical work, what methods I use, how I determine what magical work to do, and how my work reflects on how I am perceived by others.

 

Self-understanding and introspection are essential for every person who practices magic, whether or not they consider themselves a magus or magician.  For me this becomes a discussion of ethics, and a discussion of ethics within my practice turns towards the Delphic Maxims.  Personal introspection falls under maxim #8 “Know Thyself” or perhaps “Be Yourself,” depending on the translation. This requires a person to examine their personal values, and determine why they feel the way they do, and how to best act in accordance with those values they have come to own.  Many other values are accounted for within the maxims that help to guide who that “self” is that you should strive to know and be.

 

In the work described in the practicum, I looked at what type of magic would actually be useful to me and to those who were attending the rites where that magic was performed. Part of the introspection was setting aside ideas for workings that would be ‘cool’ or ‘flashy,’ but not necessarily be the best way to accomplish the goal of that work. This required me to deepen my understanding of myself. An understanding of yourself requires that you know who you are and continually exploring who you want to become.  It requires an understanding of how your actions and inactions affect yourself and others, and your view of yourself and how others perceive you.  This does not require you to cater to or be afraid of how others will view you, but at least have an understanding.  This understanding as you grow will help you to distinguish the role that magic is taking in your life. I believe there is always a danger that hubris can overtake a person, and in the case of magical work, this hubris can be more devastating as the magician breaks from reality.  One of the guiding maxims that I think helps to curb hubris is to “Be (religiously) silent.”  It is more important to do the work than talk about all the work you have, or could have done. One of the things I’ve noticed as I’ve done the work for the initiate path as well as the beginning work for the clergy training program (including the practicum for this course), is that my view of myself will affect the way that others view me, and the best course of action for me is to let my work speak for itself and let others determine their view of me from my actions.

 

An understanding, and continual drive for better understanding, of how you view yourself and how others view you will help to keep hubris from taking root and destroying both the self and any relationships that may exist.  You should like who you are, and act in such a way that you continue to do so.  If you don’t like yourself, then you should be able to take steps to fix that.  You should also have an understanding of how those around you view you, and be able to accept that view.

 

Ways that I pursue a course of self-understanding are first by examining (and re-examining) my biases.  It is important for everyone to know their biases so that they can account for the ways that may pre-dispose them to a certain belief or outcome.  I do divinatory work to consult the divine on whether or not an action (magical or not) is called for.  I meditate on how my actions will affect myself and others. I work to determine what I view as right and wrong, and where my line is that I won’t cross.  I do my best to stay honest with myself and true to my gods, because in the end, I have to answer to my conscience and my gods.