WEEKLY GROUP RITUAL

A new weekly ritual will be posted here each week, which we will use in our Sunday meetings. For more information on these meetings, see the Get Involved page.

Preparation:
It is recommended that you have two bowls: one with pure water, another empty. You will also need a glass with your offering to the Gods. Typical offerings are wine, milk, or water, but the offering can be specific to the deity you are addressing. It is also appropriate to have a candle and incense.

Wash your hands in the bowl of water to purify yourself before the gods.

————

The ringing of a bell begins the meeting. Then follows music and a stanza from Hávamál.

***

35. You should keep moving.
You should never be a guest forever
in any one place.
Your welcome will wear out
if you stay too long
beneath another’s roof.

ᛜᛜᛜ

First, we worship our Gods,
pay reverence to the noble Heroes,
we greet the spirits of the Dead,
and honor our meeting’s Patron.
So let us offer this libation,
for the honor of their power
and communion with their souls.

Today’s libation is Proclus’ Second Hymn to Aphrodite.

We hymn the many-named series of Aphrogeneia
and the great royal source, from which all
immortal winged Erotes have sprung up, of whom
some shoot with noeric arrows at souls, in order that,
having taken the upward-leading goads of desires,
these long after seeing the fiery courts of their mother.
Some, because of the evil-averting wishes and providential acts
of the Father, wishing to increase the infinite universe with birth,
aroused in the souls a yearning for the earthly existence.
Others again always supervise the multifarious
courses of the wedding songs, so as to produce an
immortal race of much-suffering men from mortal stock;
and all care for the works of the love-producing Kythereia.
But goddess, for you have a far-hearing ear everywhere,
whether you envelop the great heaven all around,
where, as they say, you are the divine soul of the everlasting cosmos,
or dwell in the aether above the rims of the seven orbits
while pouring unyielding powers forward into your series,
listen, and may you steer the toilsome course of my life,
mistress, with your most righteous arrows,
while putting an end to the chilly impulse of unholy desires.

As you give to us, so we give back to you!

Pour some of your offering into the empty bowl.

Neither earth nor heaven were,
when chaos ruled the empty space.
But from the two that shape and form –
from light and darkness, sky and soil –
the world was forged and ordered.
So shall we be brought to order,
As we partake of this drink.

The remainder of the drink is consumed.

ᛜᛜᛜ

A bell is rung to initiate the reading.

Today’s reading is Proclus’ Seventh Hymn to Athena.

For newcomers:
Each person who chooses to read will read one paragraph from asterisk to asterisk. One person will read at a time. We will read in alphabetical order and repeat this order as many times as needed till the reading is complete.

***

Hearken to me, child of aegis-bearing Zeus, sprung forth
from the paternal source and from the top of your series,
male-spirited, shield-bearing, of great strength, from a mighty sire,
Pallas, Tritogeneia, lance-brandisher, golden-helmeted,
hearken: accept this hymn, mistress, with a kind spirit,
do not just leave my words at the mercy of the winds,
you, who opened the gates of wisdom trodden by the gods,
and overcame the tribe of the earthly Giants which fought the gods;

*

you, who guarded the unconerquerable girdle of your virginitiy
by fleeing the desure of the amorous Hephaistos;
you, who saved the heart, as yet unchopped,
of lord Bacchus in the vault of heaven, when he was once divided up
by the hands of the Titans, and brought it to his father,
in order that, through the ineffable wishes of his begetter,
a new Dionysus would grow again from Semele around the cosmos;
your ax, by cutting off at the roots the heads of all-seeing Hecate’s
animals of passions, put asleep the process of becoming;

*

you, who loved the revered power of the mortal-awaking virtues;
you, who adorned our whole life with many kinds of skills
by casting noeric craftmanship into souls;
you, who obtained the Acropolis on the high-crested hill,
a symbol, mistress, of the top of your great series;

*


you who loved the man-feeding land, mother of books,
strongly resisting the holy desire of your father’s brother,
and granted the city to have your name and noble mind –
there, under the top edge of the mountain, you made an olive-tree
sprout up as manifest sign of that battle for posterity too,
when an immense gulf stirred up from the sea
came upon the children of Cecrops, directed by Poseidon,
lashing all things with its loud-roaring streams.

*

Hearken to me you, from whose face flashes forth holy light.
Give me, as I am roaming around the earth, a blessed harbor,
give my soul holy light from your sacred myths,
and wisdom, and love. Breathe into my love
a power so great and of such a kind that it pulls me up back again
from the vaults of matter to Olympus, into the abode of your father.
And if some grievous error in my life overpowers me
for I know how I am buffeted by many and various unholy actions
from different sides, offenses which I committed with a foolish spirit -,
be gracious, mild-counselling goddess, preserver of mortals
do not let me become prey and spoil for the horrible Punishments
lying on the ground, since I profess to belong to you.

*

Give steady nad propitious health to my limbs,
and drive the herds of bitter, flesh-wasting illnesses away,
yes, I beg you, my queen, and stop with your immortal hand
the entire misery of black pains.
Give calm winds to the voyage of my life,
children, a spouse, fame, happiness, lovely jow,
persuasion, conversations with friends, nimble wit,
power against my enemies, a place of prominenece among the people.
Hearken, hearken mistress. I come to you in deep supplication,
through pressing necessity. And you, lend me a gentle ear.

***

This completes our reading. We will pause a moment for silent contemplation.

As we conclude our meeting –
in honour of our Gods,
of our Ancestors, and the World,
which is an image of the Gods –
let us remember how to live
with justice, wisdom, temperance,
with holy thoughts and valiant deeds.

A bell is rung to signal the end of the meeting.

The offering can be left in the bowl for some time. Later, it can be poured outside into the earth.

————

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