A night with Hermes and the wicker man!

Last night, for the vast majority of the pagan population; was the festival of Samhain. As I am a Hellenic polytheist, I did not celebrate Samhain because the modern wheel of the year has little significance. This is nothing new; I have never once celebrated Samhain. I came close once upon a time, but I could not complete my festivities and within two days I had converted to Hellenic polytheism.

This year my journey to not celebrating Samhain was an interesting one. Up until about an hour before my ritual, I had fully intended to celebrate with a dumb supper honouring my ancestors by blood, culture, and adoption. Recently I have been a little lost on my path (there will be more on this in a post I am working on at the moment) and have felt the burning desire to deconstruct myself a little and rebuild. Hence the fact I was, for the first time; going to participate in this festival.

However, just before the rite I was on my bed reading Ronald Hutton’s ‘triumph of the moon’, whilst waiting for some flat-mates to get the hell outta’ the kitchen so I could get my cook on (I eat like a king considering I’m a student!) when suddenly something occurred to me (this happens a lot with all my spiritual revelations. No fireworks or earth shattering UPG, something just occurs to me and then the feeling grows so intense I can’t ignore it. For further reference please consult my intro posts about how I realised I was a polytheist). Suddenly I realised that I didn’t want to deconstruct myself that much at all. I was acting as if I had no religious foundation to build on whatsoever, and taking ideas and running with them before my brain could catch up and go ‘…well this isn’t right at all’. Essentially, I was hugely missing the point.

I missed my gods, and all I wanted to do was honour them. It was Hermes who had planted this seed months ago, and all I wanted to do now was to sit with him and worship him. I realised that I didn’t need nor want to de-construct my religious system entirely; instead I need to re-evaluate my approach to practice and the gods. Abandoning Hellenism was in no way what I wanted. How will I ever feel fulfilled if I do nothing?

So I went into the kitchen and prepared a meal to share with Hermes (if I do say so myself, it tasted AMAZING. It was a slightly spicy barley risotto/stew with autumnal veg. All the tradition of barley but with the exiting flavours of exotic spice, LOL), set up a large altar space on my floor with the incense I use for Hermes (apple and cinnamon), his statue and candles I burn only for him.

I then took a shower to cleanse myself of miasma and to focus my mind. I used a handmade soap I had bought on Saturday at Nottingham Castle’s Robin hood pageant. I bought three soaps in total which smell so divine that they require a post all to themselves, but this particular soap was fragranced with Lavender and Frankincense. I dressed in clean clothes and wore my tortoise earrings (for Hermes and Tortoises consult the myth of Hermes creating the Lyre).

I began my ritual by circling the altar and lighting the incense with an invocation to Hermes. I offered my meal, libations, coins, hymns, and a set of beads which I plan to make prayer beads out of for him (more on that in another post too!). The ritual was one of thanks, and a prayer for guidance.

During divination it became apparent that I had made a positive step by honoring Hermes that night. He also said I should start to relate to him more as trickster, so some research will be required.

As it was Halloween, I ended the evening tucked up in bed watching the original wicker man and drifting off to sleep!

P.S- For those that are wondering, my ancestors will still receive honour, as it is fair and correct to do so. They just didn’t get a dumb supper as planned last night.

P.S.S-Apologies for the amount of brackets in this post! I had no idea until I read it back, but it reads like a Lewis Carrol novel! Haha

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This entry was posted in Hellenic polytheism, Religious practice, Ritual, The gods and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A night with Hermes and the wicker man!

  1. I love that kind of spontaneous, devotional worship. It doesn’t have to be super-formal, detailed and planned out to the last dot in advance. Often it’s better when it isn’t, when it comes from the heart and a genuine desire to honor the divine. Really, that’s what religion is all about for me.

    And it sounds like you had some really important breakthroughs and insights. I’m so happy for you – and really looking forward to the future post you mentioned. I had been wondering what you were up to lately.

    Anyway, hail Hermes! This was a wonderful post to read.

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