Apotheosis: Finding Your Mythic Self

Your mythic self is the Herakles to your mundane self’s Alcides. It is the part of you that is connected to, and passionate about, eternal things.

Seldom do most people stop to contemplate what they care about, or to decide which of the things they care about are ephemeral, and which eternal. When they do, their answer about eternal things tends to be a really short list, like “Jesus,” or “Whatever Jesus wants from me.” Or perhaps, “The gods,” or “the will of the gods.”

Only caring about what the gods care about isn’t enough. What they care about tells you who they are.  You need to know who you are. The gods cannot hold onto us if we will not hold on to ourselves. Moreover, without a well-developed sense of self, it is impossible to know when you are getting in your own way, psychically speaking, difficult to know what you need to be happy in ordinary relationships, and even fairly hard to be happy in general.

That deities passionately desire for us to know ourselves, and that we can often only do so in their absence is attested to by the experiences of mystics over countless generations, and in many different religions. Many go through a phase in their development where the gods are hidden, or withdraw from them and will not answer. This often happens even (or maybe especially) to extremely pious people. The gods do this not to us, but for us. They sacrifice being with us so that they can help us to self-actualize. In many traditions, this is considered to be an inevitable part of the on-going process of initiation. For those of you going through this right now, please know that it is temporary, as long as you want it to be.

What this ritual does is allows us to create a space where the gods are not, so that we can begin to disambiguate who the gods are from the projections of our psyche that resemble them, and creates a safe space for us to explore what is important to us. In many ways,  intensive meditations with our deities is a pre-requisite to this work. If your deities are manifesting to you as controlling, incapable of giving you personal space, or unsupportive of your personal development, you will need to spend some time meditating with those deities to heal your connections to them before you can proceed.

Materials

Accoutrements for purification and libation
A dagger
A wand
A pen
A paper journal

A Carefully Crafted Statement of Intent

Before you begin, you will need to prepare your space in the usual fashion and address whichever deities regularly speak to you, and cover the following points:

  • I am talking to these deities… (Again, using their relations to connect to them)
  • I am about to do a ritual to help me better know myself so that I can hear you better, later
  • If you help me now, there will be punch and pie for you after
  • If I see you after the boundary goes up, I will assume it is my inner filter, not you
  • I will trust that you are not talking to me, since you have no vested interest in having me be confused about what is me and what is you.
  • I need your help to keep the boundary up and anything that isn’t me out
  • Here, have some whiskey.

Example:

To Hestia, I call, modest daughter of Kronos, sister to Zeus
To Hermes, Maia’s crafty son, savior of Odysseus
To Apollon, brilliant child of Leto, God of Socrates
To Hekate, Daughter of Perses and Asteria, Goddess of Medea
To Zeus and Hera, King and Queen of the Sky, children of Rhea and Kronos
and snake-weilding Ariadne, daughter of Pasiphae, wife of Dionysos

Behold, I am prepared and ready to undertake the work of seeing myself
So that I may also see you
Knowing myself
So that I may better know you

I ask your aid in creating the guardians of this space
I ask your help in making this space dark and silent
Cut off from the outside world
Whatsoever I see from the time that the boundary is cast
Until the time when I take it down
I will know that it is of me and not of you
From my imagination alone and not of the gods
And thus will I perceive what stands between you and me

(Libations poured:)

To Hestia, Sponde.
To Hermes, Sponde.
To Apollon, Sponde.
To Hekate, Sponde.
To Zeus, Sponde.
To Hera, Sponde.
To Ariadne, Sponde.

And I will pour you another toast, for your assistance, when the work is done.

Creating Guardians

These are the simplest of thought forms. They are not particularly intelligent, require no intensive visualization, and can follow only the very simplest instructions. We create them simply by addressing them as though they already exist, and calling them into being under the authority of one of the deities you addressed in your statement of intent.  

You can call them by any names you like. You can make them secret, serious, or silly. I do not recommend that you name them after any real entity such as a deity or a human friend or relative. I also recommend that you keep their names consistent, unless you begin to lose confidence in one or another of them. If they fail you in some way, make new ones. I recommend that you create no fewer than three, and no more than five for these purposes.

I am creating a set of five, and I am essentially using them so as to directly address the conduits on the astral by which psychic messages reach me.

Opsis – Sight

Akon – Sound

Haphei – Touch

Geuma – Taste

Osphreisis – Smell

Doing it this way is not necessary, in fact, if you have fewer that five astral senses, this wouldn’t make sense. Whatever you choose should reflect the way that you interact with the spirit world. Technically, all of these guardians are a part of one larger magical structure, which is your outer circle.

Firstly, set a stone or an altar in the locations that you plan to keep your guardians. With a dagger, trace the boundary of the space, imagining it in white light.

At the first point: “Hail to the Guardian of Sight. In the name of Hekate, whose watchful eyes oversee the living and the dead, and whose torches illumine the night, I call forth Opsis. Hail, color and light. Hail the power to distinguish form. Opsis, I charge you in the name of Hekate to keep this circle separate from the outside world, and to keep all spiritual entities from contacting me through the astral sense of sight until I dismiss you.”

At the second point: “Hail to the Guardian of Sound. In the name of Apollon, god of music, I call forth Akon. Hail the grinding of stones, the falling of rain, the crying of birds, and the sounding of the lyre. Akon, I charge you in the name of Apollon to keep this circle separate from the outside world, and to keep all spiritual entities from contacting me through the astral sense of hearing until I dismiss you.”

At the third point: “Hail to the Guardian of Touch. In the name of Hera, who distinguishes between touch that is permitted and touch that is not permitted, I call forth Haphei. Hail, sensuality! Hail the highest of physical pleasures. The embrace of friend or lover, the gentle breeze that caresses the skin, hail. Haphei, I charge you in the name of Hera to keep this circle separate from the outside world, and to keep all spiritual entities from contacting me through the astral sense of touch until I dismiss you.”

At the fourth point: “Hail to the Guardian of Taste. In the name of Hestia, whose domain is the power by which all food is cooked, I call forth Geuma. Hail, the power by which chocolate is made tasty! Hail the sting of wine and sumptuous sweetness of berries. Geuma, I charge you in the name of Hestia to keep this circle separate from the outside world, and to keep all spiritual entities from contacting me through the astral sense of taste until I dismiss you.”

At the fifth point: “Hail to the Guardian of Smell. In the name of Hermes, who above all gods, savors the smell of cooking meat, and can distinguish mortal from deity through scent, I call forth Osphreisis. Hail, the subtle and sweet stirring of memory, baking bread, a lover’s perfume, salt spray and freshly clipped grass. Osphreisis, I charge you in the name of Hermes to keep this circle separate from the outside world, and to keep all spiritual entities from contacting me through the astral sense of smell until I dismiss you.”

Drawing the Curtains

Next, we are going to cast a darkened boundary, similar to the Circle For Theurgic Work. We will begin by focusing on the mythic self. In the Cosmology of Apotheosis, this is our inner Herakles, rather than our inner Alcides.

In the beginning, you might not know much about who you are within the world of gods. That’s ok. By writing down what you experience during this exercise, you will begin to sort it out. As you identify consistent themes, you will want to add titles and epithets that describe your mythic self.

“To myself I call

The self who I am in my dreams

The self that I am to the gods

In the name of my divine right to be myself, I declare:

Let the space which I define be for me and me alone

A place where none other can transgress”

As you mark the space with a wand:

“I cast this circle round about

(Your Name), in, all others, out.”

Imagine, as you walk, creating a black line of flame that broadens into a sphere of black flame around your space. Leave a bright white circle at the top.

Trace your name bright white circle. Say your name outloud.

Saying your own name in ritual will sound wrong. You might laugh, or blush, or feel ridiculous. Acknowledging yourself as something which exists in the spirit world is difficult, but important.

Meditation

Be aware that whatever voices you hear at this point onward is only you. If you have filter that you have placed between you and the gods, you will still see your gods, even if they initially agreed to give you privacy. They will not be your gods. They will be your inner reflections of those gods. Interact with them in whatever way feels natural, being aware that they aren’t actually deities.

What kind of actions do you feel drawn to when interacting with them?

What are your inner gods talking about? What topics come up?

You inner gods may insist that they are outer gods.  Don’t argue with them. It’s a distraction, designed to keep you from learning about your inner landscape. Change the subject.

Focus on yourself. Talk about things that matter to you. If that is hard, why is it hard?

Whatever you hear or feel is, by definition, correct for the context, and will tell you about yourself. Note any themes that emerge. How might these themes relate to what is important to you, in the abstract?

Find out what make your inner gods feel insecure (can manifest as controlling or possessive) or afraid (can manifest as anger). What do they want? What do they insist on? What do their responses tell you about what you are afraid of, or what you need? What can it tell you about your own insecurities? Do your inner gods represent your hopes? Your fears or insecurities? Your inner critic?

Examine yourself. What do you look like right now? Are you wearing anything specific? Are you carrying any symbols? These can be clues to who your mythic self is.

Stay in the cast circle until you are done daydreaming, interacting with your inner gods, and taking extensive notes.

Closing the Circle

Arise, erase your name from the top of the circle, fold your black sphere back up into a line of black flame, and gather it up into your wand.

Now, dismiss your guardians.

At the first point: “Hail to the Guardian of Sight. In the name of Hekate, whose watchful eyes oversee the living and the dead, and whose torches illuminate the night, Opsis, I dismiss you. Return to your own abode with the blessings of Hekate. Let there be peace between you and me, and be ready to come when you are called. Hail, and farewell.”

At the second point: “Hail to the Guardian of Sound. In the name of Apollon, god of music, Akon I dismiss you. Return to your own abode with the blessings of Apollon. Let there be peace between you and me, and be ready to come when you are called. Hail, and farewell.”

At the third point: “Hail to the Guardian of Touch. In the name of Hera, who distinguishes between touch that is permitted and touch that is not permitted, Haphei, I dismiss you. Return to your own abode with the blessings of Hera. Let there be peace between you and me, and be ready to come when you are called. Hail, and farewell.”

At the fourth point: “Hail to the Guardian of Taste. In the name of Hestia, whose domain is the power by which all food is cooked, Geuma, I dismiss you. Return to your own abode with the blessings of Hestia. Let there be peace between you and me, and be ready to come when you are called. Hail, and farewell.”

At the fifth point: “Hail to the Guardian of Smell. In the name of Hermes, who above all gods, savors the smell of cooking meat, and can distinguish mortal from deity through scent, Osphreisis, I dismiss you. Return to your own abode with the blessings of Hermes. Let there be peace between you and me, and be ready to come when you are called. Hail, and farewell.”

Lastly, undraw the white boundary which contained the guardians.

Closing Offerings

To Hestia, I call, modest daughter of Kronos, sister to Zeus
To Hermes, Maia’s crafty son, savior of Odysseus
To Apollon, brilliant child of Leto, God of Socrates
To Hekate, Daughter of Perses and Asteria, Goddess of Medea
To Zeus and Hera, King and Queen of the Sky, children of Rhea and Kronos
and snake-weilding Ariadne, daughter of Pasiphae, wife of Dionysos

I thank you for your aid in creating the guardians of this space
I thank you for your help in making this space dark and silent
Cut off from the outside world

I thank you for your help in the work of seeing myself
So that I may also see you
Knowing myself
So that I may better know you

(Libations poured:)

To Ariadne, Sponde.
To Hera, Sponde.
To Zeus, Sponde.
To Hekate, Sponde.
To Apollon, Sponde.
To Hermes, Sponde.
To Hestia, Sponde.

12 comments

  1. Casey Hamilton

    The way you write about the work you’re doing is simply extraordinary. Thank you so much for what you do.

      • Casey Hamilton

        Actually, it’s more the “natural philosopher” perspective, and various deity conversations that I’ve most resonated to. It’s quite remarkable, and most helpful in my own philosophical explorations. Again, thank you for doing this, and doing it so very well.

  2. Poppy.Meister

    This was a great article! I felt compelled to input that this type of work is very intense and it might be a good idea to find a sympathetic psychologist. [Or better yet, an experienced mentor!] At any rate, I’d recommend this to anyone who has a mental health dx as this is very intense work and can cause a great deal of emotional upheaval. I had an incident several years ago where I ousted an undesirable trait in the form of an entity and I had daily crying jags for months afterward. I mean, I literally cried all winter long, sometimes several times a day, until it caused distress to my family. I had to go sit in the car and cry several times a day. Then on New Years Eve I had some whiskey which silenced the crying and made me feel normal. This turned into a pint or more a day to keep the wolf at the door [and razors from my wrists!].

    I’m just saying. Very dramatic and intense work and possibly traumatizing for those not really ready for it and even for those who are…you got your work cut out for you.

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