I’ve been kicking this around in my head for a while. What is a simple addition we can make to a Greek ritual to respect the principle of consent?

It cuts both ways. We should not call upon the power of deities without their consent, and they should not bowl us over with their presence before asking. Yet, how are deities to contact us to obtain consent, if the act of contacting us requires consent? How do we overcome this boot-strapping problem?

Here, I have written an expanded intention for the traditional Greek barley offering, referencing Demeter in her aspect of Law-bringer, turner of seasons, and goddess who has the power to make planted seeds sprout or not.

Barley is sacred to Demeter, and the seed is symbolic of the cycle of life, planting as well as harvest.

This insertion is to be added before the main invocations and libation (or incense) offerings.

Barley Service

Required:

  • Barley
  • A fire (incense burner, bbq grill, fire pit, cauldron with 90% rubbing alcohol and epsom salt)
  • A dish of sand (if indoors)

The clergy person running the service (if it is a group ritual) should hand offer handfuls of barley while saying:

That living grains of barley are scattered does not mean that crops will grow. When Persephone was taken, Demeter brought a year most terrible to men. The Horai are Demeter’s, and even as Demeter must secure consent from the Earth for the crops to grow, so too must humans secure consent from Demeter, or the planting will never lead to a harvest.

So, too, it is with our souls. The gods are ever-present. Yet without our consent, their presence will never take root in us. Let this offering be an emblem of our consent, and whoever is not willing should not offer it. 

Let the other offerings of those who do not consent to gnostic contact be received in peace.

The willing: toss it into the flames

The unwilling: let it be scattered upon the Earth.

Barley is tossed into the fire by the willing for each deity, or onto the ground (or into a dish of sand, if indoors) by those who are not willing.

Barley could also be offered to appropriate deities as a way of indicating their other preferences to, relating to touch, naming, or whatever seems appropriate to the ritual at hand.