I had to think very carefully about how to title this post. One does not manifest these deities. These deities do not need your energy, your belief, your ritual technology, your imagination, your thought forms, your mystic incantations or anything else from your wizardly self in order to walk into the physical world. They have quite enough power to do it on their own. But they won’t, except for under certain circumstances.
If you want to see the gods, there’s work to be done, and mainly on yourself.
Here’s the long and short of what to do:
- Set an altar by your bed, or set a place to sleep in your temple space.
- Remove the icon from your altar. Cover it and set it aside for a while.
- Each night, make an offering. The offering should be something which represents the deity. Wine for Dionysos, stones and coins for Hermes, blades and depictions of warriors for Ares. Sleep where the offering is made.
- Each morning, clean the altar. If the offering is perishable, dispose of it in a respectful way. If it is non-perishable, see that it is free of dust.
- Say daily prayers indicating your desire to see the deity. This can be done at any time of day. This is important.
That’s it, ritually speaking. Do absolutely no more than that. No extra ritualizing, no extra tech, no circle casting, no energy raising, nothing. Nada. It’s fine to practice other magic during this process, and even in the same space, but do not try to do magical rituals where you put your will into manifesting a deity. Do not do visualizations, or use chalk diagrams, or use crystals, or consecrate extra objects. It will not help. At all.
Think of it like this: I can’t take a crap for you. I can’t show up to your workplace and do your job. Not only do you not need my help to do these things, not only is it fundamentally insulting for me to suggest that you need my help with them, but also, I really can’t. It’s impossible and illegal, respectively. I shouldn’t try.
There are, however, certain conditions you ought to be mindful of, and certain things you need to work through.
Consent and Respect
I want to open this section with an anecdote about Dionysos, during a time when I was engaged in this work with him. I was sitting on the computer, and was vaguely aware of chatting with him while surfing the web. He was, I was aware, sitting on the bed behind me. My roommate walked in and then called my name in a panicked voice.
I heard Dionysos say something like, “SHIT SHIT SHIT FUCK SORRY”
Then my roommate asked, “Who was that sitting on the bed?”
Apparently, the god was, not uncharacteristically, a tad slow on the uptake, and processed, a bit too slowly, the entrance of a mortal whose viewpoint was not accepting of the idea of pagan deities and/or the physical manifestation thereof. Said roommate was in an ordinary frame of mind, in the process of bringing me an electrical bill, with a fixed purpose of discussing my payment thereof. They were not psychically sensitive, and obviously had no connection to the god.
Greek deities choose to not manifest for certain people. Out of respect for human self-determination, out of respect for the right of a human being to choose whatever belief system helps them get through the trials and adversities of life, and with sensitivity to the fact that cognitive dissonance can really do damage to a human mind, they choose to remain hidden. So if you are reading this and looking to disprove the phenomenon, you can relax. You will never, ever see a manifest Greek deity no matter what you do or where you go. You are free to continue your religious practice as though such things do not exist, and no Greek deity will ever contradict you on the matter.
Even if all else is optimal, the presence of a person who does not wish to see the deity, whose belief system would be disturbed by it, who would be disquieted and discomforted by it, will favorably persuade a deity to not manifest. At least not in a way that is obviously supernatural.
So, for this, and many other reasons, be 100% certain that you and anyone who undertakes this work with you is actually comfortable with the nature of the work, and honestly desires for it to be successful.
The physical manifestations all occur in the area where the work is being done.
For some deities, if you work in that one room, they will only manifest in that one room.
Other deities play a bit more fast and loose with the process. Working with Hermes, you may only see what looks like a bodily manifestation in the building (as opposed to the room), but teleporting random objects in front of you TOTALLY DOES NOT COUNT. Also, taking your roomy’s wallet is totally not the same as physically manifesting. I mean, they obviously just misplaced it. And he’s gonna give it back any minute now. Really! And no one can prove that the homeless person you just ran into was actually Hermes. You can’t prove a damn thing!
There’s no metaphysical law at work here. It’s entirely in line with the deity’s personal interpretation of what I can only assume is a resolution they passed on the matter.
Fear and the Ape
Fear will cause manifestation to end abruptly.
Love is the soul of devotion. Love keeps people by your side when the going gets tough. Fear turns to hatred at the drop of a hat. Fear is the opposite of love, and is even antagonistic with true respect. It is phobia that fuels discrimination and bigotry of all types.
Fear of the gods was what turned to rage when their people converted to Christianity, and fueled the desecration of temples and the physical torture of clergy. Fear destroyed nearly everything these gods built. Fear cost them their home and people they dearly loved.
These gods do not want you to be afraid of them in the same way that you do not want to hand a book full of blank checks to an itinerant gambler.
But you have instincts you are ignoring. Ugly, deep-seated things. Animal urgings that cause you to fear “other,” cause you to fear what you don’t understand, and send you into fight or flight mode when you are surprised. You’ve probably worked very hard to ignore them, so that you can be fair to other people, and avoid behaving in an openly bigoted fashion. You are now going to have to face your inner ape, confront and acknowledge those emotions, and actually get your animal nature to trust you.
Oh, yeah. BTW, your animal nature probably doesn’t trust you. You? You’re running that poor creature ragged, aren’t you? Filling it up with various stimulants and sedatives, feeding it trashy food and not giving it enough sleep or letting it out to run? Ignoring it’s plaintiff sighs of exhaustion, hunger, thirst, over-fullness, boredom, anxiety, horniness, loneliness? Continuing to eat foods that you know give you stomach aches? If you want your animal soul to trust you when you say that there is nothing to fear, you are going to have to build a good rapport with it.
Part of that is developing empathy for yourself when you have needs that cannot be fulfilled. Take a moment to apologize to yourself when your tummy grumbles and you do nothing about it. Say you are sorry to your body when you are sick and have to go to work anyway. Develop a sense of stewardship.
Another important part of that is meditation. Don’t shut off your thoughts, just count breaths. It will help.
In addition to building rapport with you, and learning to trust you, your animal soul also needs to build trust with the deity. Sleeping by the altar gives the ape and the deity some quality time, without you chattering away about Candy Crush Saga or whatever movie you most recently saw.
Sleep is a vulnerable time. If the deity doesn’t hurt you while you are asleep, your animal soul reasons, they certainly won’t hurt you while you are awake.
Be aware the physical manifestation can take many forms. You may feel a hand on your shoulder, or hear a voice, or smell an out of place smell. This is them testing the waters. If you have a melt-down or freak out, it will be a while before they try again. But that’s inevitable, and gives you your first taste of what your animal soul is processing.
You shouldn’t expect this to happen right away. It would be reasonable to expect that you’ll get at least a tentative first manifestation after three months. It depends on where you are at with the process, theologically, emotionally and instinctually.
You might smell an out of place smell, or hear a disembodied voice, or feel a hand on your shoulder. How you respond to that first contact will set the pace for the work going forward. You and your deity will get a good idea of how much work needs to be done by the strength and character of your response.
How often you have the experience thereafter will depend on how useful the experience is to your relationship with the deity. It is entirely possible that, in the worlds of Apuleius, “familiarity breeds contempt” and you may have to dismiss your experiences to repair the relationship. And believe me, under such circumstances, your mind will find a way to do that, no matter how obvious and over-the-top the manifestation was.
That’s all on the manifestation of deities. All other posts on the physical manifestation topic will focus on manifesting things, rather than beings.
Hmm…This gives me much to think about, and not as “something to add to the To-Do list,” but instead it might be part of an explanation for something which happened recently that was not a remotely enjoyable experience, and which I wasn’t remotely expecting…
Ugh. I’m sorry.
I’m not going to press for details, but your reply does remind me that shadow-work + polytheist ritual forms has the potential to go sideways in a big way.
I can’t be more-than-spare with the details in the present context (though I’d be happy to elaborate further privately), but the short version is that something I had done a few times with ritual attached to it (with little to no results) I ended up doing with no ritual attached, not expecting anything at all to happen, and I was wrong, and then mayhem ensued for a day and a half. The Deity involved made Himself fairly obviously known at the beginning of it, but in such a way that I’ve been very uneasy about and around Him (or at least that form of Him) since.
Wow this blog post is eerily timed. Shiva randomly dropped by this morning to tell me the further I travel (on earth), the greater likelihood I have of encountering him in physical form. Hm.
In the “funny you should mention that” territory, I just had some very obvious help from Hygiea and I can’t prove that Doug from the auto parts chain store wasn’t Hephaestos– all within the last 24 hours. Praying to Hygiea and making small, regular offerings is a thing I do pretty much daily. It’s not anything “high church,” either, I just shake out the last drops of mouthwash from the cup, rinse it like I normally would, and say “Hail, Hygeia,” usually to myself. She’s generally there or nearby when I shower and I often offer a little bit of prayer then, too. Because hey, self-care is a sacred act. A minor health annoyance spontaneously cleared up after a hot shower last night. It’s been there for three years and today, it’s fine.
And then, this morning, I thought I had enough gas to drop both kids off at school, but ran out on the way home (sans kids). I stopped within walking distance of an auto parts store and a gas station and managed to park the car in a safe place in a parking lot. Doug *loaned* me a gas can instead of selling me one, helped me put the rest of the gas in after I’d got enough in to get the car to the store, and was generally cheerful and helpful about the whole thing, even after I accidentally broke the spout on the darn gas can. If that’s not Hephaestos acting directly in my life, I don’t know what is. So many parts of that could have potentially gone very, very wrong.
this is something that happens a *LOT* in my daily life. i think part of it is because of the very intimate relationships i have with the principal deities in my life. i also think part of it is because i’ve pretty much always held that deities can just walk into your life in a most physical sense at times. goodness knows it has happened for me in my times of need (even when one of them was a somewhat silly situation i created for myself. let me tell you Loki and Thor got a good hearty laugh out of my blushing and such. and when the penny dropped and i realized just who it was helping me out.) and i think that the fact that i make a point to stay open to them is part of the reason why they are so inclined to show up. it certainly does make life interesting, but i wouldn’t trade it for a thing. ♥
My altar, due to logistic problem, cannot be always at the same place. Every night i assemble it, but every day I have to remove. Is it a problem?
First try thinking creatively. If the problem is that the altar cannot be visible during the day, think about making someplace hidden, like a drawer, your altar.
If the issue is that you don’t own the place (couch surfing, for example, which more and more young people find themselves doing these days), keep the altar inside what *does* belong to you. Set it up inside your suitcase or backpack inside of a shoebox.
Consistency is key, and so is ownership of the place of the manifestation. Greek deities won’t barge into a place where they are not invited, and if the house belongs to someone else, the householder’s invitation or lack thereof matters. If you do not have the authority to invite the deity into the space, that’s a difficulty. I think, but cannot say for sure, that inviting them into your own presence, by using the interior of something unquestionably yours should be sufficient. Try it. *shrug*
You could maybe make a blanket fort or something to act as a tent, which could then arguably be yours and a place to manifest them in? This is more of a sporadic suggestion, but if it yields any results (if you try it) that would be cool.
!! A BANKET FORT OF THE GODS!
Can you imagine? Teenage Hermes babysits baby Dionysos, They build the best blanket fort ever, and in five minutes, Dionysos is in there turning it into an oracular cave…!?! 😉
Clearly, we need to build a sacred blanket fort in the Greek Suite at PCon.
That sounds like it would be fun! Let me know how it goes, and get some photos of it, too! 😉
So. …I just have to ask – did the blanket fort actually appear at Pcon? Because if it did, that’s completely awesome!
Yes there was a blanket fort. Shockingly, it was Hekate’s blanket fort!
Not whom I would have thought a blanket fort would have appealed to! The mind boggles.
This is the 50th day of offerings that i’m giving to Hermes, I love him so much, cannot wait to meet him with his manifestations. Even if I’m a bit “scared”, but it isn’t an emotion caused by him, but an emotion caused by “inusual” things that will happen. I think that when there will be one physically manifestation, I won’t be scared anymore. I offer him every day a money, reading your hymn to Hermes, and one day a week I light up a candle and some incense.
PS a question: Should offerings such money be removed after a couple of weeks?
Keep it up! I am hoping so hard for you!
Yes, offerings of money should be removed periodically and given to those needier than yourself.
Meanwhile, what could I read for some knowledge about the gods? Old books from ancient greece? Anything else? If I could find it online, it would be better…
A question if possible: Do you believe in myths and legends? Such as Odyssey and so on…if not, which texts are right and which wrong?
Yes, the Odyssey and the Iliad are great sources, as are the Homeric and Orphic Hymns.
Tomorrow I have to go 5 days in Spain. During these days, I cannot have with myself Hermes’ altar that I have at home. Neither I can do a box that I could bring with me. How could I do? I’m more or less 3 months of offerings done…