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Acrostic Names of Power from the Orphic Hymn to Hekate

Let me give this a whirl, and see how I feel about it. In the interest of starting with something brief and close to my heart, let’s take a look at the Orphic Hymn to Hekate. I’ll be working from the Greek. Here is a good translation of this hymn.

Now, this is a Hebrew mysticism trick, and it’s going to need to be modified a bit to work with Greek language. With Hebrew, you could take an acrostic from any poem and the letters would be something you could easily say. With Greek, you would frequently get a useless mash of consonants.

To avoid this, I’m going to get a little help from Linear B.

fig-3-1-linear-b-syllabary

Linear B — Chart Courtesy of crewsproject.wordpress.com

Linear B is the earliest attested script for Greek. Linear A is well in the works, but is not yet completely decoded.

As you can see from the chart, it would be impossible to get a combination of these letters which was unpronounceable, as each character represents a syllable.

Mycenean Greek, however, has a few differences from, say, Attic. You will notice that there’s no option here to end anything in a consonant. There are also double consonants. Knossos becomes Ko-No-So.

And what do I do with all the Greek consonant sounds that aren’t represented here?

Linear-A-base_diagram

A nice chart showing some relationships between the available sounds and modern Greek consonants. From: minoablog.blogspot.com

Beta becomes Pi. Zdeta, I know from elsewhere, becomes Delta. Theta becomes Tau. There are no liquids sounds such as L or R available, and the closest thing available is the W sound. Phi becomes Pi and Chi is Q. Ksi and Psi will be broken up into two syllables.

If that’s all a bit much for you, I’ll show you the “take the first syllable of each line” version, too. I have an intuition that the older syllabary will yield more satisfying results.

So here is our hymn to Hekate:

Ἑκάτης.

1. Εἰνοδίην Ἑκάτην κλῄιζω, τριοδῖτιν, ἐραννήν,
2. οὐρανίαν χθονίαν τε καὶ εἰναλίαν, κροκόπεπλον,
3. τυμβιδίαν, ψυχαῖς νεκύων μέτα βακχεύουσαν,
4. Περσείαν, φιλέρημον, ἀγαλλομένην ἐλάφοισι,
5. νυκτερίαν, σκυλακῖτιν, ἀμαιμάκετον βασίλειαν,
6. θηρόβρομον, ἄζωστον, ἀπρόσμαχον εἶδος ἔχουσαν,
7. ταυροπόλον, παντὸς κόσμου κληιδοῦχον ἄνασσαν,
8. ἡγεμόνην, νύμφην, κουροτρόφον, οὐρεσιφοῖτιν,
9. λισσόμενοις κούρην τελεταῖς ὁσίαισι παρεῖναι
10.βουκόλωι εὐμενέουσαν ἀεὶ κεχαρηότι θυμῶι.

And here it is again, transliterated, courtesy of the Hermetic Fellowship:

Einodian Hekatên, klêizô, Trihoditin Erannên,
Ouranian, Chthonian, te kai Einalian, Krokopeplos.
Tymbidian, Psychais Nekyôn meta bakcheuosan,
Perseian, Philerêmon, agallomenên elaphoisi.
Nykterian, Skylakitin, amaimaketon Basileian.
Thêrobromon, Azôston, aprosmachon Eidos echousan.
Tauropolon, Pantos Kosmou Klêidouchon, Anassan,
Hêgemonên, Nymphên, Kourotrophon, Ouresiphoitin.
Lissomenos, Kourên, teletais hosiaisi pareinai,
Boukolôi eumeneousan aei kecharêoti thymôi.

We’ve got ten lines to work with, and I have options. I could make one gigantic word of power by taking the first syllable from each line. I could break the poem into triplets and have three sets of three, ignoring the last line. I could break it into couplets and have five  words.

I’ll just do all of those things and see what I turn up.

The first syllables of each line are:  Εἰ, οὐ, τυ, Πε, νυ, θη, τα, ἡ, λι, βου

The ten syllable acrostic is: Eιουτυπενυθηταηλιβου (Ei’ou’tupenuthaeta’aelibou)

Then three sets of three: Eιουτυ, Πενυθη, Tαηλι (Ei’outu, Penuthae, Ta’aeli)

And lastly five sets of two: Eιου, Τυπε, Νυθη, Ταη, Λιβου (Ei’ou, Tupe, Nuthae, Ta’ae, Libou)

Using the Linear B syllabery This becomes:

  1. E’otupenudeta’ewipo
  2. E’otu, Penudeh, Ta’ewi
  3. E’o, Tupe, Nudeh, Ta’e, Wipo

Next steps: I’m going to work in conjunction with Hekate to see if any of this could be useful in ritual. The idea would be to chant them either to align oneself with Hekate (specifically the aspects described in the poem), or as a way to set space for her. Possibly, as a way to prepare a space before working any of her arts (Spells, magic, revelation through ecstasy, etc).

 

Book Review: Archangels of Magick

CRAPBOOKI want to talk about this book.

First of all, and this is directed to the entire occult community: you did not invent Judaism. You did not discover, or rediscover Judaism. You can’t take Jewish mysticism, make a few tweaks and changes, and pretend like it now belongs to you.  

This book 100% falls into the category of Columbusing Jewish tradition.

It is badly researched. It has no bibliography, despite the fact that there is no shortage of texts about Archangels which have been translated into English by reputable scholars. It is evident from reading it that the author has no grounding in certain foundational mystical texts which would have helped him to understand what he was writing about.

Also, unless you are an archeologist, don’t give me a line about how your system of magic is based upon “never before published secrets” related to Jewish tradition. Just own the fact that you made it up.

THAT SAID. This book contains a genius idea. I interpolate it loosely: if there is a new type of magical work you want to accomplish, you should first acquire words of power with which to prepare the space that are specific to that type of work and no other.

That is to say, rather that doing an opening which is recreating the universe in small, or establishing a set of forces which the magician can draw on (utilizing names of power which correspond to those forces), that one could have a set of power words for divination, a different one for invocation, a third one for evocation, another for spell work , one for necromancy, and one for journey work.

Hebrew is such a great language for generating words of power because there is no way that a combination of letters will be unpronounceable together, owing to the system of nikkudot. Basically, vowels are inferred from context, or notated above and/or below actual letters, rather than being letters in their own right. The “inferred from context”   allows one to do things like “I’m going to take the first 42 letters of this passage and make it a new word of power.” It’s a little harder to do that with the Latin or Greek alphabet.

Still, I might try taking an acrostic from some ancient Greek poetry, and see where that gets me.

 

 

 

 

Greater Ritual of the Double Pentagram

The ominously named GROD ritual is a recent innovation based on a cosmology I extrapolated from the Mithras Liturgy (which is not really a liturgy, nor is it strictly speaking about Mithras). It is also based upon earlier work I have done with integrating the sublime and mythic realities.

This ritual, however, isn’t about working with a deity at all. It’s about your relationship with yourself.

As mystics, we spend a lot of time reaching up into the higher worlds. As human beings, we experience a lot of things we wish we hadn’t. Either of these things can cause parts of our spiritual nature to retreat back into the higher worlds. This ritual is designed as a framing ritual for any work you might do to help get those parts of yourself back.

As with everything I have up on my blog: the version here isn’t necesarily the final version. If you can get hold of me, I’m happy to update you on whatever discoveries I may have made in the interim about anything you find here.

Set Up

You will need a wand. It need not be fancy. A well chosen stick will do, or may I recommend a nice wooden chop stick? I do not recommend using a wand that you typically use for other work with this ritual until you know how the energies of it resonate with you.

Because we are dealing with seven directions, it is useful to mark out seven points around you in some way. The first time I tried this ritual, I just had sticky notes on the walls. Placing small stones around you in a circle is another good trick in a limited space.

The directions are: East, South East, South, West, North West, North, North East. You can also just evenly space your seven altars, stones, or post it notes around the room, starting in the East.

Ritual Opening

In The Center

“What is created below can also exist above, and what is created above can also exist below.”

In each of 7 directions, and then over the central altar:

GROD

Connect (1) to (2), say:

“Ethereal Substance to Physical Substance”

Pointing to (2), say:

“Earth”

Draw to (3). Pointing to (3), say:

“Air”

Draw to (4). Pointing to (4), say:

“Fire”

Draw to (5). Pointing to (5), say:

“Water”

Draw to the point where the two pentagrams touch. Say:

“Spirit”

Mentally prepare yourself to begin drawing the pentagram above. Say:

“And Physical substance to Ethereal substance”

“Spirit”

Draw to (6). Pointing to (6), say:

“Water”

Draw to (7). Pointing to (7), say:

“Fire”

Draw to (8). Pointing to (8), say:

“Air”

Draw to (9). Pointing to (9), say:

“Aether”

In each of 7 directions, chant the sound of each of the Greek vowels.

1. East: Ω

2. S. East: Y

3. South: O

4. West: I

5. N. West: H

6. North: E

7. N. East: A

In the Center.

“To complete the mystery of the One Thing.”

The work at hand

This is where you do any work you have planned for the session. If you are just looking to test this out, maybe try doing an energy raising of your choice, some meditation, or even a little exercise.

Ritual Closing

In The Center

“What is created below can also exist above, and what is created above can also exist below.”

In each of 7 directions, chant the sound of each of the Greek vowels.

1. East: A

2. S. East: E

3. South: H

4. West: I

5. N. West: O

6. North: Y

7. N. East: Ω

In each of 7 directions, and then over the central altar:

GROD

Connect (1) to (2), say:

“Ethereal Substance to Physical Substance”

Pointing to (2), say:

“Earth”

Draw to (3). Pointing to (3), say:

“Air”

Draw to (4). Pointing to (4), say:

“Fire”

Draw to (5). Pointing to (5), say:

“Water”

Draw to the point where the two pentagrams touch. Say:

“Spirit”

Mentally prepare yourself to begin drawing the pentagram above. Say:

“And Physical substance to Ethereal substance”

“Spirit”

Draw to (6). Pointing to (6), say:

“Water”

Draw to (7). Pointing to (7), say:

“Fire”

Draw to (8). Pointing to (8), say:

“Air”

Draw to (9). Pointing to (9), say:

“Aether”

 

In the Center.

“To complete the mystery of the One Thing.”

Know Your Meme: Puritan Theology

Recently, a Facebook friend suggested, in a discussion of strange Polytheist ideas, the possibility that we might be re-treading, or being impacted by, Puritan theology. It made sense. Religion is an appendage of culture, and United States culture has been deeply influenced by Puritans who came to this continent and colonized it.

I decided to read some Puritan writings to see if it was true. Were some of the popular ideas in the Polytheist community related to Puritan thinking? Indeed, yes.

Here, I have a brief overview of some Puritan theological ideas that have gotten a lot of traction in the Pan-Polytheist movement, and have impacted a small number of vocal Polytheist writers and thinkers, almost certainly without anyone intending for this to be the case.

Election, or “Being Chosen.”

“God did not choose us because we were worthy, but by choosing us He makes us worthy.” — A Puritan Golden Treasury, Thomas, I.D.E. (c. 1620 – 1686)

I once saw a Polytheist write: “We do not need to be qualified to be chosen. The gods will make those whom they choose qualified.” I’m nearly certain that it wasn’t an intentional paraphrase.

What does it mean? The Puritan emphasis was not on striving to connect with the divine. It was on trying to determine whether or not one was chosen.

Election is the first link of the golden chain of salvation, calling is the second. He who has the second link of the chain is sure of the first. As by the stream we are led to the fountain, so by calling we ascend to election. Calling is an earnest and pledge of glory. “God has chosen you to salvation, through sanctification” (II Thess. 2:13). “A Body of Divinity” pg. 224

The process was not one of refining one’s spirituality or behavior, but of constantly examining oneself for signs that one might be ordained as one of those who would escape punishment and attain reward. Without being elected, or chosen, no amount of piety or good deeds could profit a person.

This, too, we see reflected in the Polytheist dialogue. I saw one very adamant woman insist, in every thread she was on that, “as with all deities, Hekate must choose you.” IE, there is no sense in praying to or venerating a deity unless one is elected and called. The first link in that chain has not yet been formed, and there is no sense in even trying to forge a second link if one does not have the first.

Suffice to say, this isn’t how ancient Polytheisms worked. If you suspected that a deity might be in some way applicable to your existence, either because of where you lived, or beause of your ancestors, or because you needed their help, you venerated that deity. Sick people did not avoid the temple of Asklepios because he hadn’t chosen them. No such concept applied.

In Polytheist circles, it leads to certain people who believe that they have been “chosen” thinking that they are better than those who have not been. It also leads to a type of theological bullying where “clergy” who are mystically inclined decide that other people have been “chosen” by their deity in particular, whether they want that or not.

I’ve actually been personally told to “stop fighting” the supposed calling of a deity I already worked with extensively, and that the fact that I did not hear, or feel, or percieve that additional calling was just more evidence that I was fighting them. An alternative interpretation was that said individual wanted me to doubt myself, and wanted to play savior and priest so that I’d be more in their orbit.

Sanctification Through Suffering

It is hard to prescribe a just measure of humiliation. It is the same in the new birth as in the natural. Some give birth with more pangs, and some with fewer. But would you like to know when you are bruised enough? When your spirit is so troubled that you are willing to let go those lusts which brought in the greatest income of pleasure and delight. When not only is sin discarded but you are disgusted with it, then you have been bruised enough. The medicine is strong enough when it has purged out the disease. The soul is bruised enough when the love of sin is purged out.

— “The Godly Man’s Picture” pg. 227

The idea that suffering, by itself, is spiritual purification, and that it exists for the purpose of refining the soul, is a Puritan idea. Essentially, God was believed to help people attain greater holiness by crushing their will and/or ability to resist him.

If that sounds overstated, consider this: The aim of Puritan child-rearing was to break the spirit of children.

Train them up in exact obedience to yourselves, and break them of their own wills. To that end, suffer them not carry themselves unreverently or contemptuously towards you; but to keep their distance. For too much familiarity breedeth contempt, and imboldeneth disobedience.

— Baxter, “Christian Economics”, Practical Works, Vol.1, p.450

For beating, and keeping down of this stubbornness parents must provide carefully for two things: first that children’s wills and wilfulness be restrained and repressed, and that, in time; lest sooner than they imagine, the tender sprigs grow to that stiffness, that they would rather break than bow. Children should not know, if it could be kept from them, that they have a will in their own, but in their parents’ keeping: neither should these words be heard from them, save by way of consent, “I will” or “I will not.”

— John Robinson, Works, Vol.1, p.247.

The will, Puritans reasoned, was purely sinful. The less of it, the better. Moreover, there was a parallel between the home and the church. As Christ was to the church, the head of the household was to his wife and children. Moreover, being too affectioinate with your children, or suffering their love for you, was considered a bad thing, because it degraded their respect, and therefore emboldened them to sin.

So, very likely, Puritans thought of the horrors of life as parallel to the beating of children. They conceived of right practice as being rightly painful

The temple had a fire burning on the altar; take heed of strange fire. But keep the fire of zeal and devotion flaming upon the altar of your heart; do temple work and offer up the sacrifice of a broken heart. When the heart is a consecrated place, a holy of holies, then God will walk there.

— Sermon, The Spiritual Watch, Thomas Watson

If you hear a Polytheist going on about how a deity has had to break their will, or how one has to “give in” to the gods to bring about a cessation of suffering, they are expressing a Puritan theological concept, adapted to Polytheism.

If you have ever heard someone bragging about how the gods have harmed them, and that this is a sign of Their Love, and wondered what the hell was wrong with them, you now know.

You might also hear people re-framing a nearly identical concept as “Shaman Sickness.” In the traditional variants of this concept, the person is ill because of spiritual imbalance, undergoes a spiritual process, and the illness ceases. It is not the continual pummeling of a human which brings them to their knees and forces them into holy submission. Don’t confuse the two concepts. They are not the same thing.

Modern psychological research has determined that beatings do not, in fact, improve behavior. What they do, actually, is increase rates of anxiety and depression, and reinforce negative self-concept. Trauma doesn’t make adults better people. Breaking someone’s will doesn’t make them a better person.

Demonology

demon_communion

This one isn’t speifically Puritan, but I’m including it, since it seems to come up a lot.

If you have ever heard a Polytheist claim that it was possible to approach a deity with an earnest heart and be connected to a demon impersonating that deity, that is a Christian notion.

Particularly, if a person holds the belief that anyone claiming to worship their deity or deities is insteads worshipping an evil or non-divine entity because said person does not agree with their beliefs of practices, this resonates to a lot of the Evangelical, Catholic, and yes, Puritan theology.

The anxiety of reaching “the wrong Poseidon” or whoever, flies in the face of every myth where the Theoi have rained fury and terror upon anyone claiming divinity when they did not have it.

Predestination

The idea that an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent deity would control all of future history makes some degree of sense in a monotheistic world view. The idea that everything, from our “vocation” or profession, to the final fate of our eternal soul, is decided by God in advance, is a Puritan idea.

The idea that our gods decide everything is problematic to the development of moral philosophy. An interesting article discussing the ideas of Charles Hartshorne summed up what I want to say next very succintly:

Hartshorne pointed out that if God is omnipotent, then God has “all” or “100%” of the power. If this is so, then human beings and all other beings have “zero” power.  But if we have zero power, then do we even exist?  It is hard to imagine what “existence” means if it is a quality attributed to beings with zero power to affect the world. In fact, if God has 100% of the power, then no being other than the divine being can be said to exist.

[…]

If beings other than God have some power, then God does not have all the power. From this it follows that everything that happens in the world—whether it be the life or death of a child or the beginning or ending of a war—should not be attributed to God or to Goddess.  If beings other than God or Goddess have some of the power, then many of the events that happen in the world must be attributed to the choices and failures to make choices of beings other than God.

Again, it’s a theological concept which allows us to absolve ourselves of moral responsibility. And in my opinion, it’s one that is better avoided by thinking people who want to change the world for the better.

 

 

Ok, maybe this IS a drama blog.

Let’s talk about societal responses to sexual predators.

Let’s talk about a Heathen group re-evaluating the presence of a stalker on a “year to year basis.”

Let’s talk about so-called “feminists” in the Wiccan community who “just don’t know what to do” about sexual harassment. Because “people just don’t know what the boundaries are.”

Let’s talk about “HIS side of the story is…”

And I’m sure I’d have my own stories about the Hellenic community, if one existed in my area. Because this isn’t a Heathen problem, or a Wiccan problem, or a Polytheist problem, or a Pagan problem, it’s a United States problem.

The US has a rape culture problem. It has consent problems. It has a “wouldn’t want to ruin a young man’s life over a mistake” problem. It has a “he just didn’t know” problem. It has a “she was in the wrong place at the wrong time” problem.

The actions and the words aren’t the problem. They are symptoms. The real problem starts in the belief system of people in this country, who believe that being handsome, or cool, or powerful entitles them to take what they want from those who are weaker. It is a belief system that venerates power and not compassion, aggression and not kindness.

If you find yourself in deep water, remain vigilant against drowning. If you find yourself in an environment where the media you watch, the ads you read, the dominant theology of mainstream culture, pushes rape culture and a “might makes right” mentality, the default is that you will absorb it, and it will become a part of what feels “normal” and “reasonable” to you.

I don’t want to hear “his side.” I don’t want another goddamn excuse. I don’t want to hear about how, by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, a person’s consent becomes irrelevant. I don’t want to hear about “mediation” between an aggressor and his victims.

Fuck off. Fuck right the hell off.

Purity and Miasma Part 3: Tragic Plays Are Not Holy Texts.

Don’t get me wrong. When we are studying ancient Greek culture, the plays are an important source. They can help us understand certain societal norms, social issues of the day, what was funny to them, and types of social relationships they thought were important.

But they need to be understood in context. They were never meant to be used as religious texts.

What I want to say next, Robert Parker (a frequently quoted scholar on this subject) said better, so I’m just going to let the man do his thing:

The noun miasma, ubiquitous in the tragedians, does not occur at all in Herodotus, Thucydides, or Xenophon. This might be taken to prove that the word’s stylistic level is too high, that the concerns of tragedy are unreal, or simply that tragedy and history treat different areas of experience. Modern social historians view such evidence with suspicion; court records, not extrapolations from Shakespeare, form the backbone of a classic modern study of English popular religion. Literary texts can only be safely exploited, it might be argued, to illustrate the existence and significance of which can be independently established.

— R. Parker, Miasma: Pollution and Purification in Early Greek Religion, 1996, p. 13, emphasis mine.

In other words, it’s Parker’s opinion that we should only consider fiction as a source to expound upon our understanding of something we know to be relevant outside of fiction.

If you think about it, this is common sense.

Like, don’t assume, from watching Buffy, that people in California believe that immortal vampires are real. Now, if, on the other hand, there are bunches of court trials about people who have broken anti-vampirism laws, and we have transcripts that read, “the defendant stated his age as 224, but couldn’t remember his exact birthday,” then, ok, see Buffy to get a lowdown on our vampire feels. It becomes evident as a part of our belief system at that point.

But wait, Parker’s got more for you, here, in his introduction:

Classical scholars, whose knowledge of subjects like pollution derives largely from their reading of tragedy, have tended to be less cautious, partly because alternative sources of information on these subjects are hard to find.

— Ibid.

Parker’s tirade on this subject goes on for pages, and he goes on to say that a really eye-opening thing is to compare the comedies to the tragedies, and to bear in mind that they are products of the same culture.

The gods of tragedy are easily offended and without mercy once their ire has been attracted; those of comedy are good natured, forgive slights easily, and are just doing their best to keep a wayward humanity on track.

That is to say, theologies in these theatrical works were most likely constructed for dramatic effect.

So what’s a good source?

Hymns – These were created for, and often addressed to, the deities whom they are about. They are religious works and very likely to be representative of sincerely held religious beliefs. The Homeric and Orphic Hymns are examples.

Epics – Texts like the Iliad and Odyssey may be the closest thing in Hellenic writings to anything resembling a Bible. The large number of locales mentioned in the catalogue of ships (Iliad, Book II) is thought to exist as a way of including, by mention, all of the audiences for whom the story of the Trojan War was important, showing the breadth of the text’s importance. Alexander the Great slept with a copy of the Iliad under his pillow.

The two books, the Iliad and Odyssey, in tandem, give us the laws of hospitality, the exact way to make and cook sacrifices, the ways of necromancy and treating with the dead, the practices of courtship and marriage, and the exact shape of divine favor and fury.

Histories and Mythographies – Certain individuals made a living from collecting lore. They catalogued what people in various places thought happened there, in the past, as well as their beliefs and customs. There’s a bit of overlap between the two, of course, and modern historical methods didn’t exist then, so I’m grouping them together. Since these writers were interested in recording beliefs about both history and the gods, they are a mostly reliable source about what people from their own culture believed. Conversely, they are notoriously unreliable when reporting beliefs of those outside their culture. Herodotus, Thucydides, or Xenophon are all writers who focused on histories. Apollodorus (or Pseudo-Apollodorus) is someone to whom mythographies are attributed.

Legal Documents – We know that there was a real life Socrates, that Alcibiades was a naughty, naughty boy, and that a woman was once fined for riding a horse rather than walking in the processions during the Rites of Eleusis. We know these things because of legal records. Trial transcripts and steles containing the laws of the mysteries are both reliable sources.

In the same vein, ancient graffiti can tell us a lot about what was going on at the time, but be skeptical. It may be true that “Hermocrates was here” but we shouldn’t automatically believe that “all of the women love his cock.”

“But Thenea,” you might protest “these sources say almost nothing about actual miasma and its consequences.”

Yeah. It’s really hard to make claims about miasma (unless we are talking about the impurities generated by murder) if you stick to non-fiction sources from the ancient world. That’s basically what Parker, who wrote what is probably the definitive work on the subject, was saying. That’s why otherwise reputable historians, when they are writing about this subject, heavily rely on theatrical plays in a way that historians generally would not.

It is one thing to conjecture based on tragic plays and to argue that something was a concept, maybe, in a culture.

It is quite another to credulously apply what we read in an ancient tragic play to our modern theology and practice.

Katharmos, or purification, by contrast, is well attested in far better sources. We cannot assume that the question is “what are we being purified from, if not miasma?”

Not all cultures view purification as the removal of evil, or the removal of a metaphysical taint. There are other options. Perhaps it’s about separation between the ordinary and the sacred, or the separation between levels of sanctity, as it is in other nearby cultures. Perhaps it’s a token of respect, an acknowledgement of the importance of physical cleanliness. It is telling that purification before entering the temple is an always thing. So if you exit a temple, after being purified, and go back in, you need to be purified again. And, again, there are other regional cultures with similar constructs in their practice.

It is far more prudent to consider that we’re dealing with a Mediterranean culture, draw comparisons between well attested practices in other Mediterranean cultures, and pay attention to what is said about Katharmos in non-fiction sources.

There is no shortage of non-fiction written by and about ancient Hellenic culture. If, in all those thousands of pages, we don’t find very much written about miasma, we should take that into account when weighing the importance of this concept in modern practice.

Tech in Review: Red Pentagram Ritual

This is a review of the Red Pentagram ritual, a piece of mystical tech extracted from Apotheosis mythology and the Mithras Liturgy.

You can find the ritual here.

Stated Goals

As Thyone can attest, being exposed to the unbridled energies of a deity’s sublime intelligence can be hazardous to your health.

Generally, the Divine provides divine influx through a buffer of story (or filter). The antagonist does so by setting up challenges which refine the personality, and the ally does this through building a positive relationship with the person.

Usually, the process is messy.

The ritual in question is meant to titrate the sublime energies of a deity, and by-passing filter and mythos, so that frank discussions can be had about how a practitioner wants their spiritual path to unfold.

Primary Usage: …Not Bad!

This ritual was astoundingly successful in helping me course correct my relationship with Dionysos. It clarified our conversations by taking us out of the narrative we were stuck in (and stagnating in!) and allowed us to work collaboratively on shifting to a new one. The result was a vastly improved and much more productive relationship with this deity, and me working through the issues he wanted me to work through with less struggle and confusion.

My initial test audience reported similar results, and a fair number of people who tried the technique at two subsequent conferences reported favorably on it as a tool for this.

Off Brand Uses: Trance Work?

If your goal is a manifestation of deity which is utterly without filter, cultural or otherwise, and to yet experience the deity as a sacred personality, this tech is excellent.

If your goal is to NOT feel like you’ve been psychologically trampled by a herd of angry buffaloes, however, this tech falls short.

That said, the few of us who tried it for these purposes survived it, and are not significantly worse for the wear.

It’s a tool which could be used to help a community course-correct their relationship with a deity or deities, and to work collaboratively with a deity to change group filter.

It really does go to show, however, how important filter is as a buffer between a deity and a medium. It exists as a sort of psychological/spiritual protection. Negotiating that filter — what will be hidden, and what will be revealed, could be an important application of this tech.