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How to pray to the gods

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How to pray to the gods

Post  Batman812 on Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:36 am

Hey everyone, my question here is how do you pray to these gods? For example if I want to pray to Poseidon, do I just pray like a normal prayer that Christians do? Like "Poseidon/Zeus thank you for blessing me with this awesome day and I pray your protection over me and that you would guide me during this day".? I am new here and I'm just curious as to how to pray to them. Also how do I start in this religion? Like I said, I am new and am curious about how this works.
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Re: How to pray to the gods

Post  Erodius on Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:25 pm

Batman812 wrote:Hey everyone, my question here is how do you pray to these gods? For example if I want to pray to Poseidon, do I just pray like a normal prayer that Christians do? Like "Poseidon/Zeus thank you for blessing me with this awesome day and I pray your protection over me and that you would guide me during this day".? I am new here and I'm just curious as to how to pray to them. Also how do I start in this religion? Like I said, I am new and am curious about how this works.

There are a selection of good resources for beginners around the various threads of this subforum (mainline those that have the 'Sticky' label)

As for how to start in the religion, because of the wide spectrum of things that a newcomer has before him/her to read and study, taking the time to learn before jumping in too quickly is important. From experiences of others I have been told about over the years, some people jump into trying to follow religious practice too soon, and become disheartened because they don't feel they know what they're doing. So when starting out, I advise learning first, and then putting what you've learned into practice, asking questions along the way for clarification.

There is no real 'induction' ceremony for the practice of just the common, general cults of popular Classical religion, because you would have been, historically, just born into and raised with them. Induction and conversion ceremonies only come into play if you are interested in some particular Mystery religions within the general umbrella of Classical Olympianism.

As far as how to pray, there is nothing really wrong or objectionable in the example prayer you give. It would be a little unusual in form from the Olympiac perspective, but would not be totally unheard of.

A primary difference between Classical Graeco-Roman prayer and that of contemporary Christianity is in the level of specificity. Christian prayers are often very generalized and a bit vague, whereas Olympianist prayers customarily emphasize being as specific as possible about what you are praying for, and to whom you are praying.

First, spontaneous prayers are very unusual in Classical religion, whereas in Christianity they are the norm. This is because, in Classical religion, there are some preparations that need to be done before anyone is considered suited to approach the Gods. You have to be ritually pure, which usually means that you have not engaged in sexual activities in the immediate past, that you are not bleeding or have blood on you, that your conscience is clear, that you are physically clean, and that you have not had contact with death – however, just the activities of daily life would usually be considered to cause ritual pollution, so one would virtually always wash at least the face and hands, often in sanctified water, before engaging in worship.

Typically, a prayer would start with an invocation to a deity or several deities (as time went on, it became more and more common to address a prayer to a large group of deities at the same time, which sometimes made the invocation the longest part of the prayer, sometimes making up most of the prayer, actually), addressing them by name and by as many relevant titles and epithets as you can (in Classical religion, every deity has a fairly long list of titles and 'personalities' reflecting their various domains and powers, with different titles being relevant in different situations). For instance, Phoebus Apollo is typically a deity of light and the sun, but is also the deity of music and poetry, of safe returns in travels, of archers, of medicine, of sickness and plagues, and various other things, and these various personalities of Phoebus would be relevant to different kinds of prayers and different situations. Then, especially if you can recall an instance where this/these deity(s) have answered your prayers in the past, it is customary to remember those in your prayer. Then comes the 'prayer' itself, where you ask for what you want to receive or want to happen, as specifically as you can, and finally, a prayer is almost always concluded with an offering, which can be as simple as a pinch of incense, or a flower, or leaf/branch from a sacred plant, or a lit votive candle.

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: How to pray to the gods

Post  Batman812 on Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:35 pm

WOW, there are a lot of things that goes into the Olympianist prayer. Thank you very much for replying. It's kind of hard to accomplish those rituals as I am still living with the family, which won't really approve of this. Is there some way I can pm you? That is if you don't mind. Smile I would like to talk of more personal stuff that I do not feel comfortable sharing here Smile
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Re: How to pray to the gods

Post  Erodius on Sat Jun 21, 2014 4:29 am

You will be able to start sending messages after you post at least 5 times.

It's a security feature imposed by the forum hosting site.

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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The Orphic Way: www.hellenicgods.org
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Re: How to pray to the gods

Post  Batman812 on Sat Jun 21, 2014 6:46 am

No problem at all, I will keep posting Smile
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Re: How to pray to the gods

Post  DavidMcCann on Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:46 pm

Batman812 wrote:WOW, there are a lot of things that goes into the Olympianist prayer. Thank you very much for replying. It's kind of hard to accomplish those rituals as I am still living with the family, which won't really approve of this.
Actually, it's interesting how common such rituals are — all main religions except Protestantism. You have an image of a divinity, you wash before praying, and you make an offering. The offering will be fire, incense, a libation, and some food. Greeks generally burnt at least some of the offering, but ancient Egyptians (and modern Indians and Japanese) ate and drank the lot.

All of this puts you into the correct frame of mind, as well as showing respect to the divinity. Hindus often compare performing puja with inviting an honoured guest in to the home and making them feel comfortable and welcome.

If you're in an unsympathetic environment, incense might have to be dispensed with and perhaps even candles. I know some Chinese use an electric light and some people use an essential-oil diffuser instead of incense. Food and drink should be OK, and the images can be kept under wraps — Roman shrines were sometimes a closed cupboard. As we say of any gift, it's the thought that counts, and Hellenismos isn't an Ancient Greek re-enactment society!

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