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Questions about Daily Worship

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Questions about Daily Worship

Post  Guest on Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:41 am

I've been a Hellenist for a while now, I became one during freshman year of college, and i have a few questions i need to ask about protocol during daily worship. You see, when i became a Hellenist two years ago, i was living on campus in a dorm, so my daily worship routine had to be somewhat restrictive, as i could not have candles and thus could not burn my offerings or bury them outside. So for the most part i always offered spring water, as a libation, to the Gods, ie- to the household gods, Hestia, and the the Agathos Daimon. on a few occasions i would give some grapes, i would then either eat them or put them in some plants i had in my window for nutrients. Now i live in a apartment where i have a lot more freedom to do as i please. so here are some questions i would love to get answered to help me improve my daily worship routine.

1. Before making my morning and evening prayers, do i need to take a shower and wear only certain clothes? or can i just purify my face and hands with lustial water and wear the clothes I plan to wear through out the day?

2. I am having trouble finding the right kind of incense for the gods, I saw a list that had all the kinds the ancients would use, but i dont have any shops near me that sell those specific kinds, any suggestions?

Thanks for the Help

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Re: Questions about Daily Worship

Post  Thrasyvoulos on Thu Aug 14, 2014 3:57 am

holden1420 wrote:I've been a Hellenist for a while now, I became one during freshman year of college, and i have a few questions i need to ask about protocol during daily worship. You see, when i became a Hellenist two years ago, i was living on campus in a dorm, so my daily worship routine had to be somewhat restrictive, as i could not have candles and thus could not burn my offerings or bury them outside. So for the most part i always offered spring water, as a libation, to the Gods, ie- to the household gods, Hestia, and the the Agathos Daimon. on a few occasions i would give some grapes, i would then either eat them or put them in some plants i had in my window for nutrients. Now i live in a apartment where i have a lot more freedom to do as i please. so here are some questions i would love to get answered to help me improve my daily worship routine.

1. Before making my morning and evening prayers, do i need to take a shower and wear only certain clothes? or can i just purify my face and hands with lustial water and wear the clothes I plan to wear through out the day?

2. I am having trouble finding the right kind of incense for the gods, I saw a list that had all the kinds the ancients would use, but i dont have any shops near me that sell those specific kinds, any suggestions?

Thanks for the Help          

The special clothes seem rather unnecessary to me, except for using them to get one into a religious mood.

As for purification, a shower would be ideal, I think, but lustration water is also acceptable. It's not the act of washing that purifies you, it is only a symbol. The state of miasma is a mental state; if you feel distant from the Gods, then you are. A man is what he thinks. Certainly feeling distant from beigs as pure and holy as the Gods can be induced from feeling physically dirty, and I really do think you should wash before approaching them in ritual anyway, just as a courtesy (you wouldn't show up to a date all sweaty and dusty, would you?), but it is clearing away the mental clutter that really matters. I would recommend a shower, simply because it's more holistic, and using a simple focal exercise while bathing to help you still your mind and let go of any blocks that could come between you and the Divine. Lustral water can always be done after, anyway Smile

Frankincense is an appropriate sacrifice for most any deity. It is the act of giving, not what you give, that the Gods take notice of. They are not petty.

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Re: Questions about Daily Worship

Post  Erodius on Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:29 pm

1. Before making my morning and evening prayers, do i need to take a shower and wear only certain clothes? or can i just purify my face and hands with lustial water and wear the clothes I plan to wear through out the day?

2. I am having trouble finding the right kind of incense for the gods, I saw a list that had all the kinds the ancients would use, but i dont have any shops near me that sell those specific kinds, any suggestions?

It's not necessary to fully bathe before all acts of worship. Aspersing yourself with consecrated water, as Aktaion said, is sufficient. As far as clothing, it is best to wear something that is neither visually nor physically distracting or troublesome. I myself usually wear some plain, clean linen lounge/yoga type pants. It is something suitable, simple and comfortable, as well as what I am typically wearing in the early mornings as soon as I wake up and in the evenings before going to bed, which are the customary times for worship. 

The incense 'list' you may have seen at some point is probably just taken from the Orphic Hymns. They reflect the customary usage in Orphism, but are not an all-encompassing list of appropriate incense offerings. As Aktaion mentioned, frankincense is used in almost any occasion, but a variety of other substances are used as incense. Many spices (like cinnamon, German ginger, and even pepper) , a large number of resins (frankincense, myrrh, styrax, amber, camphor and many others), and even sulphur powder and types of wood were used in Antiquity, some of all of which have since had their identities forgotten (that is, we no longer know to what substances the Greek or Latin names refer).

However, all of the typical Classical incenses are easily available from Amazon, often in several forms (i.e. resin, cones, oil).

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"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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