Thursday, February 28, 2013

Lesson 12: Modern Reconstructed Rites

(1) Do a basic offering to deity of your choice, then report back on results. How did it feel? Was it awkward? Exciting? Were you worried about "doing it right"? Was it weird to pray out loud (if you did this?)? Were you alone?

(2) If you have worshipped with a Hellenic group, compare the experience to any previous worship experiences you may have had (church, synagogue, circle, etc.). How is our worship similar to these? How is it different?

1) Seeing as I’ve been doing these sorts of offerings for some time now, the awkwardness of the whole process has worn off. It was very calm, comfortable, and as usual, left me feeling a certain sense of satisfaction and peace, despite my (currently) sour mood. It was not weird to pray out loud and I have quite enjoyed it.
2) I have had the pleasure to actually lead rites on two (and soon, three) occasions and I have never done such a thing in another setting so I don’t exactly think it is a 1:1 comparison. Compared to my Pentecostal past, the process was calmer, and less frenzied, though I suspect that was due to it not being a basic offering (I can think of a few where a frenzy might occur.) It was much more still, but we still “sung” (recited rather) hymns to the Gods and gave thanks for their blessings, much as we did when I was a Pentecostal (though, theirs was to Jehovah/the Lord) so it bears some similarity in that regard. Compared to the circles I’ve attended though, it is wildly different. The Circles I’ve been to have felt very “self-help” for lack of a better phrase (not all, but most) and have been very focused on the individuals and not on the Gods and/or Goddesses being honored. They are usually also a tad more theatrical (though, there are a few rituals and celebrations where theatrics would be entirely appropriate) and can be far longer due to the “grounding and centering” process that always goes on. We process, purify, sing hymns, make prayers and give thanks, make offerings, close, then process away. They gather, process( albeit less formally than we do) give background information and introduce the “theme”, call the quarters, ground and center, invoke the Gods and Goddesses, Lord and Lady, or whoever else is being honored, perform the theatrical part, then do it all in reverse again (essentially) just doing the opposite.

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A young man living in North Texas. He is an actor, a Hellenistos, and a proud member of Hellenion.