Isis-Seshat 2017 Summer Issue: Summer Festival

The latest issue of Isis Seshat (the journal for the Fellowship of Isis and the like) has just come out and I have an article about a summer festival in the southern hemisphere  – get your copy now: PDFs are available for purchase at $5 USD each; just email me via PayPal at anna dot applegate at yahoo dot com.

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Axis Mundi: Ancient Egyptian Aromatherapy

I have an article about Ancient Egyptian “Aromatherapy” in this issue called Fragrance of the Gods – check it out, its free!

Axis Mundi Autumn Issue 2017

 

Isis-Seshat 2017 Spring Issue: Kemetic Medicine

The latest issue of Isis Seshat (the magazine for the Fellowship of Isis and the like) has just come out and I have an article on Kemetic Medicine.

This special issue commemorates the 41st anniversary of the Fellowship of Isis, the centennial anniversary of Lady Olivia Robertson’s birth, and celebrates our relationships with Holy Powers in Holy Places. $5 a copy payments via PayPal at anna.applegate@yahoo.com.

Hekate Self Initiation

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One of the simplest rituals I have created and completed is a self-initiation and dedication to a deity.  Here is a ritual I wrote many moons ago for Hekate which you might find useful and which you can use as a guideline when writing your own ritual:

Hekate Self Initiation

Performed on Sunset/Sunrise in a liminal place.

Items Needed:

  • 1 black candle
  • 2 white candles
  • 1 lighter/matches
  • 2 coins
  • 2 keys
  • 1 glass of wine or grape juice
  • Moon cakes
  • 1 glass of water
  • Salt
  • Hekate incense or similar
  • Charcoal
  • Incense burner
  • Hekate oil or similar
  • Pad and pen

Preparation:

Clean the working space and neutralize energies.  This can be done by completing the LBRP, sweeping the space with a broom, clearing the temple with incense and khernips etc.

Ensure alter is set up with items needed.

Anoint the black candle with the Hekate oil.

Anoint self with Hekate oil between the brow.

Create Sacred Space

In any manner you are accustomed to.

Magickal Working

As a sign of devotion offer Hekate a coin, a white candle and a key.

(The coin can be given to a charity or left at a crossroads after the ritual, the white candle can be used when invoking Hekate and the key can be used when working with Hekate to unlock mysteries or connect to her).

Light the black candle and Invoke Hekate by reciting a prayer written in her name.

Make an offering to Hekate consisting of wine and moon cakes.

Speak to Hekate in your own words.  Tell Hekate that you are dedicating yourself to her service and let her know what you can offer her as her devotee.  Share with her where you are at in your life and what you feel is holding you back and what you want to achieve.  Ask Hekate for her blessings, guidance and help.  Remember to be clear and concise with your words.

After you have done this visualise Hekate unlocking a door and opening it before you, she hands you a key as you pass through the door and there you find a crossroad before you.  Hekate holds her arms up before her in witch pose and lights the appropriate path before you with her blazing torches.  Hekate hands you a torch and beckons you to walk along beside her as she guides you down the illuminated path.  Follow the illuminated path until you find the answer you seek. After you have found the answer you seek thank Hekate for her assistance and farewell her.  Record any insights or advice given.

Close Sacred Space

In any manner you are accustomed to similar to creating sacred space.

(C) T. Georgitsis 2010

 

Athenian Calendar

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The best time to honor Hekate is the Deipnon and Noumenia.  With that said, every year I create an Athenian Calendar to calculate the Deipnon and Noumenia using the Southern Hemisphere New Moons, to ensure my devotions are on the right evenings from my location.  This is calculated by the start off point of the Summer Solstice in Greece of that particular year.

The Athenian Calendar also known as the Attic Calendar was a lunisolar calendar used during the classical period of Ancient Greece during the 4th and 5th Centuries BC.  It was exclusively used in Athens at the time and each month starts at the first sighting of the new moon, with the year beginning just after mid-summer.  It’s become a modern go to for practicing Hellenics and as such, what we use and have today is a reconstruction of what they used around 300-500 BC.  I have superimposed this Athenian Calendar over our modern Gregorian one, to loosely create a festival calendar of 12 months based on the cycle of the moon which starts at the beginning of the Athenian year – on the summer solstice in Athens. The names of the months reflect the gods and festivals honored at that time and have agricultural links to the planting or harvesting of food in the northern hemisphere.

Here is what the yearly Athenian Calendar basically looks like:

Summer (Θέρος)

1          Hekatombaion (Ἑκατομβαιών)           July/August

2          Metageitnion (Μεταγειτνιών) August/September (named after Apollo)

3          Boedromion (Βοηδρομιών)     September/October

Autumn (Φθινόπωρον)

4          Pyanepsion (Πυανεψιών)                    October/November

5          Maimakterion (Μαιμακτηριών)           November/December (named after Zeus)

6          Poseideon (Ποσειδεών)                      December/January

Winter (Χεῖμα)

7          Gamelion (Γαμηλιών)             January/February

8          Anthesterion (Ἀνθεστηριών)  February/March (named after the festival of Anthesteria)

9          Elaphebolion (Ἑλαφηβολιών) March/April

Spring (Ἔαρ)

10        Mounichion (Μουνιχιών)                    April/May

11        Thargelion (Θαργηλιών)                     May/June

12        Skirophorion (Σκιροφοριών)               June/July

 

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Every month lasts for approximately 29-30 days in total.  Each month is broken up into 10 days of three which reflect the moon phases in the following order: Waxing, Full and Waning Moons.

Days 1 to 8 were all sacred to gods or spirit entities and the last day of the month, known as “hene kai nea” translated as “the old and the new”, is dedicate to Hekate as it’s her Deipnon along with the first day of the month, Noumenia which is also dedicated to Hekate.

Here are the details of those 8 sacred days in the Athenian Calendar month:

Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon).

Day 2: Agathos Daimon

Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros

Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

Day 29-30: Deipnon

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To get you all started with adapting the Athenian Calendar to the Gregorian one, here is the Athenian Calendar I created for 2016, calculated for Southern Hemisphere practitioners:

21st of June 2016, 1.33 = Summer Solstice in Greece (Winter Solstice in Australia)

Summer (Θέρος)

1          Hekatombaion (Ἑκατομβαιών) July/August

4th of July                   Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon).

5th of July                   Day 2: Agathos Daimon

6th of July                   Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

7th of July                   Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros

8th of July                   Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

9th of July                   Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

10th of July                 Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

4th of August               Day 29-30: Deipnon

 

2          Metageitnion (Μεταγειτνιών) August/September (named after Apollo)

5th of August               Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon).

6th of August               Day 2: Agathos Daimon

7th of August               Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

8th of August               Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros

9th of August               Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

10th of August             Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

11th of August             Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

31st of August             Day 29-30: Deipnon

 

3          Boedromion (Βοηδρομιών) September/October

1st of September         Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon).

2nd of September        Day 2: Agathos Daimon

3rd of September         Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

4th of September         Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros

5th of September         Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

6th of September         Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

7th of September        Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

30th of September      Day 29-30: Deipnon

 

Autumn (Φθινόπωρον)

4          Pyanepsion (Πυανεψιών) October/November

1st of October             Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon).

2nd of October                        Day 2: Agathos Daimon

3rd of October             Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

4th of October             Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros

5th of October             Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

6th of October             Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

7th of October            Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

30th of October          Day 29-30: Deipnon

 

5          Maimakterion (Μαιμακτηριών) November/December (named after Zeus)

31st of October           Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon).

1st of November          Day 2: Agathos Daimon

2nd of November        Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

3rd of November         Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros

4th of November         Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

5th of November         Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

6th of November         Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

28th of November       Day 29-30: Deipnon

 

6          Poseideon (Ποσειδεών) December/January

29th of November       Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon).

30th of November       Day 2: Agathos Daimon

1st of December          Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

2nd of December         Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros

3rd of December         Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

4th of December          Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

5th of December          Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

29th of December        Day 29-30: Deipnon

 

(C) T. Georgitsis 2016

Purification in Kemet

Purification was an important aspect of the daily life of the Ancient Egyptians. It kept Isfet (evil) away which took the form of demons, pestilence and disease – which would run rife without adequate purification practices.   Purification was seen as a way to strengthen the power of protection as well as provide insight through making the way clear and clean.

The Ancient Egyptians would use fumigation as part of the purification process which involved incense made from resins and herbs which would be lit and wafted through temple, royal and residential homes alike.  The Ancient Egyptian clergy and aristocracy would shave their bodies as a way to keep themselves pure and free from pollutants.  The Priests would also keep themselves pure by avoiding dressing in garments made from animals such as wool or leather and only wear natural materials like linen. Another method the priests had for remaining pure was to abstain from specific foods, depending on which God they served.

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Priests had to abstain from any sexual intercourse before rituals as a form of purification even though they normally lived like the rest of the population and married and had children.  The only difference is that they dedicated some time out of the year to honor their gods in their part time vocations as priests of the temple.  Therefore before they re-entered the temple they would abstain from intimate relations to be pure for their gods.

The priests and royalty had lakes they had deemed for divine purification.  There they would ritually bathe themselves with natron, a salt like substance collected from the banks of the Nile river, before entering their temples to perform their religious rites.  Natron was used by the Ancient Egyptians for mummification but the priests also used it for personal purification in which they would wash their mouth out, hands and feet when it was dissolved in water.

Purification of the temple shrine and the associated tools was completed using natron so it was a cleaning agent which was pretty much used for everything.    Natron infused water was used to wash the temple walls and floors and implements as well as the images of the gods.  Images of the gods within the temple sanctuary were sprinkled with water and grains of natron during various times of the day and night when opening, maintaining and closing the shrine occurred.  Any remaining natron water was used to wash the surrounding streets and buildings.

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For practicing Kemetics using abstinence, fumigation, cleaning and bathing still occurs as part of the purification practice today. Since natron was a natural occurrence found on the banks of the Nile and we don’t have the luxury of being able to collect it this way I would like to share with you how to make your own natron.

Two methods I have found to make natron successfully :

  1. Simply mix some baking soda and kosher salt in the blender or in a mortar with a pestle – ¼ part baking soda to ¾ part salt. 
  2. Bake method outlined below which I prefer due to the consistency and its potency:

a. Mix one cup kosher salt and one cup baking soda and place in a cooking pot (shouldn’t be more than ¼ of the depth of the pot).

b. Add water until it covers the mixture and heat on low whilst constantly stirring.

c. Once it reaches boiling point ensure all the ingredients blend smoothly and take off heat.

d. Mixture should be slime like substance which you can now pour and spread over a baking paper lined oven tray.

e. You can put it in direct sunlight to dry out covered by netting so it isn’t polluted by grit or bugs (this can take a month or so) or alternatively place in a very low oven for several hours until the mixture dries out ensuring the mixture doesn’t turn brown as it must remain white in color.

f. Once dry, break apart the sheets of natron into smaller barley sized pieces and store in air tight container so it doesn’t get damp and clump up.

(c) T. Georgitsis 2014

Blending and Baking for Beltaine

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Beltane is a fertility festival where the union of the God and Goddess is honored.   Its a time of plentiful abundance and as such we can celebrate it as a feasting holiday.  A way to honor the earth’s blooming richness during Beltane is to hold a ritual with symbols of male and female fertility to signify the fruitfulness of the land and in turn us. It is also customary to hold a meal after the ceremony in celebration, which is called Agape in the Wiccan tradition I am initiated in.  Agape is a ritualistic meal after the customary rite has ended and circle is closed and the attendees are gathered around a hearth table or fireplace to eat and drink in merriment and the word itself means love in Greek.

One of the things which stands out for me during Wiccan ritual is the cakes and wine sharing within the coven which is similar to the catholic church sacrament but predates it.  Its where after our magickal working within the cast circle, cakes and wine is passed around by the coven members, which the Priestess and Priest initiate before the altar.  The cake and wine is shared among those gathered to ground and give thanks in honor of the God and Goddess for the blessings they have bestowed upon us.  When the goblet of wine is passed around the words “May you never thirst” are spoken before being handed to the next participant and when the cakes plate (sometimes the earth pentacle is used) is passed around the words “May you never hunger” are spoken before they are handed to the next person.  I find this form of blessing quite beneficial as not only does it bless us with the prosperity and bounty of the God and Goddess but it connects the coven in an act of love through the sharing of food in the name of deity.

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During Beltane my preferred preference for cake and wine is oat cakes and may wine. The magickal properties of wine are fertility, abundance and dreams and connect to the element of water and the moon.  The magickal properties of oats are fertility, wealth and prosperity and connect to the element of earth and the planet Venus.

May Wine Recipe

Wine is used in many a Wiccan celebration and as such perfect to use at Beltane. May wine also known as Maibowle (May bowl) can connect us to the nature of Beltane since its at the heart of spring and we have the ingredients at hand to be able to make this refreshing alcoholic punch. May wine/Maibowle gets its name due to Beltane falling on May 1st in the northern hemisphere where Beltane also known as May Day has its origins.  It is this time of year where this type of wine is enjoyed in celebration of the fertility festival, most notably in Germany.

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Oats are used in several Beltane-centric Celtic cakes and breads, my favourite being Bannocks which are native to Scotland.  Bannocks can have charms placed upon them and therefore the person consuming them also consumes the symbolic meaning that the charm represents.

Bannocks Recipe

(c) T. Georgitsis 2012

Wyld Zine (Issue 2):

In this issue of of Wyld – A Journal of Magickal Art, I have written on magickal food crafting. You can get your free copy here:

Issue 2 – Wyld

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The Autumn Issue of Isis-Seshat Journal Is Now Available!

I have contributed to this amazing magazine…

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As the Executive Editor, I’m very pleased to announce that the Autumn issue of Isis-Seshat, the quarterly journal of the worldwide Fellowship of Isis (FOI), is now available! Eighty pages–the longest issue to date–of stunningly beautiful (each issue is printed in full color on 80-lb. high-gloss paper stock) and theologically provocative essays, poetry, prayers, and original artwork from Polytheists (Kemetic devotees and others), Pagans, international FOI clergy, and U.S.-based artists delve into the subject of navigating “Dark Nights of the Soul.”  

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