Having lost a week to a hand injury, and a bit more time to playing catch up (plus some personal turmoil, just for spice), I actually considered backing out of this month’s challenge. As you can see, I have perservered and finally begun
As you all may recall, one of the central tropes of my meditative acts is DIYing novena candles for each of the four gods I’ll be honoring. Below are the four images I ultimately settled on. An Attic black-figure, an Attic red-figure, a Roman tile, and a devotional image of my own.
From the moment I first set this course, I have been struggling to decide whether the ritual — the casting of the circle, the offerings, the prayers — counted as part of the 30 minutes of meditation. Ultimately I decided that they did: the theme of the month’s challenge, after all, is “Meditative Acts“. With that decision made at about 8.30 this evening, I finally began.
I finally began building the altar for my first week of prayer this past Friday, when I no longer needed the altar room for this past week’s photo shoot. It’s fairly simple, at least to start. Having met me, it’s likely to grow to overtake the main altar. In the mean time, y’all should be proud of me that it’s not more over the top from the jump.
I washed my hands and face in preparation, then changed into the all-white costume I have been using intermittently for my esbat celebrations. Cleansed and dressed, I cast a circle, conjuring each element by attunement. At the last minute, I felt called to add my chiton and wear it so that it was draped over my head as well as around my body, as many pottery images indicate was done in some Classical rituals. So prepared, I lit the charcoal and burned frankincense tears and poured the first libation, calling out “Io Dionysos!” After that, I read the three Homeric Hymns to Dionysos aloud, pouring out and throwing back another libation after each hymn. Once I was done with the hymns, I poured and drank a second-to-last libations, and lit the first of four seven day candles that I prepared over the last week.
Reading the hymns and making the offerings took about fifteen minutes, leaving me half of the allotted 30 to sit and listen. The moment I sat down, I felt endued with power, as though I were doing magical ritual of an entirely different sort. The sensation grew, quickly accompanied by a growing ringing in my ears, but never quite crossed the line into the sensation that Dionysos, Himself, was present. I had a very brief vision of a paridisal forest I took to be Nysa, though, which … given my background in Lack Of Prayer is actually a pretty strong start.
Because I am terrible at meditation, I only made it about 11 minutes before I began to grow restless and impatient for the alarm.
Given the week/month/year I’ve just had, I feel good that I was able to sit down at all. Given my lifetime of Not Praying, I feel pretty good about how that portion went as well. Beyond that … well, frankly, this is just the beginning.