Sunday, August 4, 2019

Starting & Ending Your Day With The Gods

A Hellene never stops being religious. They will find that the Gods are part of everything they do, just as natural to their lives as the air they breathe, the clothes they wear or the bed they sleep in.

Seeing the family shrine and altar in my home for daily rites isn't even the beginning of the spectacle. Before entering, you'll see an Ionic column outside the front door as a symbol of Herakles to keep evil out. Over my kitchen faucet you'll find an elaborate shrine and altar to Poseidon to bless our water supply. At the end of the hallway, there stands a shrine to Athena (our family's protector and Goddess of wisdom and war) that is 5 feet in height, and above it to the left, is a smaller shrine to Athena Parthenos to honor Her historic Parthenon temple. In my bedroom, there will be a small shrine to Aphrodite, Goddess of love. In the living room, the TV stand holds a statue of Dionysos (God of the theater) that is 3 feet in height. The open corner next to my bookshelves houses a magnificent shrine of Apollon (also my family's protector and the God of the sun). The statue is specifically Apollon of Piraeus and is also around 3 feet tall. This doesn't include the numerous statues and religious items I have standing on top of my bookshelves and in various other secure locations that I use for specific rites or celebrations throughout the year, or the additional shrines and worship spaces I will likely construct in the near future. This also does not include the continuous religious and spiritual activities that I myself do on a personal level throughout each day, which is the greater point of this post. 

After I get up in the morning and start my day, I begin with three simple prayers and a libation at the table or my desk,

Hestia, Goddess of the hearth,
let my family and I awaken to a new day of success and happiness.
Helios, Titan of the sun,
follow me with your warming rays,
bless me with strength and life each hour.
Hemera, Goddess of the day,
let the bright time bring me peace and prosperity,
every second and minute.
May it be.

At least once during the day, you should also pour a libation of thanks to Hestia, the Agathos Daimon, Zeus and Herakles, in gratitude for the guidance, gifts and protection they provide in the home, the home's wealth, and life. You won't believe how much better and complete you'll feel in your dwelling. Worshiping the Gods is blissful, and that's why we Hellenes never stop.

Going out and about through your general day will present you with a plethora of opportunities for spiritual engagement. Just from traveling to and from places, I invoke Hermes and/or Theseus, the Patron God and Hero of travelers. Today we travel on foot or in an automobile (advanced chariot) but the Gods transcend the world. I might recite a prayer along these lines,

Hermes of the swift feet,
in devoted supplication do I pray,
to bless my chariot with the wings of heaven,
to and from its destination today.
And honorable Theseus 
the brave Traveler,
mighty Hero of Troezen,
I pray that you will go on the roads before me,
and clear away any evil or obstacle that may hinder me.

Throughout your day, you will find so many opportunities to connect with Gods, Spirits, Heroes and your own Ancestors, so many that I cannot possibly provide details here for everything, but I will take the liberty of making basic categories regarding professions or hobbies and which Gods and Heroes/Heroines connect with them.

Commerce - God (Hermes) Goddess (Tykhe)
Travel - God (Hermes) Heroes (Theseus, Bellerophon)
Law Enforcement - Goddess (Athena) Heroes (Theseus, Herakles)
Criminal Justice - God (Zeus) Goddesses (Athena, Themis)
Agriculture - Goddess (Demeter) God (Dionysos)
Environmental or Animal - Goddess (Artemis) Heroine (Atalanta)
Medical - Gods (Apollon, Asklepios)
Funerary - God (Haides) Goddess (Persephone) Spirit (Thanatos) Heroine (Antigone)
Water or Marine - God (Poseidon) Heroes (Theseus, Jason, Odysseus)
Computer or Technology - Gods (Hephaistos, Kabeiroi)
Soldiering - Goddess (Athena) God (Ares) Heroes (Achilles, Ajax)
Beauty - Goddesses (Aphrodite, the Graces)
Social Work - Goddess (Hekate) Heroine (Nausicaa)
Elderly Care - Heroine (Antigone)
Marital - Goddess (Hera) Heroine (Penelope)
Domestic Arts - Goddesses (Hestia, Athena)

When the day comes to an end before I fall asleep, I don't neglect the Night and Sleep Gods either, so I will pray to Selene, Nyx, Morpheus and Hypnos, with a small offering of some sort, something that is easily given and not imposing as I try to fall asleep.

Selene, Nyx, Morpheus and Hypnos,
Magnificent Immortals,
I pray that you grant me peaceful rest this night.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.