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Discussion Areas => Spirituality => Topic started by: Toomanyorifices on April 30, 2018, 07:30:26 PM

Title: New to Hellenism
Post by: Toomanyorifices on April 30, 2018, 07:30:26 PM
Hello all,

I'm fairly new to all things occult. I have been regularly meditating and have always had a genuine interest in the Greek gods, particularly Hermes. I've read up on the gods and briefly on the heroic stories from that time, however, I'm just not sure where to start. I want to start a bond with Hermes, but I'm not sure what to do. I believe that I've seen some signs from him such as his staff, and the number 4 (which i believe is linked to him), though I still don't know what I should do to establish contact.

Also as far as any rituals go, I'm completely oblivious to as well.

Any and all help will be appreciated,

Thanks  :biggrin:
Title: Re: New to Hellenism
Post by: الظلام on April 30, 2018, 10:16:25 PM
Hello there.

Too be honest, my experience with this kind of thing is limited, I've always been very self centered and too conceited to imagine ever devoting myself to a god.

However - that is exactly what you need to do if you wish to form a connection to Hermes.
One tool that will be important here which you are familiar with, is meditation.
Another thing which I believe should be important to you, is an altar.
Create an altar dedicated to him,  filled with things that represent him - symbols, art/visual depictions etc.
Here, you may worship him, meditate on him, study about him. Devotion is a way of getting your spirit to "hone in" on what you seek.
For me, instead of a god, my target was the Darkness, but the means to achieve my goals were essentially the same, now that I think about it.
I meditated on it, "worshiped" it indirectly through my infatuation, engaged in dark activities that brought me closer to it - and you should do the same kind of thing for Hermes. Worship him, meditate on his characters and principles, study him, and take in principles of his that you wish to see in yourself.

One thing you should understand, is that these gods aren't just these beings that people worship. On the Mental Sphere, they are a collection of principles, ideas, etc., and on the celestial sphere, they are a collection of intelligent energies. Your spirit too exists on those spheres, and you can form a connection - or "harmonize" with him on those levels.
So, even if you aren't directly speaking with him face to face, or he isn't literally following you around like a puppy, that doesn't mean you can't connect with him, or receive his influence.
This kind of thing is exactly what many don't understand, and why many give up quickly on this sort of thing. They worship some god for awhile, and then get mad when he doesn't pop up and start granting their wishes like a genie.

Since you said you are fairly new to esoteric practices, I think what I have mentioned is a good place to start.

However I would also recommend training in magic, so that you can better understand what you are doing, and so you can eventually summon him and have a more direct relationship.
And I'd also recommend trying to see if you can find information on historical methods of worship of the Greek gods, especially if you can find god-specific practices for Hermes. Not necessarily because that is the "only right way" to worship, but just because it would be nice for you to know you are using a method that once was actually used to worship him. It will also give you a concrete method for you to use.

I'm curious though, what are your goals with this?
Title: Re: New to Hellenism
Post by: Toomanyorifices on May 01, 2018, 05:17:38 AM
I'd like to eventually devote myself to Hermes because he is the messenger god, meaning that he'll be able to help me establish a relationship with the other gods as well.
He's also the god of good fortune and travelers, so it would be nice to have fortunes befall me as well as have someone watch over me.

As far as my overall goals, well, I picked a pantheon and god that I feel most inclined to, I know that there are powerful entities out there.
I feel like it's a good start to get to know Hermes and then eventually be able to communicate with others as well.
I'm hoping that the god(s) will be able to help me on my path and better understand the universe around me.

So the problem now is that I can't have an altar considering that I live with my mom and she doesn't condone these sort of things.
I suppose I can still continue to read up on him and such.

I've always been interested in magic as well, though have never known where to start.
Mentioning to find a book solely on Hermes is a good idea though.
Title: Re: New to Hellenism
Post by: الظلام on May 01, 2018, 01:11:12 PM
You mention establishing relationships with other gods - do you have a another god in particular that you're interested in?
Having him literally establish relationships with other gods would likely require you summoning him first, and I'd also point out that though he is a messenger, he cannot force other gods to have a relationship with you. The best thing to do for that is to devote yourself to that god the same way you did with Hermes.
But still, he can indeed help you in those matters.

About the altar - it doesn't necessarily have to be a literal altar. Do you have a desk or something which you can keep things related to him in?
And you don't necessarily have to go all-out with decorations or anything.
Do you think you could get away with just a small statue? And perhaps a necklace? With the necklace you would keep it at the "inconspicuous" altar, so that it "soaks" in the presence of Hermes since the altar serves as a physical conduit for him and his influence, and also so that it soaks in the power of worship(worship generates power on its own, which is one reason why gods appreciate it). Then you would take it with you whenever you go places, as a way of taking him and his influence with you.

I know that libations, votive offerings, and animal sacrifices were historical methods of worship used for the Greek gods, and though I know you probably won't wish to perform animal sacrifices, you should read about the other two.
Prayer would be good too. Though don't just use prayer as a way of constantly asking for favors. These aren't wish granting Genies :P
Call upon his guidance and influence instead.
I'd recommend trying to find information on how they use to pray to the Greek gods too.

Now since you seem to want to be quite involved with the gods, magic indeed will be important to you. And Hermes is a god that is actually quite relevant in that matter, he certainly can guide and support your endeavor into magic.
Learning about invocations and evocations will be relevant to your pursuit of the gods, particularly invocation, since evocation requires quite weighty rituals, and it seems that you aren't in an environment which would support you trying to perform evocation rituals. Evocation also requires some spiritual authority and magical skills which you do not have yet.
You may be able to find invocations for the Greek gods online from modern Hellenists. Invocation is similar to prayer, if you are not familiar with it.

Now you seem to want to establish communication with the gods, but unfortunately that is an area I'm not very familiar with. The only way I know of to establish literal communication with a god, is through evocation.
However, you may wish to look into Divination, particularly kinds that are used to communicate with spirits, like the pendulum I think. I know nothing about these things though, so I can't give you anymore information about it for the moment

Since it seems you are interested about magic for its own as well, I would recommend downloading or buying Initiation into Hermetics by Franz Bardon. If you look around on this site, you will see this book recommended often, and not without reason.
You should also look around the articles on this website.
However, Bardon's book and hermetic magic as it's often taught has a quite judeo-christian bias, despite Hermetics being a system that is supposed to be "universal", and I'm just giving you a heads up about that. If you need help processing Bardon's book, or anything else, you can ask me.

Title: Re: New to Hellenism
Post by: Toomanyorifices on May 01, 2018, 08:13:14 PM
As far as other gods, probably Hecate (interest in magic) and Athena (interest in greater knowledge).
I've also always been fond of Hermes' other aspects such as Thoth and Anubis.
Of course, I know that he can't forge the connections himself, but I would like to get to know all the Greek gods eventually.

The altar... Not to say too much about my personal life, but I'm a broke college kid living with his mom (who is very particular about her house) in a 1BR.
The only possible desk area I would have would be a stand that's in front of the couch that she insists nothing of mine is on.
Maybe I could persuade her to have a small area for an altar, do you think Hermes would mind if the entire area isn't dedicated to him?

I'll do my research on libations, votive offerings, prayers, and invocations.
Also, that's where I initially messed up on my journey, I kept asking for his help (ex. wealth) and not really doing much in return.
I'm somewhat more understanding of the gods and realize that I actually need to dedicate my time to him/them.

I'll look into Hermetics, how should I take it as far as the Judeo-Christian approach, simply universally as you said?

What do you specialize in, if you don't mind my asking?
Title: Re: New to Hellenism
Post by: الظلام on May 01, 2018, 11:12:03 PM
Ah you noticed his alter ago, Thoth, was wondering if you would catch that. Thoth is often associated as a god of knowledge, both divine and secular, which is why I said Hermes is quite relevant to your pursuit of magic.
Personally, out of the Egyptian pantheon, I like Set and Apophis.
And out of the Greek pantheon, I resonate with Erebus.
Of course these are just passing admirations - I do not practice any sort of relationship with any deities except the one called Allah, God, or whatever you wish to call it.

Awww my condolences to you for your situation. Do you not have a nightstand or drawer near your bed (you have a bed right? )? That would be great.
If nothing else, then just use your bed. All your activities regarding this matter should be done on your bed. Even if you must just keep everything underneath it when not in use.
One reason that I insist on establishing a center for this practice, isn't necessarily because it is absolutely necessary, but because it is beneficial in many ways.
1. Places of worship accumulate power. The rooms used for worship in churches are loaded with vital power, for example, and those who pray in these areas will often see better results by the sheer presence of such power, regardless of whether the deity actually does anything. Does that make sense?
So by confining your worship to a single space, you allow that power to accumulate, instead of being thrown around everywhere.

2. Practicing at an altar helps get you into a spiritual mindset.
It works like a subconscious trigger - when you approach the altar, your mind knows that it's going to be performing spiritual activities, so it reacts accordingly. Kind of like how people get nervous when they step into a doctors office, you are just taking advantage of how the environment affects you.

3. I'm pretty sure that having an altar helps spread the influence of the god it is dedicated to, serving as a conduit for their power, and intensifying their presence. This is partly why people often have spiritual experiences in places of religious practice.

This isn't necessarily about "doing it the right way", or not pissing off Hermes, or some kind of spirit-etiquette.
Just a matter of practicality.

So whether its a tree in the middle of the woods, an altar in someone's home, or simply someone's bed, what matters is the practices done in said area.
Things like statues, symbols, etc. are auxiliary ways of establishing the place for whatever god, and further reinforcing their influence in said area - Like the same way people draw the symbols of the elements on their wands, or use the symbols of demons to summon them. It's all about using these symbols to attract the power or presence of whatever the symbol represents. I think it is often referred to today as "sympathetic magic".
But it isn't -absolutely- necessary, worship on its own is quite effective in attracting the influence of whatever god.
I've actually heard of some interesting things regarding keeping things related to spirits near their bed.
I know Demonolators sometimes keep amulets or sigils of their chosen demon underneath their pillows, and they would be visited by said demon in their dreams. At least, that's what I've heard :P

do you think Hermes would mind if the entire area isn't dedicated to him?

Like I've pointed out, it is mostly about the practices being done in the area, rather than the literal area itself. I'd just refrain from putting it somewhere outright disrespectful or doing anything unsavory in whatever area it is(like you certainly wouldn't want to put in altar on a toilet :P ).

Now, it takes time to build relationships with deities, so in the beginning, he is unlikely to know that you even exist  :biggrin:
However, deities eventually take notice of those who show serious devotion. Be patient, be sincere.
But like I said before, one doesn't necessarily have to have direct contact or literal communication with a spirit to benefit from these kinds of practices. One important aspect of these kind of practices is harmonizing and connecting with the spirit in a passive way. Why do you think Priests and Priestesses had any sort of power? Because their particular god descended from the heavens, and gave them that power literally? Because said god follows them around like a puppy and does as they command?
Not usually.
They are just connected enough with whatever spirit to call upon it's power on their own.
Another important factor I'd also like to point out, is that these practices exercise and develop your own spirit, which in turn increases your own spiritual authority, which is another reason why such priests and priestesses acquire power.

Also, that's where I initially messed up on my journey, I kept asking for his help (ex. wealth) and not really doing much in return.

One thing to note about spirits like Hermes/Thoth, is that they are quite "celestial" in nature. Meaning, like Angels, they are more likely to support you in ways that encourage true spiritual development. They will often ignore requests involving carnal desires, and instead use such things as a lesson for you.
Demons are the ones who are more likely to support such carnal desires.
Poverty is humbling, and character-building, so it is unlikely you will get any good-intentioned spirit to relieve you of it.
In the long run, it will help your spiritual growth.
Trust me, I have been both poor and homeless :P

I'll look into Hermetics, how should I take it as far as the Judeo-Christian approach, simply universally as you said?

Bardon does a good job of staying relatively neutral in his books, it's just very celestial-oriented(a lot of preaching about morality). To be honest, I think it was more of a problem for me than it will be for you. His teaching of magic is very solid though, and I would vouch for 100% of everything he teaches within that book.
The judeo-christian bias will be more apparent if you were to look around here on the internet, or if you were to study things from the Golden Dawn or whatever. Many hermeticists also practice the judeo-christian religions, so it is no coincedence.

Don't get the wrong idea, hermetic magic is perfectly compatible with your hellenism, it's just not usually taught or emphasized that way, and if you stick to Bardon's material, you will avoid the bias for the most part. But if you ever run into things that you need help understanding or reconciling, let me know.

What do you specialize in, if you don't mind my asking?

Darkness, as my username suggests. Not just the literal darkness, but the spiritual force itself, which in turn, means the negative("infernal") polarity of the universe. You will better understand what I mean if you read Bardon's book. When you read it, it will be referred to as the Negative or Passive polarity in some sections, and in the "Light" section of the Theory chapter, it will be referred to as Darkness.
Title: Re: New to Hellenism
Post by: Toomanyorifices on May 02, 2018, 11:22:35 AM
I don't have a nightstand nor a proper bed. I sleep on the floor so that I don't ruin my back on the couch.  :wink:
I suppose I can keep everything underneath the small table that I have and bring them out during my practices.

I have noticed that gods tend to be more humbling; this may be coincidence, but when I first attempted my journey with Hermes I slacked off and didn't respect him as I should have and kept asking him for his service.
This then led to a series of unfortunate events that helped me become more humble.

I'll look up an online book of hermetic magic by Bardon though and let you know if I have any more questions.

Thanks again for all your help!  :biggrin:
Title: Re: New to Hellenism
Post by: Lumpino on May 02, 2018, 09:47:49 PM
I think, very good Theoretic book about gods is for example: Iamblichus on the Mysteries of the Egyptians, Chaldeans, and on. Is free on net in pdf. There is something. Next, there are Greek and Egyptian magical papyri. It is often about ..

The second thing, some mystics, mostly Eastern do long meditation about a name a god, or goddess who they want to see.
For exampe see Ramakrishna and his vision mother Kali. A long meditation about a name of a god or goddess with a wish they have. Good is meditation before sleep. Speeds up the result.
Title: Re: New to Hellenism
Post by: Oxide on May 07, 2018, 04:08:42 PM
So the problem now is that I can't have an altar considering that I live with my mom and she doesn't condone these sort of things.
A few ideas for alters are:
A small wooden box, about the size of a shoe box or cigar box. You could have your symbols on top of the box when practising, or alternatively place the box on its side, and have your symbols inside the box with the lid open like a door, so to speak, when practising.

You could also just have an alter cloth on its own on the floor, with your symbols place on it; or even embroidered, or stitched, on it.
A small skin of leather or parchment is an idea. You could roll it up after use.
A hinged board (like a chess board) would do.
A triptych would be another alternative.

It is the state of your mind that’s more important than the material objects used as a focus.

Do an ‘images’ web search for traveling altars for more ideas.

Hope this helps. All the best.