Archive for Contemporary Paganism

Until The Light Takes Us: Samhain Blessings

Posted in Occultism, Paganism, The Path of Flames with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2020 by Sypheara

A lot has happened in a year… if 2019 was the zenith, 2020 has certainly been the nadir. I feel that many of us feel that way – having dealt with (and continue to deal with) the fallout the pandemic has brought to our personal, professional, and spiritual lives.

So this year, Samhain is a difficult one to celebrate. How do we dig deep and perform our devotionals in a year such as this? It is simply because we must. Regardless, the wheel of the world turns, and the only route forward is upwards and onwards. This is not something that is easy for me to say, for the year has cost me dearly.

I can now state publicly that my father died around two weeks ago, which came as a difficult shock to say the least. Hecate heard my prayers, and a situation that could have been long and drawn out was thankfully, and mercifully, brought to a swift close.

For the temple it has been a rollercoaster as well. This year marked the temples first full Black Degree initiate, as well some of the most powerful rites performed (in regards to the dragons) and in regards gnosis granted from such. However, the pandemic slowed down construction work on finalising the interior space and altars, and has created some distance between me and the initiate (albeit, they are still involved with the Temple and myself, in a different capacity).

That said, Samhains Eve has blown me away. The Facebook group for the current carried out a powerful devotional rite, and I’ve been really touched and impressed by how people have taken to it – with very physical results for many of the rites. We have also had many long term neophytes finally initiate. To all of these people I extend a warm hand of welcome, I hope Hecate takes you in hand and delivers you to where you need to go on this path and current. You do not walk alone.

I have also gone ahead and offered another devotee the chance to initiate at the Stellar Temple.. something I hope he is able to pursue in the future. Seeing beyond this turning inward, I can see an explosion of growth. The future for the current and stellar way is bright – I can see it in the loving hearts of its devotees, in the stillness of night.

Whilst I decided to not share the full devotional rite, as I want to keep it specifically for those actively involved in the current who could get direct feedback, I wanted to tonight share the devotional prayers we utilised for our group working with the wider community. I hope they are a blessing in dark times…. with adaptation they could be used in any Sabbat or Esbat working, but I feel they are particularly powerful at this time of death and renewal.  A short post but one I wanted to very much make.

Blessed be to all on this, our most hallowed of nights. Let our minds turn to the Old Gods and our Dearly Departed, as we celebrate and journey to the Sabbat Mount…

Samhain, Photography / Artist unknown.

First Prayer of Devotion – Hecate

‘Hecate, Hecate, Hecate,

I call to you in the Stillness of Night,

On Hallowed Samhains Night,

With steadfast mind and committed heart;

‘Hecate, Hecate, Hecate,

Hear my prayer,

O Mighty Queen of Deepest Hell!,

O Fertile Mother of the Green Earth!,

O Beautiful Empress of Highest Heaven!

Source of of All Elven Blood,

She who holds the Nine Universes in her Hands,

And who with a whisper

Can even command Atlantis to kneel,

Hecate, Hecate, Hecate,

Accept my love,

As I give my thanks and praise to you,

O Mighty Imperishable One,

I request of thee,

Take my hand,

Forever be by my side,

Mother and Lover Divine,

By the Power of your Holy Words

Askion, Kataskion, Lix, Tetrax, Damnameneus, Aisia

So it will be.’

 

Second Prayer of Devotion – Lucifer

‘Lucifer, Lucifer, Lucifer,

I call to you in the Silence of Night,

On Hallowed Samhains Eve,

With steadfast and committed heart,

Lucifer Lucifer Lucifer,

Hear my Prayer,

Lord of the Necromantic Black Sun,

Ruler of the Life Giving White Sun,

Master of the Rubric Gem of All Creation,

Laughing God Supreme,

Lord of Death, Life and Illumination,

Lucifer, Lucifer, Lucifer,

Accept my love,

As I give my thanks and praise to you,

O Laughing God Supreme,

All Glory to the Peacock of Paradise,

Brilliant One,

I request of thee,

Soothe my Pains,

Empower me with thy Essence,

And forever illuminate my Path,

Father and Lover Divine,

By the Power of your Holy Words,

Lu-Thay-Ce-El, Ash-Teh-Ray, Lucifer’

 

Third Prayer of Devotion – Belial

‘Belial, Belial, Belial,

I call to you in the Soundlessness of Night,

On Hallowed Samhains Night,

With steadfast and committed heart,

Belial Belial Belial,

Hear my Prayer,

O Keeper of the Flesh of the Earth,

Ruler of the 72 Spirits of Goetic Might,

Lord of the Devils Throne,

Scorpion God Supreme!

He whose words Create and Destroy

Whole Worlds of Existence.

Belial, Belial, Belial,

Accept my love,

As I give my thanks and praise to you,

Pathfinder of the Ways of Amenta,

Lord of Compassion and Malice,

Of Blessed Beast and Field,

Blood and Bone,

I request of thee,

Guide and Protect Me,

Arm and Armour me in your Sacred Flesh,

Preparing me for the road ahead,

By the Power of your Holy Words,

Vel-Hayla-Anti-Ock-Serash-Seh-Haylish-Belial’

 

Fourth Prayer of Devotion – Sepheranz

‘Sepheranz, Sepheranz, Sepheranz,

I call to you in the Solitude of Night,

On Hallowed Samhains Night,

With steadfast and committed heart,

Sepheranz, Sepheranz, Sepheranz,

Hear my Prayer,

O Apocalyptic Goddess Supreme,

Ruler of Atlantis,

She who brings Kings to their Knees,

She whose Word lays Nations low,

She who wipes away All Corruption without Mercy,

Sepheranz, Sepheranz, Sepheranz,

Temptress and Seductress,

Accept my love,

As I give my thanks and Praise to you,

Oh Beautiful Orb Weaver Goddess,

Who spins the Web of New and Old Creation,

I request of thee,

In the Name of Hecate First Goddess,

Cut away all that is unneeded,

Freeing me to do what is needed,

What is right,

On this Path of Ascension and Devotion,

As I whisper your name,

Sepheranz.’

 

Hecate, Queen of Hell, Mark Alan Smith

Devotional Sealing Prayer of The Trident

‘Here I kneel (stand),

On Hallowed Samhains Night,

Before and Embraced by the Power of the Trident

At the centre of All Worlds,

Where All Begins,

Where All Ends,

Where even a Whisper changes Fate itself,

Here Within the Cauldron of the Dark Goddess

I am Reborn

All Weariness is cast from my Body,

All Doubt is cast from my mind,

All Weakness is cast from my soul,

In Love and Honour,

Here my Sacred Promise, O Mother,

For I am a Child of Fiery Hell,

For I am a ChiId of Bountiful Earth,

For I am a Child of Starry Heaven,

Your child goes forward Now,

Unafraid,

In Love,

In Honour,

In Devotion,

I will walk your Path to its completion,

Beyond the Gates of Death itself,

O Green Eyed Queen of Hell’

~S~

 

 

Recommended Reading: Modern Whitewashing

Posted in Other, Paganism, Traditional Witchcraft with tags , , , , , on November 12, 2013 by Sypheara

The watering down, the ‘cleansing’ from Modern Paganism of it’s more ‘unsavory’qualities  has always bothered me. When I began my path, it was an arduous journey to find information which seemed concrete, amidst the apologetic titles which were aimed at ‘white witches’.

These information sources never seemed to relate to my personal path at all – nothing I read in them, when compared to the dreamspaces I had traveled to and the spirits I had talked to seemed to ‘fit’ in any sense. Their  portrayal of a nature or reality without its savage, dark and cruel side seemed to me to be more than simply misrepresentation.  A lie perhaps,  meant to make the content more palatable to sell more books. I feel that these false divisions, which exist purely to satisfy ourselves and our egos, do not help a modern witchcraft in any form. Denying any side(‘light’/’dark’, ‘good’/’evil’ or life and death) is simply self limitation and promotes a dangerous withholding and disarming orthodoxy.

Thankfully, it seems many others share this viewpoint, especially with publications such as Apocalyptic Witchcraft finally being produced. I was recently linked a blog post by a good friend of mine which goes into this on a much deeper level, and I share many sentiments with the person who posted it.

Despite being overly busy, I thought it was far too good to not share.  As such I will post it as it is and let it speak for itself.

http://www.blyssfulwitch.com/the-whitewashing-of-witchery-in-american-neo-paganism-the-taming-of-the-witch/

I hope you all enjoy it, discussion welcomed as always.

~S~

Syncreticism: When is it useful, when is it hurtful?

Posted in Occultism, Paganism with tags , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2013 by Sypheara

So I’ve been mulling over the next topic to bring up.. and this important one popped into my mind. As someone who worked primarily as an eclectic in some sense until relatively recently, it was always something that I continually took to be a subject of high importance as I approached my workings.

Syncreticism is best and most quickly described as the ‘Reconciliation or fusion of differing systems of belief, … , especially when success is partial or the result is heterogeneous.’. This  means in the terms of Paganism and Occultism the combining of different spiritual beliefs, and often actual practices, of  various traditions at the same time into a new form.

Commonly, these traditions are originally discrete practices or currents,  unconnected in any manner, separated often geologically, culturally and temporally, but slowly became incorporated into each other over time. An example of these types of hybrid beliefs which can grow from the merging of two forms of belief are possibly best found in the New World. Here, a myriad of  religions exist which arose from the combination of multiple belief systems. An easy case to point to would be something like Santería, which is the result of a  mixture of Yoruba, Native American and Catholic belief systems.

In modern Pagan and Occult circles, it can be often seen that there are high degrees of syncreticism, no doubt as the result of the easy access  to information caused by the coming of age of the internet. Whilst some of this works, and works well, other examples (which I won’t point out as causing offence isn’t the sake of the blog..) clearly does not, and in my opinion causes more harm than good.

So where do we draw the line? Whats helpful, and whats hurtful? Unfortunately, drawing that line is  on a very case by case basis.

A low level syncretic approach I would argue is vital. The search for analogues of your own practices and beliefs in other, differing currents allows for an insight that would otherwise be lost. Looking at other currents allows for each practitioner to potentially see where it intersects with his or her own teachings, which in turn allows for the revelation of new ideas and relations which may have, in a broad sense, have an enriching effect on their own beliefs and practices.

In this way, the philosophical insights from those other currents can be incorporated into ones own and potentially allow for its expansion and growth by challenging, confirming, or placing a different light on ones own beliefs.

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As soon as we begin leaving this territory however, things become much murkier and difficult to assess. When it come
s down to taking different rituals and mythological/theological ideas from different currents and combining them into a new form that utilise this ‘home brew’ , I would argue there is a very large possibility of utter disaster if it is not thought through with the most utmost care.

Even very ‘similar’ currents on the exoteric level can be significantly different on the esoteric level, causing  substantial problems in the long run. In the best case where two mostly incompatible currents come together, one element becomes dominated by the other, and becomes passive, having little effect in enriching the original tradition.  In the worst case however, the new combination just serves to show extreme disrespect to the currents being ‘forced’ together, and will either be entirely ineffectual or even harmful to the practitioner/practitioners who utilise it. The last is most likely to come from attempting to combine two very disparate belief systems.

An example of this to make the point clear is that, as someone who works with Hecate I would never use the name of Kali or Inanna for example within my tradition. Although connections between them exist, and one could even make a convincing argument that they are faces of potentially the same force, it would be wrong to use them within a ritual context as each face comes also with its own individual signature which marks it as its OWN current. This signature is influenced by the culture, and time period, it was originally conceived within and will undoubtedly come with additional influences which do not allow for them to be combined within the same working or potentially even the same framework.

The exception, I would say, is if the practitioner of a current was told otherwise through direct spirit work, with his or her Gods  or equivalent. Such instruction, if from a genuine source, should not be resisted as multiple, new, powerful ideas, concepts and paths have arisen from this process.

In conclusion, I do believe that overall Syncreticism is a highly important part in what makes Modern Paganism and Occultism feel alive and dynamic. It has definitively enriched my own practice, which will be seen throughout my further blog posts. However it is something that must be approached very carefully, with proper thought given to the above considerations without haste, recklessness, and disrespect to the traditions involved.