You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘PIE’ tag.
The last few days have been rather busy, and not just in the mundane aspect of my life. I have been meeting with other Pagans in the community, from very unexpected places, and I have been making offers to and dealing with certain spirits very often over the last 3-5 days. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what I should mention, if any of it. I’m still not sure.
There is a part of me that still dwells in the old practice of, “To know, to do, to keep silent.” It’s a common practice in Ceremonial Magic and certain aspects of Wicca, and it’s how I was trained; it is something I fight against every time I post something on this journal. Do I know what to speak of, and what to remain silent on? Why should I not speak upon it? To those who work Ceremonial Magic, yes, I know the answer to that last question, but I work much more from the religious end than the magical end of things. More importantly, the less people speak of these things, the less those who might otherwise be called to such work will even know of its existence; in many ways, this leads directly to the cultural appropriation of whatever is available and cobbling it together from mush, which does not often go well, in my experience. If it’s all you’ve got, though, it’s what you do, if you’re being true to the call.
It’s been on my mind a lot lately because it’s been the primary topic of conversation: “doing your own thing,” and finding out there’s a Pagan culture that either does it similarly or does it better. One example has been the practices in Asatru and Germanic reconstructions, where the older ways are tried and end up showing themselves more powerful ritually and religiously than the modern ways of doing the same thing. Another example is the experience of animism, and learning of cultures that once practiced that animism in a similar vein that one has experienced in personal gnosis. Peer-corroborated gnosis has also been a major aspect of these discussions, and where lore and peer-corroborated gnosis have coincided, and where they’ve clashed.
Mostly writing all this down because the topics are great for future posts, though I would like to check with the other participants of these discussions before I go full-bore into them.
Tonight, however, I performed my third offering ritual to the Deiwos. I went with one change at a time: this change was calling Dyeus Pter before the libations offering. The change seemed satisfactory, and so I shall keep it. Good to know.
So, today’s readings and preparations were all about sacred space: not just the altar, but the entire ritual space. There is a world of difference in the way Deep Ancestors recommends sacred space be created and my own rituals; while one can see the ADF influence in the reconstruction, there are other aspects that make the recommended ritual more like Wiccan practice, or favor historical accuracy to functional practicality.
One of the primary aspects of the sacred space ritual is the idea that sacred space is not permanent. I get that the Proto-Indo-Europeans were a semi-nomadic society, and that temples eventually developed as they continued to roam and settle. This, of course, means that sacred space must be created when a ritual needs to be performed. However, PIE rituals are also apparently supposed to be done under an open sky; while I prefer doing outdoor rituals, I can think of at least a few times when such rites are neither practical nor preferable. This coming Yule ritual, and the plans already made for it, are one example. The health of small children who might be brought to rite are another.
This is not to say we cannot perform the rite, even as written, though traditionally, there has only been the one officiant, which is the second issue. Serith’s rites have a Reks, a Gheuter, a Xadbhertor, a Ner, and a Fire Tender, five separate duties, and some of which are gender-specific. Already, due to my own practice and the practice of my worship group, there’s going to be changes needed to that. While the rite can be performed, those performing will probably need to double- or triple-up on jobs. It might be preferable to slightly alter the wording, as well.
I do love how the ritual tries to include as many people as possible. It’s very much about community, which is part of building sacred space. Sacred space is as much about the community worshiping as it is about the Gods and Spirits being venerated; that is part of the necessary equitable exchange. This is worth a little messing with the traditions so far performed in the household, and why I am willing to give the changes a try. I am especially willing after a second run-through of the basic offering rite, and seeing how it worked.
I will be separating the Wikpotes’ offerings from the altar, which is something different than done before. That is definitely becoming a part of the ritual, regardless of other changes to the ritual text I may make for practicality. This seems to be a major aspect of PIE practice: the dead are separated from the living, even in ritual, and offerings to the Gods of the Dead are not shared. This becomes very important in properly adhering to culture.
On the positive end, I have most everything I need, minus the clarified butter, the bread sacrifice, and an axe. I may make do with a knife for the first couple of rituals, but eventually, an axe or similar implement will be needed. For now, I will need one knife to mark out ritual space, and one for the cutting of the bread/sacrifice.
These three words interest me. They feel final and strong. Just a thought. They represent, “Well-built, well-supported,” and “well-established.” They should feel strong. However, for me, it is something deeper than just the meaning.
Final note for tonight, the processional. A procession into the ritual space will likely be unnecessary, but at the same time, elements of the procession need to be included, specifically, the claiming of the “cattle.” In my mind, this also represents the wealth of the wiks, their bounty and their power. I will be altering things so that such can be done as a personal rite before the ritual begins, on behalf of the wiks.
For reference, this is the ritual from Ceisiwr Serith’s website, which is very similar to the one found in the book.
They are known as “Man” and “Twin.” They are the first priest and first sacrifice. They represent the beginning and end of all things, starting with themselves, and yet they are as eternal as the Gods. They are Mannus and Yemos.
Yet, of the two, Yemos (or Yama) is more often spoken of. In Proto-Indo-European myth, it is his body which constitutes the Earth and the Sky and encompasses all physical forms. Now Gods, venerated among the Deiwos, these entities were the original two before all humankind. Life continued endlessly for them until Yemos, in his wisdom, had his brother Mannus kill him, and thus create death. Yemos now rules the land of the dead and acts as a psychopomp from the land of the living to his home.
Purification: my least favorite topic. As a Pagan, I can understand the need for ritual purification, and the ideas surrounding it. I used to study Ceremonial Magick, and purification was a primary way for the mind to set aside the mundane and continue in the sacred world. In Paganism, purification is a necessity to come before the purity of divinity. It is the practice of removing the energy sticking to you that is antithetical to the performance of and participation in the coming rite. It is separating yourself not only from the mundane, but also from negative thoughts and emotions, such as hatred, anger, suspicion, fear, and worry, which do much to hinder most ritual.
As an animist, however, I’ve always seen purification as a futile exercise. The spirits are always around us. They live here, too. They already know you delve in the muck and mud to earn your daily bread, they already know that you travel through the mire to get to the ritual space, and if they are paying attention, they’re already aware of whom you have helped, whom you’ve wronged, whom you’ve had sex with, whom you have upset. If the Gods and Spirits want your attention, they tend to make themselves known, whether you’re “pure” or not. As much as I understand the purpose of purification, there’s always that part of me that rebels against the need to do so.
It’s been said before, it will be said again. The Proto-Indo-European Religion is cobbled together from the similarities between descendant religions and languages. From my point of gnosis, the Deiwos are real, and just as present as Thor or Zeus, but that does not change the fact that the beliefs and practices of PIE religion are a “best guess” based on what information we have currently. Some things have been lost. Some things have been altered to fit the sensibilities, morals, and laws of the time. It is possible that some things are along the same vein as 3000 years ago, but because it’s the only surviving example among all of the cultures we have to pull from, it has been overlooked or ignored.
If you know anything about me, you know that while I support reconstruction of pre-Christian religions, such as Celtic Reconstruction, Heathenry, Hellenic Reconstruction, and yes, even PIE Reconstruction, I don’t participate in them. There are a few reasons for this. The first and simplest reason is that this is not that time period. I find it fallacious that people assume they can reconstruct a religion from a thousand or more years ago and still have it be completely relevant to the modern era. Now, I’m not just talking ritual and pantheon reconstruction, I’m also talking about beliefs and practices, which sometimes includes prejudices and problems which do not match modern sensibilities. I’ve talked about ergi before, and how this aspect of Germanic society has impacted American society, but this is only one of many problems with trying to reconstruct an ancient religion in a modern society. What do you keep in? What do you leave out? What do you push for in the legal system, and what makes sense to leave behind?
I’m just going to jump right in. This particular post is both a reminder to me of making sure I understand these concepts before continuing, and an explanation for anyone who is reading the blog.
I began this blog to keep a journal of my musings as a member of a Neopagan religion, as a Celtoi-Norse Polytheist and Animist. The phrase has always been misleading. Sometimes I call myself a Heathen. Sometimes I call myself Vanatru. Sometimes I call myself a Neopagan Animist. All of these are true, and all of these are somewhat misleading. I am not just a Heathen, I am also Druidic. I am not just Vanatru, I am Celtoi-Norse. I am not just Celtoi-Norse, I believe in multiple pantheons, each their own set of spirits, each with their own personalities, desires, and agendas. I have worked with Apollo, with Zeus, with Veles, with Thor, with Nit, with Wepwawet, with Djehuti. I have worked with other Pagans who worked with Kuan Yin, Tsukuyomi, and Astarte. While I have, up to this point, considered myself primarily a Northern Germanic practitioner with Celtic leanings, I have done things and helped out in ways that I could probably be considered a member of any of a number of religions within the Pagan umbrella, as well as Gnosticism.
I’m not good with keeping a journal, and a year’s hiatus from a blog that was supposed to chronicle my on-going journey shows that flaw in my practice. I love to write, but some days, the words to put to pen seem to escape me. Like anyone, I have work and projects that attract and even demand my attention. So allow me to start by stating that while the changes chronicled in this post may seem sudden, they are the product of a year of confusion, research, practice, and change.