This November, 2017, is the first time I will be trying to observe every single ritual that I have added into my personalised Men Kata Theion, or Sacred Month.
The 8th day of the lunar month is dedicated to the Oceanic deities and beings. This is the traditional date as used in most peoples Hellenic calendars. This day is mostly in honour of Poseidon, God of the ocean, but can also be used to honour other oceanic deities. The Covenant of Hekate has chosen day 8 to honour Hekate Einalian alongside Poseidon. This is fairly newly established for the Covenant, the ritual for the day having been created last year. This month the 8th day falls on the evening of the 26th and into the day of the 27th.
Traditionally this day is sacred to Poseidon and Theseus, and some people add Asklepios to this list as well. The Covenant of Hekate chose day 8 for honouring Hekate in Her oceanic aspect because of Her many similarities to Poseidon. Besides both being oceanic deities, They are also linked to horses, bulls, fortune in fishing and boat/ship travel, safety on the water, and more.
Despite following the CoH lead of honouring Hekate Einalian on the 8th day I don’t follow the ritual format set out by CoH completely. I have my own ritual format that I follow for most rituals and I prefer to stick with that. I sometimes use the hymns as set out in the CoH ritual, sometimes I will use other Einalian and Poseidon hymns shared by CoH and others. But for this month and this post I have chosen to again try to create my own hymns. The reason for this is twofold, first as the first time I do the entire personalised sacred month I feel it is fitting to have as much of it personalised and original as possible. Second, originality is a good thing for blogging, no need to worry about copyrights and whatever else.
Poseidon is of course best known for being the God of the sea and ocean. Trident in hand, when we think of Him we might envision a huge strong man rising from the ocean, displacing the water all around. He is often shown surrounded by dolphins, and His retinue includes His oceanic wife Amphitrite and the Nereids, the sea nymphs. His image is one power and strength, turmoil and wildness – just like the ocean itself. Untameable, powerful, uncontrollable.
Hekate is not as well known for Her oceanic aspect as She is for Her Chthonic and Ouranic aspects – indeed I think it surprises some people that She even has the oceanic aspect. As an oceanic Goddess, She bears the epithet Einalian, as noted in the Orphic Hymn to Her. In the PGM She is referenced as Limenitikos, “the harbour Goddess”. According to Apollonius Rhodius, Hekate once lay with Phorkys, a sea God, and through this Skylla the sea monster was created. In Theogony it is noted multiple times that She holds rule in the ocean, and in line 440 it references both Hekate and Poseidon (earth shaker) and that those on the sea who pray to Them both will get a good catch of fish – but She can take that back if She wishes.
We begin with the usual Hellenic ritual forms, preparation, procession and cleansing with Khernips. This is followed by the lighting of a ritual fire or candle/s, and the tossing of barley if you happen to do that. Then we call on the Gods to attend the ritual. Our first hymn and libation are to Hestia, then we recite our hymn/s to the Oceanic Gods pouring libations to each of Them in turn. We end with a libation to Hestia.Offering ideas for this day are of course fish, anything that is oceanic – some like to make cookies in the shapes of fish or dolphins. Because of the similarities between Poseidon and Hekate, cookies shaped like horses or bulls would also be appropriate. Salt is also a good one to offer. For libations, water, salt water or actual sea water are great – but wine, or grape juice are also common, being generic Hellenic offerings. This time I actually used milk poured into water, reminiscent of white sea foam. For the incense I think pine is a good one, as the pine tree is sacred to Poseidon.
I call on the Gods of the Hellenes,
Deathless Ones, most glorious,
Chthonic, Oceanic, Ouranic,
Protogenoi, Titanic and Olympian.
Attend this rite and bear witness
Hail to Hestia, First and Last
Hearth Keeper, Guardian of the Home,
Accept this our first libation. Pour libation.
Glory to great Poseidon, king of the sea and oceans deep,
Untameable God of crashing waves, where dolphins leap,
Creator and tamer of horses, sire of the pegasus flying high,
Earth shaker, booming with deep voice to make the clouds cry,
Protector of sailors, fisherman and all who ply the wide sea,
When angered, ship breaker causing all sane men to flee,
I call to you great trident bearer, accept my small offering,
Grant me the secrets of your depths, powerful marine king. Pour libation.
I call Hekate Einalian, great goddess of sky, earth and sea,
Granting good luck to fishermen who deign to honour thee,
Granddaughter of Eurybia, great granddaughter of Pontus,
Mother of the sea monster Skylla, by sea God Phorkys,
Radiant haired, wild eyed, glorious abyssal oceanic queen,
Angry one, terrifying destroyer of man, dark and unseen,
Attend us most honoured, Goddess of the blue deep,
Accept our offering, grant us wisdom in this nights sleep.
Pour libation. Light incense. Say any prayers you have, and give any offerings.
Glory to the Theoi, I offer my thanks to you. Pour libation.
And to Hestia, first and last. Pour libation.
Drink whatever remains of the libation offering (if it is potable) and eat what is left of the offerings, it’s good to share a meal or drink with the Gods. Spend some time in after ritual practice; as the CoH suggest, water is often associated with emotions so it might be nice to work on anything that may bring emotional balance, so some emotional self-care. Do something you enjoy doing. Or, because of the depths involved in the ocean this could be a good time to try to plumb those depths, with divination or simple study and research.
My Oceanic Day
This particular day I have not been doing for very long – the ocean, and water in general, are not things I am very attracted to. But I had the feeling last month (October) that I should do this ritual, and so I gave it a try. It went better than I thought it would and I was able to adapt to it despite my distance from the ocean and having no watery areas readily available.
I found the ritual last month and now again this month to be somewhat relaxing. I think, the ocean is a place of turmoil and calm at the same time, perhaps because upon releasing pent up turmoil, stress, anger or whatever you feel calm afterwards. So I think this could be why this is relaxing for me, it’s like a wild ride (and yes it did have a wild feeling) followed by a release that was much needed.
I really enjoy this ritual, far more than I thought I would, and I am very glad I began doing this one.