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Eleusinian Mysteries rite completed

I just completed my autumn equinox high day rite in honor of the Eleusinian Mysteries.  I tried some new practices, and the omen was quite fortuitous.

As always I did not enact the mysteries per se, as I think that is no longer an option for us today, the ancient secrets (aporrheton) being lost.  Rather, I did a rite in honor of the Eleusinian Mysteries, asking for mysteries to be revealed anew in due time.

This rite continued and fulfilled the tension began last summer solstice at the Skira, when Kore descended into the underworld.  In that rite, beside the image of Demeter was an empty picture frame representing the missing Kore.  In today's rite, the same set up obtained until the climax when Kore was called back to her mother's arms.  Then I took out her hidden image and replaced it in the picture frame beside Demeter.

Another continuation from the Skira was a special, personal item: a pendant.  Last Skira I lost the pentacle pendant that I had worn since the earliest of my pagan days.  It struck me that it disappeared about the same time as Kore.  So today I embarked on a new practice: with the blessing of Persephone, I donned a new pendant, which would then be sacrificed to her the following Skira.  I plan to do this each year in honor of Kore.

As I walked to the ritual site this morning, I noticed many leafy shrub-like branches lying around, cut down by a recent mowing.  These I gathered into a bundle, and this became my bakchoi bundle (traditionally myrtle boughs, but we'll let that be!), as carried by those in the procession from Athens to Eleusis.  I approached the site shouting the ancient cry Iakchos! Iakchos!

The rite was accompanied by an uncomfortable feeling of emptiness.  Despite the connection I felt yesterday at the beach (see the previous post), this morning I woke to a terrible feeling.  During the rite I consciously noted feeling very little toward the gods.  In fact, it was almost a feeling of stark atheism (almost!).  I had had trouble getting to sleep last night and was plagued with quarrelsome thoughts about my family all night.  No doubt this contributed to the feeling during the rite.  As I began the rite, invoked the Gatekeeper Hermes, opened the Gates, gave my sacrifices, and took the omen, still I felt nothing.  It was not till I donned the new pendant that a rush of emotion came over me.  It's funny how the dynamics of feeling work in my rites.  When it hits is almost an omen in itself.

The (formal) omen, asking what blessings were offered in return for my sacrifice, was a clear expression of unambiguous blessing--the 9 of Cups: Fortune.  Then I tried something new by drawing a second card, asking what need Demeter and Kore had of me in the months to come.  The omen for this question was the 8 of Wands: Swiftness.  It's not clear yet to me how this Swiftness must be applied, but I hope it will be revealed at the appropriate time.

I concluded the rite in the traditional way, with a cry to sky and earth of Hye! Kye! (Rain! Conceive!).

Last, I made my now standard donation to Heifer International--a pig, in recognition of the piglets that each initiate had to offer at the start of the mysteries.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 21st, 2008 03:37 am (UTC)
For some reason, the 8 of Fire always ends up signifying speed, swiftness, and arrival... it's like a Hermes card whenever I encounter it.
Sep. 21st, 2008 09:57 am (UTC)
Hmm... That rings some bells.

Thank you.
Sep. 21st, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC)
Not a problem. I am honored to share what little bits of knowledge I can donate in the names of the Gods.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )