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Thread: Honest Appreciation

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    Honest Appreciation

    I wouldn't say I am Reconstructionist Hellenistic or anything Greek related in that sense of labeling, but I notice the God and Goddess in Greek Name more often than not seem to come to me. I was just basting the turkey and suddenly felt a call to thank Hestia for the food I am going to eat and share with my family and friends. I saw a vlog about how the chemical structure of spider webbing can make human skin stronger when injected with a certain compound and suddenly had a moment with Arachne, and, although it's not Greek, during the same vlog I just had to give thanks to Ganesha as the Rider of the Rat realizing mice have been the go to subjects for science for as long as I can remember. So many other connections I can speak of, but I wanted to know if others have these experiences and how they react to them.

    Would you give a more formal offering to the Old Gods or is saying and feeling your thanks good enough for impromptu ritual enough (is the moment inspired through gnosis a valid form of theurgy)?

    Is it 'blasphemous' or disrespectful to these Divine Masks that I dance with so many other pantheons from other cultures while still holding very strong ties to a pantheon that I have no blood relation to?

    My Patron is Greek, and many of her sisters and few brothers I dance and speak with are as well. Is personal gnosis just an excuse to feel better about yourself or have you found validity in your simple and daily communications?

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    Sr. Member Louisvillian's Avatar
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    Re: Honest Appreciation

    They way I've always seen it--your personal spirituality can be whatever you want it to be; address the gods or whatever beings you address in whatever manner you feel is appropriate or sufficient. Religion is a bit more boxed-in, what with the labels and identities that people throw around.

    In my experience, the gods appreciate effort. Doing what you are able to squeeze in, and what you feel is right, is what generates the mutual sense of hospitality and friendship between a dedicant and the gods. I make very simple offerings, usually, but I take time to address each of the gods involved in my hearth and home.

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    Member R. Eugene Laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: Honest Appreciation

    Quote Originally Posted by THANK... View Post
    ...

    Would you give a more formal offering to the Old Gods or is saying and feeling your thanks good enough for impromptu ritual enough (is the moment inspired through gnosis a valid form of theurgy)?
    The simple answer to your parenthetical question is yes, that is the very nature of theurgy, in my opinion.

    There's an alternative perspective to the way you've framed your questions that's worth considering.

    The Neoplatonists, by and large, assumed that the gods represent a superior race within a hierarchical pattern. The passions that sway humans are ascribed to our animal nature and are therefore part of a lower manifestation, beneath the gods. From that point of view, the rites, rituals, and prayers we perform aren't really for their benefit; they aren't subject to the passions we know, and so they're not affected by the things that we do; they are said to be impassive, not needing or wanting anything we have to give. The practices we engage in, however, do serve an important function for us: to accustom, orient, or elevate ourselves to some degree, that we might better grasp and more fully experience their divine light.

    In theory, because they are of a higher order, they are of a benevolent nature and their divine light naturally shines down upon us, so to speak. And we naturally benefit from that. The better we receive it, the more refined we become. Within that overall framework, I would interpret the spontaneous and sincere gratitude you're describing as evidence of that divine light reaching you, significantly. Your instinct to bask in it, or enhance it if you can is well-placed. However you pursue that instinct, whether wholly internally or by externalized acts, your effort can be expected to continue to refine your capacity to experience that divinity.

    Quote Originally Posted by THANK... View Post
    Is it 'blasphemous' or disrespectful to these Divine Masks that I dance with so many other pantheons from other cultures while still holding very strong ties to a pantheon that I have no blood relation to?
    That is at least one advantage to the impassive gods conception. You can assume that the gods are above being offended by anything that you do. I think it wise, however, to be sensitive to your own feelings. That is, if you're feeling guilty in this context, that's probably not best interpreted as a reflection of the divine light, but rather may relate to some of your own personal barriers to receiving it. The remedy is simple enough though, strive to understand why you feel guilty, and forego behaviors that make you feel that way while you sort it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by THANK... View Post
    My Patron is Greek, and many of her sisters and few brothers I dance and speak with are as well. Is personal gnosis just an excuse to feel better about yourself or have you found validity in your simple and daily communications?
    While I'm nothing like a strict Neoplatonist, I do think we enact rites, rituals, and prayers primarily for ourselves and our own personal betterment, but I also strongly believe that by doing so, we naturally make the whole world a better place, and in that way we are serving the benevolent gods, and serving them well whether they appreciate it or not.

    As signs of experiencing divinity go, I would put awe at the top of the list, but gratitude comes in at a very close second.

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