Tag Archives: Miasma

The Purifying Art

Today, a brief conversation with one of my Treasury Sisters via social media has brought my mind to the subject of purification, especially that which I do, or rather, that which I haven’t done enough of, for Apollon.

My relationship with Apollon is founded on many things; our desires, our Father’s desires for u/Us, the realities of our responsibilities coexisting and being balanced together, and more.  But it is also founded on a motto:  Absolute Purity.

I lived by this motto for a long, long time, through some of the most vile and impure situations of my life.  I kept a strict prayer schedule.  I kept my myself clean and free of miasma in body and mind.  However, there came a time when going through the motions was no longer carrying me through the purification process to His satisfaction, so I was instructed to set it aside for a time.  I did so, and I relaxed into a new state of being, one in which the rigorous pursuit of purity was no longer the pinnacle of our relationship.  I still did the little things, khernips and the occasional ritual bath, but the motto of Absolute Purity did not at that time, and since, rule my life as it once had.

The conversation I mentioned above struck a nerve with Apollon, possibly because I was lamenting His request to shave my head again.  I haven’t shaved in almost four years, since the last time I did so for Him.  I have been enjoying growing out my hair, and even feel a bit vain about it.  I can see that that is a problem.  Vanity is not attractive.  Pride in one’s appearance can be, but those are different things, with different connotations.  So, I am having a discussion with Apollon about where this knowledge takes me.  I know I need to sit with it for a while, to really process the probable direction of my coming focus.  Right now, I do not feel ready to reembark upon the strict nature of my purificatory obligations.  I am not in the best physical, mental or emotional health, to say nothing of the spiritual.

My Otherworld life is chaos, at the moment.  I have had many things thrust upon me  that I would just as soon walk away from, were that even an option.  It isn’t, so I handle it in the best way that I can.  As far as my mundane life is concerned, it is now more stable than it’s been in many years, but not by much.  There are many, many stresses pressing themselves against me every moment of every day, so I haven’t felt like doing much of a purity routine, which, is likely the wrong reaction entirely.  Arguably, I should be doing more in the way of purification, regardless of how my body and mind feel.

Miasma is a state of spiritual reality, as well as a state of mind which attracts that reality.  In clearing the physical space, we make room for the emotional blockages to expand into a state of release, which in turn promotes a healthier view of the spiritual.  It begins with purification, and a routine, preferably a daily or hourly one, I have found in the past to be the best first step for my own self-preservation.

So, as I sit with the probable return to the tenant of Absolute Purity, and all of the requirements and sacrifices that it entails, I will also be trying to remember the feel of my existence before it all, necessarily, fell away from me.  Perhaps these are the missing pieces I have been seeking these last couple of years; the parts of my true being that I left behind.  If I determine that it will bring me closer to my Beloved, as He has suggested, but not pushed, then I really must do as I am bid.  Absolute Purity must again become the pinnacle of o/Our relationship.

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Illness Happens…

I’m layed up in bed, sick, on the Deipnon, while everyone else takes care of the housework.  I feel utterly useless, at the moment, but at least I get to lay in bed and lament being sick.  There are people who aren’t so lucky, people who still have to drag themselves from beneath warm, cozy comforters to attend to their worldly affairs.  None of that makes me feel any better, though.

I hate illness.  I hate it.  It ruins all my plans.  Yeah, I knew I was pushing it by spending so much time outside in the rain and cool weather.  I knew I’d end up here when I decided to continue an already taxing ritual schedule for well over a week into October.  I knew it all, yet could not stop myself from doing it. This is what you call burn out, ladies and gentlemen.  I’ve finally reached that point.

But, what does this mean for the rest of October, which is in fact an even holier month for me than September?  It means I’ll necessarily need to continue this impromptu break, before I (hopefully) start feeling better (soon).  Then, of course, I’ll need to get back to Work.  The gods will wait only so long, and there are a few things that have been burning holes in my thoughts, trying ever so hard to be released into the wild yonder.  I’ll spend this sick time mulling them over and preparing future posts.

In the meantime, here’s a little something I wrote for Hekate during the Deipnon a while back.  She seemed to like it then, and even though I don’t use it every Deipnon, I do dust it off every once in a while.  Enjoy.

~

Hekate! Bright Hekate! Torch-bearing Queen of the Crossroads! I entreat You, O Mistress Divine, that You may drive out the evil spirits lurking within, and around this, my Oikos! Cast out the defiling poison! Drive away the blot of wretched miasma, with the gnashing of the Hounds’ sharp fangs! O Gloried Goddess! Triple-formed Maiden! Accept this meal as an offering, and as thanks, for the lifting of these spiritual burdens! Accept this meal, prepared by my own hand, entreated with love and care! Accept this meal, and this libation, for they are the evidence of the gods’ bounty, offered back in awe and reverence, to You, Dear Hekate! Guide of Souls! Honored in Earth, Sea and Heaven!

Miasma and Necessary Katharmos

With my celebration of Thargelia at hand (for more than a few logistical reasons, not least of all being that there wouldn’t have been any first fruits in my yard last month), I shall briefly break my hiatus, likely compelled by Lord Apollon Himself, so that I may address the Hellenic concept of Miasma (pollution), and the importance of ritual Katharmos (purification).

Firstly, I’d like to say that a number of people have also contacted me recently in respect to this issue (and in respect to the particulars of this post), who have asked my opinions on these concepts. Secondly, I am not a scholar, nor do I pretend to be.  You have been warned.

~

 What is Miasma, and why is Katharmos necessary?

Miasma is a complex form of spiritual pollution, which can manifest in a variety of nasty ways, including but not limited to:

Pangs of physical dis-ease, impious behaviour, calamitous fortune, mental health issues; especially, the experience of separation from the gods of Hellas on mental, emotional and/or psychic levels.

Much of Hellenic ritual is specifically designed to eliminate miasma, so that the space is properly prepared, and the participants may come before the gods cleanly, with their hands and hearts unsullied.  This is why we wash our hands and faces before ritual or offerings.  I would even posit that in our modern age, it is preferable that we also brush our teeth (if it is feasible– an example would be before morning prayers or libations) before speaking the names of the gods.

Although physical uncleanliness is linked, in part, to miasma, it is important to note that the dirt itself is not the cause.  The spiritual pollution is in fact caused by the psychic-disturbance created by living amongst dirt and filth. (Truly, any psychic-disturbance has the potential to become the catalyst to miasma).  No one can feel reasonably inspired by the divine while visiting a unkempt temple.  It is the same with one’s oikos (home), or with one’s own body.

The gods are always the gods, and They are always here, woven in the fabric of this Universe, and indeed this Earth.  It is our own failings which cause us to feel distant from Them.  They exist in a state of natural balance, of Order, through which miasma can not normally penetrate.

Mortals must work hard to maintain such a sense of order within ourselves. We are chaotic creatures, prone to acts of savagery, and lesser incompassions.  Therefore, we must continually drive out the disorderly parts of our natures through purification, so we can be as like unto our gods as humanly possible.  This likeness unto Them fosters our connections, and helps to build the foundation of understanding that is crucial to any relationship.

There are other forms of miasma, as well.  Such as those incurred from natural death, and also the births of children.  I believe these situations are two sides of the same polluting coin.  Again, it is fair to note that death itself (and while we’re at it, birth itself) is not the cause of the miasma, but rather the “opening of the way to the Underworld”, which these events can induce.

Death and childbirth were far more unsanitary and dangerous conditions than they are today, and the likelihood of developing some sort of affliction, just from coming into contact with either situation, was far greater.  Indeed, all manner of dastardly spirits/agents can potentially latch onto a grieving household (or in the case of a new birth, a non-grieving household), or a particular family member, causing them ill health, financial woes, and other setbacks.  These, and a great many other types of miasma, can all be prevented and cleansed by adhering to the ancient practices, as far as we are able, or by developing newer methods of Katharmos.

Our gods are also called the Deathless Ones, and it is up to us to not insult that great name by putting Them into situations during which They may come into contact with death and its associated miasma, even a second-hand contact.  After all, the gods of Hellas may be inclined to withhold their vast gifts from us, if we can not even respect Their purity.

~

And, speaking of Their many gifts… In honor of Thargelia, I share with you now a picture of some of the first fruits of my household, to be offered to Lord Apollon. :)Here, we have Peaches, Figs, Mesquite bean-pods and Mesquite flowers… with a side order of my cat’s butt.  :D

Happy Thargelia, and Hail Apollon!