loverofthemuses:

Hi!  Thank you for your question.  I do mean that.  Thank you for asking questions and seeking out answers.  

I’m going to be honest and give you my views on this subject.  To me summoning gods or asking for their attention or seeking their assistance is incredibly serious.  I will never agree with it being done for entertainment or in an attempt to harness their power for whatever ends.  In my opinion, that sort of thinking is blatantly disrespectful, and I will never condone it.  

You see, Persephone is a Greek goddess and worshiping her is part of the Hellenism religion.  Religion is serious, it is an intricate component of a person’s personality and view of the world.  It’s nothing to disrespect or trivialize.  If there are rules, which are part of the religion, it’s important to note and follow them.

When you attempt to contact her or worship her, you are making yourself part of the religion, and it seems, from your question that you know almost nothing about it.  

So stop!  Primer time!  

I’ve written about this before here:  http://loverofthemuses.tumblr.com/post/116557107482/hellenic-polytheism but I’m going to recap it now for your convenience.    

There are tenants, or rules if you like to follow.  Yes, it’s a lot but they are not so hard to follow.  If you wish to do something as serious as contact a goddess it pays to know these well.  

1. Eusebeia or Piety

Piety is a fundamental part of Hard Hellenic Polytheism.  Hard polytheism means that I view the gods as individuals, not as archetypes or fragments of one God or our equals or anything that.   They are gods, and you must realize they are enormous beyond our comprehension or understanding.    They deserve actions appropriate to who they are.  

2. Reciprocity

In human terms, Reciprocity is the idea that others will treat you the way you treat them.  When it comes to the gods, it means whenever you approach them for anything, even if it’s just for attention like you seem to want, you have to give to them first.   You appear to have skipped this step, and that just won’t do. 

You see, when you attempt to contact a god, you are, in fact, performing a ritual.  You are trying to communicate with an entity Christianity would happily classify as a demon.  It’s serious business.  You need to show how serious your intent is by giving in the form of an offering or sacrifice.  It helps if it’s to their liking because it shows you are taking them into account.  For example, I give Persephone wine, pomegranate seeds when they are in season or pomegranate juice when they are not and fresh flowers.

I like to be extravagant because I can afford to be.  You give what you can, but you don’t need to break the bank.  The offering, from the gods point of view, is the emotion involved in the giving.  They ‘feed’ off of the resonance of worship and praise and how you feel about the sacrifice.  So don’t be cheap and just pour some water because that would be obvious.  A sacrifice shouldn’t be easy to give, or it wouldn’t be a sacrifice.  

There are other ways to sacrifice other than placing an item on a shrine or pour out a libation onto the ground.  When Persephone finally did talk to me after months of worshipping her, it was to tell me to plant flowers in the ground.  So I started a garden for her, a grapevine for Dionysos and a rose bush for Aphrodite.  

3. Xenia or Hospitality

There are two types of hospitality. One is the hospitality responsibility of a host towards a guest and the other is of a guest towards a host.  From here, I get my view of her to treat others with respect.  In my understanding, a person doesn’t need to be in my physical house to be covered under xenia.  If someone comes to me with a genuine question, then they are my ‘guest’ for the time being.  In that time, I should offer them all that I have.  In return, I expect them to treat that information with regard even if they don’t agree.

The idea behind this is that any person could be Zeus or Hermes or Dionysos and so on.  For that reason, every person, every stranger should always be treated as if they are.

4. Sophrosune and Metriotes – Self-control and Moderation

They fit into each other; self-control is the ability to observe moderation. Aristotle says that all virtues are a balance between two extremes.  Extremes, in general, are to be avoided. For example, being too generous means people will take advantage of you, but being too stingy makes a poor representation of the gods.  As any follower of Hellenism is representing the gods to others.  Being too inattentive towards your religious practice disrespects the gods, but being too dedicated, to the point of nothing else, is unhealthy and deprives you of the chance to reach out to others.

5. The avoidance of Miasma or ritual impurity

Miasma is not a sin, and it’s not immoral.  It’s just a part of our human imperfection.  After you go to the gym or work in the garden or whatever else you do, you become sweaty and stinky.  So it is considered proper to take a shower before hanging out with other people.  It’s the same with the gods, but our uncleanliness is less obvious to us.  As miasma is more than just physical uncleanliness; it’s also spiritual impurity.  So it is proper to spend time in meditation and perhaps a simple cleansing ritual before approaching the gods.

The most popular cleansing ritual is the creation of lustral water or khǽrnips.  Khǽrnips is easy enough to make.  I use collected salt water from the ocean, (I use oversized Mason Jars) bay leaves, and a candle I have dedicated to Gaia.  In Greek mythology, salt, fire and bay leaves (laurel leaves) are all purifying.  If you do not have, access to seawater just mixing salt into fresh work as well.  I lit the candle and pray directly to the earth, asking for her blessing.  Then I give Gaia her offering, usually fresh flowers or collected rainwater.

After that, I say the following incantation:

“All water comes from the Earth and is by its very nature sacred.  All fire is a gift from the gods and is by its very nature divine.”  (light the a single dried bay leaf)  "Thus fire and water combined unites sacred with the divine, and by doing so, this water is made pure and holy.“  (drop the burning bay leaf into the water.)

Before each ritual, or attempt to contact the gods, it is prudent to rub the water on your face and hands.  As you do so, recite this prayer as many times as you need.  

“With this khǽrnips, I purify my body, my mind, and my soul.”

6. The avoidance of Hubris

There are a few different definitions, but, to me, hubris is unseemly pride against the Gods.  It starts with placing yourself on the same level as them or even above them.  It could be trying to use them without reciprocity or offerings. It could be treating yourself like or allowing others to treat you like a God.  Hubris is the idea that you shouldn’t mess with the Gods, or they’ll mess with you.  In this we see the closest Hellenic polytheism has to anything that might be considered a “sin”.

In my opinion, you did commit hubris by failing to give her an offering, not cleansing away your miasma and failing to research fully who Persephone is and what she and all the gods, require of their followers.  

Still at least you’re looking into it now, and that’s a step in the right direction.   You should know that Persephone, in particular, takes her time in warming up to people.  From what I’ve seen, she seems to relate to all of her worshippers that way, slowly, carefully.  It took me months to get her attention, which was difficult for me, but I kept at it.  Now we have a good working relationship but I wouldn’t call us close.  

I hope that all helps you out.  Now I’m reminded that I really need to go out and work in my garden.  Have a good day and let me know if there are more questions that need answering.  

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