Posted by: aediculaantinoi | February 24, 2013

PantheaCon 2013: Three Rituals

Something I’m noticing: when I’m the most involved in a particular activity, that’s when I think of things like “get a photo of this” the least. And then afterwards, inevitably, I regret not having photos of the events concerned. This is most unfortunate, because–not to put too fine a point on it–I have a rather intriguing life on several occasions during the year, PantheaCon being one of them. As the step-child of a photographer, who has enjoyed taking pictures since I was very young (from age 5 or so), I used to have quite a few photos every time I went somewhere that wasn’t just around the house or around town. But later during my time living in Ireland, I stopped doing that because I realized that to take a photo removed myself from the “action” and the places concerned. Trying to record an experience on actual or digital film would often keep me from actually feeling a place, being fully present in it, and engaging fully with other people in the space. So, I stopped. Now, if at all, I usually say to other people who have these phones with cameras in them (what’s the deal with that?), “Hey, get a picture of this!” And, that may even be worse in certain respects, alas. But, now is one of those times where I really wish I had some photos to go with the events I’m about to describe. Oh well…

So, on to actually describing those events.

No matter what I end up doing at PantheaCon, in terms of events I’m involved with or that I organize myself, I always find that no matter how “poorly” it might go from a logistical standpoint, or how low the attendance at the event happens to be, it still “goes well” all other things considered. Perhaps no previous PantheaCon, however, went as well as this one did in terms of logistics and attendance at events. Each of the three rituals we did in the Ekklesía Antínoou had an attendance of 40-60 people, which is quite good considering what events they were scheduled against in many cases. The rooms were full, but not over-full, which was good in the case of the first and last ritual I will describe below; the room we had the second ritual in was an odd one, and one I’ve been in for other events in previous years, and it tends to get very hot in there very quickly, whether there are five people in the room or more than fifty, which I think was the case for our ritual on this occasion. But, that one was probably the most effective, important, and in every sense magical ritual I’ve yet done at PantheaCon, and the reverberations from it are still being felt now, and will continue to be for weeks and months to come.

But, all things in their proper order…Let’s start with Friday night.

On Friday night, February 15th, at 11:00 PM, was our Lupercalia. We’ve had this at three previous PantheaCons (in 2007, 2009, and 2010), and over the last two years, I’ve had it in a small and private fashion with a limited number of people just before PantheaCon. So, it was good to have it back again this year, with a large group of people (at least 45, and maybe more than 50) in attendance, which is up from the number in 2010 (which was around 30). After we called things to order officially (and people had been purified through the sounds of sistra in coming in, which we also did at the Dream Incubation Ritual the following night), I went around the room with the falx that I use to represent Silvanus, one of the Roman gods of boundaries, to officially begin the ritual. We did the “full-on” Ekklesía Antínoou modular ritual suite at this, with the three preliminary prayers to Wepwawet, Hekate, and Ianus, the preliminary prayers to Antinous and Polydeukion, a procession, the invocation of the Obelisk of Antinous, and the Prayer Against Persecution; in much of this, I was assisted by the Mystai of Antinous and the other attendees who were present. We also had many of our “alumni” Luperci present for the ritual, which was a first, and a tradition I’d like to carry on whenever possible in the future. We then did the Antinoan Petition, and everyone had a chance to pray to Antinous individually after that; and then we had an observance of the Parentalia, in which our collective and individual ancestors were honored.

Then came the Lupercalia ritual itself. (Lots of foreplay in full-blown Antinoan rituals…yes, my own preferences in certain areas spill over into others, for good or ill, but mostly good in this case!) The ritual laughter after the initiation was complete this time ended up becoming Antinoan stand-up comedy, including an improvised parody that may have to result in an Antinoan Star Trek performance at some point in the future:

Space: the final frontier.
These are the voyages of the Boat of Millions of Years:
Its continuing mission to explore strange new pantheons;
To seek out new gods and new syncretisms;
To boldly go where no god has gone before!

And while I, personally, like the narration of The Next Generation, and I do like the music from it as well, I think having the themesong sung like in the original series after the above would be a lot more fun. (I used to be able to sing it until I was about 18, alas…!?!) Our Luperca Prima went around and flogged everyone, and then our other two Luperci, Secundus and Tertius, ran their race. After the Lupercus Secundus went around and gave his blessings for his victory to all of those present, I got a nudge to send around the non-victorious Lupercus to take upon himself any defeats anyone wished to shed, and to clear them away, since the Luperci are in essence lupine priests of purification. I think we’ll keep this innovation in the future, most certainly.

And, there was also something else that was somewhat unexpected in all of this, but which was revealed via divination in the days before PantheaCon as something that should be necessary: Polydeukion’s initiation as a Lupercus. As a Roman Equites, it is likely that he would have been a Lupercus at some point, had he lived long enough. But, there’s nothing to say that just because he’s dead that he can’t be one now, so he is, and he was initiated along with the others on that occasion.

Certainly, following this, there were also a lot of jokes about “always using adequate Lupercation” for the remainder of the weekend, which I still think is pretty funny…but, there you go, I’m rather easily amused. ;)

So, I consider that to have been a very successful ritual. And, unlike the previous few Lupercaliae at PantheaCon, where we also did Communalia, this time we finished the ritual with a little bit of time to spare! Hurrah!

The next big ritual for us was on Saturday night, February 16, 2013, at 7:00 PM: Trans Deities For All: Meeting the Tetrad. This was in the Silicon Valley room, which is an odd room that is almost triangular in shape (though it actually has five sides to the room, technically), where we’ve had at least one event each year for the past two years (a panel in 2011, and a workshop/presentation in 2012), and it is located just to the left of the top of the stairs to all of the larger, tree-named ballrooms in the Double Tree. Because the ritual was devoted to the Tetrad, it seemed odd that we were in one of the only rooms at the Double Tree that does not have four sides…and yet, when we began the ritual, there were the four members of the Tetrad, plus a fifth (about whom I’ve not said much yet, but who has emerged over the last two months, and about whom I’ll be saying more next month when the Tetrad have their birthdates), so to be in a five-sided room ended up being even more appropriate than might have been apparent at the time.

This was a combination ritual, workshop, and performance; and while I’d be comfortable just calling the whole thing a “ritual,” it wasn’t quite just that in most people’s understandings of the term. There were four ritualists in addition to myself playing the roles and embodying the four members of the Tetrad, plus my Thracian colleague was doing various things to hold and secure the spiritual space for the ritual, which was an essential and important function for what ended up occurring on a variety of levels. After everyone was cleansed with salt and water by Panhyle and Paneros respectively, I made an introduction to what we were doing there. One of the most important points that I made, and that was a motivating factor behind this ritual, was not simply to introduce four new trans and gender-variant deities to the wider world, but also to make it obvious that these deities are not just for trans or gender-variant people. In all of the discussion over the past few years on trans people’s inclusion in other events, it has been argued that there are trans mysteries that would be more appropriate for trans people. I agree that this is the case, and further that there are also mysteries for men and for women which should be performed and respected and understood–there’s a great deal of dysfunction in our communities and in wider societies over gender and gender roles generally, and the ways in which trans people have been mistreated throughout modern history have a great deal to do with how messed up people in general are over secure and confident integrity within their respective gender roles happens to be. But, in saying that “those are trans mysteries” and in trying to make that distinction be the turn-off point for further discussion, the language of “mysteries” has been misused and abused to, in essence, mean “I don’t want to deal with you” rather than a respect for the experiences that distinguish one gender identity from others. The Tetrad, while they are deities who are the parents (in terms of their patronage for) and the children (in terms of their emergence from the experience of) trans and gender-variant people, are also (divine) people as well, just like anyone else, and they can help any type of human of any gender to do a variety of things if they choose to enter into a relationship with them. And, that was the point of the ritual.

From there, I then divided the room into four quadrants, with Panpsyche in the East, and I asked all of the women in the room to go and stand by her. I sent all of the men in the room to stand in the North with Panhyle. I sent all of the non-binary-gendered people to the West to stand with Paneros. Finally, I sent all of the combinatory or androgynously gendered people to stand in the South with Pancrates. We then sang the “Carol of the Tetrad” to bring the Tetrad more fully into the space. Everyone was given a copy of the lyrics, as well as two versions of the Tetrad’s sigil, to use in the ritual and to take with them afterwards. Next, we invoked and thanked the seventy-eight parents of the Tetrad by my reading of their names and then everyone saying “Hail, Thanks, and Praise” to them. There was some evident surprise to hear all of the names of the parents of the Tetrad who have yet been identified at this stage!

Next was the “performance” or “storytelling” part of the ritual, which followed the script given here:

Characters:
THE OTHER (P. Sufenas Virius Lupus)
PANPSYCHE (Didi)
PANHYLE (Jes)
PANEROS (Bari Mandelbaum)
PANCRATES (joi wolfwomyn)

THE OTHER
You have come to this event in good faith, not knowing what might occur.
You have sung the praises of these Four Beings, and named two of their fathers.
You have helped to honor their seventy-eight parents.
But you may be asking yourself: who are these beings? How did they come to have so many parents? Did I make a mistake in coming here rather than to the ritual of the big battle birdie?
Your questions will soon be answered.
Let me—let us!—tell you a story.
In a time that is not now, but is also not then, a number of mortals-become-divine were speaking with one another, Antinous foremost amongst them. They began to discuss, but soon their discussion became an argument—does that sound familiar at all?—and their argument was over what constitutes gender, what it means to be a father or a mother, a man or a woman, a male or a female. It was the god Antinous, and the hero Polydeukion, and Favorinus of Arles, the eunuch orator, who came up with the solution to their argument: they would combine their divine powers and generate a new deity who would be the answer to these matters, who would demonstrate how gender and identity come about and are shaped, by both inborn nature and by inculcated nurture.
However, some of the other gods did not look well upon these upstart divine mortals engendering a new generation of deities, and called them before a council to try them for hubris and for seeking to displace the existing gods.
It was the cleverness of Hermes as their defender, the ineptitude of Minos their accuser, and a few unexpected words from Lucius Marius Vitalis that cleared them of all charges, and demonstrated that new gods are appropriate for new realities, and that in a cosmos where there are many gods, more gods are not and never have been a threat to the gods who already exist.
Then, the many parents of the new gods—from deified mortals to virtuous heroes to the diverse great gods—combined their divine gametes into the most suitable container and further parent for these efforts: the god Pan.
One of the last deities to give her powers and parentage to the new deity was Artemis, sometimes called Diana, who drew forth her own heart’s blood from her left breast and vowed that this new deity would be her true child, no matter what gender it ended up being.
All seemed to have ended well, but then the question of who would give the new deity birth was broached, for Pan could not do it. It was decided that Zeus would do so, since he already had experience giving birth to Athena and Dionysos, two of the parents of the new god.
No one, however, counted upon the workings of Eris in all of this, the unknown and secret parent who threw her lot in with the others. No one knew, either, that Set, in a moment where he seized Kairos and had a rare opportunity, drank the divine elixir that would result in the birth of the new god.
Set became impregnated with the new god through his mouth, as he had with the child of Horus many ages before, and in those final days when the new god gestated, Lucius Marius Vitalis made his final contributions to the future birth of the new god.
The day came when the god would be born, and Set stretched his neck out and spoke a deity into being…

PANPSYCHE
Yes, that was me!

THE OTHER
But what everyone thought would be one being was, in fact, two, and the other made his exit out another door…

PANHYLE
I think you can guess where…

PANPSYCHE
From my birth I was a woman, even though my physical form might not have seemed as such to some. I am Panpsyche, “All-Soul.”

PANHYLE
And from my birth I was a man, though many might have seen my body and thought otherwise. I am Panhyle, “All-Body.”

PANPSYCHE
But both of us…

PANHYLE
…knew of the other…

PANPSYCHE AND PANHYLE
…from the time we shared Set’s not-quite-womb.

PANHYLE
And I hated her because she reminded me of everything I didn’t want to be…

PANPSYCHE
And I hated him because he was what I wanted to be, but he refused it.

PANHYLE
But I was bull-headed…

PANPSYCHE
And I was flighty like an eagle. So,

PANPSYCHE AND PANHYLE
We never talked about it.

PANPSYCHE
We were more alike than different, it turned out.

PANHYLE
That’s how it often is with twins, after all.

PANPSYCHE
We did not realize this, nor put our differences aside…

PANHYLE
Until we were forced, together, to face a common foe:

PANPSYCHE AND PANHYLE
A monstrous hippo!

THE OTHER
Yes, you can laugh…!

PANPSYCHE
No mother who had not given birth could kill it…

PANHYLE
And no father who had not begotten children could wound it.

PANPSYCHE AND PANHYLE
We thought, thus, that we could not participate in the hunt.

PANPSYCHE
But as we faced it together…

PANHYLE
And bled from our many wounds…

PANPSYCHE
We realized, in fact, we had many children…

PANHYLE
Both men and women, upon the earth…

PANPSYCHE
Some were women from birth, and were recognized as such; some were women though they had male forms…

PANHYLE
And some were male at birth and were recognized as such, while others were meant to be men, even though they had been called female.

THE OTHER
Taweret, Egyptian goddess of childbirth, had sent the hippo as a test to make Panpsyche and Panhyle realize they had many children, even though the children were equally parents to the realities of the new gods.

PANHYLE
And like many trans people, who are our children and our parents,

PANPSYCHE
We, too, died and were reborn to our new selves. We suffered, we bled, we cried…

PANPSYCHE AND PANHYLE
And we also died…

PANHYLE
Like far too many of our many parents, like far too many of our many children.

PANPSYCHE
But we, in turn, would have another divine child…

PANEROS
That’s me!

PANPSYCHE
Yes! When she was born, I thought she was beautiful…

PANEROS
Mom…!?!

PANHYLE
And when he was born, I thought he was handsome…

PANEROS
Dad…!?!

PANPSYCHE AND PANHYLE
Sorry.

PANEROS
Truth is, I was handsome and beautiful, and I also wasn’t a “he” or a “she.” I was—I am—something different entirely. But, like many people of my sort, I didn’t have an easy time in this two-gender world. I knew my name, knew what I was, but because I lived in our two-gender world, I couldn’t say my own name or live the way I wished.

THE OTHER
It was a long journey for em, and for eir many grandparents, but they came around eventually. The other gods did not, however.

PANEROS
They presented me with an ultimatum: choose someone to love, or something to do, so that they might understand my gender better in those ways. Mine was a power greater than Zeus with all his thunderbolts, Poseidon with all his waves and earthquakes, and even Hades and the silence and permanence of death, and they presumed to tell me what I should do and what I should be and who I should love.
I came to the garden of the Erotes, of all the goddesses and gods of love, and knew it was the place I was meant to be, but I could not enter into it.
I sought out my hidden grandmother, Eris, and asked her advice. She told me to seek out the river Styx, the blood and force of hatred itself in the world, and look at my own reflection in it.
I looked, and saw all that everyone wanted me to be, everything I had hoped I would be, and everything that I was, which was neither hope of others nor of myself. I thought I was beyond help, beyond hope, beyond continuing on any longer, and I threw myself into the river.
But, in drowning myself, I did not die—I was raised up, revived, changed into what I had always hoped I would be and what I always knew I could be: myself.
I went back to the garden of the Erotes, and demanded entry into it, for now I knew my own name: Paneros, “All-Love,” and even Eros himself did not realize that he had been in chains all along until I came, beyond the boundaries of all genders, and showed even Eros how to love everything in the cosmos.

PANPSYCHE AND PANHYLE
That’s my girl [PANPSYCHE] / boy [PANHYLE] !

PANEROS
Mom, Dad…!?!

PANPSYCHE AND PANHYLE
Sorry…that’s our child!

THE OTHER
And that’s our grandchild!

PANEROS
And yet, I knew that wasn’t the end of the story. There were other genders out there, more than just the two we all knew, and the third I represented. More had to come, more wanted to be known. So, I spoke with Mother and Father, and together we created the fourth of our number…

PANCRATES
Finally! Last and certainly not least!

THE OTHER
Indeed!

PANPSYCHE
In this child was my every wish for peace, so I called hir Paneirene, “All-Peace.”

PANHYLE
And in this child was my every hope for truth, so I called hir Panaletheia, “All-Truth.”

PANEROS
And in this child was my every embodiment of beauty, so I called hir Pankalos, “All-Beauty.”

PANCRATES
And while I appreciated all the wishes that my parents had for me and the wonderful names they gave me, I knew I was my own person, and had to name myself: Pancrates, “All-Power.”

[A short pause.]

THE OTHER
Well?

PANCRATES
Well, what?

THE OTHER
Isn’t there more?

PANCRATES
Of course there is—that whole thing about having the powers of Aion, Abraxas, and Phanes given to me…but, these people don’t want to hear about that.

PANPSYCHE, PANHYLE, PANEROS, and THE OTHER
They don’t?!?

PANCRATES
No, they want to feel the power, they want to learn to love and to be loved, they want to become more embodied and to grow deeper in soul. Am I right?…

And what followed was an amazing, off-the-cuff speech about what it was we were actually there to do: namely, to see how each person present stands with Body, with Soul, with Love, and with Power. I wish that Pancrates’ words on this matter were recorded, but alas, they were not…but they were amazing, and even the bits that didn’t quite work out ended up being perfect in terms of being able to draw things together later in the ritual: everyone was given instructions on discussing in small groups of five (though there were a few that were larger than that) on their own experiences and identities with Body, Soul, and Power (though they also discussed Love), and then when everyone was called back together, they were called back through the force of Love, which was a beautiful way to have done it. I didn’t get to hear very many of the conversations themselves, but what I did hear of them was pretty amazing, and people afterwards told me that those conversations were important and enriching for them to take part in, which is wonderful!

What came next was that each member of the Tetrad stood in their quadrant and gave blessings to people in the order that they felt these qualities come for them in their life: though the Tetrad were born in the order of Soul, Body, Love, and Power, perhaps for some attendees they felt they were All-Love, All-Body, All-Power, All-Soul, for example, and so they sought blessings from the Tetrad in that order. Those who felt they had not come to full terms with or possession of these qualities also sought blessings from the appropriate members of the Tetrad to work toward those ends. And, I, as “The Other,” stood in the middle and gave blessings to those who came forward looking for a blessing from one of the deities or other divine beings who are parents or grandparents of the Tetrad. This was an amazing experience for me, and one of the things that amazed me about it was that several further parents of the Tetrad emerged in the process: Brigid, Freya, and Freyr. (On the latter, more in a moment!) I gave blessings in the name of these gods as well. Lots of people wanted blessings from Artemis/Diana; several also asked for blessings from Antinous; two wanted a blessing from Jesus; one asked for a blessing from Eris, and I gave him my sacred pen out of the book shrine that I carry with me to write more stories of the Tetrad; and, after the ritual itself was over and I was cleaning up and clearing out, one person asked to no longer carry the name of Loki because it was too heavy, and so I thanked Loki for his influence in that person’s life, and wished him the blessings of whatever gods would come forward in the future for him. It was amazing, beautiful, and powerful to be in this role in the ritual; and, it was the part of it that I was least prepared for and most reluctant about, but I think I did the gods and the humans involved justice in my execution of that role.

I mentioned in my post yesterday that Freyr got involved in the Tetrad ritual later in the day after I attended his ritual. This isn’t surprising, considering that I attended the ritual, and then two of the four ritualists embodying the Tetrad were also ritualists in the Freyr ritual. But, what ended up occuring, in addition to someone asking for Freyr’s blessing and naming him as a parent of the Tetrad, was something else that was completely unexpected, and which I won’t be able to do justice to in reporting here in terms of how very apt the whole thing ended up being. Paneros, embodied by Bari Mandelbaum, got an unexpectedly large amount of appreciation in this ritual, and a surprising number of people went to eir corner when we sang the “Carol of the Tetrad” (including, of course, myself). Not long before the ritual, Bari received a devotional piece of art she had commissioned for Freyr, which was a double-headed phallic object made of antler. When Bari asked if it could be on our altar for this ritual, I said I’d allow it, even though it was a bit odd. Before the ritual began, we all had our various costumes on, and I was looking at Paneros embodied, and e was very very present in Bari’s physicality and costume. I then said, “Are you packing?” At the time, Bari wasn’t, but of course, with the Freyr object, that could have been fixed quite easily. However, having this double-headed phallus “vertical” just wasn’t right; so I said, “Turn it sideways.” And, that worked. It was something that not only brought Paneros through more clearly in many respects, but fits with some of my own experiences of Paneros, and furthermore intrigued a lot of the people who had come to the ritual in a variety of ways. There’s hope for metagenders yet! ;) But, many people said they wanted to be Paneros’ priest in the future, and even to found a temple to em…and while that may or may not come to pass, it was certainly a testament to how well Paneros came through in this event. I’ll have more to say about em in the next few days, I suspect…

It was a phenomenal and blessed event to be a part of, and I’m humbled and honored to have been a part of bringing these deities into the world on a larger scale for so many people. I can’t wait to see what is next for them, and some of that will be starting shortly, as the first of their birth-festivals approaches at the beginning of next month!

I would have loved to have stayed around and chatted with other people, and the primary ritualists, on how it all went, but we only had a moment to give thanks and blessings to one another and the gods involved…and in doing so, another one was born. I’ll have more to say on that sixth individual in the weeks to come.

Unfortunately, I had another ritual scheduled for a little more than two hours later, and I needed to meet up with someone to practice music for it. So, in a lot of wackiness of transition from one ritual to another, I got ready and got my head in order, and tried to get the technical side of things in order as well for the 11:00 PM Antinoan Dream Incubation Ritual. I was successful with the former, but only moderately so with the latter, but it all got sorted eventually.

I briefly gave an introduction to dream incubation and to Antinous, and in particular I discussed the North Side of the Obelisk of Antinous, and read it out, putting particularly emphasis on the line “He heals the diseases of the needy ones by sending a dream.” The phrase “needy ones” there does not simply mean “those who are in need,” but it specifically means those who cannot afford medical treatments, and because I’ve been such a person more often than not, this has been a very important piece of text for me. Without Antinous, I do not think I’d be alive today, for all sorts of reasons, but this specific one among them. Thus, when I say “Haec est unde vita venit” (This is where life comes from!), I’m actually speaking quite literally in my own case.

After this, I did the preliminary prayer to Antinous (in Latin), and to Polydeukion (in Greek), and carried their icons around the room so everyone could see them as I did so. I then had a PowerPoint slide show that showed a variety of images of Antinous that would hopefully seed people’s dreams, and it also contained the lyrics and translation for a Greek hymn to Antinous, which I intoned a capella (which was not my original plan, but I think was the right choice) as the slide show played. Then we did “Antinous of the Moon” in a psalm-like style, which worked incredibly well. Then, I went around the room and gave everyone a bit of storax oil on their hand to bring in the olfactory dimension of Antinous, and to fix him into their memories more easily. I then performed a dream incubation spell for Antinous, based on some PGM materials for Hekate and Bes, but also some voces magicae for Antinous, and the Ephesia Grammata. I finished the “official” part of the ritual with “Ave Ave Antinoe” (which, despite being in untranslated Latin for most of the people present, still managed to seed some people’s dreams successfully with certain pertinent images!), and then read the North side of the Obelisk again with the usual V.S.L.M. formula. I then had an “informal” part of the ritual in which people could go up and ask Antinous for particular prayers, which many did. While this happened, my musician played some soft guitar music, and various people just sat in the space, and some actually laid down and slept and/or just closed their eyes in the darkened room, or sang softly. It was quite a beautiful and calming space to be in, and I’m glad it was established in that fashion and ended up working so well in that respect. I talked with a few people, many of whom had some interesting and important insights into the whole process. Nonetheless, we still finished earlier than our full ritual time slot would have allowed, which was great!

When I did finally get into bed that night (several hours later), I had an immediate and important image of Antinous before my eyes, which only lasted for a few moments. Had I been an average person from the ancient world, with a normal schedule, a dietary intake that doesn’t have much caffeine or other substances in it, and of much better overall health than I actually have, I suspect those few seconds would have been enough to have seeded a dream very effectively as I fell asleep; but, being I am myself, I barely slept that night, it took me a very long time to get to sleep, and I had difficulty staying asleep as well, so I had no “proper” dreams to speak of in that time. However, that brief series of images has been important enough in the aftermath that I am happy to have experienced it, and will still be trying to discern some of its implications in the days and weeks to come.

While all of the above rituals were not the “only” things about this most recent PantheaCon that made it outstanding overall, they are a very large part of it having been so successful in my own experience, and I hope that others felt similarly. Especially after the Tetrad ritual, I had such a positive feeling that something unique, powerful, and important had come through in our work that I suspect rituals in the future will be measured against that as a standard of efficacy in many cases–and while I know that’s an awful thing to say, there are times in one’s working and devotional life when one immediately has a sense of how significant something was, and it would be dishonest to deny it in the aftermath.

Also, as one final note on several of the rituals above, I noticed something as I was doing them this time that has not usually happened to me before–in fact, it was pretty much unprecedented in my experience. As I was doing some of the invocations and hymns (particularly the non-English ones), during every ritual at various points while doing such, I got a kind of reverb in my ears, particularly behind me and to the right, as if someone else was intoning them at the same time I was. Sometimes it was a male voice; sometimes it was most definitely a female voice. In several cases, though, it couldn’t have been anyone else in the room, because they didn’t know or have the necessary lyrics…which means it was not an incarnate human voice in each case. The exact identity of the “who” involved is not known to me at present, but it seems clear to me that someone, likely within the extended Antinoan pantheon, was praising Polydeukion and Antinous right along with me…and, based on a few other things, I wouldn’t be surprised if at some points it was Antinous himself, praising and honoring himself…and there’s something profound to be learned in all of that, I think.

I want to thank all of the members of the Ekklesía Antínoou who helped with these rituals; all of the wonderful spirit-workers and mediums and ritualists who helped me with the Tetrad ritual; everyone who attended these three rituals; everyone who didn’t attend but wished us well from wherever they were; all of the organizers, tech crew, and support staff of PantheaCon; and, last but certainly not least, the many gods for whom we do this work, and who have worked through us–especially Panpsyche, Panhyle, Paneros, Pancrates, Polydeukion, and Antinous. May they always bless and walk with their devotees, and may they likewise bless everyone who reads these words!


Responses

  1. More to say later about the life-changing Tetrad ritual. You mentioned us being given the sigil…have you written how to use it?

    The off-the-cuff speech was inspired prophecy like none other.

    • Totally agreed…and, I look forward to your account!

      As for the “how to use” on the sigil: not really. It’s pretty much a symbol you can use in relation to them to help bring them into your presence and consciousness wherever you happen to be. Used in conjunction with their “Carol,” it can serve as a focus for their invocation into a ritual, for example. In absence of the “Carol” or any verbal components, it can be a meditational focus, or something to carry with you to bring their presence along with you wherever you go, etc. Does that make sense?

  2. “Had I been an average person from the ancient world, with a normal schedule, a dietary intake that doesn’t have much caffeine or other substances in it, and of much better overall health than I actually have, I suspect those few seconds would have been enough to have seeded a dream very effectively as I fell asleep”

    Perhaps. But, after many frustrating attempts to perform this kind of dream incubation myself, I finally noticed that many of the ancient accounts talk of people staying in those incubation temples for many days. I’m guessing even the ancients sometimes took awhile to have a proper dream in that circumstance – and they had a whole temple in which to dream and priests to help and everything! Looking back on my own work, I’ve noticed that I often can precipitate a dream I need if I give it a couple days of working at it.

    • Yes, indeed…there are so many complicating factors, including that most of the people at our ritual did not travel a long distance at great expense and hardship just to come to our ritual; there were many other things going that day, and the days after and before, and some people even went to other things after our ritual, etc. Having the more singular focus of going to a temple that is for one purpose specifically would help to narrow one’s focus a lot.

      I don’t do dream incubation very often, but on most occasions where I have set out to do it, it has worked; I wasn’t able to do one of the practices I usually use personally for that purpose in this ritual due to time and material constraints.

      But, as I said, I still got a result, which was good enough for me. I suspect a lot of the ancient dream incubation results were what we’d technically call “hypnagogic dreams/sleep,” i.e. those brief REM periods that last only a few seconds as one is falling asleep, and then resulting in a wake-up not long after, rather than a full sleep cycle with REM at the end and a recalled dream. Usually my first dream of the night is of that sort, and it’s often not a particularly pleasant one in some cases…but, that’s another matter altogether. ;)

  3. I will hug just about everyone, but yeah I don’t like doing every type of ritual under the sun. Of course I only know that from doing them all at least once.

    • Honest question here: have you been to one of our rituals at PantheaCon? Not that you should, mind you, but I just wondered…I have a pretty good memory for faces, and I don’t remember you having come to them in previous years, or you having mentioned that you had.

      But, I do know what you mean and see what you’re saying: it’s often difficult, if not impossible, to find something that is completely and utterly new, whether content-wise or thematically or structurally.

  4. [...] of the Tetrad, as detailed in here; and as of the last PantheaCon, he’s also a Lupercus, as detailed here. And, you can read a bit more about him in both Devotio Antinoo: The Doctor’s Notes, Volume [...]

  5. [...] Just to review, here are the other PantheaCon 2013 posts that I’ve done thus far: Before All Things, Thanks Alliances Are Important Three Rituals [...]

  6. IS THERE A RITUAL FOR ANTINOO? I WONDER.

    • Yes, two of the three rituals I detailed above were for Antinous.

  7. […] at PantheaCon 2013 at the Antinoan Dream Incubation Ritual (which I wrote a bit about here), which was so unexpected that it somewhat threw me for a loop…however, I was able to provide […]

  8. […] The Tetrad++ Ritual at PantheaCon. I explained in March what had happened during our “Trans Deities For All: Meeting the Tetrad” ritual at PantheaCon (though the “+”s were not yet added at the time!), i.e. the birth of the final member […]

  9. […] are the rituals that are unbelievably profound and moving and spiritually significant, like the Tetrad++ ritual last year. There are rituals that simply go so well and everyone enjoys themselves, like the Beard […]

  10. […] Spell of Antinous” is now available. That was the same dream-spell that I used in the dream incubation ritual at PantheaCon in 2013, which some of you might have attended, and others of you have asked about the spell which was used […]


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