Posted by: aediculaantinoi | February 26, 2014

PantheaCon 2014: The Ephesia Grammata

Before I get to some more general, multi-event run-downs and summaries and debriefings of my PantheaCon weekend (which I can’t believe was a week-and-a-half ago!), I want to do a quick set of reflections on the first official event of the con’ on my schedule: my Ephesia Grammata session, which was at 1:30 PM on Friday, while most people were still arriving or not-yet-there. It was in one of the large “tree” rooms upstairs at the Double Tree, which made it seem like the rather ample crowd for that day and hour was smaller than it was, given that the majority of chairs in the small ballroom were unoccupied.

The description of the event runs as follows:

The Ephesia Grammata or “Ephesian Letters” were said to have been written on the statue of Artemis of Ephesus, and consist of six (or occasionally seven) words that are somewhat like other voces magicae; they are often used in spell formulae in Graeco-Egyptian magic. They were also used in the ancient world for both protection, and possibly for divination. Learn about the system, and how it can be used for these purposes today. Bring at least six notecards, paper, pieces of wood, stones, or other small objects as well as writing materials appropriate to them to possibly make your own!

There were probably about twenty people in attendance todal, including several familiar faces, friends, and co-religionists. I had a nice chat with several people in the moments running up to our official beginning. I used an easel with paper, on which I wrote the seven Ephesia Grammata, and then I also had my laptop open to some notes on the presentation (which is also the outline of the book that I’m writing on this subject, which I hoped would have been available by PantheaCon itself but wasn’t, but which I now hope to have out and available by late March or early April!).

ephesia presentation

[Thank you, Sr. Krissy Fiction, for this photo!]

Amongst the historical and mythic matters that I mentioned, along with Artemis of Ephesus, were King Croesus (the inventor of money as we know it!), Apollon, the Orphics, the Thracians, the Hyperboreans, and the Idaean Dactyloi…if you want to know how all of these things fit into the world of the Ephesia Grammata, then you’ll have to buy the book! ;)

I then did, for the first time in front of other people, and for the first time publicly at PantheaCon, the Ephesia Grammata ritual that I learned in a dream a while back, and have been using at least once daily since last year (after Freyr basically told me, via an oracular medium, to do so). Before I did that, I asked if anyone there knew or does the “Le BuRP,” and people didn’t know what I meant initially, and then laughed when I said it was the “Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.” The Ephesia Grammata ritual I learned in the dream uses an upright and then an inverted pentagram, and then a hexagram. I demonstrated it with the hand-gestures appropriate to the Three Aspects of Antinous (Liberator, Navigator, Lover), and then I said “Would you, could you, with a wand? Would you, could you, by a pond?” and demonstrated it with a wand, which is the tactic I use if I have a bad dream and need to disperse the negative effects of the dream upon waking. (Interestingly, in the last week, I’ve done the wand version within a dream…that has not happened before now, as the times I do the ritual in dreams for protection or other purposes, it’s the “by hand” version.)

I also went into further detail on the Ephesia Grammata as used in divination, which is ascribed (in Conner, Sparks and Sparks’ Cassell’s Encyclopedia of Queer Myth, Symbol, and Spirit, as well as in Conner’s Blossom of Bone) to the Megabyzoi, the gender-variant priests of Artemis of Ephesus, which is something I’ve not been able to confirm in any other sources at present…but, I’ve been using them for that purpose, as well as protection, since mid-2012. You can read more about that here, though the book version which will be out in the next month or two will be far more detailed on that since I’ve worked with the nuances of the system much more deeply since that initial post.

ephesia tetrad sigil black

In mentioning the Dactyloi, I also mentioned that the six members of the Tetrad++ Group also correlate with the Ephesia Grammata, and gave a very brief rundown of that, as detailed in this earlier post, and I’ll be saying more on that, as well as on potential correlations to other deities, in the book version.

I ended up answering a lot of questions and having a really good discussion, including with Brandy Williams and Ted Gill, as well as Tony Mierzwicki, all of whom attended and very obligingly nodded along with the various points I was making. I found it to be really collegial and enjoyable to give as a presentation that combined actual research into existing tradition with practical advise and technique-teaching and a huge amount of personal experience and gnosis all working together for a useful end. I also was given a fascinating insight by one of the attendees, whose name I will be noting in the book version, on a possible hint to the Ephesia Grammata in the ritual of the headless god in the PGM, which is quite wonderful; there were also questions about Crowley and the Ephesia Grammata, and also gematria and the Ephesia Grammata, which were great questions, but I honestly don’t know the answers on them. (I was later told by Ted and Brandy that Crowley didn’t use, to anyone’s knowledge, the Ephesia Grammata, nor did he make a point of talking about it, which somewhat closes the case on that matter. The issue of gematria is an interesting one, but much would depend on which version of the Ephesia Grammata one uses, as there are alternate spellings for three of the six words, e.g. Aski vs. Askion, Kataski vs. Kataskion, and Aisia vs. Aision–on the first two, I prefer the second spelling, while on the third I prefer the first, because it is then a palindrome!)

The Ephesia Grammata ended up being used in pretty much every event I was a part of for the rest of the weekend, with the exception of Lupercalia (which is perhaps noteworthy, as it was the only one that didn’t go entirely to plan!) and the discussions or social events I was a part of.

This presentation also ended up being the sort of “commencement” for the “theurgy track” of the conference, followed immediately after (and with much of the audience to my presentation, and myself and my luggage following as well!) by Brandy Williams’ presentation on Pagan Theurgy. I’ll have more to say on that when I get to those further posts!

And, it seems that I’ll be doing a better, likely somewhat expanded and revised, “encore” presentation on this matter at the Polytheist Leadership Conference in July, so that will be enjoyable! And, that time I’ll have the book in-hand in case anyone wants to procure it immediately afterwards!

But for now, I must close. I shall leave you all with the Ephesia Grammata as I use them on a daily basis…



  1. […] And the results of that session can be read about further here! […]

  2. I loved your Ephesia Grammata presentation! Now, if only I hadn’t lost my notes…

    • Well, you won’t have to wait long for the missing notes to become a handy little volume you can refer to at any time you like! ;) (Though if you have any questions meanwhile, feel free to ask and I shall tell you all you like!)

  3. I am guessing that both your presentation and points brought up in discussion will wind up in the book? Because I don’t have a slew of books I have not had time to read already… ;)

    • Indeed, it will all end up in the book (and more!), as I didn’t have time to get into some particular details as I was speaking. And, the book will be short, so if it does end up in your “to-read” pile, it might be two hours of your time at most. ;)

  4. […] the Ephesia Grammata connected to Orpheus had me turning to the Papyri Graecae Magicae to see what other tasty tidbits I […]

  5. […] The Ephesia Grammata The Sanctification of Lady Olivia and Hyperion The Sanctification according to Anomalous Thracian The Rest of Friday and Saturday Lupercalia 2014 Lupercalia (and other things) according to Anomalous Thracian “Pagans and Privilege” Panel with T. Thorn Coyle and a Kick-Ass Panel! Mega-Patheos Pagan Beverage and/or Breakfast Time! Sunday (Socializing) The Wiccanate Privilege Discussion The Beard Blessing Ritual The Youth Blessing Ritual […]

  6. Looking forward to the book. I really enjoy working with the Daktyloi and the Grammata.

  7. […] and likewise I gained some very useful insights from my presentation on this same topic at PantheaCon in 2014, I had not considered that some of the useful discussions which would follow on this most recent […]

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