Greco-Egyptian Noumenia Ritual

So, today is the Noumenia, the New month in the Greek Calendar. Although Noumenia means literally “New Moon”, it is not on what is astrologically called the new moon, which is really the dark moon. Rather, it occurs a few days later, when the first sliver of light appeared. It was considered one of the holiest of days. No other religious festivals were ever conducted on this day. Most public offices were also closed. It was a day to stay home with your family and celebrate the household Gods. Yesterday was Hekate’s Deiphon, the last day of the lunar month. The Deiphon is dedicated to purification and cleansing, of both the spiritual and physical kind. Then on the Noumenia, the newly clean house is blessed. Tomorrow is the day for the Agathos Daimon. In any case, we are entering the month of Gamelion, which gets its name from the Gamelia festival. Alternately called the Theogamia, this festival celebrates the marriage of Zeus and Hera, the King and Queen of the Greek pantheon. This year it falls on February 6th. The folks over at Hellenion have a free pdf calendar for 2016, available here if you’re interested in other upcoming festivals.

Below is a Greco-Egyptian ritual celebrating the Noumenia. This is the ritual I will be using myself late tonight. I wanted to write something that had a specific Greco-Egyptian feel, instead of just Athenian or general Greek. If anyone uses it themselves, they should change the Gods in the section titled “Honor Personal and Family Patrons” since these should be the Gods that you or your family members are close to. Even if you are close to the Gods I’ve named, some of what I talk about in this ritual is specific to my current situation. I thought I’d share it anyway. I plan to change the some of the specific lines in this section each month, depending on how my devotions are going, therefore making it even more personal and not just a rote recitation.

 

Greco-Egyptian Noumenia Ritual

Barley Offering

Sprinkle barley on the altar, SAYING:

“To the givers of life, Life.”

 

Purify the Circle

Walk around the ritual space with the khernips bowl, sprinkling the water around the perimeter. Say:

“You are washed clean by the life-giving waters of the Nile! You are pure! No man has set foot on you, for you are the primordial mound rising from the broad depths of Ocean at the First Time. You are pure!”

Walk in another circle, taking the bowl to each of member of your family, so they can wash their face and hands. As they are doing so, say:

“You are washed clean by the life-giving waters of the Nile! You are pure!”

 

Calling the Gods

Hail to the Gods of Olympos, Gods of Starry Night, Gods of green Earth, and Gods of the dark Underworld below. I call all of You Divine Beings to witness my ritual.

 

Ritual Lighting of the Sacred Fire

[light the fire, whether it be a single candle or roaring fireplace]

First I honor Hestia, Goddess of the Flame, the Hearth, the Center of Olympos

The Heart of All Things, the Axis round which we revolve, the peaceful calm that all Gods cycle back to, the Beginning and the End of All Things.

Come to us, Goddess, and attend our rite.

[pour out libation]

 

Libations to the Gods of the Noumenia

Next we honor the Gods to Whom the Noumenia belongs.  For Selene, silver-haired Titaness, Goddess of the Moon, Lamp-Bearer of Night, Tonight Your power begins to grow again, as Your light waxes to full once more. A thin sliver of Your light appears in the sky again, an eternal promise that after the darkness comes renewal, that the cycle will never end, but begin again. Sweet Selene, Lover of Endymion, Who selflessly lends mankind Her light, I honor You.

[pour out libation]

 

Zeus Ktesios I sing to next, of the sacred jar, and also Zeus Herkios, of the fence, the boundary between the outside world and the sanctuary of the home. Great are You, the ruler of Olympos, but it is not to the King I pray today, but to the Father. Guard my lands, Father Zeus, and protect my household, as You would protect Your own.

[pour out libation]

 

Agathos Daimon, Snake-formed God, Guardian of the pantry, Who stands beside fair Tykhe-Fortuna, God of Alexandria, I pray to You also. You are the Good Spirit, so often ignored by scholars, made a minor footnotes in the texts, but so important to the ancients! You Who guard the food-stores through the dark of winter, protect me and mine as we enter this new cycle, see that my lands are made abundant and my animals fertile, so that my family continues to prosper and be fed.

 

[pour out libation]

 

Janus, Guardian of the Door, He Who gazes ahead and behind, You see and comprehend all, past, present and future has no meaning for You. Every beginning ends, and every ending begins. Forever and ever, a cyclic rhythm, spinning into eternity. And you stand in the Center and witness it all. Pater Ianus, I pray to You now. Allow no-one Who means me or mine harm to enter here, Let only friendly faces cross this threshold. Protect my family as we leave the safety of Home, and go out into the wide world.

[pour out libation]

Honor Personal and Family Patrons

 

Athena, Warrior’s Goddess, Mighty Daughter of Zeus, With Hephaistos the patroness of craftsmen, I have felt Your call all of life. These past few years have been hard for me, and I have fallen away from Your worship. My soul has suffered from Your absence. I have known you primarily as a city Goddess, the philosopher’s Goddess, Who haunts the marble halls of higher learning. My life is changing now, as I flee the packed and teeming masses of the city into the tranquility of the country. I pray to You as the Goddess of weavers, that woman’s skill, for I must find a way to learn many forgotten skills in my new life. If You’ll still have me, Goddess, I would rededicate myself to You tonight.

 

[pour out libation]

 

Artemis, Virgin Huntress, forest-dweller, Who runs forever with Her hounds and nymphs, Wild and free, Teach me the mysteries of the woods, the language of trees and of babbling brooks, teach me survival in its most basic form, in the magic of predator and prey. I dedicate myself to You Artemis, Whom I have known before, but only briefly. I invite you to walk with me as I carve out a new life for myself, the life of homesteader, of a woodswoman, a person of the wild places.

[pour out libation]

 

Hermes, Laughing God, Trickster from Kyllene, I have felt Your Presence greatly of late, more so even than Artemis of the silver bow. You are a liminal God, a God of transitions and transformations, of passing from what-was to what-will-be. If You are here to guide me, I welcome You also, for many forget that You are a rustic God as well. God of Shepherds, lover of many nymphs, Father to Eternal Pan the Goat-Footed, Who plays His pipes in the Arcadian woods, I welcome You into my life as well.

[pour out libation]

Isis, Swarthy-skinned Goddess of Aiegyptos, Celestial Deity, Whose eyes are the sun and moon, Great Mother of All, Savior-Goddess, Who enfolds the world in Her embrace, Soother of pain, I pray to You now. I have suffered greatly in my life. When I can no longer be strong, may You be there to comfort me, to help me get back on my feet, and try again. With You beside me, surely there is nothing that I can’t do.

[pour out libation]

Anubis, Jackal-headed God of the desert, feral God in canid form, Prince of the Court of Justice, Once You came into my life like a whirlwind, filled my dreams with Your Divine Presence, and gave me a sense of safety I’ve never known. When You howl, specter scatter and evil quakes in fear. Anubis, I remember You, Hovering at the periphery, as I came to know Your adopted Mother Isis. Opener of the Way, open my eyes so I can see what You see, deep into the hearts of men. Teach me the arts of divination, as I relearn the crafts I left behind in my dark night of the soul. Anubis, I ask You also to watch over my dogs, Your special creatures, who are dear to my heart. I have lost much, and I could not bear to lose them.

[pour out libation]

Ending                   

O Blessed Immortals, You hail from the shores of both Greece and Egypt, and even might Rome, but my heart is called to worship you all the same. Just as the moon forever returns to the point of darkness, and again to fullness, So do I return to honor You, the Gods of my ancestors. As the silver of light brings the promise of renewal, I bring the promise of my adoration. To You I will pour out libations and sacrifice sweet incense on the fires of Your altars. Forgive my inattention and doubt in the last two years. I am but human, a fallible mortal, and life has not been kind to me of late.

—-

After the ritual, you should some time in the Presence of the Gods if you can. I plan on doing some meditation and divination tonight after the ritual.

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3 Responses to Greco-Egyptian Noumenia Ritual

  1. As a rule I advocate for the Noumenia similarly that one should honor the gods of the household….regardless of which gods those are. There are of course deities that are particularly important to the Noumenia specifically. Several of these you have already mentioned but I would add also Apollon Noumenios, the lord of the Noumenia, likely given worship at his doorway altar/stone. I usually begin the Noumenia as a banquet being hosted by him who opens the doors of the new month. I think you have honored the blended deities of your household quite nicely!

    • You know, I actually started with Apollon Noumenios in there, but I was afraid it was getting too long. I know that He was very important to the Noumenia, but I’ve never felt more than a superficial connection with Him, if at all, even if I tried. But my relationship with Artemis is deepening, so I may add Him back in a few months or so. But basically since it’s been so long since I’ve practiced, I wanted to mostly reconnect with the Gods I used to have a relationship with. And I’ve felt Hermes hanging around making His Presence known, so I am already adding a new one, I guess I was just afraid I was biting off more than I could chew just yet. Ah, the problems of being polytheist!

      • LOL certainly understandable! I certainly would be the last person to criticize *grin* so I had hoped you didn’t take it as that (and I know he isn’t always the easiest god to develop a connection with at that). Incidentally it has seemed that there are folks who have started honoring both the twins under that title (even if it doesn’t have a historical base for Artemis they overlap so much that I can see the reasoning for it)…so it may help if you, with your deepening relationship with Artemis honor her as Noumenia and him as Noumenios 🙂

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