My personal practice: Hellenic flavor

There came a time when I started to understand more of the elements of Hellenic ritual, and desired to include more of them.  First came Hestia.

Statue of Caffeina rising from a coffee cup, which is between a coffee press and a hand coffee grinder. Another hand coffee grinder is behind the statue and a tiger lily blossom is before it.
Cult statue of the goddess Caffeina.

I learned about how Hestia is, in many Hellenic homes, honored first and last, and how there seemed to be no small number who poured a libation of coffee to her in the morning.  I considered the Caffeina shrine that we already had in our home, overseeing our waking lives.  Caffeina, who had been the goddess at our handfasting.  Caffeina, over whom my wife and I had bonded.  I realized that — for me, at least — the syncretized Hestia Caffeina was definitely a goddess.  The fact that our existing Caffeina shrine backed up against the far side of the fireplace didn’t hurt, either.

Two things I did not anticipate came from that syncretization.  First, Caffeina started getting paid her due much more often; until then, it was left to seasonal celebrations.  Second, since I drink coffee every day, it made sense to pour a libation just as regularly; thus I shifted to a daily practice without really even noticing.

Apparently that wasn’t quite enough, because somewhere along the way I put a candle for Hestia on the mantle over the hearth, which some might find redundant.  I might agree on those mornings when I light it over a blazing fire, and particularly that time we played “Fireplace in Your Home” on the television next to the blazing fireplace beneath the burning Hestia candle, but none of that was to happen until more recently.

By bringing Caffeina and Hestia together in my practice, I gave it a bit of a kick-start that led it to grow, by and by.  Barley.  Khernips.  Lots more incense.  Eventually, I even started buying wine.  I doubt I could have set out to begin a daily practice on purpose, but inside of my existing habits that happened of its own accord.  Gods work in mysterious ways and, for me, that meant helping me find the energy and momentum to give them more.  Very clever, them.

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