Thursday, October 21

ConVocation 2011 (Pt. 1 of 2)

A couple of days ago, I got notification about which of the classes I've submitted to teach for next year's ConVocation (way to go, Programming team!) For those who don't know, ConVocation is a pan-Pagan spirituality conference held in Metro-Detroit, Michigan every February. I believe we're in our fifteenth year... something like that. It's a pretty impressive number, I think.

ConVocation grew from humble beginnings (if memory serves there were something like three hundred people in the door the first year) to be one of the mid-west's larger Pagan gatherings... and when you consider what Michigan looks like in February, that's pretty darned impressive! I've been involved in ConVocation in one capacity or another nearly every year since the beginning. For the last few years I've mainly been a teacher/presenter, although I am very pleased to be participating in the Art Show again this year as well.

I submitted two rituals for my coven (Silver Skein) for 2011 and I'm really excited that they've both been accepted.  This is what we'll be doing this year:

Greet the Dawn (or as close as we come to dawn at a con!) with Eos

Eos is an ancient Titaness who became the Goddess of Dawn. She and her husband Astrarios are the parents of the multitude of stars and eight winds. (Yes, eight.)

A number of years ago, I worked with Eos during my initiatory training and She gave me a task or obligation to make sure that Her name wasn't forgotten (She's not one of the more well known Gods). See, sometimes during workings, the Gods ask something of us in return for the things They do for us--it's a give and take relationship (and that doesn't mean us giving Them all our crap and Them taking it!) As a result, I started doing the Eos ritual at ConVocation. The last couple of years I didn't offer it (really, nine am at a con is pretty rough!) but I've had so many people asking me to bring it back this year, that I had to oblige. I'm so glad people enjoy it!

During the Eos Ritual (which is a very short one), we honor Eos and Her son Hespheros, the Dawn Harbinger, or Dawn Star.

So if you're at ConVo and up early on Friday morning, bring your coffee and tea and join us as we greet the "dawn"!

(Dates/times are totally subject to change, but I'm pretty sure people aren't going to be scrambling to steal my 9am slot!)


Hestia Invocatory Ritual

Hestia, known as Vesta to the Romans, is an Olympain Goddess; She is Sister to Zeus and daughter of Chronos and Rhea. She is one of the three Virgin Goddesses (though there were a few Virgin Titanesses as well), though she was pursued by both Apollo and Dionysus--but she turned them down flat! Hestia is a Lady of Hearth and Home, a peace maker and Goddess of Hospitality.

An Invocatory Ritual is a ritual in which the Deity is invited to enter into the body of one of the priests or priestesses so that They may interact directly with the people.

I had an interesting conversation with someone (well, half a conversation, I wasn't up for arguing) who said that they thought this smacked of hubris. Granted, it's expecting an awful lot of the Gods--and believe me, They don't always show up on cue! Sometimes They show up when we're not expecting Them or prepared, and sometimes They don't show up to the ritual we have planned. Most of the time, however (and thankfully!) The seem to get as much out of invocations as we do. After all, They get to interact directly in a very real and physical way with people who may have forgotten them or lost their way--They get to enjoy food and drink in a very solid substantial way...and occasionally They get to enjoy a little more, but there's a reason we don't invite certain Deities into public spaces!

For me, as a high priestess, vesseling or horsing is one of the most sacred and fulfilling "gifts" I can give to both my Gods and Their children, because during an invocation, I'm not just giving my time, I'm giving my self in a very literal way. Being a vessel or horse is literally giving one's body over for the Gods to use however They see fit. It requires a great deal of trust in both the Gods and those officiating the ritual--and the ability to set one's ego aside, because the pride has no place in invocatory ritual. It also requires a fair amount of work ahead of time and a support team for both before and after.

Raven Kaldera and Kenaz Filan wrote an excellent book on the subject of vesseling/horsing called Drawing Down the Spirits. I heartily recommend this one to anyone (everyone) who is involved in a group that practices invocatory ritual or who thinks that the Gods may be tapping on their head, trying to get in.

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For more information, check out the ConVocation website: convocation.org
For more information on Greek Gods, check out my favorite site: theoi.com
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In personal news, I'm up to 60,000 words in my m/m erotic romance novel.  The boys have gotten past the worst of their hurdles (themselves) and are together... of course that doesn't mean it's happily ever after, at least not yet.  After all, it's not easy being an outcast werewolf whose mate happens to be a police constable in Victorian London.  Now... can I finish this by NaNoWriMo, or am I going to be writing two novels in November?

And whoo-hoo, I've sussed out the new spell-check system! (or maybe it's the old one and I was just missing something...)  At any rate, no more typos!  Well... no more published typos....   ;-)

1 comment:

Dina said...

I'll be up early to greet the dawn with you ...sigh... on a Friday no less! LOL