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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in drawing down

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Classical Greek society (article) | Khan Academy

In ancient Greece, when an athlete was chosen to represent his city at, say, the Olympic Games, he first went to the temple.

There the priest would perform certain rites of purification and consecration. Then he would tell him: Remember, your body now belongs to the god.

When you give something to a god, of course, you want it to be the very best that you can possibly give.


So it is with spiritual athletics. I spoke the other night with the personifying priest for the upcoming 2021 Midwest Grand Sabbat.

There's a regimen to giving your body to a god. (Never doubt that the god, of course, gives back in kind.) Diet, exercise: in all ways, mentally and physically, you have to hone, to pare, to mold yourself into the best you of which you are capable.

I've done it myself. It's grueling work, especially for us over-fed and under-exercised denizens of the so-called 21st century. It's hard to give yourself to the hunger, even when that hunger joins you to a god.

I do my best to be a good trainer, to correct and suggest and encourage. Reflecting, I realize that I also have one other thing to offer here.

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Minoan Spiritual Practice: Ecstatic upraised arms

Strike a pose! Ecstatic postures have been a part of human religious practice for millennia, possibly going back as far as the Paleolithic. I've explored ecstatic postures and their place in Tribe spirituality before. They're a kind of spiritual "tech" - like yoga and tai chi, ecstatic postures make energy move via the mechanism of holding the body in particular ways. We find examples of these postures in the form of votive figurines from Minoan sacred sites such as cave shrines and peak sanctuaries. The best-known of these postures is probably the famed Minoan salute.

Most ecstatic postures appear to have been used by spiritworkers and worshipers to journey to specific places in the Otherworld or to connect with particular deities or spirits. In that sense, the usual museum label of "worshiper figurine" is accurate.

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In Which the Priest Answers the Inquisitive Child

Yes indeed, it was I in the mask and the paint last night; that's no secret. Everyone knows it.

But the god was there also.

Did you for a while forget that it was me, and see and hear only the god, even if just for only for a little?

You did, and that's the mystery, and the power: that if I do my work well, and you do your work well, then sometimes, for a little, the god will consent to cast his shadow over his priest, so that in this way he may speak, and dance, and sense.

And you too may see him then, and speak with him, and dance with him.

Why does he consent to do this? He does it because we are his people, and he loves us.

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