Yesterday night, I made my Deipnon offerings to Hekate, and I had to smile at not only the familiarity of the actions, but also the familiarity of the scents that came with the offerings. I burn pretty much all my offerings, and most of them have a very specific smell that I have come to associate with Hellenismos.

In my previous practice, I really only associated the smells of incense, burning paper, and candle wax with religion. Now, the most religious of smells is the scent of wine as the water is boiled out of it. It's the scent of incense, still, but at the Deipnon, it's the smell of sweet lavender added to the scent of burning wood, wine and wax. On the Noumenia, it's the scent of sweet cakes burning on the fire, and the scent of the honey that is poured over it.

I go to bed with the scent of wine in my nostrils every night, and every morning, I get to smell it again. It's almost like a security blanket, a reference point for the day. The scent of it grounds me and makes me feel connected to the Theoi and my faith.

I often underestimate the importance of scent in rituals. It's the acts that matter; the prayers, the offerings. Yet, it's the scent that lingers, like a personification of the Theoi. Each offering has a unique smell, be it wine, honey, lavender, foodstuffs, wax, milk, or olive oil. They have become triggers for me that ground me and pull me into the experience.

Even if I would stop practicing tomorrow, I know these scents would always remind me of the Theoi: they have become engraved in my mind, in my nose. They bring forth images of countless libations, or pious sacrifice, of clearly voiced praise and prayer. Triggers. Wonderful triggers, that will always remind me of the beauty of religion.