I get a lot of questions from readers, and most of the time, the answers are fairly short. When I feel the question or the reply would be valuable to others as well, I make a post with a collection of them and post them in one go. Today is one of those posts.

"I recently participated in one of the Elaion PAT rituals. This was my first Hellenismos ritual and it was interesting. Coming from an eclectic Pagan background this was a quite different, but it felt good. I didn't have "honey sweet wine" (mead?) or several bowls for libation but I did the best I could, offering several times khernips. Does each Theoi have Their own offering bowl that is brought out at each ritual or can they be cleaned after each use? Any experience or advise coming from a Pagan background and moving into Hellenismos?"

The most common style of wine in ancient Hellas was sweet and aromatic, which is what we mean when we say "honey sweet". In ancient Hellas, sacrifices were given to the fire so the smoke could take the sacrifices up to Olympos. If you can't use a fire, feel free to pour all libations into a single bowl. Once the ritual is over, dispose of the libation and wash the bowl. Preferably, the libations are poured into a (small) pit outside

I came into Hellenismos from a practice of Eclectic Religious Witchcraft and yes, it's definitely different. The best advice I can give you is to embrace repetition and leave as much flair behind as you can. Find the absolute barebones of your religious practice to "detox" from all the embellishments of modern Paganism and build up from there. Oh, and enjoy it!


"I have been working on refining my practice and have been doing more reading about daily ritual and trying to incorporate certain elements into my daily practice. My question is about Libation. So far as I can tell from my reading is that the Cthonic Gods gets Libation poured on the ground. Others Deities that I have seen seem to get some of the Libation poured on the altar or on the fire. Even some get a bowl. I currently live in an apartment. How could one provide libation in such a setting. I could do a bowl, but do I pour it outside?  Also as a devotee of Aphrodite would you have any specific recommendations of libation (unfortunately I cannot drink alcohol, but could I do something like grape juice and honey?)."

Wine is the traditional libation liquid; as drinking water was often stagnant, wine was used to purify it, and mask the taste. All men, women and children drank water which had some wine added to it. Wine was believed to be a healer–and it is–so everyone drank it, sometimes more when they were sick. Now, that is the Traditional side of it; what you do as a modern Hellenist is allowed to differ due to the changed from the ancient to the current society. One part of that is finding substitutes if wine is not something you want to consume–or can’t consume.

As wine pretty much was the ancient Hellenic equivalent of water, water is a good replacement. That said, it may feel a little to plain and personally I enjoy the fact that I libate wine because it has ties to the grape vine and Dionysos. So, as a replacement, I would suggest plain grape juice–as pure and sugarless as you can find it. It still has the same ties to the Gods, but without the alcohol.

Traditionally speaking—which is what I practice—all Ouranic sacrifices should be burned. Sacrifices to heroes too, by the way, and even some Khthonic sacrifices were burned. The ancient Hellenes burned things (like sacrifices, incense, but also the firebrand to make khernips) because smoke was the only way the sacrifice reached the Ouranic Gods. That’s how the sacrifice traveled to Olympos and how the sacrifice itself became sacred. Pure. Not burning sacrifices, traditionally speaking, is promising the gods sustenance and giving them an empty plate along with a message saying “just imagine it’s food. I’m sure you’ll feel full”. Of course, I–and hopefully They–know it isn’t always possible, but I do advocate burning sacrifices if at all possible. That's also why household worship was mostly practiced outside, by the way: the smoke needs to be able to rise up freely. If you burn your libations, you also won't have a wet bowl at the end Most Khthonic offerings are buried as that is where most Khthonic Gods reside—not in the soil but far below our feet, which is why scooping earth into a bowl and pouring libations into it wouldn't traditionally reach Them.

All of that said: most of us practice with limitations. A bowl of dirt put on the ground could work to pour libations into for the Khthonic Gods. Pouring libations into a bowl on your altar without burning them and praying really, really hard might please the Ouranic Gods. It's a choice you will have to make, based on the options at your disposal.


"Hi! Thank you for all you do and for being so informative and helpful in people's practices. You said in an earlier ask if people has suggestions for more YouTube videos to send them. Idk if this would be visually appealing but maybe going over a traditional prayer structure? Another thing is disposing of offerings/ashes. I think you said you give them to Hecate at crossroads but obviously not everyone can do that. Either way I'd be interested to see how you do it! Thank you!"

I think that might be a good video idea, but I already have a post about prayers (and hymns) too. Offerings and ashes are still sacred to the Theoi, and are to be disposed of in a respectful manner. In ancient Hellas, these were buried in votive pits, on the temenos, the sacred site, be it near a temple or at home. In modern times, this is usually a (shallow) pit dug in the garden where you can dispose of whatever remains after sacrifice. As for the crossroads: a crossroad is by definition a point where two roads meet, but in ancient Hellas it was often seen as any liminal place--a point of transition--from home to street, for example. I place my offerings to Hekate near the gateway from our home to the alleyway that runs past our backyard, for example, as that is a crossroad too.