A Starry Bull offering rite
- Cleanse with chernips.
- Apply titanos.
- Ring a bell seven times.
- Light a candle.
- Inscribe or trace a Labyrinth.
- Offer incense.
- Make a triple libation of:
- Offer grain.
- Offer fruit or flowers.
- Offer honey.
- Offer an egg.
- Recite a hymn.
- Ask blessings for your community.
- Thank the God or Spirit.
- Thank the predecessors and preservers of the tradition.
- Spend some time in personal prayer, meditation and communion with the Gods and Spirits.
- Perform divination.
- Close the rite by ringing a bell three times.
Chernips is created by extinguishing a burning branch or leaf of laurel or some other sacred plant in a basin of water. The water is then used to purify and consecrate the space, objects and one’s self through sprinkling with a branch.
The titanos is made by burning previous sacrifices, aromatic or sacred herbs and sheets of paper on which prayers, hymns and blessings have been written and mixing it with wine or chernips to form a paste. One may also use other white, powdery substances in place of the ash. One may cover their face with it or inscribe sacred characters such as a spiral, bull’s horns, an eight-point star, the letters delta or omega, a lightning bolt, a snake or the Orphic egg. One does this for purification, protection, empowerment and intensification of focus.
Ring a bell seven times to signify that you are ready to begin.
One may inscribe the labyrinth on a sheet of paper or the surface of the shrine’s altar; alternately if one has a permanent representation of the labyrinth on their shrine one may trace its pattern with their finger. This opens the door to the realm of the Gods and spirits; one’s offerings should be placed on or near the labyrinth so that they will be received by them.
The light and warmth of the candle draws them.
Each of the offerings are deeply symbolic; one should contemplate their associations as they are being made. One may come up with set phrases or chants, speak ex tempore or make the offerings in reverent silence as suits one’s ritual preferences and style.
One may recite an ancient hymn, such as those by Orpheus, Homer, Proklos, Julian etc.; one may recite the appropriate Starry Bull communal hymn or hymn from Thunderstruck with Wine for the day; or one may recite a piece of one’s own composition or a favorite poem that reminds one of the God or Spirit being honored. One should reflect deeply on what one is reciting and how the words feel as they leave one’s mouth. Experiment with tone and cadence and breathing; try chanting or singing as this powerfully enhances the recitation. One should sit quietly for several moments after finishing, opening one’s self up to the presence of the Gods and Spirits, reflecting on their nature and powers and stories, as well as one’s previous experiences with them.
One rings the bell three times to send one’s worship above, below and through the labyrinth and to open doors so that the blessings of the Gods and Spirits may flow back from these directions into one’s life.
Though not included in the outline of this rite, one may give their blood while making the other offerings in order to strengthen their bond with the God or Spirit. However one should confirm through divination that this blood sacrifice is actually desired before one does so.
Feel free to adapt this rite to suit your needs.