Honoring the Theoi through Daily Life
(Originally published in Rainbow-Winged 2017 January)
I’ve noted many people asking the same question lately: “How can I create a daily practice of honoring the Theoi?” Since each person and their situation is different, it’s difficult to give concrete recommendations. The most helpful advice I can offer to anyone with this question in mind is find ways to connect your everyday life with the Theoi. Many of the seemingly mundane tasks we do actually are connected to the Theoi. And by recognizing this, it puts them more in the forefront, thus reinforcing the connections we already have established. Before you know it, this practice will snowball.
Pick a typical day and jot down the things you do and how they relate to the Theoi. If you like to watch the sunrise, or just open up the curtains first thing after waking up, you can log this as relating to Helios (the sun deity). If breakfast includes some grain-based item, log it for Demeter (the grain goddess). Go for a morning jog? That would be for Hermes (god of exercise, among other things). Putting bath salts in the tub can be related to both Apollon and Asklepios (healing gods). And of course the water itself is a gift from Poseidon (god of the sea). These are just a few very basic examples.
After you have your list, on the next day try to incorporate some concrete action. A simple “thank you Helios for the beautiful sunrise” or “Asklepios please help me get over this cold” is all that is necessary. This will help cement it in your mind that these actions are sacred to the gods.
After some time, try to expand your original list. What other things are you already doing that you can connect back to a particular deity? Reading a book or attending school is for Athena (goddess of wisdom). Going to or watching a movie relates back to Dionysos (god of the theater). Quality time with your spouse is sacred to Hera (goddess of marriage). If you make handcrafted items, this belongs to Hephaistos (gods of craftspeople). Add in an action on these items, too.
By this point you probably have changed your perspective on the many things you do throughout the day. You can expand further by considering not just the things that you do, but things you come in contact with. These might not be everyday occurrences, but try to notice them as they come up. Do you spot any wildlife or plants/trees that are sacred to a deity? How many public buildings in your area have Classical architecture? As you go about your day, if something catches your eye, pause to think if you can find a relation back to a deity. It might not seem obvious at first, but after thinking for a few moments, you’ll be surprised to find a connection.
Once you get your mind in the habit of looking for these connections, you’ll begin to see the Theoi all around you. It doesn’t have to take time set aside for formal ritual to develop your relationships with them. Just be open to the world around you, and you’ll find them pervasive in your life.