I have a friend who does monthly libations to the Greek gods and goddesses and when possible, I try to join. Not long ago I joined him by the river to libate Artemis, and today I joined him in a grove in the forest at the top of a mountain, amongst some of the oldest oak trees in the city, to call Zeus and libate him.
I had no alcohol I thought would be appropriate to give so I prepared a bottle of elderflower and labrador tea with a lot of honey mixed in. I also brought organic tobacco for a particular oak tree and the mountain.
It was short and sweet. It starts with creating a circle (offerings in the middle, on a slab of rock so as not to directly touch the ground) and then calling Zeus by all his many names in ancient Greek. And then we recited poetry for him, in ancient Greek, and in English. (My ancient Greek is atrocious but hopefully not … insultingly so? Oooh boy.)
We drank and toasted wine and the labrador tea, before pouring it on the ground. And then we each in turn spoke a personal prayer. I thanked the thunder god for his help last weekend making it safely through a tornado thunderstorm (fun times) and personally appealed for his help as leader of the gods, because we live in dangerous times with dangerous, cruel, power-hungry leaders, and we need better. We also asked him for guidance in understanding hospitality better, and being better guests on the earth and on stolen land, and for his assistance speaking to other spirits on our behalf.
We libated him with wine one last time, thanked him, thanked the forest, oak trees and the mountain, and then ate some snacks and talked for a while, enjoying the company of the trees and the forest and the mountain.
After the ritual, as we sat together under the tree, I pulled a card for the Oak tree asking it how it felt about witnessing the ritual, and pulled the 10 of Cups. I then pulled a card for the Mountain, and pulled the Queen of Staves — who in this particular deck is a woman depicted with a snowy owl on her arm… interesting considering next month’s ritual is for Athena!
A little afterwards, it occurred to me that I was just joking the other day that one of my goals is to become a weather witch and become friends with all the thunder gods. I guess it’s happening!