Wednesday 14 December 2011

How to perform a ritual to the Teraphim

Your family Teraphim are household gods.  Most of these tend to be personal and unique deities, but the goddess Asherah is commonly found among them.

If you have any idols of the household gods, it is best to keep them somewhere private.  Usually upstairs is where a Teraphim shrine will be kept.  I personally keep mine in my bedroom, behind some curtains which I can open and close at any time.  I also have a small cabinet nearby where I can store them if needed. 

On your altar, place the idols themselves, a light source like an oil lamp or candles, and incense.  I personally have on mine some incense, two oil lamps, a representation of a kappu symbol, and the idols of the deities themselves.

Only you know your own Teraphim, so I cannot tell you how to worship them individually.  However, for a very general ritual to them, I can tell you how I would go about it personally.

Firstly, wash yourself with water.  This doesn't need to be very elaborate, at least not as elaborate as temple worship.  You don't need to purify the whole room or make it sacred, as it is your own dwelling, and the household cultic areas should already be purified when constructed.  Instead, simply approach the shrine and bring an offering.  Something like a drink-offering would do for a daily offering.  With something more elaborate, offerings like bread and cakes are common (especially around festival times).

Approach the shrine.  This doesn't need to be solemn like entering a temple room, simply walk up to your shrine and kneel before it.  Begin by invoking the Teraphim individually, then light the oil lamps.  Then prostrate yourself seven times (or bow if your prefer).  Come forward with your offering and leave it in the shrine, then burn some incense in their honour.  Return to kneeling on the floor, and say a small prayer to the household gods.

Now this ritual isn't very complex, and that is the intention.  I prefer to keep my interaction with the household deities very simple.  If you want to do something more elaborate, then that is up to you.  This is just how I do it personally.  Also, when passing an altar, make sure to say a quick blessing to the deities there, in order to invoke their blessing in return.  It can be something simply like saying "shalam" when you walk past.  How frequently you perform these rituals is up to you.  Some people might prefer to do it every day, possibly even every morning and night.  It is recommended, though, that you strengthen your relationship to your household deities with frequent offerings.

An ancient household shrine

No comments:

Post a Comment