My Religious Rings

A gorgoneion ring and a snake ring on my middle left finger.

The first religious ring I wore for a Hellenic god was a ring for Apollon. I purchased it from a store in Ithaca, NY. It is a snake.

When I was younger, I was struck by the imagery of the snakes kissing Cassandra’s ears, especially since she goes on in life to not be believed. It matched many of my experiences. I also wanted something that would mark that Apollon is the god who brought me into Hellenism from generic Neopaganism. My transition into Hellenic worship, as I may have said before, started when I was about twenty, and it all clicked into place when I first read Sallustius.

It wasn’t the first time I had felt that way about philosophy. I grew up UU and Neopagan simultaneously, and one of our RE coordinators was a philosophy major. She decided to teach us teens philosophy during RE, and it was the first time I was actually excited and actively engaged in learning during those Sunday classes. I had never before felt angry at my parents when we skipped service, and I enjoyed having readings and learning about the depth of possible ideas. I actually wrote my college essay for Smith about the experience. It’s also about when I started looking for 201- and 301-level Neopagan/Wiccan philosophy and found that there was very little.

The second ring is one I added last week. For some backstory, I was doing research on aōrai and gorgons for two myth-based speculative stories I wanted to write. This transitioned into a desire to actually bring more apotropaic imagery into my own life, specifically to help myself differentiate better between typical anxiety and anxiety-with-a-miasma-boost. I have lived with anxiety for a while. It started to get worse in mid-2016. Psychologically, it’s easier to deal with it when I have a good miasma-cleansing regimen. The root of what I have going on is a combination of genetics (because I have a bunch of genetic markers for anxiety) and needing to face some trauma-related things I had been avoiding. Miasma is not a cause, but high levels can exacerbate the situation — especially when my anxiety cycles are at the high water mark. So, I found a gorgoneion image on a ring on Etsy, waited for it to come in, and held an additional purification ritual when I put it on. My hope is that it helps (which seems to be the case).

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3 thoughts on “My Religious Rings

  1. I absolutely love this post. As someone who wears religious rings (for Cernunnos and Queen Maeve) and who has ‘spiritual jewelry’ as part of my practice, I have certainly been understanding the role and energy from jewelry. To ask, how do your ‘spiritually’ take care of your rings? I have always wondered whether or not I should ‘cleanse’ or even do a monthly ritual where, on the 31st of the old month and the 1st of the new month, I affirm the reason why I wear the ring with the Deity I have it for.

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    1. I haven’t investigated doing that kind of spiritual care with the rings. I think that there is definitely room for that, and I’d be equally interested in hearing from others about what they do.

      It’s enough for me to usually just have the constant presence and weight of a ring to remind me and re-center me about why it’s there, if that makes sense.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That definitely makes sense! I love a deep theology with hands, fingers, and rings, in the sense that they’re a great expression of working for the Gods, taking care of what you do with your hands and what comes from them, and having Their mark on the parts of the body associated with action, creation, destruction.

        I find that, sometimes, I need to remind myself that i’m wearing the ring, and why I am wearing the ring. Sometimes in the heaviness and weariness that comes from the Work and just from life’s happenings, it slips my mind when I look at my rings – so I wondered if a tradition of “reaffirmation” or vocalizing an active continued relationship might be helpful for memory and for focused direction.

        Thank you for your advice and your kindness! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

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