In the polytheistic communities one inevitably encounters a large vocab list of different items that have been historically used in worship, which can be intimidating to new polytheists. Someone coming into the Hellenic religion may feel intimidated by such things as phiales (shallow bowls, which are particularly seen being held by Apollon), oinokhoes (libation vessels), kylix (drinking cups) and so on. This is not to mention the discussion of various forms of iconry that people use in their worship. It can make a new polytheist feel not only intimidated but that they *must* have all of these fancy things in order to *really* start worshiping correctly.
I am here to say, “not so!” Truth is that many of us polytheists who have fancy shrines/altars and supplies of worship do not come by them over night. Everyone has to start somewhere, and often where you start is with whatever you have available in your kitchen. Take myself for instance, I have been worshiping the gods for nearly 20 years and not until just in the last few years have I been in a position to have statues and the like. In fact most of my recent statue acquisitions over the last year have only been because I discovered that I had a knack for making them myself. Many people, including myself, have little more than a framed printed out picture, a bowl from the kitchen to pour libations into and a cheap candle with some stick or cone incense that can be readily bought in many stores.
In fact after all this time I still don’t have a proper oinokhoe. That is not to say that I wouldn’t like to have one and that I don’t have it on my wish list (because I most definitely do!) but that I don’t let that get in the way of my worship. You know what I am currently using for my oinokhoe? A two-cup measuring cup, that’s what. I fill it up to pour it over the black agyieus stone/shivalinga that sits in my phiale. I don’t even have a traditional looking phiale either, but a small copper bowl that is roughly of the shape of a phiale in smaller size than what one sees depicted with the gods. The kylix I have was a gift too from a friend, and wouldn’t have it otherwise if it hadn’t been given to me not too long ago. Don’t feel ashamed to grab that wine cup (or mug, or glass) from the cupboard and use it as your kylix. Don’t worry about grabbing that measuring cup, water pitcher or whatever have you to use to pour libations as your oinokhoe. Or the cereal bowl for your phiale. It is not as complicated or as difficult as it seems.
This also goes for doing ritual in general…it is not hard, nor is it difficult. There seems to be this assumption that offering regular prayer is time consuming. I offer prayer and incense several times a day and write about my religious practices a lot on my facebook. I have recently been asked “what else do you do? How do you have time to do all that and still have time for something else?” And so it occurred to me that from observation of discussion that people have the misconception that basic worship is very time-consuming which can be intimidating too to new polytheists who wonder how they can set aside the necessary time. Truthfully most of my rituals (unless they are for major festivals which has more going into it) rarely take more than 30-45 minutes at most. Simple prayers take less than 15 minutes where I just offer a stick of incense at random with a prayer. Big festivals meanwhile take an hour or two, but for these one expects to schedule time especially aside from them. But daily regular worship is actually takes very little time out of your day…so just jump on in! Don’t worry about scheduling time to do it because you will find that you can do a ritual in the morning while the coffee is perking without any worries.
Just take pleasure in the joy that worship brings and in the cultivation of your relationship with the gods. If you can’t remember technical terms and don’t have all the fancy equipment..well who cares! I seriously doubt the gods are observing saying “what kind of shit oinokhoe is that?!” Just by the act of giving the offerings and prayers you are establishing your relationship. So just do it!