Oh, excitement! I got my first bit of email back in October (I know, it's been a few months, but anyway) from a lovely girl named Selena. I asked her if I could put her emails and my answers on the blog, and she said yes, so here's the transcripts!

Hello Miss Myst,
My name is Selena, I was wondering if you could tell me more about being a Nocturnal Pagan.  I've been trying to find my religion and I came across Dark Paganism while looking at Neo-Pagan religions and found Nocturnal Paganism by extension.  After looking into it a bit I found it sounded kind of right...  What does it mean do part of this religion (even if it's just what it means to you), is there any specific websites or books you would recommend, and anything else you wouldn't mind telling me^.^
Thank you!

Hello, Selena. Nice to hear from you. 

Nocturnal Paganism is the label I applied to my particular practice back when I started in with it a few years ago. I have been a child of Night since my days as a baby witch. Simply put, it is a Pagan practice that centers on the Night and the powers and beings associated with it, and my cycles are more closely related to the Lunar cycles, rather than the solar Wheel of the Year. 

I was claimed very early in my practice by the goddess Nyx, the Greek personification of Night and one of, if not the very first beings in existence, according to one iteration of Greek myth. It has always been more of a Mother-daughter relationship between us, more than a patron-servant or even -devotee relationship. She guided me and held me close, helping me rebuild the shattered foundations of my spiritual life. I had been Catholic all of my life, and had an experience where the Christian God told me that I was not one of His children and that it was time for me to go home. This realization broke me, having been taught that nothing else was right, and I had no concept of where "home" was if it wasn't the Church. When I started my search and stumbled upon Paganism, it just clicked. My first book was Paganism: An Introduction to Earth-Centered Religions by Joyce & River Higginbotham. I highly recommend this book. 

Later on, I stumbled upon Nyx's name in a fiction series, The House of Night by P.C. and Kristin Cast, and noted a quotation from Heosid's Theogany in the beginning of the book. The name struck a chord, even though I'd never heard it before. I did some research, discovering that Nyx was indeed a Greek Goddess, along with her fierce and fearsome reputation. The Casts did not present her this way, but more as a loving Mother to Her chosen people (in the series, they were vampyres, but this is semi-unrelated), and the notion also struck a chord. So, with a dearth of information on this Titan-Goddess, the note in my soul, and questions in my heart, I did the only thing I could think of: I asked Her. She came and embraced me, and it was very much a home-coming. I burst into tears at the feeling of being flooded by this pure love and acceptance after being left cold and alone by my parents' God. She was a shadow, darker than the depths of the ocean, deep and shielding. I felt purely at peace and fully exhilarated at that moment. This was my Mother. This was home.

Through my practice, which includes divination (Nyx had Her own Oracle back in ancient Greece) and finding uses for my vampyrism and the inherent talents to help my natural proclivity as a guide in transition and as a mystic, I have developed a familial and working relationship with the Dark Gods and Goddesses of the Greek pantheon, mostly those of Nyx's family. Nemesis and I have a sisterly relationship in which She likes to throw me curveballs but also backs me up when I have been wronged. (She's currently teaching me a very difficult lesson, but that's to be expected on the Dark side of things - the lessons aren't always taught gently.) 

I have also come to discover a connection with the Egyptian Bastet, one that is older than I had thought, as She had claimed me when I was in elementary school. Our working relationship has become stronger in recent months, and She is my Solar balance to Nyx's lunar influence. The two pantheons seem to mesh well enough, I think given the time where the Greeks ruled Egypt. I don't work much outside this group, mostly because I've never been able to find such nocturnal deities in other pantheons. I talk to Hermes occasionally, and I've had a chat or two with Coyote, but not much outside of that. 

Given that much of my practice is trial-and-error, and I'm not aware of many others who practice in this sort of realm, I can't give you much to go on as far as books go. Even the anthropological texts I've been able to find don't have much on Nyx's family. As far as resources, I like Encyclopedia Mythica (www.pantheon.org) and Theoi Greek Mythology (www.theoi.com) for reference. I'm also working my way through reading Heosid's Theogany, which I bought in ebook form from Amazon for $1. It should be on the Gutenburg Project's website as well. 

I'm glad that I could be part of your pathfinding, and please feel free to ask me further questions. I'm glad to help. 


Ever since I was little (I'm only in highschool though) I never felt connected to the Catholic religion.  About a year or two ago I really started to question it and at one point it felt like its God had stopped being a father, he was there because he is my parents god.  At one point I felt a strong feeling of him telling me I don't belong as one of his children.  I felt lost so I started looking for a different faith, that's when I started looking into the Pagan religion.  I feel connected to it, but not the bright. sunny side.  I understamd there has to be balance and I feel connected to the darker side.  How did you ask the Goddess Nyx if you were one of her claimed children, though meditation, trance, fasting, ect?  How do you recommend finding if a God or Goddess has claimed you?  Also on your blog it said that you were a vampyre, what does that mean and what is it like?  I really appreciate you answering my questions an being a part of my pathfindng.


I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you about this. 

I started questioning my faith around 7th grade (the 2002-03 school year), and it was less questioning its validity and more questioning my belief in it; whether I belonged there. After the revelation with the Christian God, I had a similar feeling as the one you describe. He told me to "go home." After the hurt subsided, He and I have developed almost an uncle-niece relationship, albeit somewhat antagonistic. 

When I decided to explore my resonance with Nyx's name, I cast a circle (I had already started an elementally-driven practice) and asked Her to speak with me. I offered up myself and presented Her with the fact that I was lost, felt at home and safe in the Shadows, and that I was looking for my home. Nyx and I have a very direct sort of relationship, and I am encouraged to ask questions, get my hands dirty, and take a very active role in my own development. 

As far as determining as to whether you have been chosen, the first thing I would encourage you to do is to read. Do as much research into the myths and symbols of the Gods and Goddesses that draw you. Don't rely on things in the New Age section; a lot of those resources aren't the most accurate when it comes to myth. They have a tendency to say that Isis is a loving, gentle mother figure, when according to Egyptian myth, she dismembers the god that killed Osiris. Not a nice person. Then, it's a matter of keeping eyes out for signs of deities that seem to show up a lot in your life. There is also the option of doing rituals and inviting different deities into your circle (make sure you don't bring in rivals - that's asking for trouble) and see who you click with. 

Don't expect to be claimed immediately, or by one or two deities. You may have a group, or just one, or you may be a free agent for a while. Paganism is an exploratory group of paths, and it's trial and error as to what works. The one thing to remember above all: Don't be afraid to make mistakes. You'll learn more from your missteps than you will your successes. Question everything. Experiment. Read, Talk to people. Look for a group or a teacher in your area. Explore, but be safe. 


Thanks so much, Selena, for your questions, and I'm really glad to be helpful. 

I noticed that I missed a question of yours! You asked about what it means that I'm a vampyre and what it's like. 

Vampyrism is a condition where a person does not maintain necessary levels of spiritual energy (I use the Hindu term "prana" though you may recognize chi, ki, or life force) and must feed upon the energies of others to replenish the energy levels. This can be done by drinking blood or bodily fluids or from drawing energy psionically. (This is a skill fundamentally akin to energy work and directing energy, but it pulls it inward instead of directing it outward.) Blood drinkers are called sanguinarians or sanguine vampyres, and the energetic versions are psychic or psionic vampyres. A good amount of the Pagan community are disbelieving of vampyrism, and see psychic vampyres as being malicious and power-hungry, but this is not the case for most of the vampyres I know. 

Hungry vampyres suffer various physical symptoms, such as unidentifiable cravings, migraines, decreased immune response, nausea, dizziness, irritability, depression, psychological issues, worsening of existing medical issues, etc. with no identifiable physical cause. Feeding regularly abates these problems. 

Psychic or psionic vampyres, like me, tend to note a natural talent for energy work, and I use this talent in my personal magickal methods to ease pain and help the healing process as well as doing simple energy work to work in my life.