Livanios is a Hellenic philosopher born in the Hellenic city Antiocheia of Syria in 314 a.C. His family was local and...
People have worries and anxiety. The modern way of living is fast and that's not normal. Technology and modern society make us want everything fast and now, so we don't have the time to relax and wait, because everything around us presses us to move on, make it fast, set another goal, continue... Human psychology cannot deal with great amounts of pressure for a long time, whatever pressure might be. In work, in relationships, in hobbies! There are ways to relieve or soothe ourselves every time we feel anxiety. Normally, our parents teach us to soothe ourselves at a young age. If someone is raised in a family with anxiety, then he will fail to soothe himself and he will want to be around friends so that their company will soothe his anxiety.
People go out for a coffee to see their friends and exchange ideas, thoughts and experiences. This is a way of soothing ourselves. Having a hobby like painting, sculpting, fishing, shooting is a creative way to channel this anxiety. Practising martial arts, sports, going to the gym are effective ways to raise testosterone and reduce cortisol. So, we have ways to increase our happiness inside our body and feel happy. In our house, we can do little things to soothe our anxiety. The way we sit and calmly control our breath for an hour is an effective way of active meditation. Woodworking may also be a similar way. A passive one is to practice sitting meditation. A more active one is to do volunteer work with people or animals. In Hellas, we have another way, which is traditional, to play with euxantron or komboloi.
Euxandron is translated as worry beads. It is a small object with beads tied in a thread and they move as we use our fingers. They produce a soft sound that calms us. We need to have a steady rhythm so that they will produce a steady sound. We can play fast or slow, and we can produce low or high sounds with the beads, depending on our finger and hand movement.
The beads could be of bone, wood, crystals, plastic, resin, amber, berries, metals. There are about 22 in Hellas. Historically, brave people played with euxantron. It was a sign of bravery, strength and integrity, especially in the 60's. For a magician, he can use an euxantron from crystals associated with calm energy or with vitality. For devotees, he can use ebony to intone the connection with Hekate.
My grandfather used to play with euxantron all day, especially when he worried about something. All men of his age played with euxantron in the coffee house together as they discussed and drinking their coffee. Anyone could make one if he had the way to create the beads or he could buy them at a low price. There are no side effects and the sound won't bother anyone. It is very easy to learn to play with it. I have one, but I didn't use it as much as my grandfather. My sister, my father, my mother also played with euxantron. Nowadays, we find special stores in Hellas, which sell komboloi or euxantron. People have used it to occupy their hands in order to quit smoking. Prices vary, depending on the materials, but a cheap euxantron lasts for years and produces the same effect.
Hellenic tradition loves this instrument of stress-relief. There are songs about it. There are technicians who create it. People who make jobs that require patience use it daily. You will see people play with it if you visit Athens and you will see more if you visit any village. Personally, I find myself playing with euxantron for some minutes daily from period to period. If you visit Athens, try to find one komboloi/euxantron that pleases you by its appearance, sound and price. You can also buy beads and make your own. If you are a female, don't play it outdoors. Euxantron is a mean of mediation that can be used parallel with any activity that doesn't require one hand. It is a companion for solitary periods.
Video for euxantron with subtitles
A short video on euxantron
Reportage on kompoloi
French reportage in Nauplio, a place where kompoloi is very famous
Video 1 and 2 explaining how to make your own euxantron
One way to play kompoloi as mpegleri
Theurgy and Philosophy are two different methods which lead to the union with God.
It amazes me how so many traditions follow these ancient protocols and roles,