Sunday, January 31, 2010

Aphrodisia

The Aphrodisia celebrates Aphrodite as the Goddess of Love, beauty, sensuality and romance. Participants may ask for Her blessings upon their relationships and special make up or jewelry may be consecrated at Her altar. Offerings of cookies, cakes, and other sweet desserts are made to Her along with roses and other flowers that She might like.

To go by the Ancient Athenian Festival Calendar, this would be celebrated on 4 Hekatombaon, generally falling in mid-to-late July on the modern Gregorian calendar.  At HTAZP, we celebrate the Aphrodisia around the time of Valentine's Day, as that is when the Polis at large (the society in which we live) is celebrating love, romance, and sensuality.

Aprhodisia 2012

Aphrodisia 2013

Aphrodisia 2014

Aphrodisia 2015

Aphrodisia 2016

Aphrodisia 2017


Gamelia

Also known as the Theogamia, this festival celebrates the marriage of Zeus and Hera.  At HTAZP, we celebrate by first bathing the statues of Zeus and Hera separately then adorning them with wedding finery.  They are then honored with thusia and theoxenia.  A sample ritual by Timotheos can be found here.

Appropriate offerings would include wedding-related items, such as rings, as well as things considered sacred to each Deity.

Gamelia 2012

Gamelia 2013

Gamelia 2014

Gamelia 2015

Gamelia 2017


Thusia

Thusia - sacrifice to the Gods, primarily the Olympians, in the context of ritual.  Sacrifice to the Kthonic Gods is referred to as enagisma. 

For a more in-depth discussion of the role of sacrifice in Hellenic Polytheism, see Notes on Hellenic Worship, excerpted from the book Old Stones, New Temples by Drew Campbell.

Diasia

The Diasia is a festival in honor of Zeus Meilikhios.  Meilikhios or "Easily Entreated" is the title for Zeus in His underworld aspect. Each year in Ancient Athens, sacrifices were made to placate Him so that a good harvest could be had. On this day we honor Zeus by offering Him cakes in the shape of bulls and snakes (Zeus' sacred animals).

In modern times, animal crackers are offered to Zeus, asking that He be kind to us through the rest of the winter and to relieve us of any guilt we have acquired. Following this is a theoxenia for Zeus where worshippers share in His fellowship. It is also customary on this date to give gifts to children as Zeus Meilikhios is considered to be the protector of children.  At HTAZP, this has traditionally included activities such as a teddy bear drive for the local children's hospital or Project Smile.

Another element of this festival is the making of kathiskos or ktesios jars to be used in the home for protection of stored foods from spoilage.  How often these are emptied and the contents changed varies from one household to the next, but creating and dedicating a new jar for usage throughout the year is often done at this time.

Diasia 2012

Diasia 2013

Diasia 2014

Diasia 2015

Diasia 2016

Diasia 2017

Diogennia

The Diogennia is the celebration of Zeus' birth.  The date is a bit hard to fix, as it was observed at different times in different regions.  There are, in fact, two main tales of His birth, the Cretan and the Arcadian, not to mention several variations on how He was raised thereafter and by whom. 

In modern times, specifically at the Hellenic Temple of Apollon, Zeus, and Pan, we tend to observe His birth not long after the Kheimonia or Winter Festival and before the Theogamia/Gamelia.

Appropriate offerings include amber incense (always good for any offering to Zeus), candles and/or golden bowls to recall the light in the cave on Crete where He was born in one of the primary myths, and crowns in honor of His position as King of the Gods.  Honey features prominently in food offerings, relating to the light in the cave as well.  If you are more drawn to honor the Arcadian myth, offerings related to wolves would be appropriate, as He was worshipped there as Zeus Lykaios.

Diogennia 2011

Diogennia 2012

Diogennia 2013

Diogennia 2014

Diogennia 2015

Diogennia 2017