Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pompaia: Protecting the House

The ancient Pompaia was a procession around the city with a Dion Kodion, a sheepskin blessed to Zeus which absorbs miasma.  The modern observance may utilize a similarly blessed fleece or perhaps an item made of wool dedicated for that purpose.  Various other offerings are also made to Zeus asking Him to be gentle during the coming winter months.

Writings also suggest Hermes, or at least His staff, was also involved in this festival.

Pompaia 2011

Pompaia 2012

Pompaia 2014

Panaia: Pan's Birthday

The Panaia is a modern festival celebrating the birthday of Pan.  The actual date is Maimakterion 1 (following the ancient calendar) and therefore the exact date can change based on the lunar cycle.  The festival starts with a theoxenia to Pan with the main offering typically being lamb.  Pine cones may be decorated to be put on Pan's tree at the Dendraia, His next festival, and games may be played. A drum circle or other musical offering is often a part of the celebration as well.

Panaia 2011

Panaia 2012

Panaia 2013

Panaia 2015

Panaia 2016

Oskhophoria

The Oskhophoria is celebrated on 8 Pyanepsion and is a festival of Dionysos and the grape/wine harvest.  This is also the time when Dionysos comes to Delphi and Apollon leaves to go to Hyperborea. 

The traditional observance included a procession led by two young men who dressed as women to honor Dionysos' androgyny.  A modern observance could thus include dressing for ritual as the opposite of one's usual gender presentation. 

Wine offerings, common at many festivals, are particularly appropriate for this one.

Oskhophoria 2011

Oskhophoria 2012

Oskhophoria 2013

Puanepsia

On the 7th of Pyanepsion, the Athenians celebrated the Puanepsia in honor of Apollon and the harvest.  During this festival, a bay branch called the eiresioni was decorated and then brought around the city by children singing songs.  This branch (or branches) was placed upon people's doors for good luck throughout the year.  A stew of beans and grains called panspermia (similar to the thargeloi offered at Thargelia) was offered to Apollon.

In the modern celebration, the eiresioni is made by gluing bay leaves to a branch or wreath along with ribbon, yarn, cotton or wool pieces, and sometimes even dried or false fruits.  A theoxenia for Apollon is held where the main offering is a stew made from boiled vegetables, beans, and rice.  (A Greek lemon soup is very appropriate.)

Puanepsia 2011

Puanepsia 2012

Puanepsia 2013

Panagon: Games in Honor of Pan

Around this time in ancient Athens, the Athenians honored Pan with a torch race, thanking Him for His assistance at the Battle of Marathon.  The modern festival may include an actual torch race (if space permits) or a different game which is dedicated to Pan.  The winner of the game is given a prize to bring to his or her personal shrine and then a theoxenia is held in honor of Pan.

Panagon 2011

Panagon 2012

Panagon 2013

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Genesia

Genesia, sometimes spelled Genesios, is an Athenian festival of the dead.  On the Athenian calendar, it takes place on 5 Boedromion.  It has connotations of remembering those fallen in battle, so on the modern calendar in the US, it may make sense to observe it around Memorial Day or Veterans' Day.  Alternately, as Wicca, several other Pagan faiths as well as other non-Pagan faiths frequently observe remembrance of the dead at the end of October, it may make sense to observe the Genesia at this time.

At HTAZP, we've done a bit of all of the above.  We have held a ritual to Athena and Ares in honor of those fallen in battle near Memorial Day or Veterans' Day, and we have also held a more widely-focused ancestor ritual on the last Sunday of October.

May 2012

October 2012

November 2013

October 2016