Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hermaia

This is a festival of games in honor of Hermes. There is very little info as to the timing of the historical festival, and so modern worshippers may arrive at different conclusions as to when it is best to observe it.

Hermaia 2014

Saturday, April 23, 2011

April News

Xairete!

Now, with some of the basic housekeeping setup done, here is our first news post at the new site.

This month started off with the first official Temple naming ceremony. It was a deeply moving experience, bearing witness as this person took vows to his Patrons. The basic ritual structure, for those who are curious, is outlined in Timotheos’ contribution to From Cave to Sky: A Devotional Anthology in Honor of Zeus.

After the ritual feasting was done (and given some time to settle) we unwound a bit by doing a bit of belly dance. Several members had expressed interest in learning this form, and so now we’re working on learning a choreography for the Philokhoria, our summer festival honoring the Twins through, among other things, dance.

On the 17th, we celebrated Delphinia with offerings of fish and seafood to honor Apollon as the God of dolphins who guide ships safely home. One Temple member brought lemon meringue pie as an offering, explaining that the meringue looks like waves, and sailors need lemons or other vitamin C sources to avoid scurvy. Another offered a “dolphin adoption” in the name of Apollon Delphinios. We also honored His love for Hyacinthos with offerings of hyacinth flowers and His return to Delphi from Hyperborea with divination.

For May, we’ll be celebrating the Twins’ birthday at Thargelia on the 15th, a festival that promises cleansing, purification, more cleansing, more purification, and a birthday party.

May the Gods’ blessings be with everyone!

Peace,
Diane

Setting up

Xairete!

My name is Diane, and I'm going to be helping out with this blog for the Hellenic Temple of Apollon, Zeus, and Pan. 

In the interest of making it easier to embed links in blog posts that describe some of the basics of the festivals we observe regularly, I'm going to create a series of short posts to hold that information, much of which is also found on the Temple website.  These entries will be backdated to the day before this blog actually launched, in the interest of not taking up people's dashboards as they are posted.

New Blog!

Xairete!

I have started a new blog for the temple which has been more complicated than I originally thought but it's finally up and running! This particular blog will be for the Hellenic Temple of Apollon, Zeus and Pan's newsletter and my friend Diane has graciously accepted to maintain it so that it is regularly updated. I give thanks to her for that and you should be seeing posts pretty soon. The blog is still in its beginning stages but as we continue to grow and develop as a temple the blog will continue to do the same. Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!

Remember if you are interested in the temple, send me an email at neokoros@htazp.org! We're always glad to hear from you!

Peace,

Hier. Timotheos Anderson

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day

Earth Day is a secular holiday focused on preserving the natural environment of our planet.  It seems only natural to honor Gaia on this day.  Ways to do this range from a simple libation to a blessing of new plants for the season to an environmental project such as beach cleanup.

Olympieia

The Olympieia honors Zeus as the King of the Gods and was the founder's festival of Zeus's temple at Olympia. One way to celebrate is with a feast and games in His honor with a prize given to the winner.

Olympieia 2015

Anadikia

At the start of our spiritual year, we hold a festival called the Anadikia or the Great Noumenia.  Over the years, this has evolved into a retreat at the Temple, including offerings to our spiritual ancestors from Ancient Greece as well as our personal ancestors and sacrifices to the Olympians, Nature Gods, and Khthonic Gods.

Anadikia 2011

Anadikia 2012

Anadikia 2013

Anadikia 2014

Anadikia 2016

Anadikia 2017

Diisoteria

The Diisoteria celebrates the end of the year and addresses the Patrons of the Temple as well as Hekate and Hermes, thanking Them for the blessings of the past year and for the blessings of the year to come. A cake is offered in the shape of an equal armed cross symbolizing the crossroads.

Panaphobeia

The Feast of Fear honors Pan as the God who both rules and relieves Panic. During the festival, worshipers discuss with each other their own fears, and images, tokens or masks are made to represent these fears. Sometimes a dream incubation ritual is done at home in preparation for the festival.

After the theoxenia is over, each participant goes home and uses the mask in a personal ritual to Pan, where they offer their representation to Him asking that He help them face their fear (usually in a dream or guided meditation). The festival closes with a drum circle in honor of Pan giving thanks for His assistance.

Panaphobeia 2011 (no group ritual on account of Hurricane Irene)

Panaphobeia 2012 (not held due to temple moving)

Panaphobeia 2013

Thargelia

The Thargelia honors the birthday of Apollon and Artemis. It is a purification festival, where one or more dolls are consecrated as a Pharmakhos (scape-goat) and passed around the circle during ritual. The participants place all of their negativity magically upon the doll(s), which are then burned.

This ritual is followed by a spiritual bath (where blessed waters are poured over the heads of individuals so that Apollon can grant healing. When purification has been achieved, offerings of cakes are given to Apollon and Artemis. A traditional offering, called thargeloi, would be bread with vegetables baked into it. As a modern adaptation, sometimes vegetable calzones are offered.

Thargelia 2011

Thargelia 2012

Thargelia 2013

Thargelia 2014

Thargelia 2015

Thargelia 2017

Philokhoria

The Philokhoria is a celebration on the Summer Solstice which incorporates a myth by Callimachus. In the myth, Artemis dances and her dancing is so beautiful that Helios (the God of the Sun) stops in the sky to watch and the days get longer. In the festival, there is a dramatization of the myth which includes a modern ending where the other Gods try to find a way to get Helios to continue on His path again so that things can return to normal.

At the Hellenic Temple of Apollon, Zeus, and Pan, we celebrate this festival with a theoxenia to Artemis and Apollon, followed by games and dancing, and on one occasion, the dramatization of the myth through the use of puppets. Along with Apollon and Artemis, Helios, the nymphs, and the muses are honored with offerings.

This festival was created by Hiereia Thista Minai of the Tempe of Artemis at Cataleos.

Philokhoria 2011

Philokhoria 2015

Philokhoria 2016

Philokhoria 2017


Delphinia

For the festival of Delphinia, we make offerings of wool to Apollon as the god of Dolphins, who guides ships safely home. Sometimes we save these offerings of wool, wrapped onto branches, for use at Puanepsia to create eiresioni.

On this date, a sacrifice of fish is given to Apollon, asking that He protect our loved ones who may be overseas and to others who have suffered damage from flooding and great storms. Other offerings may include images of dolphins or donations to organizations that support them in some way. In times of peace, this is a time to thank Apollon for helping our loved ones return to us.

We also often honor the love of Apollon and Hyacinthos at this time. Though the Spartan Hyacinthia was held in early summer, this is the season during which the flower Apollon creaetd from Hyacinthos' spilled blood is blooming in this region, hence the timing. In 2013, this aspect was moved to the Eiarinia, again because the hyacinth flowers were more abundant at that time.


Delphinia 2011

Delphinia 2012

Delphinia 2013

Delphinia 2014

Delphinia 2015

Delphinia 2016

Delphinia 2017