Sunday, December 9, 2012

Closing out the month of Panaion 2012

On the 25th of November/11th of Panaion, we celebrated the Pompaia, a festival during which we ask for Zeus' protection of our homes during the storms of the winter.

This ritual works with Cthonic Zeus, and so was held in the outer temple area used for cthonic work.  As you can see the imagery used includes many of His symbols, such as the oak leaf, the swan, the snake, and the eagle.  Some brought their Ktesios jars and other ritual items from the Diasia to be re-blessed for the winter.  Some writings associate Hermes, or at least His staff, with the Pompaia, and so His staff was included as part of the blessing of offerings and items that had been brought for re-dedication.

On the 9th of December/25th of Panaion, we celebrated the Dendraia, a festival to honor Pan through the decoration of a pine tree.  As the reason the pine is sacred to Pan relates to His unrequited love of Pitys, She is also honored.

Today we chose to also honor Selene, the one who did return Pan's love.  Her candle can be seen on this closeup of the festival altar.

This year's tree is currently a tad sparser than last year's, as the ornaments from years past are still at the old temple site.  They will be added later.

We did incorporate the branch we had decorated for Panaia at the top.  Food offerings included a rice pilaf dish with pine nuts and turkey sausage and an "evergreen" salad.

Next up will be the Kheimonia on 9th Kheimonion /23rd December followed by the Diogennia on the 23rd of Kheimonion/6th of January.  In other news, there will be a priesthood class starting in January with the first two students of the "HTAZP Seminary."  An Introduction to Hellenismos class is also forming.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Genesia and Panaia 2012 Plus New Shrines


The autumn seems to be flying by quickly.  On October 28, we celebrated the Genesia, a holiday of the honored dead.

This was also the first festival in which the individual shrines for all the Gods were unveiled, so here is a brief pictorial tour.  First there is Hermes (first shrine as messenger/guardian, second dedicated to the Thrice-Blessed Hermes and set aside for magical work)

and also Hecate, guarding the entryway to the main temple space,

with a shrine to the ancestors at the base.

Next is the Agathos Daimon's shrine.

To the left, upon entering, is a reading area that includes several shrines.

Here we have Athena, Hephaistos, and Aphrodite,



and Hestia.

Adjacent to the reading area is the healing and divination area, featuring Apollon and Artemis.


Next is Demeter's shrine.

Zeus and Hera.


Chthonic Zeus.

And the main temple space, dedicated to the three Patrons of the temple: Apollon, Zeus, and Pan.

As you turn back towards the entryway, there is a shrine to Ares.

A supply of various incenses for offering.

And a final one to Hecate.

Today, November 11, we celebrated the Panaia, Pan's birthday with various offerings to Him, including ribbons used to decorate both a pine branch in His honor and a representation of Him.


Food offerings included kielbasa with peppers and goat cheese, a vegetable dish made to look like sheep grazing in pasture, wine, and of course, birthday cake.  In addition to the ribbons, non-food offerings included several sticks of pine incense and a goat donated through Heifer International to a family in a developing country.

As today is also Veteran's Day/Remembrance Day/Armistice Day, we included a libation to Ares at the end of the day, asking for His gifts of war and chaos to be kept from us when possible, but to be accompanied by courage and strength when conflict is necessary.

The next festival will be the Pompaia on November 25, and the projected December festivals are the Dendraia on the 9th and the Kheimonia on the 23rd.

As always, if there are any comments you'd like to share, ideas that our rituals have sparked for you, or questions about why we do things the way we do, we'd love to hear from you, so feel free to hit the "comment" button!

Until next time, peace,

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Puanepsia-Oskhophoria 2012


Today was our joint celebration of Puanepsia and Oskhophoria.  The two fall side by side on the Athenian calendar, and at our oikos they appear to be merging into a new festival with elements of both as we honor the "changing of the guard" as Apollon goes to Hyperborea and Dionysos returns to Delphi.

We made eirisioni from branches taken from the backyard, decorated with ribbons, bay leaves, and other items in some cases.  One participant incorporated grapevine.  Since there actually was a child in attendance today, the child distributed the eirisioni to everyone present, a slightly more traditional method than our usual "musical eirisioni."

After the theoxenia, which included everything from a turkey-zucchini stir-fry to lentil-kale soup to sweet bread to grapes, not to mention both white grape juice and wine, there was a "fashion show" of those participants who had chosen to honor Dionysos' androgynous aspect by dressing as the opposite gender, an element we've been incorporating for the past couple of years.

That's it for now.  Next up will be the Genesia on the 28th, Panaia on November 11th, and Pompaia on November 25th.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

September 2012


We're about halfway through the month of Panagonion, and the secular September has been a busy month!

On the 2nd, we celebrated Therapeia, a healing festival for Apollon, Asklepios, and Pan.

As has become customary at HTAZP, we held a Reiki share as part of the festival.

The 16th was Panagon, a day of games celebrating Pan's help in the Battle of Marathon.  This year, the game was Pente.  Timotheos won for the day, and the prize (a candle) now resides on Pan's shrine.

Today, September 30, we celebrated the Fall Festival, which was a two-parter.  For the first part of the day, we offered thusia and shared theoxenia with Demeter and Kore in thanks for the bounty of the growing season that is growing to a close.  Offerings included pork, tricolor couscous, apple cider, and a rice dish with various harvest veggies and apples.

We also spent some time talking about how this time of transition is not only about the changing seasons but also about life changes as Kore matures and Demeter has to learn to let Her go, at least some of the time, and Demeter's anger that it did not happen on Her terms.  Kore's name change is part of that transition.

The second part of the feast is Persephone's wedding to Hades.  The altar for that portion of the day started off with Hades awaiting His bride.  Some discussion arose around the various  different interpretations of the tale of Kore's abduction.

A procession was made from the main temple space with Persephone's image to the place awaiting her by Hades.

Offerings included a wedding cake (top layer seen above in the offering dish), flowers, chocolate cake that arrived later, and a cocktail called peacock that included pomegranate liqueur.  

That's it for this month.  Next month's festivals include Puanepsia/Oskhophoria on the 14th and Genesia on the 28th.  Down the road, November's two festivals are anticipated to be Panaia and Pompaia.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Founders Festival and the Year Ahead


Today we celebrated the Founders Festival at the Hellenic Temple of Apollon, Zeus, and Pan.  The new space has been renovated since you saw it last, and so this celebration included reopening and rededicating the space.

The entryway is guarded by Hermes and Hekate.

As you enter the Temple space, there is a shrine to the Olympians on the left

and the Agathos Daimon on the right.

Directly ahead as you proceed is a shrine to Zeus.

Immediately to the right is a Hestia's shrine

and the main shrine to the Temple Patrons.

There is also the library space (featuring left to right Peregrine, Sage, and Timotheos)

and the reading (as in divination) space.

And in the area just before the entryway is the Shrine to Foreign Gods.

In the previous issue, I mentioned that there had been divination done for the themes & Deities to be focused on for the year ahead.  Here they are:

MonthCommon CalendarDeitiesThemes
Anadikion7/19-8/18 2012Athena, Hades & Persephonebuilding, working, creating
Therapeion8/18-9/16 2012Gaia, Heraclesdecisions, actions
Panagonion9/16-10/16 2012Pan, Erosreprieve from chaos, relax, healing
Pyanepsion10/16-11/14 2012Helios, Hekatechaos, figthing, brings clarity
Panaion11/14-12/14 2012Horai, Hestia, assistance from Demeternew growth
Kheimoneion12/14/2012-1/12/2013Artemis, ZeusListen to Zeus. Fresh start. Charge forward.
Gamelion1/12-2/11 2013Poseidon, Dionysospriesthood, leadership, established structure, fluid rules
Diasion2/11-3/12 2013Aphrodite, Daimonteam up, retreat, group work
Eiarinion3/12-4/11 2013Ares, Demeterdestroy, rebirth, courage, decision on growth
Delphinion4/11-5/10 2013Hermes, Selenefamily, growth
Thargelion5/10-6/9 2013Hephaestos, Herabuild strength, forge newness
Philokhorion6/9-7/9 2013Apolloncontent
Philokhorion B7/9-8/7 2013Hadesmore work w/Hades & ancestors

Upcoming festivals:

September 2: Therapeia, a healing festival in honor of Apollon and Asklepios

September 16: Panagon, a festival of games for Pan.

September 30:  Fall Festival in honor of Demeter and Persephone