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.