Sunday, July 21, 2013

Therapeia 2013


First, we would like to note that we had no idea Apollon was intending quite so literal a "message for the month" with "There is sweat, it excels more than anything." The heat is a tad less today in Southern New England than it's been for the last week and a half or so, and yet it is still quite hot and humid. Possibly a tad closer to what our spiritual ancestors might have been experiencing in Hellas.

Onward to today's festival! 

Today we celebrated the Therapeia, a modern healing festival that has evolved over the years. Originally focused on Apollon and His son Asklepios, Pan soon joined as the God of wild herbs and remedies. This year we also honored Hygeia, Asklepios' daughter and Goddess of health, Artemis, Goddess of childbirth, and Gaia.

Offerings included images of snakes for Apollon, Asklepios, and Hygeia, a sheep for Pan, and candles for all. Food offerings for theoxenia included salmon burgers, veggie sticks with guacamole, farm-fresh salad and peaches. After the feast, we held a Reiki share in which everyone had a turn giving and receiving healing energy.

We also started a new practice of creating a shrine to honor the Deity of the year (from the Anadikia divination) and each month, to be shifted each Noumenia.

Finding a creation-focused image for Prometheus (aside from the card used in the divination) proved challenging. It's a work in progress, but we found a few that featured Prometheus as Creator of humans with Athena giving the soul. One was selected to be a backdrop to the shrine, and as you can see, for the moment we're utilizing the divination cards as well.

Coming Events

The temple's first seminary class is progressing and ordination/installation is planned for the end of the summer. The upcoming festival schedule so far is:

3 Therapeion/August 10RI Pagan Pride
11 Therapeion/August 18Founders' Festival
9 Panagonion/September 15Panagon
23 Panagonion/September 29Fall Festival
22 Pyanepsion/October 27Puanepsia and Oskhophoria

That's it for now.

Be well,

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Anadikia 2013

Happy New Year!

With the first Noumenia following the Summer Solstice, which we celebrate as Philokhoria, we are beginning a new year at HTAZP. While our months are named a bit differently than the Hellenic Month Established Per Athens, we do keep to the same start/end point of the year. (Yes, we're a couple of days early, but modern work schedules don't tend to accommodate the Hellenic calendar.)

As is traditional, we celebrated with a retreat at the temple.

Participants gathered on Friday evening to observe the Diisoteria, a sort of a combination of Hekate's Deipnon with New Year's Eve. Offerings were made to both Gods and Ancestors to close out the year.

Playing cards has also become a New Year's Eve tradition, although due to scheduling, this year it preceded ritual rather than going from the end of ritual until midnight.

Bright and early Saturday morning (or possibly a bit closer to noon), we held the first part of our Anadikia ritual. Thusia and theoxenia included brunch items such as Finnish pancakes, muffins, watermelon, and scrambled eggs.

After theoxenia came the annual cleaning of the temple, complete with washing statues and images and ironing the wax out of the occasional altar cloth. The water used for cleansing the statues and images also had bay oil and sea salt, for their purifying qualities.

This was followed by the second theoxenia of the day, this time a dinner of chicken and zucchini with New Year's Cake or vaselopita for dessert. Interestingly, Hieros Timotheos later realized that the name of this cake translates into "king's bread." There is a coin baked into the cake that is intended to bring luck for the year ahead to the person in whose piece it is found. As it turned out, this year it fell between two slices, so two participants were declared the recipients of a lucky year and the coin was offered to the temple's Agathos Daimon.

The final component of the day was a divination for the year ahead in which cards were drawn to see which Deity would be "ruler" of each month and what messages They might have for us. The divination tools used were the Olympian Oracle Cards and the Greek Alphabet Oracle. The overall God for the year is Prometheus, with the saying "To fight with the waves is difficult - endure, friend." The theme for the year is creation.

MonthCommon CalendarDeityThemes
Anadikion 2013Jul/Aug 2013ApollonThere is sweat; it excels more than anything.
Therapeion 2013Aug/Sept 2013ArtemisIt is necessary to labor; change will be admirable.
Panagonion 2013Sept/Oct 2013HestiaYou desire to see the offspring of rightful marriage
Pyanepsion 2013Oct/Nov 2013ThemisYou have the helping Gods of this path.
Panaion 2013Nov/Dec 2013GanymedeMake offerings and wait.
Kheimonion 2013Dec 2013AsklepiosPhoibos speaks plainly: stay friend.
Gamelion 2014Jan 2014SelenePhoibos speaks plainly: stay friend.
Diasion 2014Feb 2014HephaistosCompleting many contests, you will achieve the crown.
Eiarinion 2014March 2014DionysosThe strife-bearing gift fulfills the oracle.
Delphinion 2014April 2014HeraThere are no crops to be reaped that were not sown.
Thargelion 2014May 2014PanThere is sweat; it excels more than anything.
Philokorion 2014June 2014DemeterYou have the helping Gods of this path.

And that's it for now. Have a great year!