Sunday, October 18, 2015

Therapeia 2015


Today Back in September, we celebrated the Therapeia, our healing festival to Apollon, Aesklepios, and Hygeia.  This post was written that day, but has apparently sat in drafts for the past month.  Sorry!

We actually celebrated this festival in two parts.  The first part of the day was spent at Southeast Massachusetts Pagan Pride, where we did a small ritual off by ourselves after the festival's main ritual.

We then returned to the main Temple space for the second part of the festival, which has traditionally been a Reiki share.  Today, we did this in the form of a Reiki circle, in which all practitioners are giving and receiving Reiki energy at the same time.  We humans sat in a semi-circle, with those nearest either side of the altar placing a hand on it to connect in with the Gods of the festival as well. 

No festival feels complete without Pagan Arts and Crafts (tm), so we made healing lotions which we then placed on the altar to be empowered until the end of the day.  Theoxenia was vegetarian pizza (as healthy as pizza can get) and fresh fruit.

Our next festival will be the Panagon on September 27.  Until then, may the blessings of the Gods be with you!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Anadikia 2015


This weekend, we celebrated the end of one year and the beginning of another. As has become our tradition, this was a three-day retreat at the Temple space.

Friday - Diisoteria & Deipnon

On Friday evening, we gathered at the Temple and lit Hestia's hearth, each "bringing our fire" from our homes.  We had a dinner of lamb to celebrate the outgoing year.  We shared our accomplishments from the past year and our hopes for the year ahead.

Once dinner was done, we did some "Pagan Arts and Crafts," decorating paper maché skulls with the names of deceased ancestors, to be used in another ritual later.  (Some of us may possibly have gone slightly overboard with the paint, with the result that not all were dry in time for the Deipnon.)


The focus of this ritual was to give thanks to the Gods for their help in achieving all that we've accomplished over the past year.  Thusia was sunflower-honey bread and libations of wine. 


We then extinguished the hearth and processed to Hekate's altar. 

Here, we wrote down things we had intended to accomplish but did not for one reason or another.  These were burned and the ashes swept away with the old year.

Saturday - Anadikia & Hephaestia Part I

Saturday morning, we started the day with a breakfast of smoothies and muffins before our first ritual, in which we greeted the new year. 

We returned the fire from Hekate's torch to Hestia's hearth and wrote down our goals for the coming year.  These were placed in a mason jar to be stored until next year, so that we can either give thanks to the Gods for helping us achieve them or else, if they become goals that are set aside, sweep them away with the old year.

Thusia was a loaf of olive oil/rosemary bread with libations of lemonade.

Scarlet Rose offered a workshop on connecting with Pan through the Labyrinth.

Lunch was pizza, followed by a table-tipping workshop that involved communing with the Temple Patrons.

Late afternoon saw a Hellenismos class in Household Ritual.  There was a walk scheduled for after dinner but other events intervened, so dinner was followed by the first part of Hephaestia, and a movie which ran parallel with a second table-tipping session.  The last event of the evening was a brief meditation in preparation for doing dreamwork overnight.

Sunday - Hephaestia Part II and Agathos Daimon

This morning started with a trip to Hannaway Blacksmith Shop to complete our Hephaestia celebration.  Upon returning to the Temple, we offered a final libation to the Agathos Daimon and Hestia to close the retreat followed by a celebratory brunch.

New Year Divination

As is our tradition, we did a divination to determine the God who will rule the year and each month, as well as what message from the Lemurian Alphabet Oracle each God has for us.

The strife-bearing gift fulfills the oracle.
The affair upholds a noble undertaking.
Phoibos speaks plainly, “Stay, friend.”
There is sweat, it excels more than anything.
If you wait a short time, you will go on more easily.
There is no fruit to be taken from a withered shoot.
We desire to see the offspring of righteous marriages.
There are no crops to be reaped that were not sown.
You will have a parting from the companions now around you.
Gaia will give you the ripe fruits of your labors.
Apollo says you shall do all things successfully.
The work is hard but change will be admirable.
13th month
In customs, inopportune strength is weak.


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Philokhoria and Adonia 2015


We did the Philokhoria a week before the actual Summer Solstice, so apparently it made sense to post that festival a week after?  Oops.

Helios was gracious enough to keep the sun out for us until after the ritual proper, after which Zeus, fittingly, let a bit of a storm roll in.  Very fitting, considering the underlying myth.

Today, we celebrated the Adonia at Scarlet Rose and Draconis Pyrozale's site, temple name still under construction.

Scarlet Rose led the ritual, which we celebrated in two parts.  The first part commemorated the mourning of Adonis' death, with offerings to Persephone and the heart-wrenching Lament by Bion.  At the completion of this part of the festival, we processed out of the temple and returned to celebrate Adonis' return.  This part of the day featured a group reading of the Orphic Hymn to Adonis.

Our next festival will be the Anadikia, at which point the next year of festivals will be mapped out.

In the meantime, may the blessings of the Gods be with you!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Skiraphoria 2015


Today we celebrated the Skiraphoria, a festival to Athena, Poseidon, and Helios as well as Demeter, Kore, and Dionysos.

We started outdoors, at Poseidon's shrine.  (Helios had been petitioned to keep the sun out for us until this portion of the festival had been completed, which He graciously did.)   Scarlet Rose and Draconis Pyrozale were the celebrants with assistance from Peregrine Ursano.

After purifying with khernips, we processed indoors.

Invocations to Athena, Helios, Poseidon, and Dionysos were offered to establish the space before the lighting of the hearth.  After thusia, theoxenia included chicken, pork sausage, pita chips with various dips, and cinnamon buns, chocolate chip cookies, and cupcakes. 

Coming up:

Philokhoria, June 14, 2015
Adonia, June 28, 2015

In the meantime, may the blessings of the Gods be with you.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Olympieia & Thargelia 2015


Our two most recent festivals were Olympieia (April 19) and Thargelia (today).


For the Olympieia, offerings of pictures of Pegasus were given to Zeus in honor of the horse races that used to be held in His honor for this festival in Athens.   To incorporate the gaming aspect of the festival, those present played Settlers of Catan.


To celebrate the Thargelia, birthday of Apollon and Artemis, we began with a Pharmakhos ritual to cleanse ourselves and our community, then processed into the main Temple for the main ritual.  We offered vegetable calzones as thargeloi or first-bread with first-fruits, as well as individual birthday cakes (cupcakes) and a newly-invented treat known alternately as Sweet Goulash or Whathafa (essentially a widely varied trail mix glued together with peanut butter and Greek yogurt).

To the left of Apollon's bust, you may notice a covered picture. This is the khoanoi, or the original image of Apollon used in the Temple, which is only revealed during this ritual and otherwise remains hidden.

Coming Up

Sunday, May 17, the Panaphobeia
Sunday, May 31, the Skiraphoria
The Hephaistia has been rescheduled again, date to be determined.

Until next time, may the blessings of the Gods be with you.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Aphrodisia & Delphinia 2015


Spring appears to have finally sprung!  And so our rescheduled Aphrodisia did happen last week with no further snow delays.  It was held at the temple tended by Scarlet Rose and Draconis Pyrozale.

The ritual included a washing of Aphrodite's statue followed by a guided meditation led by the hiereia (priestess).
Participants received pieces of sea glass anointed with special Aphrodisia oil as a memento of either the gifts received from or requests made of Aphrodite during the ritual.

  Theoxenia included a sweet tomato sauce over pasta.

And today was the Delphinia, festival of Apollon Delphinios, who sends the dolphins to guide ships safely home.
Our ritual included a meditation on the origins of the feast and offerings of wool to adorn Apollon's staff in thanks for challenges He has helped us navigate and in request for help navigating future challenges.  This is based on the tradition of a procession offering consecrated olive branches decorated with wool.
Theoxenia included dolphin-shaped sandwiches made with dolphin-safe tuna and cheesecake.  There is evidence that a particular kind of cake was traditional for this festival called popana made of soft cheese and flour, hence the inclusion of cheesecake.

Coming up:
Sunday, April 19, the Olympieia
Sunday, April 26, the Thargelia
Sunday, May 3, the Hephaestia
Sunday, May 17, the Panaphobeia
Sunday, May 31, the Skiraphoria

Until next time, may the peace of the Gods be with you.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Eiarinia 2015


May it be that Spring has finally sprung in New England?  It didn't look like it yesterday, but today we had a sunny and relatively warm day for ritual.  There is still snow on the ground, however, so it was indoors.

We actually did a combination of several Spring rites today, starting with the Diasia for Zeus Melikhios.

As has been our custom, we offered animal crackers as the "cakes in the shapes of animals" and offered a libation of milk as we offered our thanks for His protection through this winter filled with storms.

Once this offering was complete, we processed into the main temple space, where we honored Demeter, Persephone, Gaia, Apollon, Hyakinthos, Artemis, and Pan.

The Eiarinia Spring Festival encompasses Gaia, Demeter, and Persephone.  They were offered, respectively, Girl Scout cookies, bread, and peppers (a vegetable that is also a fruit, representing Persephone's role between two worlds).

Pan's Spring festival is the Poimeia, a modern festival in honor of Pan the God of Shepherds.  He received an offering of multi-colored cake.

Apollo and Hyakinthos were honored for the Hyakanthia.  Apollon was offered ground lamb (to stuff the peppers), and Hyakinthos was offered His flower.

Artemis's festivals are the Elaphabolia  and Mounikia, both of which celebrate her with offerings of cakes, either in the shapes of deer for the former or cakes "shining all around" for the latter, which were represented with the candle-lit cupcake in the offering bowl in the foreground.

We used invocations from Hearthstone's In Praise of Olympus:  Prayers to the Greek Gods, with each participant reading in turn.

Coming up:

Sunday, March 29, the Aphrodisia
Saturday, April 4, the Delphinia
Sunday, April 19, the Olympieia
Sunday, April 26, the Thargelia

Until next time, may the peace of the Gods be with you.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Hermathlon 2015


We're having quite the eventful winter in Southern New England, so the Aphrodisia, previously planned for February 15, has been postponed until March 29.  The Diasia, which we typically celebrate at the beginning of March, has been postponed until we have some clue that we are actually done with snow, as part of that festival is a "thanks for letting us survive the winter" element.

Today's Festival

Today, we celebrated the Hermathlon.  As a bonus, we inaugurated the Hellenic Temple of Hera, Hermes, and Dionysos, a daughter-temple of the Hellenic Temple of Apollon, Zeus, and Pan tended by Neokoros Peregrine Ursano.

The walls of this new space, as you can see, are adorned with original artwork and Theban blessings appropriate to each of the four Greek elements.  Other symbols are included as well.
We began outside this new space with a meditation to help us focus on Hermes as Lord of the Games and Luck-Bringer, then processed into the new space for thusia.  Offerings included tacos, bread sticks and a pig-shaped loaf of bread that was offered and shared within the ritual, and various munchies useful for nibbling during gaming such as chips, cookies, and raw veggies with dip.

Participants also received a million dollars from Hermes (in the form of a chocolate bar, seen above) as a representation of His blessings of good fortune.
Theoxenia and gaming was held in the HTAZP temple space which is a bit roomier.  For games, we chose Quibbler, which is a word game that can be compared to a cross between Scrabble and rummy, and Pictureka, a game in which you have to locate items on a changeable board within a time limit.
Do you have any thoughts on how to celebrate these aspects of Hermes?  Please share them in comments!

Coming Up

Our next festival is slated to be the Eiarinia on March 22.
May the peace of the Gods be with you.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Gamelia 2015


So, there have been some calendar changes since the Diogennia.  The Hephaestia has been postponed until Spring, and today was the Gamelia.  (Actually, today was always the Gamelia.  The listing in the last edition was in error.)



For today's ritual, we incorporated a telling of the myth of Zeus and Hera's courtship and wedding, which is also the origin myth for the institution of marriage.  Invocations from Peregrine Ursano's book In the Names of the Gods - Poems, Prayers, and Reflections upon the Hellenic Pantheon were used.  Theoxenia included chicken cordon-apple (chicken stuffed with ham, cheese, and apples), Italian wedding soup, chocolate cake, and wedding cake. 

Between courses of feasting, our Pagan Arts and Crafts session consisted of making Happy Hera Mojo Bags.

Fabric from Hera's wedding dress from last year
Ribbons that have been used in Hera's wedding garb in past years
Apple seeds (associated with Hera)
Amethyst chips (associated with Zeus for the "all-seeing" aspect as well as the priestly color and its connection to the planet Jupiter)
Jasmine flowers (associated with Zeus)
feathers (peacock or related colors if possible, associated with Hera)

Place the apple seed in the center of a 4-5 inch square of fabric
Add a pinch of dried jasmine
Add a chip or two of amethyst
Add a feather or two (may be enclosed inside or left poking out)
Tie the bag shut

If you do not have a previous year's wedding dress fabric or ribbons, you may wish to do a divination around what would be most pleasing to Her that you can access.

Set your intention for the bag, which may be to attract a partner or to bring happiness and stability into an existing marriage or other committed relationship, and ask for Hera's blessing on it.  If its purpose is to attract a partner into your life, then wearing it on your person would be ideal.  If its purpose is for an existing partnership, then keeping it in the bedroom or on a home shrine to Hera would be preferred. 

Coming up:
February 15 - Aphrodisia
Until then, may the peace of the Gods be with you.
The members of HTAZP

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Diogennia 2015

Khairete and Happy 2015!

Our first festival of the secular year was today, the Diogennia, Zeus' birthday.

We began with a meditation on Zeus' birthday via the Cretan myth before processing into the main Temple space.

Offerings for the feast included chicken a la king, ninja-bread cookies (that will make sense in a minute), honey-glazed donuts, honey sticks, and a gingerbread cake.

Ginger is sacred to Zeus and part of the myth is of Zeus being kept protected in a cave on the island of Crete, which was brilliantly lit.  So when our Hiereus found cookie cutters shaped like ninja warriors (seriously named "ninja-bread cookie cutters"), he decided they would help to decorate the birthday cake.  (Admittedly, Ninja warriors were native to a different island.)  Above they are shown guarding Zeus in lightning and/or snake form (also apparently called slightning).

We referenced Hearthstone's book, In Praise of Olympus, for various prayers during the ritual and also specifically invoked Zeus' following epithets:
Basilios - king
Megalos - great
Ktesios - house jar (of the home)
Oikos - of the house
Herkaios - of the boundaries

We also made Ktesios Jars, something we have often done for Diasia but which Hiereus Timotheos decided to incorporate today as this specific epithet of Zeus and means of honoring Him is the most universal.

Some things the jars have in common are oak moss, oak leaves, and olive oil, plus a number of other herbs and items depending upon what each person wished to either attract to or repel from their home, and then olive oil.  The purple and red yarn represents colors of royalty.

Do you have any particular practices or recipes that you do for the Diogennia?  Please answer in comments!

Our next festivals will be Hephaestia on January 11 and Gamelia/Theogamia on January 25.

Blessings of the Gods,