Sunday, December 17, 2017

Kheimonia 2017


Today we celebrated two things: the Kheimonia and the merging of two temples.

Let's take the second first.

The Hellenic Temple of Apollon, Zeus, and Pan has been sharing a portion of its space with the Hellenic Temple of Hera, Dionysos, and Hermes for some time.  After much divination and discussion, the two have combined to form Temenos Oikidios (Temple of the Little House).

This has resulted in some changes to the space.

Ultimately, this will also result in a change for our website, blog, and Facebook page.  The blog will likely migrate to a different platform, or at the very least to a new URL reflecting the new name.  When that happens, we will announce it here.

Related to this, Kheimonia, already an amalgamation of festivals, has some additional elements this year.

For background, since the Greeks didn't have a winter solstice ritual per se, some modern Hellenic Pagans developed a multi-day festival to honor Helios called Heliogenna.  HTAZP combined this with the traditional festivals of the Haloa (for Demeter) and the Rural Dionysia, eventually adding in the Pompaia (honoring Zeus Melikhios and Maimaktos) and the modern festival of the Dendraia (for Pan) to form the Kheimonia (which translates to Winter Festival).  Over time, we have added the Poseideia and this year we incorporated Hera Chera (Hera the Widow), Aesklepios and Apollon Iatros, and Hermes Taxidios.

If you're wondering how in the world we fit this all into a single festival, the ritual link is here

We offered olive loaf for thusia. Theoxenia included pulled pork sandwiches, pumpkin soup, salad, cookies in shapes appropriate for the Haloa and Rural Dionysia, and ice cream roll.

Though we did some tree decorating on the Panaia, we did a bit more today.

And for gaming, we opted for Rotten Apples to stay in the mode of offering bawdy humor to Demeter to cheer her up.

That's all for now.  Again, an announcement will follow once we have new URLs to share for the website, blog, and Facebook group.  

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

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Panaia 2017


Today at the Hellenic Temple of Apollon, Zeus, and Pan, we celebrated the Panaia, Pan's birthday.

After a pre-procession meditation, we opened with hymns from In Praise of Olympus.  Hiereus Timotheos did a divination with the Astragaloi that we discussed during the theoxenia.

For theoxenia, we offered and shared lamb with spinach over mini-rotelle pasta (which looked amazingly like pine cones) and various pastries for dessert.  Our libations were moonshine and non-alcoholic apple cider.

After, we did the preliminary Dendraia decorations with a miniature tree for Pan along with a drum circle.

Next up will be Kheimonia on December 17.  Until then, may the blessings of the Gods be with you!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Anadikia and Fall Festival 2017


Apologies for the long absence.

Recent Festivals

For the last weekend of June, we once again celebrated the Anadikia at Temenos.

Hestia altar on the hearth.

Main altar.

It was an amazing and reflective weekend of rituals, divination, and simply being away from the everyday hustle and bustle.  As per usual, we determined our calendar for the year at this time.  Upcoming dates below.

Today, we celebrated the Fall Festival.

Our divination was a reminder that while, with courage, we will succeed in our endeavors, these must be for the greater good.

As it is traditional to offer Demeter pork, theoxenia was pork teriyaki along with rice, baked beans, and salad to round out the first harvest, with apple pie to finish.

We also celebrated the Panagon, and thus after theoxenia, we played the game Tiki Mountain, which may not be a marathon but is still a sort of race.

The Year Ahead

(Puanepsia & Oskhophoria at another location.)
October 22 - Genesia 
November 19 - Panaia
December 17 - Kheimonia
January 21 - Diogennia
February 18 - Theogamia & Aphrodisia
March 18 - Eiarinia
April 15 - Delphinia & Hermathlon
May 20 - Thargelia
June 17 - Philokhoria
July 13-15 - Anadikia

All festivals begin at 3:00pm (2:00pm meetup time).  Those who have been named and wreathed are welcome to join us at 12:30pm for a Noumenia ceremony.

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

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Philokhoria 2017


So, though it is a bit early, we celebrated the Philokhoria today.

We used the sock puppets created for last year's festival for our dramatization of the tale from Calimachus upon which the festival is based.  Accompaniment was Hymn to the Sun from the CD Music of the Ancient Greeks by the Ensemble de Organographia.  Invocations were from In Praise of Olympos by Hearthstone.

Theoxenia was your basic summer cookout fare:  burgers, hot dogs, potato wedges, salad, and fruit.  We kept it indoors, though, as it was threatening to rain.

Why were we doing our summer solstice-themed ritual so early?  Well, because HTAZP will be at Free Spirit Gathering around the time we would normally celebrate it!  And Timotheos and Scarlet Rose will be leading the opening, main, and closing rituals.

After that, we'll be having our annual Anadikia retreat as we start the new Hellenic year.

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

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Spring 2017


Bit of a catch-up post here, as we've had a few festivals since last time.

Diasia & Eiarinia

The Diasia and Eiarinia were celebrated together on March 19.  The ritual can be found here.


The Delphinia was celebrated in April.  As usual, the Hyakinthia was included as well.  And that ritual can be found here.


And today was the Thargelia.

Ritual available here.

Next up will be the Philokhoria in June.

May the blessings of the Gods be with you!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Aphrodisia 2017


Today, we observed the Aphrodisia, however the lovely New England weather required us to "practice apart together."

The ritual, written by Scarlet Rose, can be found here.

Pictures will be added as they are shared by Temple members.

Our next festival will be the Eiarinia as well as the Diasia, currently scheduled for March 19.  Considering one is a festival thanking Zeus for getting us through the winter and the other is the festival of spring, let's hope we are past these winter storms by then!

May the blessings of the Gods be with you.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Anthesteria 2017


So on the 5th of February, we celebrated the Anthesteria.

As we've done in the past, we compressed the traditional three days into three rituals throughout the day celebrating the birth of Dionysos, the marriage of Dionysos and Ariadne, and Dionysos' rescue of Selene from Hades.  The abridged version of the rituals, written by Peregrine Ursano, can be found here.

During the "birthday" portion of the day, we shared various hymns and songs, including the Hymn to Dionysus performed by the original Broadway cast of The Frogs:

and I Am What I Am as performed by John Barrowman:

For the second portion of the day, we were each given a length of yarn that we put several knots into, which were blessed by Dionysos and Ariadne.  The intent of these is to undo the knots when we need help overcoming blocks or barriers.

For the last portion of the day, we offered libations to our ancestors, our Heroes and Beloved Dead, and finally to Hermes.

Our next festival:  Aphrodisia

May the blessings of the Gods be with you!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Gamelia 2017


Sorry this is a bit delayed.  Catching up on the last three festivals here.  The usual blogger missed this festival, so the following is courtesy of Peregrine Ursano.

So, back on January 22, we celebrated the Gamelia, sometimes called the Theogamia.  This is the Holy Wedding of Zeus and Hera. We started with a reading of the poem “Love and Commitment.” by Melia Suez. We then did a guided centering where we focused on Hera’s messenger Iris, the rainbow. The rainbow is a symbol of hope, and light, and overcoming difficulty, and as such has been a part of movements for equality and defeating oppression.  Hera was seduced by Zeus during a rainstorm, it was fierce and dark and He came to Her as a small broken cuckoo bird. Her nurturing and love and kindness took Him in and brought Him closer to Her. Today many feel as if we are in the midsts of a great storm it looks fierce and dark and many of us are broken and tired. We are challenged to be like Hera, to show love and nurture and kindness to be patient and strong as we weather this storm together. And at the end of the storm is Hera’s rainbow, that message of love and hope that all storms will eventually pass.  We then processed to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo╩╗ole.

The kyrnips were made by blending 4 drops of Her oil with 4 drops of His, as 8 is a sacred number to Them as it represents the infinite. As the mythos states that all Gods and Goddess were welcomed today, after lighting our hearth fires and purifying we passed the World Candle in three cycles, first to welcome the Nature Spirits, then second for the Daimones of Greece and beyond, and lastly for all Gods and Goddess of Greece and all pantheons.
The reading oracle was done via Peregrine's Modified Alphabet Oracle, where a card is first drawn for the Deity speaking, then an element card, and lastly an Alphabet message. The cards read from Ares in Fire in Beta: With the help of Tyche, you will have an assistant, the Python Apollo.  Which is interpreted, as Ares the soldier, in His courage and passion is saying that although the battle is hard and the storm is fierce, if we stay true and we stay focused, we will have the conquering power and help of the Gods with us.
We then offered the sacrifice which consisted of freshly baked bread, roast pork and apples, and mashed potatoes and the libations of cider, root beer, san pellegrino, and an apple midori mixed. After the sacrifice and feasting we then washed and dressed Zeus and Hera. two pitchers of water were used. One with 8 drops of rose oil, to symbolize fertility and purity and new growth, the other with 8 drops of frankincense to symbolize royalty and power and order. As they were washed and dressed we read  “A Song for the Gamelia” by Amanda Sioux Blake. We then united each four rings, as Hera’s handmaidens are the seasons to help bring order in prosperity into our lives. The ring for Winter we focused on what needs to be removed, what no longer serves us as winter is a time for death and removal. The ring for Spring we focused on what new needs to grow, what newness we would like to bring into our lives. The ring for Summer, we focused on what we have already that needs growth and nurturing. The ring for Fall we focused on what we may have too much off, not to remove it entirely but to bring it into moderation and use only what we need. We then linked our chains to the larger chain, which united Hera and Zeus as we circled the now married God and Goddess around the altar. We then shared cake and cupcakes and closed our rite.      

Next up: Anthesteria

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Diogennia 2017


Today we celebrated the Diogennia, Zeus' birthday.

Hiereus Timotheos shared today's ritual online, for those interested.

We began with the Homeric Hymn to Zeus and included prayers from the Orphic Hymns and the Litany to Zeus from Hearthstone's In Praise of Olympus.

Theoxenia was very honey-focused with honey-mustard-lemon chicken and honey-drenched crumpets as well as rice, spinach, and donuts.  The libation was a mixture of gin and apple juice.

For Pagan Arts & Crafts, we created a crown of oak leaves which can be seen on the statue of Zeus to the right, above.

And Hiereus Timotheos learned of a Cretian folk-dance that is believed to derive from an older dance commemorating Zeus' birth and the need to cover His cries to hide Him and Rhea from Cronus.  Originally this involved clashing of swords and shields and appears to have evolved into stomping.
Our next festival will be the Gamelia, next week.

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