Sunday, January 22, 2017

Gamelia 2017

Khairete!

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

Khairete!

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!