Friday, September 24, 2010

September Musings


This week marked the Autumnal Equinox. All round us are signs of change. The days are now noticeably shorter, the leaves on the trees are turning beautiful shades of red, yellow and orange, and here in Rhode Island we are definitely feeling a change in the temperature. Heck, I've even started to think about space heaters for the temple! Change is definitely all around.

As part of my own spiritual practice, I attend yoga classes two times per week. My instructor and I were having a conversation on Tuesday all about how not just the seasonal changes of Fall being prominent, but that it seems that our lives and the lives of the people around us are experiencing a definite shift. Many things are coming to an end (or something new has jumped in) and it is sometimes a struggle to figure out exactly where the next path leads. Even some of the groups I am a part of are experiencing a shift. It seems like all things are a natural shift, but change is scary even so.

Autumn is a time to be thankful for all the experiences we've had in the past year. It is a time to be grateful to the Gods of Abundance (Whomever They are in peoples' spiritual traditions). In Greek Tradition, these Gods are Demeter, Persephone, Pan, and Dionysos. Apollon has connections with the harvest and His holiday Puanepsia is not too far in the future. Artemis even has a celebration of the Kharisteria which also is a ritual of thanksgiving. On Sunday, the Hellenic Temple of Apollon, Zeus and Pan will be celebrating the annual Fall Celebration in honor of Demeter, Persephone, and Haides with a feast, ritual and fellowship.

The most important thing to me about Fall is that we should acknowledge these changes which are going on all around us and inside us. It is helpful to remember that these changes are natural and normal and that asking the Gods' guidance in finding our way through the path can instill great courage and power in us. Let us give thanks for this harvest season! Let us thank the Gods for Their presence and all the great things They have brought to us!

Friday, September 17, 2010



So this past Sunday with a little help from my mother I redesigned the inside of the temple space in order to make it a little more organized and to focus the energies a bit more. The shrines are now the first thing that people will see when they enter the space, which is something I have been feeling drawn to doing for a while and on Sunday evening when I was reading about Greek temples in the past I was inspired to go ahead and do it.

In ancient times, the Greek temples were set up so that the first thing people saw when entering the temple was the cult statue. Rituals were not always performed inside the temple (at least not sacrifices) in fact this was very rare, but rather outside the temple space so that more people could gather around the altar, which stood a few feet from the temple doors. The God's statue could be seen through the doors of the temple so that the God was looking upon the ritual being performed in His/Her honor. (from the book The Complete Greek Temples by Tony Spawforth) This got me thinking of how the space could be adapted so that it would have this feel to it as well as refocus the energy a bit.

I also had an epiphany today while doing my daily devotions. I had been thinking about why making offerings to the ancestors prior to the beginning of rituals feels so appropriate and how it connects with Hestia and Her being honored first and last at every ceremony. Hestia is the Goddess of the home and family and honoring the ancestors is honoring the family, thus it is also honoring Her. I can see that honoring the dead either before and/or after the ceremony would seem appropriate. It also seems to help ground and center the ritual somewhat.

May everyone reading this have a great day and receive the Gods' blessings!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Xairete (rejoice),

This past Sunday the temple celebrated the annual games for Pan. Thank you to all who participated and attended the event. We were lucky enough to do both the ritual and the games outdoors this year which was a real treat. We set up the main altar out on my deck with a small table off to the side for the board games. The winner of the first game received a jar of honey blessed by Pan during the ritual. The offerings included keilbassa, Spanish rice, yogurt mixed with sunflower seeds, strawberries, and bananas, oatmeal bars covered with a chocolate-peanut butter frosting, sangria and pumpkin muffins.

In a couple of weeks we will be celebrating the Fall festival in honor of Demeter, Persephone, and Haides. There will be the usual ritual and pot-luck feast.

I'm also working on a revision of the different classes offered through the temple. There will be 4 classes offered with the basics of Hellenismos class being divided into two sections to enhance each class. The specifics should be available in the next few weeks when I have the curriculum outlined in more depth.

Kala Noumenia!

Xairete All,

So tonight is in honor of Hekate's Deipnon so I thought I'd post a little something about the ritual I did this evening.

I started by saying a prayer to Hestia and preparing a feast for Hekate and the Ancestors. I also prepared 4 taper candles for offerings. One of which was to be used for purification of the home. This candle was placed inside of a ceramic bowl filled with the last of the prepared khernips from the month. I offered the ancestors and Hekate a meal, asking that They clear away all of the stale energies in the house so that the new month will be open and free for new experiences and energies. Afterward I took the candle in the ceramic dish and brought it through the home visualizing the negative and stale energies in the house being pulled through the candle and into the khernips. I left the candle and water in the living room until it burned out and poured it out at a crossroads.

After this main part of the ritual I gave Hekate a can of soup to be donated to a homeless shelter and changed the water in the ancestors' dish, cleared away old offerings and sat in meditation before the shrine for a few minutes.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the new month and my hope is to spend some time at my main shrine tomorrow cleaning it a bit. I have a candle dedicated to Apollon Noumenios which I'll light and bring through the home asking for Apollon's blessing. I think I'll offer something special for a drink other than my usual water...probably something like peppermint tea.