Saturday, April 23, 2011

The New Blog!

Xairete Everyone,

Long story short, I have switched everything over to a different blog due to transferring the blog updating responsibilities to Diane who has thankfully accepted my offer of running the newsletter/blog. The new blog name is Check it out!


Sunday, February 27, 2011

February-March News


So this past month has seen a few cool festivals. On February 13, 2011 the temple celebrated the annual Aphrodisia honoring Aphrodite and all Her forms. Traditionally this festival was held in ancient Athens around August, but with all of the hearts and candles and "love" paraphernalia being sold in the local stores for Valentines' Day it has seemed appropriate to celebrate Her in February. Hellenion, a US organization for Hellenic Polytheism celebrates Aphrodite with a libation on the second Saturday of the month, and many pagans posted offerings they had made on Facebook. Our celebration consisted of washing Aphrodite's statue with water mixed with rose petals, "Love-Healing" water, Aphrodite Oil (a blend of cypress and rose oil in a base of olive oil) and rose water. This was our main sacrifice and the water was given to Her through the washing of Her statue. We asked for many blessings to come our way and then celebrated with a feast of candy, cup-cakes, sweet and sour chicken, shrimp and much more. May Aphrodite grant those who honor Her many blessings.

The day after Aphrodisia, the Anthesteria took place, which was not exactly a celebration in the temple as the temple is closed during that festival. The reason for this is that on the third day of Anthesteria the dead are allowed to roam and visit their relatives. Because in Hellenismos the dead and the Olympians cannot mix, the temple is closed and worship focuses on the ancestors on this day of the Anthesteria. The other two days of Anthesteria involve the worship of Dionysos and His wife, Ariadne. I offered two bottles of wine to Dionysos and to the Dead (on the third day). On the second day, I offered a picture of Ariadne to Dionysos which I found online.

Next month we honor the Diasia, and for this event, which honors Zeus Meilikhios, we will be doing a teddy-bear drive. Zeus Meilikhios is very protective of children, and we will be donating teddy bears to Hasbro Children's hospital in honor of this aspect. The last week of March we will be celebrating the coming of Spring--a season I think everyone's been looking forward to! Offerings will be given to Gaia, Demeter, Persephone, Pan and Artemis with the change of the season.

May the blessings of Spring be upon us soon!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

January News and Updates

So we have now officially entered into the new year, and many exciting things are happening at the temple! New classes are going to be coming out soon offered both in an online form and in-person (individual and small group). I have also been doing some research on rites of passage and am working on incorporating it into the temple's spiritual services. I have been revisiting the concept of initiation and realized that it is not much different from any other rite of passage when traveling along a particular path. Although the ancients did not necessarily have an initiation rite to be able to practice the religion, a modern ritual to mark a person's embarkment on the Hellenismos journey can be a really powerful experience and while many would not call this an "initiation" per se, I think there are a great deal of similarities. As such I am going to be including a lesson on this in the new version of the Hellenismos 102 class (also called Hellenismos in Practice) which will be starting sessions in February or March.

This past month, we celebrated both the Dendraia, where we decorated Pan's sacred tree with ornaments and other such decorations and the Winter Solstice which observed a collection of religious celebrations including the Maimakteria/Pompaia where we received a cleansing and protection ritual from Zeus using the Dion Kodion (fleece of Zeus), the Haloa, a celebration of Demeter asking for abundance and fertility in the coming months (wherever we wish for there to be abundance in our lives), the Rural Dionysia for Dionysos which included an evening Athena's Home Novelties party and some cakes and chocolates in rather provocative shapes, and the Posideia honoring Poseidon.

In January we will soon be celebrating the Diogennia or birthday of Zeus on Sunday, January 16, 2011. We will be offering cakes, honey, miniature crowns, and candles. Oracles will be offered on this day for Zeus, and anyone who would wish to have one given can contact me at (I will only have a limited amount of time for oracular readings so it may take time for me to get them all done). We will also be celebrating the Theogamia or wedding feast of Zeus and Hera at the end of the month (January 30th), where we will be offering Them a wedding cake, apples and a chain made of wedding rings to adorn Their statues.

Hopefully everyone has had a great New Year and may the Gods bless everyone with a prosperous and healthy year to come!

Erosso (peace)