This Week’s Hellenic Calendar Reminders:
- Today, 7 September, marks the Athenian celebration called the Demokratía. Your Mod mistakenly marked this down for last Sunday, but if you are interested in honoring the date, it is proper to offer to Zeus, Themis (Law and Order), and Athene. Otherwise, you can celebrate your own Demokratia (or another politically appropriate festival name) on a day important to your government’s history.
- Wednesday, 10 September (the first day following the full moon), marks the beginning of the Eleusínia tà Mégala, or Greater Eleusinian Mysteries. While the mysteries are lost to us, in the Northern Hemisphere, it is appropriate to honor Demeter, Persephone, and a few other related Gods and Daimones (such as Triptolemos, Hermes, and Hekate) for their roles in bringing all that dies back to life. It is also appropriate to honor Demeter and Persephone as overseers of the harvest, if harvesting takes place where you live right now. (For our readers in the Southern Hemisphere, your Eleusínia may start in March instead—if you wish to celebrate it, Your Mod recommends you do some divination concerning the date.)
- The Eleusínia tà Mégala lasts until dusk on Tuesday, 16 September.
- Friday, 12 September, marks a festival called the Epidaúria. Occurring in the middle of the Greater Eleusínia, it commemorated the hero (later Theos) Asklépios’ late arrival to the Mysteries, which had to be repeated in brief for Him. During this day, the Athenians and guests participating in the Mysteries had a day to recuperate from the previous three days of festivity; it was appropriate to stay inside and meditate. Today, it is a good day to offer to Asklépios and do divination.
- On Saturday, 13 September, Hellenion members will perform their monthly libation—this time, to Demeter and Persephone, since we are in the middle of the Greater Eleusínia.
Festivals in Other Traditions:
- Hinduism: Today, 7 September, marks the feast of Onam in India’s Kerala state. This festival celebrates Vamana, the 5th avatar of Vishnu, who went to the generous king Mahabali and asked for three paces of land. When Mahabali consented, Vamana changed his size, growing large enough to cross from heaven to earth in one step, and from earth to the underworld in a second step. With nothing left to give, Mahabali offered his head for Vamana’s third step; in reward for his humility, Vamana gave Mahabali immortality. It is thought that Mahabali’s spirit visits Kerala, his old kingdom; he and Vamana are honored with temporary “carpets” made of flower petals, and feasts served on plantain leaves. // On Tuesday, 9 September, a 16-day period begins during which Hindu families honor and offer to their three preceding generations of ancestors. It is thought that the three most recent generations, when they die, to go the realm of Yama, the world of the dead, from which they still have the power to help their descendants; but when a new generation dies, the oldest one in Yama’s realm leaves to unite with God in heaven.
- Roman Catholicism: Saints’ festivals this week, beginning today, 1 June, are: Sunday—Blessed Frédéric Ozanam; Monday—Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Tuesday—St. Peter Claver; Wednesday—St. Thomas of Villanova; Thursday—St. Cyprian; Friday—Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Saturday—St. John Chrysostom.
- Eastern Orthodox Christianity: Here are the commemmorations for Sunday; Monday; Tuesday; Wednesday; Thursday; Friday; and Saturday.
- Asatru/Heathenry: Some Asatru sects honor Arminius / Herman of the Cherusci, the Germanic chieftain responsible for the victory of Teutoberg Forest against the Romans.
- Religio Romana: We are in the middle of the Ludi Romani, the oldest set of games celebrated in the city of Rome, held in honor of Jupiter (and later on, Julius Caesar). // Saturday, 13 September, commemorates the dedication of the Capitoline Temple of Iuppiter Optimus Maximus (Jupiter Best and Greatest), so it is is appropriate to have an epulum (banquet, feast, or even just an offered meal) to Iuppiter and the other two members of the Capitoline Triad, Iuno and Minerva.
- Kemeticism: The Kemetic Roundtable posts on akhu veneration are up (you can view them here). The new composition topic is Ma’at and isfet, how you identify those concepts, and what role they play in your practice. Posts on this topic will be published on September 10th.
- Natib Qadish: Sundown on Monday, 8 September, marks the Mlatu, or Full Moon, of the month of Niqalu.
- Ekklesia Antinoou: On Monday, 8 September, the Ekklesia celebrates a holy day to Apollo in His epithets of Soranus and Karneios.
- Thiasos of the Starry Bull: Tuesday, 9 September, marks a festival to Melinoe, the shadowy, shape-changing Guardian of the Forgotten and Maddened Dead.
- We here at Home, Hearth, and Heart stand in full agreement with Polytheist.com concerning the events of this past week: “The very act of stripping a person or a group of their right to identity is counter to everything in Polytheist movements and efforts, just as it is counter to basic human rights. It is a disgusting violation unbecoming of any community in any land or context anywhere in our world….These assaults will never be tolerated on our watch.”
See anything this past week in the pagan or polytheist spheres of Tumblr that made you cheer? Any posts that made you proud to be on the path you follow? Any people or bloggers that you feel others should read? Or do you know of a festival or event coming up that you would like to share? Send them in!
This weekly round-up post may end up catering primarily to Hellenic Polytheists, but any pagan faith can submit recommendations if they want to. Posts, events, and other items will be posted at Your Mod’s discretion.