This year many of the holy days are linked to pages online which describe the ancient festivals, some with suggestions for how to celebrate them in the modern world. To read about all of them at once, go to our Temenos site list of festivals. The Temenos site can be edited by any Hellenion member. So if you are a member, you can add how you celebrate the holy days to our collective experience there! Regardless of whether you are a member of Hellenion, your personal experiences are also welcome on Hellenion Chat, which is affectionately called “Hellenion’s Front Porch”.
By using this calendar and the festival resources available at the Temenos, you’ll be celebrating alongside fellow Hellenic Polytheists. We look forward to celebrating with you!
"Thanks!" in Portuguese via fountain pen in blue ink Image via Wikipedia
As Grammateus (Secretary) of Hellenion, a non-profitreligious organization with 501(c)(3) status, I have many duties. This includes, but isn’t limited to, processing new member applications. That duty involves several tasks. One of my predecessors started a tradition that has become my favorite task as Grammateus, and that is personalizing our welcome kit and sending it to new members.
I was delighted yesterday when I saw that my new friend, Jota, had posted pictures on Facebook of the arrival of his welcome kit and documented his excitement opening it. This was especially grand considering that he resides in Brazil and is the brother to another member in Brazil. I am kindling quiet anticipation of new demoi (congregations) emerging all over the globe.
With his permission, I have included his pictures and comments below to give all of you would-be-applicants an idea of what you can expect to receive when you first join. Continue reading →
I read about Kimberly Hunt’s Pagan Health Survey this on The Wild Hunt and after taking the survey, I want to encourage you, the reader, to contribute to her research. Here are her reasons why:
As both a Pagan and cultural anthropologist, I felt it was vitally important that we help policy-makers and service providers understand our needs and beliefs. This will help us to meet the health care needs of our community and build public understanding of our religious and spiritual traditions. I designed the Pagan Health Survey to help people better understand us and our views on health. The results will be combined with what I have gained by being within the Pagan community and sitting in on healing panel discussions, workshops, and so forth, as well as interviews with Pagan clergy and health care practitioners.
And here are mine:
It allows your opinions to be heard by policy-makers.
Policy is informed by research.
We want more alternative healthcare options.
It takes about five minutes.
They survey doesn’t ask for any identifying information (not even your email address).
Please take the survey here. The last question is open-ended, allowing you to submit your thoughts in a cohesive manner. Please save that answer and post it blow in the comments section. I’ll refrain from posting mine for now so as not to bias you. I’ll post it later on next week.
What do you do to prevent health problems and treat them when they arise? When it comes to your health, do you think science is in conflict with spiritual treatment? Do you think they are separate? Have you had bad (or good) experiences with MDs or spiritual healers? If you are Atheist, what do you think of spiritual healing and prayer and have you ever tried it? If you are a polytheist, in what cases would you employ western medicine? Please comment below!
It was written back in 2004 and these religions are still going strong. Here is an excerpt describing the movement to reconstruct the ancient polytheist religions into religions for modern practitioners living in today’s cultures:
Reconstructionists are a group of neo-pagans-people who look to pre-Christian cultures for their faith-different branches of which worship the gods of ancient Norse, Roman, Egyptian, and Druid peoples. And while scholars say their numbers are only a fraction of the neo-pagan community, they also say they are a vibrant illustration of the rejection of traditional religion in the United States. And, in a curious boomerang effect, they are part of a movement away from the more eclectic forms of neo-paganism, like Wicca, taken up by pagan pioneers in the 1960s and 1970s.
In addition to ancient festivals and observances, certain modern occasions are listed as well. This includes the Hellenion monthly libation (ensuring that at least one day a month is shared by a community, albeit scattered, at the same time, and also ensuring that each of the twelve Olympians is honored at least once during the year). Note that this libation is not an official practice of Hellenion but a voluntary activity endorsed by many Hellenion members. Some modern festivals are also listed, such as Heliogenna, held over several days during the shortest days of December, and Prometheia, held in Greece on the summer solstice near Mt. Olympos (see http://www.ysee.gr/index-eng.php for more information about this festival).
The Mounukhia festival honors Artemis as her titles Potnia Theron (the Mistress of Beasts) and Artemis Fosforos (Artemis the Light-Bringer). It begins with a pompe in which the people carry round cakes in which small torches, or dadia, are stuck. These cakes are called amphiphontes (round-shining). They are offered to Artemis in thanks for the lives of beasts that were killed during the hunt, and for the light of the moon. Cupcakes studded with birthday candles make a simple and thoughtful substitute. Glaux Nest
Mounukhia is an ancient Greek festival dedicated to Artemis. It falls between late April and early May in the month of Mounukhion in the ancient Greek calendar. At this festival, Artemis is celebrated in her titles as Potnia Theron (the Mistress of Animals) and Artemis Fosforos (Artemis the Light-Bringer).
As with all Greek rituals, the participants are to be cleansed of miasma (negative energy) by first washing their hands and asperging themselves with water.
An offering of thanks is given to Artemis for the lives of beasts that were killed during the hunt, and for the light of the moon, in the form of a meat offering and cakes called amphiphontes. Amphiphonton (the singular) means “shining-all-around” because the cakes are ringed with lit candles to symbolize the light of the moon. The meat that was offered to her was generally a stag or some type of wild game, though modern reconstructionists have been known to sacrifice meat from the market, or even small cakes in the shape of stags.
In this month of April, I’ve returned to my roots. I’ve delved into art (particularly production design for media like film, TV, illustrated stories, etc.) through immersion in classes, correspondence with others in the business, reading, and tutorials. The more I learn the more I am energized. This may be my new career.
I am going to pray to Pallas Athene to be my patron, and at the same time, ask for Her blessing. I am going to ask if I can integrate Her symbol of the owl, perhaps as part of water-marking my freelance art, as a way to honor Her. To do this, I will need to perform a ritual. Continue reading →