We Are The Witches – A Poem

We are the ones who rise
We are the cursers
We are the crafters

We are the ones who heal
We are the charmers
We are the wise

We are the ones who dare
We are the quiet fury
We are the witches

(C) Image and Prose: T Georgitsis 2017

 

 

Pyanepsia Festival

On the 28th of September, the Hellenic Pyanepsia festival is observed.

The Pyanepsia is a festival celebrating and is devoted to Apollo,  Theseus, Helios and the Horai (the goddesses of the seasons and time).

This is an auspicious time to celebrate the harvest festival whilst retelling the myths of Theseus.  Make an eiresione (take a branch of olive, laurel or from a fruit tree and place around it strings of white or purple wool.  Add fruits, pastries, cakes, acorns to decorate and place on the front door of the home to protect the hearth against ill will.

Avoid meat and offer honey, olive oil, figs, bread, panspermia,  (the meal which was offered to Apollo for the safe travel from Delos to Attica by Theseus), fruit and pastries.

Here is a retelling of the Life of Plutarch you can read out during your devotionals:

(C) T. Georgitsis

Oskhophoria Festival

On the 28th of September, the Hellenic Oskhophoria festival is observed.

The Oskhophoria is a festival celebrating the grape harvest and is devoted to Dionysus and Athena (Skira).

This is an auspicious time to work with protection, specifically of the hearth.

Offer grapes, vine leaves and wine.

Here is a poem you can use in your devotionals:

Dionysus 

(C) T. Georgitsis

Proerosia Festival

On the 27th of September, the Hellenic Proerosia festival is observed.

The Proerosia is a festival of “first fruits” devoted to the time of plowing.

This is an auspicious time to honor Demeter.

Offer seeds, fruit, flowers and herbs.

Here is a hymn you can use in your devotionals:

Homeric Hymn to Demeter

Eleusinian Mysteries

On the 6th till the 12th of September, the Hellenic Eleusinian Mysteries is observed.

The Eleusinian Mysteries is a time celebrating  Demeter and Persephone’s mystery cults in the town of Eleusis outside of Athens.

This is an auspicious time to dedicate yourself to your Hellenic Gods or traditions or retake your vows with the same.

Offer symbols of rebirth like wheat.

Here is a hymn you can use in your devotionals:

Homeric Hymn to Demeter (translated by Gregory Nagy)

Homeric Hymn to Demeter

 

(C) T. Georgitsis

Demokratia Festival

On the 3rd of September, the Hellenic Demokratia festival is observed.

The Demokratia is a festival celebrating democracy in Athens and is devoted to Themis, Zeaus Agoraios and Athena Agoraia (which are all gods connected to the sacred agora ie marketplace).

This is an auspicious time to celebrate democracy in our lives which was created by the Ancient Greeks.

Offer incense such as frankinscense.

Here is a hymn you can use in your devotionals:

Orphic Hymn to Themis

Illustrious Themis, of celestial birth, thee I invoke, young blossom of the earth; 
Beauteous-eyed virgin; first from thee alone, prophetic oracles to men were known,
Giv’n from the deep recesses of the fane in sacred Pytho, where renown’d you reign;
From thee, Apollo’s oracles arose, and from thy pow’r his inspiration flows.
Honour’d by all, of form divinely bright, majestic virgin, wand’ring in the night: 
Mankind from thee first learnt initial rites, and Bacchus’ nightly choirs thy soul delights;
For holy honours to disclose is thine, with all the culture of the pow’rs divine.
Be present, Goddess, to my pray’r inclin’d, and bless the mystic rites with fav’ring mind.

(C) T. Georgitsis

Genesios Festival

On the 27th of August, the Hellenic festival of Genesios is observed.

This is a festival which is dedicated to the dead.

This is an auspicious time to honor your ancestors who have passed.  Visit their grave or memorials and remember the things they did in life.

Offerings which can be made during this time include water, incense, flowers, bay laurel, honey and milk.

Here is a prayer you can use to honor on this day which I wrote for my ancestors:

Imperishable Stars

Imperishable Stars

Never to rise nor set

Your luminous hearts fixed

Watching in abject silence

Epithets eternally emblazoned

Within and upon your earthly kin

Eternally through the promised premise

Incandescent in dogging darkness

(C) T. Georgitsis 2016

Niketeria Festival

On the 24th of August, the Hellenic Niketeria festival is observed.

The Niketeria is day dedicated to Nike the Goddess who embodies victory and is often seen as a personification of the Goddess Athena.

On this day Athena won the competition of naming the city Athens over Poseidon by creating the olive tree – the sign of peaceful prosperity.

This is an auspicious time to start putting into action some of your projects you wish to be victorious in.

Offer olive oil, olive branches, incense and fresh water.

Here is a hymn to Nike (33) by Orpheus you can use on the day to honour her:

“I call on the mighty Nike, the longing for mortality, 
Which only frees the dead from violent lusts 
And from the heavy position caused by mutual fears, 
Settle in disputes to gain their merits, 
Bring them the overwhelming, sweetest war fame of victory; 
For you have everything, and the great fame of every fighter lies [as]
a swelling sacrifice for the famous Nike, 

Hejze, blessed, come, trust the radiant face, 
bringing the end of all good deeds”


(C) T. Georgitsis

 

Kourotrophos Festival

On the 9th of August, the Hellenic Kourotrophos festival is observed.

The Kourotrophos is a festival which is dedicated to Hekate and Artemis.

This day is dedicated to these goddesses who protect women, children and childbirth.

Here is a simple prayer you can use to honour Hekate on this day:

“We pray that other guardians be always renewed, and that Artemis-Hekate watch over the childbirth of their women.”

 Aeschylus, Suppliant Women 674 ff (trans. Smyth) (Greek tragedy C5th B.C.) 

(C) T. Georgitsis 

 

Panathenaia Festival

From the 17th to 30th of July, the Hellenic Panathenaia festival is observed.

The Panathenaia is a festival which is dedicated to the city of Athens.

Historically celebrations included an all night service, a race involving torches (where only Athenians could participate) and a meal for all citizens paid for by the city containing meats.  This was the early beginnings of the Olympic games with the event being open to all Greeks every forth year around 566 BCE.

This is an auspicious time to honour Athena with food, drink (a communal meal), offerings (such as olive oil) and prayers.

Here is a prayer you can use to honour Athena on this day:

“To Athena

I begin to sing of Pallas Athena, the glorious goddess, bright-eyed, inventive, unbending of heart, pure virgin, saviour of cities, courageous, Tritogeneia. Wise Zeus himself bare her from his awful head, arrayed in warlike arms of flashing gold, and awe seized all the gods as they gazed. But Athena sprang quickly from the immortal head and stood before Zeus who holds the aegis, shaking a sharp spear: great  Olympus began to reel horribly at the might of the bright-eyed goddess, and earth round about cried fearfully, and the sea was moved and tossed with dark waves, while foam burst forth suddenly: the bright Son of Hyperion stopped his swift-footed horses a long while, until the maiden Pallas Athena had stripped the heavenly armour from her immortal shoulders. And wise Zeus was glad.

And so hail to you, daughter of Zeus who holds the aegis! Now I will remember you and another song as well.”

(C) T. Georgitsis