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

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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

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

Artemis Agrotera/Kharisteria

On the 28th of August, the Hellenic Artemis Agrotera/Kharisteria festival is observed.

The Agrotera/Kharisteria is a festival of feasting which is dedicated to Artemis the Huntress.

This is an auspicious time to celebrate success in battles and in modern times victory over what you’ve been fighting for.

Offer meat such as goat or lamb.

Here is a hymn you can use in your devotionals:

Hymn to Artemis

I sing of Artemis, whose shafts are of gold, who cheers on the hounds, the pure maiden, shooter of stags, who delights in archery, own sister to Apollo with the golden sword. Over the shadowy hills and windy peaks she draws her golden bow, rejoicing in the chase, and sends out grievous shafts. The tops of the high mountains tremble and the tangled wood echoes awesomely with the outcry of beasts: earth quakes and the sea also where fishes shoal. But the goddess with a bold heart turns every way destroying the race of wild beasts: and when she is satisfied and has cheered her heart, this huntress who delights in arrows slackens her supple bow and goes to the great house of her dear brother Phoebus Apollo, to the rich land of  Delphi.  There to order the lovely dance of the Muses and Graces. There she hangs up her curved bow and her arrows, and heads and leads the dances, gracefully arrayed, while all they utter their heavenly voice, singing how neat-ankled Leto bare children supreme among the immortals both in thought and in deed.Hail to you, children of Zeus and rich-haired Leto! And now I will remember you and another song also. 

 

(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 

 

Bendideia Festival

On the 16th of May 2017, the festival of Bendis is observed in the Hellenic calender.

The Bendideia is a festival honoring when the cult of Bendis was brought to Athens and the patron is the Thrakian goddess Bendis.

Identified with Artemis, Bendis shares several traits including that of huntress.

Historically the festival included a procession which began at daybreak in the Prytaneion and ended at the Peiraios sanctuary of Bendis, a torch held horse race and all night festival which included feasting also took place.

Offerings of wheat can be made to Bendis on this day.

(C) T. Georgitsis

Delphinia Festival

On the 3rd of April , the Hellenic Delphinia festival is observed.

The Delphinia is a festival originally dedicated to unmarried women and consisted of a procession where they held olive branches bound with white wool and its patrons are Apollo and Artemis.

This is an auspicious time to petition for protection and ask for boons to be granted.

Offer olive branches or olive oil.

Here is a hymn to Artemis which you can use as an offering prayer on the day:

To Artemis

I sing of Artemis, whose shafts are of gold, who cheers on the hounds, the pure maiden, shooter of stags, who delights in archery, own sister to Apollo with the golden sword. Over the shadowy hills and windy peaks she draws her golden bow, rejoicing in the chase, and sends out grievous shafts. The tops of the high mountains tremble and the tangled wood echoes awesomely with the outcry of beasts: earth quakes and the sea also where fishes shoal. But the goddess with a bold heart turns every way destroying the race of wild beasts: and when she is satisfied and has cheered her heart, this huntress who delights in arrows slackens her supple bow and goes to the great house of her dear brother Phoebus Apollo, to the rich land of  Delphi there to order the lovely dance of the Muses and Graces. There she hangs up her curved bow and her arrows, and heads and leads the dances, gracefully arrayed, while all they utter their heavenly voice, singing how neat-ankled Leto bare children supreme among the immortals both in thought and in deed.Hail to you, children of Zeus and rich-haired Leto! And now I will remember you and another song also.

  The Homeric Hymns Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White
(C) T. Georgitsis

Sanctuary of Hekate’s Crossroads: Hekatesia Ritual 16/11/2013 Report

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Hekatesia public rite was facilitated by me as Torchbearer for The Sanctuary of Hekate’s Crossroads within the Covenant of Hekate on Sandringham beach (SE Melbourne, Australia), Saturday 16th November 2013 to coincide with the modern Hekate festival of the “Day of Hekate”.

Upon the rocky outcrop which served as shrine there was my sanctuary statue of Hekate adorned with her magickal necklace, organic: olive oil, milk, honey garlic, apple, pomegranate, onion and barley with sacrificial blade, libation vessel, incense burner with special Hekate blend I made for the day, sea water khernips, cheesecake amphiphon, lamp with a pomegranate scented candle, non alcoholic wine, Hestia oil lamp, magickal keepsake box made ethically and environmentally from native Cyprus, gifts from sanctuary members including shawl/altar cover and crystal beads as well as offerings from attendees which included personalized hymns, flowers from their garden, jewelry, journals, crystals including skulls, animal bones, herbs and home made molasses cookies.

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It was a beautiful day lit up with wonderful sunshine which warmed us whilst the wind whipped waves upon the ocean, provided a natural soundscape.  Just over a dozen came to the ritual, some whom have travelled hours to get there from across the state and which I was very appreciative of.  Halfway through the rite a further handful of latecomers arrived respectfully and didn’t disturb the ritual in progress but engaged with us at Agape.

All attendees chatted briefly and exchanged pleasantries before they lined up in procession to wash their hands to remove miasma (pollution) with the orange blossom water mixed with rose petals khernips I had placed in a acacia wooden bowl outside sacred space.  I then created sacred space in the Hellenic way which included certain ritualistic gestures, words and actions before the procession made its way within the sacred space and stood before the shrine in a crescent.  More purifications were made along with the offerings before I blessed and purified the offerings upon the shrine.  Since this is a regular part of my own practice I was delighted to be able to share it with other Hekate devotees and the whole time I was enacting it, I was filled with an ecstatic love and joy.

Next came the symbolic lighting of the hearth flame of Hestia and hymn to Hestia by the lovely Cosette complete with libation.  Then came the laying of the flowers before the shrine and hymn to Artemis by the lovely Tania also complete with libation. For Hekate I lit her symbolic lamp and recited a hymn to Hekate, offered some incense and reblessed the offerings as well as the wine libation to be shared with the attendees.  During this time I asked those who had anything they wanted to share with their fellow devotees within this sacred rite and Adam, Rach and Elspeth all shared their heart felt hymns which they had written to Hekate and which blessed, touched and inspired.  During this time the sea had began to beat upon the shore in louder waves of fevered rhythm and the sun burst through the last remaining clouds to illuminate us in a haze of glorious light which intensified as the ritual progressed.

The ritual was continued with a round of libations individually given to each attendee in their own cup to either drink from or offer to Hekate for each Goddess in turn.  We all went down to the liminal place between the shore and the sea which was behind the shrine and made our personal prayers, offerings and meditations before we all reassembled before the shrine and wound the ritual down into closing.  I thanked Hekate for her attendance with some chosen words and more libations and Tania and Cosette followed suit with words of thanks and the last libations to Artemis and Hestia respectfully.  Afterwards the attendees and I went across the road for Agape at the local pub and indulged in our own libations of sorts.

It was a fabulous day and I am honoured to have held this ritual in Hekate’s name and I am deeply appreciative of those who travelled long and time consuming distances and attended, assisted and participated and shared of themselves (special mention to Colette and Tania for your devotional assistance in the rite and to Adam, Rach and Elspeth for sharing their personal hymns) and of course to Hekate herself for bestowing her presence and her blessings.

T. Georgitsis, Torchbearer

The Sanctuary of Hekate’s Crossroads

Covenant of Hekate

https://www.facebook.com/groups/thesanctuaryofhekatescrossroads/

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