Athenian Calendar 2018/19 (Southern Hemisphere)

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The best time to honor Hekate is the Deipnon and Noumenia.  With that said, every year I create an Athenian Calendar to calculate the Deipnon and Noumenia using the Southern Hemisphere New Moons, to ensure my devotions are on the right evenings from my location.  This is calculated by the start off point of the Summer Solstice in Greece of that particular year.

The Athenian Calendar also known as the Attic Calendar was a lunisolar calendar used during the classical period of Ancient Greece during the 4th and 5th Centuries BC.  It was exclusively used in Athens at the time and each month starts at the first sighting of the new moon, with the year beginning just after mid-summer.  It’s become a modern go to for practicing Hellenics and as such, what we use and have today is a reconstruction of what they used around 300-500 BC.  I have superimposed this Athenian Calendar over our modern Gregorian one, to loosely create a festival calendar of 12 months based on the cycle of the moon which starts at the beginning of the Athenian year – on the summer solstice in Athens. The names of the months reflect the gods and festivals honored at that time and have agricultural links to the planting or harvesting of food in the northern hemisphere.

Here is what the yearly Athenian Calendar basically looks like:

Summer (Θέρος)

1          Hekatombaion (Ἑκατομβαιών)           July/August

2          Metageitnion (Μεταγειτνιών)             August/September (named after Apollo)

3          Boedromion (Βοηδρομιών)                September/October

Autumn (Φθινόπωρον)

4          Pyanepsion (Πυανεψιών)                    October/November

5          Maimakterion (Μαιμακτηριών)          November/December (named after Zeus)

6          Poseideon (Ποσειδεών)                      December/January

Winter (Χεῖμα)

7          Gamelion (Γαμηλιών)                         January/February

8          Anthesterion (Ἀνθεστηριών)              February/March (named after the festival of Anthesteria)

9          Elaphebolion (Ἑλαφηβολιών)             March/April

Spring (Ἔαρ)

10        Mounichion (Μουνιχιών)                    April/May

11        Thargelion (Θαργηλιών)                     May/June

12        Skirophorion (Σκιροφοριών)              June/July

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Every month lasts for approximately 29-30 days in total.  Each month is broken up into 10 days of three which reflect the moon phases in the following order: Waxing, Full and Waning Moons.

Days 1 to 8 were all sacred to gods or spirit entities and the last day of the month, known as “hene kai nea” translated as “the old and the new”, is dedicate to Hekate as it’s her Deipnon along with the first day of the month, Noumenia which is also dedicated to Hekate.

Here are the details of those 8 sacred days in the Athenian Calendar month:

Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon)

Day 2: Agathos Daimon

Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros

Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

Day 29-30: Deipnon

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To get you all started with adapting the Athenian Calendar to the Gregorian one, here is the Athenian Calendar I created for 2018, calculated for Southern Hemisphere practitioners:

21 June 2018, 1.07pm = Summer Solstice in Greece (Winter Solstice in Australia 8.07pm)

Summer (Θέρος)

1          Hekatombaion (Ἑκατομβαιών) July/August

13 July                   Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 12.47pm – Super New Moon & Athenian New Year

14 July                   Day 2: Agathos Daimon

15 July                   Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

16 July                   Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros

17 July                   Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

18 July                   Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

19 July                   Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

10 August              Day 29-30: Deipnon

 

2          Metageitnion (Μεταγειτνιών) August/September (named after Apollo)

11 August               Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 7.57pm – Super New Moon

12 August               Day 2: Agathos Daimon

13 August               Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

14 August               Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros

15 August               Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

16 August               Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

17 August               Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

9 September           Day 29-30: Deipnon

 

3          Boedromion (Βοηδρομιών) September/October

10 September         Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 4.01am

11 September         Day 2: Agathos Daimon

12 September         Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

13 September         Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros

14 September         Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

15 September         Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

16 September         Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

8 October                Day 29-30: Deipnon

 

Autumn (Φθινόπωρον)

4          Pyanepsion (Πυανεψιών) October/November

9 October               Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 2.46pm

10 October             Day 2: Agathos Daimon

11 October             Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

12 October             Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros

13 October             Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

14 October             Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

15 October             Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

7 November           Day 29-30: Deipnon

 

5          Maimakterion (Μαιμακτηριών) November/December (named after Zeus)

8 November           Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 3.01am

9 November           Day 2: Agathos Daimon

10 November         Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

11 November         Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros

12 November         Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

13 November         Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

14 November         Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

6 December            Day 29-30: Deipnon

 

6          Poseideon (Ποσειδεών) December/January

7 December           Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 6.20am

8 December           Day 2: Agathos Daimon

9 December           Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

10 December         Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros

11 December         Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

12 December         Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

13 December         Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

5 January 2019      Day 29-30: Deipnon

 

(C) T. Georgitsis 2018

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Supermoon

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What is a Supermoon?

A Supermoon is a New or a Full moon which coincides with the closest distance to the earth in its orbit.  This means the moon appears larger than usual from the perspective from earth.

 

What can you do on a Supermoon?

  1. Cast spells for supercharged effects.
  2. Create some magickal crafts.
  3. Charge your magickal items.
  4. Revamp your shrine/altar.
  5. Plant some seeds/bulbs with intentions.
  6. Set specific goals to manifest.
  7. Hold a rite in honour of a Moon God/dess.

 

When is the next Supermoon?

Is on Friday 13th at 12.47pm (EST Melbourne, Australia) and it will be a New Moon.

(C) Image and Text T. Georgitsis 2018

 

Working with Maat

 

Are you working with Maat?

How do you treat those around you or those you interact with and even yourself?

It is never too late to amend and update your practice.

Zep Tepi means you have a chance to try every time you are blessed with a new day,
in order for it to resonate with Maat.

Dont bring isfet into your life by going against Maat.

Be upstanding and ethical in your practice of daily life and
be the change you desire to see in the world.

Remember that words are Heka and so are actions and motivations.

Do things with proactive purpose, open awareness, compassion and kindness.

In the end, its up to you to decide how your heart will weigh up.

 

© T. Georgitsis 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reality Sandwich: Interview on the Emergence of Sekhmet

It was a great honour to be included as part of the Tamra’s article of 12 devotees interviewed on the Emergence of Sekhmet.  Follow the link below to read a copy:

Emergence of Sekhmet Twelve Interviews

My Sekhmet Interview

I was interviewed recently for someone’s project on Sekhmet and I thought I would repost here…

1. What was your initial experience with Sekhmet?
Sekhmet first called me when I undertook studies in Natural Medicine back in the early 00’s and over the years she has played a significant role in my life through the healing arts. Despite the feared reputation she is known for I personally found I never approached her with trepidation but instead with awe and respect. In turn I found she bestowed many blessings on my magickal and healing path.

2. Is Sekhmet the only divinity you serve or one among others?
I am dedicated to the Goddesses Aset, Sekhmet and Hekate, therefore service is among others who have a similar nature of healing and magick.

3. Are you a solo devotee or part of a group?
I am both a solo devotee and part of a group. I predominately work alone with my Kemetic and Hellenic paths but I also work with, teach and guide through my Lyceum of Heka which is a teaching temple school connected through the Fellowship of Isis.

4. Have you been initiated formally or is your experience solitary?
It started off solitary but within a family environment. My mother was a magickal practitioner and was the one who taught and infused my life with Hermetic and Greek Folk Magick and was in turn taught by her aunt who studied in Alexandria under a Magus. At 21 I joined my first Wiccan coven and over the next several years went from being an initiated seeker to an initiated priestess. I joined the Fellowship of Isis around the same time I joined my first Wiccan coven but it wasn’t until my mid 20’s that I eventually found a Lyceum to join and after several years of study and practice was initiated to the level of Priestess Hierophant and opened up my own Fellowship of Isis Lyceum of Heka which I continue to run to this day. In 2015, I became a ArchPriest and was inducted in The ArchPriesthood Union of the FOI Union Triad: ArchPriesthood Union. The other temples/magickal groups I have joined and been a contributing member to over the years (other than the above mentioned) are: Shemsu at a Kemetic Orthodox Temple: House of Netjer; Member of Haitian Vodou house Sosyete Fos Fe Yo We; Master Mason in Lodge of The Southern Cross in Co-Masonry (Scottish Rite).

5. Do you have an altar, or an object or objects you consider sacred to Sekhmet?
Yes I have a permanent working shrine to her which I attend daily.

 

6. Do you have a ritual? In what ways do you communicate with Sekhmet?
I attend her shrine daily. I leave offerings in the forms of water, incense and hymns. On special occasions like her feast days I leave bread, beer, pomegranates and cooked meals specially prepared. Some rituals are elaborately researched written and performed whilst other times they just come from the heart in an ad lib kind of way.

7. How would you describe Sekhmet to a fresh arrival on earth?
I get this question often – how would you describe Sekhmet, so I crafted this response: Sekhmet is the Ancient Egyptian Goddess of pestilence, health/illness, destruction, war and wisdom. Associated with sunset and retribution, she uses arrows to pierce her enemies with fire, her breath being the hot desert wind as her body takes on the glare of the midday sun. Sekhmet represents the destructive force of the sun, is depicted as a lion-headed woman with the sun disk and uraeus serpent headdress and has eyes and hair which blaze orange or red.

8. How would you describe your role as a follower of Sekhmet in the world?
To me a connection and devotion to deity as well as nature is a gateway to higher forms of magick and spirituality, which not only transcends the physical but lives within it and with Sekhmet the focus is healing – healing the self and assisting with the self-healing in others. As I have grown and developed as her devotee new modalities of healing have opened up to me. At the time Sekhmet came to me I had just started studying alternative therapies and one of my personal focuses is Ancient Egyptian Medicine where Sekhmet and her healing priests are a dominant force. After this came Sekhmet Sekhem a vibrational healing modality which I became a master of and currently teach. So I describe my role as a follower of Sekhmet as a healer and facilitator of healing just like the priests of Sekhmet in Ancient Egypt.

9. What is your response to those who represent Sekhmet as a divinity for vampires?
Honestly I’ve never thought about it. Each to their own as long as its not hurting anyone.

10. Have you any experiences with a living statue of Sekhmet?
Yes with my personal statue various times over the years when in shrine or when conducting sekhem intunements and healings. Also many years ago there was an exhibition of Ancient Egyptian artefacts where a large black basalt statue of Sekhmet from Luxor was on display and I had an intense experience with two of her other devotees who were also there at the same time.

11. Has Sekhmet appeared in your dreams? Any you would care to share?
Yes, however they are incredibly personal.

12. How has Sekhmet’s influence in your life changed your relationship with the world?
Yes as healer and writer is has made my relationship with her more public. I now write and teach about Sekhmet and it also gave me a unique opportunity, in 2015 I was fortunate enough to edit my first book which I proposed to Bibliotheca Alexandrina (a small non for profit publishing house which publishes anthologies featuring contemporary Hellenic and Kemetic polytheist authors in honour of the Gods) on Sekhmet. I also personally contributed to this anthology and its called Sekhmet Daughter of the Sun: A Devotional Anthology in Honor of Sekhmet.

13. Where and when do you feel closest to Sekhmet?
I feel closest to her in nature or when I am conducting intuinments or healings. In nature it could be sun’s light or her energy in various natural substances like semi precious stone or herbs dedicated to her. I also feel closest to her in shrine or when I am connecting to her energy for the elevation of my own spirit of those of others through the healing arts.

(C) T. Georgitsis 2018

Starlit Path: Issue 2 Summer 2018: Walking with the Goddess, “How Hekate Became My Patron”

My new column Walking With the Goddess is series of regular articles building on devotional practice from the ground up.

My first column in this series is “How Hekate Became My Patron”.

The Starlit Path is a free magazine which can be downloaded here: Start Lit Path: Issue 2 Summer 2018

Starlit Path: Issue 1 Spring 2018 (The Purification of Autum: Ritual to Hestia)

Writing for a new magazine The Starlit Path and in this issue I talk about the Purification of Autumn to coincide with the Southern Hemisphere and how my Greek roots connect to that with a ritual to Hestia.

To get your free copy follow the link below:

Start Lit Path: Issue 1 Spring 2018

Fragrance of the Gods: Ancient Egyptian Incense

Incense in Ancient Egypt was seen as something containing the properties of life which could evoke belief and stabilise faith. It was thought by the ancients that incense brings about reverence as well as the manifestation of the Netjer it is being offered to.  The Ancient Egyptians even had a god of incense – Nefertum, the lion headed son of Sekhmet who in the creation myth was the lotus rising from the primordial waters.  Nefertum’s connection to scent and healing makes him the perfect patron of incense, especially since his symbol – the lotus, dawns every morning like incense smoke wafting towards the rays of the sun.

Incense has been a highly valued and used in Egypt all through its history.  This was made evident by its worth and the lengths the Ancient Egyptians would go to, to source it. Incense had a major role in the magickal and spiritual practices of Kemet and many expeditions were sent down to the Land of Punt (modern day Ethiopia or Sudan but scholars are yet to determine its exact location) to source rare and expensive resins used in incense blends.  Many pharaohs, noblemen and priests of Ancient Egypt would cultivate and propagate trees to keep up with the demand needed by the temples, tombs and residences of the time.

Various ceremonies in antiquity revolved around fumigation practices and in Ancient Egypt this has been evident in many reliefs and papyri describing these in detail, which has highlighted what a vital function it played.  The most common type of fumigation using incense in Ancient Egypt was used in a devotional act before representations of Netjer as well as for the Akhu at ancestor shrines or tombs.

The ancients believed that Netjer embodied the smoke of burning incense, as a romantic manifestation in the omissions of the lit incense they were offered by the priests and populace alike.  Like “God” the smoke from incense can permeate all, at times even without being visibly detected.  Priests therefore would offer incense as one of the ways to animate and reinvigorate Nejter’s manifest representation on earth, in the form of a ritual called “Opening of the Mouth”.  A way the priests could do this was by blowing through the censor containing the lit incense which activated the Heka through the breath whilst directing it.  Using incense to fumigate not only cleaned the temple and its possessions but it bestowed Heka through to the priests themselves as the scent activates communion with Netjer through an altered state which is induced.

It’s surprising to know that many recipes and processes for making incense was shrouded in secrecy but it was very well known that they contained specific instructions on how to create them with specific allocated time, ingredients with symbolic connections and Heka.  The priests who were responsible for creating incense for their Netjer’s did so with complete respect and devotion as if they were tending to the physical manifestation of the gods themselves – which they were in part, since making incense was seen as creating the body of the Gods.  Frankincense and myrrh resin gathered was referred to as “sweat” or “tears” of the Nejters and as such the Ancient Egyptians treated their frankincense and myrrh as emblems of their Gods bodies. The trees themselves were seen as fruitful goddesses who’s resin was divine menstrual blood.  So as you can see this emphasizes what great importance incense was to the daily rites of the Ancient Egyptians from their homes, workplaces, palaces and temples.

Today Egypt’s love of incense survives through the perfumery industry, the fragrant filled swinging censer of Coptic orthodox priests as well as the burning braziers found in the common people’s home shrines.   Many practicing Kemetics like myself make their own incense blends and one which is used as a staple go to for all Netjers and Heka is a compounded incense called Kyphi. Here is a recipe I’d like to share with you which you can easily make yourself:


 Ingredients:

3/4 (of a part) Honey

3 (parts) Raisins

1/4 (of a part) Copal

1/4 (of a part) Myrrh

1/4 (of a part) Orris Root Powder

1 (part) Sandalwood

1/4 (of a part) Storax

1/2 (of a part) Frankincense

1/2 (of a part) Cinnamon Powder

1/2 (of a part) Finely Ground Benzoin

Wine (enough to moisten entire mixture)

 

Method:

  1. Thoroughly grind all ingredients separately, and then mix together all the ingredients except for the benzoin.
  1. Add the wine to moisten, then form the mixture into small marble sized balls and roll them in the benzoin.
  1. Place and cure (dry) on baking paper until firm (a moon phase is the best time frame from experience.)

 

(c) T. Georgitsis 2015

Hekate: Home Is Where The Hearth Is

Preparing and cooking food is an act of magick itself, so for me, I like to have an altar in my kitchen. Back in the days of old, the kitchen hearth was a place of magick especially when it came to folk magick and it continues to this day since many of us practice the craft in our own homes.

Crafting in the kitchen can often evoke warm, safe and happy memories. Considering this is a place well known to most, it can be used to work magick through creating food and drink in a familiar loving surrounding.  Food itself contains energy and the spark of life, therefore it is only understandable to honor this gift of the gods by creating an altar in your kitchen.  Having a kitchen altar can increase the vibration of your home, especially if you consider that an altar is sacred space and can further empower the process of food crafting.  This starts with the ingredients and tools used, to the methods employed to prepare and cook the food, all the way to the finished product.

Altars in the home have been around since ancient times as this was sometimes the only place an ordinary person could commune with the gods in sacred space.  Since the kitchen was the main room where meals were prepared, which were often seen as gifts from the gods, it was often an ideal place to put a household shrine.  Kitchen altars can be the power spot of the house where energies can be used to bring balance and harmony into the home and those who live there.

A simple kitchen altar can be placed in a niche, shelf mounted on a wall, in a cupboard, on the kitchen table or on a surface like a bench top.  It can be elaborate which can bring attention to it or it can blend in with the décor of the kitchen and be overlooked by inquisitive guests.

What you place upon your kitchen altar is completely up to you and your own tastes.  If you are following a specific path such as Wicca I suggest placing an image of a god or goddess of the hearth such as Hekate, Gaia, Hestia, Aradia, Ceres, Ida, Lakshimi, Vesta, Demeter and items which represent the four elements such as:

Earth: bread, salt, flowers, fruit, acorns, crystals;

Air: oil burner, leaves, tiny brooms, feathers;

Fire: a lighter, matches, oil lamp, candle;

Water: bowl/glass/bottle of water, witch bottle, shells.

These items including a witches blade, used for cutting up herbs, can be placed on the kitchen altar along with a mortar and pestle for grinding up salts, spices and herbs.  Remember to keep the altar clean and free of clutter to further resonate this magickal energy into your home and your life.

When food crafting I find myself instantly drawn to the kitchen altar. Here I light a candle and offer up a little hymn to the goddess to imbue and bless my food with health, vitality and delicious flavor in her name as well as guarding and protecting my home and those who live within it.  Here is a hymn I have written for Hekate whom is the patron of my home’s hearth which you can use:

 

‘Hekate –

Great Goddess of the hearth and household

Watch over and protect those within our fold

To your honour we feast and drink

Bless us with your eternal link

Filled with health and vitality

So I will it, so mote it be”

 

(c) T. Georgitsis 2010

 

 

 

FOI: Isian News, Brigantia 2018

Linda Iles has produced a great issue this season of the Fellowship of Isis zine which is a free magazine with members contributing from all around the world.

I have contributed an article on Bellydance and for your copy follow this link:

Isian News, Issue No. 167, Brigantia 2018