aphrodites festival

Aphrodisia

So it’s that time of the year, Kittens! APHRODISIA!! Ahhhhhhhhh!!! This is THE festival for Aphrodite devotees and worshipers. Its our Christmas and New Years wrapped up into one giant awesome glitter party of EPICNESS! Basically, it’s kind of a big deal. So let us go over a bit about the festival and some ideas on what you can do to celebrate!

What is Aphrodisia?

As stated above it’s the ultimate Aphrodite festival! It’s where we honor and give thanks to our beloved goddess, specifically Aphrodite Pandemos (goddess of all).

When is Aphrodisia?

Sooo historically Aphrodisia falls sometime between July and August, but some worshipers (myself included) like to celebrate it on the summer solstice. So pick a day that works for you and your worship.

How do I celebrate Aphrodisia?

Lets give you a bit of a background on how the Ancient Greeks went about it. The festival started with the purification of Aphrodite’s temples with the blood of a dove (one of Aphrodite’s sacred animals). Though after that initial blood sacrifice, no other blood sacrifice was permitted in order to keep the altar intact from any pollution. Instead, offerings of flowers, fire, and incense were give to our lady.

Well that’s great, Jessie, but I’m not sacrificing a damn dove…

Lucky for you then I have alternative ways to celebrate that do not involve blood of any kind:

  • Cooking/Baking - Food is typically the heart of all festivals regardless on what is being celebrated and our festivals as Hellenic Polytheist are no different. Cook/Bake/Buy a special meal and give some as an offering to Aphrodite! You can even sit at your altar with her and enjoy the meal together. Lost on what to cook or bake? Look at a list of foods considered to be aphrodisiacs and ones associated with Aphrodite!! Also if you want to keep some historical accuracy to your celebration, stay away from any red meats (or any kind of meat, if you so choose). But that’s completely up to you! Don’t feel like you have to go beyond your means to make a grand feast! Do what you can because that’s more than enough!
  • Flowers - Seriously though, guys. FLOWERS!!  Fake or real. Store bought or picked outside. Don’t matter. Decorate your altar with it and give them as offerings and congrats you just won at devotion!
  • Expressions - Aphrodisia is about giving thanks and honoring our beloved goddess, so what better way to do then to actually TELL her through your own expression. You can write her a letter, essay, journal entry, hymn, poem, story, whatever. Or you can make a collage, draw a picture, make prayer beads…ANYTHING! Whatever way you can, express your love, admiration, and devotion to our lady!
  • Be in Nature - This especially applies for those of us celebrating on the Summer Solstice. Go outside and find Aphrodite in the beauty that is nature. Thank her for it and appreciate the fact that you yourself are part of that beauty!  If it’s at all feasible for you try watching the sunrise and the sunset and invite Aphrodite to sit with you.
  • Appreciate Beauty - So to add on to appreciating beauty in nature, you can appreciate beauty wherever you find it. Go to an art gallery, a library, museum, garden, a movie, a concert, wherever you find beauty, go there and give thanks to Aphrodite for how happy your soul feels looking at the gorgeousness
  • Be of Service -  Aphrodisia is specifically honoring Aphrodite Pandemos, goddess of all. So its the perfect time to do good for others, especially those in need. If you’re celebrating in June, you can absolutely connect it to the fact that it’s Pride Month and do something for the LGBTQ+ community! Or any community, organization, or movement of your choosing. The current social and political environment is so toxic that the world can always use a helping hand and a large dose of the love of Aphrodite!  
  • Other Offerings - As stated above, along with flowers, fire and incense were given as offerings. So don’t feel bad at if all you can give Aphrodite is a lit candle or incense in her honor! Some other simple offerings are wine, tea, apple juice, olive oil, crystals, herbs, songs, shells, salt, and any/all shiny things!

****Aphrodisia is also a FANTASTIC time to ask Aphrodite to bless any items you may wish for her to bless. Also if you wish to make your own ritual oil/water/spray for her, Aphrodisia is the time!

So there are some ideas on what you can do, but they are not the only things you can do! Look at your own devotion and worship to figure out how you wish to celebrate this magnificent holiday! Remember, do what you can and it will be more than enough!!

anonymous asked:

Hello! I am having such a hard time. I want to practice hellenic polytheism, but I find it hard to balance all of the Theo, instead of just focusing one or two. I have three I'm closely interested in, but I want to worship all of them. Do you have any tips for people who are coming from a monotheistic religion? (Sorry if this has been asked before, if so just delete it). Thank you!

I’m not going to delete this ask! It’s been asked before because it’s a common thing that people find themselves struggling with when they convert from monotheism to polytheism and choose to balance an entire pantheon in their worship. It’s an important question, and one I’m happy to help you with as best I can.

The first thing I can tell you is that, for me, it took time and practice to figure out the balance that felt right for my worship. When I started out in Hellenism I was only honoring a couple of the Theoi, and over time, as I worked to expand that, I found comfortable ways to honor all of the Theoi.

The simplest way, honestly, is to change the language of your prayers. Go from focusing on a single Theos, to acknowledging that your prayers, praise, and offerings are given to all of the Theoi. Now, there are times when this isn’t going to be your best approach. I tend to use this for daily worship. During times when I want to honor specific Theoi, I will pray to Them specifically. For example, on the fourth of each month I’ll pray to Hermes and Aphrodite. On festival days I’ll pray to the Theos that festival is meant to honor. Ect…

Now, festivals are another easy way to expand your worship, and find a good balance for it in my opinion. While you can choose to celebrate only one Theos during a festival, its also easy to honor Theoi who hold some relevance to the celebration at the same time. For example, Anthesphoria, a flower festival that’s Scicilian in origin. Some use the holiday to honor Demeter and Persephone, though I’ve seen others tie the festival to Aphrodite as well. It would be easy to either focus your worship on Demeter and Persephone, or you could also include other Theoi who bear the “Flower” epithet, such as Hera, Aphrodite, and Dionysos. You could also include the Horae, and other Theoi associated with the turning of seasons and spring growth.

Now, I do want to say that there is nothing wrong with focusing your worship on just a few Theoi if that’s what you want, and are comfortable with. I honor my patrons more than other Theoi, I cultivate a closer bond with Them. So I honor Them specifically more frequently. You can cultivate a closer bond with a few Theoi, and still honor all of Them.

Above all though, be patient with yourself as you feel it out. There will be easy moments where it all clicks into place, and there will be hard days where it feels awkward.

Gold Rays

Quick, happy little thing for Oracle Day. Title from the Vinyl Pinups song of the same name, which actually goes with this fic pretty well.

//

Barbara had learned long ago that the only way one got anywhere in life – particularly in a city like Gotham, particularly in a Batman’s world – was to be unable to accept being merely satisfied.

That being said, in the moment, she was willing to forget that particular life clause.

Keep reading

Festivals I Celebrate

So before I get to the festivals themselves lets have a quick discussion on how I feel about festivals. I don’t think celebrating them are mandatory. You are not a bad devotee/worshiper if you choose not to do the whole festival thing. You also do not have to celebrate every festival for your deity. If you worship Aphrodite and you only want to celebrate Aphrodisia, thats totally fine. Its about what works for you and your worship. 

Now a quick note on dates. This is probably one of the most frustrating part of festivals, especially for the newbies. I know I was very hung up on making sure I got exact dates, but the truth is for some holidays getting exact dates is just not possible because we don’t have them. So I encourage you not to get so hung up on EXACT dates. A lot of festivals were more about the seasons anyway, which is why I tend to just put holidays around the solstices/equinoxes. Don’t be afraid to move dates around to better fit your worship, your life, and where you live as long as it of course makes sense to the holiday. 

Since I worship Aphrodite and Persephone the festivals I celebrate revolve around them. The majority of information I gathered came from the ever so wonderful and amazing @pomegranateandivy! She has a ton more information on festivals, including those for other deities and the festivals for Aphrodite and Persephone that I don’t mention here. So please check her awesome blog out for much more info! Okay now onto the festivals!

Festival of Kore (Jan 5th) - This festival is to honor the Kore aspect of Persephone. I use this time to begin preparations for the upcoming change of seasons. I might start changing my altar to my spring time altar. I might start making a list of things I want to have done by Spring or do in Spring. I’m not a fan of winter (i loathe it actually) so I tend to use this time to make a plea to Persephone to find her way out of Underworld early, lol! There can be a lot of whining involved, which I don’t recommend doing. 

Valentine’s Day (Feb 14th) - I observe Valentine’s Day as a day of self-love, so I honor myself and give gratitude to Aphrodite for helping me learn to love myself. This day is usually filled with lots of pampering, presents to myself, and yummy food! 

Anthesphoria (March 20th) - This festival is a flower festival celebrating Persephone’s return to the world of the living and with her, the arrival of Spring! I make sure my entire altar is set up for the season, especially Persephone’s side which will now honor her being the Goddess of Spring. Since its a flower festival, that’s the theme of my offerings, usually fresh flowers. I also spend a lot of time telling Persephone how happy I am that she’s back and how grateful I am for the spring season she brings! 

Aphrodisia (June 21st) - This holiday specifically celebrates Aphrodite Pandemos. I like the idea of placing it on the summer solstice because I heavily associate Aphrodite with the summer season. And because of that I like to spend this holiday outside, preferably at the beach. I take the day to acknowledge all the beauty in the world and I thank Aphrodite for it. 

Koris Katagogi (Sept 22nd) - Persephone’s decent to the Underworld where she takes back her place as Queen and the arrival of Fall. This is when I switch my altar to represent the more darker aspects of myself and Persephone as Queen of the Underworld. I also honor both Persephone and Haides and celebrate their reunion. 

Adonia (Oct 1st) - Okay so this is the festival I most recreated for myself. Traditionally, Adonia was a celebration of Aphrodite’s lover Adonis after he was killed. There is no exact date for the holiday though most sources place it sometime in the summer. I however decided to place the festival in October as a way (like Persephone) to transition Aphrodite from one aspect to another. So while I do take the time during this day to mourn the passing of Adonis, I also celebrate the darker aspects of Aphrodite, like Melainis and Areia. I chose the 1st of October because I wanted it to be close to Koris Katagogi and also October is the month when the darker aspects of me come out so it made sense to welcome the month with Adonia. 

Hellenic Polytheism Book List

Obviously this list will continue to grow!

~ Updated 10/29/2016 ~

Books I Have

  • The Homeric Hymns, John Edgar Trans.
  • Bakkhai, Anne Carson Trans.
  • D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths
  • The Eleusinian Mysteries & Rites, by Dudley Wright
  • Theogony and Works and Days, M.L. West Trans.
  • Kharis: Hellenic Polytheism Explored, by Sarah Kate Winter
  • The Road to Eleusis, by Wasson/Hofmann/Ruck
  • Mythology, by Edith Hamilton
  • The Iliad and the Odyssey, George Chapman Trans.
  • Queen of Olympos, Bibliotheca Alexandrina
  • Written in Wine- A Devotional Anthology for Dionysoss, Bibliotheca Alexandrina
  • Metamophoses, Horace Gregory Trans.
  • Hellenismos Today, Timothy Jay Alexander
  • Dionysos : Exciter to Frenzy, Vikki Bramshaw
  • Crown of Violets: Words and Images Inspired by Aphrodite: Laurelei Black
  • Cult of Aphrodite: Laurelei Black
  • The Iliad and the Odyssey, Fagles trans.
  • Cult of Aphrodite: Rites and Festivals of the Golden One, Laurelei Black
  • Hellenic Worship: Household Worship, Labrys
  • Persephone Unveiled, Charles Stein
  • Guardian of The Road: A Devotional Anthology in Honor of Hermes, Alexandrina Bibliotheca
  • Komos: Celebrating Festivals in Contemporary Hellenic Polytheism, Sarah Kate Winters

Books I’ve Read but Don’t Own

  • The Oracle, by William J. Broad

Books I Want

  • Miasma; Pollution & Purification in Early Greek Religion, Robert Parker
  • The Orphic Hymns, Apostolos N. Athanassakis
  • Festivals of the Athenians, H. W. Parke
  • Old Stones, New Temples, Drew Campbell
  • Household Gods: Private Devotion in Ancient Greece and Rome, Alexandra Sofroniew
  • Dionysus: Myth and Cult, Walter F. Otto
  • Ancient Greek Religion, Jon D Mikalson
  • Queen of the Sacred Way, Bibliothexa Alexandrina
  • The Frogs, Aristophanes
  • The Seer in Ancient Greece, Michael Flower
  • The Myth of Sacred Prostitution in Antiquity, Stephanie Lynn Budin
  • Goddess, Whores, Wives & Slaves, Sarah B Pomeroy
  • Cave to Sky, by Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
  • Ancient Greek Cults by Jennifer Larson
  • Glories:Poems and Prayers For The Theoi, by Mari
  • Hekate Soteira, Sarah Iles Johnston
  • Greek Nymphs:Myth, Culture, Lore, Jennifer Larson
Jezz's regional festival calendar WIP

January – Libation to Hera

Full Moon week -  Lenaia. Dionysos festival. Possibly keep this for something to do in the shitty January weather. Winter wheat sowing.

February – Libation to Aphrodite

First week. Theogamia. Zeus & Hera sacred marriage.

Full Moon week -  Anthesteria. A three-day festival that literally means Festival of Flowers, it celebrates the Spring, new wine and the dead.

March – Libation to Hephaistos
First Week -  Lesser Mysteries. Persephone & Demeter. Summer Barley, Wheat & Sugar Beet being sown. Persephone’s return.

Lambing Season – Pan & the Nymphs.

April – Libation to Artemis & Apollon

Offerings to the Horai & Kharites.

May – Libation to Zeus

May always has two bank holidays, think of something.

June – Libation to Athena

7th June – D Day. Hero/Ancester offerings.

21st Prometheia. Modern solstice festival.

July – Libation to Hermes

4th Aphrodisia. Bathing festival of Aphrodite.

Second Week/20th Kronia. Kronos the Harvester. Winter cereal harvest. Pea harvest.

August – Libation to Ares

Fourth Week – Cereal harvest.

September – Libation to Demeter & Persephone

First/Second Week - Cereal & Beet harvest continued.

7th Niketeria. Offering to Nike.

October – Libation to Poseidon

15th Thesmophoria. Persephone’s descent into the underworld.

November – Libation to Hades

11th – Poppy Memorial Day. Hero/Ancestor offerings.

December – Libation to Dionysos

19th & 20th Heliogennia.

Τετρὰς Ἱσταμένου, IV day
From today’s sunset: fourth day of Elaphebolion.
The fourth is always sacred to Aphrodite Pandemos, to Hermes and to Herakles, as the symbolic day of Their birthday.
Honors are paid to Eros and Hermaphroditos.

Banquet of the Tetradistai.
“So it is no wonder that the ancient cooks were au fait in sacrificial rites; they presided, for instance, at weddings and festivals. Hence Menander, in his Flatterer, makes the cook on duty at the fourth-day club-feast (Tetradistai) or the day of Aphrodite Pandemos, speaks as follow: ‘Libation! Round with the tripe! Mind what you do. Come Sosias, boy, libation! Good for you! And now pour out. To all above we will pray both Gods and Goddesses (take the tongue), and may Life, Health, and many a blessing come of this, and those we’ve got Heaven grant we never miss!”
Athenaios 14. 659D, describing a private celebration of the Tetradistai in Aphrodite’s honor.

“But take care to avoid troubles which eat out the heart on the fourth of the beginning and ending of the month; it is a sacred day: especially during these sacred days it is convenient to get rid of all the activities that make you suffer, which, if at other times you need to choose them as necessary, in these days you should not.“

The fourth day is also a suitable day for marriage.

(This squat lekythos depicts an idyllic garden scene with a seated female, an Eros figure, a small bird, and a pair of trees. The female’s chiton is rendered in the so-called wet-drapery style, with the folds of the dress clinging closely to the body and revealing the contours of the figure underneath. Her hair is pulled back into a tight bun, and she wears jewelry on her arms and ears. Her right arm reaches out toward an approaching winged Eros figure, who is offering a small circular object resembling a piece of fruit. A partridge, the sacred bird of Aphrodite, rests on the ground below Eros’s outstretched arms.
From Attica, 400 BCE; now in the Yale University Art Gallery…)

the-sapphic-blade  asked:

So this question while quite pertaining to Aphrodite, will one day come to be used for others like Artemis and Hera. How do I develop a deeper relationship (wait did I ask you this before) with Miss Beloved? My relationships -mortal or not- always are intimate and passionate, I put my very self into every friendship or romance I join into. I want this to apply to the gods too, basically I have lots of love to give. You just got back so no rush for this question but you seem like the one to ask..

Ahh, I love this question! Creating a close bond with Aphrodite has been so fulfilling in my life, i of course would love to help others develop their own fulfilling relationship with her! Before I make a list of possible activities you can do, I want to encourage you to think about ways you bond with people in your other relationships and try to incorporate that into your relationship with Aphrodite. Personal is always highly appreciated! Okay now to the list!

  • Keep a devotional journal - I wrote a whole post about this here but the basic idea is to have a place where you can write, draw, paint, collage, etc everything and anything about Aphrodite. You can also use this as a place to write journal entries to her if speaking out loud feels awkward. 
  • Talk to Her- Sometimes I like to sit at my altar with a cup of tea (or wine), pour Aphrodite a glass and just shoot the shit with her just as I would with my mother or bestie. You can also do any form of divination if you choose to communicate that way.
  • Create sacred days to honor her - Historically Friday is seen as Aphrodite’s sacred day, but you can choose a day that works with you and/or has meaning to you. If a day feels a bit too overwhelming, you can also pick a date out of the month, like how historically the 4th day of the month is sacred to Aphrodite. 
  • Celebrate festivals - This is actually something I’m adding to my devotion this year! You can find celebrations that historically honored Aphrodite or you can create your own! 
  • Devotional activities - Probably one of the best ways to bond with Aphrodite is to honor her with devotional activities. I highly recommend finding activities that are important and meaningful to you in some way so you and Aphrodite can bond over a common interest. Like i said above, personal is always highly appreciated!

I hope that helped and enjoy all the awesome quality time you’ll be spending with Aphrodite! I’m excited to hear all about it! <3

A sherd depicting the festival of Adonia:

Adonia was a festival celebrated every summer in Athens, in honour of Adonis-a deity associated with vegetation, and a “favourite” of Aphrodite. During the festival, the women lamented his death, offered him fruit and prepared the “Gardens of Adonis”, by growing quickly sprouting plants in broken pots. As soon as these “gardens” sprouted, they used ladders to take them to the roof of the house, where exposed to the sun they would wither rapidly and die, symbolising the annual resurrection and death of Adonis.

From Argos. By the Methyse painter. (440 B.C)