Hair offerings: historical context, purpose and uses

Offerings of hair, locks of hair or ritual hair-cutting is quite a regular occurrence in ancient sources and textbooks discussing various religious customs of the ancient Greek world. It also seems to be a fairly forgotten offering in a modern context, which is why I wanted to delve back in and write this post. IContinue reading “Hair offerings: historical context, purpose and uses”

The Adeia – a modern festival to Demeter

Historically, it’s often during times of hardships and crisis that new cults would be established and religious innovations would appear. This one is no different. It’s through discussion with @iliosflower that the idea of creating a new festival, one that would more accurately respond to modern problematics, came to fruition. This is what we’d likeContinue reading “The Adeia – a modern festival to Demeter”

Foods of religious importance in my practice

(Disclaimer: This is a repost from an ask I got on Tumblr, which ended up being more detailed than anticipated. The question asked was: “Do you have any food or drink recipe that is spirituality important?”) I do. Very much so. I feel like I need to split the answer in two parts, starting withContinue reading “Foods of religious importance in my practice”

Making a festival from scratch: the Priapeia

Whoever worships “minor deities” knows the struggle: historical information is scarce, tends to be fragmentary and/or scattered across centuries and locations, and just overall badly documented. Priapus is one of those, who, having joined the pantheon later than most (not before the 3rd century BC) and having had several different forms of worship, albeit allContinue reading “Making a festival from scratch: the Priapeia”

Aphrodite Epitragia: beyond Aphrodite Pandemos

Often, when one finds this epithet of Aphrodite, it is in reference to the many iconographical depictions of her riding a goat. Such depictions seem to appear towards the end of the Classical era and refer to her role as Pandemos, especially in Athens, which Plutarch explains in Theseus, 18: “When the lot was cast,Continue reading “Aphrodite Epitragia: beyond Aphrodite Pandemos”

Festivals we know (almost) nothing about – Part 2

This is the second part of this post. Please refer to its introduction for details if you haven’t read it yet. As stated in the disclaimer last time: this list is in no way exhaustive, as I have taken out deme-specific festivals, festivals relating to hero-worship or political events/commemorations. Again, all information comes from ParkerContinue reading “Festivals we know (almost) nothing about – Part 2”

Attempting to set up a “holiday decoration” box

For hellenic reconstructionists, the question of “what do the festivals mean and how did people celebrate?” is very real, especially when the information is fragmentary and doesn’t do justice to the religious diversity of the Ancient World. One of the things that make holidays feel like holidays is symbolic decor. There’s a reason why, whenContinue reading “Attempting to set up a “holiday decoration” box”

Festivals we know (almost) nothing about – Part 1

Once in a while, it’s good to remember that none of our calendars are complete. This is much more obvious with non-Attic/Athenian calendars, and anyone who decides to jump into attempting to reconstruct the cultic calendar of Delphi, Delos, Sparta, Argos etc. will know exactly what I mean, as they are painfully fragmentary (not toContinue reading “Festivals we know (almost) nothing about – Part 1”

Apollo Delphinios in the Ionian city of Miletos

The Delphinia is just around the corner, and while we really do lack sources on this festival in the Athenian context, we can still take a cheeky look at the cult of Apollo Delphinios elsewhere. This epithet is especially important in the Ionian city of Miletos, where it was the main state cult from theContinue reading “Apollo Delphinios in the Ionian city of Miletos”

Children in Ancient (Athenian) Festivals

Religion was an integral part of ancient Greek life, and certainly was not kept away from children. If anything, children were important participants in city, household and mystery cult. The introduction of children in city cult also contributed to their integration in the life of the polis. Meanwhile, private cult seems to have been oneContinue reading “Children in Ancient (Athenian) Festivals”