In the daylight hours of the 27th of September, on 6 Pyanepsion, we will celebrate and host a ritual for the Proerosia which, in Attica, honoured Demeter and Apollon first and foremost as Goddess of the harvest and oracular deity who insured bountiful harvest. It seems that in Myrrhinus, the primary recipient of worship during the Proerosia was Zeus. Will you join us at 10 AM EDT?


The Proerosia (Προηροσία) was a festival for Demeter’s blessings in preparation for the ploughing and sowing at the beginning of the agricultural season. In ancient times it was held at Eleusis. The name serves to convey the essence of the rites: 'sacrifice before ploughing'.

The myth goes that the whole of Hellas was suffering from a terrible famine or plague, and the oracle of Delphi was visited to ask how to stop this terrible affair. The Delphic Oracle said that Apollo ordered a tithe to Demeter of the first harvest on behalf of all Hellenes. Except for disruptions during the Peloponnesian War, offerings arrived annually at Eleusis from all over Hellas. While Athens wasn't a big contributor to the rites--perhaps because they already made their own offerings of grain and first fruits to Demeter--most other city-states contributed generously, and the Athenians were welcome during the rites. For His help, Pythian Apollon also received an offering during the Proerosia.

There is some confusion over the dating of the festival. Many modern sources date the festival on the fifth of Pyanpesion, but new research shows that, because of the placement of the Pyanepsia festival, in honour of Apollon and Theseus, the Proerosia could only have been celebrated in the daylight hours of the sixth.

The festival can be celebrated with first fruit-offerings, any offering related to grains (like bread, cakes, or pancakes), or a kykeon libation. The kykeon was made of barley, water, herbs, and ground goat cheese. Sometimes honey was added. Herbs that are described as part of the kykeon are mint, pennyroyal and thyme, although it seems any herb that was found to flavor the drink, was acceptable.

You can join our community for the event here, and find the ritual here.
On the day of the Hene kai Nea, I post a monthly update about things that happened on the blog and in projects and organizations related to it. I will also announce Elaion's coming PAT rituals.

Changes to the blog:
  • I have been insanely busy, but next month's project is the ever-recurring issue of weeding out nonsense tags. How do these things keep coming out of my fingers?! 
Statistics:
PAT rituals for Boedromion:
  • 6 Pyanepsion - 27 September 2017 - Proerosia - agricultural festival for Demeter held at Eleusis
  • 7 Pyanepsion - 28 September 2017 - Pyanepsia - festival in honor of Apollon and Theseus
  • 7 Pyanepsion - 28 September 2017 - Oskhophoria - festival of the vintage (grapes)
  • 8 Pyanepsion - 29 September 2017 - Theseia - festival in honor of Theseus
  • 9 Pyanepsion - 30 September 2017 - Stenia - women's festival in honor of Demeter and Persephone
  • 11-13 Pyanepsion - 2-4 October 2017 - Thesmophoria - festival in honor of Demeter
  • 14 Pyanepsion - 5 October 2017 - Sacrifice to The Heroines at Erkhia
  • 16 Pyanepsion - 7 October 2017 - Apatouria - paternity festival. The first day (Dorpia) was celebrated with a communal feast within the brotherhood, the second day ('Anarrhusis') sacrifice were made to Zeus Phratrios and Athena Phratria, and the third day ('Koureotis') young boys admitted to their father's brotherhood.
  • 30 Pyanepsion - 20 October 2017 - The Khalkeia - festival in honor of Athena and Hephaestus.

Anything else?
There are a lot of terrible things happening all around the globe, but Pandora's Kharis has decided to donate to the situation in Texas this month. Terrible floods have wreaked havoc there and we like grass root initiatives to help make things a little better. This month it's the restaurant Guerilla Gourmet and its owner James Canter.

The deadline to donate is today, September 21, 2017. You can do so by using the PayPal option to the side of the Pandora's Kharis website or by donating directly to baring.the.aegis@gmail.com. Thank you in advance!

Remember my novel "Survival Instincts," that will be published in March? It now has a cover! There is nothing Hellenic in it, but it would really help me a lot if you supported me on social media, either by following or interacting. You can find my website here, and of course social media: Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest. Thank you!

Are you looking for an online shop to buy incenses and other Hellenistic basics from? Try The Hellenic Handmaid on Etsy.
Remember when I begged American readers to vote wise? I'm sure you all did, but we are still stuck with a raging lunatic in control of nuclear launch codes. On November 8, 2016, I predicted the following:

"There will be war, there will be economic crisis, there will be social crisis and there will be a healthcare crisis."

I hate how right I am so far--and after Trump's thoughtless and incredibly stupid words yesterday, I'm so afraid I'll be even more correct in my prediction. Trump has delivered his first speech to the UN, and in his infinite idiocy, he declared that unless Pyongyang halts the development of its nuclear weapons program the US may may have no choice but to “totally destroy” North Korea. He went on to call North Korean leader Kim Jong-in a: “Rocket man [is] on a suicide mission for himself and his regime.”

Now, this is not a political blog and I'm not a political person. Threatening to totally destroy a country with 25 million inhabitants, however, goes beyond the boundaries of politics and spills into the core of human decency.

Yes, North Korea is dangerous. Their missile program is dangerous. The UN should have stepped up and addressed the issue a lot sooner. None of that excuses genocide. Nothing ever excuses the murder of millions of innocent civilians. Nothing excuses threatening to nuke innocent people. Period. 

I have thrown a lot of ancient wisdom at the "Trump situation" already, from Solon, to Aristotle, a lot of ancient wisdom applies. I'll leave you with another bit of ancient wisdom while I seethe about this situation, from  Plato's, The Republic. I wish the Americans who voted for this man had taken heed of this.

[W]hen the cobbler or any other man whom nature designed to be a trader, having his heart lifted up by wealth or strength or the number of his followers, or any like advantage, attempts to force his way into the class of warriors, or a warrior into that of legislators and guardians, for which he is unfitted, and either to take the implements or the duties of the other; or when one man is trader, legislator, and warrior all in one, then I think you will agree with me in saying that this interchange and this meddling of one with another is the ruin of the State."
Archeologists have unearthed a fortress in Russia’s Krasnodar Region, which was supposedly founded by Hellenic colonists in the fifth century BC. This reports The Greek Reporter.



Head of the expeditions department at the Research Center for Cultural Heritage Preservation Ivan Tupalov told TASS that the citadel had been found in the area where an energy bridge to Crimea is under construction.

"Security work was underway in connection with the construction of the energy bridge between Rostov and Taman [the part of the energy bridge that would incorporate Crimea in Russia’s energy grid, ensuring uninterrupted power supply to the peninsula – TASS]. During excavations, an ancient fortress was unearthed. Judging by its fortifications, it was a Greek citadel founded by colonists, who came to settle the Black Sea coast… Such discoveries are not made every day."

According to him, the fortress is estimated to date back 2,500 years, as it is believed to have been built approximately in the fifth century BC. Its walls were made of mud bricks, which is why they did not last until today, but some traces can be seen in places where the ditch was and where towers once stood. The citadel had an area of around eight hectares. In the seventh and eighth centuries AD, the earth ramparts left over from its walls were turned into a burial ground, while in the past decades, the area was partly occupied by fields.

Tupalov said that scientists have yet to find answers to a lot of questions. The number of the citadel’s residents is still unknown (it can be estimated based on the number of the uncovered ceramic shreds). Another puzzling question is whether during ancient times, the Kuban River was connected to the sea by a firth or did the Helenes build their fortress on the seashore, or did they move deep inland, something which was uncommon for them. In addition, Archeologists have found a number of noteworthy artifacts.

"For instance, a bowl has been excavated which has an interesting picture of figures engaged in a dance resembling the ‘sirtaki’ dance. Besides, there are various small incense burners as the Greeks were very fond of fragrances, there are also pieces of jewelry and ceramic shards."

The ancient Hellenes, who came to the territory of the present-day Kuban in the fourth century BC, established their or colonies on the sea coast. They founded the Bosporan Kingdom on the shores of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, spreading their civilization and peacefully coexisting with peoples living on the Taman Peninsula. In the fourth century AD, the Hun tribes drove the Greeks out of this area.
Swamped! So swamped! I'm sorry, have a video on philosophy. It's the best I can do today. More tomorrow!

Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky lived from 29 July 1817 to 2 May 1900. He was a Russian Romantic painter and is considered to be one of the greatest masters of marine art. Aivazovsky was born into an Armenian family in the Black Sea port of Feodosia in Crimea and was mostly based there. In 1845, Aivazovsky traveled to the Aegean Sea with Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich and visited the Ottoman capital, Constantinople, and the Greek islands of Patmos and Rhodes, gaining inspiration for his art. During his almost 60-year career, he created around 6,000 paintings, making him one of the most prolific artists of his time. Today, I'd like to share some of his (ancient) Hellas themed art.

The Acropolis of Athens [1883]

The wedding of the poet in ancient Greece [1886]

Travel of Poseidon by sea [1894]

Crete [1897]
I was re-reading The Odysseia, as I am prone to do when life gets hectic. It's a gentle refuge for my mind. I grasp at it in the hopes of clutching calm, and gaining a soothed mind. The Odyssey (Ὀδύσσεια) is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work ascribed to Homeros. The Odyssey was composed near the end of the 8th century BC and focuses mainly on the hero Odysseus, king of Ithaca, and his journey home after the fall of Troy. It takes Odysseus ten years of perilous journeying to reach his beloved Ithaca again.

In the Odysseia, Homeros describes the intense longing to be with someone who has departed, in this case Odysseus tells the story of how he spoke to the ghost of his mother and lamented that he wished to hold her. It rang true for me yesterday, at least the part about longing. That's why I'm sharing it with you today.

“So she spoke but as I pondered this in my thoughts,
I wanted to clutch the soul of my departed mother.
Three times I reached out as my heart urged me to embrace her,
And three times she drifted from my hands like a shadow
Ora dream. The grief in my heart only grew sharper
And I spoke to her, uttering winged words.
“Mother, why don’t you wait as I come to hold you,
So we may even in Hades throw our arms around another
And have our fill together of cruel grief?
Or is it that dread Persephone sends only this ghost to me
So I may groan, grieving still more?”
So I spoke and my lady mother responded right away:
“Oh, my child, most ill-fated of all men,
Zeus’ daughter Persephone does not allow you things,
This is the law of mortals whenever they die.
We possess no tendons, flesh or bones—
Those things the strong force of burning fire
Consumed, and when the spirit first leaves its white bones,
The soul flits about and flies like a dream.”
[Odyssey 11.204-222]

The ancient Hellenes believed in ghosts; they were the people who could not find the entrance to the Underworld or who didn't have the money to pay Kharon for their passage. Those who were not properly buried were also doomed to wander the Earth for a hundred years. Interestingly enough, Hellenic heroes were also considered ghosts and were honored in the same type of rites as other types of ghosts. These ghosts, like Odysseus' mother, were summoned from the underworld with libations of animal blood, milk and honey, undiluted red wine, and water.

It's a scary world we live in today, isn't it? I long for quiet and safety, for reassurance, like Odysseus longs for his mother. Reading Homeros gave me a little respite from reality and for that I will always be grateful.