On Mounuchion 6, the Athenian festival of the Delphinia (Δελφίνια) starts in honor of Apollon and Artemis. To celebrate this festival, Elaion is hosting a PAT ritual at 10 am EDT on April 6. Will you be joining us?


The Delphinia is a festival to ask for the protection of all ships and sailors, to ask for guidance for young boys and girls transitioning into adulthood and--as a festival of purification--the Delphinia can be interpreted to be open to all who are going through a time of transition and/or struggle.

What is known about this festival is that virgin girls walked to the Delphinion (Δελφίνιον) atop the Acropolis in procession, carrying olive branches bound with wool (known as 'iketiria') and baked cakes known as Popana, made of soft cheese and flower. There is overwhelming evidence that the festival was held on the sixth of the month of Mounukhion, most notably from Plutarch, but the seventh of same month is also considered a possible date, quite possibly because the festivities could have taken place in the daylight hours of the sixth day, which is the same day as the start of the seventh of the month, as dusk rained in a new day.

Plutarch connects the sixth of the month Mounukhion to Apollon and Theseus--most importantly to Theseus' quest for the Minotaur--in his 'Life of Theseus'. Theseus vows to look over those the lots choose to be offered to the Minotaur in the maze on Krete. Roughly in the month of Mounukhion, the seafaring season started. It's therefor not odd that lots would have been cast about this time, for the youths--and everyone else with business across the sea--would set sail as soon as the weather allowed. The rising of the Pleiades, located in the constellation of Taurus, around late April, the beginning of May, was a signal for the boldest of sea-goers that the treacherous sea was at least moderately accessible. Still, it would be at least several months before the favoured seafaring season started, so anyone braving the sea, could probably use some protection. Somewhere shortly after the Delphinia would have been Theseus' first opportunity to sail to Krete, but it would place his return almost five months later; quite some time for a three day journey (one way) in favourable conditions.

During the Delphinia, young maidens presented Apollon Delphinion, and perhaps Artemis Delphinia, with the iketiria Theseus had presented them with as well, in the hopes of receiving for the Athenians the same guidance and protection at sea as the Kretan colonists, as well as Theseus and the youths, had gotten.

A connection can also be made with Theseus visiting the shrine of Apollon Delphinios as an opportunity for purification before his great quest, as the young supplicants who prepared for their personal collective journeys into adulthood would desire purification of their own, and Apollon in many of his epithets is a purifier. Also, in a little less than a month, the Thargelia took place in Delos, an event where the births of Artemis, and especially Apollon were celebrated. The rites at the Delphinia might have been part of the purification processes for those who were to go to Delos (with thanks to Daphne Lykeia for this interpretation).

As a festival of purification, the Delphinia can be interpreted to be open to all who are going through a time of transition and/or struggle. A divine purification of miasma might allow you to focus better on these issues, and receive guidance from the Theoi more easily--like Theseus, who purified himself at the Delphinion and prayed for the guidance of Aphrodite directly thereafter. Aphrodite made Ariadne fall for him, saving his life and those of the young men and women in the process.

One can celebrate this day by offering both Apollon and Artemis hymns, libations, and Popana cakes, and presenting Artemis with an iketiria, an olive branch wrapped with white wool, if you are a young female looking for aid. An iketiria was primarily used in rites of supplication.

The popana (or popanon) should be a flat cake with a single 'knob' in the center. We don't have a surviving recipe, but Cato's recipes for 'libum' seems to hold many of the same ingredients. It goes as follows:

"'Make libum by this method. Break up two pounds of cheese well in a mortar. When they will have been well broken up, put in a pound of wheat flour or, if you wish it to be more delicate, half a pound of fine flour and mix it well together with the cheese. Add one egg ...and mix together well. Then make into bread, places leaves beneath, and cook slowly on a hot hearth under an earthen pot."

That's a lot of Popana. Make this if you're with a large group, else the recipe would look something like this for something the size of a good loaf of bread or its equivalent in smaller portions:

- 14 ounces good ricotta or any fresh cheese, preferably unpasteurized (ricotta should always be drained overnight in a colander)
- 4 ounces (approx) flour, preferably farro
- 1 large egg
- a pinch of salt
- several bay leaves, preferably fresh
- olive oil, for the pan

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.

You can either make large cakes or small ones. If you're making large ones, line a baking pan or sheet with bay leaves and brush them lightly with olive oil. If you don't have enough leaves to cover the surface, distribute the leaves as best you can. If you are going to make smaller cakes, brush one leaf with oil for each cake you are going to make.

Knead all the ingredients (except the bay leaves) until well blended. Add flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Shape the dough into a single, or several smaller cakes. Place either the large cake on top of the bay leaves, or put each little one on top of one. Then put it in a baking pan and into the oven.

Bake for about 30 minutes for a large cake, or (much) less long for smaller cakes. Just watch them until they are firm and light golden brown. Don't forget to enjoy it yourself!

The ritual for the event can be found here and you can join the community here.
We are proud to announce that Pandora's Kharis members have come through for Oxfam International! Together, they have raised $ 70,- to help support this very worthy cause. Thank you very much!



Over 21 million people in Ethiopia, Somalia, Nigeria, Kenya and South Sudan alone are suffering from hunger. The situation in South Sudan is particularly acute, as 3.2 million people are fleeing the terror of the civil war. A five-country study commissioned by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) in Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal, Niger, Mozambique and Malawi estimated that response at four months after a failed harvest costs $49 per household, whereas response at six months after harvest costs $1,294 per household. Oxfam International aims to offer help in the aforementioned areas and in the aforementioned way, and your donation helps them do so. So thank you!

From this moment on, the Pandora's Kharis Facebook page is open to pitches. If you do not have Facebook, feel free to pitch your cause in the comments. We will relay the message to the community. Please pitch your cause before April 7th. On to another month of pitching, voting, and giving!
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 think I've answered all reader questions now. If you didn't get an e-mail or message back, please send it again!
  • I've been going through my tags in the right hand menu and weeding out weird and disused ones, making it easier to search my blog.
  • Last month I linked Blogger to Facebook, so my Facebook page is now up to date every day! Have you followed me there yet?
Statistics:
PAT rituals for Mounikhion:
  • 4/1 - Mounikhion 4 - Sacrifice to the Herakleidai at Erkhia
  • 4/3 - Mounikhion 6 - Delphinia - in honor of Artemis, and perhaps Apollon and Theseus
  • 4/13 - Mounikhion 16 - Mounikhia - festival in honor of Artemis as the moon Goddess and Mistress of the animals
  • 4/16 - Mounikhion 19 - Olympieia - festival in honor of Olympian Zeus
  • 4/17 - Mounikhion 20 - Sacrifice to Leukaspis at Erkhia
  • 4/18 - Mounikhion 21 - Sacrifice to Tritopatores at Erkhia

Anything else?
Oxfam International has become Pandora's Kharis' Elaphebolion 2017 cause. Over 21 million people in Ethiopia, Somalia, Nigeria, Kenya and South Sudan alone are suffering from hunger. Oxfam International strives to alleviate the impact of the hunger crisis in (Southern) Africa.

The deadline to donate is today, March 28th, 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!

Are you looking for an online shop to buy incenses and other Hellenistic basics from? Try The Hellenic Handmaid on Etsy.
The Herakleidai (Ἡρακλεῖδαι) are the descendants of Herakles. After the death of Herakles, his sons were pursued by Eurystheus. They claimed protection in Athens. The Athenians refused to surrender them and in the war that ensued Eurystheus' sons were killed. Eurystheus himself, who had fled in a chariot, was pursued and had his head cut off by Hyllos, son of Heracles. After the death of Eurystheus, the Herakleidai attacked the Peloponnesos and captured all the cities. When a plague ravaged the country the oracle of Delphi declared that this happened because the Herakleidai had returned before the proper time. So they retired and, after some unfortunate attempts to return, they made themselves masters of the Peloponnesus three generations later. In Erkhia, a yearly sacrifice was made to the sons (and hopefully the daughters) of Herakles and we will do the same on 1 April, at the usual 10 am EDT.


The Herakleidai claimed power in the Peloponnesos because they were descended, through Herakles, from Perseus, the founder of Mycenae. The current ruler op the Peloponnesos, Tisamenus, was a Pelopid, a descendant of Pelops. They also claimed that Tyndareus, ruler of Sparta, had been expelled by Hippokoon and argued that Herakles, having killed Hippokoon and his sons, had given the land in trust to Tyndareus. As such, they were the true rulers of both.

Hyllos, son of Herakles, sought to effect the return to power of the Herakleidai, so he went to Delphi and inquired how to go about this. The oracle declared that 'they should await the third crop before returning'. Hyllos supposed that the third crop signified a three year wait. He did, then returned with his army to Peloponnesos. He failed and was killed by Ekhemos. 

Aristomakhos, son of Kleodaeos, son of Hyllos, had been also killed in battle. His son Temenos blamed the oracle for the death of his father. He said that they had obeyed the oracle but the Oracle answered that they were themselves to blame, for they did not understand the prophecies, seeing that by 'the third crop' it was meant, not a crop of the earth, but a crop of a generation. 

So Temenos waited. He readied the army and built ships at Naupaktos. While the army was there, a soothsayer appeared. Karnos recited oracles but the Herakleidai took him for a magician sent by the Peloponnesians to be the ruin of the army. So Hippotes (son of Phylas, son of Antiochos, son of Herakles) threw a javelin at him and killed him. But Karnos was, indeed, a seer of Apollon and the one who established the cult of Apollo Karneos among the Dorians. Appollon destroyed the naval force and made the army suffer from famine. Eventually it had to disband.

After these two failed attempts, Temenos went back to the Oracle of Delphi to ask how he could stop the misfortune that had befallen them. The Oracle advised him to banish the Hippotes for ten years and to take for his guide 'the Three-Eyed One'. So the Herakleidai banished Hippotes and started searching for the Three-Eyed One.

One day they met Oxylos who was sitting on a one-eyed horse. So, guessing he was the man described by the Oracle, they made him their guide. Oxylos had fled from Aetolia to Elis on account of the accidental murder of Thermios (or Alcidokos, depending on the account). So, with Oxylos as a guide, the Herakleidai invaded the Peloponnesos again and finally defeated them. They slew Tisamenos, the last of the Pelopides to rule the Peloponnesos, and claimed it in its entirety. 

The return of the Herakleidai took place three generations after the end of the Trojan War and the death of Nestor after his return home. When the Herakleidai conquered the Peloponnesos, they cast lots for the cities. Argos was allotted to Temenos. The twin sons of Aristodemos, Prokles and Eurysthenes, got Lacedaemon and Sparta. Messenia was allotted to Kresphontes, who drove the descendants of Nestor from Messenia. Oxylos, for his help, became king of Elis after the victory of the Herakleidai.

What follows is a (probably incomplete) list of those who were called 'Herakleidai' at the time described.

The first generation:
Alcaeos, son of Herakles and Omphale. Father of Belos.
Antiochos, son of Herakles and Meda. Father of Phylas.
Hyllos, son of Herakles and Deianira or Melite. Father of Iole of Kleodaeos and Evaekhme.
Ktesippos, son of Herakles and Astydamia or Deianira. Father of Thrasyanor.
Phaestos, son of Herakles and an unknown mother. Father of Rhopalos.

The second generation:
Belos, son of Alcaeos.
Kleodaeos, son of Hyllos. Father of Aristomachos and Lanassa.
Phylas, son of Antiochos. Father of Hippotes and Thero.
Rhopalos, son of Phaestos. Father of Hippolytos.
Thrasyanor, son of Ktessipos. Father of Agamedidas and Antimachos.

The third generation:
Agamedidas, son of Thrasyanor. Father of Thersander.
Anaxandra, daughter of Thersander. Mother by Eurysthenes of King Agis of Sparta.
Antimakhos, son of Thrasyanor. Father of Deiphontes.
Aristomachos, son of Kleodaeus. Father of Temenos, Kresphontes and Aristodemos.
Eurysthenes, son of Aristodemos. Father of King Agis.
Hippotes, son of Phylas. Father of Aletes.
Hippolytos, son of Rhopalos. Father of Lacestades.
Lathria, daughter of Thersander. Mother by Prokles of King Sous of Sparta.
Prokles, son of Aristodemos. Father by Lathria of Sous and Eurypon.

The fourth generation:
Aristodemos, son of Aristomachos. Father of Eurysthenes and Prokles.
Aletes, son of Hippotes.
Deiphontes, son of Antimakhos. Father of Antimenes, Xanthippos, Argeos, and Orsobia.
Kresphontes, son of Aristomachos. Father of Aepytos.
Lakestades, son of Hippolytos.
Temenos, son of Aristomachos. Father of Agelaos, Eurypylos, Kallias and Hyrnetho (or Kisos, Kerynes, Phalkes, Agraeos, Isthmios and Hyrnetho).
Thersander, son of Agamedidas. Father of Lathria and Anaxandra.

The fifth generation:
Agelaus, son of Temenos.
Agraeus, son of Temenos.
Aepytos, son of Kresphontes.
Eurypylus, son of Temenos.
Hyrnetho, daughter of Temenos.
Isthmios. Son of Temenos.
Kallias, son of Temenos.
Kerynes, son of Temenos.
Kisos, son of Temenos. Father of Phlias and Medon.
Phalkes, son of Temenos.

The ritual for the event can be found here and you can join the community page here.
Archaiologia recently posted a very interesting article on the cemetery of Achlada in Florina (Macedonia). It's in Greek and my Greek is...let's go with "very limited". Thankfully, the Archaeology News Network recently posted a translation and it's a very interesting read because it's not only on the finds made at the cemetery but also on Lynkestis (Λυγκηστίς) or Lynchestia (Λυγκηστία) meaning "land of the lynx". It was a region--and in earlier times a Hellenic kingdom of Upper Macedonia--located on the southern borders of Illyria and Paeonia. The inhabitants of Lynkestis were known as Lynkestai (Λυγκησταί), a northwestern Hellenic tribe that belonged to the Molossian tribal state, or koinon, of Epirus. It's an area and cunture we have very little literary evidence on (a fact also mentioned in the text), so we rely heavily on finds like these. Let me give you the text, but visit either Archaiologia or the Archaeological News Network for more pictures (mostly of some of the amazing finds that were made). I, sadly, have not been able to find a link to the paper mentioned in the text.

Unique archaeological evidence about Lynkestis
A cup in the shape of a ram head
[Credit: Ephorate of Antiquities of Florina ]

A very interesting paper about the “Cemetery of Archaic and Classical times of Achlada in Florina” was presented by archaeologist Liana Gelou (Ephorate of Antiquities of Florina) during the 30th meeting of the Archaeological Work in Macedonia and Thrace, which was organized by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Ministry of Culture. In her paper Mrs. Gelou referred to the finds of the excavations at the site.

Since 2010, the Ephorate of Antiquities of Florina has been supervising the excavations for the mining of lignite at the mine of Achlada. The research has been funded by the Lignit Mines of Achlada. In December 2014, underneath building remains dating back to the Roman period, an organized cemetery was located. The finds were impressive and shed light on hitherto unknown aspects of the civilization developed in Lynkestis during the Archaic and Classical times.

Researchers had long ago pointed out the existence of an ancient settlement and burials on the left bank of Geropotamos, as the Ephorate of Antiquities of Florina informs us. The site was known to the archaeological service as a cemetery of Roman years – a conclusion based on the human skeletal remains in the basin of a stream, and on the inscribed grave stelai of the 2nd and 3rd c. AD which were found in the area and are now exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Florina.
In ancient Greek literature we find very few references to ancient Lynkestis. In addition to that, up to now there were no archaeological finds to fill in the gaps of our knowledge about the area – in particular, during the period prior to the unification of the Macedonian state by Philip II. Until recently, due to this lack of data, it was assumed that the area had been socially and culturally isolated.

We know from ancient Greek written sources that Macedonia was divided in Upper (mountainous) and Lower (plain) Macedonia. The modern regional units of Kastoria, Florina, Kozani and Grevena belonged to Upper Macedonia. Within the geographical boundaries of these regions the following tribes were living: Orestae, Lynkestai, Eordoi, Tymphaioi and Elimiotes. Upper Macedonia comprised kingdoms of related racial groups – races which had an organized social and political system. Macedonian society remained based on the aristocratic structure of the gene connected through royal power, and preserved its racial organization throughout  its history, even after the inclusion of the local kingdoms in the state of Aigai, in 358 BC, by Philip II.

According to Strabo, the Lynkestai come from the tribe of Bacchiads, which were expelled from Corinth in mid-7th c. BC. The first known king of Lynkestis, in mid-5th c. BC, was the son of Bromeros, Arrhabaios I, the granddaughter of which is considered to be Euridice, mother of Philip II. This tradition has been preserved in myths and shows the relationship of Upper Macedonia inhabitants with the Northeastern Pelopponese and the descent of the royal houses (The royal house of the Temenides of Aigai, the Bacchiads of Lynkestis) from Hercules and Argos or Corinth respectively.

The excavations in Achlada are still in progress and the burials found until now are more than 170. In most of these, the skeletal remains are in a bad state of preservation. They date from the 6th to the 4th c. BC, while the burial customs present similarities with other cemeteries of the same period in Macedonia, like the ones in Sindos, Aigai, the Archontikon  of Pella and Aiani. According to the burial customs of Macedonians, the deceased is buried with his/her personal items, like jewelry, which are status symbols, as well as with objects used in burial rituals and refer to beliefs about the after-life.

Men were buried with their weapons, reflecting the ideal of the warrior, and women were buried with their jewelry. Warriors are accompanied by one or two spears or javelins, iron swords and knives, weapons implying real rivalry for dominion and the establishment of territorial possessions. Weapons, jewelry and golden foils characterize the gender and the social status of the deceased, while clay and bronze pottery, figurines and utensils are related to burial rituals and beliefs about the after-life.

Golden mouth-pieces and eye covers with repousse and dotted decoration, golden rosettes and discs for the decoration of clothing, gold and silver-plated earrings were also found. The mouth-pieces, the eye covers and the rest of the foils are possibly related with the widespread belief that gold has a protective power. Due to its imperishable nature, gold has been linked from early on with the ideas of immortality and eternity. Furthermore, an abundance of bronze jewelry has been found. These include fibulae and pins, rings (simple or with depictions on the bezel), earrings and bracelets (simple or spiral ones).

The clay or bronze vases are usually placed near the feet. In early burials, clay pots come mainly from local workshops and feature shapes which have a long tradition in the North Helladic region during the Archaic and Classical period. The oldest (unitl now) imported clay vases were produced in the Corinthian pottery workshop. They were made for aromatic oils and ointments and date to the 6th and early 5th c. BC.

By examining the Achlada pottery it can be concluded that the majority of the craftsmen were indigenous and had been influenced from big artistic centres, like that of Ionia, Corinth and Athens, areas with which the Macedonians had close trade relations. The local craftsmen adopted common types and motifs, the rendering of which depended on the extent to which the artistic trends had been assimilated and the local special characteristics and traditions. There were also foreign craftsmen, goldsmiths, potters, coropolasts, armorers etc. working in Macedonia during the Archaic times.

The burials of the 4th c. BC are accompanied by numerous Attic vases, with shapes which were very popular in cemeteries of the same period throughout the Helladic space. Of special interest is a black-glazed bucket (kados) with plastic decoration, with a relief head at the end of the handle and a sieve across the outflow hole. Also of interest is a vase in the form of a ram head with red-figured decorations and ivy leaves on its neck.

The finds of Achlada confirm the systematic commercial and cultural relations with important centres of south Greece and the colonies. These relations clearly influence the local production and show no differences to the cemeteries of the same period in the rest of the Macedonian territory.

Many answers were hidden in the soil of Achlada and the current research fills in the gaps of the written sources about the history of Macedonia and the national identity of Macedonians. Along with the finds of Aiani, the burial complex of Achlada enriches the archaeological map of the area, documents the historical knowledge and outlines the physiognomy of Hellenism of Upper Macedonia. The recent, unique in the area finds show vividly the unitary nature of Greek culture and prove that, parallel to the Macedonians of Lower Macedonia, the kingdoms of Upper Macedonia of the 6th and 5th c. BC are characterized by a robust economy, a high standard living and a high level of culture.
There are many household Gods in the Hellenic religion and without some background knowledge about how ancient Hellenic houses are built up, it can become a bit of a conglomerated mess when trying to worship all in modern times.  Which God watches out over which area? And where should you place your shrines in a perfect world? And in a realistic world? Why don't we try to suss things out today, hm?


Ancient Hellenic homes were simple structures, made from clay, wood, and stone. The roofs were covered with tiles, or reeds, and the houses had one or two stories. Most houses were small, just a few rooms, with a walled garden or yard in the middle. Others, like the house above, were much larger. They were not solely homes, but often doubled as offices, shops, entertainment areas, and as a place of worship. In many cases, a large wall with a single door connected the house to the street, while insuring maximum privacy tot he occupants of the house. Rooms at the front of the house often served as store rooms or work shops. Other rooms in the house served as bedrooms, as a kitchen, bathroom, and smaller store rooms. Symposia were held in special rooms, reserved only for men. The only women who entered the male-only rooms were serfs. These rooms were called 'andron' (ανδρών). Female-only rooms were called 'gynaikon' (γυναικῶν).

The courtyard of the home often held a bômos, a free standing, raised, altar where the majority of household worship took place. Some houses also had a wall niche, an indoor worship area, either in a room especially designated for worship, or in the main family room. These altars were used to worship the Ephestioi (Εφεστιοι), the most personal of the household Theoi. These almost always included: Hestia, Zeus Ephestios (Overseer of the Hearth), Zeus Kthesios, and Agathós Daímōn. Worship of these deities was highly personal, and many other Theoi could be added to this worship list.

Hestia was represented by the hearth fire that was always kept burning. If it went out, the male head of household would go to the prytaneion (Πρυτανεῖον), the structure where state officials met and where the city kept a fire for Hestia burning day and night, for a new flame. All fires in the house were lit from this one fire, so Hestia would watch over everything and everyone inside the house. Zeus Ephestios was and is a more active defender of the home. He shields the actual structure of the house. Where Hestia watches over the occupants, Zeus Ephestios guards the very walls, the roof, the floor, and any possessions inside the structure. He was worshipped at the main altar.

Zeus Kthesios guards the pantry, and was honored there as well, where he had his own shrine, often adorned with a kathiskos. Agathós Daímōn and the ancestors were also worshipped at the main altar, although they may have had small shrines to themselves, especially in the case of wall niches.

In the courtyard of the house, the Herkeioi (Ἑρκειοι) were honored: those of the herkos or front court. Most notably, this was Zeus Herkeios (Ἑρκειος), protector of the enclosure of the house.

Just outside the house, and especially near the gate to the street, small shrines and altars were placed in honor of the less personal protectors: Apollon (sometimes in his epithet of 'Aguieus' (Ἀγυιεύς), protector of the streets, public places, and the entrances to homes), Hermes Propylaios, Hekate, and especially in Sparta, the Dioskouroi. Hēraklēs sometimes took the place of Apollon.

Zeus Herkeios' altar stood in the courtyard and He, from the inside of the house, protected against anyone wanting to harm the house or the family living in it. These altars were most often pillars, on or around which the offerings could be placed. Hermes, Apollon, and Hekate were represented by a pointy four-sided post. The top was reserved for Apollon, the bottom often held a niche where Deipnon offerings could be placed to Hekate, and Hermes' face (and sometimes his genitalia) was sometimes carved into the post. Hermes sometimes got his own post, called a 'herm', which was a rectangular post, with His face carved on top, and his genitalia carved out on the front.

So how does this translate to modern worship? The structure of houses has changed--many people don't even live in a house but in an apartment without a garden. So, how are the areas divided then? Let's start with a picture of a house with a garden, leading to the street:


The house itself is 'circle' one. It's the realm of the Ephestioi. Their influences reaches right up to the walls. If you live in an apartment, this circle encompasses your entire home. This is where your bômos is, where you might have a pantry shrine to Zeus Kthesios, where you might have a shrine for Hestia if you don't have a fireplace, and so on. This is the main circle of worship.

Then we move out to the garden: anything from the house onward that still belongs to you. In an apartment, this would be the balcony if you have one and arguable also the elevator or staircase and hallway leading to your apartment door. This is the domain of the Herkeioi. You could set up a small shrine near the front door to pour out some libations into. Do you live in an apartment? A flowerpot or plant is a perfect way to hide your little shrine. Do you want to bring things together even more? Zeus is whom is honored here most, and his sacred tree is the oak. Why not plant some acorns and water them with libations of water? This second 'circle' spans the area from the house to the street.

The third 'circle' is not a circle at all: it's a barrier. Just like ancient Hellenic cities often had gated walls, so does the home. There where the driveway, garden fence or building door meets the street, Hekate, Apollon and Hermes (amongst others)  stand tall to guard against any harmful influence from outside. It thus stands to reason that your shrine for Them belongs at that spot.

This third is of course the most tricky of shrines. It's a very visible spot and if you live in an apartment complex, you might not even have the option to put anything of yourself there. I have a friend who lives in an apartment in New York. She has a little mailbox in the entry hall, close to the outer door. At the back of it, she'd put a little bowl and leaves small offerings there whenever she goes to collect her mail. Inventive, hm? Another option would be to 'pull back' this barrier to the door of your house and make a shrine just inside or outside of it. That's what I did when I still lived in an apartment.

I hope this makes things a little clearer and you have a few more handholds to base your worship on.
Phobos (Φοβος) is the God of fear, dread and terror, and his twin-brother Deimos (Δειμος) the god of panic fear, flight and battlefield rout. They are sons of Ares and Aphrodite and often accompany their father into battle, driving His chariot and spreading fear in Their wake. As sons of Aphrodite the twins also represented the fear of loss.

I have been feeling the influence of Phobos and Deimos the last few years. I think the whole world is. Elections that swing to the far right, the 'angry white men', the daily terrorist attacks everywhere in the world. Two days ago, some asshole drove his car into a group of people crossing London Bridge. At least forty were injured and five killed. The attacker then attempted to enter the Houses of Parliament, stabbing a police officer as he tried to force his way in. He was shot and killed by police.

This was by far not the only attack this month alone. Somalia, Cameroon, Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Mexico, France, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Turkey, Mali, Tunisia, Ivory Coast, India, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Yemen all saw attacks by a wide variety of war and religious extremist parties. The death toll is around the 400 mark in March alone.

People are afraid but I think... I think they are also getting angry. Angry at the right source this time, not at their local governments or refugees but at the people committing these acts of violence. They see now, with Trump's continued idiocy and the uselessness of the screaming right wing, that their anger might have been misplaced.

Full disclosure: I do not like England's Prime Minister Theresa May. I hold her almost personally responsible for the flusterfuck that Brexit will be. But in the wake of the London Bridge attack, I saw in her the voice that's rising more and more: the voice not of fear but of someone fed up with lunacy. Her voice was echoed on the streets, by people interviewed. England will not be afraid and it will not bent to the will of the extremists.


Perhaps the sentiment that is rising now is Phobos and Deimos' influence too: with a fear of loss comes a courage to defend. When exposed to terror enough, one can become almost immune. When flight and fear don't bring safety, people are only left with the option to stand tall. I hope we will feel more of that in the times ahead. I hope we will become stronger in the light of all of this horror. I hope we will become wise.

The people of The Netherlands voted for our own personal Trump, but they voted much more for everyone else. On the whole, on March 15, we voted for the status quo and stability. France is next, then Germany and both have their own national Trumps. Here is to hoping that enough exposure to Phobos and Deimos will have made these voters courageous, unyielding, and immune to the right wing's manipulative message of fear.

I pray for this, and feel a strong debt to those who died to harden us. We owe it to them to do better. Vote better. Act better. I am proud of the Dutch and how they voted. I am proud of the Brits who refuse to break. I am proud of the Belgians who survived a year since their subway bombings and speak of hope. Perhaps we need Phobos and Deimos for that, but I do hope their reign comes to an end soon.