Last night marked the beginning of the Pyanepsia, an annual celebration of Theseus' return from Krete after slaying the Minotaur. I have written a long and detailed post about the Pyanepsia last year that may be of interest to practitioners today: Pyanepsia, Theseus and Apollon. I would also like to share the words of Robert Clark, Elaion core member, who had the following to say about the Pyanepsia on the Elaion monthly calendar:

"Beginning on the seventh of Pyanepsion (sundown on the 11th of October, 2013), the Pyanepsia was celebrated in honor of Apollon.  Theseus paid his vows to Apollo on the seventh day of Pyanepsion after rescuing the youths from the Minotaur, for on that day they had come back to the city in safety.  The Pyanipsia festival derives its name from a stew of boiled beans (pyanon epsein = to boil beans) and other leguminous vegetables.  Pyanepsia refers to the mixture of beans boiled together by the crew of the ship and the youths who were brought back safely by Theseus.  They put the mixture of beans, which was all they had left of their provisions, into a common pot (khytros) and after making an offering of them to Apollon feasted upon the rest. 

The mixture of pulses is a typical Greek panspermia (mixture of all seeds).  According to legend, as mentioned by Plutarch, this was the votive offering Theseus and his crew made to Apollo when they returned to Greece on this day, for it was all that was left of their provisions.  It is also an offering that is ritually sown with prayers that the next harvest may be bountiful.

The following is from Plutarch’s Lives – Theseus, XXII.4&5:

“After burying his father, Theseus paid his vows to Apollo on the seventh day of the month Pyanepsion; for on that day they had come back to the city in safety. Now the custom of boiling all sorts of pulse on that day is said to have arisen from the fact that the youths who were brought safely back by Theseus put what was left of their provisions into one mess, boiled it in one common pot, feasted upon it, and ate it all up together. At that feast they also carry the so-called “eiresione,” which is a bough of olive wreathed with wool, such as Theseus used at the time of his supplication, and laden with all sorts of fruit-offerings, to signify that scarcity was at an end, and as they go they sing:

“Eiresione for us brings figs and bread of the richest,
  brings us honey in pots and oil to rub off from the body,
  Strong wine too in a cup, that one may go to bed mellow.”

“Some writers, however, say that these rites are in memory of the Heracleidae, who were maintained in this manner by the Athenians; but most put the matter as I have done.”

Thus, on the 11th of October, we will celebrate the Pyanepsia with a burnt sacrifice to Apollon of a mixture of boiled beans with prayers of thanks for His blessing.  We will dedicate an eiresione and place it on the door as a symbol of Apollon’s blessings.  Following the sacrifice will be a sowing of a bean panspermia with prayers for future bounty.  This will be followed by a bean feast."

Elaion further organises a Practicing Apart Together (PAT) ritual for the Pyanepsia at 9:00 AM EDT. You can find more information about the event here (Facebook), as well as the ritual, which can be found here. We hope you join us for another wonderful celebration, and I wish you a blessed Pyanepsia; may Apollon's blessings fall upon you for the year to come and all years after.