I get a lot of questions from readers, and most of the time, the answers are fairly short. When I feel the question or the reply would be valuable to others as well, I make a post with a collection of them and post them in one go. Today is one of those posts.

"There are three days in each Athenian month that are listed on the calendar as sacred to the Erinyes, Eris, and Horkos. How does one go about honoring these Gods? And what is the significance of having three days sacred to Them each Month?

The sacrifice you describe is not so much an honouring as an appeasement. Within Traditional Hellenismos we believe that the Gods you invite into your home will impact your life. Period. ‘Stable’ Gods bring a stable life, ‘chaotic’ Gods bring a chaotic life. I’m putting it very black-and-white here but you get the point.

Eris is the personification of (marital) strife, discord, contention and rivalry. She inspires that in us. In the case of Eris, She is appeased regularly especially to prevent Her upsetting your life and to remove Her continued influence from it. Hesiod warns about Her and Her offspring and the days when Her influence is strongest:

“Beware of all the fifth days [of the month]; for they are harsh and angry; it was on the fifth, they say, that the Erinyes assisted at the bearing of Horkos (Oath), whom Eris (Strife) bore, to be a plague on those who take false oath.” [Works and Days, 804]

Basically, these sacrifices are a 'sending away': a request for Her and her offspring's influence to pass your house by.

Now, we don't know if the ancient Hellened actually performed these sacrifices. We only know that of the festivals an The sacrifice you describe is not so much an honouring as an appeasement. Within Traditional Hellenismos we believe that the Gods you invite into your home will impact your life. Period. ‘Stable’ Gods bring a stable life, ‘chaotic’ Gods bring a chaotic life. I’m putting it very black-and-white here but you get the point.
These sacrifices are Ouranic and can be performed as part of your daily rituals. If you feel Their influence strongly, however, you might want to hold a separate ritual of appeasement to Them and Eris above all. Traditional offerings include haulocaustal sacrifices of meat, unmixed red wine, honey and milk. Instead of asking Her to leave you alone (which, I assume, would seem like the logical way to go) sacrifice to Her and pray that íf you have ever done anything to upset Her or cause Her wrath to fall upon you, she take these sacrifices as appeasement and lift Her scorn’.


"Should I memorize the hymns/hymn fragments of my choice, or keep them out while I worship? I have a general method when I give offerings and praise. Khernips, preparing the offering, hymns, offering, and prayers. I just need a bit of advice!"

I started off with a little book that I had written the hymns down in in the sequence of my rites. Alternatively, you can put them up on the wall and read them from there. Most, if not all of my daily used hymns I now have memorized, simply through repetition. I never sat down to memorize them as such. Say them enough times and you'll never forget them again.


"Hey elani! ur blog is a great resource for me. do you have any tips for giving large offerings, and non-food ones? in terms of large foods, i was thinking of giving Athena an apple, but burning an entire apple is a bit hard since i'm not "out". in terms of non-food: do i just leave it on the shrine, or until a specific date? idk if there are ancient sources for all these but if u have any ideas/tips that would be wonderful."

Practically speaking, cutting it up into little chunks would probably work. Else you need an actual fire and that is hard to do if you have to do it indoors without anyone noticing. Non-food items you could leave out on the shrine, yes, and remove after a set period. I do have to mention a few things about the actual desire to give this type of sacrifice, as it's not the Traditional thing to do and, well, you asked a Traditionalist.

Two things instantly jumped out at me: you are planning to give a holocaustal sacrifice to an Ouranic deity and, unless I am interpreting things incorrectly (and if so, my apologies), you want to give something non-organic and inflamable to the Gods as sacrifice. These things are problematic in terms of the ancient Religion.

'Ouranic' is a term that applies to Theoi and practices who reside or that are associated with Mount Olympos, home of many of the Theoi. As such, Ouranic deities are also referred to as 'Olympians'. Ouranic deities tended to receive wine libations that were mixed with water. Food offerings were usually divided between the Theoi and the worshippers where only a ceremonial part of the sacrifice was given to the Theoi. This part of the animal was called the mēria (μηρια), consisting of both thigh bones in their fat, which was placed on the altar, sprinkled with a liquid libation and incense, and then burned.

'Kthonic', on the other hand, refers to deities or spirits of the Underworld or the earth, and the rituals associated with Them. Khthonic deities received either wineless libations (water, milk, and honey, usually), or wine libations of unmixed wine. Sacrifices were given whole; it was a holókaustos (ὁλόκαυστος), and the matching libation a khoe (χοαί). The whole offering was either burned or buried and no one partook of any of the food or drink that was given to the Khthonic Theoi. This because contact with the underworld carried miasma.

So, you are proposing to give a holokaustos to an Ouranic deity and that, Traditionally speaking, is a no-no. A sliver of the apple will do. My advice is to eat the rest yourself and share with the Gods. That is how Ouranic sacrifice was intended to be.

Now, about that inflamable sacrifice: in terms of the ancient Hellenic religion, there is no such thing. You either give sacrifice or you present the Gods with a gift. 'Sacrifice' implies that somehting is either burned or burried that is organic and could be eaten (although we don't when it comes to holokaustal sacrifice). In terms of burned sacrifice, the scented smoke was said to sustain and please the Theoi and the sacrificial smoke also carried the prayers of the worshippers to Them. Khthonic sacrifice would sometimes be buried but the whole point here, again, was that it was organic and could be consumed. It was given to sustain the Theoi.

A non-organic sacrifice of, says, coins, jewellery, precious stones, etc. are considered devotional gifts. They are not sacrifices as they are not sacrificed--they can't be, after all. In general, gifts in ancient Hellas were given to the priests who put them into special sections of the temple or in special side buildings in honour of the God(s) they had been gifted to. Gifts go on your shrine(s) to the Theoi, not your altar. They are there to show the grandeur of the Theoi and the value They have for you. You can leave them on there forever or take them off after a while and replace them with something new. Traditionally, if gifts broke or had to be disgarded, they were buried on the temple grounds.

I hope this answers your questions and make things clear for you and others.


"I know you've said in the past that the Theoi didn't call to you to worship them, so I was wondering what made you decide that Hellenismos was right for you. And as a follow up to that, I was wondering if you had advice on what someone should consider before deciding to worship the Theoi (perhaps something like, "make sure you enjoy research, because you'll be doing a lot of it," or "understand that you must build kharis before asking for any assistance," etc)."

I practiced Eclectic Religious Witchcraft for about seven years, longer than anything else in my life. I was initiated into a coven and initiated others. I was a priestess with a specialization in the ancient Hellenic pantheon. I summoned the Theoi into circles, bastardized Their festivals to suite the Pagan way of practice and circle of the year, and did a lot of research. I have always liked research. The last year or so of my practice, I begun to feel uneasy as I summoned the Theoi. I had begun to understand the ways of the ancient Hellenes and realized that I was not worshipping the Theoi, I was abusing them. This became my personal truth. I felt it down to my bones.

Religion is the process of finding personal truth. For me, it’s also a way to reconcile my many thoughts about Divinity with the experiences I have had with it. Which practices I use gives me a framework to do what I feel that needs to be done. What I felt that was needed to be done was to start worshipping the Theoi through the ways of the ancient Hellenes. That is why it was natural for me to progress into it.

Worshipping the Theoi, really, is a personal experience. If you practice like me, be prepared for twice-daily rituals, a lot of reading to understand the ways of the ancients, a lot of thinking about modern practices that still hold the intent of the ancient practices but can be sustained in the modern social and economical climate, and an extensive festival practice. If you don't practice like me, well, you might only do a few of these things or more of these things.

As a general not, I think I should 'warn' those interested in Hellenismos that it's not a glamorous, flashy thing. I progressed into it from Eclectic Religious Witchcraft and whew, did I ahve a lot fo flashy stuff to leave behind! Hellenismos is a religion that thrives of repetition. You will be doing the same things over and over and over because that's where its strength is. If you need constant stimulation and different stimuli, Hellenismos might not be for you. For me the routine is perfect.