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.

PAT rituals for Boedromion:
  • Boedromion 2 - September 3 - Niketeria - festival in honor of Athena, Nike, and perhaps Poseidon
  • Boedromion 2 - September 3 - Plataia - festival of reconciliation, sacred to Hera Daidala
  • Boedromion 4 - September 4 - Sacrifice to Basile in Erkhia
  • Boedromion 5 - September 5 - Genesia - public festival for the dead in honor of Gaea
  • Boedromion 5 - September 5 - Sacrifice to Epops at Erkhia
  • Boedromion 6 - September 6 - Kharisteria - festival in honor of Artemis Agrotera
  • Boedromion 7 - September 7 - Boedromia - a festival of thanksgiving for Apollon as a god who rescues people in war
  • Boedromion 12 - September 12 - Democratia - festival in honor of Democracy
  • Boedromion 13-23 - September 13 - September 23 - Eleusinian Greater Mysteries - in honor of Demeter
  • Boedromion 17 - September 17 - Epidauria - in honor of Asklēpiós
  • Boedromion 27 - September 27 - Sacrifice to the Nymphs, Achelous, Alochus, Hermes & Gaea at Erkhia
  • Boedromion 27 - September 27 - Sacrifice to Athena at Attic deme of Teithras

Anything else?
Are you looking for an online shop to buy incenses and other Hellenistic basics from? Try The Hellenic Handmaid on Etsy.

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Zagreus, the "first-born Dionysos," is a son of Zeus and Persephone who had been seduced by Zeus in the guise of a serpent. Zeus placed Zagreus upon the throne of heaven and armed Him with his lightning bolts, but Hera got jealous and had the Titanes dismember (and in some versions eat) Him. Zeus recovered only His heart and crafted it into a potion for Semele to ingest and thus give birth to Him as a reincarnation of the first. This myth seems to date back to a time before the version (of the birth) of Dionysos we have accepted into the general mythology of Hellenismos.

The idea of reincarnation probably dates back to the Iron Age (so around 1200 BC.). It enters the Hellenic stream of thought and philosophy around the 6th century BC, although there is mention of the theoretical subject in pre-Socratic philosophy. The ancient Hellenes most likely did not use the word 'reincarnation'; 'Metempsychosis' (μετεμψύχωσις) is a better word for the phenomenon they believed in. It is a philosophical term in the Hellenic language which refers to the transmigration of the soul, especially its reincarnation after death. The notion that the human soul enters another body upon death was widespread in Hellenic philosophy. The doctrine of transmigration is first associated with the Pythagoreans and Orphics and was later taught by Plato and Pindar. For the former groups, the soul retained its identity throughout its reincarnations; Plato indicated that souls do not remember their previous experiences. Although Herodotus claims that the Hellenes learned this idea from Egypt, most scholars do not believe it came either from Egypt or from India, but developed independently. Reincarnation in the form of transmigration was also a major feature of Orphism, and entirely unsurprisingly Zagreus featured heavily in Orphic mythology.

The Orphics were an ancient mystical cult with affinities to Indian religious systems. They believed in reincarnation and the possibility of liberation. Orpheus, the movement's legendary founder, is said to have taught that soul and body are locked together during life; the soul is divine, immortal and aspires to freedom, and during life, the body acts as a prison to the soul. Death releases the soul for a short while, but is then captured by another body until that, too, dies, and so the soul moves from body to body--both human and animal--until it can attain the highest good: liberation. In order to reach liberation, the Orphic way teaches to turn to God by ascetic piety of life and self-purification: the purer the life lived, the higher will be the next reincarnation, until the soul has completed the spiral ascent of destiny to live for ever as God from whom it comes. This is why their followers wore white, avoided places of death an birth (which are traditionally considered miasmic), and were vegetarians. Zagreus fits in perfectly with this philosophical concept.

So why Dionysos in the form of Zagreus? And why reincarnation? Zagreus was a Year-Daímōn, and reincarnation, as it appears, is the natural cycle of the world. The Year-Daímōn is a title given to any Theos or hero, whose death and rebirth are tied to the turning of the seasons. These scapegoats 'die' with the old year and are 'reborn' with the new year, setting in motion a cycle of renewal for the plant life that forms the basis of the Hellenic food supply. Dionysos is the prime Eniautos-daímōn, but Theseus, Herakles, Apollon, Odysseus, and Orpheus qualify as well, as They are--in some way--linked closely to death and rebirth, either from visiting the Underworld and leaving it, or experiencing a 'second birth' of sorts.

In this version of the myth, Dionysos is twice-born, hence his epithet 'Dimêtôr' (Διμητωρ, Of Two Mothers). Dionysos was considered a fertility God, but also closely related to nature's eternal cycle of birth and death. The ancient Hellenes considered the moment a plant--especially the grape--began to grow for the first time after being planted its first birth, and counted its second birth when it became laden with ripened fruit. As Dionysos is so closely related to to the grape vine, it was Dionysos Himself that was considered being born once from the earth and again from the vine.

Dionysos' cult focused heavily on this part of His mythology, and none more so than the Orphics. This earlier myth of His birth reaches back to  much older--possibly pre-Hellenic--'primitive' tribes which worshipped Dionysos or a God similar to Him with animal and human sacrifices which were torn apart, either before they were killed, or as a means to kill them. Most likely, these were the Thrakians. The God worshipped this way was also a God of life and death, and these sacrifices were conducted to ensure a good harvest in the coming year. This may also explain one of the retellings of the birth of Dionysos where He was torn apart by Titans.

How involved the worship of the Eniautos-Daímōn was, or how far-spread it was, is unclear. I suspect highly that the Orphic mythology and practice was focused on it, and while Orphism was a small mystery cult, it was widespread and even more widely known. Zagreus is one of Dionysos' wildest, most primal epithets and it underlay all believes about Him. It's an aspect of Him that bled into and out of Orphism and out of and into general worship. The two fed on each other, mixed and reformed--much like Dionysos Himself. Zagreus is a critical aspect of Dionysos to understand and yet, one that is most difficult to grasp. Perhaps this post has given you a glimpse. 
New research shows that ancient Hellenes had used a primitive type of lifting machine to move heavy stones before they began using cranes 2,500 years ago. It is commonly believed that the foremost discovery of the ancient Hellenes in building technology is the crane. Yet enormous stone structures were known to have been built in Greece at least 150 years before the use of cranes themselves
According to new research, published in the Annual of the British School of Athens, cranes first appeared in the late sixth century BC, but their mechanical forerunners were used in buildings including the Temples of Isthmia and Corinth at least 150 years before that, around the middle of the seventh century BC.

The researchers say that Hellenes were likely to have first used ramps made from earth or mudbrick to lift the heavy stone blocks used in major construction. The lifting devices are thought to have been similar to the ones used by ancient Egyptians and Assyrians centuries before.

The new paper, written by Alessandro Pierattini, an assistant professor of architecture at the University of Notre Dame, argues that a kind of lifting machine was the next precursor to the crane, one which was capable of lifting ashlar blocks weighing over 200 to 400 kilograms (440 to 880 pounds).

The lifting machine was originally invented by the Corinthians, who used it to build ships and for lowering heavy sarcophagi into narrow, deep burial pits. It was not a crane, since it did not use winches or hoists. Instead, the builders redirected the force of the weight by using a rope passed over a frame.

"This kind of masonry represents a crucial step in the development of Greek monumental stone architecture, marking a departure both from mudbrick construction, which had been the norm for most Greek buildings, and from previous experiments with stone construction."

The evidence of the device is considered to be grooves which are etched onto the bottom of stones used to construct the Corinth and Isthmia temples. These grooves are familiar to historians, but until now, it had been unknown if the grooves had occurred as a result of lifting the blocks during the building process or from moving them around in quarries.

For the study, Pierattini studied stone blocks used in early Hellenic temples, while he also engaged in some hands-on experimental archaeology. He studied the blocks from the mid-seventh-century temples at Corinth and Isthmia and their peculiar markings — two parallel rope-grooves cut into their undersides which turned up on one end.

Using actual stones and ropes, Pierattini found that the grooves could have served a dual function, allowing the builders to both lift the blocks and position them tightly against their neighbors along the walls of buildings.

"With heavy stone blocks and high friction between stone surfaces, this was a highly problematic step of construction that in later times would require sets of purpose-made holes for using metal levers. Μy paper demonstrates that the builders of the early temples at Corinth and Isthmia were already using levers for the final setting of the blocks. This represents the first documented use of the lever in Greek architecture."
Oh Pallas Athena... In my personal practice, She is chief amongst the Gods. All my life, she has been protectress and as I am preparing to move houses, I call upon Her to fortify its walls and make them impenetrable to everything and all. We all know the Homeric and Orphic hymns to Athena but there are a few lesser known ones you might not be familiar with. I'd like to share those today.

Solon, fr. 4.4-5 (6th Century BCE)

“This sort of a great-hearted overseer, a daughter of a strong-father
Holds her hands above our city, Pallas Athena”

(τοίη γὰρ μεγάθυμος ἐπίσκοπος ὀβριμοπάτρη
Παλλὰς ᾿Αθηναίη χεῖρας ὕπερθεν ἔχει)

Euripides, Heracleidae 770-72 (5th Century BCE)

“Queen, the foundation of the land
and the city is yours, you are its mother,
mistress and guardian..”

(ἀλλ’, ὦ πότνια, σὸν γὰρ οὖ-
δας γᾶς καὶ πόλις, ἆς σὺ μά-
τηρ δέσποινά τε καὶ φύλαξ…)

Aristophanes, Knights 581-585 (5th Century BCE)

“O Pallas, protector of the city,
The most sacred city-
and defender of a land
that surpasses all others
in war and poetry.”

(῏Ω πολιοῦχε Παλλάς, ὦ
τῆς ἱερωτάτης ἁπα-
σῶν πολέμῳ τε καὶ ποη-
ταῖς δυνάμει θ’ ὑπερφερού-
σης μεδέουσα χώρας)

Archaeologists have discovered a new sanctuary preceding the ancient city of Troy in Turkey's western Çanakkale province, which is expected to shed light on the details of ancient civilizations that inhabited the area.

Professor Rüstem Aslan from Çanakkale University's Faculty of Archaeology, who leads the excavations at Troy, told the Anadolu Agency that they found the third sanctuary in the 156th excavation period.

Excavations at Troy, located near the village of Tevfikiye, were launched by Frank Calvert for the first time in 1863, Professor Aslan said, noting that the discovery of the new sanctuary is exciting as it has significant implications in terms of the history of Troy and Anatolia.

"In this year's excavations we have come up with exciting results regarding the southern entrance to the ancient city of Troy," Aslan said and added: "We came to the conclusion that there was a new sanctuary area in Troy especially during the Hellenistic Roman periods."

Aslan said that the excavations prove the existence of a third sanctuary in the area.

The findings at Troy are expected to shed light on the relations of the city with the Anatolian and Hittite cultures, and its function in Western Anatolia.

Turkey's government declared 2018 the "Year of Troy" in honor the 20th anniversary of the ancient city's recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hundreds of thousands of guests, including celebrities, have visited the site this year to visit the newly opened Troy Museum and take part in cultural and historical activities.

The 4,000-year-old ancient city of Troy is one of the most famous archeological sites in the world. First excavations at the ancient city were undertaken in 1870 by German businessman Heinrich Schliemann, who is now regarded among the pioneers of archeology.

The historic setting of the Trojan War in which Spartan and Achaean warriors from Hellas besieged the city in 13th century B.C. was immortalized by the Greek poet Homer in his epic poem The Illiad.
The second campaign for the restoration and enhancement of the Etruscan Necropolis of Peschiera in Tuscania has been completed after two weeks of hard work at the archaeological site.

"The restoration intervention was very complex," comments project leader Dr. Alessandro Tizi.

"...but thanks to the presence of so many volunteers from all over Italy, it was possible to achieve results that are quite exceptional. For this reason, we are extremely satisfied with the 2019 campaign on various levels and in particular from a scientific standpoint.

"Between July 23 and August 3, the cleaning activities carried out in two sectors of the necropolis allowed us to identify a very large quarry area. This is a discovery of exceptional archaeological value that could, though we are only at the beginning of the study, lead us to identify the first stages of the extraction of stone material used for the main public and private buildings in the Etruscan city of Tuscania. 

"The analysis of the stone will make it possible to reconstruct all the different phases of the operations for the extraction of the blocks and their processing before being transported to the town. The aim will be to confirm this hypothesis with archaeologically relevant evidence and to try and establish a date for these very complex operations.

"The second sector, on the other hand, has been cleaned to create an archaeological area that can be used by the public and has led to the recovery of certain artefacts from the Orientalizing Period ( 8th-7th centuries BC), which are of exceptional archaeological value. This discovery will lead us to the formulation of new hypotheses about the first phases of the Etruscan settlement of Tuscania and about the extremely interesting development of this necropolis, which housed the burials of the members of the aristocratic families of the city.

"The findings make it possible to affirm with certainty the importance of Tuscania in this phase of Etruscan history at the centre of a network of wide-ranging commercial exchanges in the Mediterranean basin."
Too cool not to pay attention to! Archaeologists have discovered a 2,500-year-old post office from the Persian civilization during excavations at the Oluz Höyük settlement mound in the village of Toklucak in Turkey's Black Sea province of Amasya.

Professor Şevket Dönmez, who is an academic at Istanbul University's Archaeology Department and who leads the excavations said their excavations in the past four years focused on the Persian period layer of the mound.

"A monumental road leading to a sanctuary and a linked hall with pillars have been discovered in the excavations," Professor Dönmez said, noting that from a design perspective, the road marks the first time such a detailed design from the Iron Age Anatolia was unearthed.

Dönmez noted that the architecture centered on a fire temple, which means that the Persians replaced the religion of their predecessors—the Hellenes.

Zoroastrianism, one of the world's oldest extant religions, is believed to have originated from the prophet Zoroaster in what is now present-day Iran. The discovery of a temple for fire worship suggests the religion was present in Anatolia, as well.

The "pillared hall" became the center of this year's excavations, as archaeologists believe the structure, located just a meter away from the fire temple, served as a post office for the Persians.

"The Persians are the first civilization to bring the postal system to Anatolia. They had a vast empire stretching from Greece to Central Asia and Egypt and administered the empire through governors. They had to somehow make sure that they sent the right news and intelligence from the capital to the periphery and established various road systems throughout their borders."

Dönmez claimed the Persians designated specific locations to set up post offices, where they had well-rested horses and couriers to deliver important news across the empire, and the pillared hall unearthed during the excavations is one of these post offices.

Excavations at Oluz Höyük started in 2007, after the site was first discovered during surface research near Toklucak in 1999. Archaeologists have unearthed a total of 10 settlements in the mound in the excavations. Five academics from five different universities, three archaeologists and 15 archaeology and architectural restoration interns are taking part in the excavations that will continue until September.
Another year has passed and that means it's my birthday again. I don't really celebrate my birthday, but I'll be taking a trip to the sea with my girl. I'm looking forward to that. The ancient Hellenes did not celebrate their birthdays either. Families celebrated the birth of a child, a coming-of-age feast, and feasts after death held on the anniversary of the day of birth (or death, depending on the scholar), but otherwise there were no annual birthday ceremonials. The birthdays of many of the Theoi were ritually acknowledged once a month, but the individual did not celebrate theirs. Herodotos notes this in his Histories, when he describes the birthday practices of the Persians.

"Of all the days in the year, the one which they celebrate most is their birthday. It is customary to have the board furnished on that day with an ampler supply than common. The richer Persians cause an ox, a horse, a camel, and an ass to be baked whole and so served up to them: the poorer classes use instead the smaller kinds of cattle. They eat little solid food but abundance of dessert, which is set on table a few dishes at a time; this it is which makes them say that "the Greeks, when they eat, leave off hungry, having nothing worth mention served up to them after the meats; whereas, if they had more put before them, they would not stop eating." They are very fond of wine, and drink it in large quantities. To vomit or obey natural calls in the presence of another is forbidden among them. Such are their customs in these matters." [133]

This, of course, changed with the Romans--especially the Emperors--but the ancient Hellenes found the birthdays of the Gods much more important. So, for today, let me suffice with Philostratus, Letters 51, to Kleonide.

“Sappho adores the rose and always adorns the flower with praise, even comparing beautiful girls to it. And she also likens it to the arms of the Graces when they are bare up to the elbows.

The rose, even if it is the most beautiful of the flowers, has but a brief season—for it follows other flowers which blossom in the spring.

But your charm is always in bloom—this is how the autumn of your beauty still smiles like the spring in your eyes and on your cheeks.”


The story of Oedipus (Οἰδίπους, Oidípous) was written by playwright Sophocles. The playwright wrote three plays about him: Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone. Together, these are called the Theban plays. Sophocles was not the only one to write about him, though: fragments of his story exist in the works of Hómēros, Hesiod, Pindar, Aeschylus and Euripides. Sophocles was simple one of the latest authors to write about him, and the version that was preserved best was his. He has Oedipus wander to Thebes after killing his father. Here, he finds the Sphinx at the gates to the city--a city that is starving and slowly emptying out, as the Sphinx will not allow anyone to pass without answering her riddle. Those who answer the riddle incorrectly, get killed or eaten (depending on the author).

The Sphinx is not mentioned by every author. Some, like Hómēros, only mention the oracle that Oedipus' father got, and Oedipus' murder of his father, and marriage to his mother. Hesiod mentions the Sphinx, but does not mention Oedipus. The Sphinx in Sophocles' Oedipus the King never speaks, and the words of the riddle are never conveyed. The sole mention of the riddle is as follows:

"See, for this crown the State conferred on me.
A gift, a thing I sought not, for this crown
The trusty Creon, my familiar friend,
Hath lain in wait to oust me and suborned
This mountebank, this juggling charlatan,
This tricksy beggar-priest, for gain alone
Keen-eyed, but in his proper art stone-blind.
Say, sirrah, hast thou ever proved thyself
A prophet? When the riddling Sphinx was here
Why hadst thou no deliverance for this folk?
And yet the riddle was not to be solved
By guess-work but required the prophet's art;
Wherein thou wast found lacking; neither birds
Nor sign from heaven helped thee, but I came,
The simple Oedipus; I stopped her mouth
By mother wit, untaught of auguries."

Apollodorus is one of the first to mention the very words of the riddle and has them as follows, including the tale of Oedipus' involvement:

"For Hera sent the Sphinx, whose mother was Echidna and her father Typhon; and she had the face of a woman, the breast and feet and tail of a lion, and the wings of a bird. And having learned a riddle from the Muses, she sat on Mount Phicium, and propounded it to the Thebans. And the riddle was this:— What is that which has one voice and yet becomes four-footed and two-footed and three-footed? Now the Thebans were in possession of an oracle which declared that they should be rid of the Sphinx whenever they had read her riddle; so they often met and discussed the answer, and when they could not find it the Sphinx used to snatch away one of them and gobble him up. When many had perished, and last of all Creon's son Haemon, Creon made proclamation that to him who should read the riddle he would give both the kingdom and the wife of Laius. On hearing that, Oedipus found the solution, declaring that the riddle of the Sphinx referred to man; for as a babe he is four-footed, going on four limbs, as an adult he is two-footed, and as an old man he gets besides a third support in a staff. So the Sphinx threw herself from the citadel, and Oedipus both succeeded to the kingdom and unwittingly married his mother, and begat sons by her, Polynices and Eteocles, and daughters, Ismene and Antigone. But some say the children were borne to him by Eurygania, daughter of Hyperphas."

There are other versions of the riddle, but this is the one best known. Note that in older versions of the tale, Oedipus was not such a smart man at all. In fact, he was more of a warrior-hero like Hēraklēs. With the popularity of Odysseus, it was convenient to transform Oedipus into a cunning man, instead of a brawler. In the older art depicting the encounter between Oedipus and the Sphinx, he outright kills her. There is no riddle, and no suicide. She is a monster, who is vanquished by the hero, who collects his reward in the form of a wife.

Personally, I like the inclusion of the Riddle of the Sphinx. In general, I prefer the clever heroes over the brawling ones. I'm also a big fan of these types of riddles, although I'm terrible at solving them. 
Stoicon 2019 will be taking place in Athens, Greece on Saturday, October 5.  The main event will be followed by the “Stoicon-x Athens” mini-conference on Sunday, October 6th, for participants who would like an extra day to explore and enjoy discussions on the ancient philosophy. The event is expected to attract over 300 participants from all around the world, who share an interest in applying Stoicism to the problems and issues of modern living.

Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens in the early third century BC, who was greatly inspired by the teachings of Socrates. Stoicism is a philosophy of ethics, with or without a belief in God. According to its teachings, as social beings, the path to Eudaimonia (i.e. happiness, fulfillment, flourishing) for humans is found in fully accepting the moment as it presents itself; by not allowing oneself to be controlled by the desire for pleasure or fear of pain, by using Reason to understand the world, and by treating others fairly.

The Stoics are especially known for teaching that “Virtue is the only Good” (i.e. being honest and acting honorably and justly). External things — such as wealth and pleasure —are welcome, but should not be pursued as ends in themselves, as they cannot guarantee happiness. Alongside Aristotelian ethics, the Stoic tradition forms one of the major founding approaches to Western virtue ethics, as “The right way to live.”

Many Stoics — such as Seneca and Epictetus — emphasized that because “Virtue is sufficient for happiness,” practitioners of Stoic philosophy could be emotionally resilient to anxiety and misfortune. Stoicism has also been called the West’s answer to Buddhism, and it has gained unprecedented popularity in places like Silicon Valley.

This is the sixth annual Stoicon. Stoicon is the annual conference of Modern Stoicism, a nonprofit organization run by a multi-disciplinary team of volunteers. Stoicism is coming home after two and a half thousand years. A series of experts will present a wide variety of themes related to Stoic philosophy that make it relevant to modern people, including: “Stoic Warrior Resilience Training programs of the American Military”, “Stoicism and The Art of Finding Happiness Under Any Circumstances”, “Stoicism, Aristotle, and Environmental Responsibility,” etc. The event is expected to be sold out and there will be a reception in the School’s renowned gardens afterward, where people can network and mingle.

You may obtain tickets for the event by clicking on the following link: www.eventbrite.ca/e/stoicon-2019
The 21th of Metageitnion, Hera Thelkhinia was honoured at Erkhia. Hera Thelkhinia, Goddess of Charm. Will you join us in honouring Her on August 22nd, at the usual 10 am EDT?

We know very little about this epithet of Hera, and it is often confused (including by yours truly) with 'Telkineia', missing the  'H'. The epithet Telkinios (Telkineia) is used for Apollon, Hera, and the Nymphs. It is linked to the island of Rhodes and either to metalworking or storm, at this point in time I truly am not sure. Metalworking would make sense, after all Hephaistos is the son of Hera.

In the Erkhian calendar, however, the epithet of Hera is Thelchiniai (ΘΕΛΧΙΝΙΑΙ), with an 'H'. The only references to this epithet is ‘charm’ and ‘charming’, not metal working. H. W. Parke, in Festivals of the Athenians' writes on page 179:

“Hera besides her festival with him [Zeus] had a sacrifice alone on the 20th of the same month under a title which seems to mean ‘Goddess of Charm’ (Thelchinia). So in Erkhia she may have included in her sphere the functions of the classical Aphrodite who was not worshipped in the deme."

The ritual for this sacrifice can be found here, and you can join our community page here.
On August 20th, we will host a PAT ritual for a sacrifice originally performed at Erkhia. This is a sacrifice to the Heroines. Will you be joining us at 10 AM EDT?

The ancient Erkhians honoured the Heroines twice a year, once on the 19th of Metageitnion, and once on the 14th of Pyanepsion. Certain heroines--like Basile--were worshipped separately from the group as well, most likely because they were local heroines instead of universally accepted heroines like Atalanta, who hunted the Calydonian boar, slew Centaurs, defeated Peleus in wrestling, or Kallisto, who was an Arcadian princess and hunting companion of the Goddess Artemis. The Heroines received a white sheep in sacrifice, of which the meat was partly sacrificed and partly eaten by those who came out to sacrifice. The skin of the animal went towards the priestess.

Heroes and heroines have a special place in Hellenismos, as they had in ancient Hellas. These were humans--most with at least a part divine heritage--who were considered so brave, so skillful, so extraordinary in their lifetime that they became revered. Some were priests or priestesses of a temple, some excelled in battle, others were skilled healers or good rulers. Once they passed to the realm of Hades, their names were remembered at least once a year on a special occasion, because the ancient Hellenes believed that if the name and deeds of a person were remembered, they would live forever and potentially look out for those they had looked out for before.

Archaeological evidence suggests that hero worship was closer to Khthonic sacrifices in execution than Ouranic ones the further back in time you go; especially in the archaic period, it seems that hero worship consisted of destructive sacrifices--sometimes in the form of a holókaustos where the entire animal was burned, sometimes in a sacrifice where only a part (most often 'a ninth' of the animal) was burned and the rest remained on the altar for the heroes to eat from until gone. The sacrifices were generally burned in an offering pit known as a bothros. The food offered to heroes consisted of meat, blood, and 'food eaten by men' like grains, fruits and other every-day dishes. These were usually offered to the heroes on a table--known as a trapeza--and the heroes were sometimes offered chairs or a bench to sit on. As time went on, the living began to eat part of the meal laid out for the heroes, joining them in celebration.

You can find the ritual here, and join our community page here. We have added some of the main Hellenic Goddesses to the ritual as well. Feel free to add more of our Goddesses and heroines to your own ritual, especially if you feel close to Them! This ritual will be a celebration of the feminine power in our religion!