This month?s Hekate?s Deipnon is on the 30th of the ancient Attic month of Elaphebolion which begins at sundown on Thursday the 26th of March 2009. May the blessings of the Goddess be with all children, their mothers, and families in need.
Hekate is literally "She who works her will." The Liddell and Scott Greek-English Lexicon further defines 'Ekate phosphoros as Hekate bringer or giver of light. The ta phosphoreia is "a festival at which there was a torch-procession or which was sacred to one of the 'phosphoroi theoi'." 'Ekates deipnon is Hekate's dinner which was a meal set out by persons who could afford to do so at the foot of Her statue en triodois on the last day of the month. This meal was eaten by those in need." The donation of this symbolic meal on the last day of each ancient Attic month is made in honor of Hekate to Valuing Our Children. The contributions are first consecrated to Hekate fulfilling the intent of 'Ekates Deipnon. It is an example of right action which along with individual and collective responsibility is a basic tenet of the religion of ancient Greece along with kharis which includes grace, kindness, and goodwill for or towards others. Honoring Hekate on the last day of the month is a time of purification and seeking Hekate's protection against corruption and evil and a fitting way to prepare for the Noumenia.
Hekate is a powerful Goddess and protector of women and children. She also protects travelers, hence her statues at crossroads, and She is a nurse of children. Her Deipnon not only honors Her role as protector from corruption and evil but is a time to purify and cleanse the oikos (household) in preparation for the Noumenia and the new month.
Hesiod's family came from Aeolian Cumae. He seems to have been especially devoted to Hekate as evidenced by the Theogony which indicates She holds "privilege both in earth, and in heaven, and in sea. "Great honor comes full easily to him whose prayers the goddess receives favorably, and she bestows wealth upon him; for the power is surely with her."
As in previous rituals, the offerings of food along with a check will be dedicated to Hekate and are being donated in Her name to charity. The offerings will be placed on the altar. After ritual washing and purification, an olive oil lamp will be lit with an invocation to Hestia, frankincense burned in the incense burner, Gaia and Themis invoked, and Hekate invoked. This will be followed by a reading of the portion of Hesiod's Theogony referring to Hekate. Prayers will be offered for Hekate's blessings and protection for our families and for Her protection of travelers, women, and children and help for those in need. A flower arrangement of three stems of white chrysanthemums with baby's breath will be offered to Hekate with three symbolizing Her triple form and white representing Hekate as bringer of light. An offering of a plate of leek and garlic will also be made.
The day following, beginning at sundown on Friday the 27th of March, is the Noumenia in honor of Selene, Apollon Noumenios, and the household Gods ? the first crescent moon which begins the next month Mounukhion which is the tenth month of the fourth year of the 696th Olympiad. Each Olympiad lasts four years. For every month, on the second day (the day following the Noumenia) the Agathos Daimon (spirit of abundant goodness, usually Zeus as the bringer of abundant goodness) is honored. On the third day, Athena is honored, and on the forth day, Aphrodite, Herakles, Hermes, and Eros are honored. On the sixth day, Artemis is honored and, on the seventh day, Apollon is honored. On the eighth day, Poseidon and Theseus are honored.
On the 6th of Mounukhion beginning at sundown on the 1st of April, the Delphinia begins in honor of Artemis Delphinia and Apollon. There was a procession of the maidens of Athens to the Delphinion, a temple of Artemis and Apollon in Athens . They supplicated Artemis carrying boughs of olive wrapped in white wool (boughs of supplication) to appeal to the goddess for her protection of women and girls.
On the 16th of Mounukhion (sundown on the 11th of April), the Mounukhia begins in honor of Artemis Mounukhia with a procession to Her shrine at Mounukhia a harbor of Piraeus the port of Athens. People carried small round cakes Amphiphontes (shining-all-round) which were offered to Artemis in which dadia (little torches ? candles) were lit in a circle like modern birthday cakes. Some say the reason the cakes were called Amphiphon, which can also mean "shining by double light," is that they were offered when the sun and moon were both visible. In ancient times a she-goat was sacrificed. This was also a time for the Arkteia (playing the she-bear). The Arktoi (she-bears) were young girls who served Artemis at Her shrine. They were from five to ten years old, danced naked or in short, saffron chitones, wore leaf-crowns in their hair, and carried torches of twigs. The festival came to be understood as commemorating the aid given by Artemis Mounukhia during the battle of Salamis and in later times it also featured a regatta by the Epheboi (young men in military training) and likely hoplites and cavalry as well.
On the 19th of Mounukhion (sundown on the 14th of April), the Olympeia begins in honor of Olympian Zeus and featured a display and exercises by the Athenian cavalry. The following day is the Leukaspis (white-shielded) followed by the Tritopatores where the anonymous ancestors were honored.
On the 21st of Mounukhion (sundown on the 16th of April), the Tritopatores (the anonymous ancestors) were honored for caring for the continuing of their line. They were prayed to and sacrificed to for the birth of children.
May the blessings of the Goddess be with you.
posted by a hellenic recon Group