Come see! Come vote! I decided it was time to let the Horned Lord spread his wings a little on his own, and placed him in the Blockhead Radio weekly challenge in the 3D art section! There are several wonderful sections of handmade art to look (and drool) over so come look and vote at all of them!




For the ritual my buisness partner Jamie and I wrote for PantheaCon 2009 I set myself the challenge of crafting the main god figures for the center altar. It took a while, but i managed to get them done just in time for the convention and the ritual!

Now that ritual is over they are for sale in our Artfire shop and I can show them off here! 🙂 The awesome photos are by Jamie (of course) who now has a whole bunch of her photography up in the shop by the way!

I’ve also been doing a little bit of writing for’s Art Daily. So far they have posted two of my pieces. One is a short article about how to create your own beaded doll head. The other is about how to be friends with people with allergies and chemical sensitivities (like me!) I hope you’ll swing by Artfire and take a look!



This Yule to simplify my life I went hunting on Etsy for handmade pretties to send to my family in NY and lucked out! I found this amazing artist Courtney Cornett who does Animal illustrations ala A is for Albatross etc but she also does a line of “nerdy” animals – same images only with their Latin names, very fun. Best part, she does custom work! So when i did not see what I wanted for my Dad – a Polar bear, my step-mom – a horse and my little sister – a unicorn, I emailed her and she happily worked up the sketches! They were so great I ended up ordering ones for both my kids, my husband, another friend, my coven and then because my hubby got mad at me for not getting one for myself, going back and ordeing one for me as well! (I think I made her Christmas!)

Her work is awesom and she is great to work with – so If you want an image of a friendly critter, or your local animal spirit – I highly recommend her!! Her Etsy shop is and here is a sample of her work, the Manta Ray she did for my husband.


… she currently has a river otter up, the polar bear she did for my dad, the unicorn, Rhinoscorus, horse and Dragon she did for me and hopefully she will put up the Golden Eagle soon as well. And maybe just maybe she will put up the black squirrel she did for Covenus Ratatoskus! :

The other Pimp Job I will do while I am here (of course!)  is for the shop on Artfire that my business partner, Jamie and i have.  Jamie (the Jeweler) has been making pretties for Valentine’s day and Imbolg / Brigid and I have my soft form Fire Doll and Sir EJ up for both V.D. and Lupercalia cause well – you can never have too much passion on those days!! come! visit us at

Stop by and say hi!

I love researching Greek festivals. *snerk* First off we have the issue of when the event actually took place since our contemporary calendar does not line up well with their calendar. Figuring out when something should happen now is interesting. Then there is the process of deciphering what actually happened at the festival in the past and therefore what we might want to do for our reenactment of the festival in the present. For some festivals and rituals we have great records. We know the event happened, when, where, and even why, but not what was done during the event. Sometimes, like with the Eleusinian Mysteries this is because no one outside of the ritual staff and attendees was allowed to know, so no written records have been found and published to date. In other cases records have been lost, and in still others it may have been a case of people thinking it was so obvious that it no one thought to write about what they were doing.

Case in point, the Festival of Haloa. There seem to be two competing ideas about what the Haloa was about. On the one hand it appears to relate to grain and agriculture since the word Haloa is related to halōs meaning “threshing floor”. On the other hand the festival has sexual overtones and a few notations from writers about it being a women’s only ritual at which lewd and lascivious behavior and speech was encouraged. And on the third hand it may have something to do with the verdant growth going on all around the land at this time of year in Greece, much like in California, and by extension pruning of the vines and a connection to Dionysos.

“Starting from the beginning of the year, we find a festival celebrated at Athens about the commencement of January. Our information about it and even its name seem to be contradictory. The name, Haloa, 11 is derived from halos, which means both threshing floor and garden. Since the first sense of the word would be inapplicable to a festival celebrated in January, it must have been a gardening festival. It is said to have comprised Mysteries of Demeter, Kore, and Dionysus and to have been celebrated by the women on the occasion of the pruning of the vines and the tasting of the wine. It bore a certain resemblance to the Thesmophoria, and sexual symbols were conspicuous in it. If we think of the labors in the vineyards of modern Greece, this account is intelligible though not quite correct. In December the soil is hoed around the vines, and their roots are cut. At the same time the first fermentation of the wine is ended, and the wine can be drunk, although it is not very good. Thus, the description of the Haloa fits in with what we know about the labors in the vine-yards. On the other hand, the Haloa is also said to have been a festival of Demeter, and this, too, is possible. The crops grow and thrive during the winter, and, as we have seen, sacrifices were brought to Demeter Chloe at this time.”

– Greek Popular Religion by Martin P. Nilsson p 32-33

As a solitary practitioner honoring Demeter in her rounds, I am going to stick with the simplest ways to celebrate this festival. Since my altar to Demeter has been rather neglected so far this winter I will spend some time today cleaning and righting the altar, changing out the decorations and lighting her candles. In honor of the vines and new growth I will be getting some grapes and fresh greenery, and in honor of the grain I will get a nice wheaty loaf of bread to share with Demeter and some friends who are coming over today. And since I have friends coming over today I suspect there will be lewd talk at some point, there being only ladies present today, and perhaps we will indulge in a silly and lascivious movie or two at some point. All in all that should take care of all the bits of honor and respect for this fest day and my level of energy this year.

Happy Haloa!

Ahh the joys of having a chronic illness… it throws all your well laid plans for a loop! December was supposed to be the month that spent continuing my Demeter work by learning about Poseidon. I had Tonsilitis instead. This, mind you, was on top of the strep throat from November and the flue from October, you begin to see what I mean about well lain plans?

Thankfully, the gods of my life seem to be cutting me some slack. I “woke up” meaning I got enough energy and spoons and life back this month that I have been able to do the research I needed to do on Poseidon AND write up my notes! (This on top of working on a new doll – I am definitely feeling better). Since my notes are ten pages long, I think I will stick to a few excerpts for this blog post, and some really great links where you can get more information about the Lord of Water and Earthquakes if you are interested.

Homeric Hymn 22 – To Poseidon

“I begin to sing of Poseidon, the great god,
Mover of the earth and of the barren sea,
The sea-god who is lord of Helikon and broad Aigai.
O Earth-shaker, two-fold is your god-given prerogative,
To be tamer of horses and saver of ships.
Hail, Poseidon, black-maned holder of the earth!
Have a kindly heart, O blessed one, and come to the aid of sailors!”

Poseidon is the brother of Zeus and Hades. In some stories he is the older brother of Zeus, in others the younger. All three are the sons of the Titans’ Kronos and Rhea whom they over throw early in their lives. Once the younger gods and their siblings (Demeter and a few other nice ladies) have control of the world, the boys divide up the realms. Zeus gets all of the sky, Poseidon all of the Sea and Hades all of the underworld. Theoretically they are all equal portions but in all the stories Hades and Poseidon seem to feel that Zeus managed to get the better part of the deal some how.

Poseidon is generally depicted as a man of mature stature, usually with a full beard, holding a trident and interacting with waves in some way. He is often seen with a fish or dolphin in his hand(s). while the descriptions do not come out and say it, he was also quite the ladies man and managed to produce more offspring than even Zeus. There is a very nice description of Poseidon in the Iliad Book 13 lines 17-31.

Poseidon was a busy busy boy… He had a whooole lota lovers goddess and otherwise. For a great list of his lovers you can visit at this link:

He also had a whooooole lota children human, god and otherwise. Probably the best known of his children is Athena. For more on the kids see this link:

There is some debate as to what Poseidon’s name means. Many references state that he is Lord of Earth or Husband of Earth. Walter Burkert disagrees. In “Greek Religion” he states that “the first component of the name is obviously the vocative potei-, Lord, but the second element da- remains hopelessly ambiguous; that it means earth and that Poseidon is therefore Husband of Earth is quite impossible to prove.” [136] However, Poseidon’s two main aspects of water and earth mover make his title of Lord of Earth fairly reasonable. He is first and foremost seen as a god of the oceans and therefore as a protector of fisherman. His less well known secondary aspect is that of ‘Earth Shaker’ He is known to bring earth quakes and hurl rocks into the sea [Burkert 137]. There is also a key story between Poseidon and Demeter in which they both changed into horse form and mated. Through their union the child/horse Areion was born, and later given to the hero Adrastus. Here again a case could be made for Poseiden being Lord of Earth or Consort of Earth because of his relationship with the De-Mater herself.

Poseidon was honored with sacrifices, festivals and games. His most common sacrifices were bulls, first fruits from the sea and less often horses. “The Isthmian Games were held at Korinthos in honour of Poseidon. It was one of the four great Athletic Festivals of Ancient Greece–the others being those of Zeus at Olympia and Nemea, and those of Apollon at Delphoi.” [] In addition the month of Poseideon was dedicated to Poseidon and the eighth day, called Posdidea, was especially sacred to him.


Please Note – Unlike with some gods and pantheon’s Poseidon at least does not have a specific day of the week that he was worshiped, perhaps because fisherman went to sea when the oceans’ allowed, no matter what day of the week it was. Likewise, there is no specific number associated with him beyond the reference to the eight day of his fest month being particularly important. The Greeks did not assign colors or flowers and such in the way that we do now, there fore the data that follows is a list of recommendations only and is based on my experience working with Poseidon personally. As they say on the Net, “your mileage may vary”.

Number: 8

Day of the week: N/A, try Wednesday or Saturday

Month: December

Element(s): water and earth

Colors: all the shades of watery blue from phototrophic (the bright stuff at the top) to benthic (the dark stuff at the bottom), storm colors, with a dash of rocky earth – browns and grays more than life based green

Symbols: three pronged trident, fish, dolphins in particular, Tuna fish and tuna fishing, horses

Offerings: fresh fish, tuna, beef, wine, incense / smoke of some kind but NOT tobacco


Athanassakis, Apostolos Translator The Homeric Hymns. Baltimore, NY: Johns Hopkins University Press 1976, 2004

Burkert, Walter Greek Religion. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 1985

Parke, H. W. Festivals of the Athenians. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1977

Robertson, Noel. “Poseidon’s Festival at the Winter Solstice.” The Classical Quarterly (New Series), 34.1 (1984). pp. 1-16.

Gill, N.S., “Greek Winter Solstice Celebrations, Solstice Celebrations Honoring Poseidon”

The Iliad of Homer on line at Internet Sacred Text Archive as of January 6, 2009

Theoi Greek Mythology, Poseidon main page as of January 6, 2009

I feel like I should title this post “bad priestess no biscuit”. October has been a wash, ritually speaking. Thankfully Demeter seems to understand and be rather tolerant of my efforts to get my life in order. Or at the very least she has not ripped open the ground at my feet or anything that dramatic.

My plan in drafting a Demetrian Wheel of the Year for my own working was to follow it for at least a year to see how it fit into my life and to learn from the experience. After all, if I claim to be Demeter’s Priestess shouldn’t I walk that talk in a very real sense by walking the path of her festivals? Well as with many well intentioned plans… life er… had other plans?

This is the complication of being a priestess and having a chronic illness, everything needs to be adjusted to the needs to the body. Oh. Goodie. So October has become “Flue” month rather than “ritual” month as I was planning. *sigh*. But then again, Demeter seems to understand what she has in me… so this all seems to be part of the process. Yeah, the process of teaching an Aries to mellow out and walk instead of run into everything! Riiiiiiight. Good luck!

All that being said… a few things have been accomplished, a little out of order… but I’ll take all the successes I can get.

I now have my out door altar to Demeter. This is a stand in for the Temple that is to come. The hubs and a cluster of other crazy friends have offered to assist in the creation of a larger exterior “temple” for her in the same spot. We are designing it along the lines of the Asian Spirit / Ancestor Houses which are built as mini houses in various designs for the spirits to live in. Since this is for Demeter, it will be Greek in style of course. And I have finally worked out what I want… hmm… what we want I guess is the better phrase. A four (Doric) column, single room temple with three steps leading up to the entrance. Nice and simple.We are going to rig an opening in the roof so that I can place the Demeter Altar Doll I made several years ago inside during the dry summer months and take her out in the winter. I’m pondering painting the image in Pediment rather than trying to create a set of mini sculptures for the whole thing! I found this very cool website that goes through the stages of development for the Greek temples complied by John Porter of the University of Saskatchewan. I’m hoping to have the temple built and put in place in time for Plynteria in April/May.

Over the weekend I ordered Barley seed so that I can plant a winter batch as soon as they arrive. I will need to work out a private honoring of Proerosia (about a month late, ah well) and include preparing the container and the location I am going to set the seeds out in – near the new altar.

I have a great idea planned for honoring the Stenia, but my schedule keeps getting messed up and timing with the group of ladies who are game to join me has been fubared – we all seemed to have gotten sick this month. My plan is very un-ritualistic and horribly contemporary but entirely within the spirit of the thing. A Girls Night in with videos, tasty things to eat, questionable drinks, and lots of bawdy girl talk. In particular we’ve been plotting a viewing of a lovely little musical called Naked Boys Singing. The Musical is much fun and the dvd was well done… and well… what can you say about lovely men with no clothes on who are enjoying themselves and singing about it? So again, the celebration will happen… just very out of sequence to the actual calendar.

I did manage to do an honoring of the Thesmophoria in a way… another very contemporary approach to ritual, but honoring the spirit of the festival if not the actual script. October 15th is the anniversary of the day I went into the Emergency Room at Disneyland in anaphylactic shock, which is a much longer story that does not need to be told here. That event triggered the toxins that had been stewing in my body from an exposure to Formaldehyde about 18 months earlier. The anaphylaxis pushed me over into full blown Multiple Chemical Sensitivity – the chronic illness I now live with. This year my business partner Jamie and I created a ritual to help me mourn some of what I had lost through that experience and celebrate some of what I have gained. We performed the ritual on Friday October 17th at the Berkeley Marina with a handful of other friends who shared in letting go some of their grief and celebrating some of their joys. It was a quiet and poignant evening.

Now the wheel turns and the Wiccan in me prepares for Samhain this weekend. More honoring of grief and joy at the end of the year. Somehow it all fits together. And just behind me, supporting and offering comfort and understanding, I can feel Demeter’s presence. Sister, Lover, Mother, Goddess, Cohort in Crime, and Friend.

Hekate’s Daughter Tara

October 7, 2008

Tonight brings word that an old friend, separated by the exigencies of life, health and the way the world works, is nearing death. She is a daughter of Hekate, so I know that her mother waits for her with open arms. From the sound of things, the last few years have not been easy, so this passing is likely to be a blessing.

My heart feels the ache, even knowing that this passing will be to a good place. But then isnt that what they say? that funerals at least, are for the living. We, who must stay behind and cope with the holes in our lives that are shaped like our loved ones and friends, we must find ways to grieve and go on. Even with so much time between us, I can remember my friend’s beautiful black hair and her elegant figure. Her wisdom and her strong opinions 🙂 I suspect thatI was too young to appreciate her presence in my life while our lives had time to intermingle, but I am glad for the time we had. As I am glad for the time and friendship I had with her husband who introduced us. (ah… so easy to get whistfull and maudline in posts like these, so I think I will stop there!)

May she rest well in her mothers arms when the gates finally open and the crossing is complete. And may she return to us when the time is right and her energy is renewed.

So after much digging and not a little bit of hair pulling, I have a schedule of festivals that makes sense to me. Whether this works for anyone else? That is not up to me… feel free to play with it and see what works for you. I will keep posting notes as the year progresses.

Demetrian Wheel of the Year – a Version by Catherine Pennington

Two notes:

a. please be aware that I have bolded the date line for the date I am going to use in my cycle but I have also included the other author’s info underneath even when the dates clash, so that I have a record of what both authors (Reif and Apollonius) think.

b. I have not included all the notes about each date or festival here… those are listed in the first two posts. this is just about the dates in the cycle and enough info to remind me/us what the frakk its all about.

The Calendar:

Proerosia — 5th October

This is a festival for Demeter’s blessings in preparation for the ploughing and sowing at the beginning of the agricultural season (proerosia = things before the time of tillage)

October 7 Rites of Proerosia Preplowing rites. Blessings and magic for to

prepare the sacred field

Stenia — 9th October

a nocturnal women’s festival for Demeter and Persephone in preparation for the Thesmophoria. The women engage in Aiskhrologia (foul language, abuse), hurling insults at one another to commemorate the way in which Iambe made the grieving Demeter laugh.

October 15 Stenia Festival

Bawdy humor, sacred sexuality. Barren

Thesmophoria — 11th-13th October

The Thesmophoria is a celebration of Sporetos (Seed-time), the autumn sowing, dedicated to Demeter and restricted to women.

1st Day: Anodos (Ascent) — 11th October

During the Thesmophoria proper the women camp for three days in the Thesmophorion, the hillside sanctuary of Demeter Thesmophoros.

October 22 Thesmophoria Proper

Celebration of Demeter’s sacred laws. Remembering our divinity.

2nd Day: Nesteia (Fast) — 12th October

On the second day the women sit on the ground and abstain from all solid food in humility and sympathy for Demeter’s mourning (when she also refused a chair), but also to transfer their strength to the soil.

3rd Day: Kalligeneia (Fair Offspring) — 13th October

Nightfall brings the official beginning of the third day, and there is a torch-light ceremony, for Demeter sought Persephone by torch light.

October 23Rites of Nestia & Kalligenia

N = The Sadness. Persephone leaves Plouton/Hades and the underworld.

K = The Rejoicing. Ascent of the Maiden. Reunion of Demeter & Kore. Planting.

Poseidea — 8th December

The month of Poseideon was dedicated to Poseidon and the eighth day was especially sacred to him.

Festival of Haloa – January 10

Celebration of new green growth in both cultivated field and wild nature.

Haloa — 26th December

Most likely the Haloa is a celebration of the pruning of the vines and the tasting of the wine after its first fermentation, or it may be to encourage the growth of corn from the seed. It is named after the halos (the circular threshing-floor) and is in honor of Demeter and Dionysos.

Lesser Mysteries of Eleusis January /February

Initiation in the Lesser Mysteries is a prerequisite to initiation in the Greater (Eleusinian) Mysteries; they accomplish the preliminary purification of the Mystos (Initiate). These secret rites belong to Rhea, the Mother of the Gods, and the oldest of the Rhea-Demeter-Kore triad, but no more can be said about them.

April 12 The Lesser Mysteries

Ceremony of the whole festival cycle. Purification. Consecration to Demeter.

March 1 Festival of Chloaia

Festival of flowers, of Verdant Demeter and Kore, and of the green earth.

Anthesteria — 11th-13th Jan / Feb

This is the “Festival of Flowers,” when the first shoots of blossom appear, and is one of the oldest Greek festivals, dating back to the second millennium BCE; it was also called the Older Dionysia. At this time the vines are pruned again and the second fermentation of the wine is complete; it is now ready for drinking, and so this festival complements the Oskhophoria, which celebrates the vintage.

Plynteria — 25th Thargelion April / May

This is the festival for washing (plynteria hiera) the ancient statue [of Athena]

Skirophoria — 12th May / June

The Skirophoria (also known as the Skira) occurs at the time of the cutting and threshing of the grain. The Skiron is where, according to tradition, the first sowing took place.

June 7 Kalamaia

the Threshing. Freeing the seed grain from the chaff, honoring Triptolemos.

June 28 Skira Festival

The Maiden’s descent. In love, Plouton and Persephone unite. The grain is stored. The fallow period begins and in the following months, Demeter becomes the Crone.

Great Mysteries of Eleusis — 15th-21 August / September

In origin the Great (Eleusinian) Mysteries were a festival for the autumn sowing. They are, of course, mysteries, so some things about them remain concealed, in particular, the contents of the Sacred Kistai (boxes) and the actual initiation of the Mystai (Initiates). Anyone can be initiated, regardless of age or sex.

The festival is conducted by the Arkhon Basileus and four assistants. Two of these, the Hierophantes and Dadoukhos (Torch Bearer), wear the ependytes (a long-sleeved tunic ornamented at the hem and shoulders), headband and Thrakian knee-boots; they carry one or two long torches. Further, there are Mystagogoi (Initiate Guides), who guide individual postulants, often their friends, through the initiation.

Thought Form One

An interesting tidbit from a website that goes over all the festivals we know of that the Greeks in and around Athens did – including Demeter’s of stuff….

“The heat of the summer is past its peak and the harvest is nearing completion. This is the month of Hekatombaion (nominally mid-July to mid-August), which began the Athenian year. (Although other parts of Greece began their year at different times – this calendar follows the Lakonian practice of beginning at approximately the Autumn Equinox with the month Boedromion.)”

Heat of summer is past huh? Not likely in Northern CA. We are only now heading into that concept, and in point of fact we will get a heat wave most years at the mid to end of October… but the harvest being over – yup… that’s now. So yes, I was right to move the calendar to fit the location.

Oh… and in a lovely little tidbitness… Jennifer Reif moved The Lesser Mysteries herself. All the references I have found place them in early Anthesterion which means January or February for us Georgian calendar folks, so the precedent has already been set to rearrange to make the material fit the needs. – ok, I did know that, but its always nice to have data that I can point to!

oh… source material – this site which gives this explanation about where all the data is coming from…

The following descriptions of the festivals are a slightly edited version of Seasonal Festivals of the Greeks and Romans, a series of articles by Apollonius Sophistes, reprinted here with his very kind permission. For the full text, which includes references and a large number of Roman festivals not included here, along with much other valuable information such as the article Neoclassical Celebratory Sacrifice, please visit The Omphalos.

and because I am like this… I went digging to learn more about the author of the website and information that I found so usuful…  Apollonius Sophistes is/was…

John “Apollonius” Opsopaus (1950-) Apollonius has practiced Magick and Divination since the 1960s, and his fiction (hymns, poetry, and prose) and nonfiction (rituals, translations, divination systems, essays) have been published in various Magickal and Neopagan magazines (over 30 publications). Also, based on years of research, he has designed the Pythagorean Tarot and has written the comprehensive Guide to the Pythagorean Tarot (Llewellyn, 2001). He frequently presents workshops on Hellenic Magick and Neopaganism, Pythagoreanism, Theurgy, Divination, etc. In the early 1990s Dr. Opsopaus founded the Omphalos (, a networking organization for Graeco-Roman Neopagans, and his Biblioteca Arcana website ( has won numerous awards and is featured in several Internet guides. Opsopaus is a member of CAW (Coordinator, Scholars Guild), Hellenion, ADF, PEN, etc. He is listed under “Who’s Who in the Wiccan Community” in Gerina Dunwich’s Wicca Source Book (Citadel, 1996). As a faculty member of the Grey School of Wizardry, Apollonius is: Dean, Dept. of Ceremonial Magick; Dean, Dept. of Mathemagicks; and Professor of Ceremonial Magick, Lore, Mathemagicks, Divination, Alchemy, Dark Arts.

Thought Form Two:

Looking over the list of festivals, I realized that people have been picking and choosing what festivals in addition to the Lesser and Greater Mysteries they wanted to celebrate as the Demetrian Wheel of the year. Cool! Which means, I want to poke at other rituals/festivals to add or subtract for “my” wheel. Like oh… I dont know… how about the festival in honor of Poseidon – who gets honored as Demeter’s Lover/Partner/Husband and father of at least one of her children? yeah, soooo adding that one into the list. And there is a very important one to Athene where you clean the statue and make new robes for her… I think that might be important too – since there isn’t a specific date listed for Demeter’s statue to be cleaned and all that jazz.

Thought Form Three:

And the kicker to change my world and lock the pieces into place!

“Barley can be grown in spring or winter, and tends to create the best results when planted early in the season. For winter barley, October is the best time to plant. For spring barley, plant in January. Barley grows best in cool ground–ideal temperatures hover right around freezing. Arrange the seeds so you have about 20-25 barley plants per square foot of space.”

duh. of course everything in her calendar cycles around frakkin October and January… its cycling around the damn Barley – not the veggies or the fruits… but her grain – her main symbol… Barley.

bugger me for an over thinking prat.

Spring planting for Barley in January would correspond to the Lesser Mysteries while October planting would correspond to the Greater Mysteries.

right. back to the way that they did it because it worked. feh.

yes ma’am.

… pay no attention to the lady behind the curtain… I’m exploring feed options and processing for LJ… since that is where most of the folks I talk to currently hang out…

more real content to come in the near future… I promise!