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!

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.

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 (omphalos.org), a networking organization for Graeco-Roman Neopagans, and his Biblioteca Arcana website (omphalos.org/BA) 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.” http://www.ehow.com/how_2054140_grow-barley.html

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.

This is the first of several posts that I made in a private journal exploring some aspects of my research work on the calendar used for festivals and rituals related to Demeter. After many wonderful comments in private, I made the decision to bring this work public and cross post the core material here. This is an on going process of discovery and exploration.

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I have begun a cycle of work with Demeter that will lead to interesting places. Among them, are a set of rituals I need to do, many will be just me, myself, and I, others will have invitations sent out to them on a small scale. These rituals follow what is called by some the Demetrian Wheel of the Year. As you might imagine the fall is rather busy for this harvest Goddess, which makes my life more than a little interesting right now, but I have plans and plots that will make this work without too much stress (I think). What’s bugging me is the fact that the year as laid out for Demeter’s festivals is not meshing with what I understand of growing cycles here in California. I’d sum up for you, but that really wouldn’t help – so here is the long version…

(dates are contemporary approximations of when the rituals happened in the past – the ancient Greek Calendar being rather different than our current one. The Description of what happens comes from Jennifer Reif’s “The Mysteries of Demeter” – a good book over all. )

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

prepare the sacred field

October 15 Stenia Festival Bawdy humor, sacred sexuality. Barren

Demeter becomes Fertile Mother.

October 16 Arkichronia Festival Creation of fertility talismans. Combining

Earth and Underworld powers.

October 22 Thesmophoria Proper Celebration of Demeter’s sacred laws.

Remembering our divinity.

October 23 Rites of Nestia & Kalligenia N = The Sadness. Queen Persephone leaves

her beloved Plouton/Hades and the

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

January 10 Festival of Haloa Celebration of new green growth in both

cultivated field and wild nature.

March 1 Festival of Chloaia Festival of flowers, of Verdant Demeter and

Kore, and of the green earth.

April 12 The Lesser Mysteries Ceremony of the whole festival cycle.

Purification. Consecration to Demeter.

May 15 Thargelia The Harvest. Demeter the Harvest Queen.

The seed and the Maiden are matured.

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.

September 20 The Greater Mysteries aka The Eleusinian Mysteries Proper

The Sacred Drama. The reconciliation of

Demeter, Plouton, and Persephone. The Rite

of the Cista Mystica. The Thanatos Rite.

The Crowning.

Now… the cycle as stated here, starts in October and everything is geared toward the Greater Mysteries being the end of the cycle … so in a way, that helps me. I could do nothing now, i.e. skip the GM/EM… which just sounds wrong, or go ahead with a small thing, and then do something a bit bigger next year as a way to complete my year of processing.

The other odd thing to my poor wiccan brain is that the reason the cycle starts in October is that the planting apparently starts in October. Now maybe I am just to Temperate focused but that just sounds wrong to me. Eve in Greece, or it did back in olden days… I don’t know what its doing know… Mum… do you recall from your days in Greece? Meanwhile here, where we have a supposedly Mediterranean Climate the plants are completing a cycle of growth and harvest. We are not preparing the soil for planting. We are preparing for dark time, and a time for the land to lie fallow. Reif talks about the Proerosia as a rite of “pre plowing” – am I just not understanding? Is this something we do to prep the soil before winter so that it will be ready to take seeds and grow in the spring? … But she also has planting happening at the Rejoicing during the Kalligenia. So again with the confusion.

New growth in January I get. “The hills turn green with winter rain” is a powerful line in one of the songs from the Spiral Dance. And by March we have flowers so that I can see… but the rest is messing with my head.

So I am trying to sort out this planting cycle thing Part Two

… June through October is not a fallow time in California. Though honestly is there ever much of a fallow time in CA? I went looking for growing season information starting with Wheat:

Wheat ( Triticum aestivum L. ) can be classified as winter or spring growth habit based on flowering responses to cold temperatures. Winter wheat development is promoted by exposure of the seedlings to temperatures in the 38 degrees to 46 degrees F (3 degrees to 8 degrees C) range. Such types are usually planted in the fall which exposes the seedlings to cold temperatures during late fall and winter. Spring-types, however, do not require exposure to cold temperatures for normal development and can be planted in spring. Both winter- and spring-types, when properly grown in Minnesota, head in the late spring or early summer and mature by mid- to late-summer. this from: http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/cropsystems/DC2547.html

grrr. Everything I am turning up in my web searching is showing me exactly the same thing as what I thought I knew from two years of working in the Produce industry and from actually paying attention to both what comes in at Whole Foods and to the Farmers Markets. While we might get classified by some as a Mediterranean climate, we have the growing cycle of the Temperate Zones only better. But overall the cycle is similar.

What all this means food wise is that the summer fruits are ending now. While you will see peaches and nectarines in the stores, they are past their peak. Ditto for all of the berries. I have been told that Pears are coming into season – the interesting ones, not the year round crap, so I need to try some of the good stuff and enjoy.

Oranges have become a year round crop, so I can’t actually tell what their natural cycle is. Same for Apples. I did find notes that January is the month to tend to Apple planting and apple trees. I know that fall is “apple season” in my head. Back east is was when we would get the organic apples in to the farmers market. And apples last through winter because they store well so that is why they are one of the common fruits used in the fall for feasts. Same with onions and potatoes. If you store them right, they will get you through a lot of tough times.

The vegetables I am less clear on. Artichokes are summer. Cucumbers are traditionally summer but are force grown now for year round use, same with all the lettuces, celery, carrots, and tomatoes. The heirlooms you get in the summer though. Corn is a late summer / early fall crop. Here’s a lovely blog by a Bay Area gardener who is growing corn: http://mybayareagarden.blogspot.com/ The squashes have specific seasons depending on their nature: Winter squash or Summer squash. The Zucchini have been over grown so most people don’t know that they are a squash let alone that they are supposed to have a season. *sigh* Pumpkins of course are a fall/winter veggi. I *might* get one from my attempt to grow them this year, which would be way cool.

So I am back to the fact that I am not convinced that the cycle as practiced in ancient Greece fits contemporary Northern California, or really any of North America for that matter. What to do about that is another matter. …

See it’s the May date that really starts my problems. The Thargelia – Harvest in May. For Temperate zones this is the beginning of summer. While we all call Summer Solstice The First Day of Summer, in Pagan/Wiccan terms Beltane is the first day of summer and Summer Solstice is the Height of Summer and the Height of the Gods power – hard to be the beginning and the height of something at the same time, how did you get to the top of the apex anyway? Here things are still reveling in life and growth and sex for Goddess sake. Who wants to be harvested now? Just after Beltane? Yuck! So now. That does not work for me. Ditto the Kalamaia on June 7th – Thressing and seed from the chaff? That’s John Barleycorn time. Nope, not working for me. Skira Festival June 28th – the Maiden’s descent. Excuse me? What is she doing going down in the bright sun? And then Demeter is supposed to be a Crone at the height of the growing season for this region. I don’t think so. Nope, also not working for me.

Ok… Wiccan wheel of the year – starting at harvest for a visual:

August 2 Lammas First harvest

Sept 21 Mabon Harvest festival threshing. Seed from the chaff

Nov 1 Samhain New years. The dead. Mourning and Celebrating.

Preparing for fallow period.

December 21 Yule Festival of Ligts during the dark. Land lies cold. No

growth. Dark nesting seeds.

February 2 Imbolg Milking of the lambs, celebrating new life in the

sheep. One last storm before spring.

March 21 Ostara flowers and green growth

May 1 Beltane Vibrant life growth all around

June 21 Litha Height of growth and sun.

But what if we pushed all of those back a few months? If the Thargelia is actually a cognate to the first harvest that the Celts and contemporary wiccan’s celebrate as Lughnassad / Lammas, and Kalamaia is what we celebrate at Mabon / Autumn Eqinox, then the Maiden descends into the underworld with her lover at oh I don’t know… Samhain? Heck, I’m easy… it could be any date about two weeks after Autumn equinox, so the 1st of October even. Which for contemporary pagans works out nicely since some of us end up doing the Greater Mystery anytime in the first two weeks of October, and really that makes much more sense to me (though why that would be I think is a separate diatribe) .

It also seems to me that the Rites of Proerosia happen out of order here in Northern climates. I suspect, though I need to do more digging because its not a rite I am familiar with yet, that it has more cognates with Imbolg magic and that level of preparation before spring than it does with Mabon’s harvest magic. If I am correct, I would vote to move this rite to early February between Haloa and Chloaia – honor the human work that needs to go into helping the land be ready to produce on an agricultural scale vs celebrating what nature does naturally when the rains come (Haloa) and after plowing and work has been put into the fields (Chloaia).

Hmmmm….

Alternatively move Proerosia to January when the land here is rich and wet and able to receive. Prepare it for the work ahead. Then push Haloa and Chloaia each back. That puts Haloa in February as the celebration of green growth as the rains begin to slow and trickle off. Chloaia at Beltane and the Festival of flowers. Move the Lesser Mysteries to June / Summer Solstice – the height of Demeter’s power with so much growth happening all over the place. Then we are in sequence with the other dates for the local harvest. That feels better, it doesn’t leave the whole summer without festivals to honor the Goddess who brings us the yummy stuff.

Haha! The damn cycle does map to the stuff in my head!! So this is what I think it should look like:

January Rites of Proerosia Preplowing rites. Blessings and magic for to

prepare the sacred field

February Festival of Haloa Celebration of new green growth in both

cultivated field and wild nature.

May Festival of Chloaia Festival of flowers, of Verdant Demeter and

Kore, and of the green earth.

June The Lesser Mysteries Ceremony of the whole festival cycle.

Purification. Consecration to Demeter.

August Thargelia The Harvest. Demeter the Harvest Queen.

The seed and the Maiden are matured.

Autumn Equinox Kalamaia the Threshing. Freeing the seed grain from

the chaff, honoring Triptolemos.

October 1 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.

Pre Thesmophoria

October Stenia Festival Bawdy humor, sacred sexuality. Barren

Demeter becomes Fertile Mother.

October Arkichronia Festival Creation of fertility talismans. Combining

Earth and Underworld powers.

Thesmophoria Main

October Thesmophoria Proper Celebration of Demeter’s sacred laws.

Remembering our divinity.

October Rites of Nestia & Kalligenia N = The Sadness. Queen Persephone leaves

her beloved Plouton/Hades and the

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

October 10 – 25 ish The Greater Mysteries aka The Eleusinian Mysteries Proper

The Sacred Drama. The reconciliation of

Demeter, Plouton, and Persephone. The Rite

of the Cista Mystica. The Thanatos Rite.

The Crowning.

Now this still leaves me with what to do about all the damn rituals I need to celebrate… but if I can get Demeter to agree to this calendar, then I think I have something to work with. I see a meditation in my future.

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A few days later… I learned more… that changed my world view again!