Io, Saturnalia!

Today is the first day of the Saturnalia, a Roman festival honoring the agricultural god Saturn. The first Saturnalia was held in 497 BCE for the dedication of the Temple of Saturn in Rome. An annual festival commemorating the dies natalis (anniversary) of this event was held on December 17. The celebration proved so popular that it…

Anonymous asked: Why are there so many different names for Hellenismos?

Because ancient people didn’t have a name for their religion, and though there are a few voluntary organizations, such as Hellenion and Elaion, the modern worship of the Greek gods acknowledges no central authority, and people are free to call their practices whatever they prefer. Some people feel “Hellenismos” implies only ethnic Hellenes (Greeks) are allowed to…

Support a Doorway to Feed the Hungry

This is a community service project being done by a pagan Life Scout to assist Pagans in Need, a nonprofit in Lansing, Michigan which provides food to people in need regardless of their religious path. The project entails design and installation of  a handicap-accessible entryway to the pantry, which is housed in a basement. The GoFundMe page…

Nemesis

Nemesis is depicted as winged, with a wheel, the symbol of cosmic balance and redress of injustice, and a griffin, maintainer of law and order. By Roman times, a griffin with the cosmic wheel sufficed to symbolize her. Hymn to Nemesis by Mesomedes of Crete, 2nd century CE Winged Nemesis, turner of the scales of life,…

Battle of Marathon

Today, September 16 (6 Boedromion in the Athenian calendar) is the Agrotera festival honoring Artemis the Huntress. It is also the anniversary of the Battle of Marathon in 490 BCE. Athens vowed to sacrifice a goat to Artemis for every Persian killed in the battle, but so many Persians were slaughtered that the Athenians instead promised to offer the…

Jupiter Optimus Maximus

Jupiter columns were monuments dedicated to Jupiter Optimus Maximus (”Best and Greatest”) in Germania, eastern Gaul, and Britannia from the mid-second to mid-third centuries CE. They stood from 4 m /15 ft in height to around 15 m/49 ft. The base was usually four-sided, with a deity or hero carved on each side. Above that was a…

Book Review: Heretics Anonymous

tl: dr – My parents sent me to a Catholic school starting in seventh grade. We weren’t Catholic, but it was slightly closer and slightly cheaper than the nearest Lutheran school. My parents were protesting desegregation busing, and I had no say in the matter. I dreaded it all summer, and it turned out to…

Vesuvius 79 CE: Look for the helpers

The Herculaneum Boat Photo: © Division La Repubblica, October 31, 2017. (X) Today, August 24, marks the beginning of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE. Tons of pumice, ash, and mud from the volcano buried the towns of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae, as well as hundreds of farms and villas in the surrounding countryside, over a period of 25…

Antinous: Festival of the Red Lotus

Lotus and Palmette Plaque, Roman, 1st Century BCE – 1st Century AD. Molded glass; 3.3 cm sq/1 5/16 sq. Collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts (X) Today, August 22, the modern cult of Antinous celebrates the Festival of the Red Lotus, which is said to have sprung from the blood of the Marousian Lion hunted by…

Antinous: The Lion Hunt

  Lion roundel detail, Arch of Constantine at Rome. © Steve Kershaw, licensed under (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0). Image source:  https://open.conted.ox.ac.uk/resources/images/arch-constantine Today, August 21, the modern cult of Antinous commemorates the hunt of the Marousian Lion by Hadrian and Antinous in the Libyan desert. Hadrian was well-known as a hunter. Although hunting was a common pastime among elites, he may…

The gods did not die

Featured Image: Woman pouring a libation Red-figure Calyx Krater attributed to the Graz Painter (Apulian workshop), circa 350 – 340 BCE. Height: 25.5 cm/10 in. Collection of the Museum of Cycladic Art. Photo: Ophelia2 via Wikimedia Commons (X). License: Public Domain. “…at last, many are beginning to realize that after the battle, the gods did not die. They are the…