# Thursday, January 06, 2011

Theogamia - On Sunday, January 9, 2011, 2 to 6 pm

Workman Hall, First Unitarian, 175 Clair Ave W.

This a small gathering to observe the holiday of Hera and Zeus. We will also take the opportunity to discuss upcoming events and other activities.

Everyone is welcome.

posted on Thursday, January 06, 2011 10:41:07 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Friday, December 24, 2010
Please join us for our next event, Anthesteria

Sunday, February 27, 3:30 to 10 pm

Sunderland Hall, First Unitarian Church

Everyone is welcome.

posted on Friday, December 24, 2010 2:42:44 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Thursday, December 23, 2010
On Wednesday, December 23, several members of Hellenic Spirit held a nighttime solstice ritual to honor Poseidon and Helios in solidarity with Thyrsos Ellenes-Ethnikoi, a Greek organization that had issued an invitation to groups around the world to join with them in lighting fires on the night of the solstice (see blog entry of December 1, 2010).  We lit a fire outside (it was very cold and windy) and we feasted inside where good food, great wine and an altar to Helios and other gods made for a warm celebration.

We also took the opportunity to say farewell to our member Matthew, who sets off on the next leg of his life's journey in Winnipeg.  All the best Matthew!  We hope you will return to visit and perhaps even take part in our future rituals.

Here are a few photos of the evening.  Click on each photograph to see a larger version.

posted on Thursday, December 23, 2010 6:29:24 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, December 20, 2010
On Sunday, December 19, Hellenic Spirit celebrated the Winter Solstice, honouring Poseidon and Ilios, on the top of the hill at the Brick Works.  Ten people attended and took part in the ritual, followed by an outside potluck feast while light snow fell.

To see a larger version of each photo, click on it. To see more photos, click on "read more" below.

posted on Monday, December 20, 2010 10:21:48 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Tuesday, December 14, 2010
The public Embolden Solstice Celebration for Sunday, December 19 will take place as scheduled.  We will meet at 2 pm (550 Bayview Avenue, South of Pottery Road - at the top of the hill on the North side)

posted on Tuesday, December 14, 2010 4:42:29 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Hellenic Spirit received the following invitation from the Hellenic polytheistic organization, “Thyrsos - Hellenes Ethnikoi” regarding a Solstice event they're creating.  You might want to organize your own version of this and send them your photos. 

Dear fellow Hellenists

We send you our greetings and our regards!
We wish for your participation so that we can create a bridge of communication and Solidarity!

We are writing to you on behalf of the organization THYRSOS-HELLENES ETHNIKOI, a Hellenic organization that fights for the recognition of the ancient Hellenic religion and the spreading of the ancient culture. By the chance of the celebration of Winter Solstice that is approaching in less than a month, we would like to invite you to participate with us, to the Festival of Winter Solstice.

As we did last summer on Summer Solstice with other fellow polytheistic organizations and independent people, we are about to gather again and light fires, celebrating the forth coming of the New Sun. You can also participate from wherever country you may be and gather in groups in an open territory in the country or your members on their own in their homes if they cannot be with other comrades, and light fires with torches, candles, Sun wheels, or a simple lamp next to the window by the street, celebrating the Invincible Sun and transferring the message of the new Circle from one country to another, from each home to another, from each community to each other.

The event will take place from 23.00 hours till midnight on the night of 22 of December.

It is a great opportunity for all of us to stand united and spread the message of Solidarity and brotherhood among the people that follows the Old Ways of their Ancestor’s beliefs.

It is also a great opportunity for groups and organizations to come close and communicate to each other.

The way to transfer a message by fire is called in Hellenic language “Fryktories”, “Beacons” in English.

It is important for us, to take photos of your fires and send them to our e-mail hellenesthyrsos@gmail.com, so that we will be able to present them through our homepage www.thyrsos.gr

posted on Wednesday, December 01, 2010 9:19:00 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, November 29, 2010
Here are some photos from the Ritual to Ares and the Heroes, held November 28.  To see more photos, click on "read more" below.

posted on Monday, November 29, 2010 9:09:38 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Saturday, November 27, 2010
Hellenic Spirit's ritual to Ares and the Heroes will be held Sunday, November 28 at the Unitarian Hall at 175 St. Clair Avenue in Toronto, starting at 3 pm and will conclude with a light feast and Greek music and dancing.  All are welcome!

We will begin with a very special offering: the singing the Homeric Hymn to Ares in Ancient Greek, likely the
first time it has been performed at a public ritual in more than 1500 years.  The hymn ends with the prayer: “O blessed one, give me boldness to abide within the harmless laws of peace, avoiding strife and hatred and the violent fiends of death.” Since the Homeric Hymn is more than 2700 years old, we can see that the struggle for peace and freedom has a very long history.

We despise war, violence, destruction and death.  And no one would deny that it is better to live by law, negotiation, and mutual respect.  In fact, the Delphic Maxims say,
ὁμόνοιαν δίωκε, “Pursue concord.” But now, as in antiquity, war is a reality.  Sometimes we find ourselves confronted by those who do not live by law, negotiation and mutual respect.  And when we are threatened, we have to defend ourselves. Again, as the Delphic Maxims say, θνῇσκε ὑπὲρ πατρίδος, “Die for your country.” 

Sometimes, also, the forces of nature assault us, as well as accidents and other unforeseen events.  Where do we find the strength to put our own well-being aside to protect all we love?  How do we find the courage to put our lives on the line?  Even when we know we must protect what is more important and more enduring than ourselves, fear may hold us back.

The ancients realized that the strength to defend comes from a divine source and that the ability to ignore our personal survival, and see beyond our small part in the universe is not an ordinary human trait.  In this ritual, held in the same month as Remembrance Day, we will honour that divinely given strength and self-discipline; we will honour the sons, and daughters of Ares, the people who have shouldered the responsibility to protect and defend us. And we will honour the deity who inspires that trait. 

As the Maxims say: Θεοὺς σέβου! [the-OUS SE-vou]  “Honour the gods!”

posted on Saturday, November 27, 2010 9:54:03 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Thursday, October 14, 2010

Here are some photos from our recent Harvest Festival. If you click on a photo, you can see a larger version of it. To see all the photos from the event, click on "read more" below. (Note: the balloons were not part of our Festival but were decorations for an event by another group the following day.)

posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 11:39:17 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Sunday, October 03, 2010
In honour of the ancient Eleusinian Celebrations, Hellenic Spirit conducted a harvest ritual, venerating the gods Earth, Demeter, Kore, Apollo, Athena and Dionysos on Saturday October 2, 2010.  The event followed the pattern of a symposium, with ritual and festive meal occurring in the same room.  The delicious meal was a traditional boiled bean stew, following the mythos of Theseus and his companions who, according to Plutarch, had returned to Athens in safety and, to celebrate, they combined their meager provisions of beans in one pot and boiled it all together. The ancients celebrated this as Pyanepsia, which took place shortly after the Eleusinian Mysteries in the fall.  We also marched with an eiresione while one of us sang the ancient words to music he wrote for the occasion.  Other activities including an oschophoria (carrying of the grape clusters) and offerings of grains, olives, olive oil and grapes. As befits a symposium, there were informal discussions of many topics. 

Photos from the Festival are above. Look for more information about the photos on the Embolden Facebook page.

posted on Sunday, October 03, 2010 9:46:56 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]