Hera Telkhinia

by Melissa

(Metageitnion 20) A minor sacrifice to Hera Telkhinia in the Attic demos of Erchia. The Greek title as commonly given, Thelkhinia, is probably a mis-spelling of the epithet, for there is no such word as “thelkhinia.”  Some writers prefer the word “thelxinoos,” which means “charming the heart” and is appealing as an aspect of the goddess of marriage.  However, the epithet is more likely Telkhinia, which according to LJS, indicates a connection with the inhabitants of Telkhis, on Crete.  These were considered the first metal-workers and, later, as “sorcerers.”  The epithet is also bestowed upon Apollo and the Nymphs and there was a festival of Telkhinia at Delphoi, which already has a connection with Crete, through the Cretan sailors that Apollo selected to become priests of his temple.  Therefore, although the myth of the connection of Apollo, Hera and the Nymphs with Telkhis is lost to us, it apparently a reflection of bronze age interactions with Crete and not a reference to Hera as a “charmer.”

Today: this was a minor observance by a suburb of Athens, but anyone who has a particular connection may wish to honor Her on this day with a libation and incense and hymns, for Hera is Queen of Heaven who rules with Zeus and is honored no less than Zeus.

Sources:
Parke, H.W., Festivals of the Athenians, 1977, London
Liddell, H.G., and Scott, R., Greek English Lexicon, ninth edition