Genesia (and Epops)

by various authors

(5 Boedromion) the Genesia was a festival in honor of the dead. Today, it is a day to remember deceased ancestors, especially parents, and to hear and tell stories about them and what they did and to look through family albums or create them.  If graves of these ancestors are nearby, go visit them and perhaps lay flowers or bring small offerings or libations (of water, milk or honey) if permitted.

And may they worship forever the gods who possess the land with native honors of laurel bough held aloft, and oxen slain, even as their fathers did before their time.
Since reverence for parents stand written third among the statues of Justice, to whom honor supreme is due.
Aischylos, Suppliant Maidens (703-8)

Also on this day, the citizens of the Attic Demos of Erchia conducted a sacrifice to an anonymous Epops. The festival of Epops, also the name of a bird in English known as the hoopoe, was a holocaust sacrifice (the sacrificial victim was burnt entirely rather than the meat being consumed by those who participated in the sacrifice) without wine.  It “may have been connected with the festival of Genesia” (Parke 178).


Parke, H.W., Festivals of the Athenians, 1977, London

Thoughts about Genesia by Cara

I celebrate the Genosia on Memorial Day(USA).  The Genosia started out as a household observance, a day to honor the dead in your family tree and visit their graves.  This limits the miasma incurred by visiting grave sites to one day a year (unless someone died that year)  It later became a state occasion to honor the dead killed in battle, but didn’t lose its household observances.

Today I make offerings to all those who died in service to our country.  I make offerings to Ares since we are now in three wars.  I say prayers for those presently serving.  I make offerings to Columbia Eleutheria that their service not be in vain and ask for Her protection of our country and our ideals.  I read Pericles funeral oration.  I pour wine, burn incense, offer barley cakes.

I also make offerings for all the dead in my family, those that I know and remember.  We make their favorite dishes and eat them and burn some.  Their graves are not near enough for me to visit and I’m sad about that.

I worship Columbia as the patron deity of the USA.  Depends on if you use Libertas (Liberty) or Eleutheria (Freedom) as an epithet.  The statue of liberty depicts her, she adorns the top of the capitol building in DC and she used to be in a niche behind the Speakers chair in the House.

I see her as a land Goddess, a Titan, who has made Her presence known.

I think She was originally found in what is now the NE United States.  That where the Six Nations (Iroquois Confederacy) lived and they have the world’s oldest living participatory democracy on Earth.  That’s also where our Republic was born.  (And other steps in that direction on smaller scales happened in the same area)  Since then, She has extended the area She watches over. We (as a country) may not be perfect and we may wander away from Her ideals of freedom, liberty, prosperity, open-handedness, but that’s us being humans.  That’s my UPG.  That She is a uniquely American deity, from this land and tied to this land and its people.  Worshiping local Gods, spirits, and other deities (and your family’s Agathos Diamon and ancestors) is a traditional part of our religion.  I also worship local river Gods and make offerings to the nymphs that live at Cold Water Springs.

Others do see Her more as a Good Spirit or even an Egragore.