by Jessi edited by Melissa
(8 Poseideon) A festival in honor of Poseidon, giving the month its name and the god his due. Little is known about this festival, it is presumed to have been celebrated on the 8th of the month, since that is the usual day established for honoring Poseidon (Parke 97) but could have been celebrated closer to the winter solstice. Some scholars suggest that this month, a time during which the Aegean Sea is most turbulent and restive, reflects the desire for the god to appease the troubled sea so that sailors can soon resume their journeys.
Ways to celebrate in modern times:
Make sacrifices to Poseidon. Think on the raging winter seas and the quaking earth and His power over them. Try to spend some time by the ocean or place symbolism of Him and the ocean around your living/ritual area. Recite Orphic Hymn 17 or Homeric Hymn 22 to Poseidon, or even hymns of your own creation.
Additional way to celebrate:
Many Hellenes celebrate solstice festivals during this month. Although Helios (and Apollo) are obvious choices for the gods to be honoured, it is appropriate to honor Poseidon as well, perhaps even receiving the primary honors. Dionysos, who reigns at Delphoi while Apollo is away among the Hyperboreans, could also be given a libation. You can see photos of people around the world who celebrated the Solstice in 2010 in solidarity with Thyrsos-Ellenes Ethnikoi; contact them if you wish to take part in their world-wide celebration, www.thyrsos.gr.
Homer mentions a festival for Poseidon in Book III of the Odyssey:
“The sun leapt up out of the lovely bay, high into the brazen sky, to give light to the deathless gods and to mortal men all over the fruitful earth…The people were on the shore, sacrificing jet-black bulls to the blue-crested god who shakes the earth. There were nine parties, five hundred sitting in each party, and nine bulls were laid out before each. They had already distributed the stomach lining as food (tripe), and they were roasting the thigh-pieces for the god,…his companions (were) preparing the feast with meat broiling and grilling on the spits….and seated them in front of the spread, upon soft fleeces laid on the sands,…Then he gave them their plates of tripe and chitterlings (small intestine linings) and poured wine into a golden cup…Pray now…to Lord Poseidon…When you have poured your drops and offered your prayer as usual, pass on the cup to your friend…The others took the broiled meat off the spits, and distributed the portions and all had a famous feast. The pouring of the drops was the libation of ‘grace before drink.’ The attendant poured a few drops in the cup, the drinker spilt them upon the ground with a prayer; then the attendant filled the cup, and he drank…the sun set and darkness came….cut the tongues of sacrifice, and mix the wine, that we may pour libations to Poseidon and the other immortals…for the light has gone down into the west, and it is not fitting to sit ling at a feast of sacrifice, but to pass on…Attendants poured water over their hands; boys filled the mixing-bowls to the brim, and served wine to all after pouring in the first drops; they cast the tongues in the fire, and the company standing poured out one after another the first drops in honor of the gods. And when the libation was done and they had drunk as much as they wished…”
Parke, H.W., Festivals of the Athenians, 1977