Heliogenna Festival

By Cara Schulz (edited by others)

This festival, created in recent decades, is celebrated in three sections over 2 days.  The sections are: Sunset, Night, and Sunrise.  I have made changes to the original 9 day festival that Hector Lugo presented. Much gratitude to Hector for creating the festival’s outline, prayers, etc.

DAY 1,  Solstice Day (The shortest day)


Day of Gratitude

Gods honored: Helios, Selene, Eos

Celebrate from morning until the sun starts to set

Altar to Helios. Photo by Cara.

A time to Honor the Celestial Gods, look back over the previous year, and express gratitude for blessings bestowed.

I fill the small urn with beach sand and place it on my altar for Helios. In the morning at Dawn, light the candles, burn an offering of incense, say a prayer or two and make other offerings/pour a libation in honor of Helios, Selene, Eos.   Thank the Gods for their help and blessings.  This is repeated at Sunset.

Have a nice lunch or early dinner with my family or friends, setting aside some of the food for offerings to burn.  If you haven’t put up your tree yet, today is a good day to do so.  Wait to decorate and light the tree the next morning, Solstice morning.

Offering and Libations:

*Libation to Hestia*
Lady of the Hearth,
Keeper of the sacred flames of Olympus
Enter this home and be welcome

Blessed Children of  light
We welcome you this day.
Bright Helios traveling fair
Graceful Selene ever moving after you
Eos, opening the gates, heralding your arrival.

*Libations To Helios, Selene, and Eos*
Helios – thank you for your life giving power this year. Thank you for your vigilance and your light.
Selene – you are the light in the darkness and the reminder that the night is as full of possibility as the day, if only we look closer.
Eos – you are the Beauty that is in the newness of all things.

*Libation to Hestia*
Lady of the hearth,
Keeper of the sacred flame of Olympus
Grant all who gather around this hearth your blessings.

*offering prayer*
Helios, Please accept my offerings of …

thank you for your blessings of…this year.

Altar to Helios.

AFTER/AT SUNSET, Evening of the Solstice

The Night (Start of the longest night)

Evening of Remembrance, endings, and transition

Gods honored: Helios, Hekate, Hades, Persephone, Hermes

Celebrate from sunset until dawn

Burning last year’s tree decorations at Heliogenna. Photo by Cara.

Helios descends to the House of Persephone to be reborn.  The tone is somber.  While watching the Sun set, pour libations to Persephone, Hades, Hermes, and Hekate.  Burn offerings of incense at the altar and burn all of  last year’s Heliogenna decorations in the hearth: all the of the dried orange slice tree ornaments, the clove studded orange pomander, the tree topper.  After these are burned, the fire is allowed to burn out.

Offerings and Libations:
Persephone: Queen of the Dead, fruit of earth and sky
Bride of Mighty Hades, dwelling in the lands below.
Keeper of secrets, wise and compassionate, giver of hope in hopelessness.

Hades: King of the dead, son of Kronos the vanquished,
Husband of Persephone, dwelling in the underground palace.
Keeper of secrets, dark and unseen, giver of riches from below.

Hermes and Hekate: You who light my way
and guide my footsteps at every crosroads.
You who will lead me
when I make the final journey

Offering Prayer:

Lord of Many Names and His Dread Queen, please accept these offering of ….

Receive Helios with love and send him back as the Young God with the year reborn.

The hearth ashes are swept up.  Candles are blown out and the stubs are thrown away.  The evening is silent after prayers.  No more food is consumed.

DAY 2, Morning after Solstice

Morning of Victory and Hope – Renewal – Potential
Gods honored: Helios and the Protogonoi
Celebrate starting at Dawn

Wake up early and watch the Sun rise. As it rises, light candles and hold them while singing hymns of joy, modern or ancient, to Helios. Pour libations. Ring bells. This is a truly happy, joyous occasion!

New dried orange decoration for the tree (at Heliogenna). Photo by Cara.

If you wish, decorate your tree with new dried orange slice decorations, put a Sun-In-Glory tree topper on and turn the lights on. Light a warm, toasty fire in your hearth. Wish one another well while making toasts and pour libations onto the fire. Make a huge breakfast, setting aside a portion for offering to burn that morning. Open gifts to celebrate the New Solar year. In the afternoon, stud an orange with cloves to make a Pomander and hang it up for the year, asking for Helios’ blessing that you and your family may flourish in the upcoming year.

Clove-studded orange decoration may be displayed all year, not just during Heliogenna. Photo by Cara.

Direction for making Heliogenna Cookies can be found here.