Theogamia began at sundown on Thursday. It is the ancient Athenian festival in celebration of the marriage of Zeus and Hera. Since Hera has become pretty damn important to me this year, I decided to make this a big event in my calendar!
I did a very quick reading earlier in the week to ascertain what they would like to see in my ritual. To summarise: Zeus= sacrifice, Hera= luxury, both of them = unity. Well duh, I guess.
On Thursday morning I went into town and had a look round the shops. I picked up some extra altar goodies from the charity shops (a silver plated stand I’m using as an incense burner, a vase, a long glass bowl shaped like a leaf which are all pictured in this post, and a sturdy ceramic bowl), and went searching for appropriate offerings for today. I came back with some pretty tulips, food and wine. I thought I had enough but then I saw these:
They are pistachio and hazelnut Turkish delight in a fancy wooden box. They were so fitting for Hera I of course bought them. I now have the pretty box to keep too! I am going to use it to store her small votive offerings.
In the morning I showered, and used the bad-ass soap shaped like an apple that I had offered to Hera previously (I wish I had a picture because it looked and smelled EXACTLY like an apple. I could have put it in a fruit bowl and someone would have taken a bite) to cleanse myself. I did this in honour of Hera taking a purifying bath prior to her wedding. I then got out and offered her the Turkish delight and some lavender incense as a pre-wedding gift for the bride.
Once I was all dressed and ready, I began my ritual proper. I put some frankincense on the charcoal and recited a hymn to Zeus whilst lighting a candle in his honour, and then offered him some almonds and wine. I did the same for Hera, offering an apple in the place of almonds.
Next, I recited a prayer celebrating their union in marriage and lit a central candle from the flames of their individual ones (at which point I got red wax on my fucking altar cloth. UGH). The flowers were then offered along with pomegranate seeds, heart shaped chocolates and more wine!
My altar set up for Theogamia. The glass bowl and central silver thingy were bought on Thursday I see this type of vessel a lot and I think it’s actually for flower arrangements? But it’s nice and heatproof and fits nicely with the style of my altar and so will make a good incense burner. LOOK AT MY ALTAR CLOTH. Close up of the offering of pomegranate seeds and chocolates to celebrate Zeus and Hera’s union.
Overall I thought everything went well. I really enjoyed the rite and will happily do the same next year, perhaps with an actual bath instead of a shower to purify myself. I’d also like to explore more of what Zeus put forward in the reading (there was a lot of symbolism in just a single card).
New things are happening in my relationship with Hera. Things are changing and I think that is good! I will write more about this in future.