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Heliogenna

Post  DavidMcCann on Mon Dec 07, 2015 2:12 pm

Do you celebrate Heliogenna and, if so, when? Of course, the name is modern and the festival is taken from the late Roman Dies Natalis Solis Invicti - the Roman name would be even more of a mouthful translated into Greek.

A check on the internet shows people celebrating the solstice, the day after the solstice, and even 25 December. Then there's the question of whether it's one, two, or more days. There's also the complication of those who think that the solstice always falls on the 21st: this year it's actually on the 22nd. I've always used the day after the solstice, since it celebrates days getting longer again.

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Re: Heliogenna

Post  Erodius on Sun Dec 13, 2015 2:47 pm

DavidMcCann wrote:Do you celebrate Heliogenna and, if so, when? Of course, the name is modern and the festival is taken from the late Roman Dies Natalis Solis Invicti - the Roman name would be even more of a mouthful translated into Greek.

A check on the internet shows people celebrating the solstice, the day after the solstice, and even 25 December. Then there's the question of whether it's one, two, or more days. There's also the complication of those who think that the solstice always falls on the 21st: this year it's actually on the 22nd. I've always used the day after the solstice, since it celebrates days getting longer again.

Natalis Invicti is a more common form, which makes for Γενέθλια/Γέννησις Ἀνικήτου – not so bad for a Greek phrase, which hardly shy away from sesquipedalianism anyhow Razz

By late Antiquity, almost the entire month of December turned into a blurred array of varyingly similar festivals on shifting days and the whole month, essentially, became one huge holiday.

In Orphism, the full span between, approximately the winter solstice and early January are observed as the season of the Nativity of Bacchus, closely identified with the powers of the Sun, with the birth itself often designated to the 25th, though further observances continue all the way into January. Many of us observe the Ἡλιούγεννα on the 21st as, essentially, the opening of the festival season, although this is a more recent adoption from common practice of other Greeks and not an originally Orphic practice. Others of us do not distinguish the two as different or separate festivals, treating them as one observance.

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
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