At our October ritual, House of Zephyrus celebrated the Festival of Genesia to honor our ancestors and beloved dead. In Greek society, the festival was used in Athens to honor all of the city’s dead, reinforcing the idea that the entire city was a family, or oikos. That meant that the loss of each person was a loss to all, and the triumphs of each person were an honor to all. This was especially true for those who perished in battles defending the city and its interests abroad.
At our festival, members of our oikos gave thanks to Gaia, goddess of the Earth who cradles the dead within her, Hades and Persephone, who rule the Underworld where the spirits of our ancestors reside, and made offerings of food and wine to both gods and ancestors.
While sharing stories and memories of both joy and sorrow, we each crafted altar offerings representing all our ancestors, or for specific individuals to represent things they loved or valued in life. In sharing these stories, we were able to support each other in grief, bring our members closer together, and help the memories of our loved ones carry on in our oikos consciousness.
As House of Zephyrus has been growing, we decided to establish ways of honoring our beloved dead more regularly at our rituals. We discussed examples such as the U.S. military’s place setting for Fallen Soldiers, and similar traditions in other cultures. Some of our members committed to regularly providing offerings of food at Reno Magick, Temple of Growth Advancement, and House of Zephyrus rituals for the ancestors, and we expect the tradition to grow and evolve as our oikos does.
Please join us for our next Greek ritual on Saturday, November 16th at 6:30pm. Check our Facebook page for more details!
Text by Denise; Photo by Dustin