Ecclesia Ordinis Caelestis Templum Olympicus/Celestial Order and Temple of Olympus


October 27

(Greek) Ancient: 11–13 Puanepsion.
The Thesmophoria is a celebration of Sporetos (Seed-time), the autumn sowing, dedicated to Demeter and restricted to women. (This is unusual in the Greek world for, although Gods often had Priests and Goddesses Priestesses, the festivals were usually open to both men and women. Cf. the Festival for Bona Dea, c. Dec. 3.) Although the ceremony is a women’s mystery, this much may be said.

2nd Day: Nesteia (Fast)
On the second day the women sit on the ground and abstain from all solid food in humility and sympathy for Demeter’s mourning (when she also refused a chair), but also to transfer their strength to the soil. As hunger begins to gnaw their stomachs, they again engage in Aiskhrologia (abusive language); some say, recalling Iambe and Demeter, that their taunts are spoken in iambic verse, the traditional meter of mockery. The women may also whip each other with a scourge made of morotton (woven bark). Aristophanes’ Thesmophoriazusae contains two beautiful hymns typical of those sung on the day; they are too long to be reproduced here (ll. 969–1000 and 1136–1159; pp. 135–6 and 141–2 in the Barrett translation, Penguin Books, 1964).