Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ancient Greek Lunar Months of Maimakterion and Poseideon


Maimakterion (lunar month from our current November to December) began the winter season. Thus, citizens prayed to Zeus to calm his blustering winds. A sheep was sacrificed and it's fleece considered magical.

Maimakterion gave way to Poseideon (lunar month from December to January). The eighth day of the lunar month was sacred to, who else... Poseidon!

A festival waged on in his honor recognizing the importance of the sea. It is interesting to note that the number eight was significant to Poseidon. The festival honoring him was held on the eighth day of the month. Eight letters spelled Poseidon. Later, the planet named Neptune (Poseidon's Roman equivalent), was the eighth planet from the sun.

In the last half of Poseideon, A Dionysian festival was held, including a procession of men carrying phallus, men carrying cakes, and revelling singers. An icon of the God of Libation was brought into the city's center to represent Dionysis coming.

Toward the end of the month, another larger festival roared to life in which women danced around a giant phallus. Later in the evening, men were admitted and a great orgy took place for the remainder of the night. And we wonder where we got our wild New Year's Eve celebrations from?