Little Oaks: A Religious Education Program for Young Pagans

This year has been rough in a lot of ways, but through those difficulties some opportunities have opened up. One of the really hard decisions folks have been making right now is what to do about school for their children. The likelihood is high in my part of the world that we’ll have some or all eLearning this year, and many are considering pulling their kids out to homeschool entirely. With schooling at home, whether it’s full-on homeschool, school provided virtual school, or supplemental activities, there has been a lot of momentum about how to provide the best learning opportunities for our children. I’ve looked at homeschool curriculums, and plan on at least supplementing my daughter’s experience with one, and my son (who would have started preschool this year) will be doing homeschool completely.

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Summer Solstice

How does it relate to Hellenic traditions? Some beginning research:

Philokhoria

http://neokoroi.org/artemis.html

An interesting interview with Thista Minai: http://www.sequentialtart.com/article.php?id=976

Prometheia is a modern day Greek festival that is basically celebrating summer solstice: http://sites.google.com/site/hellenionstemenos/festivals/prometheia

Other thoughts:

Skira: http://sites.google.com/site/hellenionstemenos/festivals/skira

Arrephoria: http://sites.google.com/site/hellenionstemenos/festivals/arrephoria

Dipolieia & Bouphonia: http://sites.google.com/site/hellenionstemenos/festivals/bouphomia—dipolieia


Autumn Feast

In the neo-pagan high days this feast is often designated as Lughnasadh.  August 1st is said to mark the beginning of the harvest season, the first ripening of fruits ready for the picking.  Traditions of Lughnasadh:

  • make a cornmeal bread or cakes in the shape of Lugh and then symbolically sacrifice and eat them.
  • funeral games for Lugh’s foster mother Tailtiu (games of skill and strength)
  • Tailtiu predicted as long as the games were still happening, Ireland wouldn’t be without song (cite)
  • Games were much like the Olympics

The beginning of the harvest season can be seen as birth, fruition, and renewal.  While researching in an attempt to link the autumn feast to Hellenic traditions, the closest major festival is Panathenaea.  This festival celebrates the birth of Athena Polias, the Guardian of the City.  Traditions of Panathenaea (cite):

  • Panathenaea Games (athletic & bardic arts contests)
  • Peplos sacrifice and renewal (cite)
  • honoring of craftsmanship & protection of the city
  • Great Panathenaea every four years (much like the Olympics)
  • the feast of bounty

I also could see the Autumn Feast relating to Demeter and Kore, as it is the first of the harvest festivals.

Another festival is Kronia: http://sites.google.com/site/hellenionstemenos/festivals/kronia