Komos

Komos: Celebrating Festivals in Contemporary Hellenic Polytheism by Sarah Kate Istra Winter

komoscovertnFestivals were one of the most important aspects of ancient Greek religion, and yet celebrating them – whether adaptations of historical rites or entirely new ones – can be difficult for contemporary Hellenic polytheists. We struggle to maintain an authentic connection to tradition while creating relevant practices which reflect our own relationships to the gods and spirits, as well as to the lands where we live now.  Many of us are doing this alone or with only a few other people, unable to achieve the lavish processions, competitions or revels of times past. And yet our desire to honor the gods, explore themes such as purification, fertility and renewal, and mark the sacred progression of the year, remains as strong as ever.

Komos first explains the nature of ancient Greek festivals and the reasons they were observed, before moving forward to offer ways in which the same ideas and motivations can be expressed through modern celebrations. Special attention is given to crafting a localized and individualized practice that both fulfills religious obligations and results in personal enjoyment and spiritual connection. The lunar calendar is explained, along with other approaches to timing and selecting dates. All the significant elements of Hellenic festivals are discussed in detail with suggestions for how each can be included today. To educate and inspire the reader in the process of creating a complete festival calendar, many ancient examples are referenced, along with a few compatible modern folk festivals, and accounts of some of the author’s own experiences. Finally, advice is given for navigating issues such as budgetary restrictions, multi-tradition households, and what to do when things go wrong.

If you have been wanting to add festivals to your spiritual practice but weren’t sure where to begin, or if you just need some ideas to supplement your existing celebrations, this book can help. May you find within these pages the spark that lights your torches for many festivals to come.

98 pages, 5.5×8.5″, paperback, published August 2015.

[Buy directly from Createspace] [Buy from Amazon.com]
You can also order the book from your local independent or major bookstore.

Review on The God of the Hinge
Interview on The Wild Hunt

CONTENTS

Foreword by H. Jeremiah Lewis (Sannion)
Introduction
Chapter One: What Is a Festival?
Naiad Nymphaia
Chapter Two: Adaptation and Invention
Lampteria
Interlude: Modern Greek Folk Festivals
Chapter Three: Timing Is Everything
Anthesteria
Chapter Four: Act Locally
Opening of the Market
Chapter Five: Core Elements
—Stephanos
—Pompe
—Temenos
—Humnos
—Anathema
—Deipnon
—Agon
—Komos
Skenia
Troubleshooting
Further Reading
About the Author


One Response to “Komos”

  1. This book is sorely needed. People are trying to keep the old festivals of Dionysus, but desire to celebrate in these modern times, are finding it difficult or nearly impossible.
    Thank you for giving us a source for our times, so we can adapt with the old & create new festivals.
    Let our torches shine in the night,
    Reverend Donna M. Swindells
    Fellowship of Isis
    Priestess of Dionysus

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s