Glossary

Words & Terms I Use On the Blog & How I Use Them

At the time, a large portion of this list was taken from Baring the Aegis, though I’m making an effort to periodically alter the wording and add additional terms relevant to my own practises. I’ve removed several of her terms, as they relave to either Attic, specifically Athenian civic law, or they relate to Platonism.

Agathós Daímōn – household spirits who protect the family, house and bloodline, or Theoi. Also the name of a festival held on the second day after the new moon.

Alseids (Ἀλσηΐδες) – nymphs associated with groves.

Apopompai (ἀποποπμαί) – ‘sendings away’ or ‘exorcism’ of spirits and other supernatural entities. Apotropaic magic.

Apoptygma – name of the fold in a peplos.

Arètèr – title of a priest or priestess meaning ‘supplicant’.

Aromata / Aromatic herbs (ἀρώματα) – any woods, plants, or flowers which release a pleasant odor when burned.

Autochthonous (αὐτός χθών) – ‘earth-born’, applied to those born of Gaea, or literally ‘of the earth’.

Bakis (Βάκις) — literally, “speaker”; a general title for inspired prophets of divine wisdom and oracles of Boeotia. Where the oracle of Delphi was female, a bakis was male.

Bômos (βωμός) – properly signifies any elevation; an altar for the Ouranic Theoi.

Bothros (βόθρος) – offering pit to the Khthonic Theoi.

Chiton (khitōn, χιτών) – clothing. Came in two forms: the Doric chiton and the later Ionic chiton. The Doric style was open on one side, sleeveless and didn’t have the apoptygma the peplos had, while the Ionic chiton was pinned or sewn from top to bottom, was made with a much wider piece of fabric, and had sleeves.

Chlamys (χλαμύς) – clothing, cloak. Was normally pinned with a fibula at the right shoulder. It was worn by messengers and warriors, and could serve as a light shield.

Deipnon (Hekate’s) – monthly festival day on the day of the new moon where the house is prepared for the new month. Dedicated to Hekate and usually celebrated with Hekate’s Dinner.

Deisidaimonia (δεισιδαιμονία) – fear of spirits and other supernatural entities.

Delphic Maxims – the Delphic Maxims are a list of 147 / 162 guidelines towards an ethical life. Generally credited to the Seven Sages.

Eiresiône (εἰρεσιώνη) – a branch of olive or laurel bound with purple or white wool, decorated with fruits of the season, pastries, and small jars of honey, oil and wine. It was carried through the streets of Athens during the festival of Pyanepsai (Πυανέψια).

Ekphorá (ἐκφορά) – ‘funeral procession’ during funerary rites.

Elaphos (ἔλαφος) – cakes in the shape of a stag, made out of a basic dough, honey, and sesame seeds, in honor of Artemis during the Elaphebolia.

Epipuron (ἐπίπυρον) – a movable pan or brazier, used on top of a bômos so it could serve as an altar for burnt-offerings.

Epithets – an attachment to the name of a God or Goddess, used to indicate either a specific domain of the Deity, a specific origin myth or region from which the Deity came, or an entirely different entity, through either domain or origin.

Eschára (ἐσχάρα) – a low-lying altar used in burnt-offerings for heroes, demi-Gods and (nature) spirits. Sometimes used to indicate the corresponding projection at the top of a bômos that held its own fire.

Euergetism (εὐεργετέω) – ‘I do good things’–gift-giving from a wealthy citizen to the community.

Fasting – the act of voluntarily withholding food from your body for a longer period of time than you would normally be without it.

Four Roots — or “Four Elements”; originating with Empedocles, who used “roots” (never once “elements”), these are Fire, Air, Water, and earth, which Empedocles associated with Zeus, Hera, Nestis (Persephone), and Aidoneus (Hades), respectively.

Hagneia – the maintaining of ritual purity by avoiding miasma.

Hellen (a) – the preferred term for a citizen of ancient Greece. Also, the mythical progenator of the Hellenic people.

Hellenist (a) – the preferred term for a practitioner of Hellenismos.

Hellas – the preferred term for ancient and modern day Greece.

Hellenic Neo-Paganism: worship of the Hellenic pantheon in modern methodology; Hellenic Wicca, for example.

Hellenismos (Ἑλλήνισμος) – the modern reconstruction of the ancient Greek polytheism.

Hiereus – title of a priest or priestess meaning ‘sacrificer’.

Himation (ἱμάτιον) – clothing, cloak. Was usually worn over a chiton. It wasn’t fastened with pins, but instead was held up by the friction created between two layers of the garment, usually over one shoulder.

Holocaustos (ὁλόκαυστος) – a sacrifice given–and usually burnt–in full to the Gods. Opposite of Thyesthai.

Kathiskos – name of an offer jar of foodstuffs used to protect the household’s food storage. Dedicated to Zeus Ktesios.

Katharmos (Καθαρμός) – ritual purification.

Kernoi (κέρνοι) – offering dishes.

Kharis (Χάρις) – religious reciprocity.

Khernibeionas (Χερνῐβεῖον) – holder for khernips.

Khernips (Χἐρνιψ) – ritually purified water to remove miasma. Held in a Khernibeionas.

Kithara – ancient instrument in the Lyre family. In mythology, it was gifted to Apollo by Hermes.

Khoe (χοαί) – a type of libation where the entire content is poured out. Reserved for Chthonic Gods, Goddesses and other Underworld beings, like spirits or ghosts, as well as earth Deities. Consists of a measure of honey, milk and dark-red wine. Opposite of a sponde.

Khoi – vessel that holds the khoe.

Kurios (κύριος) – head of the Oikos. Male.

Kykeon (κυκεών) – a boiled down barley solution, sacred to Demeter.

Libation – liquid sacrifice.

Mageiroi – temple helpers.

Manna (μάννᾰ) – powdered frankincense.

Mantis (s), Mantikoi (pl)—literally “prophet”; refers to practitioners of divination.

Martis (μάρτης) – a red-and-white piece of string, tied around the wrist, used as a charm against evil forces. See also: króki.

Melissai – temple dancers.

Miasma (Μίασμα) – Literally ‘pollution’. Refers to the spiritual uncleanliness or certain mortal activities

Moisai (Μοῦσαι) – Melete (Practice), Mneme (Memory), and Aoede (Song) or Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Euterpe (flutes and lyric poetry), Thaleia/Thalia (comedy and pastoral poetry), Melpomene (tragedy), Terpsikhore (dance), Erato (love poetry), Polyhymnia/Polymnia (sacred poetry) and Urania (astronomy).

Mystai – ‘initiates’, worthy of witnessing the Greater Mysteries.

mythos / mythology: The sacred texts of any religion / the study of those collected texts

Noumenia – name of a festival held on the first day after the new moon. The main purpose of the monthly festival is to kick off the new month and appease all Deities connected to this.

Nomos Arkhaios – observance of ancient tradition, (religious) law, and customs.

Nymphai – nature spirits. The term Nymph means ‘bride’.

Oikos (οἶκος) – refers to ‘home’, ‘house’, ‘family’ or ‘bloodline’.

Oracle – person or practice to divine answers from the Gods on current troubles.

Orphism (Ὀρφικά) – the name given to a set of religious beliefs and practices originating in the ancient Hellenic world, associated with literature ascribed to the mythical poet Orpheus, who descended into Hades and returned.

Panspermia – a mixture of beans and grains, offered to Apollo during the Pyanepsia (Πυανέψια).

Peplos (ὁ πέπλος) – clothing. A body-length garment established as typical attire for women in ancient Hellas. It was a tubular cloth folded inside-out from the top about halfway down to form an apoptygma. The garment was then gathered about the waist and the open top–at the fold–pinned over the shoulders. The top of the tube was then draped over the waist, providing the appearance of a second piece of clothing.

Philia and Neikos (φιλία & νεῖκος) — Empedoclean concepts of Love and Strife, or more properly, Attraction and Repulsion, the two forces that uptimately drive the universe.

Prothesis (Προθησις) – ‘display of the body’ during funerary rites.

Ptóchos (πτωχός) – a beggar. Purifier.

Protogenoi, The (Πρωτογενοι) – first Born Deities of the Greek Kosmos; Aether (Αἰθήρ, ‘Light’), Ananke (Ἀνάγκη, ‘Fate’ or ‘Compulsion’), Khronos (Χρόνος, ‘Time’), Erebos (Ἔρεβος, ‘Darkness’), Eros (Ἔρως, ‘Desire’ or ‘Love’), Gaea (Γαῖα, ‘Earth’), Hemera (Ἡμέρα, ‘Day’), Hydros (Ὑδρος, ‘Primordial Waters’), Khaos (χάος, ‘Chaos’ or ‘Air’), Nêsoi (Νησοι, ‘Islands’), Nyx (Νύξ, ‘Night’), Ôkeanos (Ωκεανος, ‘Water’), Ourea (Oὔρεα, ‘Mountains’), Phanes (Φάνης ‘Procreation’), Pontos (Πόντος, ‘Sea’), Phusis (φύσις, ‘Nature’), Tartaros (Τάρταρος), Thalassa (Θάλασσα, ‘Sea’), Thesis (Θεσις, ‘Creation’), Uranos (Οὐρανός, ‘Sky’).

Prytaneion (Πρυτανεῖον) – ancient Hellenic building where officials met and the communal fire of Hestia was kept.

Sponde (Σπονδή) – a libation given, partly, to the Deity or Deities offered to, and partly drunken by those given the libation. Opposite of a khoe.

Spondophoroi (Σπονδοφοροί) – vessel that holds the sponde.

Symposion (συμπόσιον) – a gathering where wine was drunk, music played, political, philosophical and scientific discussions were held.

Theoi – Hellenic term for the Gods.

Theos – Hellenic term for a single God or Goddess.

Thespiode – oracle singers.

Thyesthai (θύεσθαι) – partially given–or burnt– sacrifice to the Gods. Opposite of a Holocaustos.

UPG – ‘Unverified Personal Gnosis’. Used to label personal insight into the Gods not derived from primary sources, scholarly work, etc…. When multiple people share these insights, it becomes “Shared Gnosis”.

Xenia (ξενία) – ritual hospitality, one of the pillars of Hellenismos.

Xenion (ξεινήιον) – a parting gift for guests.