Pompaia

Pompaia, speculated to possibly have occured on the 16th of Maimakterion will be falling on my birthday this year (November 13th) so that will be an interesting day to say the least having a day of personal festivity and birthday cake being the same day of a festival in honor of Zeus and Hermes which is suspected of acting as a festival to turn away adverise forces of nature. I guess what you considered to be an adverise or beneficial force of nature would depend largely on where you live. I know growing up in south-central Alaska, though snow in November wasn’t exactly celebrated, it was a bit worrisome to not have snow by November. This is because our local watershed was sustained almost entirely by winter meltoff. A mild winter always meant drought, but with the subzero temperatures not having the protection of snow also meant greater permafrost damage and therefore a delay for any kind of spring planting. There were a few occassions in my memory where the ground was so hard because of this that we literally could not break up the frozen earth until into June. Therefore in such a climate a prayer for a great blanket of snow would be considered good, whereas freezing rain and cold dry days are considered in the long term adverse.

Now to turn the lens in the other direction, living in the south has its own different environment altogether. Alot of people do fall planting, there are tender plants growing in the winter, and we do not lack of rain during the year so don’t have to worry about being drought-ridden because of a lack of snow, nor do the temperatures get so severe here because of the alignment of the earth to the sun. That said, because of how hot the summer was there is alot of speculation that the winter is going to be particularly brutal. This means abnormally cold weather and snow fall for which this region is not accustomed. Therefore during the Pompaia I would be more likely in this region to ask that the winter not be brutal with heavy snows and cold winds for which the local population is not acclimated, but rather the cold rains and nippy days that it is typical of a winter here from what I understand.

We don’t realize just how much devistation abnormal winter weather can cause until we have seen it. I remember in the spring of 2010 when there were the blizzards in the south. And seeing on the news how the winter crops of Florida (fruits, citruses etc) were widely endangered by the atypical weather. So I can but pray that the winter weather remains in its appropriate regional balances with excesses or declinations that could adversley harm the local ecologies and peoples.

I will have to give some thought on how how I will celebrate it. I don’t have a sheep skin or cadaceus to parade around my home. Nor would I be likely to sacrifice a bull in honor of Zeus and Hermes lol. But with this in mind I will see if I can get a bull horn (I have an instrument made of cow horns that I can play if I feel inspired to do so) and set it on the altar, perhaps filled with vegetables something like a thanksgiving cornucopia. If I can’t find a literal horn I may have to make do with a symbolical one made of wicker or ceramic as the sell during the thanksigivng holiday. More on this later as I think it out.

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2 thoughts on “Pompaia

  1. The mildness of the climate where I live now, especially as winter comes in (which for here means rain and often times flooding, but the flooding is typically mild, too) always makes me think of living for so long in New England. When it snows here, the whole town shuts down, whereas back there, you could have feet and feet of snow and unless it’s a blizzard, unless there is violence with the storm, life carries on. I remember back in the 90s (okay, that sentence just hurts) the few years of really bad winters we had, and I remember FL getting slammed too, and how it jacked the prices up on the produce. Which only makes sense.

    It’ll make for an interesting birthday, that’s for sure. 🙂

    • It has occurred to me that it would be a good festival to keep in mind climate and ecology (and globarl warming). We pray that the winter will be normal. In a traditionally rainy climate like what you have in Oregon I would probably be hoping that excessive snows stay away or that the rains aren’t so copious that it can lead to more extensive flooding. We do not have alot of flood dangers in these parts that I am aware of, but I have been amazed (coming from the far north) just how everything comes to a screeching hault when snow sets in. But a bit of snow is also seen as a treasure when it comes. It is the ice rains and hazardous roads that make you wish for snow. So I pray that the winter be mild and keep our roads safe, and just enough rain fall to feed the winter greens. Normal winter weather for these parts. If I did have a sheep’s skin I would probably paint on it an image of Zeus with the rains in hand or something to the effect.

      Yes it is rare for me to have any festival on my birthday (or near it for that matter usually) so I am rather excited about the prospect having a ritual to do so close to my special day 😉

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