Thesmophoria, translating the words “thesmos” θεσμός (ties) and ”phoreis” φορείς (the plural noun of “delivery” or some type of messengers) are helpful to begin to understand what this adult only women tradition of THESMOPHORIA in Ancient Greece was about. Dr. Alkistis Agio, a coach/trainer has written an amazing blog post on this widespread celebration in Ancient Greece (Happy ’Thesmophoria’ ladies!).
Autumn rituals to the agriculture goddess Artemis (Demeter) and her daughter Persephone are still with us through today. Of special interest is the close celebration to Dionysus (Bacchus the Roman name) of Dionysia which is also considered the first carnival. In context with the wine making, wheat storing, in essence ”loading up” food for winter months all these festivals made sense, and created social rituals as human basic need to bond and share. Now we have in some countries September-October the more marketable ”Oktoberfest” … but definitely the traditions of wine and beer making continue (even during Covid!)
I had the privilege years ago to purchase a ceramic chalice with the Celtic writing of “life”…. though too big to drink so much wine from (!) it reminds me of the importance of community sharing and common rituals through Cultural and religious traditions today (eg. communion in the Christian tradition)
As Persephone was lured to the underworld with a pomegranate — read post ”Pomegranates and Autumn Comforts” I was grateful starting the first week of October and ending Thanksgiving to run a 10-session seminar on stress management and wellness psycho-education group for a group ages 23+ through 60+ the benefit of cross-generations, a lot of sharing! I found the entry point of the Persephone myth in the ancient ruins in Elefsis (“Elefsina” Ελευσίνα in Greek)…. perhaps I thought that getting a bit closer to the Eleusian Mysteries will take my spiritual development at a higher point to tie in the power of the female along with our more traditional patriarchal society… and how everything merged into a community bond that was difficult to break, but in many ways maintained that particular community’s identity, health and well-being. Anyone read Marion Zimmer Bradley’s historical fantasy “The Mists of Avalon”? Camelot existed, or did it not? The Celts were travellers, perhaps some traditions merged in a way that we will never quite understand.