As winter darkness falls upon us and the promise of Spring and longer days brings us hope, may I wish you many blessings at the close of 2016 and wish you a joyful holiday season.

Poseidon in the ancient world was most often associated with the winter solstice. “In Athens and other parts of ancient Greece, there is a month that corresponds to roughly December/January that is named Poseideon for the sea-god Poseidon. At Athens there was a festival named Posidea after the god.” “(Ποσῐδεῖα)– 8 Poseideon — A winter agricultural festival in Athens. The priest of Poseidon and the priestess of Athena marched to Sciron, west of Athens, the site of a sacred ploughing.” In myth, we find another explanation for the timing of the Posidea: the contest between Athena and Poseidon to determine who would be the patron god of Athens, took place at the dark and chaotic year’s end.

The ancient Greeks brought the gods and goddesses into their daily lives. Is it possible that they worshipped Poseidon, Olympian god not only of the sea, but raging rivers and earthquakes at wintertime in order to honor the god and ask for his help in a time of fearful darkness? The winter solstice was a time that their bountiful θαλασσα—the mighty sea that provided food and beauty and the highway that connected colonies, islands and powerful civilizations—was raging with storms that brought fear to sailors.

With the death of vegetation in winter and dearth of fishing in cold solstice storms came a desire to hope. A yearning to find resurrection of light and warmth and new crops and a multitude of fish in the sea.

So, in these winter days of the Posidea, I wish you a joyful winter solstice, a Merry Christmas… a gathering of friends and family to celebrate whatever holiday brings you together in hope and love.