This page contains information on Neopagan festivals with more or less of a Graeco-Roman orientation. Information is available elsewhere on The Seasonal Festivals of the Greeks and Romans.

Lesser Eleusinian Mysteries

Avalon Isle and the Order of the Royal Oak are pleased to present the second annual Lesser Eleusinian Mysteries tentatively scheduled for April 13-15, 2001.

The festival will be held at the Order of the Royal Oak's Tennessee covenstead, Avalon Isle. Watch their website or send email to: avalon@mindspring.com. We can also be reached at P.O. Box 6006, Athens, GA 30604.

The Lesser Mysteries will begin with the Priestesses' symbolic sacrificial parade to the sea. When the Lesser Mysteries were originally performed in the Grecian city of Eleusis, this was an initiatory experience. While the Lesser Mysteries were held every spring, the Greater Mysteries came every fifth autumn. Only initiates of the Lesser Mysteries were allowed to participate in the Greater Mysteries.

Masks will be required for the mysteries. Your mask can be as elaborate or simple as you want it to be. It should reflect an aspect of your inner self that you wish to express during your journey into the underworld.

In order to make this a very spiritual event, with less mundane work for both the participants and the hosts, all meals other than Saturday night will be on your own. Saturday night's feast will be potluck. Avalon Isle will provide the main course. Please bring your favorite dish to share for our meal.

Camping sites are limited. Springtime in the mountains can be quite chilly at night, so bring warm clothing. If you have any allergies, make sure you bring the proper medication. The site will open Thursday afternoon at 4:00 PM, and close Sunday afternoon at 2:00 PM.

Prepare for an initiatory and illuminating experience as ancient as the mountains; reborn with each dawning sun.

After the evening meal on Friday, there will be a traditional Bardic circle with storytelling and singing. The symbolic sacrificial processional to the sea begins early Saturday morning. The majority of Saturday will consist of guided meditations and an in-depth study into the meanings hidden beneath certain ancient myths and legends. The main ritual will take place around sunset Saturday and continue through much of the evening. Afterwards, we will share a feast of thanksgiving, mirth and merriment.

Please do not bring pets or illegal substances to this event. Also, please remember that this is a serious religious and meditative experience, and is therefore not appropriate for small children or infants.

I attended the Lesser Mysteries in 1996, and they were very well done! A very powerful experience! -- JO

Greater Eleusinian Mysteries

The Greater Eleusinian Mysteries are planned for August 10-12, 2001 in east Tennessee. In accord with ancient tradition, initiation into the
Lesser Mysteries is a necessary prerequisite to initiation into the most sacred rites of the Greater Mysteries. Contact Avalon Isle, P.O. Box 6006, Athens GA 30606; avalon@mindspring.com.

Highlands of Tennessee Samhain Gathering

The Highlands of Tennessee Samhain Gathering will be held again this year at Avalon Isle in the Smoky Mountains of Eastern Tennessee, USA. The festival will be in October 2001. For more information (including registration forms), please
visit Avalon Isle's website or contact Avalon Isle at avalon@mindspring.com, or send mail to their postal mail address: P.O. Box 6006, Athens GA 30604.

I have been at the last few HTSGs, and they have been great festivals. -- JO

Recent Festivals

If you missed one of these festivals, you might contact the organizers to see if and when it will be held again.

Dionysia 1995

Sept. 29 - Oct. 1 in Seattle, Washington. Contact: Dionysia 1995, PO Box 30511, Seattle, WA 98103-0511; (206)322-8572.


The Panathenaia has been postponed again. The festival will be held at the
Nashville Parthenon (see also another Parthenon page). The Panathenaia is destined to be a powerful and transformative event.

I have attended all preceding Panathenaias, and highly recommend this festival! We just have to get it rolling again! - JO

Special Note: Ancient Pagans often showed their love for the Gods and gratitude to Them by material dedications (valuable gifts for the treasury, funds for temple repair or construction, financing festivals, etc.). Now is the time for Neopagans to show similar commitment, according to their ability. The Panathenaia is a very expensive festival to put on (for example, it costs approximately $2000 to rent the Parthenon), and requires a lot of preparatory work, both in Nashville and around the country (publicity etc.). Both money and labor are needed to make it happen.

Return to The Stele

Send mail to Omphalos / info@omphalos.org
Last updated: Sun Nov 26 21:56:39 EST 2000