Feast of Demeter Malophoros

The Feast of Demeter Malophoros is upon us.

Some hold celebrations today, July 13th. Others, like myself, hold observances on the 15th, 16th, and 17th. Yet other sources claim that the festival to Demeter Malophoros was held from mid month to the end of the month either in Skirophorion (June/July) or Hekatombaion (July/August).

Malophoros means ‘apple-bearer’, i.e., fruitful. As such, the observances of this time are to celebrate the “first fruits”. Demeter being particularly associated with grains, it bears a similiarity to the themes of Lammas.

In my tradition, this is one of the auspicious time for Initiations. Sunset marks the start of a (one to three day) festival for Demeter. Over this time, we give thanks for the fruits of our labors and we break bread with those who mean the world to us. A goal to focus on is to take steps to nurture and to rebuild Peace amongst relations.

Paraphrased excerpts from http://www.robertvandermeer.nl/Selinunte/sanctuary_demeter.html:
In Sicily, Selinus (Selinute) was colonized by Megara Hyblaea as early as 651 B.C.E. The settlement has a Sanctuary dedicated to the Chthonic Gods Demter Malophoros, Zeur Meilichios, and Hecate Triformis. Demeter Malophoros (Apple-Bearer or fruitful) and Zeus Meilichios (subterranean god of expiation and benevolence) are connectable with the Carthaginian cult of fecundity. It also included a sacred enclosure dedicated to Hecate Triformis

From https://www.academia.edu/9716364/the_Cult_of_Demeter_Malophoros_in_Selinus:
Demeter Malophoros is known from Megara, mother city of Selinous. As the pomegranate bearer, Demeter could be identified with Hera or Persephone or Phoenician Astarte or Punic Tanit.

From the Society of Diana –
This Monday, July 13, marks the feast of Demeter Malophoros. It celebrates the first fruits, especially on the vine and in the orchards. In Southern Italy, its celebration is grafted on to the solemnities surrounding our Lady of Mount Carmel on the 16th, often as a symbolic offering of fruit and grain to “the Lady”.

Historically, it would have lasted from the Ides until the end of the month. In many Southern Italian branches of the Craft, it is roughly equivalent to our Northern kin’s celebration of Lammas or Lughnasadh. Indeed, many American practitioners have shifted the observance to be in accord with our distant cousins from Celtic shores.
That said, without breaching sacred trust, for MOST Italian traditions of the Craft… it is a rustic celebration of family and harvest, with thanks offered and petitions made. More mystical precedence tends to be given to Diana’s Nemoralia on the Ides of August.

From http://www.theoi.com/Cult/DemeterCult.html (Sacrifice of First Fruits):
The first fruits of the season were offered to the gods of farm and field: Demeter received the first corn, Dionysos the first grapes, and Athene the first olives.

From Nemesis:
Sometimes associated with the Festa di Madonna del Carmen (Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel) on July 16th. Identified in Italy with the Goddess Demeter and known (in Trapani) as Lady of Bread and Lady of the Wheat Sheaf.
A Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel
O most beautiful Flower of Mount Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of Heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in this my necessity. O Star of the Sea, help me and show me herein that you are my Mother.
O Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and earth, I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart, to succor me in this my necessity. There are none that can withstand your power. O show me herein that you are my Mother.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us that have recourse to thee. (3 times)
Sweet Mother, I place this cause in your hands. (3 times)


Whatever your association and by whatever name you recognize Her by, may you receive Her blessings of fruitfulness and abundance.

Praise Demeter! Demeter deserves praise!



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