This week 2,506 years ago, 11,000 ancient Athenians secured the blessings of liberty and laid the foundation of a free people for all of Western Civilization when they crushed the 30,000 manned Persian invasion at Marathon. The brave men who stood against an enemy that outnumbered them in power and people, made sure that our entire side of the world would remain free of tyranny and oppression. Had the Persian Empire won the battle, our way of life would be very different today. If you look at their governments in the Middle East today, they are largely not very friendly to human rights and liberty. The Persian Empire's invasion of our part of the world was stopped that day by those brave Athenians who defiantly fought to the end, many of them paying the largest of sacrifice, their own lives. And their remains still lie buried on that battlefield today at the Mound of Marathon. We remain free because of their sacrifice so long ago.
Today, I decided to do my own ritual in honor of those men and, above all, to give thanks to the Gods for the victory. My rite was centered around Athene, Ares, Nike and Theseus (Goddess of Athens, God of War, Spirit of Victory, and the greatest Hero of Athens). I thought it would be an excellent combination of God, Spirit and Hero; which are the three realms of ancient Greek theology. I began with the Orphic hymns to Athene and Ares, then my own prayer to all 4 Divinities, centered around the Battle of Marathon, and thanks for the soldiers who secured our freedom. General offerings of incense and libation were given. I ended with a prayer sent to all of those men who fought and those who died at the battle, asking that their souls, wherever they are now, exist in happiness and peace now and for all time.
In ancient times, the heroes of Marathon were honored as well, but to my knowledge, there was no rite or festival with this structure. I think this is a great example of creating a modern ritual in accordance with ancient Hellenism. I think it's very important that we remember this pivotal moment in our world's history, and the men who sent its course the right way.
In the Goodness of The Dodekatheon,