In short

Elaphebolia is celebrated in honor of Artemis Elaphebolos. It provided the name of the month elaphebolion (March-April) in the Athenian calendar.


Elaphebolia in honor of Artemis

There, deer and cakes in the shape of deer were offered to Artérnis as sacrifices. Plutarch speaks of a festival which brought together the inhabitants of all Phocis at Hyampolis, in commemoration of a great victory won there over the Thessalians.

Modern rites have honored the goddess Artemis.


The group gathers and transforms into the ritual area, carrying offerings of elaphoi for the goddess. The offerings are set aside during the first part of the ritual. The altar can be decorated with an image of Artemis and a deer. If it is possible to organize the ritual outside, it must be in an isolated natural setting. The offerings must then be placed on the ground and the ritual fire removed, for safety reasons.


Priestess of Artemis: Hekas, o hekas, este bebeloi! Let all the profane go away!
A bowl of holy water is passed around and all participants wash and dry their hands. The priestess then sprinkles the altar and the ritual area with holy water.


The priestess or another participant reads the Homeric hymn to Artemis (#27) and/or her Orphic hymn. Participants threw handfuls of barley onto the fire, followed by incense. Participants place the elaphoi on the altar.


The priestess makes a libation from the bowl and takes a sip of wine, then passes the cup to the others. She then pronounces the following prayer, her hands outstretched towards the altar:

Priestess of Artemis: Megale Artemis, hunter fast and far away, you are the creatures of nature and all their young. You help those who have trodden your mountains with respect and honor you with dances. Keladeine, Hegemone, Agrotera, you are the mistress of the animals, Potnia Theron. Help us preserve your virgin forests, your solitary peaks and your wild rivers. Shoot your arrows at those who cut down your sacred groves in greed, leaving your wild children without a home. As we honor you today, may our children still find joy in your mountain haunts and bring you offerings as of old.

The contents of the bowl can be poured onto the earth either at this point (if outdoors) or later (if indoors).

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On this day, the greek celebrated Elaphebolia in honor of the goddess of the hunt Artemis. Rituals pay homage to nature and what it offers humans for living. #mythology #myth #legend #calendar #6elaphebolion #GreeceAncient #Artemis