The Noumenia is the first day of the visible New Moon and is held in honor of the household Gods. The Noumenia is also considered the second day in a three day household celebration held each lunar month - Hekate's Deipnon is on the last day before the first slice of visible moon and is the last day in a lunar month, then the Noumenia which marks the first day in a lunar month, followed by the Agathos Daimon (Good Spirit) on the second day of the Lunar month.
The Noumenia is a celebration of the start of a new Hellenic month (see the Hellenion calendar for the timing) and seeks blessings for the household. Offerings such as incense or honey cakes are made to your household Gods at your family altar. (A recipe for Honey cake is found on the Hellenion members site.)
Traditionally, the household Gods consist of Hestia, Zeus Ktesios, Hermes, Hekate, Apollon Agyieus, your household's Agathos Diamons and can include any ancestors you honor. However, many Hellenic Polytheists do honor more Gods at their family altar.
Celebrate the Noumenia with the following rituals:
- Decorate their home with fresh flowers, evergreen branches, or other seasonal decorations.
- Serve a big family meal and eat it at the dining room table.
- Create a list of family goals or projects to get done or start within the next lunar month.
- Bake a special dessert that you only make on this day - such as Honey Cake.
- Replace the ingredients in the Kadiskos (see below) with fresh water, oil, and fruit, and bits of food.
What might modern worshipers do to commemorate this important day? Like the ancient Athenians, you can burn frankincense and read the Orphic and Homeric hymns toSelēnē. The thin crescent moon, the mēniskos, is often depicted in religious art and suggests the horns of consecration. In the Orphic Hymn to Selene, She is said to be “bull horned” (taurokeros).
Orphic Hymn 9 to Selene says that she “Delights in stillness and in the kindly, auspicious night.” Also, many of the Orphic hymns, and this one especially, reminds us that the arrival and passage of each new month is a reflection of the cycle of lives, with birth following the period of dark death. So as She is “a sure token and a sign to mortal men” (Homeric Hymn to Selene), so we can trust in the cycle of rebirth and renewal.
I have seen the moon
thin curved glow
hovering on delicate breeze
divine above the pink horizon
gentle horns pointing
We are all re-born now
owning no past
Yesterday is cleansed
Greetings to you,
Guide us around
the next cycle of life
until we meet again
May we use it wisely