return to Home Page
or move on to Goddess Thalli-Yjolta, next chronologically,
or use Her Cyclopedia Index

Thesmophoros, Law-Giving.
Alternate meanings: The-Bringer-of-Law-and-Order, Bearer-of-the-Sacred-Objects-Deposited-on-tne-Altar,
The-Bringer-of-Treasure, The-Bringer-of-Riches, The-Bringer-of-Wedlock-Laws.
[to Whom the thirteenth day of July, day 194, is dedicated]

Geography/Culture: Greek: Hellenic.
Linguistic note: Greek theta-epsilon-sigma-mu-omicron-phi-omicron-sigma, (Thesmophoros), an ancient name of Demeter, from theta-epsilon-sigma-mu-omicron-sigma, (thesmos) like theta-epsilon-mu-iogta-sigma, (Themis), 'that which is laid down and established, a law, ordinance,' and phi-epsilon-rho-omega, (phero), 'to bear' (Latin fero), 'to bring, to produce, to lead'.
Description: Goddess of civilization, human communities, the conventions by which we are enabled to live together and the lower-world; She Who introduced all the blessings which agriculture brings in its train - fixed dwelling-places, civil order, marriage and peaceful lives; Giver of the soil's riches; {Introducer of organic fertiliser and composting}.
Her temple was called the Thesmophorian.
To whom are sacred: corn, as seed and as food (probably meaning wheat, definitely not sweet-corn which is indigenous to America and didn't exist in the old world till after Columbus); phallus-shaped loaves {perhaps the origin of the long French and Italian loaves still to be seen today}; snake.
Festival: September 24 -- 26. Thesmophoria, 'Due Offerings', the Women's Festival. Women abstain from sexual intercourse for nine days before the festival, they avoid pomegranate seed in their diet and deck no one with garlands; beds are strewn with agus castus, the chaste tree. In Syracuse cakes in the shape of female sexual organs are passed about.
During the Thesmophoria pine-cones, pigs and other offerings are cast into caverns filled with snakes. After decay the remains are recovered from the caves and planted with the corn. Symbolically the offering of food within the earth is intended to increase the fertility of the earth and of the womb.
Male associate: Her first priest, Triptolemus was said to have introduced the observance of the festival. Sources: Encyc Brit 11v7 980-2; Funk & Wagnall SDMEF 12108; Graves GMv1 205; IGEL 364.
printed July 1990 -- worked on: July 1991; June 1995.
Return to the top of this document.