Yes, it’s time to party!
Written and compiled by
Tom Knox, member of the Stockholm congregation
Like any religion a lot of it is simply an excuse to party together. Syntheism is not unique in this regard and we do like a good romp. These are held at predetermined dates, so we all get ample time to arrange for some time off work.
What sets our holy festivals apart from the regular weekly homilies (aka Syntheistic services) is that they are annual and have their own unique focus. They are intended to place an increased focus on certain specific and relevant facets of our lives that correspond to the current season. They also have (or rather will have) their own special rituals.
In the absence of any commands from God/gods or any significant holy text, we In the Stockholm Syntheist group have decided to use nature and its change of seasons as significants and holy dates. The ritual, dates and practice described below is only a suggestion. There is no wrong way to do Syntheism. If you don’t like our gods, the way we use them or the names we have for them…. feel free to invent your own.
We have given our holy festivals the following names*, characteristics, festivals and contemplations.
Athea, winter solstice
We focus on darkness, moderation, introspection, solitude, stillness and emptiness.
Atheos, the period between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.
Ideas for an Athea ritual can be found here.
Enthea, spring equinox
We focus on creativity, new life, new ideas, new skills, healing, forgiveness and new beginnings.
Entheos, the period between the spring equinox and summer solstice.
Our Stockholm Enthea ritual
Panthea, summer solstice/midsummer’s eve
We focus on light, strength, vitality, joy, passion, pleasure, ecstasy, confidence, optimism and enjoying life to its fullest extent.
Pantheos, the period between the summer solstice and the autumn equinox.
The Midsummer ritual
Synthea, autumn equinox
We focus on endings, death, transformation, change and ridding oneself of the old and redundant
Syntheos, the period between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice.
The Synthea/Autumn Equinox ritual
Below are suggestions of things we haven’t incorporated into our calendar of holy festivals yet, but which have been mentioned:
- The idea of specific holy dates based on significant scientific discoveries has been mentioned repeatedly, like the discovery of the Higgs boson by the LHC, for example. But has, to my knowledge, not put into practice anywhere, nor has had the accompanying rituals formulated.
- Let us know what other festivals your group has performed, so we can add them here.
* They’re all play on Greek and/or Latin words. Atheos: Godlessness. Pantheos: God is everywhere. Entheos: To have God within, to have enthusiasm. Syntheos: Synthesis, bringing together.