Thargelia Day I: Pharmakos
Altar: Upon a black cloth set incense, a lantern with a flame, and two necklaces of figs strung together, one of dark figs and one of light ones.
Offerings: Purify some evil thing from your life.
Daily Meal: Fasting
Long ago on this day
The people chose two from the crowd,
One man and one woman
Who had incurred their wrath,
Or were sinners, or merely ugly,
And they paid them gold in the name of Apollo
Bright God of the Sun
Whose day this is,
Apollo whose other face
Is the ravening wolf Lycaon.
They fed them, marched them around
The boundaries of the city,
And then drove them out
Pelted with figs and squills,
With all the sins of the city on their backs.
Yet sins are not so easily driven out.
To lay them on a human back
Is too easy, and we do not walk the easy path.
So on this day we cast out the sins
Of the house, the family, the community,
Yet we each take responsibility for those sins,
And we admit that we are each the Pharmakoi,
And that none of us can lay that on another.
We cast you from our home
(All lay hands upon the fig wreaths and speak what sins they would cast out and be rid of. They are then carried outside to be thrown on a fire and burned, and the ashes turned into the compost heap or scattered about the garden.)
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