A.E. Stallings

29 March 2023

Eleusinian Mysteries

The old road from Athens to Elefsina – the modern name for Eleusis – is still called the Sacred Way, though there is also a modern highway that does the trick. In ancient times, the initiated, or those wanting to become initiated, would travel the ten-odd miles from Athens to experience the ‘Eleusinian Mysteries’.

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13 January 2023

Halcyon Days in the Saronic Gulf

There’s a term in Greek for a spell of fine weather in the middle of winter, the halcyon days (alkyonides meres), after the kingfisher, which, according to legend, must nest and raise its brood floating on calm waters. These days tend to occur for a week or two from mid-January, but can start any time from the solstice through to 15 February. Perhaps for that reason, the exceptionally mild weather over the twelve days of Christmas did not call forth the same climate anxiety as, for instance, the heat waves of the summer, and the ever worsening and elongating fire season. It’s just the halcyon days, we tell ourselves, and marvel at the blue skies and soft spring-like air.

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