The political process and the Gods

Democracy is something that we think of as being invented by our Greek forebears although many tribal societies are extremely democratic in how they function on a day-to-day basis. It is perhaps more likely that we think of democracy this way because the WORD came from the Greek.
Democracy is celebrated in the Hellenic tradition every year in about September with the Demokratia festival. (12 Boedromion) This festival, at which the Athenians celebrated democracy, included sacrifices to Zeus Agoraios, Athena Agoraia and to the Goddess Themis.  Images of Zeus and Athena were paraded in the agora, the lower city below the Acropolis (high city). Themis, one of the Titans, is “goddess of divine law–the primal, unwritten laws governing human conduct which were first established by the gods of heaven. She was believed to have issued these edicts to mankind through the great oracle of Delphi over which she presided alongside the god Apollon” (theoi.com).  Clearly, the establishment of democracy in Athens was seen as a divine gift of Themis, especially, as well as Zeus (her father) and Athena.

But we too have our festival of democracy which is celebrated every year on election day. This is not always recognized in our secular era AS a religious holiday. We tend to forget about the sacred nature of our right to vote so that we may participate in the democratic process. This is something that perhaps we should examine more closely in the days and weeks ahead while we begin the process of pulling together after the election.

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