A Month of Devotional Thought — Haides, Day 12

There are not many records of locations in ancient times where Haides was worshipped in a temple setting. However, as Haides was honored during all funerary rites, it can be inferred that cemeteries and civic memorials such as the one at Thermopylae (in the modern era) would qualify.

There were exceptions in the ancient time to my statement. There was an actual oracle of Haides in the city of Thesprotia in Northern Greece. This was supposed to be the site where Ulysses consulted the spirit of Tiresias in his quest to get home.

In the region of Caria in Asia Minor, there was a temple precinct dedicated to both Haides and Kore. This also included a temple cave dedicated to Kharon for the healing of the sick. This cave was the site of an annual sacrifice of a bull who was said to collapse dead upon entering about 100 meters into the mouth of the cave. Also in Caria, in the town of Heriopolis, it was said that birds would drop dead from the fumes coming from a cave sacred to Haides.

In Southern Italy, in the area of Campania — which was a Greek Colony at the time — the town of Kyme (modern day Cumae) had a temple precinct similar to the one in Caria dedicated to Haides and Persephone. In it was an Oracle of the Dead, which was also a site that claimed the distinction of being where Ulysses consulted the Gods of the Underworld in his quest to return to Ithaka.

As I said at the beginning though, until we as Hellenes can create temples once more, our best locations for honoring Haides would be at memorials to the Honored Dead, and the graves of our ancestors.

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