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The Feast of Bendidia

Updated: May 29

As the wheel of the year turns from spring to summer, we celebrate the cycles of nature and the spirits of those now departed. Held in May, the ancient Athenian Feast of Bendidia (or Bendideia) honors the Thracian goddess Bendis who is associated with Artemis, the moon, and the Underworld. The Feast of Benididia is a wonderful time to connect more deeply with spirits, ancestors, and guides who are no longer with us.


Historically, the cult of Bendidia originated in Thrace and later spread to Athens. Likened to Artemis, the goddess Bendis is associated with hunting, the mysteries of the moon, and the afterlife. She was worshipped in nighttime processions held on horseback, illuminated only by moonlight and the glow of handheld torches.

Traditionally, the Feast of Bendidia included a six-mile relay-style procession on horseback followed by a feast and celebrations that lasted throughout the night.


The Feast of Bendidia provides a special time to honor the moon Goddess herself as well as spirits and ancestors connected to us. Some witchy ways to celebrate this festival include ancestor altars, symbolic feasts and kitchen witchery, candle magic, and moonlit rituals.

Create an Ancestor Altar

Ancestor altars are sacred spaces that serve as a bridge between the physical and spiritual worlds, allowing us to connect with our ancestors and seek their wisdom and blessings. Below are some items you might want to add to your ancestor altar.

  1. Photographs and Memorabilia: Display images and personal items of your ancestors to honor their memory and presence.

  1. Candles and Incense: Light candles and burn incense to invite the spirits and create a sacred atmosphere.

  1. Offerings: Place offerings such as food, drink, herbs, or flowers to show respect and gratitude to your ancestors.

  1. Crystals and Stones: Use crystals like amethyst, black tourmaline, and moonstone to enhance the spiritual energy of the altar.

  1. Symbols of Bendidia: Include symbols associated with Bendidia, such as the crescent moon or representations of the underworld.

Rituals and Ceremonies

  • Moonlight Rituals: Conduct rituals under the moonlight to honor Bendidia and seek her guidance. These might include chanting, singing, or meditative practices.

  • Spirit Communication: Use divination tools like tarot cards, pendulums, or scrying mirrors to communicate with spirits and ancestors.

  • Ancestral Meditations: Engage in meditations focused on connecting with your lineage, visualizing your ancestors, and listening for their messages.

Feasts and Offerings

  • Feasting Together: Prepare a special meal to share with your family and friends, setting aside a portion for the spirits and ancestors. The Feast of Bendidia occurred close in time to the Attic grain harvest, and in ancient times wheat was given as an offering

  • Offerings of Gratitude: Leave offerings at your ancestor altar as acts of gratitude, such as pouring out a cup of tea or burning incense. You might also want to include an offering of wheat, since the Feast of Bendidia occurred close in time to the Attic grain harvest and so wheat offerings were a popular gift to the goddess Bendis.

  • Seasonal Foods: Use seasonal ingredients and traditional recipes that would have been familiar to your ancestors.

  • Libations: Pour libations of wine, mead, or water as an offering to the spirits and deities.

Enjoy the Feast!

The Feast of Bendidia is a special time to connect with the ancestral and divine. By creating ancestor altars, engaging in moonlit rituals, candle magic, and honoring the spirits, we deepen our practice and strengthen our bonds with those who came before us. As we celebrate Bendis, the Goddess of the Moon and the Underworld, let us remember the wisdom and guidance our ancestors offer, and honor them with the reverence they deserve.

Blessed be,



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