Daimona of Truce. Her name means the Holding of Hands. She
is closely related to Eirene, Peace, and was celebrated at the Olympic Games.
Pausanias tells us that there was a statue of Ekekheiria
crowning Iphitos in the Sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia. We know very little about
how She as a Daimona was understood, and considerably more about the effect of
Her time upon the Hellenes as a whole.
Ekekheiria was a state of sacred truce, though it could also
be put to use for political purposes. She was called upon to establish many
panhellenic festivals, including the various Games (Olympian, Pythian,
Isthmian, and Nemean). It appears that Ekekheiria was not associated with
Eleusis, however, as those festivals are generally associated with the term
spondai instead. The sacred truce was
generally announced by heralds, and served to allow for free travel to and from
the festivals at hand. That said, in the case of the Games, not all of Greece
always participated. Those who did participate often contributed something
towards the cost of the Festival.
Violating Ekekheiria’s time was an act of impiety that could
carry severe punishments. Little is known about the rites surrounding invoking Her
rule over a period of time, but I wonder how we might bring Her back into our world today.
Dillon, Matthew. Pilgrims and Pilgrimage
in Ancient Greece, Routledge, 2013.
Seyffert, Oskar. A Dictionary of
Classical Antiquities: Mythology, Religion, Literature, and Art, W.
Temple of Zeus at Olympia, by Ryunpos, from wiki commons: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/29/Zeus_temple_in_Ancient_Olympia.JPG