“Hellenic Priestess” by Kira Hagen

“Charila’s themes are cleansing, fertility, luck, protection, providence and kindness. Her symbols are leeks, onions, grain and Honey Cakes.  Charila comes to our aid when there is a famine, a drought or some kind of abuse, be it in the earth or in our spirits. Greek mythology tells us that Charila was a young girl who approached a king seeking food. The king was angered and slapped her. Charila hanged herself in disgrace, but not without some notice by the Delphic oracle. The prophetess told the king to change his unsympathetic ways and make offerings to Charila to appease her spirit. Some traditional offerings for her include honey cakes and grains.

During Pharmakos in Greece, a criminal representing the community was ritually driven out of the city with leeks and onions rather than being executed. This act of mercy propitiated Charila, cleansed the city of it’s ‘sins’ and ensured continuing good fortune for the region. This also brought fertility, onions being an aphrodisiac. So, whether you need Charila’s luck, productivity, forgiveness or protection, definitely add onions and leeks to the menu (followed by a hefty does of breath mints)!

To draw Charila’s kindness or good fortune to your home, take a handful of any type of grain adn sprinkle it on the walkway near your living space saying,

‘Follow me, wherever I roam
and let tenderness and luck fill my home!'”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

The only real mention I found for today’s entry on Charila was that “Charila [was] a festival observed once in nine years by the Delphians.  It owes its origin to this circumstance: In a great famine the people of Delphi assembled and applied to their king to relieve their wants.  He accordingly distributed the little corn which he had among the noblest; but a poor little girl, called Charila, begged the king with more than common earnestness, he beat her with his shoe, and the girl unable to bear this treatment, hanged herself in her girdle.  The famine increased; and the oracle told the king, that to relieve his people, he must atone for the murder of Charila.  Upon this a festival was instituted, with expiatory rites.

The king presided over this institution, and distributed pulse and corn to such as attended.  Charila’s image was brought before the king, who struck it with his shoe; after which it was carried to a desolate place, where they put a halter around its neck, and buried it where Charila was buried.” [1]


This practice to me, sounds like a type of sympathetic magic.  As the famine increased after Charila’s death, the king had to atone for his sins.  The remnants or consequences of his actions then had to be banished.  In order to banish that energy (for lack of a better word), Charila’s image (in the form of a doll I’ve read) had to be sent away and buried in order to be done with the ordeal and put things right and restore order.  This kind of reminds me of the Marazanna (or Morena), a Slavic Goddess of winter, death and nightmares.  “It is custom in countries such as Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic to make an effigy of Marazanna, parade it around and then burn and drown Her in order to celebrate the end of winter and the joy of rebirth of Spring and victory over death. It was believed that the ritual would ensure good harvest. Destroying the effigy of the evil Goddess was believed also to remove all the effects brought by Her.” [2]  The intent behind both celebrations sound very similar.


Hellenica, “Festivals: Charila“.

Swiech, Barbara. BellaOnline: The Voice of Women, “Slavic goddess and Spring“.