Friday, July 16, 2010

Hellenic Polytheism

Hellenic Polytheism Cover Many Paths, One Term:

The phrase "Hellenic polytheism" is actually, much like the word "Pagan", an umbrella term. It is used to apply to a wide range of polytheistic spiritual paths that honor the pantheon of the ancient Greeks. In many of these groups, there is a trend towards the revival of the religious practices of centuries past. Some groups claim that their practice is not a revival at all, but the original tradition of the ancients, passed down from one generation to the next.

Hellenismos is the term used to describe the modern equivalent of the traditional Greek religion. People who follow this path are known as Hellenes, Hellenic Reconstructionists, Hellenic Pagans, or by one of many other terms. Hellenismos originated with the Emporer Julian, when he attempted to bring back the religion of his ancestors following the arrival of Christianity.
Practices and Beliefs:

Although the Hellenic groups follow various paths, they typically base their religious views and ritual practices on a few common sources:

* Scholarly work about ancient religions
* The writings of classical authors, such as Homer and his contemporaries
* Individual experience and intuition, such as personal gnosis and interaction with the Divine

Most Hellenes honor the gods of Olympus: Zeus and Hera, Athena, Artemis, Apollo, Demeter, Ares, Hermes, Hades and Aphrodite, to name a few. A typical worship ritual includes purification, a prayer, ritual sacrifice, hymns, and feasting in honor of the gods.
Hellenic Ethics:

While most wiccans are guided by the wiccan Rede, Hellenes are typically governed by a set of ethics. The first of these values is eusebeia which is piety or humility. This includes a dedication to the gods and a willingness to live by Hellenic principles. Another value is known as metriotes or moderation, and goes hand in hand with sophrosune, which is self-control. The use of these principles as part of community is the governing force behind most Hellnic Polytheistic groups. The virtues also teach that retribution and conflict are normal parts of the human experience.

Books You Might Enjoy:

Pansophic Freemasons - Masonic Symbolism
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky - The Key To Theosophy
Melita Denning - The Aurum Solis
Reynold Nicholson - The Mystics Of Islam