Baring the Aegis: Hellenismos
Hellenismos, otherwise known as Greek Reconstructionist Paganism, is the traditional, polytheistic religion of ancient Greece, reconstructed in and adapted to the modern world. It's a vibrant religion which can draw on a surprising amount of ancient sources. Baring the Aegis blogger Elani Temperance blogs about her experiences within this Tradition.
Control anger (Θυμου κρατει)
Control anger (Θυμου κρατει) is a Delphic Maxim that seems so simple: don't get mad. But it's not about that. Controlling anger is about knowing when you can show your anger, and when you can not. It means stepping back from your emotions to understand the words and actions of the other person. There is a time and place for anger, but more often, anger has no place at the current time.
Think of anger as a wildfire: once it burns, it burns everything in its path. You can try to extinguish it, but without specialized tools, stepping out of the way is better for your health. But some fires are lit and carefully controlled. The fire still burns hot, but can be guided. Their purpose is to promote life. It is this control this maxim teaches.
Anger can be a very constructive emotion. Just look at Ares: Ares is a warrior, a God driven by the fires of passion. He is unconquerable on the battlefield and if you're favored by Him, you will be unbeatable yourself. Yet, even Ares can halt Himself enough to accept input of the other Gods. He has the skills to guide His anger and passion into a form which benefits Him and the Gods.
This maxim reminds us that emotions are powerful influencers in our lives. It is easy to be ruled by them, but an angry heart is a closed heart. Anger closes you off from the outside world, and the Gods. An angry practitioner will never be able to see the influence of the Gods on their life, and this is why the Oracle of Delphi urges to control your anger. An angry practitioner can not serve the Gods, yet, one who feels no passion can not serve the Gods, either. It's the balance, this maxim urges you to find.
Anger is a hard emotion to fight. It comes from pride, insecurity, desperation and frustration. All are sources which are hard to control. I think the key lies in the acceptance of yourself and the world around you. If you accept what comes on your path with piety, optimism and temperance, you have the ability to master your anger. I've been at this for a long time but there are still times when my boundaries get crossed so dramatically and suddenly, the only thing which prevents me from exploding is leaving the situation. I haven't mastered this maxim yet, but I try.
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