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.

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Synchronicity in religious life

I often get ask how I know Deity exists. I must have some sort of proof to spent so much time on Them, after all. Well, yes, I do. I'm just not sure non-religious people would find it satisfactory.

I find the Gods in the little things and one of those things is synchronicity. Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events that are apparently causally unrelated or unlikely to occur together by chance, yet are experienced as occurring together in a meaningful manner. For me that means experiencing two separate events and trusting, in my gut, that they are connected--and then making the leap to contributing the second (or both) event(s) to Deity.

I understand this will never convince a sceptic.

The concept of synchronicity as divine or magickal is a prevalent one in Paganism. There are many, many more examples to give than the ones below but I think these give a good idea of what I'm talking about;

  • "I've been thinking about honoring Athena for a while and I have started seeing owls everywhere--I think Athena would like me to worship Her."
  • "I needed money so did a spell to attract it and suddenly I get a raise in salary. The spell must have worked."
  • "I've been having such bad luck since I did that offering to Artemis, perhaps I did it wrong and she's mad?"
I admit that I often read into events the hand of the divine. I think this is a requirement for true faith. I don't fare blindly on these events but if I get that tingle in my stomach that sometimes goes with it, I will most certainly put stock in the experience. 
 
When something synchronical happens, it's always a humbling experience. For me, it feels as if prayers are heard, like I'm protected and that my pious lifestyle is worth it. An example;
 
I was driving home from the festival I had attended. It was late, I was tired and I realized I wasn't at my sharpest. I would stay on the right side of the road and slowed down a little so I wouldn't miss anything in my exhaustion and put myself or anyone else at risk. I had said my prayers to Hermes and--because it was dark out--Hekate when I got in the car, but I felt the need to plead with Hermes again to get me home safe and without hurting anyone. 
 
I turned down the car radio and said my prayers, explaining the situation. I promised offerings of incense when I got home and ended my prayer. When I turned the volume of the radio back up, the first notes of one of the songs for the mix-tape for Hermes I have been working on for saturday sounded and I simply knew that Hermes had heard my prayer and would keep me and everyone around me safe.
 
Could it have been mere coincidence? Absolutely. When I started believing, I used to doubt these coincidences, these synchronicities, all the time. The more faith I got, the less I doubted. And by now, when something like that happens, I thank the Gods, wipe away a tear and trust that what has just happened was, indeed, a divine sign. I pay my dues as soon as I am able. 
 
Synchronicity is the main 'evidence' presented by many Pagans of their Gods and practices. It's a form of UPG which is even harder to describe than most UPG events because it says nothing about a Deity but about your interpretation of earthly events by way of Deity. Yet, I feel that these synchronicities are often what people mean when they talk about the (daily) influence of the Gods on their lives. I know that's what I mean, anyway. And for me, it's enough.
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Tagged in: Paganism religion
Elani Temperance is a twenty-seven year old woman, who lives with her partner in The Netherlands. She has been Pagan for a little over twelve years and has explored Neo-Wicca, Technopaganism, Hedge Witchery and Eclectic Religious Witchcraft before progressing to Hellenismos. Although her home practice is fully Hellenic, she has an online Neo-Pagan magazine called 'Little Witch magazine' (www.littlewitchmagazine.com) in which she and several co-writers try to cover the whole gamut of Neo-Paganism. Baring the Aegis is also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/BaringTheAegis

Comments

  • Hudley
    Hudley Tuesday, 14 August 2012

    Elani, I enjoyed reading your post on Synchronicity. It is a big part of my life. I have studied many religions and find that Synchronicity is more a relationship between the macrocosm and the microcosm and is in a relationship between the cosmos and the individual. It is a relative experience and has a nebulous quality to it. The I Ching is an excellent source to use for Synchronicity. I follow Carl Jung's teachings for he coined the term. We all have a way to access this too... it is part of who we are as spiritual human beings. No doubt Hermes knows this... it is nice that you are open to and are attentive to listening....because it seems sad to me that too many human beings are not listening to this way or to their wisdom... I hope I made myself clear ...
    Sincerely Hudley

  • Elani Temperance
    Elani Temperance Tuesday, 14 August 2012

    Hudley; you have made yourself very clear. Thank you for your addition to my post. I, too, feel listening and trusting yourself and your instincts is a vital part of religion. I could (and might, in a future post) list a lot of instances of synchronicity in myth. If it was good enough for the ancient Greeks, it is certainly good enough for me!

  • Brian Shea
    Brian Shea Wednesday, 05 September 2012

    You have a mix tape for Hermes? I'm curious, what pray tell is on it?

  • Elani Temperance
    Elani Temperance Wednesday, 05 September 2012

    I'm sorry, I am usually more dilligent with my links. The mix-tape to Hermes is here: http://baringtheaegis.blogspot.nl/2012/08/mix-tape-to-hermes.html

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