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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

I have written before about the differences between general (Neo-)Wiccan/Witchcraft Traditions and Reconstruction. In that blog post, I focussed on the practical, on the part you can see. This is not the most important part of Reconstruction Traditions, though. It's a part of it, but it only exists because of a mental component. It's this component I want to talk about today.

In general, 'reconstruction' is the practice of rebuilding something. This can be a crime-scene, a broken vase or any number of things. In Paganism, Reconstruction means the practice of reviving lost religious, social and practical practices from a specific time period or people. It is not that different from reconstructing a vase, actually, and I will be using that analogy a lot today.

Imagine this; long ago, a potter made a vase. He needed to make one because he had something which needed a holder. He shaped it in a specific form, inspired by his culture and need, and when the shape was done, he decorated it with imagery that was also culturally inspired. Somewhere over the years, the vase broke into a dozen pieces. There was no need for that particular vase anymore, so no one put it back together. Now, people need a holder again, and it seems logical to put the original holder back together instead of making a new one, because the first one functioned very well. They realize that in order to put the vase back together, they need to understand the culture and whatever was going on in the head of the potter who made it; without that knowledge, they won't be able to figure out how the pieces fit together and they can't restore the imagery without knowing what the potter created in the first place.

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  • Robert Scott
    Robert Scott says #
    Very good points which I think apply to any variety of recon, thank you.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Over the last couple of weeks, I have seen the inside of a lot of museums. The summer holidays do that to my life. About half of those museums were museums focussing on the Greek, Roman, Egyptian and/or Islamic periods in our history. Needless to say, the Greek parts interested me most.

I saw pieces of temples to Artemis and Athena, visited the Pergamon and marveled at a lot of pottery from ancient Greece. It was marvelous... and I felt no religious connection to any of it. In fact, I was shocked at how little connection I felt to it at all. It was as if the many visitors had sucked every drop of authenticity from the very stone. As if the worship which took place on and around these stones lost even the echo of their previous function. Worse still, I looked for clues on how to practice my religion and found none.

Seeing these relics of the past drove home just how lost the ancient Greek religion is to us. It cemented my resolve to revive it in a form which fits into this cultural framework. I also realized there is no going back to the past. The temples of old are gone. The grander of those days is lost to us and that is a depressing thought.

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  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Dearest Elani, You have just described *exactly* the way I felt at Glastonbury Tor. I went there, having cut my Pagan teeth on no

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

I was going to write something completely different for this post but it didn't come off of the ground. I was over-thinking everything I was writing so for this post, I am just going to write from my heart again, even if it's not overtly Hellenic. I'm going to be writing about the little, negative, voice inside our heads and hearts and how to quiet it for long enough to be brave.

I was not born to blog or journal. I love to write, but I mostly write to be someone else for a while. This is why I love to role play. Still, I did some pseudo-journalism a few years back and I enjoyed that very much, but even then I realized that I have difficulty writing about topics I am not an expert on. I'm scared every time I hit 'publish', but I hit it none the less.

Honestly, I never thought I'd be blogging for so many of you. It makes me very feel very happy, very blessed and it also scares me shitless on days when I write about something emotional, controversial or about the Hellenic community at large. I am not an expert at Hellenismos. There are a lot of people who have been at it longer, practice in a group and/or who have come to a consensus on issues. I just read a lot. I practice a lot, too. I have my daily rituals, my festivals and my books. If you're struggling with some (online) bravery issues as well, then maybe I can offer some words of guidance and encouragement.

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  • Christine L Berger
    Christine L Berger says #
    I consistently read your blogs and appreciate your sharing. This one was very timely as I have been in a period of rapid change a
  • Elani Temperance
    Elani Temperance says #
    Thank you for your reply and reading my blogs. It means a lot! I want to wish you all the best with your situation. Be brave!

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Interestingly enough, I had already written half of this post when Anne commented on yesterday's post, mentioning that practicing by UPG, to her, is more important than practicing by the ancient sources. I've been thinking about UPG a lot lately, in the same thought stream that produced yesterday's post of standardizing Hellenismos.

I have a love/hate relationship with Unverified Personal Gnosis (or UPG, for short). On the one hand, I believe, with every fiber of my being, in the knowledge I have been made privy of by the Gods. I believe in my experiences and they are sacred to me. They run anywhere from synchronicious events to detailed biographies and some of them I will never share with anyone, they were that special. Throughout my practice, I have allowed UGP to push me forward in my path. Much of what I know, have done or now practice is directly related to a UPG event, this blog and Little Witch magazine included.

On the other hand, there is UPG out there that contradicts mine, that I personally think is completely incorrect or that questions everything I believe in. Needless to say, this is UPG I struggle with. I can't view it as invalid; I respect everyone's path too much for that, but where does it fit in with my believes? We are talking about the same Gods, right?

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  • Sarah Avery
    Sarah Avery says #
    How unified was the worship of the Hellenic gods before Christianity? I ask as a curious and humble dilettante--I can barely limp
  • Elani Temperance
    Elani Temperance says #
    Dear Sarah, Thank you for your thoughtful and inquisitive reply. I am going to do my best answering it but also realize I could w
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    You give me hope: if anyone can make a tradition-based religion open and compassionate, it will be people like you. Being "deeply
  • Elani Temperance
    Elani Temperance says #
    I think that as long as people keep thinking about and questioning what they are doing, they will be able to avoid most of the pit
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Elani, Thanks for your generous and gracious response. Honestly, I wish I *could* believe in "tradition" but having given up my

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

A cross-post this week, if I may - between here at my first blog 'home', and the wonderfully eclectic 'Witches & Pagans' site (because if you can't 'moonlight' as a Pagan, then who can?).

I am very aware that I haven't written anything at either location for a couple of weeks. I could give excuses - ultimately, the days have flown past and life has been more important. I'm sure we all know how that goes. Instead, take a wander with me, if you will.

Regular readers know that one of my favourite places for inspiration is as I walk the dog across the hilltop where I live. This evening I wandered the streets, looking out at the fierce clouds parting after an intense rain and thunder-storm just a few hours ago, the remnants of a rainbow, and the slightly 'stunned' feeling of a normal, modern, country village after a violent and unavoidable incident of Nature. The grass is rich and green, the snails appear to have made a small bypass across the path outside one particular row of houses, and the occasional early bat is swooping overhead.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

No, that title is not a typo. I do mean theoilogy.

Theology, to quote the ever-handy Wikipedia, derives "from Ancient Greek Θεός meaning "God" and λόγος-logy, meaning "study of." God. Singular. By its very nature, at its very root, the word assumes a single Godhead. As such, I find the term best suited only to those religious systems which are explicitly monotheistic or monistic, eg Islam, most strains of Christianity, some branches of Judaism, and some sects within Hinduism.*

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

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  • Brian Shea
    Brian Shea says #
    I wonder if it's the same with leprechauns on St. Patties day?
  • Emily Mills
    Emily Mills says #
    I've often thought about this subject in terms of museums, but never thought about the Tiki connection. There's an art museum near

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