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In the spirit of sharing more about the Hellenic festivals, I'm combining two of the coming ones in this post; three if you count a reference to a past one I hadn't talked about yet. Like I said on Sunday, I really only pay special attention to the festivals that resonate with me. This is not picking-and-choosing--because I try to at least offer libations to the stars of every single festival--but simply a matter of practicality.

I have to accept that I am a solitary Hellenic, which is a bit of an oxymoron. Like being a solitary Wiccan, being a solitary Hellenic is really not possible. Hellenismos is a community religion, like most of the Recon Traditions. Yes, you can focus solely on household worship, but in my view of the religion, you're practicing only half of it if you do that. The festivals made up a huge part of ancient Hellenic worship. With around ten festivals that took place outside of the home every month, it's hard to ignore that they mattered very much.

I feel it's very important to honor the festivals in my own small way, and I have come to realize that the festivals really make me long for a Hellenic community of my own. For a lot of the festivals, the entire city or town--especially in Athens--celebrated. Men, women, children, slaves, free men, everyone. There were special festivals for nearly all of them. Two women-only festivals were the Stenia and the Thesmophoria.

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  • Janneke Brouwers
    Janneke Brouwers says #
    Hallo landgenoot! Ik wist niet dat er Hellinisten waren in onze koude kikkerlandje, en die dan ook nog eens een blog hebben op Wit
  • Elani Temperance
    Elani Temperance says #
    Hallo Janneke, leuk om een landgenoot te spreken! Ja, er is inderdaad in ieder geval één Helleniste in Nederland. Als Helleniste v

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Intention for Breakfast

Have you ever felt like you're missing out on most of the magick? As if everyone else seems to have magick in their lives all the time and seems so happy about, but you aren't sure how you achieve that while remaining true to your authentic self? I've been there! I know what you mean, although I believe that what you're specifically looking for is unique to each person, I can say with certainty that there is at least a basic formula to get on the right path.

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  • Rebecca Buchanan
    Rebecca Buchanan says #
    Thank you for this post, Peter. This is something I need to start doing.
  • Lise Christofferson
    Lise Christofferson says #
    Good morning, Peter! I agree, the cozy 'lets sit and share' in the morning with your deity/spirits is a perfect way to set the ton
  • Lise Christofferson
    Lise Christofferson says #
    Good morning, Peter! I agree, the cozy 'lets sit and share' in the morning with your deity/spirits is a perfect way to set the ton

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Of all the differences between Recon paths and other (Neo-)Pagan paths, I think the notion of hubris is the most controversial. Sure, everyone who works with Them, respects the Gods but there is a big difference in the respect--and fear--level between Recons and non-Recons.

I'm not exactly sure how this is for other Recon paths but for Hellenismos, avoiding hubris is the foundation of faith. Hubris, in dictionary terms, means excessive pride or arrogance and comes from the Greek (hýbris, ὕβρις). For me, hubris is not an adjective but a verb. It describes the act of willful or ignorant refusal to comply by the will of the Gods.

Within Hellenismos, the Gods rule supreme. We are here to serve and honor Them, and in return, They provide us with what we need to survive. This practice of kharis is one of the pillars of Hellenismos. But it's there in all other pillars as well.

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  • Tess Dawson
    Tess Dawson says #
    I enjoyed this post, Elani. In Natib Qadish (Canaanite religion), we have similar views. We see the deities rather like kings and
  • Elani Temperance
    Elani Temperance says #
    Thank you for your kind and enlightening words. I agree completely; it is almost exactly the same within Hellenismos. I'll write a
  • Tess Dawson
    Tess Dawson says #
    I look forward to reading your post on magic, Elani.
  • Merle Moss
    Merle Moss says #
    I (Purple-Astral-Magma) don't know why it list me as a 'guest', I signed up in order to make this comment. You certainly have the
  • Elani Temperance
    Elani Temperance says #
    I'm sorry for getting back to you so late; I had a bad weekend. Thank you for your lengthy reply and for sharing your thoughts on

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

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