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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Hellenismos

There are many ways of sacrificing to the Gods, but none are as prevalent within Hellenismos as a poured sacrifice. As Hellenics, we have two general types of libations at our disposal; a sponde (Σπονδή) or a khoe (χοαί). Both are poured sacrifices, libations, but the practice differs, as does the goal. Before we look at these, it might be wise to discuss why we sacrifice in the first place.

A sacrifice to the Gods is a way of bonding, of kharis. It's a way of showing our devotion to the Gods and bringing Them, actively, into our homes and lives. It's a way of acknowledging Their greatness and recognizing our loyalty to Them. Practically, this means that whatever the sacrifice, it should be given with this kharis in mind. It should be given with love, dedication and with respect to the bond between immortal and mortal.

On to the sponde: a sponde is a libation given, partly, to the Deity or Deities offered to, and partly drunken by those given the libation. Most sacrifices, especially animal sacrifices, worked with this principle, called thyesthai (θύεσθαι). They are appropriate for the Olympic Deities. There are two types of sponde: one used as a toast--usually to Hestia and/or the Agathós Daímōn--and one as a general libation.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

I greatly enjoy looking at the night's sky although I can barely make out any of the constellations. As a new and regular series on Baring the Aegis, I want to share with you my study of the mythology behind various constellations. Today, I'm starting with Andromeda.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Rebecca Buchanan
    Rebecca Buchanan says #
    I love stellar mythology, as well. I find it rather ... uncomfortable, though, how little agency Andromeda has in this story. Eve
  • Elani Temperance
    Elani Temperance says #
    I wrote about the role of men and women in Greek myth before* and noted then, that is wasn't the most balanced. Androméda did end

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

The reign of the Hellenes lasted for roughly 650 years. During that time, several major changes took place within the culture and religion of these people. Trying to reconstruct all these practices is not only impractical but also impossible. As a Hellenic Recon, it therefor becomes important to find out which classical, Hellenic, period speaks to us.

Within modern Hellenic Recon, three periods in the history of ancient Hellas stand out and in this blog post, I take on the basics of each and try to explain their differences on practice:

  • Archaic Period (800 BC - 480 BC)
  • Classical Period (480 BC - 323 BC)
  • Hellenistic Period (323 BC - 146 BC)
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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Next Wednesday, the people of the Netherlands are going to vote on their new government. We have a slightly different system than some other countries. On wednesday we get to cast our vote on one of twenty-two parties. They range from Christian parties, to parties who fight for animal rights, the rights of workers or to parties who simply take a left or right wing approach to all issues. With our votes, the parties divide 150 literal seats in government. The biggest parties will try to come together and get a majority, or--and this has not really worked well in the past--the smaller parties come together to form a majority.

For weeks, my T.V., radio, roadside and randomly generated internet advertisements have been spamming me with messages of the various parties. All are trying to get my vote. One thing is sure; voting is difficult. Whomever we vote for will have to come to an agreement on staying or leaving the EU, on providing financial support to Greece, on putting together a way to minimize our economic deficit so the EU won't fine us, on fines for students who take more than the set amount of years for a study, and many, many, many other, difficult, issues.

I have been debating myself on which party to vote for. What I haven't been debating is the decision to vote. Because I will vote, no matter what. I strongly believe that the right to vote should not be wasted. As a young woman, I wouldn't have been able to vote even a hundred years ago... and if I lived in ancient Hellas, I most certainly would not be able to.

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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

We have already established that certain doom is sent by the Gods and should be suffered through. But there is another kind of doom, sent not by the Gods, but by fellow men. And against this, one is absolutely encouraged to fight.

As human beings, our anger, envy and spite can result in what is known as the Evil Eye; a curse upon another usually transferred by a look. We might not even intend to harm the other person but we will, regardless. In ancient Hellas, this occurrence was as real as the sheep that grazed the fields and the slaves that worked the house. Interestingly enough, the belief in the Evil Eye--or 'bad eye', as it's translated into Greek--is still upheld in modern Greece.
 
When you suddenly feel dizzy, lightheaded, nauseous or every muscle in your body starts hurting for no apparent reason, it is most likely that someone wished you ill, either consciously or subconsciously. It is then prudent to think back and find the exact moment the bad eye was given. It could be a compliment given, a present received or it could really be just a glance from across the street. Children and women are considered especially susceptible to the bad eye.
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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Tess Dawson
    Tess Dawson says #
    We, too, in Natib Qadish have a concept of the 'enu, the Eye. We've been lucky enough to have a 3200 year old text preserved that
  • Elani Temperance
    Elani Temperance says #
    Thank you for your reply, Tess! It's fantastic you have a text like that. We don't have the actual words that were used, but I'm v
  • Merle Moss
    Merle Moss says #
    and it was 'little red rings', = WASN'T 'little red rings',
  • Merle Moss
    Merle Moss says #
    Hey! It is very interesting in that in my late teens I experienced a kind of 'Aura Sight', which seemed different than anything I
  • Elani Temperance
    Elani Temperance says #
    That does sound very much like a visible 'evil eye-attack'! They could very well be related. Thank you for sharing!

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

This blog post is the third installment in a very loose series focussing on the practice of reconstruction. The other parts can be found here: Standardizing Hellenismos and Thinking like a Recon. In this third--and probably final part--I will talk about trying to figure out which practices should be reconstructed, and which should not be. I can't speak for all Recon faiths on this, and I can only offer my opinion on Hellenismos. Others will disagree. In order to illustrate some of the points in this post, I will use the ancient practice of animal sacrifice. I have spoken about the practical and ethical difficulties of reviving that practice before, but it is such a fantastic example, I can not ignore it.

With the disclaimer out of the way, lets get on with this post, shall we? As previously discussed, Reconstructionist faiths work on a basic premise: those who practiced it first, practiced it best. If we want to worship these Gods, we should do it in a way which the Gods are used to and expect of us. Yet, society has changed. Other religions have come and gone. People have changed. Some practices have no place in current society but... how do we decide which practices should or should not be revived? And is it really up to us to decide this?

There are a few factors which influence the decisions of modern Recon practitioners when it comes to answering these questions. Influencing factors are current laws, the time period which the practitioner is trying to reconstruct, if the practice was part of the culture or the religion and--somewhat unfortunately-- the preference of the practitioner.

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  • Joseph Bloch
    Joseph Bloch says #
    If I may be permitted to interject once again from the Théodish perspective on Reconstructionism, animal sacrifice (Old Norse blót
  • Elani Temperance
    Elani Temperance says #
    Thank you for your reply! I am sorry that I am responding to it this late; I had a bit of a tough weekend. I really appreciate the
  • Rose
    Rose says #
    I think a great example of how to modernize Hellenismos is to look to the Jewish and Catholic religions. Recently we had a reform

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