kyrene: (Default)
As asked on one of the lists:

> >"So what's the point of following the Gods anyway ?" or if you prefer:
> >"Why bother to follow Apollo ?"

A very good question. I can answer this with the same response I gave Apollo when he first came to me: "Why not?"

That was when I took the first leap of faith and gave him a chance in my life. After that came the real reasons, for which I am eternally grateful: when I commune with the gods, I feel the most "me". I feel like I have a taste of what it's finally like to be at home in my soul. Not sure how else to put it other than that.

I have noticed one thing, however: the further away I get from myself, the further away I get from my gods. If I deny myself, I cut off access to the part of me that can perceive them--in other words, my truest self.
kyrene: (Default)
Actually I thought of something else as I hit the send key which I
think puts this further into perspective: we *want* the gods to have
personalities and be like people. It makes them more approachable,
more reachable--more understandable. We want them to be able to
respond to us, hear us, and understand our human foibles. And yes,
I'm including myself in that "we". This is a very human thing here,
this thing called "projection." We do it to the gods and we do it to
each other.

> A combination, seemingly random, of cruelty and kindness. So, really,
> amoral - yes. So why then would gods, gods that are responsible for or
> inherent in these natural processes, be somehow moral by our standards?
> So they *wouldn't* be petty, commit adultery or rape, etc., but they
> *are* perfectly okay with killing off thousands of innocent men women
> and children - is that the moral guidance you're looking for?

Because that would make them human, and they are far greater than being human.

> Or do you
> believe in gods who are completely separate from these natural
> processes, just floating out there in pure spirit being wonderful and
> just and perfect?

Ahhh that word is a touchy one: "perfect." What does "perfection"
mean? I would suspect what you would conceive of to be perfect isn't
what I would conceive of as being perfect.

I think we see the gods as having flaws and no part in creation and
beyond as ever being "perfect". We try to render these "flaws" into
human qualities but in the end, I think it just comes down to this:
we don't agree on what constitutes as being "perfect."
kyrene: (Default)
Actually, some really intriguing discussion is coming out of all of this. Here's some snippets from my replies:

The way I see it, saying that Apollo advises people to be moderate in
all things, know thyself, et cetera is saying that the god advocates
virtue. And in the next breath, we aren't to look to the gods for
virtue at all.

So, is it pick and choose what we like to hear from the gods and
ignore the rest? Again, I'm just looking for clarification here
because I see many contradictions in people's viewpoints.


I believe that the gods were depicted as being petty and cruel by
people who placed blame on the gods on their own lives exhibiting
pettiness and cruelty. I also think that people place WAY too much
blame on the gods for their own foibles and problems in their own
life, and I think that's where much of the "petty god tales" come

more... )
kyrene: (Default)

I'm apparently an atheist, according to someone on the lists, for believing that the gods are above petty crap like raping mortals and cheating on their spouses.

Since when did people start taking the myths so seriously and literally that they actually believe this sort of crap? And believe that people are atheists who have a different take on what and who the gods are?

My respect for certain aspects of the Hellenic community decreases more and more with each time I have one of these crazy conversations on the lists.
kyrene: (Pythia)
I was going to write this post last night before I went to bed, but I was so tired I collapsed and said "Fuck it, I'll remember in the morning."

I have serious issues with Hellenists showing up in garb for a ritual. It has nothing to do with the fluffy favor, looking like SCAers, or anything like that. My reasons for disliking it are actually far more practical.

The moment you have to wear special clothing that you wouldn't wear otherwise, clothing so far removed from what you ordinarily wear to a religious festival you have separated that act from the rest of your life. The gods are everywhere and in everything you do, and it doesn't matter if you're wearing jeans, a business suit, or a chiton. You shouldn't have to wear clothing that separates the act of worship so much from your regular life. IMHO this sets a bad precedent and mindset, the sort where when it's "over" you go back to wearing your normal clothing and that's that.

Bear in mind I've been a ceremonial magician for years. We wear special robes and other vestments to rituals on purpose; it's in order to gear us towards the mindset we wish to be and the energies we wish to invoke during that time. When I'm done with that ritual, I will not be acting in the role of Hierophantria invoking Osiris, or the Hegemon invoking Ma'at, or any other deity or office related to that deity--I will be me. This is a very delibrate act, and it works. But is it the sort of mindset we want to be having for worshipping the gods?

Unless you're doing a special ritual for the Mysteries where you WANT to separate your persona from the role you take on during ritual, there's no need for "period" clothing or SCA-like garb for a Hellenic religious festival. There's no need to remove yourself so far from the act of worship that you have to dress in a foreign fashion versus simply wearing nice clothing which you would wear to a special occasion.
kyrene: (Default)
Very happy to read this incredibly balanced article by the BBC on the ongoing battle of our fellow Hellenists in Greece:

Ancient Greek gods' new believers

Followers of the 12 Greek Gods, who, according to mythology, ruled the Ancient World from Mount Olympus, have cast a thunderbolt at their Orthodox opponents.

After successfully staging a landmark ceremony at the Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens, their leader pledged to fight for the right to conduct baptisms, marriages, and funerals according to the rites of the ancient religion.

"We are a legitimate religion. But the authorities don't let us do this, but we shall claim this right through the European Union," said Doretta Peppa, the high priestess, who led the prayers next to the 15 remaining columns of the temple.

The move is bound to aggravate the highly conservative Greek Orthodox church, which strongly disapproves of what it regards as paganism.

First service

"They are a handful of miserable resuscitators of a degenerate dead religion who wish to return to the monstrous dark delusions of the past," said Father Efstathios Kollas, the President of Greek Clergymen.

Hundreds of followers of Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Artemis, Aphrodite and Hermes stood in a circle, a mile from the Acropolis, in what was the first official religious service allowed in the grounds of an Ancient Greek temple.

Previous rites have been performed covertly, but the culture ministry was obliged to grant permission for the event after a court last year legitimised the religion, which was eclipsed 1600 years ago by Christianity.

More here...
kyrene: (Default)
I just cleaned my yahoogroups out quite a bit, removing myself from a bunch of groups upon which I was standing on ceremony. One list was for a group that was supposed to start up in my area for the Religio Romana, and the guy went off and got some gov't job and had to disappear. No posts for almost a year from that one and he's the sole mod with his email listed as bouncing. The rest were all lists along same lines, no posts and done with standing on ceremony. I'm overusing that expression but I really am at a loss for what else to call it.

It's a similar thing with the NR priesthood list. Once again, every couple of years, the head suddenly remembers that he has like, a priesthood just sitting around there doing nothing with our hands tied because he clearly isn't around, doesn't care, or both. Countless emails have gone out to him over the years asking him wtf I'm supposed to do as priestess of Apollo, and not a single one were replied to. He claims that I've never replied to his, but ya know...I'm no idiot. I never got them, nor did they somehow wind up in a spam filter either. That one is on its last legs with me. I'm waiting to see what happens over the next few months before I figure out what to do with my membership in NR after the past nine years or so--I suspect that once again he'll forget about us and then I'll give up and leave, as I REALLY have better things to do with my time and my money than continue to support a group that well, isn't doing anything. I've stuck around only because people begged me to do so and frankly at this point I have to ask WHY?

It's the waning moon, an excellent time to purge my life of dead weight. That and I'm PMS-y, IBS-y, and shivering in my pjs at home. What better way to spend my spare time? Aside from WoW, that is. ;)

Oh yeah and my new spiritual path is a particular trad of Southern Italian witchcraft. Yay for belonging to a trad where the esoteric and mystical isn't kept separate or locked away in some dark corner somewhere, and I can still worship my gods--which is really what's important to me. And the answer is no, it has nothing to do with Raven Grimassi. :P :)

And the best part about it all?

I'm HOME. And I don't mean just physically, either.
kyrene: (Maenad with leopard and torch)
I'll be honest--after my local Hellenic group exploded and I spent time recovering from the hell I went through being subjected to all of their shit, I stopped celebrating the Hellenic holidays. I put up an olive branch last year on my door--I think during the Pusnepsia for the eiresone--but that was essentially it. I've done my usual offerings and libations and what-not throughout the year, but the only real festivals I've done so far have been a solitary New Moon ritual for Hekate, a Thelemic version of the Samhain festival, the equinoxes, and a Festival of Hekate.

Hekate's REALLY been present these days--glad she's got an altar by the door of my bedroom now. :)

I'm not even certain what I would celebrate if I did. There are very few Athenian festivals that grab me: Anthesteria, Thargelia, Rural Dionysia maybe. I like the idea of honoring secular holidays and the solistices and equinoxes in a Hellenic fashion--I really don't want to create my own holidays out of thin air, and I think aspects of the Pagan wheel of the year make sense to me. At the very least I think that the solistices and equinoxes speak to me. The changing of the seasons always affects me on some profound level.

Festivals came about due to local customs and actual meaning, and were localized to a particular city or town. The winter time has always meant Dionysos to me, while the summer has always meant Apollo. The equinoxes have always made me think of Demeter and Persephone. So perhaps those would be good places to begin. New moons for Hekate, Samhain for Persephone and other chthonic deities, Beltaine for Aphrodite. I think full moons would be a great time to honor Artemis and/or Diana.

Cycles of nature are timeless, and I need Dionysos to keep me warm during the cold New England winters. Brr.
kyrene: (Default)
It is interesting to see that the people who think that spiritual advancement as being "self-serving" and "shallow" because it "removes the focus from the gods" are among the most self-centered and self-serving people whom I have ever met.

Interesting more still that those whom I know who genuinely seek to advance themselves spiritually are among the best and finest examples of human beings whom I have ever met.

Lots of people can claim to be into "spiritual advancement" but few walk the talk. You know by the walk, not the talk.

And I am proud to call such people my friends.
more, plus my conclusion...yes it's long and I'm sorry... )
kyrene: (Default)
The question, paraphrased: Did the gods do this to punish people for collective miasma?


...just maybe...we needed a collective kick in the asses to
genuinely appreciate them. They had been around for so long without
an issue that once it BECAME an issue it also became a whole other

I despise the New Age sentiment of "Ooh this bad thing happened to you
because of karma." I really, strongly doubt that our gods decided to
punish the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great * whatever
grandchildren of our ancient brethern because they misplaced a word in
some ritual they did, and henceforth our religion was illegal for a
time in modern day Hellas and receives scorn in countries such as the
US of A.

And if they're that petty to curse generations that had NOTHING to do
with the original miasma, then wtf are we worshipping them anyway?
Call me crazy, but this is not the image of my gods. Maybe it was to
the ancients, and that's maybe why we have (and had) to learn today
that the gods are above that petty crap.


kyrene: (Default)

September 2010

26 27282930  


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags