A thought.

Sep. 27th, 2010 02:27 pm
kyrene: (Default)
If the gods have "more important things to do" than to "grant wishes", why bother praying to them at all? No point in requesting their assistance when sick or poor, in good times or bad. Actually they wouldn't sound much like gods, would they? It'd be like writing family members, never hearing a response back and having no contact from them whatsoever. Why bother? I'd write them off. What's a deity to such people, anyhow?

I am beginning to think there are some people who really ought to have stuck to either atheism or Evangelical Christianity.
kyrene: (Default)
(created by me back in 8/05)

I am the very model of a Hellenist individual
My festivals are derived entirely from Burkert et al
I'm quite adept at reconstructing Hellenismos theory from what I have read
From Walter Otto, Jane Harrison, and everything Kerenyi has ever said

Many Hellenists I have emailed and in person have met
And all of their Hellenic wisdom I understand and jokes I of course do get
I've even told fluffy bunnies to go fly a kite
From Robert Graves to Bulfinch I've told them to go and get it right

I keep all of the other recons on their toes
I quote page and chapter from Walter Burkert and watch as their confusion grows!
I even keep quotes memorized from Karl Kerenyi
Even though the idea of Hades and Dionysos being the same doesn't agree with me

I know all of the names and traits of the gods, nature spirits, even Furies,
Then to impress them all I can recite a book from W.K.C. Gutherie
I have just about every book on Hellenismos imaginable
Including Old Stones, New Temples written by Drew Campbell

You see from all reconstructionist festival and ritual
I am the very model of a Hellenist individual!
kyrene: (Default)
I haven't posted in ages. I've been too busy with my writing career, primary career, spiritual work, and lots of crazy events surrounding any and all of the above. Most of my activity has been around HI these days and its local events/members.

Hence why I was not only surprised but deeply touched when I found myself nominated and later declared winner of the AOTSC.TDC HPF Hellenic Pagan Community Service Award.

Stunned wouldn't quite cover my reaction. I don't think I've gotten a single award or any sort of formal recognition from the moment I first started HP. I never really expected one. Heck, I didn't even know that they existed.

I left the majority of my participation online mostly due to politics, burnout, and the feeling that nothing I did went noticed or even mattered. Aside from people in HI and my occasional posts to some of the lists, I'm fairly quiet these days. Unless you knew me locally you wouldn't know I've been up to much as of late.

I'm...extremely touched, amazed, and more than a tad humbled...that anyone saw fit to nominate me, that anyone appreciated any of the work I've done.... I wouldn't know where to begin. Especially when I'm the most inactive and unnoticed from the online community as I've ever been. Beyond HI and doing local stuff, I haven't done very much recently. I can't recall the last time I updated my websites, but I get asked about them all of the time. It's odd that I got noticed somehow when I did everything possible over the past few years to not be noticed--quite delibrately, in fact.

Anyhow...to whoever did, thanks. I deeply appreciate it. It means a lot to me.

O_O

Aug. 6th, 2008 10:23 am
kyrene: (Default)
This is an example of seriously over the top satire written about members of the Hellenic community, and I'm happy to say that we (myself and various others in the Hellenic community) are far, far too mature for this.

I am sharing only because I really think people should know that this sorta stuff is being written, and this is an example of a level we really shouldn't be stooping to.

I am not saying where I found it posted because I'm above that sort of thing. I am not one to be a tattletale.


Mildly not work safe )

Gah.

Jul. 31st, 2008 10:57 am
kyrene: (Default)
How did I manage to get sucked into the whole "is magick Hellenic" conversations yet again?

Is it because tonight is the dark moon? Because we have an eclipse soon? Because clearly I'm not being entertained enough on other emailing lists? I can has a more amusing Intarwebs, y/y?

Maybe it's the mystique, the sheer art of it all, the je ne sais quoi, the whole question of whether or not magick is de rigeur in Hellenismos or perhaps it's that whole "Omgs! I don't want to be lumped in with the neo-pagans/Wiccans/witches/uncool-kids-who-sit-in-the-front-of-the-bus!!!!!111eleventy-one" crap which I find to be so embarrassingly passé.

I'd make paper airplanes loaded with spitballs and fire them away at these people, but I really don't want to get after-school detention.



So, um, about those um, Greek gods. Um, yeah. They're like wicked cool an' stuff. Yeah.
kyrene: (Maenad with thyrsos)
HellenicPagan started out as a generic place for ALL people who worship the Greek gods--and even people who worshipped Roman gods were welcome too. It was never a "strictly recon" place and for people who wanted that, I started Hellenismos-L.

I don't like the idea of using the term Hellenismos to mean "recon Hellenic religion". You can practice Hellenic religion without being recon. In fact, I'm in favor of ditching the label altogether. We don't NEED to reconstruct anything anymore--we have all of the information we need to start actually worshipping right here and right now without having to constantly check musty old academic texts written by Christians attempting to interpret pagan rituals through Christian eyes and paradigms.

I don't recall the last time I called myself a recon. When I first began in such practices, it was to build a foundation for practice. The foundation is already there. We can stop pretending we still don't know enough to practice our own faith. Everything we have is right here.

I like HI because we're not only doing mystical stuff but we're also doing practical stuff right in the real world. THIS is where practice becomes reality: when your practices are indistinguishable from your day to day life. It just becomes a part of who you are throughout your day.

End semi rant. :)
kyrene: (Default)
Every once in a while I get the mad, insane urge to create a modern day Hellenic mystical tradition. I think of how, given my background in studying and/or practicing in various modern day mystery schools and mystical practices, this could be doable. Could lead to things like Hellenic mystery schools down the road, even.

Then I remember the following:

1) Me creating such a trad alone is a recipe for disaster
2) Me creating ANYTHING in the Hellenic community is just asking to rebuild the pedestal and crank it up a few feet
3) Me with my schedule and life probably wouldn't have as much time to this as I would like

#3 would be solved by #1. #2 is inevitable. I can't sneeze without #2 happening.

I have ideas for a mystical tradition for Apollo. It involves a syncretic approach and is flexible in regards to training. It goes something like this: the goal would be union with an ideal, namely that of balance. How does one achieve that balance and where would that balance be reflected? Well, there's mind-body balance, energy balance, balance between yourself and the world around you, et cetera.

Here are the spheres along with suggested ideas for implementing each:

Mind-body: exercise programs, yoga, certain forms of meditation
Energy balance: Tai Chi, Reiki
Balance between yourself and the world around you: meditation, contemplation--specifically what they call "contemplative prayer"

Add in a healthy dose of Pythgorean and Neoplatonic philosophy and I think we have something here.

This is all shit I'm thinking about creating and implementing within the Inner Circle of the Order of Apollo. The more *original* practices such as various rituals, forms of meditation, et cetera we can come up with over the long run, the better. The idea is to learn what works in the spirit of attaining what we want and then as time goes on, be able to tailor it more specifically towards Apollo--and of course, be able to have something concrete to teach others.

Some practices, however, stand perfectly fine on their own. There is utterly no reason to create a "Hellenic" version of Tai Chi. Tai Chi is Tai Chi, period. I can see, however, eventually starting up an energy healing tradition devoted specifically towards consecrating yourself as a healer of Apollo and attuning yourself to that energy.

Things like this are why I am dangerous and need to stick to just writing vampire pr0n.
kyrene: (Default)
Greek pagans in Greece honor the solstice on behalf of Apollo

Here, let me sneak in one of my usual rants in here... why the fuck are some people WHINING about this? "Waa, they're not doing it the way I want it to be done/believe it should be done/the way it was done in ancient times!" Hello, can we have a LITTLE bit of perspective here?? Our gods are still being worshipped IN GREECE IN THE MODERN DAY! Just a short time ago this was ILLEGAL. Right now, they still have an uphill battle with public opinion and the Greek Orthodox Church. I am sure that they can get fired from their jobs and lose their families for participating in said ritual. I'm sure that many of them being Greek themselves are more concerned with honoring the gods than doing it "right". Probably their way of "right" is just honoring the gods however way they can--and want to, for that matter.

And ya know what? That sounds pretty sane to me. I see nothing wrong in their rituals; they're not claiming Apollo is a space alien or asking him to bless crystals on their necklaces or anything so outlandish that it would neither make sense nor make them look vaguely sane.

Perspective, people. Let's just be happy about the positive press and that our fellow brethren in Greece are worshipping the gods instead of nitpicking on the little details. I know that we as a community have grown WAY too used to nitpicking; putting these sort of rituals on display is like writing essays and having a bunch of English majors read them. I think it's a habit we can stand to break.

I think I need to revive that community [livejournal.com profile] sanegreekrecons. Really.
kyrene: (Default)
I'm alive, really. Finally wrapped up my project from hell at work plus my manuscript for publication (nothing Greek religion related, sorry... but the main char is a devotee of Apollo lol). Then there was that twenty page paper I had to write for some Golden Dawn work I'm doing....

I performed a libation for Apollo this weekend on behalf of the summer solstice which was lovely. Also got to do a nice ritual with other members of the Order of Ares.

I also prayed to Dionysos this weekend regarding some personal issues. This had interesting results. I need to rephrase my request to him tonight before my life gets any more interesting.

And gods know... my life's already interesting enough. :/
kyrene: (Default)
Courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] ravendreamer, I give you...the Hellenic community in VB.NET!


do until EndOfTime=true
Neopagan.Assert(not Culture=Worship)
MessageBox.Show(Recon.BitterComplaints.bcNeopagansAreStupid,vbOk)
Neopagan.Snerk(snSarcasm)

lintAmazinglyBigInt=Recons.AttemptedRebuttals
loop
kyrene: (Default)
Here's something that came up from the previous topic I just posted which bears mentioning:

How do we as Hellenists provide outlets, resources, and spiritual solace for people undergoing rites of passage or a death in the family? Back in the day we had the Eleusinian Mysteries. I am wondering if we need something similar.

When my grandfather died over a year ago, I had nothing. There was nothing in modern day Hellenismos that offered any help, comfort, or spiritual aid. I wound up turning to Eastern philosophy and its texts for answers which I found lacking in modern day Hellenismos and feeling abandoned by a faith I thought would help me in times like that. I'd like that to not happen to others down the road, especially since I know of people already who have left Hellenismos for same or similar reasons.

One of the biggest attractors to Christianity from Hellenismos back when it began was the comfort in a beautiful life after death for people other than just the initiated. One of the strongest attractors today to Buddhism is that you can deal with your own death and actually prepare for it in a meditative way--just read the Bardo sometime.

These are things which occupied my thoughts for a very long, agonizing six months. Religion is supposed to offer solutions to these things. If they don't, they are missing a major function for which they are often held responsible.

The words "We can't offer the mysteries in the modern day because we can't know them/won't know them/shouldn't do them/would be hubris/the gods would strike us dead" are bullshit in the hearts and minds of people undergoing genuine life trauma due to its passages and passing of ones dear to us, spiritual transformation and transformation in the Dark Nights of their souls, and people who desire more than just offering incense and libations.

Thoughts?
kyrene: (Default)
Interesting conversation with a few people in private email begs this question:

For those in the Hellenic community or Hellenists in general: what sorts of things do you think we need to focus on in order to ensure that our traditions pass on to the next generations? What is important to pass down, get done, or otherwise leave behind?
kyrene: (Default)
Apparently there are people in the community who believe that this site is only managed by one or two individuals and only what THEY want to put up there and promote. This is why, obviously, the site has been dormant for so long.

The site was meant as a resource for EVERYONE to contribute to. You have a resource that's not up there? Put it up! A link, a book, anything! It's not a political site, it's not affiliated with any org, and the whole purpose of Dadoukhoi is to be a non-affiliated group open to ALL organizations, ALL types of Hellenists, et cetera.


Here's the link:

http://dadoukhoi.proboards107.com/index.cgi
kyrene: (Default)
Mindfulness is not a term over which the Buddhists have a monopoly. One of the most disappointing things I have found about much of the Pagan and Hellenic communities is the complete lack of an outlet for people to improve themselves. This is especially frustrating in the Hellenic community where the mindset is often focus on ritual but not on self development. Given how ancient religion emphasized arete or excellence (and not just in sports either) I find this rather strange.

Being a mystic is no guarantee of said self improvement. In many places, ranging from the Hellenic community to the Golden Dawn community, I have found mystics who have in the entire course that I've known them stood at a standstill as far as their personality was concerned. In fact I have found that mystics can often "get in, get high" and never make any efforts towards mindfulness, self improvement, or anything of that nature. They wind up in pursuit of one spiritual experience after another the way people go from book after book, drink after drink in a bar, or relationship after relationship--never really scratching the surface of their own ego or producing any real results except the euphoria that mysticism can produce.

Is it any wonder why non-mystics are often so skeptical towards us?

What does mindfulness mean? It means being self-aware and cognisant of one's aptitude as well as one's flaws. It also means being aware of the world around them and how they relate to that world. In becoming mindful, one can become a better person.

This is usually where people ask, "Well, what is a good person and why would I want to become that?" I can sum up a good person via both modern and ancient standards according to the Delphic Maxims: a good person is someone who is compassionate, has integrity, and is good to others--and hence contributes to their family and/or community in a positive way. I don't think a person can contribute in that positive vein without being a good person.

What is a positive contribution? A positive contribution is someone who is a good role model for others. Writing essays and putting up websites doesn't make one into a good person, but someone who actively assists in charitable causes, helps people in need, and is generally good to others is.

When is someone not a good person? A person who spends their time negatively judging other people, is narcissistic and self-absorbed, and adds more negative contributions than positive. Frequently such people appear to care more about what other people are doing rather than what they are doing; hypocrisy is a trademark of such people.

I sometimes hear, "Well, trying to become a good person detracts from the worship of the gods." Given how a good person can aid their community more effectively and be a force of good in this world, I see this as a rather lame attempt to justify their own behavior. What they REALLY mean is: "I just don't care about being a good person; I only want to get high off of my spiritual practice. Who cares about the real good I can accomplish? It's much easier to throw barley at offerings and libate my drinks and not do any work or effort towards such things. It's too hard anyway."

FYI you don't have to be a mystic in order to improve yourself. And mysticism comes in many forms: contemplation, meditation, philosophy--any sort of personal experience with the divine in whatever form or form you conceive of it to be.

Sometimes I get accused of doing too much navel gazing and second guessing myself. But I'd rather that than not examine myself at all. It is true though that moderation should exist in all things--including moderation. ;)
kyrene: (Default)
I know that y'all love my rants better than popcorn chicken. Just admit it.

Actually, the very last time I had popcorn chicken was when I had mono. That was when I was in bed all day and had NO appetite so if I craved anything that day, I ate it and that was my day's worth of food. This was also a few years before I realized that animal protein forces my body to commit sepuku and hence had to give it up in all of its forms.

But I digress.

I've been in the Hellenic community for nearly a decade now. I know of a few people around who have a strangely myoptic view of the events that occurred then, enough to credit me with the founding of said community. I can take credit for starting HellenicPagan and helping to start Hellenion but really that's about it. I couldn't do jack shit without the aid of other people.

Hence where this rant comes in. I can't do jack shit without other people. I am not the Hellenic equivalent of Jesus Christ who will swoop in, miraculously get shit done and solve everyone's problems by getting myself nailed to a few pieces of wood. When I ask for people's help, I do it with the expectation that they will either say "Yes I can" or "No I can't" or "I can do it, if..." Either way, I expect a response. I expect people to be adult about it. I also expect if they express a strong opinion, they give reasons for it versus "Well I just don't wanna" or insulting other people out the door without giving clear reasons for their insult other than whatever medication they're on that week.

Do not bitch about how this community does nothing but emailing lists and websites, and then turn around and tell me that your answer to a poll is "fuck it" because you don't have the balls to back up an opinion on a vote to actually fucking DO SOMETHING. Anyone in this community knows me this well: I don't give two shits and a fuck if you disagree with me. Or a single shit or a fuck. Just tell me why and have the balls to at least tell me you disagree. That's really all I ask. I don't want yes men, I don't want "I follow Kyrene the Almighty Leader Ommmmm" men; I just want people who can THINK and express why they think that they do. I can't be swayed otherwise and I certainly won't be convinced by "I just think it, like, freaks me out, man."

I do not ask for the world. I do not ask for people to agree with me. I do not WANT people to agree with me all of the time, pretend to agree, or try to kiss my ass repeatedly. I do not ask for people to STFU, nod and smile. I want people to come in, challenge what I think, and give me good reasons for doing so. Only then can I learn from you, you learn from me, and we actually accomplish something other than a bunch of emails back and forth on a stupid emailing list. I can't figure out wtf you want if you don't tell me what you want or why you want it. Nor can I help to direct a failing attempt at an organization if all you do is keep silent except to express your noncommital disagreement to moving forward without providing a reason as to why.

This is an issue which has been going on for as long as I've been in the community. Nothing's changed except the issues and the players. I'm frustrated because I can't get people to hear what I'm saying, and I'm also annoyed that people take it personally that I expect them to think and express what they think and instead take it as a personal attack on them disagreeing when all it is, is my expressing my frustration that they won't give me reasons as to why other than bullshit like they don't feel like it or whatever. In the meantime, they create blockades around getting shit done that shouldn't have blockades around them.

What this community needs is an enema and a backbone. In that order.

End rant. For now.
kyrene: (Default)
I was away for the weekend so I'm behind on replying to comments.

I will say though that I got to see a screening of the 300 last night and it was a fantastic movie. Not all that beneficial in regards to the gods or anything, but good on understanding Sparta. Definitely recommended.
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)
Ah ha!

I am NOT on crack: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greco-Buddhism

I've always found Mahayana Buddhism to be very Apollonian in nature.
kyrene: (Maenad with leopard and torch)
This comment to one of my posts was teh awesome. :)

It's true, though. I know of a lot of people who went Pagan to "escape the fundies" only to realize that they're in every religion. Everywhere you go you will meet people who take themselves WAY too seriously and will spend more time obsessing over what you do in your practice and what you believe versus what they're doing for themselves. "Being okay to agree and disagree" with these types is "Sure, we can agree and disagree...just as long as we both agree on what it is to agree upon, and disagree with".

Some people are afraid of change. These people are deeply insecure and feel the need to justify their beliefs, their practices because they are deeply, terribly afraid that they are Not Doing It Right. Therefore in reflection of their fears, other people "aren't doing it right", either.

Tradition evolves over time. We see that in religions such as Judaism and even in Christianity. Tradition isn't a static thing. Once upon a time, chicken was considered to be pareve in Judaism. Now eating a chicken parmigiana sandwich isn't kosher anymore. This is a small but worthwhile example. In my religious community where there was no continuity of changes as lineage was broken ages ago and we look back directly two thousand years ago with our modern and frequently American eyes, we see this tradition which we want to cryogenetically freeze and stick on our shelves. And frankly it's just as cold and stiff when we do that.

Examining this means that we are forced to examine ourselves and our motives for wanting to lift everything wholesale from 5th century BC in Athens. And once again, some people don't like to examine themselves too closely. They're afraid. They want to justify their thoughts, ideas, beliefs, emotions, and actions and Be Right, and Being Right means Not Questioning Anything. It also means taking yourself too damned seriously.

For instance, I want a nickel for every unthinking retard on the Hellenic lists who uses the term "hubris" to describe something they dislike and disagree with. I would be able to retire young and focus on my writing career--not to mention be able to do spiritual work full time.

Better yet, fuck, make it into a charity event. People could sponsor their favorite reconhead. For every time they use the word "hubris" they'll make x donation to their favorite charity. Finally some good use could be put to some of the silliness I see so often.
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."

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kyrene: (Default)
Kyrene

September 2010

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