Recommended Reads

The 2013 Hellenion Calendar

The calendar is based on the monthly and annual observances and festivals of the ancient Athenians from about 800 BCE to 323 BCE…

The calendar outlines ancient monthly practices, such as Hekate’s Deipnon (on the darkest night, honoring Hekate, the “Bringer of Light”, by a donation of food at a crossroads or to a charity), Noumenia (new moon, beginning of the new Athenian month) and the Agathos Daimon (honoring one’s own personal spirit, a destiny, a characteristic, a blessing, inherently neither good nor bad). It also lists ancient Athenian festivals, on the exact dates where these are known. Where the exact date has not been revealed by research, a question mark follows the name of the festival. Information about the specific observance can be found in the references mentioned above and on the on-line version. Note that the date of the new moon is determined by when the crescent is visible in Athens; check local sources for the exact time and day in your locality if you wish to be precise.

In addition to ancient festivals and observances, certain modern occasions are listed as well. This includes the Hellenion monthly libation (ensuring that at least one day a month is shared by a community, albeit scattered, at the same time, and also ensuring that each of the twelve Olympians is honored at least once during the year).

For more information on the yearly festivals click here.

If you use Google’s Calendar, you can also link to Hellenion’s Calendar here.

Classical Salutations and Closings in Greek and Roman Letters, Adapted to Electronic Mail

Throughout Classical Pagan Antiquity, the salutations and closings of Greek and Latin letters (Gk. epistole or grammata, Latin epistola or litterae) assumed regular forms. In later centuries, these forms began to break down, but that is not my concern here. Here I have summarized the regular forms and included some comments on their use in electronic communication. Greek texts are shown in Roman transcription and in {beta-codes}.

The English Lexicon of Standard Terminology for Hellenismos
Translated and Adapted by Mano and Lesley Madytinos

It is our hope that this lexicon will form the basis for the religion to have the same terminology and conceptual meaning in both Hellenic and English. It will simultaneously provide a very succinct and precise set of standards that will foster the common bond of meaning and language between us all. It is important to note that this lexicon is by no means complete or comprehensive yet. New words will be added to it at regular intervals…

Disposing of Offerings
Sannion’s Sanctuary: After the Smoke Clears

Remember, an offering is a gift. And while the God has probably already taken the portion of the gift that they find pleasing (the mana or spiritual energy, or even the aroma of burning fat according to Homer) in a sense, the gift is still connected to them, whether through symbolic association, actual ownership, or a form of divine contagion which comes from contact. Whatever is connected with the Gods is holy. And in Greek, the word holy – hagnos – literally means “set apart”. Holy things are not common things, and must be kept away from them. Contact with common things, especially if those things are associated with birth, death, blood, madness, or sex is miasma or a form of pollution. To avoid this pollution we always undergo purification before the start of a ritual, if only through the washing of hands in khernips or holy water. So, just tossing your offering in the trash when finished would completely undo its effect, possibly tick the God off, and certainly cause you to be guilty of ritual defilement.

Hellenic Habilliments

Ritual Clothing

One very traditional means of aiding us in our transition from mundane to sacred space is the use of clothing. From the elaborate ritual garb of a class of priests to the ‘Sunday Go to Meetin” clothes of Appalachian farm folk, most cultures have some form of changing from every day clothes to special, ritual clothing. When we begin to change our clothing we also begin to change our consciousness. Once dressed for the ritual we are already half way to the place where we want to be: for it must not be forgot that to come into contact with the Divine we must accept changes in ourselves; changes which we begin to manifest when we bathe, anoint ourselves, and put on our ritual garb.

Sannion’s Guide to Ritual Etiquette
Ritual Etiquette

Always remember that you are in the presence of the Great Ones, and conduct yourself accordingly. If behavior would be out of place among polite human society, how much more should that behavior be shunned when you are in the company of the gods?

Paraphernalia of the Hellenic Reconstructionist
Ritual Items:

For the serious Reconstructionist, there are a few things you will need in order to properly re-enact an ancient ritual. Modern-day pagans, especially those who are new to Hellenismos, may not be familiar with the basic concept of ritual within this religion. The type of ritual I am referring to here is the public ritual, which most often occurs within the framework of the festival.

Who may call themselves a Hellenist?
Delphic Maxim (Ethical Directives of the Seven Wise Men) Line 139 Applied: ’Επαγγέλου μηδενί

If we are to live in accordance with the Delphic Maxims and in line with the spirit and logic of the maxim ‘Renounce No One’ we do not, ethically, have the right to exclude anyone from the Hellenic religion or any other grouping and especially in the form of a public declaration or statement. We are, rather, bound to allow people to exclude themselves, if they should so wish.

Mythology in the Modern World via Banter Latte 
An appeal to modern intuits and mythologists

Eric Burns is a modern author who, among other projects, initiated the movement to revive mythology. In his own words:

“We need modern mythologists who can embrace the scientific and work around it. Science just plain works, but it’s verifiable in the lab or it’s not science, and if it’s verifiable, then it’s something we can directly perceive. Intuition needs to work with what we can’t perceive, without contradicting it. Or not contradicting it too badly.

Fortunately, we have coffee.”

He goes on in the first article in his mythology section to explain why we need to do this, the nature of subjective vs. objective reality, and the virtue of coffee as a mystical drink as a means to get there. His observations about both the need for us to create modern mythology, and his aside about coffee…well, let’s just say I now give sponde with coffee as often as I do wine or olive oil.

He both retells ancient myths, like the marriage of Persephone to Hades, and tells new myths (like one of my personal favorites) Why can we walk past beautiful artwork without noticing it?; but really, we need to take what he started and run with it.  Start with the Introduction and Coffee, read through the mythology articles, and then see what myths you can come up with with your personal gnosis.

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