For those unfamiliar with the modern movement towards reviving ancient polytheistic religions, this article is for you:
It was written back in 2004 and these religions are still going strong. Here is an excerpt describing the movement to reconstruct the ancient polytheist religions into religions for modern practitioners living in today’s cultures:
Reconstructionists are a group of neo-pagans-people who look to pre-Christian cultures for their faith-different branches of which worship the gods of ancient Norse, Roman, Egyptian, and Druid peoples. And while scholars say their numbers are only a fraction of the neo-pagan community, they also say they are a vibrant illustration of the rejection of traditional religion in the United States. And, in a curious boomerang effect, they are part of a movement away from the more eclectic forms of neo-paganism, like Wicca, taken up by pagan pioneers in the 1960s and 1970s.
One thing the article nailed exactly is how important cyberspace has been to the polytheistic community, which is spread across great distances. Hellenion in particular is mentioned a few times in addition to purely online groups:
…Because their numbers are so small, the majority of reconstructionists are “sole practitioners,” conducting rituals, ceremonies and study on their own. Because of their isolation, and because many are young enough to have been raised with computers, the internet serves as a pipeline to the broader reconstructionist community. There are numerous websites and chatrooms devoted to each of the reconstructionist faiths, outlining the customary worship of the various gods, the origins of festivals, and the proper preparation of rituals.
…Offline reconstructionist groups are rare, though their numbers appear to be growing. Berman’s group, called Hellenion, made the leap from cyberspace to temple space in 2001 when they founded as a religious non-profit and began holding monthly worship services. By the end of that year they numbered three “demoi,” or congregations, though the largest was Berman’s with seven members. There are now nine Hellenion groups in places as far away from Athens, Greece as Jackson, Miss., Lancaster, Penn, northeastern Ohio and Dallas, Tex.
The article also mentions modern reconstruction of Norse and Egyptian practices as well.
Thank you to Ellen Catalina for posting this classic article on Facebook!
- What is Neo-Paganism and Wicca? (brighthub.com)
- Druidry recognized as an official religion in Britain (life.nationalpost.com)