Name, Titles, and Occupation
My name is ‘Αλεξανδρα Δοροθια βωνδ (Alexandra). I am an Hellenic Polytheist and a part of the movement to reconstruct and revive the practice of honoring the gods of the ancient Hellenes. I was the Grammateus (Secretary) of Hellenion and am currently Bouleutai representing the general membership of Hellenion.
I honor all of the gods of Olympos and the ancient Hellenic tradition. I feel closest to Athena, Asklepios, and Hermes. I also particularly honor Zeus, Hera, Apollon, Gaea, and Hypnos.
I grew up in the northern Bay Area, California. My parents are Unitarian Universalists and my three siblings at agnostic. My interest in Hellenic antiquity began with learning the myths in childhood, and has developed and flowed more or less steadily since then. When I was young, I learned about the choice of Paris between Hera (who offered land and power), Athena (who offered wisdom), and Aphrodite (who offered the most beautiful woman in the world). I strongly believed that Paris should have chosen Athena, thereby attaining wisdom.
In college I engaged in serious study of ancient Greek literature, history, and art and developed a deeper appreciation for the culture. Two trips to Europe and visiting the ancient Hellenic statues in the Louvre had a profound effect on my faith. This has been the foundation of my spirituality and desire to contribute to reconstructing what is lost, and adapting what can not be to modern life.
I met my husband in college as well. He is a heathen (Norse Reconstructionist), but honors the gods of the Hellenes and I honor his. We both share a love of history and scholarly research and plan to teach our future children the same.
After college we found work in Michigan and I worked in Psychiatry as a Research Assistant in a sleep laboratory. Four years later my husband and I relocated back to the Bay Area, with thanks to Hermes for safe travel and Athena for setting us on the productive path. Now I work as a Clinical Research Coordinator.
I was rather fortunate that my (future) husband was an open-minded agnostic when I first met him, and a spiritual experience of his own convinced him that there was something more to existence. He’s rather remarkable in how he’s so open to change, particularly in major aspects about himself. He became a Heathen (Old Norse heiðinn) and honors the gods of his ancestors. We acknowledge and respect each others’ gods – he is kind enough to take photos when my demos meets for ritual sponde and uploads the photos to our website, and has encouraged me to cultivate my relationship with my gods. I also support his path, although there is an unfortunate drought of literature for his efforts to reconstruct Old Norse traditions.
On “Coming Out”
I’ve always been an open-book, and I have a hard time lying, and even withholding information. My parents always said, “It’s easier to remember the truth than it is a lie, and you should only lie when it’s really really important.” However, there are still some areas that I am not quite confident enough to reveal my practice in – I keep to myself at work (I think it would be unprofessional to be ‘showy’ about it), and one of the big tests for the clergy program at Hellenion is finding a funeral home that will honor the burial ritual requirements of Hellenismos. I’m not sure I’m up to that yet: walking into a business in a suit and asking for unconventional funeral rights with a straight – confident – face, and defending my faith.
But, I’ve found over the years that the more people I tell, the better I become at explaining what I believe and the easier it feels to open up about it. A good way to explain it quickly to an outsider is, I think, “I’m like Native American, but also a Hindu, with European roots.”
I found Hellenion online in the spring of 2008, connected with Zoe (the President [Epistates]) with the aid of Ruadhan, and was accepted into the organization in early autumn of 2008. I was easily persuaded to apply for the Grammateus (secretary) position for Hellenion national late autumn 2008. It was fortunate that there were other local members of Hellenion and we formed a demos of our own, Valley of Heart’s Delight, to which I also filled the role of Grammateus. I considered this a sacrifice of time and resources to the gods and an opportunity to give back to the Hellenic community. I gave membership support and unofficially advised members on how to form proto-demoi and demoi. In the summer of 2009 I was elected to the Boule as a Bouleutai as well, and am pleased to assist in that capacity.
When I began graduate school to earn my MFA in Illustration, I stepped down from the role of Grammateus but continue to serve on the Boule. The current Grammateus can be contacted at grammateus(at)hellenion.org.
How to Contact Me
Please feel welcome to leave a comment, and I will reply as soon as I can.
‘Αλεξανδρα Δοροθια βωνδ
Demos Valley of Heart’s Delight