About the Author

A Priestess

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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.

Devotions
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.

Early Life
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.

Education
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.

Graduation
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.

Marriage
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.”

Hellenion
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
Alexandra Bond
Demos Valley of Heart’s Delight
Bouleutai, Hellenion

12 comments on “About the Author

  1. bdrex says:

    I commented on Demi-Gods before I read your about. I too attend UU church and was at the San Jose church last Dec. (I live in Mn.)

    Anyway, I connected the dots a few years ago and found Egyptian and Greek influences throughout Christianity. Too many to list.

    Did the Pagans have a ritual meal where they ate the body of Baachus (grape) and drank the blood (wine)?

    I have a thousand ?? for you. And maybe some insights for you.

    • Thanks for reading and commenting!

      As to your question, yes and no. In ritual ecstatic trance, followers would perform the sparagmos (σπαραγμός) translating to “tearing to pieces”. Then there was the omophagia (ωμοφαγια) ritual which translates to “eating raw flesh”. The followers would tear apart small animals and snakes with their bare hands and then eat the dismembered pieces, thereby becoming one with the god and the wild forces of nature He represents. More information on this can be found at Background and Images for the Bacchae. So yes, there was the consumption of flesh and blood to become one with this god, but not in the same way that Catholics take communion.

  2. bdrex says:

    Thanks for the reply Alexandrabond. I read that 1st century Syrians celebrated the bounty of the vine, and hope for a resurrected vine in the spring, by eating the body of the wine God (grapes) and drinking the blood of their God (wine) to honor this God. Maybe it wasn’t Bacchae. A Syrian professor confirmed this as a North Syrian practice around the 1st century and before.

    Do you think Christianity altered our understanding of attic Greek? I find many Hebrew translations poorly translated, but done so in a way advantageous to orthodox religious positions. Bdrex

  3. brookie5085 says:

    Hi,

    Just wanted to say: you are inspiring!

    I’ve recently started on my own Hellenic path – as a literature major I was always so enthralled by the Homeric Hymns, epics, and myths, and after going through a period of spiritual emptiness for several years, I recently made connections with the Hellenic Gods and couldn’t be happier with my new-found spirituality! I love the Hellenic way of thinking, and how they viewed humanity, the divine, and the world, and I’ve been trying to apply that to my own modern life…but it does get hard, especially as a beginner to the faith and someone who is, though extremely dedicated, without much of a community to go to other than the online ones – and I’ve been searching for good online places to go. But your profile above and this blog/the Hellenion community in general is inspiring to me (I downloaded the calendar ^_^), and I just wanted to tell you that!

    Thanks!

    ~Brooke

    • I’m so happy for you that you’ve found your way, Brooke! Thanks for letting me know that my little blog here has made an impact on your life. I _really_ appreciate reading your comment. If you have any requests for article subjects, please feel welcome to send them my way. Reconstruction is such a ground-up process and so it helps if we communicate with each other. Keep in touch!

  4. Osa Taas says:

    Hi Alex,
    I have recently become very interested in Hellenistic polytheism (thanks to my 11 year old goddaughter). I’ve been trying to find a local group but haven’t had any luck. Any suggestions where to look?

    (I’m in Portland Oregon if it helps, but I’m really just looking for a website that records where local groups are.)

    Thanks for any help.

    p.s. I love your writing style and hope you post again soon.

    • I’m delighted to read your comment, Osa. If you have a request for a specific topic for an article, please let me know. 🙂

      As for connecting with others, I can only recommend joining Hellenion because it’s the only organized Hellenic Polytheistic ‘church’ in the US and can make local congregations. Those congregations (demoi and proto-demoi) can be found on Hellenion’s website. Members can also find each other on the discussion list and opt to share their locations.

      • Osa Taas says:

        Have you ever considered writing an article on Hellenistic activities for children? I have an 11 year old who is interesting in my faith but the Illiad is a bit heavy for her. I would love to see how others incorporate children into their faith or alter their rituals to be more ‘child friendly’.

      • Hi Osa,
        The Percy Jackson series is a good one for introducing kids to Greek Mythology and it even includes characters performing simplified rituals. It seems like it could be age-appropriate for your daughter. I hope this helps!

      • Hi Osa,
        I just learned about this book for children and thought of you. Enjoy!

  5. […] following text is my response to Alexandra’s very timely call over at Helleneste kai Grammateus for writers, poets and other artists to […]

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