An Appeal to Modern Writers, Mythologists, Seers, Oracles, Diviners, and Devotees of the Gods

iced coffee

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been silent here since I started my MFA program, largely because the moũsai (muses) and my work ethic have given me little rest.  But I was deeply moved to return when I came upon the stories of a modern writer.  I just can’t wait to share this!  Let me introduce him:

Eric Burns of Banter Latte described why and (perhaps more importantly) how we need to create our own mythology in a way that it can live in harmony with science (or at least not contradict it too badly) and reflect the world today.  At risk of obscuring his message, I’ll simply quote his first article on the subject “Mythology of the Modern World: Introduction and Coffee” in its entirety below.  I recommend starting there, and then checking out all of his modern myths.  Also check out the comments – they’re both amusing and enlightening – he often explains his choice of names for particular gods and loci.  My only regret is that he seems to have stopped writing in 2007, which leaves me both unsatisfied but also compelled to carry this on further.  You can find more of his stories and essays on modern mythology in the side panel there under the Blogroll or under the Must Read! header, but I’ll probably repost my favorites here too.

When you’ve read this appeal, consider your role in modernizing mythology.  What myths would you tell to explain modern mysteries?  How would you retell the old myths in a way that’s relevant today? Continue reading

Autumn Update

You may have been wondering what happened during this lapse of time since the last article posted to Helleneste kai Grammateus.  The truth is there has been a lot.  Happening, that is.  I won’t bog down this article with the full details of everything, but this will be an overview for upcoming posts…

Hellenion had its Annual General Meeting which kept my hands, mind, and emotional capacity more than full.

Concurrent with that, our family lost a strong friend of 14 years which sent me into a deep immobilizing funk of guilt and regret.  Our friend was one of the two family cats my husband and I took into our home four years ago when my side split households across the country.  He was declining sharply due to kidney failure and we were forced to decide to put him down.  It felt like pulling the plug on a child, but one that couldn’t communicate his pain.  We are still coping with the loss.

I’m also now in my last two weeks of a class on digital painting.  That is, painting on the computer with Corel Painter.  I promise I’ll post a link to one piece I did which Hellenic Polytheists will enjoy: Hestia.  I felt moved by Her to paint it.  I’m considering selling prints of it to those in the polytheistic community if there’s enough interest.

I am also applying to the graduate program at the Academy of Art University in SF for a MFA in Illustration (Concept Art track).  This has required a lot of attention to cultivating my portfolio.

And then there was Thanksgiving.  It is my favorite holiday.  Perhaps its approach was why I was compelled to paint Hestia as it is certainly Her holiday.  Family and friends gathered to give feast and give thanks as winter approaches and they spend all day over the oven cooking together.  What could celebrate the hearth more?  My husband and I went out of town for the week and celebrated twice with his family (his parents are divorced) and spent time with his brother, brother’s fiance, and our nephew (who is now three years old and both charming and brilliant).  Then we flew back and entertained my parents and family and friends for a third Thanksgiving feast (well, three of those really as friend and relatives came at three separate times).  What can I say?  We have much to be thankful for.

Now I am taking a deep breath and getting back into the groove.  As usual, I post not by a schedule or routine, but when something of interest begs to be shared and discussed.  Next, I’ll share some advice I posted at MisticWicks concerning finding a patron (or matron) deity.

The New Look of Helleneste kai Grammateus

Screenshot of the WordPress 2.9 adminstration

Screenshot of WordPress Administration, Image via Wikipedia

I’ve given Helleneste kai Grammateus a makeover.  I was beginning to see the old theme too often on other blogs.  Also, there were some new features I wanted to employ here.  The updates and changes include:

  • A new theme – plus a footer!  I may change this if I can find/create a wide header I like.  But I like the green and blue background in keeping with the natural feeling of Hellenic Polytheism.  It was also much less boring than the other options available on a free account with WordPress.
  • Reorganization – 1) Adding the “More” tag to make skimming easier for you, 2) Narrowing the number of articles per page down to 3, 3) Now that I have a footer, and space in the header, I’ve employed widgets in an aesthetically pleasing manner:
    • In the Header you can get to general navigationPages, Categories, and the RSS feed.
    • In the Sidebar are more specific navigation options and Links – a Search field, options to subscribe by email or RSS, Tags (more specific than categories), Blogroll (with descriptions of each blog), Community Links, Downloadable Content, Forums, and Hellenic Polytheist Websites.
    • In the Footer are the Archives – of Top Posts, Recent Comments, and two ways to access the Full Archives.
  • In each post past and future:
    • Photos – from the public domain.
    • Links integrated into post content – to help explain certain terms and references.
    • Related articles – I hand-pick these for you, incase you want to read more about a particular issue.
  • Social networking links and sharing features (email and print) – if you like something I’ve written, please share it!  You are especially welcome to email and print rituals I’ve published, adapt, and use them!
  • Nero ratings – switched from stars to a simplified thumbs up/down.  Please endorse the posts you liked!

Do you like the new look?  Please post general feedback and suggestions here.  Thanks!

Err…This Is Unexpected

Ever since I posted Why Pagans Aren’t Taken Seriously I’ve received a number of search engine hits for all things regarding to pagan symbols. This is because I included an image-link in that article to stones painted with various pagan symbols to represent different paths. The steady trend has prompted me to write an article on just that (pagan symbols) because I’m pretty convinced folks were detoured here while searching for something more specific on that subject.

Yet more surprising: I wrote one ritual outline for Mounukhia titled Honoring Artemis Potnia Theron Fosoros on Mounukhia and just yesterday there were 67 page views with 42 of those on the Mounukhia article and 39 search engine searches for the word “artemis” leading to this blog. This is the second busiest day Helleneste kai Grammateus has had…but I posted that article almost two weeks ago.

*blink*

What happened? Is someone out there searching for Artemis over and over and over again; is there a group researching how to conduct a ritual in Her honor because an event is coming soon; or is this article referenced somewhere I am not aware of? Are you looking because you like what I’ve put out there and want more of it, or are you passing through on the way to somewhere else? Let me know, OK?  Continue reading

Updated Links

I’ve updated the Recommended Links page to include The English Lexicon of Standard Terminology for Hellenism and Who may call themselves a Hellenist?

Also, there are new Blogs on the Blogroll.

Check them out!

New Resource Link for Classical Greek Correspondence in E-mail

Greek to Me (1)

Greek Handwriting Image by Kim Scarborough via Flickr

There has been a lot piling up of late. Big internal transitions in Hellenion, renewals for current members, ten new members (each with a customized membership kit to prepare), the civic holidays with family visiting, a seminar to coordinate for work, and because I’m getting the lay-off I’m looking for new work as well. Never the less, I have been working on some draft posts. Below is a quick update:

I’ve updated the links in the sidebar and on the links page to include a well-researched reference on how to adapt classical Greek (and Roman) salutations and closings for letters to modern day email.

I’ve used this to update official correspondence as Hellenion’s Grammatues:

(recipient-dat) para {PARA\} (sender-gen) = To (recipient) from (sender).
Tois Joe para Alexandra = To Joe from Alexandra

and

erromenon se hoi theoi diaphulattoien = May the Gods guard your well-being.

Today, I’ll close with this:

Ta d’ alla, seautou epimelou hin hugiaineis. For the rest, take care to stay well.

Fundamentalist Atheists

Addendum: There have been some lively comments in response to the post below, but there seem to be misapprehensions that 1) I am calling all Atheists fundamentalists, and that 2) I am defending Abrahamic faiths, or that this blog is about Abrahamic faiths.

This is not so.

First, I am talking specifically about intolerance – when it appears among Atheists. Extremists (who are often marked by intolerance) are found in every group, and Atheists are no exception.

If you are Atheist and tolerant of other people’s religious and spiritual beliefs, then this article is NOT about you.

If you feel it could be about you, well, then try to take home the message of the golden rule, ‘Do unto others as you would have done to you’.

Second, please read “About the Author” And “About Helleneste kai Grammateus” before posting.

Thank you. Now for the post…

The Major religious groups of the world.

Major Religious Groups of the World Image via Wikipedia

I read a new term today: “Fundamentalist Atheists” referenced in KCRW’s The New Atheists.

The label is meant for those who don’t believe in any deity (soft or hard) and view the influence of any religion or spirituality as a threat to reason and science and fight back. They believe that religion inherently fosters ignorance and war and fight aggressively against beliefs in anything spiritual. Theirs is called the New Atheism movement.

I would agree that one can be Atheist and be Fundamentalist about it. One doesn’t have to believe in spirituality in order to be so adamant about that belief (or non-belief if you prefer) to proselytize and show intolerance. Continue reading