News: “Reconstructionist pagans are reviving the polytheistic religions of the ancient Greeks, Druids, Egyptians, and others”- Beliefnet.com

Parthenon from west

Image via Wikipedia

For those unfamiliar with the modern movement towards reviving ancient polytheistic religions, this article is for you:

Reconstructionist pagans are reviving the polytheistic religions of the ancient Greeks, Druids, Egyptians, and others- Beliefnet.com.

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.

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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

Honoring Artemis Potnia Theron Fosoros on Mounukhia

Àrtemis mata Acteó

Artemis Image by Sebastià Giralt via Flickr

The Mounukhia festival honors Artemis as her titles Potnia Theron (the Mistress of Beasts) and Artemis Fosforos (Artemis the Light-Bringer). It begins with a pompe in which the people carry round cakes in which small torches, or dadia, are stuck. These cakes are called amphiphontes (round-shining). They are offered to Artemis in thanks for the lives of beasts that were killed during the hunt, and for the light of the moon. Cupcakes studded with birthday candles make a simple and thoughtful substitute. Glaux Nest

Mounukhia is an ancient Greek festival dedicated to Artemis. It falls between late April and early May in the month of Mounukhion in the ancient Greek calendar. At this festival, Artemis is celebrated in her titles as Potnia Theron (the Mistress of Animals) and Artemis Fosforos (Artemis the Light-Bringer).

As with all Greek rituals, the participants are to be cleansed of miasma (negative energy) by first washing their hands and asperging themselves with water.

An offering of thanks is given to Artemis for the lives of beasts that were killed during the hunt, and for the light of the moon, in the form of a meat offering and cakes called amphiphontes. Amphiphonton (the singular) means “shining-all-around” because the cakes are ringed with lit candles to symbolize the light of the moon. The meat that was offered to her was generally a stag or some type of wild game, though modern reconstructionists have been known to sacrifice meat from the market, or even small cakes in the shape of stags.

The Mounukhia ritual also may include the reading of her hymns, and the telling of myths associated with the Goddess of the Hunt. Richard – The Pagan Village

Ritual Outline: Honoring Artemis Potnia Theron (Mistress of Beasts) & Fosforos (Light-Bringer)

Can the Gods Die?

Asking if the theoi can die is like asking if time can end.

After-all, Kronos is a god. ; )

Chronos Sleeping on Wolff Grave

Statue of Kronos, Titan God of Time & Father of Olympians

I follow the ancient theory that time is cyclical. Pythagoras described history as one Great Year in which the historical cycle comes to an end and the sun, moon, and all other planets return to their original positions. The very same people return to earth and all that had happened will happen again.

It was only later that St. Augustine promoted the Jewish and early Christian theory that time is linear, following an irreversible process, with a unique beginning and ending, and a god that existed before time.

Some things to chew on:

  • The cyclical nature of time is appropriately in line with the theory that the Big Bang repeats itself. The universe (which we could understand as Chaos or “the Void”) expands, but like a rubber band, eventually pulls back upon itself in an implosion before exploding again.
  • Time might appear linear to us who perceive our small length of the great circle as a perfectly straight line with a single beginning and ending.
  • If time is cyclical, then the theoi don’t “die” so much as transform (like Helios into Apollon and Selene into Artemis) through the process and, at the end, revert to the beginning. That is, brought back to Chaos (or “the Void”). Eventually, the Earth (Gaea) is “born” from Chaos, and the theoi are born from Her. And the rest, as they say, is Hesiod.
  • References:

    * Nobel Prize Authors on Time

    Do you think the gods can die?