The Status of Helleneste kai Grammateus


As  you know, I stepped down from the officer role of Grammateus (Secretary) of Hellenion in order to focus on my graduate studies, and consequently, had stopped updating Helleneste kai Grammateus as regularly as I liked. Part of the problem was that I ran out of a lot of the easy ideas to write about and wasn’t sure what you all wanted to discuss. That said, I check in now and again and recently found some really interesting comments that inspired in me some epic blog-length replies. So I asked myself, “Self, wouldn’t these make great blog posts on their own?” and I answered, “Self, I’m sure other people beyond the LWs would be interested in these replies. Why don’t we look into not only posting them as new articles, but making this cool thing happen more often?” I agreed, and so the meeting was adjourned and I set myself to work on updates, while sipping cool cup of cold-pressed coffee, of course.

Therefore, I’m hereby opening the blog to suggested topics, questions, or problems relating to modern Hellenic Polytheism, methods for reconstructing and modernizing ancient religions, and religion/spirituality/philosophy questions in general. To take advantage of this, click here to find the Ask a Question Form.

Coupled with that, I developed a Site Policy and a Support and Donate page.*

Lastly, after some very exciting changes within Hellenion over the course of the last year, I stepped up during the current Annual General Meeting and accepted a nomination to join the Prutaneis (Board of Directors). We’ll see if I’m elected, but regardless, I’m expecting topics of interest to come more frequently across my bow and I look forward to sharing them here, when appropriate. And if it continues to go well, and I survive graduate school, I may set my sights on becoming an ordained member of the Hellenion clergy – which would lead to yet more contemplations written by your online Hellenic scribe. 😉

*I was inspired greatly by one of my favorite bloggers, Captain Awkward, who seems to have this advice column thing down.


The Difference Between Gods and Demi-Gods

Hades with Cerberus (Heraklion Archaeological ...

Hades with Cerberus via Wikipedia

Gods are immortal and have particular domains that They control/embody/personify. Demi-gods, or heros, are descended from god and mortal pairings. Demi-gods have abilities that surpass mortals, can cross domains that gods can not cross (like descending into Hades – something we don’t see any gods but the Chthonic gods do, because it isn’t Their realm [except for Hermes and Iris because They are messenger gods]). Yet mortals don’t have the power of gods and can be subject to the whims of gods. Mortals often have a special relationship with their parent god and sometimes are blessed with long life or immortality by their parent god or gods in general. Sometimes they have/had cult worship as well (as in, people pray[ed] to them in addition to the gods).

IMHO, Catholocism adapted the practice of worshiping demi-gods/heros to the worship of their saints (not the same figures in mythology/history, but rather, the very human tendency to elevate certain notable individuals to cult status and ascribing a divine quality to them).

What do you think a demi god is?  What do you think defines a god?

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?

    Hunger and Poverty

    Have you thought of giving to charity as an offering in the name of Zeus Sôtêr “the Savior” and Epidôtês “Giver of Good”?*

    You can do it remotely from the computer, and without spending anything!

    I’ve added the option to my sidebar for folks visiting Helleneste kai Grammateus to donate to charity.  How?  By clicking on the icon for Hunger and Poverty, the sponsor(s) will donate towards this charity, and feed the impoverished.  The sponsors will change, but the cause was my choice:  Hunger and Poverty.  My goal is to raise 400 points.

    You may be asked to participate in an “event”.  The one I just did rated an advertisement video by PowerBar (fitting, hu?).  When I spent my time on this, I earned points for the charity, which works to feed those who need it most.

    Consider a donation of your time to the charity as an offering.  Say a prayer to Zeus,the Savior and Giver of Good when you do so! : )

    *  SOTER (Sôtêr), i. e. “the Saviour” (Lat. Servator or Sospes), occurs as the surname of several divinities:– 1. of Zeus in Argos (Paus. ii. 20. § 5), at Troezene (ii. 31. § 14), in Laconia (iii. 23. § 6), at Messene (iv. 31. § 5), at Mantineia (viii. 9. § l), at Megalopolis (viii. 30. § 5; comp. Aristoph. Ran. 1433 ; Plin. H. N. xxxiv. 8). The sacrifices offered to him were called sôtêria. (Plut. Arat. 53.) 2. Of Helios (Paus. viii. 31. § 4), and 3. of Bacchus. (Lycoph. 206.)

    Vatican Celebrates Galileo

    The church denounced Galileo‘s theory as dangerous to the faith. Tried as a heretic in 1633 and forced to recant, he was sentenced to life imprisonment, later changed to house arrest.

    The ruling helped fuel accusations that the church was hostile to science — a reputation the Vatican has been trying to shed ever since.

    In 1992, Pope John Paul II declared that the ruling against Galileo was an error resulting from “tragic mutual incomprehension.”

    The exhibit, and other Vatican initiatives to mark the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s telescope and the U.N.-designated International Year of Astronomy, is part of the Vatican’s continuing rehabilitation effort.

    From here.

    Continue reading

    Agora (2009) To Open

    I learned of the release of Agora at Kallisti in Spain on October 6th, 2009. I hope it’ll come out in the US soon.

    Continue reading

    On the Ethics of Defense

    In Hellenic Polytheist Reconstructionism, one follows the Delphic Maxims, which include:

    Help your friends ( Φιλοις βοηθει )
    Guard friendship ( Φιλιαν φυλαττε )
    Watch out for your enemies ( Εχθρους αμυνου )

    With the above three joined, that means: Treat your friends as friends and treat your enemies as enemies. If you don’t defend your friends against your enemies and theirs, then you have compromised your ethics.

    Detail from Archaeological Site of Delphi, Greece

    Delphi Image via Wikipedia

    Despise evil ( Κακιαν μισει )
    Pursue honor ( Δοξαν διωκε )
    Guard what is yours ( Ιδια φυλαττε )
    Despise insolence ( Υβριν μισει )
    Die for your country ( Θνησκε υπερ πατριδος )

    However, violence is restrained by:
    Shun murder ( Φονου απεχου )
    Control yourself ( Αρχε σεαυτου )
    Be overcome by justice ( Ηττω υπο δικαιου )
    Gain possessions justly ( Δικαιως κτω )
    Venture into danger prudently ( Κινδυνευε φρονιμως )
    Control anger ( Θυμου κρατει )
    Be jealous of no one ( Φθονει μηδενι )

    See More Maxims Here.

    Discussion of this topic continues in Ethics: Delphi, Solon, and Pythagoras – Discuss!