Pagan Paths

Hellenismos, otherwise known as Greek Reconstructionist Paganism, is the traditional, polytheistic religion of ancient Greece, reconstructed in and adapted to the modern world. It's a vibrant religion which can draw on a surprising amount of ancient sources. Baring the Aegis blogger Elani Temperance blogs about her experiences within this Tradition.

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The webs we weave

I am not a Pagan community blogger, although I attempt to do so, on occassion, on my own blog. I tend to collect a few of the issues and then comment on them in one post. I did for the veiling, body-fat and Jesus debacles as well as for the 'competence vs. sincerity issue'.

The trouble is; that community is not my community. Yes, it's Pagan, it's on-line so I can reach it, but it's also (mostly) American. I am not American; I'm a no-nonsence Dutchy. In general, we are very down to earth. We're hard workers. We keep things inside. We don't hang our dirty laundry out on display. We persevere through the hardship and complain only about the weather. We don't get riled up easily and when we do, it's frowned upon.

I don't like giving my opinion. I'm very Dutch in that regard. I'm much better at providing information. I collect information like the stickers, the rusty nails, the discarted paper and the Lego from my youth. I organize it, catalogue it and group it together in a post. I collect information on topics which touch my mind or heart. I suspect my blogs are not an easy read for everyone; I tend to give little introduction to my blog posts, nor do I frame them with my opinion. I don't tell you what to think about a topic. At most, and on rare occassion, I will tell you what I think about a topic. I leave judgement to the reader.

I blog like a spider; I weave webs. I'm not sure PaganSquare readers will see the web as I don't post all blog posts on PaganSquare, but in general most of my blog posts reach back to the post of the previous day, or the day before that, in some way. There are exceptions, of course. These are glitches in the web; a day when I ran out of time or where my thoughts didn't come together as I expected them to because I was too tired to be collected, to overthink. Like this post. I read back these posts later and I hang my head in resignation. Published is published. I don't edit anything besides spelling errors after publishing.

I am always amazed to discover which posts are read, commented on and appreciated most. Of course, I'm biased, but in general, the topics I am or was proud of most, garner the least interest in readers. Perhaps because they are too Hellenic, perhaps because the topic is only of interest to me. I try to predict how well a post will do after I publish it and I'm almost always wrong. You'd say I would have learned to adapt my expectations but us Dutch folk are also very, very stubborn. 

I started blogging because all the changes in my (religious) life were making me feel like my head explode. I'm amazed I am still writing, not just once a week or once a month like I figured I would end up doing but every single day. Every single day, I boot up my laptop or mobile phone and I write about a topic that is stuck in my mind. And this from the woman who has never been able to keep a journal.

People often tell me I reveal a lot about myself in my posts. Some people tell me I reveal too much. I share my pain, my fear, my practice and my joy with anyone who is open to reading it. I can't write any other way. I live the way I write; overemotional but without judgement. I hold very little back. If I do, it's because there is another person involved or because the experience was to intense to put into words. I am an open book. I'm Dutch; I embellish nothing. I hold you capable enough to realize that what I write is my truth and trust you enough to be vulnerable through it. I think I neglected to tell my readers this, so I am telling you now. Perhaps this will help you see the web and understand that every post has been introduced after all; by all the posts that went before it.

Another thing you must understand about me, is that I am a very positive person. I write everything I write with the best of intentions. I don't do snark. I question, I get angry, I get frustrated but very, very rarely with a person. I understand they are speaking and living their truth, like I speak and live mine. I can get emotionally invested in a topic but I will never pass judgement on the person telling it. Please, read my posts with this in mind and forgive that they aren't sensational. I'm a boring person at heart and love to be so.

I started blogging because trying to sort everything in my head proved to be impossible. I kept writing because of you. So, this is a post to say thank you. Thank you for reading, for proving me wrong, for keeping me on my toes and for trying to walk my web with me, no matter how difficult I make it to do so. Thank you for being gentile with me. Thank you for not judging. Thank you for offering your perspective on a subject and trusting me with your stories. They mean the world to me.

Thank you for helping me weave my web.
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Tagged in: blogging
Elani Temperance is a twenty-seven year old woman, who lives with her partner in The Netherlands. She has been Pagan for a little over twelve years and has explored Neo-Wicca, Technopaganism, Hedge Witchery and Eclectic Religious Witchcraft before progressing to Hellenismos. Although her home practice is fully Hellenic, she has an online Neo-Pagan magazine called 'Little Witch magazine' ( in which she and several co-writers try to cover the whole gamut of Neo-Paganism. Baring the Aegis is also on Facebook:


  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven Monday, 13 August 2012

    You are a wonderful blogger, Elani, and I've already learned a LOT from you. Not engaging in the "frack-up de jour" isn't really a problem in my mind, it's a benefit. I'd love to hear more about what it's like to be a Hellenic Pagan in Holland.

  • Elani Temperance
    Elani Temperance Monday, 13 August 2012

    Thank you, Anne, and please know that I was not being critical of PaganSquare at all! It's more a testiment of the whole of the Pagan internet. As for being a Dutch Hellenic; as I have never met another one, I'm not sure I can offer much insight but I'll write about my experiences.

  • Jamie
    Jamie Monday, 13 August 2012

    I second that. Thanks for your posts!

  • Elani Temperance
    Elani Temperance Monday, 13 August 2012

    Thank you for your kind words!

  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven Tuesday, 14 August 2012

    I did not feel you were being unfair to PaganSquare; I've working hard to broaden our scope of contributors (and hopefully readers) beyond the U.S. so it's part of my agenda, too!

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