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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Hellenic

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

This post is the first of a new series, a series on places where worship took place in ancient Hellas. In future installments, I will talk about the household, about temples, about caves, springs, and other special places. A little while ago, I spoke about nature religions, and how I feel Hellenismos is not a nature religion in the Neo-Pagan sense. Because I like to make life difficult for myself, I will now write a post which basically says that the ancient Hellenes practiced much of their worship in nature, partly in sacred groves. Before reading this post, it might be good to read the post about Hellenismos and nature religions first.

For me, the most famous of groves is one written about by Sophocles, in Oedipus at Colonus, amongst others, the grove of the Erinyes, which is entered by a spiritually polluted Oedipus, for a rest, and to relieve his suffering. It is here that his daughters tend to him and perform sacrifice to the Erinyes in his name:

"My daughter, if thou seest a resting place 
On common ground or by some sacred grove, 
Stay me and set me down."
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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    This is great stuff, and so relevant for those of us who honor the Theoi! My thanks for finding it and sharing with us.
  • Constance Tippett Chandler
    Constance Tippett Chandler says #
    Dear Elani, It seems to me that you may have misunderstood what Gus was saying about "nature religion". The very fact that the He
  • Elani Temperance
    Elani Temperance says #
    Dear Constance, It may very wel be that I have misunderstood Gus's point. It still does nto change the situation in ancient Hella

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

A little over a week ago, I introduced part one of this new series-within-a-series. Like Andromeda and her family, crater belongs to a group of constellations linked together by a single myth. The first part of this series, on the constellation Corvus, introduced the basics of the myth:

"Corvus represents a raven or crow in service to Apollon, who was sent out on an errant for the Theos. He was asked to bring water to Him, but instead, he paused in his quest, most commonly assumed is that he stopped for a meal of figs. When the raven returned without water, Apollon questioned him. Instead of giving a straight answer, the raven lied, and said he had been kept from the water by a snake. In some accounts, he actually had a snake in his talons as he said this. Apollon, however, saw that the raven was lying, and flung the raven, the krater with which the raven was supposed to collect water, as well as the snake into the sky, where they remain to this day. To punish the bird further, Apollon made sure the krater would forever be just out of reach of the bird."

 

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Thanks for sharing! How many great stories the ancients must have been able to tell around the fire at night...
  • Elani Temperance
    Elani Temperance says #
    From what I can tell, at least one for every day of the year

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Today we will look into the little talked about practice of the washing of feet within the context of xenia. It's something I have been curious about ever since I first read the Odysseia. I had completely forgotten I wanted to post about it, however, until I discovered a post by Robert of Doing Magick, who wrote about his recent experience with the practice--though for different reasons.

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Thanks for bringing us the results of your research. These kind of posts inform us about the context of the society in which the T
  • Elani Temperance
    Elani Temperance says #
    Thank you for reading

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Giving gifts to friends, family members, or even acquaintances and complete strangers is a long standing tradition. It existed long before ancient Hellas, but was, indeed, a vital part of its culture. It was tied to both kharis and xenia. Gifts were exchanged between monarchs of city-states to create good will, and were thus an important part of diplomacy.

All votives, thank-offerings, and pinakes were gifts from mortals to Theoi. Athletic competitions always concluded with a price--a gift--awarded to the winner. Gifts were given to the submissive partner in a pederastic relationship, and to favored prostitutes and serfs. Gifts played a much more significant role in ancient Hellenic society as a whole than they do in ours today. The giving of gifts in ancient Hellas was not just a social event, however. There was far more to the practice than one might assume, and today, we will look at the tradition of gift giving in greater detail.

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    That was fascinating reading! Thanks again...

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

A few days ago, PaganSquare blogger Gus diZerega posted a blog post on nature religions within Paganism, a reply to a lovely post by Joseph Bloch. Paganism--as used by Gus--seems to include any pre-Abrahamic and non-Abrahamic religion, and is separate from Neo-Paganism, which he classifies as 'modern revival of Pagan spirituality by people coming from within modern society'. The focal point of Gus' post was that, whether the ancient or modern Pagan cultures agree or not, they were, and are, nature worshippers. As such, reconstructionists of said religions are also nature worshippers. I'm paraphrasing here, so please, read Gus' words for yourself.

I disagree with Gus' conclusions, but I will not go into his writing here. I simply introduce Gus and his post to introduce PaganSquare reader Trine, who commented on one of my replies to Gus with a question I would love to dedicate a blog post to. Her post went as follows:

"I am curious - would you be interested in writing a blog post on your Hellenistic view on the reverence of (or indifference to) nature and on pollution? What I read above is that oil spills, trash in the woods, bee hive death due to insecticides, etc. does not really concern you as much as other topics may, because Hellenism is not a nature-based religion. My question, or curiosity, regards how you would approach this in terms of your Gods - is an oil spill offensive to Poseidon? Is littering in the wild and limiting the natural habitats of wildlife offensive to Pan, or Artemis? And how did the Hellenes approach this?"
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  • Trine
    Trine says #
    Thank you very much for taking the time to write this enlightening post, Elani. It answered all of my questions perfectly, and gav
  • Elani Temperance
    Elani Temperance says #
    Very welcome, Trine, thank you for asking the questions!
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Thank you for this great post! As a Platonist-leaning Hellenist myself, I honor the local nature spirits in addition to the Theoi.
  • B. T. Newberg
    B. T. Newberg says #
    Great post. I agree that it is problematic to characterize ancient Greek religion as "nature religion." However, isn't it also p
  • Elani Temperance
    Elani Temperance says #
    Dear B.T., Thank you for your reply. As regular readers know, I am well aware that there was no grand Hellenic religion, nor pe

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

It's been a little while since the last constellation post, so here we are again. This time, I'm tackling a little one,  Corvus, the Latin word for 'raven' or 'crow'. It comes from the Hellenic 'korax'. It's one of three constellations linked to a myth I will only partly reveal today, as it makes much more sense to place it with the constellation Crater, which will be the next one I tackle.

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Thanks for sharing!
  • Elani Temperance
    Elani Temperance says #
    Very welcome

When I was younger, I used to be a regular at the local hospital. Nothing too serious, mostly check-ups, but I still owe a lot to a few doctors in my life. I've been fortunate that the operations I needed in my life all went well, and I attribute that mostly to the physicians who performed them. Today, at dusk, the festival day of the Asklepieia starts. The Asklepieia (Ἀσκληπίεια) was held on the eighth day of Elaphebolion, in honor of Asklēpiós, who was honored monthly on the eighth. The Asklepieia is linked to the Epidausia, celebrated six months later, as both were special days where those in the medical profession--as well as those seeking medical counsel--made sacrifices to Asklēpiós.

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Thanks for sharing!
  • Elani Temperance
    Elani Temperance says #
    Very welcome!

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