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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Khernips and libations; two videos on Hellenic ritual

Back on my own blog, I asked my readers what they would like to read from me. I was wondering what they came back for and if I was somehow not filling a void I hadn't even thought of. As it turns out, my readers were pretty happy, but they would like to hear more about my personal practice. I can understand; I am not good at talking about that, so I rarely do. As a result of that feedback, I made two videos about Hellenic basics: preparing and using khernips, and pouring libations.

For both these videos goes that the way I do it, may not be the way everyone does it. It's the basic steps that matter most. So without further ado: here's a video of me preparing and using khernips, and below, a video of me pouring libation. Sorry about the quality, my phone seems to have some trouble focussing. I promise any future videos will be stable.


The next video picks up right where the video on khernips left off. It shows the Hellenic way of pouring libation. This specific type of libation is a sponde, an offering to the Olympic deities that is shared with mortals.

If these vlogs are something you'd like to see more of, please let me know and I'll try to think up a few other rituals to show you. If you have requests, don't hesitate to let me know.

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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 Tuesday, 09 October 2012

    What's a khernip?

  • Elani Temperance
    Elani Temperance Tuesday, 09 October 2012

    Hence the link to a blog post explaining the practice ;) For those wondering, here's the basics:

    "Within Hellenic practice, miasma describes the lingering aura of uncleanliness in regards to a person or space through which contact is made with the Gods. Next to piety, being ritually clean is one of the most important things to adhere to within Hellenismos. Miasma occurs whenever the space or person comes into contact with death, sickness, birth, sex, excessive negative emotions and bodily fluids. It also comes from a lack of contact with the Hellenic Gods. As a note, I should say that not the actual acts of dying, sex and birth cause miasma but the opening up of the way to the Underworld (with births and deaths) as well as contact with sweat, blood, semen, menstrual blood and urine.

    Before approaching the Gods, it's important within Hellenismos that miasma is removed. Historically, the practice of purification is called katharmos (Καθαρμός). The process of katharmos is elaborate because the process not only involves the physical but also the emotional, mental and spiritual.

    The practice of katharmos historically starts with a bath (or shower, in modern times). Step two is the preparation and use of khernips (Χἐρνιψ). Khernips is created by dropping smoldering incense or herb leaves into (fresh and/or salt) water (preferably sacred spring water or sea water). "

  • John Halstead
    John Halstead Saturday, 13 October 2012

    Thanks for this. The videos were great. Both instructive and beautiful. Thanks,

  • Elani Temperance
    Elani Temperance Saturday, 13 October 2012

    Thank you for watching and your kind words. You are very welcome.

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