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How you found Hellenism

Post  Lesbian Believer on Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:43 am

I would like to ask you a question, if you do not mind: How did you found your path to "Hellenismos"? Please tell me your story.
I will write down mine:


Three years ago I began reading several magazine articles about "white magic" and soon I began to read books on the topic. I was just curious.
Later, I found out about a Neo-pagan religion called "Wicca" and one called "Neodruidism". I read lots of articles and thought "magic" to be interesting.
Unfortunately, practising "magic" did not feel good to me and I realised that I do not need magical systems: I needed a religion.
Of course I could have prayed to the Christian God, but he never showed me his face and I felt like my prayers died away unheard. I started to read the Bible; it was useless: I could not find a connection to him.
I missed the female aspect in religion.
So I returned to study "Neo-paganism" again. I knew a lot about Celtic Gods, but it did not feel right to deal with them.
Although I am a German and live in Germany I did not come up with the idea of praying to the Germanic Gods.
I worshipped the Greek ones and invited them into my life.
"Dionysos Soter" came first in a dream; he broke up the vicious circle I was in and helped me to solve a serious problem I had at this moment (I do not want to write about the problem in detail; it is of personal nature.). The next morning I felt different. I felt good and energized.
It seemed to me as if he had destroyed the obstacles in my way, letting my eyes looking into the bright sun.

Last year I had my coming-out as being a lesbian woman and that was the point where I recognized a connection to the Goddess "Artemis".
She supported me while outing myself in front of my friends and she still does when I struggle with me and my homosexuality.
She gives me the strength not to give up and to keep looking forward.
They both are the ones I follow and call "master" and "mistress". I am thankful to experience their power and I still wonder how they were able to change me and bring religion to me.

Now it is your turn. Smile

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Re: How you found Hellenism

Post  Erodius on Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:49 am

I have always been interested in religious studies.

I was raised by strongly atheist parents in an almost anti-religious household. Even when I was very young, though, I always believed in a superior power, and as a young child I developed what I would call 'my own religion', involving a handful of forces which I perceived to be divine. I thought of one, supreme god, whom I symbolized with a lion, another god of light, whom I symbolized with a goose/swan, a god of rain, whom I symbolized with three vertical, blue lines, and a goddess of growth and of flowers, whom I symbolized with a bee. I had really no exposure at all to any outside religion, and knew nothing at all about Olympianism, however, I now think these 'gods' I perceived to exist as a child were Zefs, Apollon, Poseidon and Dimitra.

Years later, I became involved with a few different Buddhist groups of different traditions and devoted considerable time to the study of Buddhism for about five years. During that period of time, I also studied Hinduism, Valentinian Gnosticism, Hermetism, Zoroastrianism and Sufism in shorter bursts. Ultimately, I gradually lost my drive for Buddhism for no specific reason. After a few months of essentially swearing off religion altogether, I somewhat randomly had a thought to begin studying Classical Graeco-Roman religion. I gradually began to practice as my understanding grew, and after about two years of practice I wound up joining the old forum after stumbling across it (prior to that, I was essentially under the impression that I was on my own with the whole idea). Not quite two years ago, egged on by assignments I received in various classes for my degree in Classical Studies, which I had taken up upon starting college three years ago, I found Classical, and particularly Late Antique philosophy, as well as the Hellenistic Mystery cults and the extant Orphic initiatory tradition, and knew I'd stumbled on the Truth that I'd been clumsily wandering around in search of for the previous decade or so. I'd found every piece of Truth I'd come across previously all united in one place.

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: How you found Hellenism

Post  Linda on Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:31 pm

I grew up in a society with so-called 'modern intellectuals', people who are well educated and well versatile. People who believe in progress and science and who consider religion something for museums and history books. My parents and their friends weren't really atheists, they were just non-believers. Religion was no-issue and it was never discussed at home during my upbringing.

However being 5 years old or something I had these dreams about a lady who was sitting by my bed and telling me she was 'watching over me' and she was 'encouraging my curiosity'. She felt like a special friend to me, a secret friend. A bit more than just an imaginary friend, because I didn't 'make her up', she 'was there already' not someone who came when I wanted to play with her. Then she remained absent for so many years and I more or less forgot about her.

During my teen years I was starting to have existential issues and I was discussing these things a lot with my closest friends. I had one friend who was Christian and she brought me with her to church and to special Christian Youth get-togethers, and no matter that it was great to meet other people and discuss the deeper meaning with, I after a while felt that I didn't belong and that those Christians were not really interested in 'discussing' as in the giving and taking of opinions, they wanted to convert me. And just like Lesbian Believer, I tried to reach out to the Christian god, feeling that there was nobody there, just empty static. But that didn't stop me, I know there had to be something out there, something more to life than just the bolts and the nuts, the atoms and the DNA strings. A soul, and some kind of corresponding universal force.

Being 15 the Lady revisited me in another dream, telling me I was on the right track and keep looking. It was a very clear dream and she was smiling almost mischievously at me, telling me she was waiting. She and her friends. I wandered through Buddhism, Earth Mother belief and Shinto, during a long stay in Japan I almost believed I had found myself at home in Shinto, it was only the problem with me not being Japanese, I felt kind of like I didn't belong. During this time I had started to find the stories about the Greek gods fascinating. There were vibrant and inspiring, and what appeared at first at mere adventure and romantic stories held so much more between the lines. There was something there, but I was not sure yet what it was trying to communicate.

Until, back in the early 00's, I was staying with Greek friends outside Corinth and they told me that they were followers of the aboriginal Greek faith. I was confused and told them so. So they invited me to a celebration which was being held in a ruin of an Apollo temple. That was my very first contact with the real Hellenic ancient faith. And although it wasn't redemption at first sight, I surely felt that there was something there. Something in the air, in the earth which connected to the souls of these people. And with me. In a way Shinto had failed to do. I didn't feel excluded because I wasn't Greek. I felt that this went deeper than a mere ethnic thing.

So I kept asking questions, and Eleni, my friend told me I had to find the answers within my heart. Upon returning to Sweden, I started to look up everything there was about the Hellenic religion and I also tried to reach out to the Greek gods in prayers. And this time there was more than static. Way more! When I reached for Athena, I found that the one who 'picked up on the other side' was the lady who had guarded me all the time.

That was when I knew I'd found my way home and I've never looked back since.
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Re: How you found Hellenism

Post  tayarlin on Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:49 pm

Mine was similar in beginning to Lady and Linda, having grown up in "Christian" households I never really did feel connected to that community or to their god. I thought for the longest time I was just not a religious person, that and I was unworthy being a homosexual in a really rural, Christianity dominant area. However, when I was a teenager I stumbled across Buddhism for a few seasons then realized that was not for me. Then around the time of Senior in High School, I discovered Taoism and held that for around half a year but felt my initial connection gone. (What I think now was just excitement of finding something that spurred my interest)

It wasn't until around June 12 of last year that I felt this urge to research Aphrodite. As I did, I came across a song on iTunes and listened to it as I tried to remember how it was to pray. For I had never prayed and actually felt a response. Nonetheless, I felt compelled to reach out to Her and she reached back. I then later on did more research on Her, or finding hymns online, for I had yet to grasp of really how to communicate with Her.

I then came to realize what She was helping me achieve; to have a greater understanding of what love really was. As I mentioned earlier, I am a homosexual in a rural area, I have not loved another man, and had a small circle of friends. She led me to the love of true friendships that and the love of myself and my sexuality. It wasn't until that I came to the realization that it was Her hands leading me down this path of love-seeking, that I began to explore Hellenismos and the goals there. I began more research, even wrote a research paper for a history course over the impact the Gods had on the culture during the time Homer wrote the Iliad.

Since my research began, and I am becoming more aware of the Gods' presence, Athena as well as Artemis have guided me with Their hands towards the path they want to see me travel upon. I place myself in Their hands and welcome Them. Very Happy

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Re: How you found Hellenism

Post  Erodius on Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:14 pm

Since my research began, and I am becoming more aware of the Gods' presence, Athena as well as Artemis have guided me with Their hands towards the path they want to see me travel upon. I place myself in Their hands and welcome Them.

That is to be expected if you have demonstrated pure kinesis. Humanity is entirely cosmically subservient to Divinity, but the ensouled, sentient, beings of earth possess (for reasons too elaborate to enumerate here) the simultaneous blessing and burden of free will, which on one hand produces Virtue and piety, and on the other, avarice and wickedness. Although God is certainly able to overpower any mere mortal with no effort at all, It avoids forcing the wayward to obey because forced deference is not genuine deference at all.

Genuine devotional kinesis toward Divinity is rewarded, in turn, with Virtue, imbued with which, one follows the virtuous path, guided in one's choice and action by the very same Virtue, which is identical with Divine Will. Gods are not directly responsible for the actions of an embodied soul — the soul's will is free — but for those who turn to God in humble and volitional worshipfulness, they are imparted with ever growing Virtue so long as their worshipfulness continues, and in embracing this gift of Virtue, they assent to the Divine Will, which is Virtue. Smile

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: How you found Hellenism

Post  J_Agathokles on Sat May 04, 2013 9:01 am

My family also never really was very religious one way or the other. But I did in my youth believe there was more to the world then atoms and gravity and what not alone. I was fascinated with ancient Egypt as a young child, and even said I believed in the Egyptian Gods once. But wasn't particularly "serious", I never had any experiences with it, and I was very young. Later I would still feel that spiritually unfulfilled feeling, and I dabbled a bit with witchcraft and "Wicca" (what I now know is neo-Wicca). I even bought some ritual items, like a wooden athame (mom wouldn't allow me a metal one) and a wand, but never really came to using them or practicing them. I always did have the feeling, despite the attraction, that there was something wrong with it. "The Goddess this, the Goddess that" is practically all I could find on the internet or even in books I bought. Despite it proclaiming to be about balance between male and female principles, the Gods was often neglected I feel, or even put in an inferior position to the Goddess. Which just didn't suit me very well. Then I fell in a spiritual vacuum for a few years.

From time to time, I go randomly browsing on Wikipedia, and was reading on Ásatrú, or Norse polytheism. I had already known about from when I forayed into witchcraft and all that, but never really thought much of it, I never really connected to the Germanic Gods. But then it came. There was a box at the bottom of the page with all kinds of pages related to "paganism". And there was a whole list of religions there, from Wicca and Ásatrú, to other cultural/ethnic religions of Europe that are being revived, and I also found Hellenic Polytheistic Reconstructionism. It clicked almost instantly, as I had been interested in ancient Hellas and Rome for a very long time, even in my childhood when I was more into Egypt. I read the article, related articles, checked out the sites listed, like YSEE, Elaion, etc. I also googled for it, and read stuff from Neokoroi, Hellenion, etc. And also found the old Hellenismos.us-forum.

After a few weeks of reading up on stuff and gathering some resources like candles, incense sticks, matches, some bowls, etc., I finally took the final step in the spring of 2010. I took the matches I bought and used them to light the candles and the incense. I stood there for a little while, unsure of how to continue. I wanted to pray, but wasn’t sure how to. I eventually found a tentative wording. I raised my hands above my head, palms faced the roof, and started praying to the Gods. I told them I wanted to worship them, that I sought their guidance and protection, and that I hoped they would answer my prayers. I offered them the incense and the candle light, and then put my hands together, with my fingers pointing upwards, I crossed my little fingers, and lightly bowed towards the candles. This is based on an South-East Asian way of greeting or praying and is thus not connected to this religion, but it just felt right to me. It is a sign of respect and of gratitude, and I still end my prayers and rituals this way. It just feels right for me to do so.

From that I grew further in the religion, learnt new things, more things, newer things, and even more things. And that's where I am now Very Happy

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Re: How you found Hellenism

Post  tayarlin on Sat May 04, 2013 10:07 am

That was a great read!

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Re: How you found Hellenism

Post  WynnDark on Wed May 08, 2013 12:40 pm

I found Olympianism, such as I follow it, partially in college and partially through a dream though my memory is murky as to which of the two came first...I believe the dream came after my early college years. I had a professor that had such a passion for Greek and Roman mythology that he could infect the most jaded student with a love for the subject matter, he was also (and still is) a natural born story teller. The fact that the man was an avid surfer and led me on a trip to Italy just endeared me to him all the more, but it is through him that I first became interested in the Theoi.

One day I shall have to let him know what he's done for me.

The dream, well the dream is what pulled me (slowly) towards active practice. In this dream I was roaming through a wooded, hilly country side, somewhere near the sea (I could hear the waves) and when I came upon an old stone wall...someone threw a puppy at me from over the wall. Catching the pup I rushed around to see who it was, spotting a three-way crossroad of red earth (I'd seen it from walking along part of the stone wall earlier, which was a retaining wall beside the sea), and a most striking woman standing there.

She was beautiful, with raven black hair in heavy braids going down her back, sun-kissed skin and eyes that were like fathomless pits. She wore a long-flowing chiton of tyrion purple and said not a word to me, only walked over to the beat up old station wagon, climbed in and left.
I realize that doesn’t sound like a very godly transport, but at any rate the dream goes on and I’m once again wandering in the hills, many years older than before and I’m lost in memories of the dog which had apparently passed away. During part of the wandering I roamed through a war memorial of grey granite that brought back memories of battles fought (I had a very short, unsuccessful military career in the waking world)…I’d suggest battles fought on home soil, hard and bitter things, in which the dog had remained a steadfast companion…
Again I come upon the wall and am walking beside it, when a pup is thrown over. It was the same dog and this time She waited, she blessed me with a smile as I thanked her through my tears, and then she was gone.
I’ve thought that the woman was Hekate for a few years now, though I’ve doubted that identity of late, I felt then that I was being called and I still feel that way about the dream. It led me to revisit the myths and to do more research, research I continue to this day, research that is only now slowly giving way to honestly practicing, worshipping the gods.

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Re: How you found Hellenism

Post  Theodoros on Mon May 13, 2013 8:33 pm

I guess I always believed in the Gods even if it was subconsciously. I never really connected with Christianity especially after I learned that they killed my people just because they refused to convert. For a whole I was a deist and then one day I was watching a video about ancient Greece and I felt something come over me as though someone was there with me. My arm hair literally stood up. And then something clicked in my mind and I realized the reality of the Gods. Even though many of my fellow Greeks say that its ridiculous to believe in the religion I always remind them that our own ancestors were Hellenist while they believe in the Jewish god; I find this funny because so many of us are always talking about the greatness of our people especially in ancient times but yet in our minds still somehow think that they were wrong about religion.
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Re: How you found Hellenism

Post  Anna Faith on Sat May 18, 2013 1:04 pm

I've never really been much of a strong believer in Christ or the Christian God, even when I was a little girl. I was suspicious of it all. At the same time my family was warning me to never fall for the teachings of a cult, I was trying to remember scripture that I didn't really believe in. I didn't like it, it was empty feeling, so I gave it up.

I went for about two years exploring religions as I heard of them. The funny thing is that the whole time I was exploring other religions, I was reading Greek mythology and learning to feel a strong connection with the Gods -- and I didn't even realize it! I was also suffering quite a bit from nightmares of Hell and a huge, irrational fear of the Christian God making the world end, both things which my family talked about a lot. When I was twelve I began to feel rather desperate, so I prayed for whoever or whatever existed to come to me. An angel went to drag me into the sun (which I was mortally afraid of), and Athene sprang out of nowhere to save me. I'd felt the sun burning me, and oh, it hurt! But now the things which were hurting me were burning, and I was safe...

I regarded it as kind of a miracle, and began to seriously pray to the Gods whenever I was ready to go to bed. I began to trust in Apollo to keep the sun in its rightful place. My nightmares just went away. Though I didn't really know anyone else believed in the Gods for another year at least, when I found out that such a thing as Hellenismos existed, I was very excited about it. I began to worship the Gods as properly as I could in a Christian household, and that's pretty much what I've been doing for the last four years.

And that's my story. Smile

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Re: How you found Hellenism

Post  NorthernOlympian on Mon May 26, 2014 3:52 pm

When I was little, I was a Christian. I believed there had to be something that made the sun go up in the morning, and down in the evening. You see, I've always loved books and information of all sorts. I loved, and I still do, finding out how things work. As I grew older, I began reading more books about space and the planets in our solar system. I also found out I had the Asperger's Syndrome, the light version. This sort of explains that I get obsessed with stuff all the time. When I entered my teens, things started to get though for me. I've always been more mature than my classmates, and came into puberty way earlier. I've always been a very lonely kid, but since I was now in my teens, it felt extra bad. Everyone else had a best friend, I didn't. Everyone else had a boyfriend/girlfriend, I didn't. My closest friends where either fictional or on the other side of the planet. I started reading, and I became interested in Greek mythology. I started reading more about the mythology, and soon I found out that there was actually people still believing in the ancient gods of Greece. I started reading about the religion, and I converted. ( Can you say that I converted? Atheism isn't a religion. ) And that leads me to where I am now. I also found out that I'm homosexual not so late ago. I feel a connection to Athena, and I pray to her the most. I still want to get more into the religion, but in Sweden there aren't really much people that believe in what I do, and I don't really have anyone to talk to, seek advice, etc. ( First thing I'm doing when I grow up is moving to another country.. )
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Re: How you found Hellenism

Post  Seeker on Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:34 pm

As a historian I had always been aware of the gods, ancient practices surrounding them, who was who, etc. When I was younger, I remember, in high school, reading some classical literature on my own initiative. I felt strongly drawn to Zeus, and I wish I could find that book again. It was an anthology and I forgot the title.

Coming from a Christian background, I never really seriously considered calling on the Greek Gods, but I was open minded enough to believe that there are other things than one narrow viewpoint might suggest. For example, I believe reincarnation is possible (as did Plato, I believe), so my beliefs were never strictly conventional, I guess.

Of late, a personal issue regarding love has been frustrating me. Basically I love someone deeply, but there are obstacles to our relationship and I am not sure how this person feels about me. Because of these obstacles, I have not told this person anything. So, I figured, if having love problems, let me ask the goddess who specializes in this. I called on the Goddess Aphrodite, introduced myself, and told her a bit about what's been happening. I asked for her help with this, and so far, she has been changing my way of thinking about some things. Mainly, the messages I am getting say, stick it out, there are things here you do not understand yet. With love you must be patient. (I am naturally an impatient person.) I am asking Aphrodite to help me with this person's feelings, or at least help me figure out what this person is feeling so that I can know whether it will be friendship or more, and I'm also having to learn to be patient with her while she works some things out. But she has been working on ME as well, which I need in order to make any relationship work long term. And I've told her that's what I want. I want something that is true and real. I've also asked her to help me behave always with the best interest of the other person at heart. She's giving me new insights each day, and I know she is on my side to help me. So I am deeply grateful to her and hope she is willing to work with me for a long time. She has been a blessing. Though it has been hard loving someone and not being able to tell them, I will stay with this one for the long haul. No matter what, I know Aphrodite will guide me in this. And I am so deeply thankful that she responded. She will be my goddess.

I have an sneaking suspicion Athena has some claim on me, as well. I have seen live owls outside my window before, looking in at me. I am drawn to owls as well, and intrigued by Athena's independence and strength, and her high moral standard. I want to be especially respectful of her as well.

Any idea how to balance this if Athena is calling on me too? Athena and Aphrodite are rather opposite. I don't want to offend either one, as they are both honorable in my eyes.


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Re: How you found Hellenism

Post  Erodius on Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:16 pm

Welcome – I would recommend, as with any newcomer, that you spend some time browsing the information available under the Beginners' area.

Divine powers do not 'claim' anyone. The divine series of all the Gods permeate everything; every place, every action. Our lives are an instant to what is eternal. No god claims anyone – only malevolent cacodaemones, masquerading as something appealing to the heart or mind, claim anyone.

She will be my goddess.

All the Gods are the gods of every person. It is not a question of 'picking' one; all are worshipped, although the emphasis necessarily varies depending on one's lot in life, present situation, career, locale and other such temporal and shifting circumstances. You are actively seeking love, so it is quite logical that Ἀφροδίτη would be a primary focus of your veneration presently (although, not only she – the divine powers involved in love are several) – but this should not be taken to imply a lasting 'choice', to do so would be a scorning of the other divinities. Exclusion of divinities from worship, or unduly favoring certain divinities over others is the root of several tragic myths.

Any idea how to balance this if Athena is calling on me too? Athena and Aphrodite are rather opposite. I don't want to offend either one, as they are both honorable in my eyes.

Not at all – there is no opposition among the Gods, only in occluded mortal eyes. All Gods are contained and harmonized in the lap of Jove, as Orphics say. It would be an offense to neglect either.

I would recommend the following resources as well in particular:

Sallustius' "On the Gods and the World"

Ἀφροδίτη/Aphrodite

Ἀθηνᾶ/Athena



_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: How you found Hellenism

Post  Seeker on Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:26 pm

Thank you for those resources.  I have spent some time already in the beginners area and will thoroughly peruse it.  Since I am presently suffering insomnia, I will begin to look at the links you gave me now.

I am new to the worship and I appreciate any guidance/information you have provided.  Be well, and again, thank you.

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Re: How you found Hellenism

Post  Erodius on Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:41 pm

I am new to the worship and I appreciate any guidance/information you have provided.


There are many good (and free) resources in the Beginners' area – more than I could gather together all here for you. What I've given you are just some particular resources that seemed especially relevant to your present concerns. There is plenty, plenty more.

Take your time in reading and learning. Don't overdo yourself and burn out, even though newcomer's passion tells you to. It will take a while to get familiar and comfortable with the maze of Classical religion, and with genuine study and practice, even after years of doing so, familiarity and understanding will continue to grow.

Studying at a good pace and understanding (and asking questions along the way) is much better than just skimming the ocean of material and only scratching the surface.

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: How you found Hellenism

Post  Linda on Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:40 pm

I just love your stories, people! They are so wonderful to read. Each unique and still the same, how we all have been struggling to find what's there. It sure is an acheivement of courage and patience. You all deserves medals!  cheers 
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Re: How you found Hellenism

Post  Artemisia Apollonia on Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:08 am

I was fascinated with the Hellenic gods from a very young age. I always liked learning the stories behind the names of the constellations since I was about 5 years old. When I was 9 or 10, I dressed up as Artemis for Halloween (which probably isn't a very good thing, but I didn't know any better.) My parents weren't religious, pretty much agnostic, but they still sent me to Catholic religious education after school so I could be confirmed, even though we didn't go to church. When I was twelve, I discovered Neo-Wicca. I practiced Neo-Wicca for about three years, but eventually I realized that certain elements of it didn't feel right to me and I felt more and more drawn to the Hellenic gods. I had a few dreams about Dionysus, and after that, began to research more about him and the other gods. I found out about Hellenism, and started to realize that I didn't feel comfortable worshipping the Hellenic gods in a modern Neo-Wiccan format with Celtic inspired holy days. I also didn't understand the need for magic anymore because I can pray to the gods instead. So, I began to follow, and have been here for about 10 months.
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Re: How you found Hellenism

Post  xxChella21xx on Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:50 am

Lesbian Believer wrote:I would like to ask you a question, if you do not mind: How did you found your path to "Hellenismos"? Please tell me your story.
I will write down mine:
Now it is your turn. Smile




Hello, My name is Chelsie, I'm 20 years old & a new found Hellenist.
I'm quite frankly sort of new to this religion. Embarassed 
I've always felt that I had semi-different religious opinions, but I never could figure out what that religious view point was  confused , so I kept it to myself and mainly just tried to avoid the topic of religion all together.
But I have always been a Spiritual-Cosmic way of life sort of person.
And I have always had a strong passion for astrology  Like a Star @ heaven  (which in short turned out to be my first introduction to Hellenismos).
I think I've always known I believed differently than others. Rolling Eyes  I just never really knew how to identify it, at least, not by a name.
About a year ago, I found out that behind each of the zodiac signs, there is the tale of a Greek god or goddess. Being a Virgo, I soon learned much about the Great Goddesses  queen  Persephone & Demeter, & the tale of Her abduction by Hades.  Twisted Evil 
The story "Captivated"  affraid  me. So much of it seemed to connect to my life.
Made all the sense in the world. In basic terms, I went from feeling a half a being, to a Whole.  cheers 

Ever since then, I've tried to honor them all along with the other gods & goddesses. I'm faithful & give my thanks in subtle ways. Somewhat due to the fact that I know little of how this kind of worship was practiced.  silent 
I most commonly pray to Persephone being that she is the main goddess behind my astrological sign Virgo  flower , I also celebrate her in October when the fall equinox comes, alien  and in legend, she must return to Hades.
I also pray for Demeter to mourn the loss of her daughter for another 6 months.  Sad 

I've always thought my kind of religion was considered "weird"  Suspect or out of the ordinary, and I honestly didn't even think a kind of religion like this still existed. I'm elated to know otherwise.  Razz 
And I'd like to know as much as can be learned study on how to practice honoring the gods and goddesses I've always held dear in my heart.  I love you 
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Re: How you found Hellenism

Post  J_Agathokles on Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:54 am

xxChella21xx wrote:And I'd like to know as much as can be learned study on how to practice honoring the gods and goddesses I've always held dear in my heart.  I love you 

Welcome! Very Happy

Then I hope this forum will help you greatly, check out all the different sections for information, as many topics will have been dealt with already. If you have further questions concerning these topics you are free to comment on those threads. And off course, should you think of a topic that hasn't already been discussed, then feel free to start your own threads. Please do make sure to check if the topic has been discussed already, we'd like to avoid having dozens of different threads about the very same topic.

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Re: How you found Hellenism

Post  Erodius on Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:35 pm

About a year ago, I found out that behind each of the zodiac signs, there is the tale of a Greek god or goddess. 

Each zodiacal house is associated with one of the Twelve Gods, however, it's not exactly that there is a particular story behind each. 


I most commonly pray to Persephone being that she is the main goddess behind my astrological sign Virgo  , I also celebrate her in October when the fall equinox comes,  and in legend, she must return to Hades. 

Δημήτηρ [Dēmḗtēr] is customarily the divinity of the month of Virgo – although, consequently, because her daughter is considered an extension from her, Περσεφόνη [Persephónē] would be associated with Virgo, likewise. 

The autumnal equinox is actually in September  Wink . Δημήτηρ [Dēmḗtēr] and Περσεφόνη [Persephónē] 's month begins in late August and finishes toward the end of September. October (or Libra, more specifically) is actually the month of either Ἥφαιστος ['Ḗphaistos] or Ἑστία ['Estía], depending on which zodiacal calendar you are referencing. 



J_Agathokles wrote:Then I hope this forum will help you greatly, check out all the different sections for information, as many topics will have been dealt with already . . . Please do make sure to check if the topic has been discussed already, we'd like to avoid having dozens of different threads about the very same topic.



Yes! Thank you for the reminder.  cheers

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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The Orphic Way: www.hellenicgods.org
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Re: How you found Hellenism

Post  xxChella21xx on Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:48 pm

Erodius wrote:zodiacal house is associated with one of the Twelve Gods, however, it's not exactly that there is a particular story behind each. 

Δημήτηρ [Dēmḗtēr] is customarily the divinity of the month of Virgo – although, consequently, because her daughter is considered an extension from her, Περσεφόνη [Persephónē] would be associated with Virgo, likewise. 

The autumnal equinox is actually in September  Wink . Δημήτηρ [Dēmḗtēr] and Περσεφόνη [Persephónē] 's month begins in late August and finishes toward the end of September. October (or Libra, more specifically) is actually the month of either Ἥφαιστος ['Ḗphaistos] or Ἑστία ['Estía], depending on which zodiacal calendar you are referencing. 


-Um. thank you for the information, as I stated earlier, I "am" newer to Hellenismos. Although I can tell that this is what I've always felt in my heart, basically speaking, I have much to learn on it, and am eager to do so. Smile
The only reliable resource I had was the legends handed down through 'mythology'.
I hope to learn more about this such as you've provided above.
Thank You for your input.
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Re: How you found Hellenism

Post  TheSeekingDisciple on Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:50 pm

I come from a moderate Anglican family. I am currently practicing Traditional Swampy Cree (Native American) Spirituality and Religio Romana. My journey started with Asatru. Amon Amarth inspired that...  Razz I also got into Druidry and Celtic Recon. I've even looked into Baltic and Slavic religion. I had also previously practiced Santeria and Palo Mayombe. I had left these two faiths since I was not all for paying for initiations.

One faith that has really influenced me as a Bakkhos is Hinduism. I had learned about Hinduism in grade 11 world religions class. A lot of it clicked with me and it has given me another perspective on Greco-Roman myth and Indo-European myth in general.

At this point in time, I primarily worship Bacchus, Venus and Isis.
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Re: How you found Hellenism

Post  cypris on Sat Mar 26, 2016 10:54 pm

I come from a moderately conservative Catholic family. I attended church and Sunday school every week when I was young and I hated it. God always felt more like something to be feared than loved, and the Catholic Church's hypocrisy and regressive politics became harder to ignore the older I got. I spent my teen years, of course, as a raging Atheist, decrying anything remotely spiritual as irrational nonsense and all religious people as hatemongers and fools. I always considered myself smarter than average, and the New Atheist community was a great place to nurture my intellectual hubris.

In my early 20s, I suffered some personal traumas (mostly related to coming out) and spent about 7 months living on the street. For most of the length of my homelessness, I was housed in one of two LGBT youth shelters, both run out of the basements of churches. This, as well as growing awareness of New Atheist misogyny and narcissism, led me to reexamine my beliefs.

I still believed strongly in science and was very suspicious of dogmatism, so I researched different belief structures that might not conflict with my beliefs.
I watched Aine Orga's videos on pantheistic naturalistic paganism which really made me think this could be the right path for me. At the same time, I was growing more interested in the beliefs of the Hellenic and Hellenistic world, particularly stoicism, cynicism, gnosticism and the mystery religions.

I'd had an interest in Greek mythology since childhood and always felt a connection to Athena. I didn't view her as real world entity, but I deeply admired her and looking back I would consider myself to have been her follower to some extent. If I was going the pagan route, the Olympians with a special devotion to Athena seemed the obvious choice. Athena even supported my interest in gnosticism through possibly syncretism to Sophia. I don't remember how it happened exactly, but more I saw Hellenism as a legitimate religious choice and the more research I did, the more I felt drawn not to Athena, but Aphrodite. It was through Aphrodite that I first felt what I'd call a religious experience. I will always honor her above all others, but I've been trying lately to be a bit more balanced toward the Twelve.

I started out as an archetypalist, but the more I've sought connection with the gods, the more I see them as real (but ultimately unknowable) entities with a living presence in the world.

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