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Post  MadGastronomer on Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:07 am

Hi. My name is Rebecca. Most people online just call me MG. Anywhere you see a MadGastronomer, that's me, and feel free to say hi.

I've been a practicing pagan for twenty years. I have always worshiped the Hellenic gods, and my practice has become more and more based around ancient rather than modern forms over the last dozen years or so. I still use some basic Wiccan ritual forms (the Circle, the Quarters, the tools), just out of habit, but have discarded most of the rest.

I am a dedicant of Hekate, and also keeps the Dionysian rites as a mainad. I give honor and place in my home to Hestia, Athene, Hermes, Artemis, Okeanos and Tethys, according to their influence in my life.

Hi.

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Re: Hello

Post  Erodius on Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:19 am

I've been a practicing pagan for twenty years. I have always worshiped the Hellenic gods, and my practice has become more and more based around ancient rather than modern forms over the last dozen years or so.
Welcome. I would recommend reading the following pages from the 'Beginners' subforum meant for newcomers both to this site and to the religion as well:

i. Living the Religion
ii. FAQs

A few things first,

What do you mean when you say 'pagan'? Many individuals from the genuine, Classical religion consider that word offensive and misleading. On this site, I would like to ask that you be specific in referring to specific things.  

See: 'Pagan': A Controversial Term

Second, with all due respect, the differences between 'Wicca' and the Classical religion are significant and broad reaching — going from one to the other is not simply a matter of 'changing your practice', it is a conversion to a different and separate religion. Some contemporary 'Wiccans' might indeed take up certain elements extracted from Classical religion, but this is simply a case of adoption. The two are distinct religions; they are not 'subsets' of the same.  

I still use some basic Wiccan ritual forms (the Circle, the Quarters, the tools), just out of habit, but have discarded most of the rest.
Those are, of course, as you've mentioned, Wiccan practices. Olympianistic ritual actions and implements are different from those of Wicca — just as Muslim ceremony is different from that of, say, Zoroastrians — and have  important symbolism and liturgical meaning.

I am a dedicant of Hekate, and also keeps the Dionysian rites as a mainad. I give honor and place in my home to Hestia, Athene, Hermes, Artemis, Okeanos and Tethys, according to their influence in my life.
Many individuals with a background in contemporary neopaganism and other similar religions are very accustomed to heavy focus on the goddess Ekatē. However, although I of course do not know what your situation is in terms of what your background has taught you regarding Ekatē, I think it is important to note that the teachings regarding this deity in the Classical religion are very different, in many cases, from what is promulgated by many contemporary 'Wiccan' groups that exist.

And a technicality, in the Classical usage of the term, a maenad is not simply a votary of Dionysus. Maenads feature in myth and legend, but not so much in the real life religion. Running off to the mountaintops in a raving madness, tearing wild animals, or even people, limb from limb, and ornamenting oneself with the blood and gore of the slain is the stuff of legend and symbolism, but did not form a part of Dionysiac cult in historical times.

Thanks to Hollywood, 'Dionysian rites' have usually come to be, mistakenly, regarded as, essentially, drunken, libidinous orgies. To be sure, there were drunken parties in the Classical world, and many of them probably jokingly euphemized themselves as 'Dionysia' — but actual Dionysian ritual was much more profound. Additionally, there were various 'Dionysi' — whose myth and cult often differed considerably — Cicero knows of at least five.

Classical Dionysiac cults also experienced a generalized theological shift beginning in the Hellenistic and Imperial eras, in which the 'Theban cults' of the Dionysus of revelry and the vine become largely supplanted, in lieu of the religio-philosophical zeitgeist that arises in that time, with the 'Indian', 'Cretan', 'Phrygian' or generally 'Eastern cult' of the Dionysus of salvation, life, the triumph of the rational soul, and truthful-counsel. The extant and living Orphic religion might be said to be among these 'Reformed Dionysiac movements' as L.H. Martin discusses in his Hellenistic Religions.

I hope you benefit from your time here, and that it is productive for you, regardless of whether you decide this is the religion you wish to adopt or not.

_________________
"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: Hello

Post  MadGastronomer on Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:54 am

No, I think that quite clearly this is not the place for me. Goodbye.

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Re: Hello

Post  J_Agathokles on Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:51 am

Well, MadGastronomer, if you decide that easily, simply because Erodius makes sure you know what this forum and our religion is all about, that this isn't for you, then indeed this isn't for you. Perhaps you'll come back one day with a little more maturity and a more open mind.

I wish you the best, regardless. May the Gods guide you.

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