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Hellenism


Guest James Salt
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Hello everyone!

 

Firstly apologies for my complete lack of real knowledge, I study Classics and know the basics of the religion bak in ancient times, but I'm not quite sure what it's considered to be now. From what I know, it's called Hellenism, and apart from a few Greek and American groups I don't seem to be able to find any information on groups in the UK.

 

Does anyone know if it's followed in the UK, or perhaps under a different name?

 

Many thanks!

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Hi James :)

 

I don't know if there are any Hellenic groups in the UK, like Religo Romana it seems to be a more niche belief and you find scatterings of adherents dotted around, mostly online, but rarely in any cohesive group. Others may know of physical groups but I don't. It seems to be a relatively solitary path in terms of practice, but there are certainly plenty groups online, though they do tend, as you've discovered, to be more American and having a renaissance in Greece.

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The reconstructed religion is called Hellenismos.

 

I don't know of any UK groups. Have you come across the Theoi website? It's a mine of useful information. There is also a brilliant Hellenic blogger called Elani Temperence.

 

I can do what I can to try to discuss some stuff. I read most of the Greek plays and other texts in my early twenties, and studied a bit about 5th Century Athens. I've got a couple of very useful textbooks. Oh, and there's a fb page. Wait a moment...

Hellenic pagan (a group you have to apply to join)

and

Hellenismo (an open page)

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Hi James :)

 

I don't know if there are any Hellenic groups in the UK, like Religo Romana it seems to be a more niche belief and you find scatterings of adherents dotted around, mostly online, but rarely in any cohesive group. Others may know of physical groups but I don't. It seems to be a relatively solitary path in terms of practice, but there are certainly plenty groups online, though they do tend, as you've discovered, to be more American and having a renaissance in Greece.

 

^^^^ What Pom said. I don't know of any pure Hellenic groups. There are some mixed groups - ADF has one grove in the UK (in Hampshire) and it's listed as a "Pan-Celtic; Hellenic" grove. But I'm guessing that isn't really what you want, and it's hours away from Sheffield. To MH's list of online groups I'd add Neokoroi. And I can't recommend highly enough the "Baring the Aegis" blog she posted a link to. You've probably already read it, but Walter Burkert's "Greek Religion: Archaic and Classical" is a cornerstone text for many modern Hellenic pagans.

 

I'm not a follower of Hellenismos, but I do have relationships with several Greek gods and I'd be happy to discuss Hellenismos if people want to start threads on it :)

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I'm not a follower of Hellenismos, but I do have relationships with several Greek gods and I'd be happy to discuss Hellenismos if people want to start threads on it :)

 

Oh yes, definitely:)

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I don;t know very much about her, but I have read that Vesta was known in Greece as Hestia. Vestal virgins, the keeper of a sacred flame, and household goddess. I was inspired to call upon Vesta a while back, in desperation. She answered, and 2 days later I was offered a new flat. . I have tried to honour her since, and consider cooking meals for the family and keeping the kitchen clean as a way of maintaining a relationship. She has requested a presence in my home and I have commissioned an artist friend to make a plaque of her image to hang on the kitchen wall. I'm not sure I could commit to the whole Hellenistic lifestyle though, my practice tends to be instinctive, I do what feels right when it feels right to do so. But I'm drawn to learn more about her.

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I don;t know very much about her, but I have read that Vesta was known in Greece as Hestia. Vestal virgins, the keeper of a sacred flame, and household goddess. I was inspired to call upon Vesta a while back, in desperation. She answered, and 2 days later I was offered a new flat. . I have tried to honour her since, and consider cooking meals for the family and keeping the kitchen clean as a way of maintaining a relationship. She has requested a presence in my home and I have commissioned an artist friend to make a plaque of her image to hang on the kitchen wall. I'm not sure I could commit to the whole Hellenistic lifestyle though, my practice tends to be instinctive, I do what feels right when it feels right to do so. But I'm drawn to learn more about her.

 

I'm a devotee of Herself :) The Theoi page for her is pretty good for the mythology. It's very difficult - Vesta certainly has separate origins to Hestia but they are very, very similar. Vesta is slightly more distant - but then she would be. She's an embodiment of the flame itself and much less human-like than Hestia, so it's harder to know her than it is to know Hestia. As I'm RR I address Vesta, but Hestia understands that I call upon them both. She's very patient. Luckily the rituals are historically the same for both of them so it really makes very little odds to them!

 

As for honouring her - At the most simple, when I cook I try and have a tealight burning in the kitchen for her. If possible I leave a little of what I make outside for the birds to have as an offering - she isn't associated with birds, but as I can't really burn it on a tealight without raising questions (and smell!) it's the next best way in my book. She loves it when I bake, and her favourite is, unsurprisingly, bread as that's what she's often associated with. I thank her before and after at least the main meal, even if not out loud. As it's Winter I'm enjoying have the fire in the lounge alight and each time I light it I think of her. With Hestia, hospitality is a sacred oath. It's important to me that I welcome guests into my house - or if that's impossible, at least into my company - and provide for them with a glad heart. I always remember the fact that she gave up her position among the Olympian deities to tend the house of the gods and welcome all who seek her aid.

 

TL;DR - I :wub: Hestia!

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Thank you Samhainmooncat. Funnily enough, I do use the breadmaker regularly (yesterday it was parmesan & sun dried tomato bread, with home made lentil & veg soup!) and I always thank her and sort of commune with her while I'm cooking. I definitely felt a wave of approval :). Kitchen magic has always been my usual practice anyway, adding loving or healing energy to the food while preparing it. And I love to cook for family and friends. And this week I finally got a lovely dining table and chairs, ready for christmas dinner with the boys over. Now I've typed it I - can see a pattern...

 

I will email my friend, since she's doing it in relief, maybe she could incorporate a tealight holder. And meanwhile, candles in the kitchen, offerings of bread, and wine if there's any about, I've already fallen into the habit of doing. And dedicating my efforts, as mother and keeper of this hearth, to Her. And she gets on well so far and maybe balances out with my patron Goddess and totem birds. Looking forward to checking out that website too :).

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  • 1 month later...

I am a torchbearer for the Covenant of Hekate, which whilst not specifically a Hellenic group it does pay more than a nod and a wick to Hellenismos. Obviously our actual focus it the Titanic Goddess Hekate. But many also work with Dionysus, Hermes, Apollo, Persephone, Demeter and other Olympians as part of our practise. There is a facebook group called Friends of the Covenant of Hekate and there are also a number of real life Sanctuaries across the UK my own being in Cheshire. But I tend to keep it mostly closed to only covenant members but I have had genuine seekers attend from time to time.

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