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Paganboater

Are there any other Greek pantheists in the Uk?

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Paganboater

I follow the goddess Hestia and feel a bit lonely on my path. There must be others?

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Moonsmith

Your particular deity isn't known to me even by name.  I'm not sure where you might find another devotee.

You are probably aware that Pantheism has a number of meanings and as many interpretations as there are Pantheists.

There have been several discussions including one started by ED a while ago here.

I am a Pantheist without any anthropomorphic gods, just deity called the universe but more important is your feeling of loneliness.  We Pagans are mostly alone.  One of the values and pleasures of the Valley is that we can discuss and share our individuality and talk about ways that we handle our beliefs and might be of interest to others within their own [different] context.

It is too simplistic to say "don't worry about being a lone traveler on your particular path - but -  A long time ago I realised that of about two thousand people, all reciting the same creed, each had a different interpretation of words that they had recited and discussed all their lives.  Of course groups and congregations think in sufficiently similar ways to create a group identity - in my example they referred to themselves as Anglican Christians.  I started to realise how individual is spirituality.

You are not alone in feeling alone 🙂  we all are.

.

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DavidMcCann

Well, I'm a Hellene but not a pantheist — I find the arguments of Ramanuja and Cicero effective against that viewpoint.

All Hellenes follow Hestia, if they keep up the ancient practices. Every act of worship in the home began with an offering to her, so the expression "start with Hestia" was used to mean "do things in proper order". But no Hellene would have worship only one god, any more than a modern Hindu. I suppose I'm closest to Asklepios, but then I'm a hypochondriac and always asking for help and advice! Raven Kaldera has suggested that the eagerness of Neopagans to find a patron is a subconscious urge due to their having been raised in a monotheist society.

As for being alone, as Moonsmith said, it goes with the territory if you don't follow a congregational-style religion. I know a neighbour of mine is a Buddhist because I've seen the magazine she gets, but I've never asked her if she belongs to any sort of group.

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Paganboater

How does being a Hellenes differ from being a pantheist please?

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Ellinas

A Hellene is someone who follows the ancient Greek pantheon - and, I suppose, approach to life, philosophy etc.  I'm a little cautious about how to phrase that because I have little interest in reconstructionism, whereas I've come across some who seem to think the only definition of "Hellene" relates to a reconstructionist approach to the ancient religion.

For me, Hestia is one of the Olympians and is included insofar as I address the Δωδεκάθεοι (the 12 Olympians) as a whole (dealing with each individually tends to be a touch long and exhausting).

There are also non-Olympian Greek deities.  My own interests are more toward Hekate, partly because I see her as a connection to pre-Hellenic systems as well - though not that much is known of those.  I would also address individually a few of the Olympians on a regular basis.

As to the variations of pantheist - to me it simply means one who sees god in everything.  It is the essence of divine immanence.  My own view is that Hellenism has its roots more in animism, where everything has its discrete spirit.  However, it's not necessarily that difficult to reason that through to the point where animism and a version of pantheism become distinctly fuzzy at their joint edge.

As to being alone - yep.  I belong to no group in the real (as opposed to the online) world.  Nor have I any wish to do so.

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Moonsmith

Totally agree with Ellinas [ Now THERE's a sentence that you won't often see me type 🙂 ]  

1.On  my visits to Rome I have not taken an awful lot of interest in the usual piles of stones.  I'm far more interested in the food, the wine and in Romans.  A big exception is The Pantheon.  As a Druid I can only approve a temple with an eight metre hole in the roof that lets in rain and occasionally snow.  It was originally dedicated to "All the gods" hence its name. 

2. This is very very different from the Pantheism that sees the universe itself as deity; not imbued with the spirit of a creator deity [That is PanENtheism] but the whole collection of atoms as being deity itself - tangible.  Fun isn't it?  I am very literally my own deity but then so is this computer and are the bricks in which I live, the rocks upon which they sit and the stars that I can see from my window. 

I suspect that your Pantheism is much closer to the first one.

Apologies in advance but are you thinking of a Pantheist as one who adopts a particular pantheon; in your case the Hellene one?  This is not the usual use of the term even though it sort of works.  Perhaps you are thinking more of Hellenic Polytheist.  Further apologies if I am being patronising.

Edited by Moonsmith
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Pearlbrook

Hi! I've been away from the site for a few years, but I had to sign in just to reply to this. 

I'm primarily a weird and slightly lax mix of pantheism and Roman polytheism which I think I'll probably spend my whole life trying to untangle, but Hestia was my first goddess and still the one that means the most to me. (Maybe don't tell Juno that). 

It can definitely be lonely to be the follower of a slightly obscure - but very important - goddess. So it's always nice to meet others! How did you come to meet her? If you'd rather not say, just tell me to butt out. 

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Ellinas
On 4/11/2019 at 10:50 PM, Moonsmith said:

Totally agree with Ellinas

You feeling OK?  Perhaps you'd better go and lie down in a darkened room...   🚑

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Paganboater

I just gravitated towards her. Hestia is an amiable soul (unless I’m trying to light my stove on my boat and then she can be a madam!) and I consider offering tea or coffee a way of making an offering to her. My boat is my home and my home is important to me. I hope that helps. 

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Pearlbrook

Sounds perfect 🙂 I feel the same, my home is my sanctuary. I also like the idea of a focal point around which life happens, and actually with the layout of our flat that is the hearth, which is a nice coincidence! No open fire unfortunately, but I have an oil lamp I bought from a specialist shop which I light when I want to be close to her.

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Ellinas

One of the issues with offerings to Hestia these days is quite what counts as a hearth.  I'm not sure that the gas fired central heating boiler, or hob, and even less the electric oven or microwave, quite fit the bill.  Your stove sounds like a far better fit.

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DavidMcCann

One has to keep up with the times! My altar, when in use with candles and incense burner lit, counts as an honorary hearth. I know some Chinese keep up the tradition of a permanently lit lamp on the altar by having a tiny electric bulb there.

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Pearlbrook
55 minutes ago, DavidMcCann said:

One has to keep up with the times! My altar, when in use with candles and incense burner lit, counts as an honorary hearth. I know some Chinese keep up the tradition of a permanently lit lamp on the altar by having a tiny electric bulb there.

I have thought about this, too! I want to keep a permanent light going but cost and environmental impact puts me off.

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Ellinas

I suppose, if the pilot light is taken into account, the boiler might be the nearest thing going...

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Paganboater

I think Hestia is adaptable and would be a Nigella Lawson type. Wherever the center of the home is I believe we will find Hestia. I believe she is there in spirit sharing a mug of tea with friends. I believe she is watching over the hob where the kitchen is the center of the home. I say home and never house because Hestia is a warm, welcoming fire goddess and I feel her presence in the spring and summer even when my stove is cold. 

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Ellinas

She is the goddess of the hearth, in a sense the spirit of the hearth, with all the implications that has for warmth and nutrition.  Her name (Εστία) is still the Greek word for hearth - albeit the modern Greek home is no more centralised and no more has a definable heart of fire than the modern British home.

In the end,  she may be honoured wherever it seems fitting in the individual home - and your approach is as good as any.  It seems to me true, however, that the last real incarnation of the traditional hearth probably went out with the old fashioned kitchen range - something that is just about within my memory.  My great aunt had one in her home.  She was a remarkable old woman - small but with powerful forearms, muscled by the effort of hauling iron buckets of coal up the stone steps of her cellar to fuel the range.  She was doing so well into old age and despite being nearly crippled with arthritis.

Anyhow, I digress.  It strikes me that this is another aspect where modern life has, with all its' convenience, lost something.  If I were asked to state what is the centre of the modern home, I'm not sure that I wouldn't be forced to choose the television as the nearest generic candidate.  The focus has changed from that which keeps the family warm and fed and around which it gathers as the expression of its' security, to that which keeps people rather impersonally entertained.  Actually, the change is almost from focus to distraction.  Perhaps Hestia does need greater emphasis...

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Ellinas

Hmm.  I may return to that website for a look around at greater leisure...

I can generally find a good home for spaghetti meatballs - but have no reason to want them gluten free.

Edited by Ellinas
Mrs Malaprop struck again...

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