Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Ever-Continuing Debate

How appropriate it is that my first post on my religion blog is about the ever-continuing debate in the Hellenic polytheist community about how much "other stuff" can be let in before the religion is totally corrupted by "neo-pagan wing-dings." Well, first of all, I have borrowed the term Hellenismos from Emperor Julian the Blessed (the last polytheistic Roman emperor, who, by the way, ruled after Constantine) as a word to mean the religious practices of the ancient Hellenes (Greeks). However, these folks had many, many different practices because each of their Gods demanded certain things from Their worshippers. There was no one religious calendar: all regions, and even regions within regions, had their own calendars. Even, ***GASP***, what we now call "kitchen witchery", cursing, blessing, etc. was practiced quite a bit by the ordinary folk. Of course there were philosophers who tried to get spiritually closer to the realm of the Gods through certain "magical" practices; but, this wasn't a major thread. Personally, I do not practice what many would consider "magic". "Magic" can be a practice in ANY religion -- and in NO religion. In addition, many modern Hellenic polytheists tend to center their particular practices on a certain time period: Periclean Athens; Mycenaean; Hellenistic; Sparta; etc. These were all different!!! Now, the terrible visage of "orthodoxy" is again raising its fearsome head. The problem is, this time there is a distinctive smell of the ideas around Christianity in it. Of course, the particular person who is doing this is the most sniveling kiss-ass I have personally ever witnessed on the discussion lists. He has defamed the names of people whom I respect -- and know personally. And, even though it was explained to him numerous times (on a rather conserverative forum) that he was wrong, he is continuing to blunder on like the classic bull in the china closet.