What We Mean by Hellenic Pagan Reconstructionism
While the members of Hellenion are free to pursue whatever personal religions their hearts and souls commend them to, part of our mission is to provide fellowship and information for people wishing to honor the ancient gods of Hellas with the future intent of reconstructing public rites of the ancient pagan Hellenic religion.
As such, our mission entails:
- Reverence for the ancient Hellenic pantheon of deities and their Mysteries as practiced BCE.
- A connection with the ancestors, honoring Hestia as the goddess of hearth and home. Within a modern context, this means a concern for family, in its broadest sense, whether by related by blood, spirit, or kinship ties.
- A connection with the Hellenic past. We strive to be as historically (and mythologically) accurate as the state of the evidence allows. When gaps in the evidence, or the realities of modern life, make it necessary to create something new it should be:
- As consistent as possible with what we do know about the ancient Hellas and its colonies throughout the Mediterranean up until late antiquity .
- Clearly presented as a recent innovation. We frown on attempts to advertise something modern and invented as ancient and historical in order to give it an authority (and marketability!) it does not deserve.
- A balanced approach to understanding classical Hellenic religion which relies on both sound scholarship and poetic inspiration without mistaking one for the other.
- Inclusiveness. While we recognize the importance of an ethnic component in traditional Hellenic religion, we seek to reconstruct the religious culture of the ancients, not their society. Therefore, we do not rely on genealogy or geography to determine who is a Hellenic Pagan. Just as the Eleusinian Mysteries were open to those who could understand the Greek language, our group is open to all who worship in the ancient Hellenic tradition today.
- Respect for all people regardless of gender, ethnicity, color, creed, social status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or dis/ability.
- A moral code inspired by the Delphic maxims which emphasizes the following: know thyself, nothing in excess, and respect for oneself, others, and the gods.
What We Are Not About
As we are concerned with historical accuracy, the public rites of the Greek/Hellenic religion do not include:
- Any of the interpretations of Hermetic philosophy and magic that emerged during the European Renaissance (not the traditions themselves, but their Renaissance interpretations) and/or its modern religions movements that have since been inspired, such as Wicca, neo-shamanism, and the like.
- Eclecticism (as opposed to historical syncreticism; combining ancient Hellenic religion with other cultural traditions that weren’t combined historically. Foreign cults related to the ancient Greeks and their colonies are appropriate, such as such as the Phrygian Great Mother Kybele, and her consort, Attis.
As always, we emphasize that people’s personal practices can be as they choose, by their heart and their soul, but what we choose to focus on as a group is strictly on the Hellenic religion.
Hellenion’s official bylaws can be found here.