Sunday, February 10, 2013

Lesson 3: 336-30 BCE Hellenistic Period

1. Do the Immortal Olympians exist? Do other deities exist (i.e. Hades, Persephone, Hekate, etc.)?

2. Of those beings that exist, can they interact with the world (e.g. cause real world changes)? Do they?

3. Of the beings that can and do interact with the world, are they concerned with the fate of mortals? Are they concerned with individuals or only

4. Has this knowledge of Hellenic history changed (or enlightened) your religious beliefs? Of the beliefs of the different periods, which do you
feel is closest to your own beliefs? In what ways?
1) I certainly believe that the Olympians, the Chthonic Gods, and the various
"Natural" Gods all exist. I heavily suspect that they do not exist as we see
them, or as the names and faces which we assign them, and that they may exist in
other cultures just under a different name and "costume". To further demonstrate
this, take two non-Hellenic deities. Sunna, and Amaterasu, both Sun Goddesses of
the Norse and Japanese cultures respectively. Are they separate? In all
likelihood I'd say that they are probably the same Goddess, which means that
they do "exist" but that they probably don't exist as we perceive them. That
being said, I do think it is best if we treat Sunna as Sunna and Amaterasu as
Amaterasu. So, in as few words as possible, theologically I think some Gods and
Goddesses may be the same God or Goddess in a different "face" but functionally
I treat each God and Goddess as if they carry on their own separate existence.

2) I think the majority can. Gods and Goddesses associated with purely natural
things and only natural domains (Helios, Sunna, Gaea) obviously have less
influence on things since their conditions are either fixed and frozen (Helios
"controls" the Sun. The Sun is mostly constant aside from Solar flares, thus
Helios has a very limited sphere of influence) or are reliant upon other factors
and thus more heavily dependent upon other Gods and Goddesses (Demeter cannot
give out her blessings if there is no rain, for example). The majority of their
ability to cause change will, I feel, be enacted by their influence over mortals
and our mental states, our wants and desires, but I do believe they have some
degree of influence over all of their domains.

3) If the Gods were not concerned with our fates they would not bestow their
blessings upon us. I strongly suspect that the Gods are not only concerned with
our fates, but (depending on the God) are concerned with the fates of particular
animals, and are concerned with the fates of all sentient beings. Those who
reject them and reject their aid and blessings, they are less concerned with,
but those of us who worship them and give them praise, and thus open up
ourselves to being taught and strengthened, they are quite concerned with. This
goes for whatever their iterations may be on Planet Farblot with the

4) It has certainly helped organize some of my religious beliefs and given me a
better idea of what era they are derived from. I feel that my beliefs and
practice are most similar to the Classical era. I am mostly focused on living a
good and virtuous life and have little concern with "salvation" or getting a
"better" after-life. I figure, one day, we are all going to die, and nothing I
can do will change that, so I'm going to live my life honorably and live it
well. I feel that this is most reflected by the mind-set of the classical era
and not the Hellenistic Era.



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A young man living in North Texas. He is an actor, a Hellenistos, and a proud member of Hellenion.