Monday, June 17, 2013

Why Hellenismos? Because Athena.

This past few weeks I've been going through some very personal changes which have resulted in de-realization and then an awakening of sorts. I wound up ruminating on why I am a Hellenist.

Why? That is always the question isn't it? Why?

Unlike some Hellenist, I have no love for Plato or Aristotle or Iamblichus or any of the other various philosophers. I was not drawn in and captivated by the myths more than any other mythology. Greek Theatre is amazing and fascinating, but not enough to embrace the religion. I have no Greek blood in me (at least that I can prove. A group of cousins claim we do, but I think that is a bunch of bullshit honestly)  I had (at the time of becoming a Hellenist) zero interest in Greece, no like of Greek culture, and a disdain for the country even. (I'm coming to appreciate Greek culture, very slowly). Why then did I become a Hellenist?

I ask myself this frequently enough. The answer is simple

Athena.

Of course, I have grown closer to other Gods too (like Aphrodite and Hermes) but the root lies with Athena. In love of her I sought out her original faith and worship. In love of her I opened my first Burkert book and it grew and grew from there. She was the thing which caused me to open the door and step inside. From Athena all this grew.

I've always had an obsession with her, a fascination and an inclination. From the first time I read the myths (in the 6th grade) through High School and into college. I've always had this inclination towards Athena.  Seeing art of her was awesome, I liked vase paintings of her, depictions, paintings it didn't matter what as long as it was of her. So, after I got out of my Wicca phase and was searching for something deeper and more grounded in history Hellenismos seemed to be the most natural choice.

Through Athena I've come to the Gods.

Through her I do not stay though. It takes more than just one God or Goddess to make one stay and dedicate the time, energy, and effort it takes to reconstruct a religious practice. In Hellenismos I've found a love for their particular festival cycle, I've found an extreme liking for the ritual structure, I've found that the other Olympians are wonderful and awe-inspiring as well. I've found a comfort in the pouring of libations and all the little particulars I have found to be wonderful (even if there are some particulars that still confuse me or that I'm uncertain about)

Through Athena I've come to the Gods, and for Athena I want to build a temple.

After all, don't I owe all the kharis in my life to the grey-eyed Goddess?


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