On Monday I celebrated Isonomia, which is an Ancient Greek word that roughly translates to "equality of status". Now, this was/is a modern celebration, held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we honored Zeus and Hera for their roles in justice and we honored Dr. King, for obvious reasons. It was. . .very meaningful to me, very special.
Firstly, it was very special to me because it was the first ritual I have written for a public setting. Prior to that it had been simple devotionals, it had been Noumenia and Hekate's Deipnon, important lunar occurrances, but they were for me and me alone. This was so much different. It was, like an art in a way, like acting. Not in the sense that I was faking anything, but in the sense that I knew that whatever I came up with other people would enjoy (or endure). I wanted desperately for everyone who came to enjoy themselves, and as far as I can tell, they did. That meant a lot to me.
Secondly, it was special because for all the months of struggling and dealing with the loneliness and being frustrated by feeling isolated in my own religious practice, doing this one little celebration, this one little ritual with just a couple of other people (there were 3 of us) and honoring the Gods in the way that is right for me, honoring them in the way that a Hellenistos does, that was enough to make me finally be able to say "it isn't so hard." I know now that whatever I do, there is a community of us, and with a little reaching out, planning, effort, and a bit of organization, I can find them, or they me, and we can be brought together by the act of worship. I didn't know very well one of the people that attended, but we found a common bond through our faith, and after the ritual ended I came away with the feeling of "Hey, I'd help this guy move if he needed it". It was exactly what I needed actually. It also sort of swooshed away all those concerns about "Pagan" "polytheist" "not-pagan" debate that had been going on and I had still been thinking about. I sort of felt, well, it doesn't really matter if the label applies or not. Ultimately, I will have my group of people who I worship with, and whether they call themselves Pagan or Polytheist or Jujumakaschu, at the end of it all, they are my fellow Hellenists, and they'll be that to me before anything else, and I can only hope I will be the same to them.
The last way, is through the act of writing the ritual, through study and contemplation about it, I realized that Dr.King and the movement he was a part of helped pave the way for the Gay Rights movement to take its stand. It made me appreciate even more what he and the people he banded together with did, and the waves of which have a direct influence on my life today. It also made me realize it is quite a shame that he isn't honored more, even in the secular way, which is a tad sad when I think about everything that came merely out of his speeches, and how he served as a uniting, empowering, and strong figure.
Despite all the sublime feelings, all the realizations though, at the end of the day, it was still about Dr.King and the Civil Rights Movement, and honoring his memory, and thus his movement.