Monday, February 18, 2013

The Losing Team

Sometimes, I feel like being a Reconstructionist is like being on the losing team. It is being on the team where you look around and you go "Well. . .we'll just have to fight it out"

Don't think for a second though that the Hellenic Reconstructionist movement doesn't have a struggle to win. Because let me tell you something, there *is* a great deal of struggle for many of us. From our pitifully low numbers to (from what I have seen) an astonishing rate of attrition, especially to forms of liberal Christianity, I sometimes feel like we are on a team, and we are all losing.

Let us also not forget that we mercilessly devour our own sometimes, and quite often chase well meaning and curious folks off by being aggressive assholes.

Let us also not forget that most of us are constantly bickering about who is or isn't "Reconstructionist" enough to call themselves one, and this kind of bickering leads to an odd desire to stagnant in the past and to shout "If it wasn't done in Ancient Greece, I'm not doing it!"

Let us also not forget that many, many, many of us take absolutely no initiative nor have any desire to be social and to build a community and form bonds and then wonder why we don't have any loops or connections with each other.

Let us also not forget that our presence in the Pagan community is pitifully low, and few people know of us. We do that, that is on us. We are the ones who don't organize booths at Pride Days, we are the ones who alienate ourselves from the Pagan community by scoffing at all the "newer" types. Yeah, I'm guilty of this, but I'm trying to get better about it.

Let us also not forget that the vast majority of us (because of the If it wasn't done in Ancient Greece mindset) have a refusal to organize in any meaningful way, and that the only even remotely active forum for Hellenistai is filled to the brim with homophobes, bigots, and people who in general make MANY Hellenists cringe (I'm calling you out Timothy Alexander, you self important sack of shit. I know all about your little god damn games)

I am on a losing team, and it is our own God damned fault. I have sincere doubts that the movement will have grown much in twenty years, other than by people popping out kids. It is a fucking shame.

ADDENDUM: This is in no way saying that I don't identify as a Reconstructionist any longer. This is saying that I'm extremely frustrated with the way things have gone and have been going, and where I feel things are headed. I'm going to do what I can regardless. As long as I have a shred of a glimmer of hope for us, I'm going to do what I can. 


  1. I know that feeling. I've fallen off the wagon, but I am starting to try, as Kemetic,by keeping up a more consistent practice and from that, participating more in what community there is. I haven't yet gotten to the point where I am organizing in-person meet-ups, assuming they'd even be possible outside of major (like NYC or San Francisco major) cities. I shudder at the thought of being the one to do so, as I'm hardly a leader-type, but if I have to be the one to do it, I may have to do it.

    1. I am also keeping a fairly consistent daily practice as well as attempting to celebrate the various holidays on the Athenian calendar that are still relevant to me. I've also begun organizing some local stuff. There are three of us currently. Better than none, and as good as 3 dozen (perhaps better in some respects) to me.

      I do wish you luck on that, I genuinely feel for the Kemetic community. Do y'all have anything in terms of an "umbrella" community or organization?

    2. There's at least one forum I know of, though I haven't posted in it. My main actions have been

      1) Keeping a relatively consistent ritual calendar (Since then, each post has and will continue to have the date in my ritual calendar-- for example today is the the 11th day of the month of Phamenoth/Peret III (3rd month of the season of Peret ["season of Emergence"] in the ritual year 2012-2013. I don't feel like trying to come up with a different year (For example, Tess Dawson, a Qadish, counts the year from the year the Canaanite city of Ugarit was excavated at Ras Shamra, Syria, I think), so I use the appropriate Common Era years.

      2) Blogging on a more regular than irregular basis. (I'm trying not to let the perfect become the enemy of the good here)A big help in this is the Pagan Blog Project, which is assigning an alphabet letter for each week/2 weeks which participants then use as a starting point for blog posts. (Hence all the "A is for ___", B is for ___, etc." posts floating around. It's like a giant, on-going, year-long writing prompt.

      3) Participating in the Kemetic Round Table, where participants write posts about a list of subjects relevant to practitioners,particularly new ones, as a newbie-friendly source of information and different viewpoints on Kemetic practice.

    3. I'd definitely say those are all appropriate and good courses of action. Too bad it is too late for me to start on this "blog project" thing haha.

      How many months do you have in a year, by the by? Also, when do you mark the month as ending?

  2. 12 lunar months to a year, with an intercalary month (Djehuty) tacked onto the beginning of the year as needed. Each month starts at the New Moon and ends the day before the next one. :)

    1. Wow! That is actually pretty similar to how ours works. Our new months start at the first sliver of the crescent moon, and we have "ending" rituals/celebrations during the New Moon period. When do y'alls days being? Ours starts at Sundown, so when I have a date marked on my calendar, for example I have Anathesteria marked today, I know it began the previous day at Sundown. It took a while to get the hang of, but I finally got it (I think)

    2. I honestly don't know when the days are supposed to start. I have been starting my days the same way they do in the modern secular calendar, for the sake of my sanity.

      I need to find out more, but it's probably similar to the way your days begin. Clearly the Greeks reckoned the days from sunset, the Jews still reckon their days from sunset (hence Shabbat starting on sunset,Friday)...On the other hand, the Egyptians did have their morning rituals, after all, Ra rises in the morning, so considering the importance of Ra, that could be an argument for reckoning by sunrises instead. I'm not sure. I'd have to find out more, though for now I'll reckon the days as usual.


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