What Is Hellenism? ✧Chene
✧ Hey lovelies,
On Pagan Altar Gifts you will find collections on different pagan religions. In this series of blog posts, I want to share with you what I am learning about each one. I want to invite you to learn with me as I broaden my knowledge. I will be keeping these posts basic and easy to follow, going into depth in future posts. If you would like to learn too, then get yourself a godly beverage and read on!
What is Hellenism?
Hellenism by definition is the devotion to Ancient Greek, customs, religion or thought. Within the pagan community this usually denotes the neo-pagan polytheistic religion of the Ancient Greeks. It has several other names such as Hellenismos, Reconstructionist paganism or Hellenic polytheism. People who practice this religion may be referred to as Hellenes, Hellnists or Hellenic reconstructionists.
During the romantic era, Greek Mythology had a resurgence and this is still continuing as people are allured by the ancient gods, heroes and greek culture. Hellenic relates to the period in Greek History beginning with the conquests of Alexander the Great.
Hellenism is a devotional religion entailing offerings in exchange for the gods’ blessings.
What are their beliefs?
There is no single text followed by Hellenists. Beliefs and practices are based on different sources such as work of Homer, individual experience and inspiration, connection with the divine as well as scholarly research on Ancient Greece.
Who do they worship?
Hellenists honour the Olympians as well as minor deities and other important creatures like satyrs and nymphs. The Twelve Olympians are Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Hermes and most include either Hesta or Dionysus.
In addition to these, they may also worship and honour Greek Heroes. The Heroes are legendary figures who may have earned honoury semi-divine status for example the great hero Achilles. Daemons may also be honoured, with hellenists entering relationships with them to create a harmonous relationship between humans, daemons and the gods.
Does everyone devoted to the Greek Gods identify as a hellenist?
No, there are many other pagans who worship these gods and identify as something else, or nothing at all. You will often find wiccans who incorporate the greek gods into their practices.
What are their important celebrations?
Each month they celebrate the full moon, and the deity corresponding to that month such as Dionysus, Artemis, Apollo, Demeter, Zeus and Athena. Celebrating the first full moon after both Equinoxes and Solstices is important. There were many holidays and festivals that were for honouring agriculture, harvest and fertility.
During their festivals and celebrations, there are usually processions, purfication, hymns, offerings, prayers of supplication and thanks followed by feasts and sometimes games.
In ancient times the Greeks would sacrifice animals such as goats, however, today this is rare and instead offerings of grains, incense, wine, fruit and clothes are given.
Not only do they participate in public celbrations, they also may have their own private rituals that they carry out daily in honour of their favourite deities.
How do I become a Hellenist?
In ancient times, one considered a Hellenist was born into a Hellenic family or they participated in the public culture and community of Hellenismos. Today one who honours the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece in the traditional manner, would be considered a Hellenist.
To find out more, you may visit the following links from which I learnt this information.
Where can I find the perfect statue for my Hellenistic Altar?
Here on Pagan Altar Gifts we sell many different pagan statues including Greek ones. We have a unique collection of bronze coated statues ranging from small to large sizes. Below are some of our favourites and most popular ones, Dionysus, Fortuna and Apollo.
In addition to these, we have statues of Zeus, Hephaestus, Hygieia, Hermes, Nike, Medusa, Pegasus and more. Click here to view our collection.
Love and Light,