Agathos Daimon – A Greek term meaning “Good divine spirit.” Also known as “Agathodaemon”.
This spirit was believed in ancient times to be assigned to individuals at birth and even families.
The Agathos Daimon was honored at meal times with unmixed wine, and was seen as an aid to good fortune and even to communication with the gods. In the Athenian calendar, the Agathos Daimon was honored on the second day of the month.
Daimon(es) – A Greek term meaning “divine spirit” or “divine entity.”
Dodekatheon – The twelve Olympian gods, usually used to term the worship of them
Eclectism – To mix more than one tradition together, usually from different cultures.
Eusebeia – Greek for piety. See the page on eusebeia to learn more about what it means to be pious in Hellenismos.
Festival – A celebration of the gods held on a sacred day or holiday.
Hearth – The name Hestia literally means “hearth” in reference to the hearth fire. The hearth fire provided both heat and cooking in many ancient homes.
Hellenic – Another term meaning Greek in reference to Hellas, the name of the Greek nation.
Hellenismos – Greek religion, or the worship of the Greek gods in belief and practice. See the FAQ pages for more detail.
Libation – A toast or an offering of a drink in honor of the gods.
Miasma – Ritual impurity or pollution caused by either neglecting eusebeia, or through contact with blood, a birth, or a death.
New Moon – Marked the Athenian calendar’s months. When crescents were first visible after a new moon marked a new month. New moons were traditionally a time to give offerings to Hekate.
Piety – Righteousness, devoutness, reverence, religiousness
Polis – A Greek word meaning city.
Reconstructionism – The process of reviving an ancient religion through academic research and practice. It is a method, and not a religion. I cannot stress this enough.
Sacrifice – The act of making something sacred by giving up something important for the sake of the gods. Animal sacrifice can only be properly understood in the context of ancient society, knowing that a man must kill in order to live and realizing his place in the cosmos by doing so.
Sanctuary – Used as a synonym for the Greek term temenos.
Sponde – A Greek word meaning “a drink offering,” or a libation to the gods. See also sponde.com.
Syncretism – The belief in ancient times that other pantheons’ deities were Greek deities being addressed by another name. Ie., Osiris being referred to as the “Egyptian Dionysos.”
Temple – A Greek building which housed the god or goddess. Unlike modern times, only priests or priestesses were allowed into the temple, and regular worship took place outdoors.
Theurgy – A Greek term meaning “god-work” in reference to various meditative and ritualistic prayer practices which were sometimes employed by others as an additional spiritual practice on top of their normal, everyday Hellenic worship and piety.
Thusia – A Greek term in reference to sacrifical ritual as described by Walter Burkert in his book Greek Religion.
Xairete (also Khairete) – A Greek word for greeting, also means “be well.” People often use this to sign off emails with. Xairete/khairete is the plural and xaire/khaire is the singular.
Xenia – A Greek term meaning guest-friendship or hospitality.