Personal Practice

This page is closely tied in with the ones on ritual practice and Hellenismos in the everyday world, but I feel that is it necessary in order to truly illustrate the different extents of how one can be religiously Greek in the modern day.

I believe that in order to be truly involved in Hellenismos, one must eventually work up the courage to put down the books, stop chatting online with other members of our religion, and practice. A lot of people are afraid to do this due to what they feel to be lack of knowledge on how to pray properly, how to sacrifice properly, how to do rituals properly, not knowing much about the festivals or calendar year, and eventually some just choke on the amount of reading and go right back to neo-Paganism, where everything is spelled out in black and white and no more research needs to be done.

This isn’t true! No matter how some people talk online or offline, we have all of the information we need in order to have a fruitful, rich, and beneficial spiritual practice. Learning is easy. Do not be daunted by reading material, nor by people who seem to suggest that you need at least two PhDs, one in Greek religion and the other in Greek language in order to practice our religion.

Prayer is simple. Many people ask me or on the emailing lists, “How do I pray? I have no idea how to pray, and I’m afraid of doing it wrong!” Fear not. I have an outline of what makes up a Greek prayer which is useful for those who want to know how to pray.

Also, it’s not just a matter of asking the gods for help. In what ways could you improve your life that would please the gods? If you’re honoring Artemis in your daily practice as either her devotee or for her festival, so help you if you do not recycle or if you happen to throw your trash on the ground. Artemis is a nature-lover. Get involved in taking care of the environment, even if in the smallest, tinest of ways. Donate to an animal shelter. Put a bird feeder up on your property. If you’re honoring Apollo, learn first-aid, play music, take up an instrument or do arts and crafts. Weaving, however, falls under Athena’s care. For Ares, learn martial arts. Et cetera.

Read about the gods, be inspired by them and what you read about them, and think what ways you can be made more aware of the gods and honor them in your daily life.

For those interested in discussing the theology of Hellenismos, particularly in relation to what it means for us in this day and age to be a Hellenist, I recommend VERY highly the Hellenismos_Theology emailing list.

Additional links of information:

  • Essential list of dos and donts on prayer and ritual.
  • Greek rituals, and their reconstructions for both festivals and single person worship.
  • Everyday Hellenismos, or how to make this ancient religion work for me in the modern day
  • Greek polytheism 101