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Hellenic Paganism: An Overview (Aias)

Hellenic Paganism

An Overview by Aias


The Hellenic Religion is a traditional religion, as opposed to what is called monotheistic religions (or, according to Spengler, cosmopolitan religions of the late antiquity). Other traditional religions are, for instance, Hinduism, Taoism, the Northern Tradition (including Odinism, Asatru and Vanatru), Druidry, Northern Buddhism etc. These traditional religions, in our view, are not nature-religions; on the contrary, they all stem from an extremely high level civilization that ended abruptly with one major catastrophy, namely the Cataclysm, that took place around 10000 BC We identify this high level civilization as the Golden Generation (according to the poet Hesiodus). Traditional religions are, in this context, the remnants of this civilization that survived within each and every local regeneration of civilized human societies. In this sense, all traditional religions share the same truth and carry identical beliefs. Interestingly, the whole of the truth was not preserved equally in every ethnic tradition. For example Hinduism has excelent knowledge of the Genesis of the Cosmos, but did not preserve accurately the part concerning the evolution of the Psyche (Soul) in the Divine level. There are several unimportant differences among them, steming from the differences of ethnic character, mentality, language, environment, etc. We believe that each ethnic tradition suits best the specific ethnic group that preserved it through the centuries. In the Helliniki Hetaireia Archaiophilon (Societas Hellenica Antiquariorum), we observe the Hellenic religion, but we do not hesitate to borrow whatever we do not have, from other traditions. As an ethnic religion, the Hellenic religion opposes all monotheistic religions, because they tend to create their own ethnicity, and destroy traditional ethnic basis. The Hellenic religion is a true religion because it provides answers to the final and extreme questions of Man: What is the Cosmos? Where does it stem from? What is the fate of the Cosmos? What is Man? Where does he stem from? What is the fate of Man? What is a God?………..

Cosmologic Principles

The basic Cosmologic priciples of the Hellenic religion derive from Orphean theology, as preserved through the centuries in the Fragmenta Orphicorum. Other sources are the Orphean Hymns to the Gods and the living oral tradition, which was never extinguished, although it survived underground:

  • The Cosmos [viewed as the infinite multitude of Universes (conglomerates of matter), within the infinite Space and perpetual Time] has always existed, is self-motivated, self-regulated and ever-changing (evolving).
  • The Natural Law (in its broadest conception) was never created, but always existed virtually, in the pre-creative state of our Universe, the “unspeakable principium”.
  • The Cosmos (either viewed as the infinite multitude of Universes, or as the World) is a value. So is Man and Life in its broadest conception.
  • Conscience and Higher Conscience are produced by the ever-evolving Cosmos; obviously, they appear later in the creation process.
  • The Cosmos is a physical system that has no place for arbitrary non-physical entities (like “evil”). The Cosmos is not opposed by any power. History is cyclic and never-ending. Every Universe in the Cosmos expands and contracts consecutively, governed by the physical laws (and only by them); there is neither an ethical meaning in these titanic phenomena, nor a cause, external to the Cosmos.

Compliance With Modern Science

To put it in a different way, the Cosmology of the Hellenic traditional religion is absolutely compliant with present-day Physics (Relativity, Quantum mechanics, Nuclear physics), Mathematics (post-Eucledian Geometries, Topology), Astronomy and Cosmology, and the theory of non-linear Dynamics (Chaos). For an excelent review of modern Cosmology and theory of creation see: Karel Velan: “The Multi-Universe Cosmos”, Plenum Press, New York, 1992. On the contrary, the Hellenic traditional religion is absolutely non-compliant with, and opposed to the “Big-Bang” hypothesis of creation and all hypotheses containing “Singularity”, either amended or non-amended: All these hypotheses have been constructed to suit a (monotheistic) view of the Cosmos, where a super-Natural being, external to the system, ordered the undefinable “Singularity” to explode.

Evolution of Man

The evolution of Man can be achieved only in harmony with the Rhythm of the Cosmos, and in accordance with the Divine Law of Evolution. Man becomes virtuous when he realizes the Natural Law and works to the same direction with It. With Science and Arts, and by preserving the environement, Man joins, and can be integrated to, the Rhythm of the Cosmos. From a certain level and up, Man can only evolve by serving his community, city, state and nation. The utmost service was always considered to be self-sacrifice in the battle, by which the Citizen earns transition to the first step of the higher order of evolution of the Psyche: He becomes a Hero.

Evolution of the Community

The service of Man to his community, city, state and nation has the purpose to help the community evolve as a whole. These groups of people, according to the Hellenic religion, evolve by practising freely their own customs, celebrate their own solemn festivals in public, and worship divinity in their own way. It follows that any tendency to proselytize or to impose one’s customs, festivals and religion to anybody, has always been considered a blasphemy, in the context of the traditional Hellenic religion. In our time, we consider that not only as a blasphemy, but as racism too. We oppose any kind of missionary approach of other cultures, even bringing food and medicine (missions of monotheistic religions). They disturb spiritual evolution of others and are deleterious to national dignity and national economy. They prepare modern slavery.

Psyche-Mind-Brain: Theogony

The Psyche is a material entity, an essential particle, generated exactly in the same way as the rest of Matter , from the unification of the two Primordial Substances, the Continuous and the Particulate (the Finite Unit and the Indefinite Dyad of the Pythagoreans). This reaction is governed by Eros . The Psyche is imprinted with experiences, leading to expansion of its Decorations, as it evolves through inorganic, organic and living Matter. Late in this evolutionary process, Conscience appears, as an attribute of Mind. The Mind is an organ composed of subtle Matter, closely connected to the Brain, a coarsely material organ. The Mind serves the Conscience during incarnation of the Psyche. Up to a certain point in evolution of Man, incarnation of the Psyche is imperative, in order for its Decorations to be preserved. Preservation of the Decorations is an energy consuming process; this energy is provided by the living body, until the Psyche becomes able to acquire energy directly from the environment. This point of the evolutionary process corresponds to the threshold of Divinity. The evolution of the Psyche is neither a linear, nor a predetermined process, as this would violate the freedom of choice of the Psyche. Once in the Divine level, the Psyche evolves further, in a non-linear manner, and with ever increasing difficulty, and becomes a Hero, a Demon, a God, an Olympian God and further on, achieving hights of divine glory that Man cannot conceive; this level is called, by the Hellenic religion, “The Night”, meaning that we cannot see in it. In the Divine level, the Psyche retains its self, personality and character. Historically, our Gods and Godesses have always been worshiped as persons with a living self. In summary, one can say that the Cosmos has an inherent tendency to produce Conscience and develop it to the infinite hights of Divinity.

Gods-Godesses-Divine Law

According to the Hellenic religion, the Gods do not create the Cosmos; on the contrary, they represent highest order products of the Cosmos. They cannot violate the Natural Law; on the contrary they observe and supervise the Law. The Natural Law has twelve divisions, six concerning the Continuous Substance, and six the Particulate. Six Olympian Gods, of the male gender, supervise the laws of the former, and six, of the female gender, supervise the laws of the latter. The two sacred Essential Substances are of equal importance to the Cosmos; so are the Gods and Godesses, Male and Female, acting in harmony.

Festivals That We Celebrate

Our religion is for the moment underground, in this country. The celebrations are not solemn and are performed in private; very seldom in public, and very cautiously; we run the risk of being accused as satanists, which will not be tolerated by our social environment. Nevertheless, we do celebrate the following:

  1. The full moon, every month. At the same occasion we worship the God of the month, as follows:
    Hera (7th) Gamelion, Moon of January
    Poseidon (8th) Anthestirion, Moon of February
    Athena (Minerva) (9th) Elaphivolion, Moon of March
    Aphrodite (Venus) (10th) Mounichion, Moon of April
    Apollon (11th) Thargilion, Moon of May
    Hermes (12th) Skirophorion, Moon of June
    Zeus (Jupiter) (1st) Hecatomvaion, Ìïïn of July
    Dimitra (Demeter) (2nd) Metageitnion, Moon of August
    Hestia (Vesta) (3rd) Voidromion, Moon of September
    Aris (Mars) (4th) Pyanepsion, Moon of October
    Artemis (Diana) (5th) Maimaktirion, Moon of November
    Hephestus (Vulcan) (6th) Poseideon, Moon of December
  2. The 1st full moon after the Spring Equinox: Anthesteria, the lesser Mysteries, in honour of Dionysus and the souls of the deceaced.
  3. The 1st full moon after the Summer Solstice: Olympia (Olympic Games every 4 years), in honour of Zeus & Hera.
  4. The 1st full moon after the Fall Equinox: Elefsinian (greater) Mysteries, in honour of Dimitra & Persefoni.
  5. The 1st full moon after the Winter Solstice: Pythia at Delphi, in honour of Dionysus and Apollon.

There is of course a huge number (about 400) of other known ancient festivals, that nobody celebrates (as such) for the time being. It should be noted that the totality of Greek Orthodox Christian festivals stem from ancient pagan festivals, that the Hellenic people never gave up, so the Orthodox-Christian church thought appropriate to embody, for the purpose of making the people forget the real meaning and origin of the festivals.

The Helliniki Hetaireia Archaiophilon (Societas Hellenica Antiquariorum), is a non-profit private organization, based in Athens-Greece, aiming to revive the ancient and traditional Hellenic religion of the Dodecatheon (12 Olympian Gods and the Pantheon of Demons and Heroes). The organization offers activities to its members every evening, dealing with the traditional Hellenic religion, Hellenic philosophy (Pythegorean, pre-Socratic, Platonic, Stoic, neo-Platonic etc), our Holy Mythology, as well as scientific lectures, symposia, public discourses and social activities. Above all, we practice our rituals and worship the Gods, in the traditional manner.

The main problems of Hellenic Pagans are: 1. Our religion is not recognized officially by the modern Greek state. 2. The mystic tradition of our people (Eleusinian, Kaberian, Delphian etc) has been interupted.

The Societas Hellenica Antiquariorum also produces a quarterly magazine “HELLENIC PANTHEON” that appears on the Solstices and equinoxes. This magazine is a philosophical and theological publication, with 96 black and white pages, and colored cover, in book format. It is written in modern Hellenic polytonic language. Annual subscription costs 5000 Drachmas in Hellas (including Cyprus) and $40 in all other countries. Sample issues are available for Drchs 1200 or $10 respectively. Snail-mail address: SOCIETAS HELLENICA ANTIQUARIORUM, P. O. Box 33050, Athens 100 36, Hellas. Telephone and Fax #: 01-3626 635. You could see an image of the cover page of the first issue here.

Suggested introductory reading on the Hellenic traditional religion:

In English

GREEK RELIGION by Walter Burkert, translated by John Raffan from German.
Blackwell editions, 1985.
ISBN 0-631-11241-3
Original title: Griechische Religion der archaischen und klassischen Epoche (1977).

In Hellenic

Nea Thesis Editions, Athens-Hellas, 1998
(The title in Hellenic reads: HELLINIKI KOSMOTHEASIS)

Eleftheri Skepsis Editions, Athens-Hellas, 1996

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