Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Reformed Hellenismos

Over the past few years of studying modern Hellenismos, I have come to a personal understanding about Hellenic Polytheism, and the movement that surrounds it.

There are two main interpretations of Hellenismos that I have continually observed:

Traditionalist Hellenismos
Reformed Hellenismos

Traditional Hellenismos takes the most literal, orthodox, and exoteric approach to spirituality within Hellenismos, and as a result is generally unconcerned with practices considered esoteric, mystical, and most especially magical. The tendency of this approach is, as I've heard it put, to focus on "authenticity over inclusion", and is very conservative in the traditional sense (from my experience).

Though I'd like to stress that magical practice is not the only point of contention between the two, it forms much of the basis of the argument in debates I've seen and been apart of. That being said, there are also issues surrounding the implementation of festivals, the structure of ritual, and socio-political issues, just to name a few.

I think it's time that a real attempt is made to approach Hellenismos from a more balanced and pragmatic perspective, and although I know of several wonderful people who do indeed implement pragmatic philosophy with regards to Hellenic Religion, very little in the way of exposure to such an idea is really given.

Personally, I think that defining this approach as Reformed Hellenismos, or something similar, will be an important step in the right direction, as will defining Traditional Hellenismos for point of comparison. I believe that Traditionalist Hellenismos is a valid approach, albeit too rigid for my tastes, but there needs to be something solid as an alternative to such an approach for those who desire it.

To me, Reformed Hellenismos is an approach that allows for a diversity of opinions about religious practices, and is less concerned about the "right belief", and more concerned with establishing orthopraxy. Personal interpretations of said orthopraxy are just that... personal - as is what other practices a person does or does not do in addition to their religious ones.

Whatever you think about this idea, I would like to hear your opinions...

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