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A Growing Number of Greeks Bow To Zeus, Apollo and Hera

Posted by on Jun. 23, 2013 at 3:00 PM
  • 17 Replies

Gimme That Old-Time Religion: A Growing Number of Greeks Bow To Zeus, Apollo, and Hera

Talk about nostalgia!

Public Radio International has a pretty entertaining piece from Greece about the Return of the Hellenes,

… a movement trying to bring back the religion, values, philosophy and way of life of ancient Greece, more than 16 centuries after it was replaced by Christianity.

Remember the good old days? Neither do they, but that doesn’t prevent them from worshiping the dodecatheon, including the long-moribund deities Zeus, Apollo, and Hera. The New Hellenes don’t pray to the old gods, they say, but they do hold them worthy of veneration (as representations of things like beauty, health, and wisdom), and some revivalists offer them sacrifices such as flowers, fruit, milk, and honey.

They also have a soft spot for the Greek hero Prometheus, who helped humans by stealing fire from the gods. There’s an annual festival dedicated to him, held each summer solstice. On Friday, the event was kicked off by

… six runners — in full Greek battle gear — racing the six miles up Mount Olympus, home of the gods, their shields and long spears clanking as they go.

The New Hellenes consider Greece to be a country under Christian occupation, and they chafe under a majority of more than 95% of the population who identify as Greek-Orthodox followers of Jesus. The lack of affection is mutual: in 2007, an official of the Orthodox Church said the Hellenes were “a handful of miserable resuscitators of a degenerate dead religion.”

When I first heard about them, I thought perhaps their intention was to gently satirize (satyrize?) religion — to be Greek Pastafarians, if you will — but that doesn’t appear to be the case. It’s true that followers see the movement as a platform to complain about Christianity, and that it attracts new recruits on the back of the financial and cultural crisis that has gripped Greece since late 2009. But that doesn’t mean that adherents are lacking in sincerity. The founder of the Return of the Hellenes, Tryphon Olympios, explains that

… ancient Greece provides a model of a world where freedom of thought — and freedom of religion — is paramount. “We want to develop a free individual, free from superstitions and free from dogmas. No one tries to impose on you how to worship your god or practice your faith.”

The New Hellenes have twice applied to the Greek religion ministry for official status, and twice the application went nowhere. Until they receive the government’s imprimatur, they are officially prevented from holding mystical gatherings at Greece’s ancient temples. They also can’t build their own because, in Greece, that requires the sign-off of the local Orthodox bishop.

But their marginal status may improve as their numbers increase. The movement already claims to have hundreds of thousands of supporters, and it could grow to have real influence — Zeus willing.


by on Jun. 23, 2013 at 3:00 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Chaos1229
by Tasha on Jun. 23, 2013 at 3:03 PM
1 mom liked this
Hmmm I worship Hecate myself I say good for them standing up and being pround of what they believe in.
joyfree
by Silver Member on Jun. 23, 2013 at 3:07 PM

Have you read the Michael Scott fantasy book series about Nicholas Flamel? GREAT mythical and historical themes intermixed...

Let's just say I learned a lot from them! Fascinating! I like to have an open mind about things!


Quoting Chaos1229:

Hmmm I worship Hecate myself I day good for them standing up and being pround of what they believe in.



Mommy_of_Riley
by Jes on Jun. 23, 2013 at 3:09 PM
1 mom liked this
I've always found Greek Gods & Goddesses interesting... Good for them for standing up for their beliefs.
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..MoonShine..
by Redwood Witch on Jun. 23, 2013 at 3:12 PM
I LOVE the Greek Pantheon. Hecate is a favorite of mine.
mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Jun. 23, 2013 at 3:18 PM
1 mom liked this

 Hecate is my patron Goddess, I also follow Bachas and Artemis


Quoting ..MoonShine..:

I LOVE the Greek Pantheon. Hecate is a favorite of mine.


 

Chaos1229
by Tasha on Jun. 23, 2013 at 3:20 PM
No I haven't I'm going to have to check them out.

Quoting joyfree:

Have you read the Michael Scott fantasy book series about Nicholas Flamel? GREAT mythical and historical themes intermixed...

Let's just say I learned a lot from them! Fascinating! I like to have an open mind about things!



Quoting Chaos1229:

Hmmm I worship Hecate myself I day good for them standing up and being pround of what they believe in.




SilverSterling
by MrsSilverusSnape on Jun. 23, 2013 at 3:26 PM
2 moms liked this

Sounds perfectly natural to me :-) Some of the Christians on this board are seriously making me rethink my Christianity..

Sekirei
by Nari Trickster on Jun. 23, 2013 at 5:44 PM
1 mom liked this

Very cool. They need to stand up for what they belive in.

<---Worships Loki.. which is no where near the Greek Pantheon.. lol

punky3175
by Punky on Jun. 23, 2013 at 5:48 PM
1 mom liked this

I prefer the Celtic pantheon myself, but grew up reading Greek mythology and loved it.  Still do and will work with the Greek pantheon if needed.

pj2becca21
by Bronze Member on Jun. 23, 2013 at 5:50 PM
I love all the pantheons
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