Greek/Hellenic Reconstructionist Paganism

Hellenic (Greek) Reconstructionism is a modern Pagan religious movement that bases its worship and cultic practices on the traditional, polytheistic religion of Ancient Greece.

Although Hellenic Reconstructionism accepts personal gnosis as a part of its spirituality, the predominant source of information comes from the works of Homer, Hesiod and other ancient writers. Ritual practices are taken from these authors and from modern academic research on this religion. Where modernization of some ritual elements is needed and understood, those elements are not presented as "ancient" fact. Combining unrelated cultural beliefs (as opposed to historical syncretism) with those of the Ancient Greeks is unacceptable.

While Greek Reconstructionism is an attempt to recreate traditional Hellenic worship, it is not an attempt to recreate Ancient Greek society.

Our forum has a Special Interest Group board devoted to discussions about Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism: Ta Hiera Hellenic Polytheism SIG.

Suggested Reading

(Links are to book pages at Amazon.com and may not be to the specific printing listed.)

Primary Sources


Apostolos N. Athanassakis, ed. & trans., The Orphic Hymns: Text, Translation and Notes (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1977).

Hesiod, Theogony/Works and Days/Shield (various editions)

Homer, Iliad (various editions)

Homer, Odyssey (various editions)

Homer, Homeric Hymns (various editions)

Academic Sources


Walter Burkert, Greek Religion (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1985) A comphrensive overview of ancient Greek religion. While not an easy read, this is probably the book to start with.

Drew Campbell, Old Stones, New Temples: Ancient Greek Paganism Reborn (Philadelphia: Xlibris, 2000). Comprehensive introduction to Hellenic Reconstructionist Paganism, with emphasis on scholarly sources. Includes annual rituals, life cycle events, polytheology, and ethics.

Robert Garland, The Greek Way of Life (Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1990) and The Greek Way of Death (Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1985). These books provide a survey of rites relating to birth, childhood, adolescence, marriage, and death.

Georg Luck, Arcana Mundi: Magic and the Occult in the Greek and Roman Worlds (Baltimore/London: Johns Hopkins UP, 1985). A collection of essays and primary sources on magick in the ancient world.

Martin Nilsson, Greek Folk Religion. A collection of lectures on the religious practices of the common folk of ancient Greece.

Selected Links


Ancient Classical History - Primary Sources -- An About.com site listing many ancient texts, some in their entirety.

Ancient Greek Tutorials -- Study Ancient Greek with the help of this site from the Department of Classics of the University of California, Berkeley.

Compendium of the Gods -- A listing of epithets, cult centers, sacrifices, blessings, ways to honor them, and references in ancient sources for the Olympians, and a number of other important Gods. (Historical information supplemented by Crowley's 777.)

Hellenic Neo-Pagan Calendar -- A site listing the many festivals associated with the Athenian calendar, in a format usable by modern Hellenic Pagans.

The Perseus Digital Libraries -- A large site of classical sources and other information.

Sponde! -- This site presents a "hands-on" approach to Hellenism and how to engage in the religion of the ancient Greeks in a fairly traditional way, featuring nuggets of practical information and advice from experienced Hellenes.

The Stele: Home Page of The Omphalos -- A large list of polytheistic links.

Temenos Theon -- This site is resource of information for Hellenismos, or Greek religion. There will be both academic information, and also a bird's eye view of the site owner's personal experiences with Hellenismos.

Theoi Greek Mythology -- This site has more than 1,500 pages profiling the Greek gods and other characters from Greek mythology.

Organizations


Hellenion -- Homepage for an organization of Hellenic polytheists.

Message Boards/Forums


Hellenistai.

Ta Hiera Hellenic Polytheism Special Interest Group -- The Ta Hiera Hellenic Polytheist Forum is a polytheistic reconstructionist SIG devoted to facilitating the understanding of ancient Hellenic religion (and related ancient religions) and the worship of the ancient Hellenic deities in the present day in a manner that, while clearly based on academic research into ancient practices, is adapted for modern times and places. Visit the Ta Hiera SIG Website.

Mailing Lists


Hellenic Pagan -- A list for Graeco-Roman polytheists with explorations into the myths, gods, and ancient practices as well as personal experiences.

Weblogs


Rogueclassicism -- A daily weblog devoted to Classics and ancient Greek and Roman history maintained by David Meadows, editor of the Explorator newsletter.

Resources from Nomos Arkhaios


The Nomos Arkhaios web site is no more. Andrew Campbell has graciously allowed his essays, book excerpts, and newsletter back issues which were formerly available there to be made available here.

A Garland for Zeus: Modern Prayer Bead Devotions.

A Religious Education Curriculum Outline for Hellenic Classical Homeschoolers and Afterschoolers.

Hellenic Home Life: Tips and Ideas for Families.

Melpwmen - Let Us Celebrate with Song: a collection of music for use in Hellenic polytheist worship.

Daily Devotions: morning and evening prayer cycle using the Orphic Hymns and Hesiod's sacred month.

Eusebeia: an exploration of Hellenic piety based on the research of Jon D. Mikalson.

About Hellenismos: Frequently Asked Questions: A text file, available for free distribution, addressing the basic beliefs and practices of Hellenic polytheism. Suitable for use in interfaith education.

A Hellenic Polytheist Reading List : Suggested reading in the categories of general history, primary sources, scholarly studies and sourcebooks, reference materials, and modern practice.

Greek-English Offertory Rite: a general-use ritual script for groups.

Old Stones, New Temples: Ancient Greek Paganism Reborn is the first full-length introduction to Hellenic Reconstructionism. By the founder of Nomos Arkhaios. Click here for corrections and updates to the text.

Some material from the book is now available at this site:

The Kerux was an online newsletter for Hellenic Reconstructionists and their friends that appeared monthly throughout the 4th year of the 694th Olympiad. Although the newsletter is no longer being published, back issues can still be viewed at this site.

Interesting Books

 

Old Stones, New Temples cover illo

Greek Religion cover illo

The Illiad cover illo

The Oddyssy cover illo

Hellenic Recon Volunteers Wanted

The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum is looking for volunteers to help expand this site's material on Hellenic Reconstructionism. Most of the articles and features on this site have a strong Wiccan or general Neo-Pagan flavor because most of the articles and features we have been given are written by knowledgeable Wiccan or general Neo-Pagan authors. If you'd like to see some of your original articles and book reviews on Hellenic Reconstructionism published on this site, please contact Randall.

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