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Author Topic: Overwhelmed  (Read 24779 times)
Arienwen
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« Topic Start: August 02, 2010, 06:41:44 pm »

I have just begun this path, and I am feeling very overwhelmed.  I am not sure exactly where to begin, or what books I should start off with.  Can anyone give me any advice on where to start?
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« Reply #1: August 02, 2010, 07:33:10 pm »

I have just begun this path, and I am feeling very overwhelmed.  I am not sure exactly where to begin, or what books I should start off with.  Can anyone give me any advice on where to start?

With your heart!  Wink

You're starting off in the right spot, hon. You have finally realized that the eclectic amalgum is no longer enough to satisfy your spiritual needs and desires. So, on that aspect, you are exactly at the perfect beginning. Where to go in regards to a Hellenistic faith... Yeah, I've got nothing.
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« Reply #2: August 03, 2010, 04:09:45 am »

I have just begun this path, and I am feeling very overwhelmed.  I am not sure exactly where to begin, or what books I should start off with.  Can anyone give me any advice on where to start?

If you are working with hellinistic recon, I would start with the mythology as you are going to have a hard time working with the deities if you don't know who they are, and there is always more to learn.

I like Ovid's "Metamorphoses", but my English professor swears by Bullfinch's "Mythology".  "The Illiad" and "The Odyssey" are good too, I suggest Robert Fagels' translation.  Eurpides plays are a good starting place too (sorry, I think I spelled his name wrong).
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« Reply #3: August 03, 2010, 07:44:27 am »

I like Ovid's "Metamorphoses", but my English professor swears by Bullfinch's "Mythology". 

I wouldn't swear by Bullfinch. His versions of the myths are usually cleaned up for the Victorian era.

As for places to start in general, take a look at our Greek Recon pages.
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« Reply #4: August 03, 2010, 07:45:54 am »

I have just begun this path, and I am feeling very overwhelmed.  I am not sure exactly where to begin, or what books I should start off with.  Can anyone give me any advice on where to start?

Have you taken a look at our page on Hellenic Reconstructionism?
http://old.ecauldron.net/recongreek.php

There are a lot of good suggestions of resources and things to read there, as well as a few articles (scroll down to the bottom) that might be helpful.  Beyond that...  My first advice would be to remember that you don't have to do everything at once.  If looking at the whole path is too overwhelming right now, pick a piece of it to focus on for a little bit.  Maybe do some reading of primary and scholarly sources to get a good feel for the mythology and how the ancients did things, or some research on what a modern practice looks like (which is best done, btw, by discussing it with people and/or reading personal websites--there aren't many books about this yet).  Maybe starting a small practice of your own, perhaps a daily (or weekly, or monthly) devotional or something.  But pick something and start doing it.  When you feel like you've got a good handle on that thing, add something else.

I know that's kind of broad advice and it might or might not be really helpful, but...  it's a really broad question, too.  "Where to start" is a difficult question to answer because there's not really a single start point.  Different people come to this path in different ways, and different approaches will be effective for different people who are drawn by different things.

Maybe that's a place to start.  What draws you to reconstructionism?  Whatever it is, maybe focusing on it will help you get started.
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« Reply #5: August 03, 2010, 08:06:29 am »

My first advice would be to remember that you don't have to do everything at once.  If looking at the whole path is too overwhelming right now, pick a piece of it to focus on for a little bit.

This is really good advice and I second this.

Kemetic Recon isn't any easier than the Greek form. There are temples and whatnot, but since I'm not affiliated with them, they don't really fly for me. One day, I would like to be able to rattle off the list of every ancient Egyptian festival in a given month, be able to tell newbies how to calculate their calendar and how to figure out wp-rnpt, and all of that. However, I am nowhere near there yet. I'm focusing on my patron deity (Sekhmet) and working with her as an intermediary until I feel that I could branch out.
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« Reply #6: August 03, 2010, 02:38:42 pm »

This was very helpful, thank you.  I think I am going to do some reading on it all, get completely familiar with the mythology and go from there.  It is a lot to take in, especially with all of the holidays I keep hearing and reading about, but I will take it one step at a time and slowly go through this.  With my personality, sometimes being reminded that I won't be an expert at something right away is a good thing.
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« Reply #7: August 03, 2010, 02:45:14 pm »

With my personality, sometimes being reminded that I won't be an expert at something right away is a good thing.

I think this has been one of the hardest things to get my head around.  I was brought up Christian, so I absorbed a lot of stuff (especially things like the calendar and liturgy) just by watching and being exposed to it.  Because I absorbed it rather than being taught it as such, it's stuff I think of as just sort of coming naturally, and I get frustrated sometimes when the equivalent things in my new(er) religion don't come as quickly and easily.  What I have to remember is that it didn't come "quickly" and "easily" when I was Christian--I had twenty years of exposure to it, daily in the home and at least weekly (often more) in a formal church setting.  Of course I'm not going to be able to match that in six months (or even six years) of self-study!  Wink  But that doesn't stop me from feeling like I ought to be doing more, ought to know more, ought to understand better than I do.  It's rough sometimes, but all you can do is keep at it and do what you can with what you've got.
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« Reply #8: August 03, 2010, 06:37:14 pm »

I was brought up Catholic, and you are right, when you are constantly exposed to something over and over again it is easier to remember it.  I had to take years upon years of classes, and I still don't understand everything they were trying to tell me.  I guess I just kind of got lost in it all, I was looking three miles ahead instead of looking three feet in front of me. 

I ordered some of the books that were listed here, so I am going to start there.  Thank everyone for their advice, I really appreciate it.  Smiley
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« Reply #9: August 03, 2010, 07:32:07 pm »

I was brought up Catholic, and you are right, when you are constantly exposed to something over and over again it is easier to remember it.  I had to take years upon years of classes, and I still don't understand everything they were trying to tell me.  I guess I just kind of got lost in it all, I was looking three miles ahead instead of looking three feet in front of me. 

I ordered some of the books that were listed here, so I am going to start there.  Thank everyone for their advice, I really appreciate it.  Smiley

When in doubt: ask the gods themselves. You don't need any books or experience to sit down and talk with the Theoi. Some of them are quite chatty. Smiley
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« Reply #10: August 03, 2010, 08:32:47 pm »

When in doubt: ask the gods themselves. You don't need any books or experience to sit down and talk with the Theoi. Some of them are quite chatty. Smiley

Aphrodite seems to be very chatty with me lately, I am just trying to get clear on what she is trying to say. 

My first reaction was to go with what I have been feeling and hearing during meditation, but then I saw some posts where they getting on some newbie's case about what a "real" recon does or does not do, and it made me feel as if everything I was thinking was wrong, and I was afraid that I was going to get the same treatment.  I am glad not everyone feels that way.
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« Reply #11: August 03, 2010, 09:02:20 pm »

Aphrodite seems to be very chatty with me lately, I am just trying to get clear on what she is trying to say. 

My first reaction was to go with what I have been feeling and hearing during meditation, but then I saw some posts where they getting on some newbie's case about what a "real" recon does or does not do, and it made me feel as if everything I was thinking was wrong, and I was afraid that I was going to get the same treatment.  I am glad not everyone feels that way.

Are you a reconstructionist? If not, then what a recon does doesn't apply to you.
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« Reply #12: August 03, 2010, 09:04:33 pm »

Are you a reconstructionist? If not, then what a recon does doesn't apply to you.

^To expand on this, I'm technically more eclectic than a strict recon, but I still take an academically-informed approach to deity.
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« Reply #13: August 04, 2010, 12:07:58 am »

^To expand on this, I'm technically more eclectic than a strict recon, but I still take an academically-informed approach to deity.

Well, you have to have some basis on the academia for any form of worship. It's not like they have how-to books falling out of the rowan trees or washing up on the shores of the Nile...
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« Reply #14: August 04, 2010, 12:13:25 am »

Well, you have to have some basis on the academia for any form of worship. It's not like they have how-to books falling out of the rowan trees or washing up on the shores of the Nile...

Not for /any/ form of worship. For a spiritual path that one guy develops in talking to his deity, there's no reason for him to pick up a single book.
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