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Author Topic: Where and how do you find your mythology?  (Read 3194 times)
matthew
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« Topic Start: April 21, 2007, 04:52:16 am »

This topic was inspired from a comment made in the "Major Holidays" topic, regarding harvesting section.  The Greeks did not have such a time, but many of us live in locations which do have a period of harvesting.  Do you create new mythology to work with your own individual circumstances?

Mythology also evolved and changed based upon location and the individual.  Plato inspired a line of mythology different than that of the general population of Greeks.  The Spartans turned Aphrodite into a warrior Goddess, because of the circumstancing in raising their women.  Later Greeks incorporated Egyptian mythology into their own when Egypt was "Hellenised."  Finally, Hecate was a pretty obscure Goddess until Hesiod declared her a Major Goddess who had a portion of the Earth, Air and Sea - because his particular region worshipped her quite reveredly.

I know many individuals use Homer and Hesiod, if not a few others, as the "starting point" or reference point for their understanding of mythology.  I personally fail to use Homer, simply because I find his representations of the Gods to be quite saterical in some regards.  But where do you, as an individual and as a group, find yourself in interpreting and incorporating the many versions of Greek mythology which sprang up within Greece herself?  Do you focus or alter some mythology based upon your location, or who your patron diety is?  Do you work with a specific mythographer?
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RandallS
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« Reply #1: April 21, 2007, 08:36:40 am »

This topic was inspired from a comment made in the "Major Holidays" topic, regarding harvesting section.  The Greeks did not have such a time, but many of us live in locations which do have a period of harvesting.

I think you may have mis-understood. The Greeks had harvests (plural intentional) -- they just did not fall at the same time as the harvests in Northern Europe where the two four-holiday cycles that were combined into the Wiccan Wheel of the Year came from. That cycle works fine in Northern Europe where it came from, but doesn't aways come close to match reality in other climates.  For example, in the Southern parts of Texas there are two or three planting/growing/harvest cycles through the year (including a crop cycle in winter!). The climate of Greece allows at least two as well and they are at different times of the year than the Wiccan Wheel wants to celebrate them.

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Do you create new mythology to work with your own individual circumstances?

Not often. But then I don't have any need to do so. I just need to update the practices of the religion to find in the modern (non-Greek city-state full of worshipers) world.

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Mythology also evolved and changed based upon location and the individual.  Plato inspired a line of mythology different than that of the general population of Greeks.  The Spartans turned Aphrodite into a warrior Goddess, because of the circumstancing in raising their women.

You will find most recon-based Hellenic Pagans select a period of history and a location and base their beliefs and practices off of that. For many, if not most, it is the classical period.

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Nyktipolos
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« Reply #2: June 01, 2007, 11:27:51 pm »

This topic was inspired from a comment made in the "Major Holidays" topic, regarding harvesting section.  The Greeks did not have such a time, but many of us live in locations which do have a period of harvesting.  Do you create new mythology to work with your own individual circumstances?

While I'm not a hard-fast Hellenic Recon, I had to post here with this. I hope no one minds. Smiley

For me and Wicca, most of the Wheel of the Year did click with where I live. Since Britan and Canada are quite similar (well almost) weather-wise, they do sort of fit. But depending upon where you live in Canada, that can change quite dramatically. I live in Winnipeg, which is landlocked so we have rather severe weather changes, and thus have an earlier "harvest" than most places in Canada. If you lived in Vancouver, it rarely snows. Literally; it snows and then melts away. It mostly rains in the winter in Vancouver. So how could you celebrate a cold, wintery festival while its raining? For me, that always boggled my mind.

As I've begun to research into Greek myth and try and develop my own festivals, I've found that festivals that celebrate the gift of wine (or alcohol in general) is great around Winnipeg! Beer drinking is extremely common in Winnipeg, and we are a very liberal-socialistlike community here. I mean, come on, Labatt's named their drink after our football team.

Okay, to put my ranting at a halt here, I've found that celebrations that incorporate winter, harvesting, and wine/alcohol are the best for me. To me, that just screams Winnipeg, and Manitoba in general. Its just. Here. This place. To me, I've found that my city is a very.. Dionysian city, in general, that is. We've still got our fundies and our conservatives. But because of our extreme diversity within the city and the surrounding area (Ukranian, French, Africaan, Russian, Aboriginal, British, Indian, Filipino (I hope I spelled that right)) anything is possible here.

I hope I made sense.  Smiley
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« Reply #3: August 14, 2007, 03:21:32 pm »

You will find most recon-based Hellenic Pagans select a period of history and a location and base their beliefs and practices off of that. For many, if not most, it is the classical period.

This is very much true for me, probably because that is the period I have studied the most and know the most about.

I know the seasons and climate don't really match with Athens and London (!), but I don't think that it really matters as long as the ideology is respected and incoporated. By this, I mean that although harvest periods are at different times, as long as I celebrate in the hellenic way it doesn't matter. My gods are everywhere, including here in UK and so they understand my sentiment. I know some people may not agree with this idea...but it would be senseless for me to celebrate a harvest at the wrong time of year for my country.

I hope that made sense!

Daisy xx
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RandallS
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« Reply #4: August 14, 2007, 05:46:57 pm »

I know the seasons and climate don't really match with Athens and London (!), but I don't think that it really matters as long as the ideology is respected and incoporated. By this, I mean that although harvest periods are at different times, as long as I celebrate in the hellenic way it doesn't matter.

Celebrate the harvest times based on where you are, but in the Hellenic manner?
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« Reply #5: August 14, 2007, 07:40:15 pm »

Celebrate the harvest times based on where you are, but in the Hellenic manner?

I'd have to agree with Randall here. It makes the most sense that where you live would determine when you celebrate your festivals. It would also probably mean alot more, too. Smiley
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« Reply #6: August 24, 2007, 01:44:05 am »

Mythology also evolved and changed based upon location and the individual.  Plato inspired a line of mythology different than that of the general population of Greeks.  The Spartans turned Aphrodite into a warrior Goddess, because of the circumstancing in raising their women.  Later Greeks incorporated Egyptian mythology into their own when Egypt was "Hellenised."  Finally, Hecate was a pretty obscure Goddess until Hesiod declared her a Major Goddess who had a portion of the Earth, Air and Sea - because his particular region worshipped her quite reveredly.
an interesting thread, but i'd like to address a few details in this paragraph if i may.

firstly, the line of mythology Plato introduced can more properly be given to the Hellenistic period, a period of secretization which can hardly be called definitively Greek (thank you Alexander!).
second, Aphrodite fought with the Trojans prior to Homer, so She can hardly be said to have been altered by the Spartans.
and finally, while Hekate was obscure prior to Hesiod, it can be said that ALL the Greek gods were fairly obscure prior to Hesiod. in fact Hekate was relatively obscure after Hesiod too. there are no long flowery poems written to Her, and few myths of which She is a part. most of Her infamy came after the Hellenistic period and into the common era, and most of that was rather despicable (Horace, the PGM, etc).

so i guess my point is that mythology is ever-evolving, and was even in the time of the ancients.

but as far as the harvest(s) are concerned, i think they should be honored as the Achaeans might have, but at the time appropriate to ones locale. it makes little sense for someone to celebrate the harvest time of a Mediterranean culture while living in Alaska!
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