Thursday, December 13, 2012

Risky Rituals

A year or so ago I got involved with a local, Eclectic Pagan group. Not my preferred choice of focus but beggars can't be choosers, right? The group had an overall nice feel, the members were warm and welcoming and they were quite organised as a coven, something which surprised me positively. I participated in two different rituals in the couple of months I worked with them as a prospective member.


The first ritual was fairly harmless and basic but also equally insipid for me. It was a general "healing the earth with energy" ritual. Again, not my preferred choice for an introductory/testing ritual but this wasn't my group, I was playing by other people's rules and consciously so. Furthermore, I was aware that such rituals/practices would be common since I knew what the group's character and focus were. Beggars can't be choosers though, remember? In any case, acquiring group experience was my goal - not finding the perfect (non-existent here) Trad or coven.


The second ritual was far more complex; it was formal and with specific goals. It involved the evocation of the Erinyes, Greek deities of retribution, within an official (as per the group's standards and praxis) rite, complete with the fundamental ritual format used by the group.


This ritual was both intriguing and unsettling. We called upon Cerridwen and Cernunnos as presiding Goddess and God. We summon dragonic elemental guardians as the Watchtowers of the Circle. It was eclectic to the utmost degree. Although personally dismayed by the mish-mash of completely irrelevant entities and somewhat disappointed (although already aware) of the Neo-Wiccan format, I continued to actively and properly participate.


It was until the Erinyes were actually evoked that I realised it was a mistake.


The ritual was supposed to grant protection against possible malicious acts of unnamed others who might seek to harm the members of this group. It seemed fairly innocent, straight-forward and understandable. The involvement of the Erinyes puzzled me a bit but the way the whole theme was explained before the ritual itself made me disregard my slight inhibitions.


I do not, in the least, question the practical capabilities of the High Priestess and the other active participants. The ritual was successful; energetically anyway. I did feel the deities evoked, both the Celtic ones (which I have never worked with - yet I could tell they were NOT Hellenic or Kemetic, their "flavour", their energetic signature was completely alien to me) and the Hellenic. When the Erinyes were evoked, I saw things. I was never much of a visual type in these matters. I always only felt things when not in pathworkings or similar "journeys". In that ritual however I could make out shapes, figures and things that made me realise that something was not completely as intended.


True to the word of the evocation, the Erinyes appeared with certain forms: as specific animals pacing on the edges of the circle, just outside of it. At some point though, when the central goal of the rite was explained outloud, Tisiphone, who appeared as a large snake in the colour of the onyx, crossed the circle and half-entered it. It was as if she wanted to point out that our safeguards were meaningless, should they choose to turn on us. Even the presiding deities, Cerridwen and Cernunnos, felt and appeared warm and kind but detached. They offered no support, nothing but indifferent presence, throughout the ritual.


And indeed, this is what scared me. The Erinyes, much like Nemesis, are potent allies but can also turn into gruesome foes easily. To work with them is akin to using a double-edged blade. The risk of injury is just as high for you as it is for the intended target. If you have any guilt, any burden or crime you haven't paid for, you WILL face consequences as well. It matters not to them if you're the summoner, the supplicant, the magus who petitions them. It matters not to them if your target is far more heinous than you. If you're to work with them, you ought to be crystal clear. Otherwise, they will punish you as well.


I know how clean my slate is or isn't. Regardless of that, I do not work with the Erinyes or Nemesis. I do not want to get involved with them. If I want to deal with matters of punishment or vengeance, I will turn to Hekate, Demeter or Athena. I do not like to "play" with such dangerous, unstable entities.


Due to those feelings, once the Erinyes made it obvious that things weren't as innocent as I was told, I withdrew, energetically, from the rite. I still stood there, still followed the commands. I simply gave nothing of substance, other than theatrical support. I silently called upon Hekate and asked Her to shield me, to guard me from the dubious energies of this rite and group. I did not know the whole story, I had not been told all parameters and I had not be warned that I was stepping, unknowingly, into something nastier than "potential attacks" from unknown enemies of the group.


The Erinyes ignored me. I felt safer.


After the ritual had ended, while we were together out for light dinner, I asked what this was all about. Who wanted to harm the group and why? I was told some things, I gleaned a few others from half-words and exchanged glances and concluded that this was far more dangerous and complicated than I, not a true member yet, was willing to get tangled in. This wasn't a precaution taken to prevent future issues. It was a counter-attack, albeit dulled and subtle. There had already been attacks, magical and verbal, against members of the group and even their families. They wanted to shield and subtly strike back in order to prevent additional attacks. I was not ready for such a thing. I was not willing to get involved in such a mess.


This, among many other reasons, not all of which were about the group itself, led me to distance myself and soon declare to the leaders that I would not work with them any longer. I did not reveal these things. I simply did not want to end up in the middle of a witch war, for the sake of a group I had no emotional attachment to, nothing invested in it to warrant sacrifices and such risk.


Why say all this though? And why now? Because I was contemplating group experience: rituals with other people. Public or "open" rituals aren't necessarily harmless or innocent. Be careful what you get involved in. Ask any and all questions you might have before the rite. Voice your inhibitions and if the answers you receive do not satisfy you, do not participate. If you're ordered or forced (even unsuccessfully) to participate, leave at once. Witches vote with their feet.


That being said, every group, Tradition and system have their own ways of practicing. They have their own means of accomplishing a given goal. Some of those means may not suit you. You might feel threatened, intimidated or disappointed. Assess those feelings. Is it simply a different preference that makes you feel that way or are you truly against a particular method or approach? Remember, you do have to play by the established rules, even if they differ from your own or those you're used to. Sometimes, that means you have to get uncomfortable and step outside your safe zone. However, that doesn't mean all different methods are valid. Some are dangerous, risky or go against your code of ethics. Others are plain out stupid. Learn all sides to the story, all prerequisites, all necessary information before you attempt to work with others and decide:


Do you want to participate? If not, say so before the ritual begins. If you find out something is wrong during the rite, think. Is it so dangerous that staying can be detrimental? If so, immediately leave, even if it means you're disrupting the ritual and breaking the circle/whatever protective means exist. If the risk is more subtle or you're unsure, stay in the ritual, be courteous (remember, manners are a must!) and do whatever you feel is appropriate to protect or distance yourself. My evocation of Hekate and withdrawal of energetic support is a good basic solution in such situations. Call for help from any spirits or Gods that look after you and sever any energetic ties. If the others sense the difference and ask you about it, be truthful.


Always remember: good etiquette is important. However, safety must be the first priority.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 NOTES

Evocation & Invocation: “Both words derive from the Latin word vocare meaning ‘to call’, however invocation is a calling into, and evocation is a calling forth. Invocation can be considered a calling of a deity or spiritual creature into something or someone. This then includes the use of crystal stones, glass receptacles, bowls of liquid and magick mirrors, statues as fetishes and the Wiccan ceremony of ‘Drawing Down the Moon’, as well as deity possession work as seen in systems like Voodoo.   Evocation is the calling forth of a spiritual creature to tangible presence, often in a triangle or other constraining space.”

Sanchez, Tara (2011-08-13). The Temple of Hekate - Exploring The Goddess Hekate Through Ritual, Meditation And Divination (Kindle Locations 714-719). Avalonia. Kindle Edition.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pagan Meme

I was reading some older posts over at the Witch of the Forest Grove and run across this meme. I've done it before, on a networking site and I thought it would be interesting to redo it now that some things have changed and compare them afterwards.

B A S I C S

Do you have a magical/Pagan name? Sort of. Alorer is almost like a Craft name for me, albeit a public one.

How did you find Paganism? I was intrigued by the symbolism referenced in Dan Brown's "The DaVinci Code" when I read it on 2004/2005 and wanted to learn what the ancient Greek religion was like, since we never learnt anything other than summaries of some myths at school. I was hooked soon after researching.

How long have you been practicing? About 7 years and a half. I consciously decided to start practicing on my birthday on 2005 even though I had been researching for a while before that. Therefore, I count my practice since that birthday, when I performed a ritual of naming for myself, retaking my given name under its ancient meaning.

Are you out of the broom closet? More or less. I don't yell it from the rooftops but I don't hide it. I answer honestly if asked.

Solitary or group practitioner? Solitary. Groups are a rare commodity in Greece. The only one(s) I found are too outside my interests.

What is your path? NeoHellenic Witchcraft. It involves witchcraft, spirit-art, hearthcraft (Ephestian Craft) and religious practices (a modern, non-reconstructionist form of the Hellenic religion).

D E I T Y

What’s your brand of deism? Animism, "hard" polytheism, somewhat of a "multi-henotheist" (yes, this sounds like a paradox).

Who is your patron God? I don't have one.

Who is your patron Goddess? Hekate.

What Gods do you worship? The Hellenic pantheon. As far as I can (my practice is still recovering from my dark night of the soul), I honour the pantheon in its entirety. As far as specific deities are concerned, I have worked with and/or worship Hekate, Hestia, Selene, Artemis, Athena, Asclepius, Apollon, Zeus, Aphrodite and Poseidon. I also honour the Agathos Daemon of my household, certain Nymphs and "minor" Gods of the land.

Do you fear darkly aspected Gods/Goddesses, or rather respect them? I like the term "awe". It includes respect, love, admiration and a hint of fear. This is what I feel towards all deities, not just the "darker" ones. Also, since I'm a devotee priest of Hekate, I cannot help but feel at ease with the "darker" deities, at least compared to your average Pagan.

Do you worship the Christian God? No. I recognise him as a God and deserving of worship and honour by his followers but I do not like him or his methods, nor do I have any connection or pact with him that would require me to worship him. In any case, I pretty much ignore him altogether.

Do you worship animals? Or plants? I respect them, I honour their spirits and spirit-guardians but I worship only Gods. As Sarah Lawless said in this question of the meme (since I copied it from her site), the Kings of the animals and plants are pretty close to Gods for me too. Specifically, in my case, I consider them "minor deities". Not minor in the sense of being less significant but simply not as potent or widely influential as other Gods (like the Olympians or the Titans). They belong to the type of divinity I call "Gods of the Land". Chthonic and powerful, not complete Gods, not quite daemons, certainly not simple spirits. Check this post regarding how I categorise spirits (to be added soon).

N A T U R E

Do you regularly commune with nature? Everything is Nature so, yeah, in a sense I could say I am constantly attuned to It. If you mean "wilder" Nature, as in non-artificial environment such as the countryside or, at least, something like parks, yes, at times I like changing scenes and experiencing a different atmosphere than that of the city.

Taken a camping trip just to talk to nature? No.

Describe the moment you felt closest to Mother Earth? I don't think I have experienced such a moment.

Do you have a familiar? No.

Have you ever called upon the powers of an animal in ritual? Not as far as I can recall.

Or a plant? Yes.

Do you hug trees? I've done so in the past! Haha, not the best experience. Trees often ooze resin and "tree-juice" and they have all sorts of crawlies on them. I love touching them with my palm/hand and feeling the difference in their energy and flow. It also helps with communication.

Give them gifts? Mostly water although I have, at times, offered ribbons, food, wine, copper coins and other stuff.

What are your favourite plants to work with? Lavender, rosemary, basil, laurel and black nightshade (Solanum nigrum).

What are your favourite trees to work with? Cypress, Poplar, Oak, Plane, Pine.

W H E E L  O F  T H E  Y E A R

What is your favourite holiday? May-day and All Hallows. Or Beltaine and Samhain if you prefer. They are not the same celebrations even though they share the same dates and some common themes. The differences are largely cultural.

What is your least favourite holiday? I can't think of one I don't like.

Have you ever held a ritual on a holiday? Yep.

Ever taken a day off work to celebrate a Pagan holiday? Nope.

Do you celebrate Yule on the 21st rather than the 25th? I celebrate it on the 22nd. ;)

Have you ever felt the veil thinning? Yes, at different times and not always on the "major holidays".

Ever danced the Maypole? Unfortunately no!

Know what the Maypole symbolizes? It's a phallic symbol of fertility. In other words, Pan's erect penis.

How do you usually celebrate the Pagan holidays? With private rituals and appropriate feasts with family (they don't practice and don't know many details but I choose to view any get-togethers during such days as a way to celebrate the holidays).

D I V I N A T I O N

Do you use Tarot? No. I would like to, though. I use a Greek, Asia Minor-themed deck.

Do you use runes? Rarely and not for divination.

Do you use a pendulum? Yes.

Do you use dowsing rods? No. The pendulum covers any needs that may arise better than a dowsing rod would (and since I don't need to search for water, I don't need one at all).

Do you use astrology? No.

Any other forms of divination? Omens, prophetic dreams, cloud divination (haven't used this in quite some time though), scrying (often within pathworkings).

S P E L L S

What was the first spell you did? My memory leaves a lot to be desired and I never got into the habit of recording everything I do so I think it was a weather spell.

What was the latest? I wouldn't call it a spell but I've performed a bunch of consecration workings recently.

Ever done a love spell? Yes. Both the ill-fated and the more ethical/effective kind.

A job spell? Yep.

A healing spell? Yes.

What was the most powerful spell you’ve ever performed? I'd say a complex, layered set of workings for protection. It was my first full-fledged and potent use of spirit-art.

What deities do you usually call on? Hekate.

C R Y P T O Z O O L O G Y

Do you believe in vampires? Not those found in fiction. I believe in vampiric spirits (such as succubi and incubi, the Mora of Greek folklore and others) and in humans as "energy vampires". However, I consider the latter as rather rare and even though I have come across individuals that are rather "energy taxing" and absorb a lot of energy from their surroundings, I have yet to meet an actual, intentional and realized practitioner of this kind of thing.

Werewolves? Again not those found in fiction. I guess shamans and spirit-workers, especially those of the past could have powerful, deep connections to the wolf, to the point of (permanent or semi-permanent) soul transformation but I have never met one.

Shapeshifters? Almost any witch worth their salt can be a shapeshifter. Not as in physically transforming, but as in the soul taking on the form of an animal or possessing an animal when travelling out of body. I believe in the legends of skinwalkers too – don’t fuck with them either. (I left Sarah Lawless' answer as it is since it completely covers me. If you asked me this question in the past, I would have definitely replied with "no". After much recent research and rethinking of my beliefs, I have to say I completely agree with Sarah.)

Elves? Once more, not fictional ones. They exist in Norse beliefs of otherworldly beings so I guess I do. Never had any experience with any of them.

Fairies? I define faeries as non-human spirits of the land. Genius locii and most daemons can be called faeries. In post-medieval and modern Greek folklore (modern as in, 18th century and onwards), nymphs, for example, are almost always called "faeries".

Dragons? No. I don't completely reject the possibility of dragon spirits (you can never know everything about other planes of existence) but I think they are more like archetypal figures/thoughtforms created in modern times rather than natural spirits.

Nymphs? See Fairies.

Sprites? See Fairies.

Mermaids? See Fairies.

Satyrs? See Fairies.

Ever “seen” any of the above? I think so, yes. I'm not yet certain whether I truly possess the second sight or if other factors allowed me to have more tangible experiences (seeing, hearing etc) during those instances. In any case, yes, I have seen, heard and felt otherworldly entities on a number of occasions.

Ever used any of the above in magic? I don't use spirits. I use tools. I use objects. Spirits have awareness. Perhaps not in the same way you and I are aware but they are not materials or ingredients to be used by humans. I have worked with many kinds of spirits in many ways.

Do you have one of them as a personal guardian? I don't think so. I am almost certain I have ancestral guardians/guides and I have/had pacts and alliances with certain spirits but not personal guardians or anything of that sort.

R A N D O M

Do you see a rabbit, a man or a woman in the moon? ...What?

Own a cat? Used to. All of our cats through the years either have died or been stolen. My family decided not to have any pets from now on.

When you meditate, what does your happy place look like? I don't have a "happy place". I use meditation as in relaxation techniques, emptying the mind etc but always as a focus aid or to prepare for a pathworking.

Do you work with chakras? Have worked in the past. They don't really interest me anymore and they are no longer relevant to my practice.

Do you believe in past lives? Yes, but I don’t care.

If so, describe a few briefly: They’re called “past” because they were in the past and you can’t remember them. I'll also add that I don't believe you need to remember them, they don't concern your current life.

Do you believe in soul mates? Not as in two people are destined and complete each other, blah blah true love. Maybe as in kindred souls who’ve met before and affect each other’s lives strongly are meant to meet again and again, but usually only briefly and they don’t stay with you your whole life. Most kindred souls I’ve met I only knew for a short time before our lives separated us. (Again leaving Sarah's answer as it is. Excellent and exactly what I would say.)

Do you have a spirit guide? Not in the New Age understanding (or the First Nations' one). I have spirits that offer help, usually as information or mental "pushes" but no permanent, 24/7 spirit guides.

Is it always love and light? No. It's always love, light, hurt and darkness at the same time.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Hellenic Polytheist's Problem: Who Am I?

Those who have read my blog know how I name myself and my path. I am a NeoHellenic Witch. Here's a brief explanation of what it means:

  • Hellenic because: I am Greek, the deities involved are Hellenic, I draw on Hellenic customs, the ancient Hellenic religion (though not in a truly reconstructive sense) and my culture overall, old and new.
  • Witch because: I practice the Art and Craft of Witchcraft, both in a religious and non-religious manner (that is, it is incorporated in my religious practice but I use it independently too).
  • Neo- because: It is a modern system, a system by and for the people of this day and era, relevant to our modern needs.
Many Hellenists, especially Recons, seem to think that people with practices like mine are not Hellenic. I vehemently disagree. Why?

  1. The Hellenic religion in antiquity was never dogmatic or based on belief. Furthermore, it was only loosely unified (sharing some panhellenic holidays and feasts such as the Olympics, certain Mystery cults that were accessible by all [i.e. Eleusynian Mysteries] and finally, many Gods who were worshipped and honoured by all Greeks [like the Olympians]). There was never one, single, over-arching and wholly unified "Hellenic Religion". In the field of Religious Studies there is even a theory that questions whether it was truly one religion (even loosely) or many smaller ones. Indeed, every region and city-state had its own version, its own cults, sacred days, feasts, practices and even Gods (different aspects of them at least). There was never a body of belief (dogma) that had to be professed by the followers, at least not in the public religion. The Mystery cults had their own "rules" so to speak. Based on this, it seems strange that anyone could tell people how to believe or, worst of all, that their beliefs and the way they experience they divine is wrong or undeserving of the same name. There is no holy book to base this on, no rigid dogma that tells you that x or y way is wrong!

  2. Many people claim that Magic and thus Witchcraft are inherently at odds with the Hellenic religion (in all its many forms), since it is actually coercion of the Gods. This, in my opinion, shows a lack of understanding of Magic, Witchcraft and cultural beliefs, not to mention blatant disregard for a lot of sources, both of modern academia and archaeological evidence. In fact, there is ample evidence showing that the ancient Greeks, throughout their history (Classical, Hellenistic etc), practiced Magic in two ways:

    • Alongside the "mainstream", acceptable religion in the various feasts and sacred days.
    • In the "shadows", as witches.

    The first refers to such practices as the katadesmoi (bindings, Latin: defixiones) aka the infamous curse tablets, poppet Magic (kolossoi) and even mystical/mystery rites (like the Hieros Gamos*).

    The second refers to those individuals outside the normative, those that flourished on the fringes of society and usually had no regard for its laws and ethics. Groups of people like the Thessalian Witches were feared and believed to indulge in harmful acts that sought only to bring misery to the world (e.g. drawing down the moon to milk her and remove her light and blessings from the world). Others portray them as masters of herbs, poisons and pharmakeia, using it both to benefit and to harm. According to Ovid's Metamorphoses, Medea was taught by them, under the auspices of Hekate (who is believed to possess knowledge of all herbs and poisons and even credited with the discovery of aconite).

    Understandably, after taking into account how those called "witches" were perceived in the ancient world, it is not surprising that having a Hellenic Polytheist call him/herself that, causes intense reactions. However, this is not the ancient world, the term "Witch" has been reclaimed and its meaning changed for many and, like "gay" and "queer", it now means simply a practitioner of Magic - mostly devoid of negative connonations, save for rural or under-educated regions.
  3. Some claim that the Gods people like me worship and work with are not the actual Hellenic deities but others that happen to be given (wrongly) Hellenic names and epithets. I personally find it incredulous that any human would profess to know whether another person's deities are "the real deal" so easily. I can understand being doubtful about whether claims about specific deities are true (e.g. identifying Hekate as a Crone), especially if it is conflicting heavily with historical and collective UPG** information and knowledge. Even then however we cannot be 100% sure of the authenticity. Gods are often portrayed in myths to act out of character and indeed, it is foolish to think that deities do not change or that we can place them in neat, labeled boxes with our limited perception. Not to mention that in the Hellenic religion (again, in its many known forms) there is little talk about the nature or true character of the Gods. They act and appear differently from era to era, person to person, region to region. Of course, there are some common attributes (i.e. the simplest of them all, the name) that allow us to identify two aspects as belonging to the same deity but even then, it's only well-grounded speculation - a theory!


     I cannot, for the life of me, accept someone's claim that I am not practicing (one form of) the Hellenic religion. I am a Hellene, a Hellenic Polytheist, plain and simple. There is little to no historical, archaeological or academic evidence that can discredit that and show that I am in the wrong for identifying as a Hellene/Hellenic Polytheist (religiously-wise of course - my nationality and cultural identity as a Hellene are hard facts and cannot be doubted at all). Of course, there are some points that one must fullfill in order to be a Hellenic Polytheist, and this holds true in most religions. You can't, for instance, do nothing even remotely Hellenic and then call yourself a Hellenic Polytheist because it sounds cool. Here's what I think those points are:


    1. Celebration of Hellenic sacred days. Any number or kind of them, in a manner close enough to the original feast's theme and meaning (i.e. not necessarily Reconstructionist but not so different that it's not recognisable as the same holiday anymore).
    2. Worship, honour or servitude in whatever capacity, level or manner, of Hellenic deities. Any number or kind of them, in a manner that allows for recognition of said deities as Hellenic beyond their names (i.e. not just worship of an "Artemis" with no recognisable, historically or mythically, attributes but worship of a deity that is a Goddess of so-and-so that can be supported through history, archaeological evidence and/or mythology).
    3. Personal identification as a Hellenic Polytheist.

     If those are fullfilled (and they are rather liberal requirements, if I may say so), one is a Hellenic Polytheist and none should say otherwise. Also, we should not forget that the Hellenic religion today is as (or perhaps even more!) multi-faceted as its ancient counterpart. There are many versions, many types, many kinds, all loosely connected to allow for inclusion in a "single" religion. The only real difference is that, instead of city-states with different versions of the religion, we have different individuals or groups with varying versions of the religion.


    ___________________________________________________________________________


    * Hieros Gamos: There are two types of Hieros Gamos. The symbolic one that is a kind of ritual acting and the mystery/magical one, which seizes to only be symbolic - the participants completely embody the deities and stop being "actors".

    ** UPG: Unverified personal gnosis (often abbreviated UPG) is the phenomenological concept that an individual's spiritual insights (or gnosis) may be valid for them without being generalizable to the experience of others. It is primarily a neologism used in polytheistic reconstructionism, to differentiate it from ancient sources of spiritual practices. (taken from Wikipedia)  I will also add a personal opinion: I believe UPG to be the progenitor of myths. One person's or group's UPG becomes known and accepted by more people, gradually gaining status and recognition and through time and generations it becomes a myth.

    ____________________________________________________________________________


    Sources:

    Walter Burkert, Greek Religion
    Robert Parker, Athenian Religion: A History
    Encyclopedia Mythica, "Witchcraft: Chapter Two - The dawn of Witchcraft"
    Biblioteca Arcana
    Helen Pilinovsky, Studies of Magic in Ancient Greece

Monday, July 2, 2012

The time after the founders

With most Traditions and systems of Witchcraft and Magic well past the 5 decade milestone (or more!), it is only natural that most of the founders, first initiates and teachers would be either really old or dead. This made me think: we are obviously nearing the time when the pioneers of most major Trads and systems will no longer be physically accessible to share their knowledge and wisdom. We will no longer be able to turn to those who were there from the start for advice.

This denotes that the Craft, in its many forms and expressions, is maturing. The question is this: will the Craft mature properly or will it lose its goals and the sight of its path(s) once the older generations who began everything are gone?

Personally, I believe it will grow to become even more than originally conceived and imagined. I know I am kind of lumping all versions together in this but I truly believe the Craft WILL prevail, mature and develop into an even more wonderful thing than what the older generations intended for it to be. The way I see it, we are already experiencing such a thing. For instance, Wicca is already so much more than what Gardner or Sanders made it to be. Same goes for Feri and Reclaiming and Dianics and Tubal Cain and many more.

Sometimes, things seem desperate and disappointing. Gods know how many times I've been close to losing all faith in our community(ies) because of the ugliness people have exhibited. Yes, there are lots of "bad fruits" on our large, community tree. However, there are also many, many good ones too. I have seen some very promising young people, both in Traditions and in eclectic environments; myself included, as bold as that might sound. ;)

All in all, even though a future without the precious people of old might seem scary, uncertain or "cheaper", it doesn't need to be so. We can change it because we are the ones that take on the roles our forefathers held. And we have many among us who are more than fitting for those roles!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

My Aim For The Greek Pagan Community

Lately, I have been in a constant state of griping about the Greek Pagan Community. It's not that this constant complaining is not justified. It IS, however, a draining and tainting state of being. It's hard to be positive when every so often you come across yet another instance confirming that you're fighting for a cause long lost.

Nevertheless, I have decided to remain steadfast in my aim to provide (better) education for Greek Pagans, new and old alike. Many would ask: "Who do you think you are to teach us? How can a 21-year-old kid teach us anything?" I understand that I am still very young and have so many things I haven't experienced yet, both in my religious, magical and spiritual life and in other fields. Regardless, I am blessed to know exquisite people in the occult and Pagan world, people who are beacons of knowledge and experts in their fields. I am going to use everything I have learnt thanks to them in this mission of mine.

That being said, I'm not going to be the Pagan equivalent of a Mormon. I'm simply going to be there for anyone who wants to learn more. Maybe approach an individual who has been vocal about wanting to learn more. Maybe use a chance during a conversation and provide a little insight on a misunderstood subject. And last but not least, try and make a study/seekers' group.

I really, really want my NeoHellenic Witchcraft system to evolve, grow and become the system used by a future coven. Unfortunately, I have realized that not only I am still too far behind in my development of said system to present it in a group form, but the GPC itself doesn't seem ready for such a thing yet. There is a strong, underlying need for education on Pagan matters. I weep to see the taint of Correllianism and Witchschool, of Conway, McCoy and Ravenwolf in Greece. It saddens me when everyone is too knee-deep in New Age crap to actually explore real possibilities, true potential.

I understand that my way is not the way for everyone. On the other hand though, I know that there has to be someone, perhaps more than a few, who would fit in such a way. I know deep down, instictively, that there are people out there, fellow Greeks who feel or will feel the calling of my Goddess, the calling of Witchcraft, the calling of the New-Old Ways.

I simply need to make it available. I need to cultivate a patch in the farm that is the GPC for those people to find and use to grow roots. I have to create a "place" of correct information, good education, well-grounded mindsets and with a welcoming, refining environment.

It's just... hard to remember all this, to hold onto hope, to keep reminding myself that at some point in the future, if I remain patient and not lose track of my aim, people will come, people will find me. It's hard because there are so many obstacles, in the shape of people, events and inner "demons".

I have to keep going though. And for that I need help and support. May the Gods provide those.