Talk:Hellenism (religion)

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Archive 1 · Archive 2


The introduction to the article states that this is not a religion, more an activity based around understanding the ancient religious practices by reconstructing them. So why does the body of the article go on to refer to it as a religion? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:36, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

The Journal of Hellenic Religion[edit]

Should this still be considered a valid link? It is suppose to be an annual periodical, but there has only been one released, 2006. There looks to be no activity on the site, with no updates as to the status of future publications. I'm not sure this can be considered a legitimate source, if it ever really was. -- (talk) 20:38, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Looks dead to me. I'm going to go ahead and take it out. - AdelaMae (t - c - wpn) 18:08, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Hellenic Polytheism and Reconstructionism[edit]

This is in regards to the statement, "Not all modern Hellenic polytheists use a Reconstructionist methodology. A 2004 survey of 94 American Hellenic polytheists by Sarah Winter showed that 64% considered themselves to be Reconstructionist." The book provided no data analysis, and there was no weeding out of respondents. All respondents were included in the presentation, and no minimum standard for what a Hellenic Polytheist is and is not seems to have been used. Those who identify as Witch, Ceremonial Magician, Eclectic Pagan, Pagan, and Religio Romana had their answers included with those who where specifically a Hellenic Polytheist. Almost corresponding exactly to those who are not Reconstructionist are those that did not even identify as Hellenic. I do not believe this source can be used to prove the assertion made.-- (talk) 17:10, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Removed statement and edited section because statement is not supported by cited source. -- (talk) 14:10, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Hellenion (USA) Redirected Here[edit]

Hellenion (USA) redirected here after failing to meet general notability guidelines. -- (talk) 17:04, 21 March 2008 (UTC) (talk) 22:49, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Hellenion has been mentioned in the press[1] it's just that some would prefer to silence Hellenion.

Hellenic polytheism in Wicca?[edit]

Is the section "Hellenic polytheism in Wicca" at all appropriate in the context of the greater article? It seems to imply a link between the Hellenic tradition and Wicca, when one does not exist.

There is no real link between Hellenismos and Wicca other than each being non-Abrahamic. They are not linked with any form of shared ethical code, set of practices, core values, institutions, common traditions and rituals, recognized sacred texts, or history. Religions that share some closer link with Hellenismos include many Reconstructionist religions such as the Asatru, Religio Romana, Romuva, Celtic Recon, and some other indigenous religions. (Hellenismos Frequently Asked Questions)

I think it should either be removed or reworked. I'm leaning towards deleted since Hellenic Polytheism implies the Ancient Greek religions, and the modern Hellenic religious movements, of which Wicca is neither.-- (talk) 18:03, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Hellenic Neopaganism or Hellenic polytheistic reconstructionism[edit]

Shouldn't Hellenic polytheistic reconstructionism be this article's primary identifier, rather then Hellenic Neopaganism? The article seems to make the point that this is the case, with most groups rejecting the identifiers Pagan and Neopagan for various reasons. -- (talk) 18:42, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Completed move from Hellenic Neopaganism to Hellenic Polytheistic Reconstructionism, and corrected double redirects. --Pagebird (talk) 19:00, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't quite agree with this move. "Neopaganism" is a neutral categorisation, quite independent of "endorsement" or "rejection" by individual groups. "Polytheistic Reconstructionism" is a much (much) more narrow concept and only applies to a tiny minority of Neopagans. We can quote as documenting the viewpoint of (some) adherents, but they do not have terminological superiority: already by calling Asatru "Reconstructionist" they show that their terminology is completely skewed. Not even Icelandic Asatru claims to be reconstructionist, and much less the US variants which are much more into racial mysticism and/or New Age syncretism than anything related to reconstructionism proper. dab (𒁳) 14:37, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

A similar statement is made on the The Cauldron Hellenic polytheism FAQ (used as in this article as a source).
"Some members of neopagan religions such as Wicca also worship our gods, although their views of Them are often at variance with traditional Hellenic understanding."
"To the extent that our religion is a reconstruction and adaptation of ancient religious practices in the modern world, one could argue that the label 'neopagan' is both accurate and descriptive, and some Hellenes embrace it. However, the terms 'neopagan' and 'paganism' have become so closely linked to eclectic Wicca that many people now treat them as synonyms."
"The only real link is that they are both non-Abrahamic religions, commonly described as 'pagan' (although even this is not universal). Otherwise, they differ as much as Shinto and Christianity differ, which is to say, on almost all counts. They have distinct historical origins, different theological perspectives and worldviews, and very different styles of ritual. In short, the two religions share nothing with each other that they don't also share with other religions."
Also, the largest portions of this article's information is based on the YSEE and the movement in Greece, which the notability of this article relies, and they and other groups make similar statements and firmly make the distinction between the Hellenics and the modern Neopaganism movement. The modern Neopaganism movement is distinct from what is going on with these groups, and they should not be lumped together. Based on your reasoning Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, Native American Spirituality, and every other ethnic tradition should included as part of the Neopagan for their eclectic adoption of Gods and concepts. Heck, this article wasn't even being categorized under Category:Neopagan traditions.--Pagebird (talk) 20:09, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
Pagebird, what? You're making some highly illogical conclusions about what dab is suggesting. They've suggested nothing even remotely close to "...Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, Native American Spirituality, and every other ethnic tradition should included as part of the Neopagan...", in fact, very far from it. They merely said that Neopagan is a broad and definable term that exists and applies regardless of what one group or another "accepts" or "rejects". RealHellenismos (talk) 22:02, 30 September 2008 (UTC)


I believe adding the Neopaganism2 template is inappropriate for this article. While in a very technical sense Hellenic reconstruction is Neopagansim (New non-Abrihamic religion), it is as appropriate to classify it in such a way as it is to Classify Buddhism and Hinduism as Pagan. Popular Pagan culture (which the Hellenic tradition is being lumped into here) promotes a very eclectic and very individualistic form of practice based primarily on unverified personal gnosis blended with Wicca-ish, NeoDruid-ish, and/or HOGD-ish methodologies. Modern Paganism also has an exclusionary attitude toward more well defined religions that are traditional or reconstructionist. It is inappropriate to imply that Hellenism is Greek flavored Neopagansim. -- (talk) 17:50, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Since there has been no disagreement, I will be removing the template. The term 'Neopagan' has a specific connotation that is not conducive with Hellenic Polytheistic Reconstructionism. -- (talk) 12:42, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Tim, by your anti-logic displayed here, only a certain part of the native-born population of the United States should be allowed to call themselves "US Americans". Lack of disagreement is not the same as consensus, either -- did you get visited by the Fail Fairy recently or something? RealHellenismos (talk) 22:06, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Political controversy and discrimination[edit]

The section on Political controversy and discrimination is a bulleted list. It should be reformatted. --N-k, 23:45, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Elaion, Hellenion, and HellenicPagan Yahoo Group[edit]

While at one time at the forefront of the Hellenic Polytheistic Reconstructionist movement in the United States, these groups can no longer be considered as authoritative sources for the movement today.

  • Elaion exists primarily only as a website. Most of the founding members have moved on from the group, it is not active, not accepting new members (I believe there are only two official members), and attempts to revitalize have failed.
  • Hellenion is in a similar, but not so dismal, situation. While still maintaining legal non-profit status, the organizations growth can only be described as stagnant or in decline (currently only about 35 official members). All but one of the few satellite congregations exist in 'proto' status (less than 3 members) and show no verifiable activity.
  • The HellenicPagan Yahoo Group has long since moved on from Hellenic Polytheistic Reconstructionism. It is an eclectic group of individuals, and their group description actually refers those specifically interested in Hellenic Polytheistic Reconstructionism to another site.

I believe this article needs to either clarify these groups and organizations current status or remove reference of them. -- (talk) 13:04, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Tim, your website isn't at the forefront of HPR in the States, either. You have a distinct conflict of interest here, as your personal and, judging by your abuse of GoogleAdsense on, your financial interest in knocking down other groups and promoting your own are too closely related to the topic and Wikipedia's dedication to neutrality. Your edits have been biased in the worst possible way, and if other HPR's in the US weren't so busy with actual practise and not paying much attention to you lately, your conflict of interest would have been reported long ago and (with luck, anyway) you'd have been IP banned. Obviously, you're not using a username on Wikipedia for a reason, so I suspect that this may possibly have happened with your username? LAFFO! RealHellenismos (talk) 22:14, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure who you are talking to, but I kept 2 of the 3 within the article despite notability. Fact is, the section on groups in America should be tagged with {{Importance-sect}}, and give people the opportunity to cite significant 3rd party sources. -- (talk) 01:04, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
"Real Hellenismos" is quite an arrogant statement, AND username, because greek religion was interrupted a long time ago, and the only references to it are cited only by greek and roman philosophers/historians. And due to their universality, anyone acquainted with their writings, greek or not, is at the same level of a greek, so there is no "real hellenismos", only a reconstructed form of it. Furthermore, the statement in the Theology section "In modern terms, the ancient Greeks had nothing which could be called a systematized theology." is false, and I´m surprised that it was inserted here. Hesiod´s Theogony, as well as all greek mythology is exoteric speech, and people should have known this by now. What is discussed in Plato´s works, in Proclus and Plotinus, etc, is the esoteric, inner hermeneutics AND theological/cosmological structure of greek mythology, not "only" Sallustius! Sallustius is just one of them. I wonder what kind of person edited this section, and if he/she has in fact knowledge of ancient greek literature. User:Nemoswlewa 28/02/2013

Groups and self-designations[edit]

I question the statement "There are no standardized naming practices for this religion, and individual practitioners and groups use a variety of names, often reflecting subtle differences in belief or practice." In looking at much of the listed sources for this article, it would seem the phrases Hellenismos, Hellenism, the Hellenic tradition, the Hellenic religion, and Hellenic Polytheism are all used interchangeably to refer to the religion, and are synonymous. The phrase Hellenic Polytheistic Reconstructionism refers to the overall movement and the methodology used to revive the religion, but is not the religion itself. The words Dodekatheism and Olympianism refer to specifc "denominations" that serve as branches focusing on specific schools of thought or the public practices of a specific polis, yet are still referred to as being included under Hellenismos, Hellenism, the Hellenic tradition, the Hellenic religion, and Hellenic Polytheism, and are part of the Hellenic Polytheistic Reconstructionist movement. -- (talk) 15:04, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, worried about appearances and "names" instead of what it is concerned. In fact, the reconstruction of ancient greek religion is quite dubious and criticisable, since the knowledge that survived of hellenismos has already been taught and studied in degrees such as Philosophy, History and Literature, and no one ever tried to "resuscitate" (pun intended) hellenismos before. So why now? Mankind has evolved, and religion has become less meaningfull, as knowledge become more and more accessible to everyone. Moreover, religion offers only rituals. If people are looking for answers about themselves and life, let them study Philosophy, History and Literature. In these is all the (surviving) knowledge of ancient greek thought. User:Nemoswlewa 01/03/2013 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nemoswlewa (talkcontribs) 00:17, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

'Further reading' dispute[edit]

I am disputing the inclusion of Kharis: Hellenic Polytheism Explored by Sarah Kate Winter and A Temple of Words: Essays culled from five years of "Sannion's Sanctuary" by H. Jeremiah Lewis.

  • Kharis: Hellenic Polytheism Explored by Sarah Kate Winter
    • The author has made public statements, prior to the books release, she no longer considered herself or her practice to be Reconstructionist.
    • The book is vague and ambiguous in identifying what is and is not "Hellenismos" or "Hellenic Polytheism" and clearly states that the book's goal is not Hellenic Polytheistic Reconstruction, though does not exclude the movement in its discussion of worshiping the Greek Gods.
    • Previous references to the claims made in the first version of the book where deleted for not being credible. These claims are reproduced in the second version.
  • A Temple of Words: Essays culled from five years of "Sannion's Sanctuary" by H. Jeremiah Lewis
    • The book is little more then a collection of uncited blog style opinion pieces from a website that a previous contributor removed for violated Wikipedia's 'repository of links' policy.
    • The accuracy of information provided is completely in question.
    • The comprehensiveness, scope and coverage of the work is limited.
    • The books is not specifically in regard to Hellenic Polytheistic Reconstruction, and refers to the movement in a trivial and incidental manner.

Neither of these publications can be considered reliable reading material in regards to this specific article and topic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:12, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Funny, Tim, it seems very clear to me that used to recommend Sannion's book, and at one time very clearly would have included it on the Wikipedia list. You also used to quote his site heavily -- I can find you quotes, if you want them, complete with links and everything. Again, I'm calling shenanigans cos of your conflict of interest. RealHellenismos (talk) 22:22, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
Then maybe you got the wrong person guy. -- (talk) 01:19, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
Maybe s/he's trying to identify you by IP address. Easy mistake to make if they're really close. Kaethros (talk) 19:19, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

- I have read KHARIS: Hellenic Polytheism Explored and see nothing wrong with including it in this section. I have carefully evaluated this text. It clearly stays on the topic of Hellenic Polytheism, and addresses key issues in the religion quite well. While I cannot speak to the book by H. Jeremiah Lewis, it is quite interesting that the dispute here seems to follow current Drama divisions in the community. (talk) 02:10, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

This article is about Hellenic Polytheistic Reconstructionism, not what is described in Kharis. The notability of this article relies on that movement, which primarily exists in Greece, and does not and cannot address other movements that do not possess notability. -- (talk) 01:19, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, KHARIS does discuss Hellenic Polytheistic Reconstructionism. Please keep in mind that Wikipedia is a NEUTRAL forum. Kaethros (talk) 03:09, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Misrepresenting Wicca[edit]

The section on Hellenic polytheism and Wicca seems to be treated by some as a dumping ground for any dissatisfaction with Neopaganism in general, and these people seem to be bringing more opinion that fact to it. Recent edits did a great job of misrepresenting the Wiccan view of the deities, conflating traditional Wicca and "Eclectic Wicca", and ultimately conflating Wicca and Neopaganism. I'm happy to believe that this comes down to ignorance, and I'll try to explain some of the problems here a bit better.

A lot has been said about Wicca by the uninformed, particularly in the ridiculous publishing industry that has shot up around Charmed, Buffy and Silver Ravenwolf. Wicca, as understood by initiates and as described in earlier works, tends to be rather different to the views espoused in this generic dross. The gods are seen as one Goddess and one God, and potentially a greater godhead who is so remote from human concerns as to be virtually of no interest to us. The Goddess and God are not necessarily seen as connected with all other gods from other cultures, although Wicca is an orthopraxy rather than an orthodoxy, and some initiates understand things in these terms. But it's surprisingly uncommon to find (traditional) Wiccan covens invoking any gods but our own beloved God and Goddess (names withheld).

In the early literature (Gerald Gardner's books, for instance) our God and Goddess are hypothesised to be the tribal gods of the witch cult, and there's nothing universal about them at all. There are still plenty who see things in this way.

And of course these hypotheses have a certain amount of historical support; for instance Georg Luck, Professor Emeritus at Harvard University describes the fusing of the Roman Pan and the Celtic Cernunnos to form a powerful deity around which the pagani, resisting conversion to Christianity, rallied (Arcana Mundi, pp. 6-7); Carlo Ginzburg, Gustav Henningsen and other academic scholars have demonstrated the long survival in Europe and the British Isles of goddess worship and surrounding ecstatic/magical cults, and shown how they substantially contributed to the diabolised stereotype of the witches' sabbath. Ronald Hutton has probably been the most vocal historian arguing a lack of precedents for Wicca, but then, his is a very ideosynchratic view, and he takes a number of extreme positions rather distant from usual academic consensus in the fields of witchcraft history, pagan antiquity, pagan survivals into the Christian period, and the history of hermeticism and ceremonial magic.

Of course this is hardly of vital importance to most Wiccans, since we are not even attempting historical reconstruction. We simply commune with our Gods by our traditional methods or whatever way works best. I understand that in reconstructionism there is the concept of "gnosis" and "shared personal gnosis" that helps validate the path you're going down; this kind of stuff is the very brick and mortar of Wicca, and any serious coven works with this constantly; it's what mysticism and magic are all about. Criticisms in terms of historical accuracy just don't make sense.

In short, Wicca is not synonymous with 'witchcraft', and is not the same as Neopaganism, and there is a world of difference between Wicca in its traditional form and the "Eclectic Wicca" that's become popular largely in the last 10 or 15 years. In the wider neopagan community we can find plenty of examples of embarrassing ideas, cultural misappropriation and the like, but to use these to snipe at Wicca is hardly reasonable. In fact I don't know why there's any sniping at Wicca at all, since we're not trying to tell the Reconstructionists how to conduct their religion. We wouldn't presume. I think what the article should do rather than emphasise this kind of ankle-biting is to simply make clear what the differences are between HPR and other popular forms of (neo)paganism — don't single out Wicca (we're just as unhappy with the crass popular views of neopaganism as you are), and don't make it a complaint. Fuzzypeg 00:48, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

The section Hellenic polytheism and Wicca has existed within this article since December 2005. The tension and issues with Wicca, Popular Neopagan culture, and Hellenic Reconstruction has been documented by the Supreme Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes dating back to at least 2001, by Drew Campbell on his website (now archived on, expressed on, and discussed in a number of books on the subject. Documenting these types of controversies exist in most articles regarding religion (and other subjects) on Wikipedia. It is fact, not opinion, that much of the Hellenic Reconstruction attempts to distance itself from Wicca, witchcraft, occultists, and Neopaganism in general. Frankly, as I understand it, traditional Wicca has much of the same issues with Popular Neopagan culture, having had their identity stolen and their beliefs and practices misrepresented. Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wiccans, true Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wiccans, seem to have little tolerance for (Neo)Wicca from my experience. What you are calling "Wicca" has now been relegated to BTW, and labeled a rigid, dogmatic, and elitist subset of Wicca by much of Neopaganism. For all intents and purposes, "Eclectic Wicca" is Wicca today. There is no way to turn the clock back on that one. In any event, this artice is not that place to debate what is and is not true Wicca. -- (talk) 03:30, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Still preferable to avoid inaccurate generalisations, though. It shouldn't be too hard to word this section so it's informative, doesn't devote excessive space to discussing the ins and outs of Wicca, and still avoids being misleading and potentially derogatory. Also, I heartily agree that a section clarifying the differences in approach between HPR and wider neopaganism is valuable, but if it comes across as ankle-biting it's not to anyone's favour. Fuzzypeg 05:27, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
That may be your opinion of the section, but it does not change the reality of the situation. If a Hellenic Reconstructionist attempts to participate in the Neopagan community, and expresses from his/her religious perspective magic(k) is hubris they are immediately attacked. If they question some assertion linking a Greek deity to a so-call Celtic festival, they are attacked. If they challenge the misrepresentation of an ancient act of devotion, they are immediately attacked. It is not simply that the section expresses the differences between HPR and Neopaganism, it expresses the very real tensions that do actually exist. It may be a fair assessment to say the section should do more to be clear that Neopagan does not necessarily mean Wicca, but the fact still remains popular Neopagan culture is dominated by "Eclectic Wicca" and the Wicca-ish. So much so that you arguments about what Wicca really 'is' are moot. In today's world, the common conception of Wicca is "Eclectic Wicca." You may want to fight that BTW is true Wicca, but I believe it will be a losing battle for you. -- (talk) 14:25, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
So from everything you're saying, you seem to imply some agreement: that the term "Neopagans" rather than "Wiccans" would more accurately describe the breadth of detractors of HPR, and would be less controversial. I really think it only fair that if HPR is complaining about historical accuracy, they should at least try to be accurate in phrasing that complaint. Not that Wikipedia is necessarily about fairness... And yes, it may be a losing battle to separate trad Wicca from all the rest, a mixed bag of beliefs that include even those who claim not to be witches, avoid magic like the plague, and meet in "congregations", led in a "church" service by a "minister" to worship Jesus Christ! Fortunately in the UK, Australia and NZ the difference is still mostly understood, and it's only the newbies who've only seen "Buffy" or read their first American pagan magazine who make the mistake of calling themselves "Wiccan". Anyone who's been round the Pagan scene at all quickly gets the idea. America may have their terminology confused (along with words like "terrorism" and "democracy"), but even in the states the term "Wicca" is still controversial. Best then to either use it cautiously or not at all. Fuzzypeg 05:05, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Kharis does not translate to recoprosity[edit]

I am disputing the sentence, "Key to most ethical systems is the idea of kharis, or the reciprocity between humanity and the Gods, between individuals, and among community members." Kharis translates to favor or divine reward, which was believed dependant on reciprocity, but is not the concept of reciprocity. It is factually incorrect. -- (talk) 00:12, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Made a clarification of charis (kharis)by giving the related internal links. The word really does not convey the concept of reciprocity - but... (Eidimon (talk) 19:25, 19 October 2008 (UTC))

Other controversies[edit]

I believe that the text bellow should be included to preserve the balance in the article:

It should be noted that this recent use of the term Hellenismos, for the ancient Greek religion or its modern reconstucted forms by some of its adherents today, it is questioned or even disputed as abusive by leading authorities on Greek Language and today's Greek society in general (as "Hellenismos" has a much broader meaning without religious connotations: to be Greek or Greekness). (Eidimon (talk) 20:55, 17 October 2008 (UTC))

And this is relevant in what way? If Hellenists (as in worshippers of the 12 gods) wish to call themselves this, then these 'leading authorities' are just going to have to cop it. And there is no need for balance in this article; if thats the case please allow me to go to the page on Christianity and state that it is a Middle Eastern Death Cult according to many Pagans. Not interested? Didn't think so. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:27, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

symbol of Hellenismos?[edit]

Is there a universal Hellenismos symbol? I wrote Portal:Hellenismos and added it and Portal:Heathenism to Portal:Wicca's 'related portals,' since Wicas may want to know about other modern paganism (though I did not put portal:Wicca in the reconstructionist ones for obvious reasons.) I am asking about symbols because someone put a picture of Zeus for portal:Hellenismos on portal:Wicca. While he, or Hestia, may be a most important symbol of Dodecatheism, perhaps he is not as much for Hellenismos as a whole, since I have read many of the ancient Greek cults were separate until mythology related them. I was also reading online about possible symbols, and people recommended the wreath, and the vergina sun. Maybe there is no specific main symbol that does not refer to a specific deity. Do you think the portal should have one (or a combination) of these two symbols I mentioned, or is the bust of Zeus fine? (which for now I added in the religion portal)--Dchmelik (talk) 05:19, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

No Greek Magic?[edit]

This statement doesn't hold water: " [...] there is little academic material to suggest that [magic] was used widely in ancient religion." Especially given that the citation is not to any sort of scholarly work, but to a Neopagan's personal theological reflection. Work like that by Christopher Faraone (see this) speaks definitively that magic (a problematic category, sure, but setting that aside) WAS practiced in ancient Greece. I find that the sentiment that magic was not practiced in ancient Greece a stance of the school of thought associated particularly with Timothy Jay Alexander and Needs attention. (talk) 23:08, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Too many external links[edit]

This article does not follow guidelines for external links. The external link section appears to be serving as a directory of online resources which is not an encyclopedic function. Jojalozzo 02:11, 22 November 2012 (UTC)