Talk:Hellenism (religion)

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Archive 1 · Archive 2


I suggest this page needs a major overhaul as it appears to have been written with a bias towards the perspectives and assumptions of US groups that no longer exist or that are in terminal decline. Groups in Greece started to appear on the net about the same time as the US decline and they have different perspectives & assumptions.

A more objective approach needs to be taken when talking about Hellenism and needs to be based on or closely related to the actual history of the term as a religious moniker from the mid fourth century. Other methods are often derived and lead to confusion when expanded, this has lead to an inability or unwillingness to further define Hellenism as a specific historical belief system.

If there are no objections I'll register and begin a piecemeal rewrite. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:55, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Adopted Methodology:

Beginning with the general history and meaning of the term and then its origin and use as a religious name for a specific religious tradition.

Developing a full account of the beliefs and practices associated with that tradition.

Concluding with an account of later history, survival and revivals. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:36, 17 October 2014 (UTC) --GemistosPlethon (talk) 13:47, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

I couldn't agree more. In fact, a much older version of this article was better than the current version. maybe go back to maybe this version and start re-editing from there. The problem is that Neopagans in the US will fight to keep certain perspectives off the page, specifically the perspectives of ethnic Hellenes working within the authentic religion. 2601:B:8D00:39A7:E8D0:572F:C59:7060 (talk) 14:23, 29 April 2015 (UTC)


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)

'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))

Unfortunately, there is no one term that works for all cases. Worshipers of the Greek Gods, both in antiquity and today, are far more likely to describe themselves in terms of their religion, than they are to give a name to the religion itself. Indeed, the Ancient Greeks had no name for their religion. Hellenismos was the first name ever given to the religion but that was a reconstructionist form championed by the Roman Emperor Julian, in the 4th century, as a movement against rising Christianity. Other terms, such as Hellenism, are even more vague, as they can refer to many non-religious things such as culture, history and philosophy. At the very least, Hellenismos is used around the world and is approved, (if not used exclusively), by the Supreme Council of Ethnic Hellenes or the YSEE, the most authoritative body in the world on this matter. By the way, they also explicitly reject the term Hellenism to describe the religion. Not that I think their opinion is the only one that matters though.Reigndog (talk) 22:05, 14 July 2014 (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)

I agree that the wreath is a great symbol. Many Hellenismos groups with an online presence use some form of the laurel wreath as part of their logos. Luckily, there is already an usable image here at Wikipedia of one. I have added it.Reigndog (talk) 21:52, 14 July 2014 (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)

It's factually incorrect but the intent is correct. Magic was associated with the Persians & condemned in ancient Greece and its practitioners were punished. The rennaissance popularisation of Magic has lead it to be retrospectively applied to many religious rites that would not have beden considered to be 'Magic' by the practitioners themselvs. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:36, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Groups and individuals in the US, and across the English Speaking World, often conflate the idea that magic was practiced in Ancient Greece with the false notion magic was part of the authentic Hellenic religion. A thorough look at the history of magic, and of the Neopagan movement, reveals their self-perpetuated bias favoring the idea that all the ancient pre-Christian traditions of Europe were magical, despite the overwhelming evidence magical practice was rejected and prohibited in Ancient Hellas. The whole notion evolved out of Christianity's demonization of ancient religions, and that worldview was then adopted by Medieval mystics and sorcerers. 2601:B:8D00:39A7:E8D0:572F:C59:7060 (talk) 14:57, 29 April 2015 (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)


As the relevant article needs some work, I have been bold and started with a redirect. The reasons are numerous.

First, there clearly needs to be greater consistency within Wikipedia among the related articles. For example, the corresponding portal is already called the "Hellenismos" portal.

Secondly, upon some brief researching, the term Hellenismos would seem to have precedence over Hellenism when referring to the modern worship of the Greek Gods. There are other terms for such worship, (all of which are relatively modern as the Ancient Greeks used none of them) but Hellenismos is more often used than Hellenism. The most prominent books and websites of the religion bear this out. With similar research, the term Hellenism is shown to be used mainly in reference to a historical period.

Thirdly, the term Hellenismos would appear to have no popular usage outside the context of a modern worship of the ancient Greek Gods. Even limiting a discussion of the term Hellenism to Wikipedia pages, one quickly finds a disambiguation page with approximately 10 linked articles. And again, most of these pages/articles concern a certain period of history and different aspects of that period.

The main page for just about every religion here seems to be devoted to information on that religion, with related articles branching out from there. I see no problem with the religion of the Ancient Greeks being described as a Hellenistic religion, as that was the culture that they were living in. But modern practitioners of Hellenismos do not necessarily have any ethnic or cultural connection to the Greeks of today.

Obviously, there is no unquestionably clear choice. Hellenismos or Greek polytheistic reconstructionism / Greek Paganism is a relatively new religious movement, with a verifiable origin going back about 20 to 30 years. So I'm willing to hash out the issue but there was apparently no consensus decision in the first place when the original article was redirected from Hellenismos.Reigndog (talk) 00:00, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

Bad edits, that I have reverted. "Hellenismos" and the bombastic "Hellenic polytheistic reconstructionism" are American conceptual constructions that don't describe the ethnic movement of reviving indigenous religion in Greece, that is appropriately called "Hellenic ethnic religion". The Greek movement even rejects the forced association of their movement to "reconstructionism" and "neopaganism". It is a sensitive issue: "Hellenismos" may sound cool and trendy to the American ear, but it doesn't describe the Greek reality. "Hellenism" is an established term in reference to Greek religiousness, and surely less ridiculous that the unneeded Greek-styled "Hellenismos".
By the way, the portal itself should be renamed "Hellenism (religion)" and treat both the ancient religion and its modern revivals.-- (talk) 21:09, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
It would be awesome if you supplied some evidence for your claims; English, of course, as per WP:UE. If Hellenism is an established term in reference to Greek religiousness, then we shouldn't be using a term that includes the Greek Orthodox Church on this article.--Prosfilaes (talk) 06:32, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Appaerently, there are several misunderstandings here. Let us try to work though them in a pleasant-enough manner. I will not directly address the assertion that "Hellenism is an established term in reference to Greek religiousness" here. I have already addressed that issue below, previously.
Issue One; "Hellenismos" is not a widely term used by the Greeks today, who seek to reestablish worship of the ancient Gods? Correct! Such Greeks do not have a commonly used term for their religion today. They use the term, Ethnikoi Hellenes to describe themselves, basically Ethnic Hellenes or "Ethnic Greeks". They do not commonly add any words to signify religion however, because such Hellenes or Greeks, also seek to restore the ancient values and lifestyles of their ancestors, not just the religion. In addition, they also expressly reject the term "Hellenic" or "Hellenism". This is because, as Prosfilaes very correctly alluded to, the Greek Orthodox Church in Greece has appropriated the term to the point where the Ethnic Hellenes feel it can not be used to describe them. Ethnic Hellenes don't seem to be as quick to label their faith as they are to label themselves but as far as one can discern, the term they use actually is "Ethnic Hellenic Religion" or "Religion of the Native Greeks". If we limit ourselves to a word and not a phrase, (which seems to be a sticking point with the anonymous editor), the word used by them is actually Hellenismos, not Hellenism! Here is a link which actually uses the word "Hellenismos", in this context, on a English-language translation of a Greek page.
Issue Two; the term used to describe the religious movement is a sensitive matter? Correct! The religious believers in question reject the term "pagan"? Correct! They view the term as a pejorative insult, as the words has its roots from the word "peasant", in reference to the rural inhabitants of the Greek countryside during the early Common Era who resisted conversion to the Christian faith popular among the urban and the cosmopolitan. These religious believers also reject the term reconstructionism? Unclear. In largely depends on how the term reconstructionism is used. Ethnic Hellenes do push for a re-establishment of their native religion, tradition and way of life. However, none of this has anything to do with the term Hellenismos vs. Hellenism. All it calls for are a few careful edits, as I've tried to do, to state that Hellenismos or Hellenic polytheistic reconstructionism does not regard itself as part of a syncretic neo-pagan religious movement.
Issue Three. Here is the meat of the coconut, so to speak. The two paragraphs of text that I have written above solely concern the attitude of native, polytheistic Greeks in Greece today. I wrote them mainly to address the assertions that the anonymous editor made to justify his/her redirect and other edits. I have used as a source, the "YSEE", the "Supreme Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes" or (Ypato Symboulio Ellinon Ethnikon). To the extent that there is a definitive source for such a relatively new religious movement, the YSEE is it.
However, if you seek to engage the YSEE, they will tell you that their goal is to affect change in modern Greek society. They have definitions and terms to describe their religious movement within the boundaries of their country. While they do not reject non-ethic Greeks (or non-ethic Hellenes) outside of Greece (or Hellas) from the worship of the ancient Greek gods on the basic of their nationality or lack of Greek ancestry, they do not concern themselves with what these non-Greek believe, say, do or write.
Therefore, in order to bring this issue to a head, let us make this clear. The modern worship of the ancient Greek gods is not under the purview of people who live in Greece or have Greek ancestry. No more than do modern Christians who live in Palestine today have any control over the various religious movements within Christianity worldwide.
This Wikipedia article is about the polytheistic religion that exists today that invokes the Olympian Gods as deities, holds the virtues of Greece in antiquity as moral guidelines and uses Greek mythology as allegorical history. It is not solely limited to Greeks or Greece, the religion exists worldwide, albeit in varying numbers of practitioners. The article also does not refer to religion of those who lived in Hellenistic period (or immediately prior to or immediately following it). That religion already has an article, see "Hellenistic religion". The two religions are closely related of course but are not the same exactly.Reigndog (talk) 20:16, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

"Hellenism" is a centuries old term and it is used in scholarly books. It was coined by emperor Julian (of course, as he spoke Latin it was surely "Hellenismus", and when speaking in Greek "Hellenismos"; and has been rendered "Hellenism" in English in later centuries). Just search on Google Books and you'll find plenty of books on the subject; for example:

  • Vasilios N. Makrides Hellenic Temples and Christian Churches: A Concise History of the Religious Cultures of Greece from Antiquity to the Present, at page 8 it explains the meaning of "Hellenism".
  • Polymnia Athanassiadi Julian and Hellenism: an intellectual biography.

By contrast, "Hellenismos" and "Hellenic Polytheistic Reconstructionism" are used on American "pagan" blogs by American people who know little or nothing at all about Greek religion: they aren't an academic or scientific terminology.-- (talk) 18:45, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

The first book you cite also uses the phrase "Hellenic polytheistic religion". shows many uses of the word as a modifier for Jews or Christians; it seems like the massive dominant use of the word Hellenism on Google Books is for Greek Jews/Christians about the time of Paul the Apostle. In contrast, turns up books written by practitioners of this religion right up top. You can wave your hands about Americans all you want, but this page covers their beliefs as well.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:53, 19 June 2014 (UTC)
"Hellenic polytheistic religion" is, as you says, a phrase and not a single name. "Hellenism" is an established English term, while "Hellenismos" is, in English, an unuseful word since it has its translation, and it is primarily used in primary sources, not in academic scholarship.-- (talk) 20:11, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
First, "Hellenism" is not a very useful term when describing this topic. Yes, it is used in scholarly books, but to refer to Ancient Greece, not a modern religious movement. And it is so imprecise and vague, it requires a disambiguation page here at Wikipedia, linking to pages with widely different topics such as art, culture and several different religious movements, some of which span separate and distinct time periods. Looking up the meaning of the word, one gets at least three different definitions, none of which refer explicitly to the religion that worships the ancient gods of Greece. Hellenismos, on the other hand, has as its primary definition exactly that, reconstructionist or if you will, revivalist worship of the ancient Greek Gods.
Secondly, as you admit, the term Hellenismos is used in primary sources. The ancient Greeks of the time had no name for their religion, the very first name for it was established in the fourth century C.E. in a reconstructionist sense. That name was Hellenismos, certainly not "Hellenism". But you speak of academic sources as well. Well I can do a search too. Only my search actually has to do with the modern religion, not the ancient one. For example:
  • Tony Mierzwicki Hellenismos: Practicing Greek Polytheism Today
  • Timothy Jay Alexander A Beginner's Guide to Hellenismos (with a book description describing Hellenismos as the "emerging religious movement attempting to reconstruct the ancient Greek religion.")
  • Neokles Kazazes Hellenismos
  • Asteria Books The Beauty of Hellenismos
Lastly, the term "Hellenismos" is not solely a term used by Americans. There is no evidence of that. It is the most common term used by non-native Greeks to describe the revival of the religion practiced by the Greeks of antiquity.Reigndog (talk) 18:27, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
Primary sources from American authors claiming to be representatives of Greek religion are not reliable. English has an established terminology for this topic ("Hellenism") and rules of style to translate suffixes ("-ismos" as "-ism"). "Hellenismos" sounds as an oddity in an English context.--Karl's Wagon (talk) 11:47, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
With all due respect, if you are going to make wholesale changes to an article, you should make a case for them on the talk page. And if you are going to make a case on the talk page, you should do the other editors the justice of actually reading what they have already written on the talk page.
First of all, "Hellenismos" is not the religion of Greeks or the "Greek religion". (I don't even know what "Greek religion" could possibly mean just by itself, for it is so vauge.) It is the religion that invokes the Gods and Goddesses of ancient Greece. Now you have no real ground to stand on to say that Greek authors have any more authority than American ones, on the matter of "Hellenismos". To repeat myself one more, Greeks today have no more influence over the practice of Hellenismos, than do Palestinian Christians have today over Christianity. Hellenismos is not solely limited to Greeks believers or the country of Greece, the religion exists worldwide, possibly with more practitioners outside of Greece than inside it.
However, if you wish to give undue weight to the opinion of Greek polytheists today, I can provide documentation for my position there as well. Such Greeks use the term, Ethnikoi Hellenes to describe themselves, basically Ethnic Hellenes or "Ethnic Greeks". They do not commonly add any words to signify religion however, because such Hellenes or Greeks, also seek to restore the ancient values and lifestyles of their ancestors, not just the religion. In addition, they also expressly reject the term "Hellenic" or "Hellenism"! This is because, as alluded to above by other editors, the Greek Orthodox Church in Greece has appropriated the term to the point where the Ethnic Hellenes feel it can not be used to describe them. Now, Ethnic Hellenes are not as quick to label their faith as they are to label themselves but as far as one can discern, the term they use actually is "Ethnic Hellenic Religion" or "Religion of the Native Greeks". If we limit ourselves to a word and not a phrase, then the word used by them is actually Hellenismos, not Hellenism! Here again is a link which actually uses the word "Hellenismos", in this context, on a English-language translation of a Greek page. You seem to be making a very bizarre argument. The only opinion that matters is that of the Greeks, yet, you don't want to use the terminology that they themselves use. The only backing you use to justify a whole host of reverts is that of "rules of style" for suffixes. So instead of a word, "Hellenismos", which is used worldwide, is centuries old and describes only the Reconstructionist Polytheistic faith invoking the ancient Greek Gods, you use a word that has a least a half-dozen meanings here at Wikipedia alone, some of which have nothing to do with religion and is rejecting by the very Greeks you make a point of bringing up yourself. The correct terminology is the correct terminology, it doesn't matter what it "sounds like".
Lastly, this article does not refer to religion of those who lived in Hellenistic period (or immediately prior to or immediately following it). That religion already has an article, see "Hellenistic religion". The two religions are closely related of course but are not the same exactly. This article is about the modern, reconstructionist polytheistic faith that exists today. And that claim is not originally mine and is unquestioned.Reigndog (talk) 15:53, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
We need consensus on this article before we redirect this article. At the very least, any discussion should be cross-linked with the talk page where it's being discussed.--Prosfilaes (talk) 16:21, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
For the record, my original redirect was not the first redirect. To my understanding, Hellenismos was actually the earlier name for the article. Then someone at some point for some reason, suddenly and without any apparent consensus at all, redirected the article to a new "Hellenism (religion)" page. Prosfilaes, in light of that, until we actually get a non-anonymous editor with an interest in the subject matter and with an edit history older than one day argue on the side opposite of ours, could we perhaps have Hellenismos as the main article and just do as you suggest and cross-link on the talk page.Reigndog (talk) 16:36, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
If anyone wants to move the page to a name which has existing content, see WP:MOVE for how to make a "Requested move". Please do not copy and paste the whole article from one page to another, as this makes it hard to trace the page history. Especially, please do not set up duplicate articles again; this is called wp:Content forking. If you need to work privately on a revision, you may copy the article and paste it into your user sandbox, or a temporary user sub-page (see WP:SUB). – Fayenatic London 07:39, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

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