Why Does This Religion Continue To Worship Greek Gods

Hellenism is both a religious practie and a way of life

Authors such as Rick Riordan have popularized modern interpretations of ancient mythology. These fans create stories, drawings, and theories about the Gods, and this renewed fascination with the ancients has spread far beyond fans of these books and internet. Little do many of these fans know, the worship of these Gods never ended.

Hellenic Polytheism is an umbrella term for those who honor the Gods of the ancient Greeks. Also called Hellenismos, those who worship the Gods believe that they are following Arætí, the root of virtue.

Hellenismos is both a religious practice and a way of life. They both practice the outward interpretations of religion and an inward piety towards the Gods and the universe. Ancient Greek virtues, reciprocity, hospitality, and moderation, define the ethical obligation of the Hellenic polytheists, but there is no centralized church, clergy, or text to create imperatives for worshipers. The Orphic Rhapsodic Theogony (The rise of the Six Kings) and the Delphic Maxims are two texts that help guide the ethical behavior of Hellenismos.

There are a few sources on how to worship of Hellenismos:
• Scholarly work
• Writings of classical authors
• Individual experience and intuition

Through the study of Ancient Greek religion the Hellenic polytheists have created a modern worship of the Gods. Some are Greek nationalists, others New Age traditionalists, none are recognized by the Greek government, which makes it difficult for them to pray in ancient temples or build new temples. Many scholars argue that this new interpretation of the Hellenic gods ignores the selfish nature of the Gods in ancient stories.

“You establish a quid pro quo relationship… It is simply an acknowledgment of the gods, in the hope that the gods will help you” says the co-founder of Friends of Classics, Peter Jones.

Following Hellenic Polytheism involves temples to the gods, offerings to the gods, and the observance of countless rituals and holidays if one carefully follows the ancient religion. Many websites now have online celebrations and offline locations for celebrations of some of the many rituals, they also offer calendars, newsletters, and books to help the new worshiper get started. Modern technology has made the spread of Hellenismos possible.

The group Dodekatheon is located in Greece, and Hellenion has a North American presence.

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