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Frequently Asked Questions
On The Hellenic Olympian Religion of The Dodecatheon

Apollon

| The Basic Principles of The Hellenic Religion |

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The Hellenic Religion

What Gods Do You Worship?

We worship the Twelve Olympian Gods, in their Hellenic form, as well as other divinities (e.g. Gaia, Persephone, Pan, the Nymphs). One can also worship the lesser Gods, Heroes, Daimons as Asclepios (which practice is probably more appropriate), Hecate, Dionysos, the Muses etc.
Emphasizing the worship of Goddesses over the Gods (or vice versa) is not appropriate, because genders are absolutely equal, precisely as the two cosmogonic substances. Further, in the tolerant spirit of ancient Paganism, one can always include in worship the Deities of other pantheons (Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Celtic, etc.).
The twelve Gods and all higher Gods are the same persons with different names in all traditional religions: Dionysos=Osiris=Shiva, Haephestus=Vulcan=Thor, etc. The lesser Gods, Heroes, Daimons etc. are divinities particular to each country, and even to each locality, and have as their duty to watch and care about their City (Heroe Poliouchos), or an element of Nature (great trees, rivers etc) and also planets. This clarifies the meaning of Nature being sacred and the meaning of worshipping Nature above all, as a whole.

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The Hellenic Religion

What is the Basis of Your Religious Beliefs?

Our beliefs are categorized into three main chapters: Cosmogony, Psychogony and Theogony.

Cosmogony: The physical frame of the World (Cosmos) is self existent, self propelled and self retained. The world is perpetual and consists of an infinite number of universes. Each universe has a starting point in time, but no end. Each universe consists of the two cosmogonic substances and is suject to expans ion and contraction, periodically. The closest modern scientific equivalent to Orphean Cosmogony is the model proposed by Karel Velan in his work źThe Multi-universe Cosmos╗, Plenum Press eds., New York NY, 1992.

Psychogony: The Psyche is a basic particle of matter, specially treated by physical means to become the psychic atom. These atoms are then eternal and exhibit gradual progress, by receiving and saving experiences; they develop conscience and then higher conscience. This painstaking process is made possible by successive metempsychoses, beginning in crystals (solid state of matter) and progressing through plants, animals, man etc.

Theogony: When the psychic atom has developed the higher conscience, it is able to make its constituency immortal; it then abandons the course body. Thus the Psyche enters the realm of the Higher Worlds and progresses there infinitely as a Hero, a Daimon, a God, an Olympian God, an Olympian God of the Galaxy etc., etc..

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The Hellenic Religion

Do You Have Sacred Texts?

All the philosophical Hellenic writings are within the Hellenic Line, as in Homeric poetry, but the sacred text par excelence is the źSacred Word in 24 rapsodies╗ of Orpheus, a text compiled immediately after the Great Deluge, based on recolections of the ancient sacred science of the Golden Age of hummanity.
This great masterpiece has been destroyed by the Christians; now we have only fragments,
edited by Otto Kern, as źOrphicorum Fragmenta╗, Weidmann, Zuerich.

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The Hellenic Religion

What are your Liturgical (Ceremonial) Texts?

The mainstay of our liturgical texts are the Orphean Hymns. The origin of these texts is again the Golden Age and are in fact God-sent. For English speaking people we heartily recommend the excellent translation źThe Hymns of Orpheus╗ by Thomas Taylor. Reprints available from the Philosophical Research Society, 3910 Los Feliz Boulevard, Los Angeles CA 90027, USA.
A usual small ceremony consists of recitations of Hymns as follows: Hestia, the God of the month, the 12 Olympians, Hestia.
In the full Moon ceremony we add the Hymns to Helios, Selene and of the Stars. You can add any other Hymn you like (of Nature, of the Divine Law, of Nemessis etc) according to the occasion.

Here are the Gods with their respective months:

21 Sept. till 20 Oct: Hestia
21 Oct. till 20 Nov: Ares
21 Nov. till 20 Dec: Artemis
21 Dec. till 20 Jan: Haephestos
21 Jan. till 20 Feb: Hera
21 Feb. till 20 Mar: Poseidon
21 Mar. till 20 Apr: Athena
21 Apr. till 20 May: Aphrodite
21 May. till 20 Jun: Apollo
21 Jun. till 20 Jul: Hermes
21 Jul. till 20 Aug: Zeus
21 Aug. till 20 Sep: Demetra

 

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The Hellenic Religion

What are the Major Festivals that you celebrate?

The most important holidays of all the traditional religions are the four astronomical dates of the year, that is the two equinoxes and the two solstices. We celebrate them with great pomp because this helps us to conform to the sacred Rythm of the Cosmos. The summer solstice is dedicated to Gaia, while the winter solstice to Uranus and Helios.
We also celebrate the full Moon each month. This is a real holiday because conditions are most favorable for the Psyche to acquire the Higher Truths.
Our religion is for the moment underground, in this country. The celebrations are not solemn and are performed in private; very seldom in public, and very cautiously; we run the risk of being accused as satanists, which will not be tolerated by our social environment. Nevertheless, we do celebrate the following:
  1. The full moon, every month. At the same occasion we worship the God of the month, as follows:
    Hera (7th) Gamelion, Moon of January
    Poseidon (8th) Anthestirion, Moon of February
    Athena (Minerva) (9th) Elaphivolion, Moon of March
    Aphrodite (Venus) (10th) Mounichion, Moon of April
    Apollon (11th) Thargilion, Moon of May
    Hermes (12th) Skirophorion, Moon of June
    Zeus (Jupiter) (1st) Hecatomvaion, ╠´´n of July
    Dimitra (Demeter) (2nd) Metageitnion, Moon of August
    Hestia (Vesta) (3rd) Voidromion, Moon of September
    Aris (Mars) (4th) Pyanepsion, Moon of October
    Artemis (Diana) (5th) Maimaktirion, Moon of November
    Hephestus (Vulcan) (6th) Poseideon, Moon of December
  2. The 1st full moon after the Spring Equinox: Anthesteria, the lesser Mysteries, in honour of Dionysus and the souls of the deceaced.
  3. The 1st full moon after the Summer Solstice: Olympia (Olympic Games every 4 years), in honour of Zeus and Hera.
  4. The 1st full moon after the Fall Equinox: Elefsinian (greater) Mysteries, in honour of Dimitra and Persefoni.
  5. The 1st full moon after the Winter Solstice: Pythia at Delphi, in honour of Dionysus and Apollon.

There is of course a huge number (about 400) of other known ancient festivals, that nobody celebrates (as such) for the time being. It should be noted that the totality of Greek Orthodox Christian festivals stem from ancient pagan festivals, that the Hellenic people never gave up, so the Orthodox-Christian church thought appropriate to embody, for the purpose of making the people forget the real meaning and origin of the festivals.

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The Hellenic Religion

Do You Have an Ordained Priesthood?

In ancient Graeco-Roman Paganism, Priests and Priestesses generally had the responsibility for worship at a particular temple or shrine; in many cases these were civil offices or hereditary positions.
On the other hand, ancient Pagans never felt the necessity of clergy interceding with the Gods on their behalf. Anyone who knew the proper rites could lead a sacrifice and prayer to the Gods, and the Gods often appeared to mortals and intervened in their lives. Nowadays many Pagans take a similar view, and we work to come into direct communion with the Gods, without the need for clergy.

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The Hellenic Religion

Isn't Hellenic Religion One of the Causes of the Patriarchy?

No, it is not. Our Mythology and Religion is gender balanced. It should be noted that there are six male and six female deities in the Dodecatheon, and also that in all the Great Sacred Mysteries one always finds the Hierophantic Couple, man and woman. In public and solemn ceremonies usually the priestess of Demetra presides, for example in the Olympics. According to our religion, females are spiritually oriented better than males, and their connection to the Higher Worlds is stronger; in general, they advance more rapidly in the spiritual trail. The Hellenic Religion is a product of the Golden Age of hummanity, where the female principle was honored excessively (metriarchy). Superficial interpretations might lead one to think otherwise,because in later antiquity the Hellenic society and, to a lesser extent, Roman society had turned patriarchal. Nevertheless, mythology and religion (that concern us) display a perfectly balanced understanding of gender. We Pagans of the Helliniki Hetaireia Archaiophilon continue the time honored tradition of our ancestors.

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The Hellenic Religion

How Old is Hellenic Paganism?

There is considerable evidence that many Graeco-Roman religious practices continued into modern times under a thin cover of Christianity. Although we can point to a number of Hellenic pagans (e.g. emperor Julian the Great, Thomas Taylor "the English Pagan," Walter F. Otto the classicist) throughout history, our tradition has mostly been private for about a thousand years. We, Greek pagans claim to be following a continuous tradition dating back to ancient paganism that lived underground in mainland Greece and Asia Minor, throughout the years of Byzantine and Ottoman oppression. One of the rare instances that we went public was in the case of Plethon, the Noeoplatonic philosopher, at ca. 1440. We also possess a lot of theological and philosophical writings from the last century.

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The Hellenic Religion

Are You Satanists?

No Pagan is a Satanist since Satan is a figure from Judeo-Christian, not Hellenic mythology. It must be made clear, that no traditional religion includes the Evil, because Nature, the supreme being, can only be understood as Goodness. Satan, evil and fear of God are the paraphernalia of the machine of opression used by the cosmopolitan religions. To us, the concept of Satan-Evil is totally alien; it can only be meant in the context of Judeo-christian (monotheistic) dualistic concept of one spiritual God, external to the Cosmos, and an evil, inferior matter and flesh. We definitely believe that Nature and the infinite divine personalities in the Higher Worlds are Goodness. Evil is created only by the malefic actions of humans.

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The Hellenic Religion

What Organizations Are There?

Unfortunately, there are presently no large organizations devoted to Hellenic paganism. There are several small organizations in the US, but only one in Greece, the Helliniki Hetaireia Archaiophilon. One purpose of this organization is to facilitate getting together of the believers of the Dodecatheon in Greece, to bring forward the Hellenic Ideas and to eventually revive the traditional ethnic religion of our Homeland. In the meantime we express our spirituality the best way we can.

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The Hellenic Religion

What is The Helliniki Hetaireia Archaiophilon?

The źHelliniki Hetaireia Archaiophilon╗ (Societas Hellenica Antiquariorum), is a non-profit private organization, based in Athens-Greece, aiming to revive the traditional Hellenic religion of the Dodecatheon (12 Olympian Gods and the Pantheon of Demons and Heroes). The organization offers activities to its members every evening, dealing with the traditional Hellenic religion, Hellenic philisophy (Pythegorean, pre-Socratic, Platonic, Stoic, neo-Platonic etc), our Holly Mythology, as well as scientific lectures, symposia, public discourses and social activities. We favor serious philosophical thinking, scientific investigation of mythology, archaeology and religion. We do not favor drugs or other extravagant beliefs and practices. We do favor the observance of the the utmost Hellenic ideal: The Law.

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The Hellenic Religion

Where Can I Find More Information?

You can brouse through our web site , you can send us e-mail or regular mail with your specific interests and questions, or if you live in the Athens area, you could visit us. For an appointment, please, call 01-3626635, weekdays 6:00 to 10:00 pm.
Our organization now publishes a quarterly magazine that bears the title: "HELLENIC PANTHEON". It is a quarterly, luxurius edition containing articles about ancient Hellas, Prehistory, Religion, Mythology, as well as timely social, cultural, and philosophical articles. Annual subscription costs 6000 Drachmas in Hellas (8000 Drachmas in Cyprus) and $50 in all other countries.
Our regular mail address is: SOCIETAS HELLENICA ANTIQUARIORUM, P. O. Box 33050, Athens 100 36, Hellas.
Telephone and Fax #: 01-3626 635

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The Hellenic Religion

Can I become a Member of the Hetaireia?

Applications for membership to our organization are welcome. Applicants should have a clear idea of what they are seeking with membership. They are expected to have an interest in the ancient Hellenic World, Mythology, Pre-history, the traditional Religion, and the Hellenic Ideas. It is not mandatory to be a believer of the Dodecatheon, only to have respect for it.

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