Two days ago, I made--what in my world is--a big step: I joined Elaion. It's an Hellenistic group that introduce themselves as follows:

"Elaion is a religious organization committed to re-establishing the ancient Hellenic religion (known as Dodekatheism, Hellenic Reconstructionism, Hellenismos) to its rightful place in society.

Our motto enshrines the values of "piety, tradition and virtue/excellence" as key principles of the organization. We seek to be pious and honorable in our thoughts and actions and virtuous in our relationships with mortals and immortals as we strive for excellence in keeping with traditional Hellenic polytheistic practices."

Unlike Hellenion, which I investigated previously, and joined as a spur-of-the-moment-thing, I took nearly three months before I felt I was in a headspace to apply to Elaion. From what I gather, Elaion is smaller in full- and affiliate members, but has much more of a Traditional focus; a focus I have as well. While not always a guarantee, you can be pretty sure that Traditionalists have a stricter and more academically-inspired path than Reformed Hellenists. From what I have been able to tell, alternate paths are accepted, but the main focus is Traditional Hellenismos--or Dodekatheism, which they prefer--and that makes me very, very happy.

So far, I've exchanged a few e-mail with the group on the public mailing list, and they have been very welcoming. I even ran into a Hellenistic acquaintance. So far, I'm very happy with my decision. It was--is--time for me to form a more constant connection with the Hellenistic community. I love my own blog, my brilliant readers, and the community I do have, but standardized Hellenismos is still something I'm striving for, and Elaion might be a way for me to find that structure.

So, I'm going to see where this goes. When I've gotten used to the group, and I feel I want to continue with Elaion, I'll contact the Membership Council and request an application to become an affiliate member. If that goes well, I might even go for my second application and petition to become a full member, hopefully taking on some responsibilities within the organization itself.

I probably do not have to stress what a big deal this is for me. I'm excited about the future, and greatly looking forward to getting to know the Elaion members better. I'll keep you guys informed about how I'm doing. Nothing will change here, I'll keep on posting just like I've done since the start of this blog, but I did want to let you know that I have Elaion on my mind at least for the coming weeks.

PS: this post is also Baring the Aegis's 250th published post, so another milestone today!