I am not sure if you expected any differently, but of course I am doing the Pagan Blog Project again this year, which means I am starting all over again, with the A's. Welcome to cycle three! That said, I am totally hijacking today's PBP in favour of answering a question I was asked recently: why did you chose an ancient religion? Why not just go with a modern one?

The short answer is obviously: I did not chose my religion; the Gods chose me for it. I believe that with my entire being. I talked about being wired for a certain religion before, where a certain person finds themselves naturally suited for live up to the standards placed upon you by the religion. I have that with Hellenismos; I fit its ethical standard, its belief system, its way of looking at the world. I understand instinctively the how's and why's of the religion and walking a Recon path is therefor pretty easy most days; I am just me and it is enough. I think this 'wiring', as I have taken to call it, was done by the Gods, on purpose.

Hellenismos believes in free will of humanity; not even the Gods can end the will of a human being, but they can certainly influence the lives we live and instil in us through our environment a need to serve, a need to find Them, a need to honour Them. They might have been doing that since the reign of the ancient Hellenes, but we have only restored the ancient practices a few decades ago, and before that, I doubt anyone really knew what to do with that wiring and just channelled it into Christianity, or in beautiful poetry like from those who were later remarked on as being 'pagan' because they related so well to the societies of years past.

I am polytheistic, and hard polytheistic at that. I believe that every God and every Goddess (unless specified in the lore) is alive and well, and that somehow they have found a beautiful balance to run the world. Yes, perhaps every similar God or Goddess is the same entity at its core, or maybe there is only one divine entity, perhaps posing as multiple Gods throughout the ages, I am fine with that. As long as the Gods have individual names and personalities, I will treat Them as such. To make a very irreverent example: I'm not going to assume that all construction workers are the same person just because they perform a singular job, and I am most certainly not thanking their supervisor for a job they did admirably well.

Unfortunately this attitude cancels out most modern religions; I'm not wired for the Big Three, and I tried Paganism in its many forms, but although Hellenismos is technically part of the umbrella, I am not drawn to any of the other religions and traditions under it (except for maybe the other Recon religions; Kemeticism still looks like such a beautiful religion as well). Hinduism is beautiful, but from what I can tell, it's not something I am naturally cut out for, plus I'd feel bad for overtaking something that is so tied into a racial culture. I get how that sounds, by the way, considering I practice Greek Reconstructionism, but because the Age of Hellas is so long in the past, I do not feel like I am appropriating anything. The Hellenic Gods are universal, abide based in Greece. Consider the copyright laws for Their worship expired.

With all this said, I chose Hellenismos because I believe in the Gods and I wished to honour Them in a way that was not only convenient for me, but recognisable to Them. That was the reason I eventually transitioned from an Eclectic Pagan ritual structure to Hellenismos; I was always honouring the Theoi, but eventually I begun to feel like I was doing Them a disservice by blowing past the ritual structure that we already know They enjoyed. that is not to say I do not think They enjoy a more modern style of worship either; it simply means that I can no longer give Them that.

Reconstructionism works for me; it was tried and perfected over hundreds of years, and at its core, it is very clear-cut. There are a few basic tenets and everything else is just living those tenets to the fullest and delving into ritual structures and holidays. I feel comfortable being in a religion that needs to be thought about and researched, because I am a thoughtful person and i adore research. I understand that not everyone is, and that not even everyone who joined Hellenismos is--that's alright. Partly for those people, I started Baring the Aegis, so the research I do does not go to waste by being applied to just my household. That would be a shame, I think, because knowledge should never be a barrier to practicing faith, so if you get some of your from me, then perhaps it will become more appealing to honor the Theoi in a Reconstructionistic manner. And yes, I want that; I want more Hellenists in the wold, because the ones I have met have been wonderful, almost without exception.

I think that is my last reason for choosing an ancient religion: the community is fantastic.Sure, we have our nationalistic a-holes, and our entitled whiners, but you can find those everywhere. In general, I have found the Hellenistic community to be welcoming, helpful, and above all kind and very in tune with those previously mentioned core tenets. These are people I relate to because they are at least partially jut like me; I get along with them naturally.

I need religion in my life; I am religious person and I desire the stability of a spiritual safety net and daily routine. I also feel the need to thank the Gods I believe in every day for guiding me through life. I will always be religions. Hellenismos fits my needs; it's an ancient religion by accident, not choice. If I was wired for Christianity, I'd be in church every Sunday. I'm not, thought, so I had to strike out and find what did fit me, and that is this, the worship of the ancient Hellenic Gods. Hellenismos makes me happy, it enriches my life and it makes me a better person. It helps me to make sense of life, accept the hard parts, and move on from them. It helps me to make sense of myself. In the end, I belong nowhere else but here, in Traditonal Hellenismos, along with all these other people who I thank the Gods for every day.