I get a lot of questions from readers, and most of the time, the answers are fairly short. When I feel the question or the reply would be valuable to others as well, I make a post with a collection of them and post them in one go. Today is one of those posts.

"Hi, I'm just discovering Hellenic Polytheism and I can't seem to find a good source that explains the intricacies of the religion, do you have any sites or blog posts to help?"

I do! I have a series on my blog called ’The beginners guide to Hellenismos’ in which I try to explain the fundamentals of Hellenismos. Currently available in the series:

What is Hellenismos? Who do we worship? Why do we worship the way we do? What is our history?
Ouranic versus Khthonic
The distinction between Olympic, Earth and Underworld Gods.
Generations of Gods
A more in-depth look into the pantheon.
The daímones
On the lesser spirits of Hellenismos.
Ritual and sacrifice in Hellenismos
On how and why we worship.
Traditional versus Reformed Hellenismos
There are different terms for different levels of reconstructionism a practitioner might apply. This is an overview of those terms.

More posts will be added so keep an eye on that link above or follow my blog.


"Silly question but is it Hades or Haides? I've always only seen Hades until tumblr."

Well, technically, it’s Ἁιδης. The literal translation from the Greek is ‘Haidês’ and Latinized it’s ‘Hades’. Basically all are correct and refer to the same God. It’s a matter of which translation you wish to uphold. Many Hellenists choose the translation from the Greek (simplified to 'Haides’). I use 'Hades’ on my blog because it’s more familiar to people.


"I heard someone say that Paganism was more 'valid' than Christianity because 'we were here first'. What's your opinion on that?"

I'm not a big fan of 'who was here first' sort of statements, to be honest. First off, define 'pagan', define 'first'. Are we talking Neanderthals first who--presumably--practiced some form of animism? Are we talking 7500 BC when the Catalhoyuk started building shrines to their spirits or Gods in what is now Asia? Are we talking the Proto-Semetic people who laid the groundwork for the Abrahamic faiths around 3750 BC?

Stonehenge was completed around 1600 BC but had been started in 3100 BC. The oldest pyramid currently known stems from somewhere between 2635 and 2610 BC. Minoan civilization developed around 2200 BC. The Judeochristian/Islamic patriarchal figure Abraham is assumed to have lived somewhere between 2000-1850 BC. Judaism dates back probably about as far as 1500 BC. The Greek Dark Age started in 1200 BC. We all know when Jesus was said to be born.

You know, I understand the sentiment: everything pre-Christian is assumed to be pagan was, thus, there 'first'. But Christianity didn't come to rise in a vaccuum. It was build on Judistic core tennets that predate at least the Greeks. In fact, much predates the Greeks. All of these peoples and all of these religions were intwined and many were related. Christianity took hold because it was a much nicer religion to be a part of than what they previously believed in. Sure, many were forced to follow it, but Christianity is easy and it gives solace much more than the religions that predated it: redemption, heaven, all these nice things.

I see value and validity in every single religion, ancient or otherwise. Wicca is only about forty years old now and it's a beautiful thing. Every God, in my opinion, deserves worship and respect. The question of 'who was here first' is neither logical nor useful in my opinion. Religion is. What form it takes is secondary to that. At which time it came to be is irrelevant.


"What kind of bowl do you recommend getting to hold the flame for burning your offerings indoors? I was using a small ceramic baking dish, but it cracked and I don't think it's safe to use anymore. I have no clue where to get a dish or what materials to look out for when choosing something that can handle the heat of a fire."

My advice is to make sure to use a cast-iron or at least solid container to burn in. A sacrifice gets hot and if your bowl cracks–like yours did–you will burn the house down. Make sure to test it out a couple of times (outdoors, on stone) and usually if it says ‘oven proof’, you’re good.


"I recently moved to a dormroom and now I have issues with xenia, hospitality. When am I the host? And when am I a guest? I especially have trouble with deciding for communal areas. Can you help?"

I lived in a house with fourteen others for a fair number of years. We had our own room but the kitchen and bathrooms were communal. My range of hosting in that time was my room: in it I was the host, outside of it was communal (ie the street or a café) and in the room of a housemate, I was the guest. Consider your own threshold the entrance to your home, not the threshold of the front door. A good rule of thumb is the following question: 'am I in complete control of this space?' If the answer is yes, you are the host. If the answer is no, the area is either neutral (so hosting responsibility is shared) or you are the guest. I hope this helps and I wish you a wonderful time in your dorm!