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. Also: this is question collections post number sixty. Sixty! With an average of four answers per posts, that is at least 240 questions answered--say 250 because I like whole numbers. 250 answers. Quite the achievement. Here is to at least 250 more!


"Do you think it would be appropriate to replace Greek words in prayer with the closest equivalent English words? I have a lot of trouble with Greek pronunciation, and I worry that this focus on language ends up distracting me from prayer, and by extension from the Theoi."

A good while back, I wrote a post about the importance of language in ritual a while back. Mostly that was me waxing poetically about an issue I had not yet resolved. I still haven't. I don't speak Greek, let alone ancient Greek. I do promounce the names of the Theoi in Greek as much as possible--which ususally is not quite a huge difference from the English.

Upon reading your question I contemplated how problematic this fact is to me. Upon the aforementioned contemplation, I can say that I don't rightly mind the fact that my worship is practiced in a mixture of Dutch, English and the odd word of Greek. Language is a human thing anyway; I can't imagine the Theoi are hindered in understanding my hymns and prayers because of the language I use.

Practicing in ancient Greek is probably more Traditional--and if I spoke it, I would use it. Perhaps I will learn enough ancient Greek one day to practice in it--who knows--but even in that case, the meaning of the words is more important to me than the words themselves.

I can understand how distraction by language might worry you. You know, at the end of the day, we do the best we can. If (currently) the best you can do is using the English pronounciation of the names of the Theoi, then do that. Just honour Them. Give Them Their proper due. Nothing matters above that.

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"I have lately been having trouble getting myself to do rituals, and this causes me to feel very guilty - I feel sometimes that Hellenismos isn't for me. But - I want it and feel connected to it. What should I do? Thanks."

Some things I can't answer for an individual. Wether Hellenismos is the right religion for them or not is one of them, sadly. There are so many variables at play here--why are you having trouble getting yourself to do rituals, for example? Is it a matter of time? Effort? Money? Embarresment? Devotion? Are there ways to go about it that would alleviate these reasons? Doing it once a day? Doing only festival rituals?

If you have contacted me to alleviate your guilt and get a pass on rituals, well, I am not your priestess. This is not Christianity; there is no pardon for behavior that runs counter to the religion's practice. In Hellenismos, you are responsible for your own behavior and by acting, you accept the subsequent reaction. I can't tell you in the Theoi mind that you do not actively practice or do so only rarely or reluctantly. I would never presume to interpret the minds of the Theoi that way. I also cannot tell you if your issues with active practice mean Hellenismos is for you or not.

My advice to you would be to look inside yourself and try to pinpoint why, exactly, you are feeling this reluctance. I fear that that is the only way you might find an answer to the other question. Best of luck to you!

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"I am looking for the "ancient writers" who used the terms Khryseoi and Agryreoi and gave the description below.

'According to some ancient writers, the spirits of the Silver Age also became daímones: the daímones agryreoi. They were described as earth-dwelling fertility spirits who proferred mankind with rich harvests. They were inferior to the Daimones Khryseoi. The former resided within the earth, while the latter occupied the air.'"

That quote is from this post of the Beginner's Guide to Hellenismos. The ancient writer is Hesiod, in his Works and Days:

"First of all the deathless gods who dwell on Olympos made a Golden (khryseoi, Ἁγνοι) Race of mortal men who lived in the time of Kronos when he was reigning in heaven. " [109 ff (trans. Evelyn-White)]

"They [the gods] who dwell on Olympos made a second generation [of men after the Golden Race] which was of Silver (Argyreoi, Αργυρεοι) and less noble by far. It was like the golden race neither in body nor in spirit." [121 ff (trans. Evelyn-White)]

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"When emptying the kathiskos each month, what do you do with the contents? I know better than to throw them away because they are offerings and are marked as sacred, but do you bury it in a flowerbed or...?"

I used to add the contents of my kathiskos to our compost pile, now I have moved and we have not yet installed a compost heap, they get buried (deep) in the yard to basically fulfil the same purpose. It seems only right to do something with it that will provide life.