I was recently asked why I'd named my blog 'Baring the Aegis'. The Aegis is one of my favorite symbols from Hellenic Myth. The stories in which it features are smeared with the blood of bad decisions and broken dreams. It is the ultimate warning to stay your hand. Yet, it also pushes the boundaries of what is human and divine. Mythical heroes who bore it were some of the best and brightest; Perseus, for one.

The Aegis is generally said to be a shield, cape or buckler bore into battle by the likes of Zeus, Athena and Apollon. It was allegedly forged by Hēphaistos and sports Médousa's head. It has the power to scare enemies away or even turn them to stone and it's rumored to scare even the Gods. According to the Ilias:

'Athena went among them holding her priceless aegis that knows neither age nor death. From it there waved a hundred tassels of pure gold, all deftly woven, and each one of them worth a hundred oxen. With this she darted furiously everywhere among the hosts of the Achaeans, urging them forward, and putting courage into the heart of each, so that he might fight and do battle without ceasing. Thus war became sweeter in their eyes even than returning home in their ships.'

To me, the Aegis, as a shield and weapon of Athena, has always stood for just action. A cry for justice. To me, it's the embodiment of the Delphic Maxim of Be Overcome by Justice (Ηττω υπο δικαιου). It brings with it the rush of adrenaline that comes with being overcome by something one truly believes in. It's the embodiment of divine justice.

 It's hard to be overcome by anything these days. We have commitments to attend to, social obligations and facades to uphold. And justice... what is justice? Justice is law, and one should obey that law. But justice is more than law. It's forming law. It's an active struggle to be more, do more. It's a call to stand for something, anything, that you feel is unjust. Same-sex marriage, animal rights, pollution, whale hunt, abuse.

Blogging, per definition, is an act of baring the soul. As I started to lean more and more to Hellenistic Reconstruction, Baring the Aegis seemed like a perfect title for this blog. I chose 'aegis' as I longed to take a stand--for myself and in the community--for Hellenismos as a religion and I see true strength in pulling away the walls (or in this case, the shield) around the soul and speaking openly about one's aspirations, fears, struggles and joys. Sharing these experiences is what makes up a blog and so I chose 'Baring the Aegis'.