Yesterday, I received a personal message on youtube, tied to the video of my main shrine. The author wondered why I don't have a set-up as elaborate as some other prominent on-line Hellenists, and I realized I had, indeed, not explained that all too well. For one, I don't have an overabundance of cash lying about. Writing really doesn't pay the bills and I still have a few short months to go on my college education. Still, even if I had the money, I wouldn't go all out.

I don't think I mentioned before that my dad has Aspergers syndrome. He was diagnosed late in life, and it came as a shock to everyone in the family. Still, it fits. Looking back, we could all see the signs. My father is a great dad. He tucked me into bed for many, many years. He read me science fiction books long before I could understand them. Through his books, I learned to view the world as a marvelous place, a place of wonder and possibilities. This was his greatest gift to me.

My father has always liked structure. Before his diagnosis, we did not know why, afterwards, it became a way for us to relate to him, and for him to relate to my mom and I. We helped my dad relate to us cognitively: "if I do [this], I want you to do [that]." It was awkward at first, but it has become easier and easier. My dad loves in his own way, and for me, it has always been a beautiful thing--because my father and I figured out long ago how he could be a dad to me.

I'm not on the spectrum, but growing up, I was heavily influenced by my father. He was always the stable one. He was the one who was at home to take care of me until I was six or seven. Afterwards, it was still my dad who took me to bed. He might not have been a perfect father, but we had a lot of fun. Because of his need for structure, and his firm belief that everything should be in its place, I still order my DVD's by title, and organize my bookshelf by height. Because of his influence, I enjoy a nice, clean, living space. I enjoy the same for my shrines and other worship areas.

In all fairness, I think my father's influence has made me a better--a natural--Hellenist. I keep a clean home, I enjoy the structure of ritual and twice-daily prayers, I believe in finding the basis of any practice and sticking with it. My shrines are very minimalist because of this: they consist of the bare necessities for worship, plus the bare minimum of embellishments, added as gifts to the Theoi.

This is the way that works for me, because of my upbringing and personality. I greatly enjoy looking at the shrines of others, especially the elaborate ones with lots of statues. They're a true treasure trove, and I can see how worshipping at these shrines is a beautiful thing. It's not my 'thing', however, and now you might understand better why that is.