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.

"I've noticed on the Elaion ritual outlines that Okeanos is invoked at the beginning of almost all rituals as part of the creation of Khernips. Why is this? Where does this practice come from? Is there archaeological or literary backing for the practice?"

No, not archaeological evidence as such. It is something that I have done since the very beginning and that Robert has adopted first into his personal practice and which then also found its way into the PAT rituals. Okeanos is the source of all of the earth's fresh-water, from the rivers and springs which were fed by subterranean aquifers, to the clouds, which dipped below the horizon to collect moisture from its stream. His waters connect literally everything in the world. When you read the hymn, this becomes doubly clear:

"Okeanos whose nature ever flows, from whom at first both Gods and men arose; sire incorruptible, whose waves surround, and earth’s all-terminating circle bound: hence every river, hence the spreading sea, and earth’s pure bubbling fountains spring from thee. Hear, mighty sire, for boundless bliss is thine, greatest cathartic of the powers divine: earth’s friendly limit, fountain of the pole, whose waves wide spreading and circumfluent roll. Approach benevolent, with placid mind, and be forever to thy mystics kind."

When you read it, two other things might jump out at you: that Okeanos is the source of both men AND Gods and that His waters are cathartic, purifying. In order for the Gods to be of Him as well, His waters need to have been completely pure, the purest source.

We have adopted the practice of including a hymn to Okeanos over the water we use to make khernips because of those two reasons: by invoking Him, we remind ourselves of our connection to everything around us, including the Gods and we ensure that our khernips are, indeed, His water and thus pure and suitable to bring us back to a place where we can interact with the Theoi without suffering miasma or tainting Them.

We don't know if the ancients ever did this, but it is a way to at least keep their believes alive, which is our greatest good at Elaion. I hope this answers your question.


"Even after practicing Hellenism for a long while, I still can't figure out what is the best way to handle daily practice. Where do I start?"

Household worship can include any Theoi that you wish to establish kharis with. Ancient fishermen would undoubtedly have included aquatic Gods, merchants Gods connected to trade and travel. Perhaps you have UPG experiences with any God that makes you want to include them, perhaps you want to honour the Gods mythically connected to night and day as we perform these rites at the cusp of when Their time starts. There is no manual for it, just go with your heart.


"Hello, may I ask, do you honour Eris? Why is her worship such a taboo subject in Hellenismos? She is after all a Goddess. Homer said she (as Enyo) was the daughter of Zeus and Hera as well as the sister and lover of Ares. Just want to know your opinion on this particular Goddess :)"

Within Traditional Hellenismos we believe that the Gods you invite into your home will impact your life. Period.  'Stable' Gods bring a stable life, 'chaotic' Gods bring a chaotic life, especially in the case of devotional practices to a singular deity. I'm putting it very black-and-white here but you get the point.

Within this view, it makes a lot of sense not to willingly invite Eris into your home because She will bring chaos into it. Eris is the personification of (marital) strife, discord, contention and rivalry. She inspires that in us. In the case of Eris, She is appeased regularly especially to prevent Her upsetting your life and to remove Her continued influence from it. Hesiod even warns about Her:

"Beware of all the fifth days [of the month]; for they are harsh and angry; it was on the fifth, they say, that the Erinyes assisted at the bearing of Horkos (Oath), whom Eris (Strife) bore, to be a plague on those who take false oath." [Works and Days, 804]

Delphic Maxim 80 even tells us to 'despise strife'.

Strife is the 'very angry or violent disagreement between two or more people or groups', or alternatively: 'exertion or contention for superiority'. There is no honour in strife--and honour was a great good to the ancient Hellenes. Stife leads to drunken brawls and sloppy slashes that will get your head cut off in battle. Strife contains foolish pride and bluster. Strife is to be avoided and as such, in Traditional Hellenismos, Eris is only to be appeased, not invited.


"I've recently decided to pursue my worship of Hellenic deities in a more traditional sort of way. As traditional as I can get, much like you, in these modern times. My worship is mainly to those of the Kthonic deities and I just don't know where to start. Might I ask for some help?"

I'm going to try to give you tools to start a more reconstructive practice, but I must tell you upfront that what you are attempting to do is impossible, historically speaking. Worship of the Underworld Khthonic deities was reserved for special occasions--mostly vengeance, death, and purification surrounding both. If the Underworld Khthonic Gods were worshipped in a state festival, They were generally worshipped in their Ouranic epithets.

The ancient Hellenes practiced Khthonic rituals of appeasement during certain festival days and when in dire need, but Khthonic deities were not worshipped in the same manner as Ouranic deities were. they would not have been included in household worship, for example, or given regular praise and sacrifice to. Khthonic deities were, at Their very core, to be feared and to be held at bay. they were sent away from the oikos, the house, if anything. So what you are asking me to tell you is a practice that did not exist.
If you do wish to pursue your worship and you want to include traditional elements, I can tell you how the Khthonic Gods were appeased and perhaps you can make a daily practice out of that. It wouldn't be Traditional, but it would at least have the traditional elements of ancient Hellenic worship.
The ancient Hellenes shaped a 'negative' (part of a) ritual for Khthonic rites by a reversal of normal practices. As normal practices dictated the practitioner stand before an altar with their hands raised, it's quite logical that they performed ritual to the Khthonic deities with their hands down the soil or with their left hand only raised. At the start of the rites, they might have beat down on the ground to draw the attention of the deities residing below. Where women wore their hair up or covered for standard ritual, they wore their hair down in Khthonic ritual.
For Khthonic Theoi, an offering pit--'bothros' (βόθρος) in Greek texts--was used. Bothroi were usually dug when the occasion called for it and closed up afterwards. Khthonic Theoi received special nighttime offerings of black animals, unmixed wine and special libations of milk and honey. Animal sacrifice was always done in a holókaustos--a sacrifice where the entire animal was burned and none of the meat was saved for human consumptions. It's also possible to simply bury the offering without building a fire as fire was a vessel for Ouranic sacrifice (rising up to the Theoi).