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 have lost the connection to the Hellenic Gods and I want to say goodbye to the Hellenic ones. Any ideas what I can do?"

As a long time reader I think you know that I greatly encourage anyone to follow their specific call to the Gods--whatever pantheon that might be.

Concerning your question: needless to say there is no ancient Hellenic formula for it. Believe in the Hellenic Gods was somewhat optional but you still took part in the festivals--if only because they were fun. I've been thinking about what I would do and I have found that I feel the same way about this as I do about (re-)establishinbg a connection with the Theoi: anything you do is for you, not for Them. They were fine with you and fine without you; it's us humans that need closure.

So do a final rite in which you thank Them for what They provided you in the time you gave Them sacrifice and worship. Explain your choice if you want. Get everything out of the rite -you- need to move on to what feels right. Let go of any guilt or obligation you might be feeling; it's not needed.


"I came across the following passage in Victor Davis Hanson's The Other Greeks, and immediately thought of you: "Both political and religious authority in most Greek city-states was colored by agrarianism.  Political leadership and cult figures were careful not to infringe the economic and social position of the small farmer. Public properties, for example, at least at Athens during the life of the polis never grew beyond more than five to ten percent of the total arable land available. Land for religious sanctuaries was always dubbed 'a slice' (temenos), never the whole; the gods'property, not that of individual farmers, was to be 'cut out' of the grid." I find that explication of the origin of the term temenos intriguing, and not one I'd encountered before."

From Liddell & Scott, essentially ’temenos’ is 'a piece of land cut off and assigned as an official domain especially to kings and chiefs. II. a piece of land marked off from common uses and dedicated to a god, precinct, a grove of Zeus, of sacred groves. III. temple. It stems from ‘temenizo’ 'to make a sacred precinct', 'consecrate'. ‘Temenios’ is an epithet of Hestia and it also means ‘of or belonging to the temenos.’

I agree that there was no big agribusiness in the sense of large farms in ancient Hellas. In fact, it is mostly that way today. It was the large number of small farms that fed everyone and farmers were essential. Thus agriculture and the agricultural year are a major part of our religion.

The quote: 'Athens during the life of the polis never grew beyond more than five to ten percent of the total arable land available' most likely applied to other cities as well. It couldn’t sustain itself if it were to grow beyond that certain point. Even so, Athens had to import grain on occasion.

In my opinion, a ‘slice’ is not the best translation but does mean a piece cut off, which a temenos was and is. More appropriately, it is a piece of land cut off and assigned as an official domain or marked off from common uses and dedicated to a God. It really isn’t an explanation of the origin of ‘temenos’ as the origin is to make a sacred precinct, consecrate. ‘Slice’ comes from the root ‘temno’ which means to cut or wound and that root is used for slices to make fillets or slices of meat or fish and originally to cut or wound.

I hope this helps!


"Hi! So I'm just getting started in this religion- literally like today- and I was wondering the best way to start my practice?"

Welcome to Hellenismos! Truthfully, there isn’t a single way to start your practice. Or, more accurately, the question is too broad. You begin by having faith in the Theoi. You begin by learning about Them. If you are asking me how to start the physical part of your practice--sacrifice and worship--then I’d like to send you to my post on ritual and sacrifice in Hellenismos. It’ll help you understand what we do and why we do it. For the practice of it, I’ll link you to my videos on how to prepare khernips and how to perform a simple libation. The rest can be inferred from the information in these three. If you have a specific question, feel free to contact me with it!


"Ive been looking into divination through the hellenic alphabet and im wondering if you got any further with your investigation into it?"

Any further since when? Currently it’s not an active pursuit for me, but what I know about it is written here<. Basically, the Limyran Oracle, or ‘Alphabet Oracle’, is marketed as an authentic ancient Hellenic alphabet oracle, which was taken from an inscription in Olympos, a city in ancient Lycia. I haven’t been able to find much on it save a few websites, but the University of Tennessee Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science website has a version of it up for inspection. Good luck with your search!


"Hi!, I was wondering if you know any information about curse tablets and if could share your ideas for their use in modern practice?"

The ancient Hellenes were a competitive people, and struggled with many of the issues we do today: the urge to perform well, the desire for justice to be served, and a need for love. Prayers for these things were made often, usually in their normal ritualized form at the house altar. If these requests were made against, or at the expense of another person, however, they were generally taken out of the realm of regular worship and kharis, and into the realm of the khthonic. The preferred form were tablets called 'katadesmoi', curse tablets.

Katadesmoi are relatively small tablets, inscribed with a desire asked of the Theoi to fulfil. The Katadesmoi that have survived were generally made out of very thin sheets of lead, which were then rolled, folded or pierced with nails. Wax, papyrus, stone, precious metals, and precious minerals would also have been used as a medium. Some katadesmoi were accompanied by a small doll representing the intended victim or even a lock of their hair, especially in the case of love spells. In general, the katadesmoi always included the name of the intended victim and the name(s) of the appropriated Gods--most often Hades, Kharon, Hekate, and Persephone. Exceptions have been found, of course.

Katadesmoi were usually deposited where they would be closest to the Underworld: in chasms, pools of water, wells, caves, temples to the deity in question, buried underground, or placed in graves. The latter was usually a special form, however, and the katadesmoi placed with the dead were usually requests to avenge the death of the deceased.

In general, katadesmoi were used out of desperation: regular channels had been exhausted, human courts would never convict the perpetrator of a crime, or the murderer could no be found. Pleading with the Gods--who knew more, saw more, ad had a much farther reach--was considered the only alternative to get justice. This was even the case in many love spells. Katadesmoi were not made willy-nilly: there needed to be a strong incentive to make one.

Personally, I see no need for katadesmoi, and have struggled against these urges in times of need. I see their appeal, but my modern frame of mind would not do them justice, I think, and therein lies lots of potential for trouble. I wouldn't encourage anyone to use katadesmoi, but would understand if they did in times of need. Still, I would rather place my trust in the Theoi, regardless of curses or bindings.