Saturday, March 13, 2010
Who Defines Orthopraxy?
But what is baseline Hellenic Polytheism and who defines it? The surface answer is that Hellenic Polytheism is best defined as a Recontructionist religion based on information that we have available about the Ancient Greeks. The problem with this definition is that this body of information presupposes that the "Greeks" had some kind of unified practice. In truth the Ancient Greeks were a loose conglomeration of city-states, each with its own rituals, temples, mystery teachings, and, yes, orthopraxy.
So what constitutes modern Hellenic orthopraxy? Is it worship of the Dodekatheon, and if so, which set of twelve takes the honors? Is it the maintenance of a hearth, a Ktesios jar, a bomos, a shrine, a temple? Is it adherence to the Delphic Maxims? Is it adherence to the virtues, and if so, just which ones? (I do like the modern version of the Metron outlined here.) Is it devotion based on the HMEPA? Is it daily offerings? To whom? What kinds of offerings? Who decides? YSEE? Current authors? Wikipedia? If the Gods are still talking to us just how much wiggle room for UPG is there?
Frankly, I have struggled too long and too honestly to develop my personal path for anyone to dissuade me from it by claiming I'm not doing it right. But does that give me the right to claim that I am a Hellenic Polytheist? Can I successfully make the argument that I can be a British Traditional Witch, a Neo-Shaman, a Thelemite, a member of the local UU church, and a Hellenic Polytheist? Why not?