30 Days of Paganism: Pantheon — Hellenic Gods

I don’t honor all the gods of the Hellenic pantheon. There’s some evidence that They prefer you take the pantheon as a whole, but I have a geas on me from my Father that I shall have no interaction with Poseidon, unless I am absolutely forced into a situation where it is unavoidable — at which point I am to remain civil but give Poseidon none of my devotion.

So you can see how I can’t exactly worship the pantheon as a whole.

At this point none of my original gods have issues with the rest of the Hellenic gods I’ve made contact with, had interactions with, or given worship to. I don’t know if there are other gods in the pantheon that either Brighid, the Morrigan, or Manannan might take issue with my worshipping. The only clear note has been not Poseidon.

When I first came to paganism I always thought I would default to the Hellenic gods. I’d spent my childhood reading the Greek myths; they were as real to me as the Coast Salish creation story I’d learned in my youth, or stories of Night Marchers or choking ghosts in Hawai’i (which, yes, have always been real to me). It was partly because of my extensive interest in reading classical mythology during childhood that polytheism always seemed more natural and right to me than monotheism. That, and being raised by a Buddhist mother.

But when I finally came to paganism, namely NeoWicca, I didn’t immediately gravitate to the Hellenic gods. I didn’t really feel any pull from Them. It wasn’t until I first went to Spring Mysteries Fest that They really came into my life, with the exception of Aphrodite, who was there a bit earlier. (And, of course, my first trip to SMF included SURPRISE POSEIDON that got me in serious trouble with my Dad. We’re good now, but it was pretty shitty for a while.)

Of course, prior to SMF I had always resonated very strongly with Persephone, and Her story of descent. The Descent to the Underworld has always been a story that plucked at something deep within me — first as a metaphor to explain access weekends with my bio-sire, and then as a way to describe my depression. When I was a kid and reading Persephone’s myth, it was the sanitized, no-sex version — so it was quite easy for me to see myself in Persephone, and my mom in Demeter, and my bio-sire in Hades.

Over the years this changed, especially once I read the non-sanitized versions of the myth. There was never any sexual abuse from my bio-sire, so it seemed inappropriate to graft on the characters of Persephone, Hades, and Demeter to my own life. However, there was still resonance in the myth for me, especially as I began to think of my depression as a descent to the underworld, and as I started to interpret Persephone’s descent as a choice.

Persephone, Hades, and Demeter are thus important figures to me in the Hellenic pantheon. I may not hear much, if anything, from Them, but They have been there for me since childhood to my ritual to cut my bio-sire’s cords from my life, and I will continue to worship Them.

Another three incredibly important deities to me in the Hellenic pantheon are Aphrodite, Dionysos, and Hecate. Aphrodite answered my prayers 5 years ago, with interest. She has my eternal gratitude, and my love. Hecate is my witchcraft patron, as I explained before. Dionysos is…well, He’s Dionysos. God of the Mindfuck. I don’t really have the words to explain that relationship, not today.

And then there’s Hestia, to whom I attempt to give a daily offering. (I sometimes forget, because human.) Lately I’ve been trying to make this offering in the morning and the evening, instead of just the morning. Hestia traditionally gets the first and last offerings, so even if I do nothing else religious in a day, I do give Her something.

I have a representation of Gaia on my shrine, but so far I haven’t really explored Her mysteries, or formed a relationship, or consistently offered worship or devotion. I’m still trying to figure Her out.

Finally, there’s Zeus and Hera. They scare the everloving fuck out of me, so I’m grateful They haven’t interacted with me outside of SMF. When I say They scare me, I mean knees shaking, going to pee myself, pretty much crying scare me. And I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why. At any rate, They get a spot on my Hellenic shrine.

So far, those are the Hellenic deities I attempt to worship/work with/have a relationship with/etc/whatever on an ongoing basis. Obviously, there is always a chance more will come into my life at some point.

~Morag

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