Hellenism or Hellenismos refers to the religions of ancient Greece and their modern counterparts, particularly (but not exclusively) the worship of the Olympic gods. The term was first used by the Roman Emperor Julian the Philosopher in the fourth century. In modern pagan circles, it is usually used to mean Hellenic Neopaganism, especially those who practice reconstruction, attempting to create a practice that mirrors that of various times and city-states of ancient Greece as closely as possible.

There are a number of Greek religious organizations that fall under the banner of Hellenism, including the Supreme Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes, Labrys, and the Dodekatheon. In the United States, major Hellenic groups include Hellenion and the Greek-Egyptian group Neos Alexandria.

Hellenic practice often includes prayer and sacrifices made to the gods. While live sacrifice is no longer commonly practiced, meat or bones may still be offered in a manner reminiscent of that used in ancient Greece, along with other food offerings such as grains and fruits. Votive offerings such as jewelry may be given as well, and votive candles may be lit for the gods.

The worship of gods popular in ancient Greece is the core of Hellenism as a religion. The Olympic and Cthonic deities, as well as nature spirits and heroes, may be worshiped. A number of records of various ethics, philosophies and values of ancient Greece, such as the Delphic Maxims, give practitioners a wide variety of ethical systems to explore.

Cauldron articles on Hellenic topics

One of the first books in English about modern Hellenic practice was Old Stones, New Temples: Ancient Greek Paganism Reborn by Drew Campbell. Some excerpts and corrections from Old Stones, New Temples are available here:

  • pagan/hellenismos.txt
  • Last modified: 2019/08/05 08:48
  • by RandallS