Friday, October 4, 2019

To Know Yourself Is To Know Who You're Not

As a religious and spiritual teacher, I have found that so many of my experiences over the last 10 years end up answering the questions that a lot of people have today, especially those who are rather young or new to their religion. I am blessed enough to have had so many years and roads that have taught me so much. 

Last Saturday, I presented at the annual Chicago Pagan Pride day, talking about ancient Greek Heroism and religion generally. At one point, someone asked me how they could figure out which Path is right for them. Even for Polytheists and Pagans, this can be a scary inquiry, because we might fear offending the Gods or never truly sticking with anything. I too thought of myself in this way when I was experiencing my own "crisis of faith" as it were, many years ago. It was not that I no longer believed in the Greek Gods. I simply had a desire to try new things along with it. I consulted an oracle of Apollon, which I figured was the most appropriate thing to do. The ancient Greeks, before embarking on any serious endeavor, would seek the advice of the Delphic Oracle of Apollon, and if you know anything about the Pythia, Apollon likes to give us things to figure out. He rarely speaks to us in simple terms. This time for me was no different. When I asked how I should address this longing to try other spiritual things, the God's reply was,

Follow your heart, and you will find great spirituality.

He never told me not to, or that the Greek Gods would be upset. He simply said that if I answered the callings, I would figure it out. So I did. I spent time in Eclecticism, general Witchcraft, and Kemeticism. I even worshiped some Hindu Gods. The more I did this, the more I found that it just wasn't me. I simply couldn't connect with it. I always kept missing Greece with a vengeance of homesickness unlike any I had ever experienced. Soon I realized that my spiritual place was ancient Greece, and eventually I no longer felt any desire to be anything else because I had already been there and knew it wasn't where I wanted to be. When I followed my heart, as Apollon instructed, I found great spirituality, and that greatness was my eventual increased and unmatched strength in Hellenism. Apollon knew I wasn't going anywhere in reality, but He also knew that the only way I'd figure that out was if I knew what my life was like being in a separation from Greece.

One of the most well-known teachings of Apollon's Delphic sanctuary was to Know Thyself. Apollon's showed me that, sometimes, the way to know yourself is to know what you are not. So I tell people who come to me with this feeling that I once knew all too well, that they should try the things they are wanting, because in the end they'll find themselves.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.