Showing posts with label Ancient Greece. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ancient Greece. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Ancient Greek Guide to Cleansing, Banishment and Exorcism - Part 3 - Securing The Home

Let's take a look at how to cleanse your home of negative energy first, since Energetics are the most common type of ailments. Although, keep in mind, this can also be used for banishment of ghosts and spirits in the home, as I have used it many times without a single failure in all kinds of situations. I call it the Hellenic House Cleansing Rite.

Before beginning any Hellenic rites or worship, always be clean and purified. Wash yourself in clean water (ideally purified or spring water). If nothing else, take a cleansing shower and put on clean clothing. Khnerip water for handwashing and purification can be created by lighting a bay leaf on fire and dropping it into a bowl of freshwater. And if you don't have any spring or seawater, you can combine sea salt with the water. 

Step 1: Invite Hestia into your home. Hestia is the Goddess of the home, hearth and family; She's basically your home's heartbeat. Light the flame of your hearth, which for most people today would be the stove. If you have an electric top that doesn't produce fire, place a candle in the center of the stove and light it, If you have a fireplace, even better. Create a fire there.

Step 2: Pray to Hestia
O' blessed Hestia, Goddess of the hearth, I ask that you shine forth in my home forever, and grant it peace and love, and lift me into the presence of The Dodekatheon, that I may know their mysteries, powers and wisdom.

(Note - The Dodekatheon means The Twelve Gods, as in the Gods of Olympos. They are Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite, Poseidon, Demeter, Artemis, Apollon, Athena, Hephaistos, Hermes, Ares and Dionysos.

Step 3: Give offering to Hestia. Burn the sweetest incense you have. Fresh frankincense is great (which is also a natural purifier), but whatever you use, make sure it's good quality and not cheap department store brand. These are full of bad-smelling chemicals.

Step 4: Pour a libation to Apollon, Poseidon and Hygeia, for you will need their help with the rest of the rite.

Step 5: Take a bowl of clean water. Spring water is best, but if you have to use tap, combine it with sea salt. Sea salt can be purchased very cheaply at your local grocer and is one of the most simple yet powerful purifiers. Mix the water and salt together. Once done, hold the bowl over the hearth about head level and recite the following prayer,
Blessed Apollon, God of light, and amazing Poseidon, God of the sea, bless this water so that it will drive out evil and shake loose from the bonds of oppression whatever it touches.

(Note - Why Apollon and Poseidon? Apollon is the God of the sun and light, and thus, a destroyer of evil and a purifier of pollution. Poseidon is the Earth Shaker, able to shake the foundation of anything. Please also take note that khnerips or any form of water for religious purposes should be replaced each time you do a rite or ceremony. Do not use the same water repeatedly).

Step 6: Take the bowl of water into each room, wet your hand, and sprinkle the water on every wall, floor and ceiling (not forgetting closets).

Step 7: When done with all rooms, light a stick of fresh sage, as its smoke releases cleansing properties and powers that will push out negative energy and thus make the area more inhospitable to negative entities. With the smoldering stick, draw the Star of Hygeia toward every wall, floor and ceiling. Hygeia is the Goddess of physical and mental health and protection, and Her symbol, even as far back as ancient Greek times, is the five pointed star. Modern Pagans call it the pentagram, but not pentacle. Draw the Star starting at the bottom left. As you draw it each time, say the words,
I draw the Star of Hygeia, to banish from this place all evil and ill.

Step 8: Bring the rite to a close with a final prayer to Hestia, as She is First and Last in general Hellenic rites,
With Hestia I end, for She is First and Last, home of the eternal Gods, forever be the Goddess of my home.

As time goes on, work on mounting a positive life as well. But if you ever do feel that the goal has slipped too far away, you can use this rite any time. In ending this section, I want to share an invocation that has never failed me when I have been faced with faltering on leading a positive life. During your day to day, if you feel attacked, dismayed or misdirected, it is useful,
Athena is my strength, my wisdom from above, my perseverance against life's toils. She leads me to Nike over my enemies, She gives me peace by Her glory, and when the day is done, She permits me peaceful rest beneath the shade of Her olive tree, for I am loved by Olympos who delights in the beauty of the universe. Athena, fight for me.

In the Goodness of the Gods, I'll see you in the next section,

Chris Aldridge.

Friday, July 19, 2024

Ancient Greek Guide to Cleansing, Banishment and Exorcism - Part 2 - Self Care

As we begin to learn how to deal with these issues, let's start with the basics: cleansing and banishment for our personal selves.

The easiest way to stop Energetics from manifesting and gaining power is to live a positive life. It will accomplish two things. One, a strong build up of positive will push negative out, and two, it will make it harder for negative energy to break in. An inferior force cannot penetrate or contend with a greater one. Walk up to a wall and push as hard as you can. The reason it won't budge is because there is a greater or equal amount of force pushing back. You simply don't have the power to get through. It's the same concept with energy.

The problem is that living a positive life is not easy, especially in our Age. We are constantly bombarded with negative media and politics, not to mention that life can become oppressively stressful if we don't know how to deal with it. Therefore, living a positive life is, I find, a practice. The more you do it, the better you will become at it.

A vital part of living a positive life is to have the Gods in it. The Gods are first and foremost in the life of a Hellenist. A Hellenist never stops living a highly spiritual life, and an extreme benefit of this is happiness and positivity. In the past, I've heard Hellenists say that they worship the Gods simply because it makes like more blissful. This is absolutely true. When the Gods are always kept in our minds, lives and actions, we are elevated to a state above the mundane.

Purification Processes

Being purified or free of impurity (physically, mentally and spiritually), is to banish miasma from our minds, bodies and souls, and elevate ourselves above the reaches of toxicities that so often inhibit human life, progression, and separate us from the Gods. In order to keep yourself guarded against such pollutants, practice daily purification. Not just before rites, but throughout your day, starting in the morning, during the day, and before bed. It may sound painstaking, but it's actually quite simple, and will eventually become second nature.

The Mind

Your mind is of the most value to your physicality, for without the mind, the body is nothing. It's proven science that your thoughts and the state of your brain can and will effect your body and life for the better or worse.

Your brain soaks up everything that it comes into contact with, therefore it's imperative that you only expose it to positive atmospheres as much as possible. Forsake all willful negativity. If you do not have to subject your mind to it, then don't, such as negative media, people, and even your own negative thoughts. Refrain from excessive anger and needless confrontations, striving for peace and productivity whenever possible. Finally, contemplate nothing evil or immoral. We all have bad thoughts that come into our heads at times, but contemplation means to actually conspire with it. Just as keeping bad toxins out of your body is essential to bodily health, so is keeping them out of your mind essential to mental health.

The Body

Keeping your body healthy and purified on the outside and the inside is the purely physical part of continued purification. If you defile yourself, or willingly expose yourself to filth and harmful substances, it will create pollution. Take a shower or bath every day, put on clean clothes, and don't be exposed to unnecessary impurities. The body can be purified of miasma through simple washing and purified water, spring water or sea salt water, or it can be as extreme as using sulfur should you come into contact with a dead body, but the latter is an unorthodox case for most people today.

On a more basic level, regular exercise is exceptionally terrific for maintaining a healthy body, as well as mind, because it betters your mental state and brain functions. I'd recommend starting a simple jogging routine on a daily or regular basis, for a couple of miles each time. You'll be astounded by how much better you feel, especially if you pair it with healthier eating. Not only were the ancient Greeks very athletic people, Games themselves were religious events, and while there was no 2nd or 3rd place, every athlete was strong and benefited from the physicality of the training.

The Soul

Not only are our spiritual selves kept pure by our connections to the Gods, but piety as well maintains this cleanliness, which of course assists in Divine connections. Piety also keeps the physical and mental clean. So what is piety? It is not only acting rightly in ritual but also in thinking and speaking goodly and rightly. That is to say, simply respecting the Gods.

For example, I was once visiting a couple of friends, and while on the topic of Greek religion, they started insulting the Gods. I kindly got up and left, not only because I didn't want to be around hubris and impiety, but because I could feel the pollution and negativity starting to build in the room.

The simple fact of the matter is that you cannot be both devotee and defacer, not even in a humorous way. Yes, there were Greek playwrights who sometimes made fun of the Gods, but these people were not mainstream citizens (most citizens were not playwrights), and men like Euripides of Athens were not only scrutinized for heresy, but spent their final days in exile. It's probably why Plato said, "Wickedness in the soul makes one impure."

Purifying Sickness

We all get sick, whether it be a simple cold or a more serious infection. Once you have recovered, throw away the clothes you wore while you were sick, wash your body in sea water or sea salt water, and then rinse with spring water or purified freshwater, and end with a prayer and sacrifice to Apollon, who is the God of healing and purification. If you have a disease that cannot be cured, maintain it as best you can. Take medication for it as prescribed. In short, listen to your doctors.

In conclusion of this section, I do not want someone to confuse purification with germophobia. It's not about washing your hands until they bleed, for that would also be a pollution. It's about attending to obvious pollutants and toxins in life and preventing them in all their forms.

In the Goodness of the Gods, I'll see you in the next chapter,

Chris Aldridge.

Chapter One here.

Thursday, July 18, 2024

The Nymph Oracle of The Oasis

I have decided to start keeping a dream log of my most notable encounters in the sleeping world. In Hellenic belief, dreams can be omens from the Gods. Other times, they are just dreams. So the question is, how do we tell the difference?

The first sign for me that a dream means something is when I don't realize I'm dreaming until I wake up. In other words, it seems as real as the waking world. The second indicator is if there is some profound meaning, something that is obviously meant to be a message or a lesson.

In this most recent dream, I found myself in the Middle East in a desert nation. I want to say Iran, but I'm unsure. The ancient Greeks were certainly no strangers to the region of the East. Not only did they defeat the Persians time and again, but eventually conquered their entire Empire. Alexander spread Hellenism throughout the entire known world in the Hellenistic Era.

In the dream, I located a cave that was the abandoned precinct of a Nymph Oracle from ancient times. It must have been a Greek one, because I restored it to great glory. It was a gorgeous sacred area, with its own spring and clear flowing waters, and the Oracle descended from steps above the main pool. People started coming to consult and show their reverence. 

But this started a war with the Muslim authority in the country, and it turned bloody and deadly really fast. It was only a matter of time, I figured, before the cave was laid to ruin once again, so I spoke with the Nymph Oracle and promised that I would built her a new cave or precinct in America, where people are free.

Some, like my wife, think I was remembering a past life. My wife is the Oracle of my temple and the best I have ever known. I have never known her to be wrong about anything she has given while in consultation. So I trust her divinatory expertise. But some people also believe that the best interpreter for your own dreams is yourself.

Maybe it was indeed something from a past life, a memory of a time before, coming to the surface, where I did kind of the same thing I am doing with my life now, which is to free humanity from the tyranny of mind control. In any case, I am glad that my mind allows me to see such beautiful things.

In the Goodness of the Gods, I'll see you at the next Herm down the road,

Chris Aldridge.


Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Ancient Greek Guide to Cleansing, Banishment and Exorcism - Part 1 - Crash Course

Banishment, cleansing and exorcism are things I have been seriously involved with for many years of my life, even before I was a Hellenist. In fact, it was a successful Greek exorcism that officially converted me to Hellenism. It seems to be something I have eventually understood enough to be good at, and being a Greek Priest has only extended my experience and knowledge.

I begin by saying that the world of spirits and banishment isn't as cut and dry as monotheists or even some occultists may think. It's very complicated just like everything else. To a Christian, for example, everything is Satan and you only need Jesus to get rid of him. 

They actually have very little understanding of the spiritual world, which is why some of their most famous exorcisms have also been their greatest failures. We know it's not uncommon for a Christian to fail when trying to banish, cleanse or exorcise. No one is surprised when they go up against a spiritual foe and lose.

While most of existence is good, beautiful and gives most people no real worry, the spiritual world can harbor things that want to do people harm, just as the physical world can.

When the Olympian Gods came to power, they defeated chaos and disorder in the grand picture of things, along with many of the Titans who ruled before them, and even imprisoned some of the forces and beings in the prisons of Tartaros. To nature and civilization, the Gods brought all the good and beautiful that we have now. However, although largely subdued, disorder still exists and can even be created anew. Think of it like a prison in our society. Bad people are jailed, but there can still be bad people in the world. Really, the battle between order and chaos, good and bad, positive and negative, has always been happening in one form or another. It's a constant struggle for humanity and the universe.

There is no Devil or Satan in Hellenism, but we do believe that things can choose their own path. The being that is ailing a person or place may not even be entirely bad themselves, but are just angry at that person, or bound negatively to the location or object for a specific reason. Nothing with free will is absolutely evil, because it can choose to do good and therefore has the capacity for good, but it may not make that choice toward a given person or situation.

Chaos itself isn't inherently negative, but it can still at times disrupt the order of things enough to create problems. For instance, if a dam breaks and floods a town, the water isn't evil, the water is just doing what the water does. Sometimes the water can even create life after it is unleashed, but it can also destroy. Not everything is as simple as good v. evil. By understanding this reality, you will have a far better grasp, insofar as a human can, of the spiritual and physical worlds.


The most basic form of an invasion that someone can experience in their homes or lives is simple negative energies, or as I like to call them, Energetics. I would say these are far more common than people think. Perhaps they may even be the most common of all, and could explain several cases of hauntings and personal harassment.

Energetic manifestations do not have an independent will or really any form of individual consciousness. Like a battery placed in a car, it is there to perform a certain function and can be the result of many things. The energy could be left over from something of the past, sent by someone else, acquired by the victim, or even created by the victim's own negative emotions, attitude and actions. The ancient Greeks would have probably called this miasma or pollution that needs daily or regular cleansing, especially before a person enters a temple, sanctuary or performs religious rites.

Once the energy has implanted itself, it will begin its work, which if negative, will be to create dismay and hardship. You may find yourself feeling continuously depressed, angry, scared, frustrated or even sick for no apparent reason. The energy can also cause things to happen or could cause you to make them happen. The good news is that simple energy is the easiest to dispel. Energy cannot be created nor destroyed but it can be moved, redirected and transformed.

Ghosts and Spirits

The second kind of invasion is by a ghost or spirit, which can be human or nonhuman. If we are to believe some of the paranormal reports around the world, animals also have souls and can manifest in a ghostly form. Even evil or infamous people or monsters of the ancient Greek past may have had souls, which means their spiritual self could still exist. 

A ghost or spirit can take possession of a person, place or object, or attach themselves and begin bending things to their own will and causing harm. Unlike Energetics, these beings are self-aware (conscious). They know who you are and will act directly toward you. Because they have this self-power and will, they are harder to get rid of.

The ghost or spirit, if hostile, will normally make itself known in several ways. They can cause all the problems of energies but it will be more severe because there is direct intent through conscious effort. For example, there's a big difference between something falling off the shelf and something being thrown at you from the shelf.

The last thing to remember here is that it's also possible to come into contact with a ghost that is not intending harm but simply wants cohabitation for some reason. Think of a dead doctor who finds a living doctor they admire and wants to live on vicariously. Even though this can be benevolent, the being is still disrupting a natural order and needs to be sent out.

A ghost or spirit that is intending harm can make you feel very uneasy, terrified, throw or slam things, cause horrible smells and sounds, give you nightmares and blackouts, cause you to lash out at people and things, drive you to hurt yourself, give you hallucinations, or all of the above. The problem cannot be ignored. While it's entirely possible that all of these feelings and behaviors could be explained through the nature of one's own life and mental state, such can also be ruled out. If they persist after you have evaluated your home and taken proper medical care, perhaps it wouldn't hurt to see if you are being tormented by an outside force.

Other Beings

Finally, another form of invasion or attack can come from otherworldly beings that cross paths with our own world. You've probably heard them called things like faeries or natural spirits. While most are good, some can be problematic, even taking a dislike toward humans. They may have found and attached to you, been sent or are seeking revenge for some offense you made, like mistakenly or intentionally violating a sacred space. These beings mainly just demand proper respects. You don't normally have to worry about them if you know how to interact.

For example, when you enter natural areas, treat things with respect and be a person of humility. Don't litter the forest floor or throw things in waterways or rivers, don't act like you own the land because the truth is that you don't, and if you feel that you shouldn't enter a place or disturb something, listen to your instinct. We will cover how to deal with all of these issues later in this course.

I will end this chapter by saying that we all have days when bad things happen to us, or we just don't feel good. This generally in itself is not a sign of a problem. But when they are consistently happening, there is clearly a cause. One time may be coincidence, but ten consecutive times is not.

In the Goodness of the Gods, I'll see you in the next section,

Chris Aldridge.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Has The Labyrinth of Minos and The Minotaur Finally Been Found?

I'm sure you've heard many stories, legends and myths. Theseus slaying the infamous Minotaur, which means, "Bull of Minos," is one of those religious stories that has stayed with mankind since it was told thousands of years ago. When Sir Arthur Evans unearthed the remains of the Knossos Palace on the island of Crete in 1878, he named the civilization Minoan, after King Minos. Because of the grandeur of the palace, it was thought that Minos must have surely lived there, and a search for the famous labyrinth beneath it began, but was never found. Because of the many hallways of the palace, it was theorized that perhaps the building itself was the labyrinth, but this was never proven.

However, Greek archaeologists have recently unearthed a groundbreaking find, standing atop a ceremonial hill on the island. Upon clearing the ground for a new airport radar station, they discovered an eight walled labyrinth, dating back to about 4,000 years, which roughly places its youngest days in the Greek Heroic Age, when Theseus was thought to have lived. Could this have been where Minos eventually imprisoned his monster and where one of the greatest battles of human civilization took place to free humanity from tyranny and human sacrifice?

In the very early days of the structure, it was definitely used for worship and sacrifice, as smaller findings have revealed, although at this point, the sacrificial victims discovered have all been animals, but who knows what else they might uncover as the excavation continues? And the fact that it was built atop a very high point overlooking the populations below, makes me think it may have been Minos' way of reminding the people around of his dominating power and the fate of those who opposed him. That was, until Theseus came along. Minos could have also placed the structure at such a remote location as to keep the monster away from civilization.

Theseus has always been my Patron Hero in my life as a Greek worshiper. Like Heinrich Schliemann, I know the old stories are true, it's simply a matter of looking until we find them. In fact, my love for Theseus has been so vast over the years, and my fascination with His research so prevalent, that I wrote a wonderful book about Him back in 2016 called Theseus: His Life, Mysteries and Virtues, where I find evidence of the Hero's life and relate him to people in our own time. I even had the pleasure of doing a public speaking event on the book at a Freeport, Illinois July 4th event in 2016 about Theseus as the Father of Western Democracy. A link to the book can be found HERE. 

It's my hope that this new archaeological find will bring more interest, research and validation to ancient Greece and the realities that the people in it lived with and defined their lives by. A link to the article can be found HERE.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
I'll see you at the next Herm down the road,
Chris Aldridge.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Humans Did Not Create Gods, and Here's How You Know

One of the most common arguments, even from some philosophers as far back as ancient times, is that humans created the Gods of their cultures. It's basically an argument that attempts to invalidate the Gods themselves. Now certainly, I'm not saying that there were never any myths ascribed to the Gods that came, at least in part, from human understanding. But it's not true that the Gods are creations of humans. The Gods are real, and I will tell you why.

Let us think about it logically, or perhaps, in a way that most people never have before. And for this, let's of course refer to ancient Greek times, since that's where my religious and spiritual focus resides in life. In ancient Athens, a City ruled by men, a Goddess was the Patron. In a culture where men did most of the hunting, Artemis was the main Hunting Deity. In a society where sex was primarily ruled by men, a female Deity (Aphrodite), was the presiding Divinity. So the question begs, if humans create Gods, why were all of these Gods not male instead of female? Shouldn't a society ruled by men create male Gods to be their leaders?

The simple answer is that humans do not create Gods. Athena, Artemis and Aphrodite, for example, are who they are, regardless of the society we create, or the preferences we may have as human beings. When Athena claimed Athens, it did not matter which humans ruled it, or how the society was structured. She overruled them all. The same for Artemis and Aphrodite. The wild and the love of the universe belong to them, and no mortal social structure can change that. 

As a man, I might be a good martial artist, but when I need strength, it's Athena I pray to. When I need protection for my children, Artemis is who I sacrifice to. And for the power and passion of sexuality and sexual success, Aphrodite's my counsel. Furthermore, I see no reason that this should be a threat to my masculinity. The wonderful powers and Divinities of the masculine and feminine swirl all around us, in the Heavens, upon the Earth, and in the Underworld.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
I'll see you at the next Herm down the road,
Chris Aldridge.

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Ruins Of Theseus' Palace On The Akropolis

In some of my recent studies, I happened across a piece of mysterious information hidden in the pages of an old book from my temple's library, something that few people know about in the grand picture of ancient Greek history and archaeology. All throughout Mycenaean archaeology, we have uncovered all of the palace ruins of the main Trojan War Heroes, with Odysseus being the most recent and final one. 

But atop the Akropolis of Athens, the City that Theseus ruled, loved and defended so much that the Athenian motto became, "Nothing Without Theseus," it has been believed that the remains of Theseus' palace rest there. Sure enough, the modicum ruins of what was most certainly a late Bronze Age Megaron Palace still remain, the time period in which Theseus could have most certainly lived, and long, long before the Parthenon was ever even dreamed of. 

A Greek Megaron is not the grand kind of palace we would think of today that houses the monarchs of England. Rather, it is more of a Great Hall building, built in a rectangle that hosts an open porch, is surrounded by four columns, and in the center houses an open air hearth. There would have also been a throne or throne room for the King to sit. Throughout the life and history of the Athenian Akropolis, buildings rose and fell, and new ones were added, such as the Parthenon, so the only traces of this Megaron we have is basically the foundation. Nevertheless, we do know it existed, when it existed, and what it was used for; royalty. 

If you were a tourist in Athens around 400 BCE, and you had been so inclined to ask, the citizens would have probably told you all about the old Palace of Theseus that once stood on their citadel. To them, it would have been historical fact. You may have even been directed to the City's Sanctuary of Theseus just below the Akropolis, and the burial that they believed to be His. We know where this religious center stood as well. But the Palace of Theseus is an even greater mystery because there is so little of it remaining, due to the passage of time and the evolution of the citadel.

However, the Megaron that could have very well belonged to the legendary Hero still looks at us from the rocky history of the hill. We can walk upon the steps or floor that Theseus Himself may have, and all of the ancestors before us who walked in to consult or ask for His help. Today, there may no longer be a great throne at the end of the Great Hall, but upon those ruins, we can still look up to the heavens, on top of the sacred fortification, and pray to Theseus.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
I'll see you at the next Herm down the road,
Chris Aldridge.

Friday, April 26, 2024

Ancient Greek Medicine and Healing for Modern Problems

At first notion, people today may assume that the physicians of ancient Greece are not relevant to modern medicine and the healing arts. But such a presumption is gravely incorrect. While some ancient methods such as bloodletting are shelved in the archives of error, mostly everything else the Greeks practiced gave birth to all of the medical fields we have today. And doctors have not forgotten this, because they still recite, at least ideally, the Hippocratic Oath of Physicians. Now it has been altered so much to fit personal preferences that I'd argue the modern recitation can no longer be called the Hippocratic, but the ancient Greek as the mortal father of medicine still holds sway over our minds and actions in the field.

Bringing ancient medicine back into our everyday lives is invaluable, whether one is actually a Hellenist or not. The history of healing in ancient Greece is very wealthy and diverse, and the adoption of it remains beautiful and powerful. 

To the Greeks, everything was religious and spiritual. The physical and spiritual worlds interacted on a daily basis. For this reason, the Greeks believed, one, that the best healing and medicine took place when the mind, body and soul were treated and balanced. Neither was left to neglect. One method through which the physical and spiritual body could be tended to was through the Asklepios Healing Temples. Asklepios is the son of Apollon (the God of healing), and is the God of physicians and medicine. These temples were built to Him for the purpose of healing the sick. Afflicted people would travel to these locations and sleep inside the building, where the God would either heal them or send them messages, signs or omens through dreams that would help them achieve recovery.

One's spirituality and connection to the Divine is proven to have immense healing powers, both for the mind and physical body. That's why religious people are less depressed than non-religious or atheists, and if you tell your psychiatrist that your religion helps you deal with your mental health issues, they will tell you to keep doing it as a form of therapy. The benefit of a balanced mind, body and soul is self-evident. Your bodily health will do little good if your mind and spirit is in tatters, and vice versa. All of the essential properties that make up the human body and experience have to be healthy.

Secondly, the Greeks understood that a person's health relied heavily on proper diet and exercise. Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, said as much. Moderation, which means to have a healthy balance in all things, was at the center of Greek life. To neither starve nor overindulge, but to reach and practice healthy living consistently. When it comes to diet and exercise specifically, we may find it lamentable that most people today are seriously lacking in either one or the other. Obesity and laziness are epidemics of their own, and they cause the body and mind to decay and make them prone to disease and disorders.

For years, especially when it was summertime or warm enough, I would go on runs every night through my City. At one point, I reached 7 miles nonstop. This was part of my mission to lose the weight I had gained years ago and maintain a healthy body mass. Of course, I also had to combine this with healthy eating. It does little good to exercise if you're just going to put the junk right back inside you when you're done. It's like trying to pump water out of a boat with a giant hole in it. I lost the weight and had never felt better in my life, both physically and mentally. Since then, I have always recommended that people do simple exercise like running. Not only will it keep you healthy, it will give you a great outlook on life.

Third, it was not long before Botany and its medical benefits found its way into the Greek physician's world and that of their patients. In ancient Greek theology, mostly everything was a gift from the Gods, and miraculous plants would have been no exception. In fact, profound ones such as Oregano, were believed to have been planted by Aphrodite Herself, and in humans, the plant can help produce white blood cells that aid in recovery and strengthen immunity. There are so many wonderful benefits to Greek herbology that, if one is interested in adopting it for their life, I have put a link to an information site at the bottom of this post.

The Greeks knew that the answers to the ailments of life were placed in the universe around us by the Gods. They only needed to discover them. Everything the Gods give to humans, is Divinely blessed. The Gods love for us to live, and live to the fullest. Therefore, their gifts and blessings to us will aid in that goal.

Finally, the ancient Greeks began to perfect the practice of surgery. They advanced so well in this art for ancient times that they were able to treat and seal wounds, repair fractured and broken bones, remove bladder stones, and even treat cataracts (a condition that causes impaired vision). Necessity, as Plato would say, is the mother of invention. They had to figure out some way to address life's all too common problems, but what makes the Greeks so exceptional in this was that they rose to these challenges. They never gave up. That's the lesson we should take from them as well. Not just for our careers or education, but for the survival and sustainment of our blessed selves. 

All of us today would grow immensely by adopting most or all of ancient Greek medicine into our lives. The ancient Greeks certainly did not have all of the medical advances and technologies that we do today, but part of the Greek way was to take what was available to you and make it the best you possibly could, to make the best version of yourself and your City.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
I'll see you at the next Herm down the road,
Chris Aldridge.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Ancient Greek Art of Happiness That May Surprise You

We live in a world more depressed, anxious and unhappy than ever, which makes no sense because, historically, humans are living better than at any other time. We have far more in the way of necessity and luxury than our ancestors of a hundred years ago even dreamed of. Yet, we are led to believe they were happier. Why? While many of us are overworked and underpaid, the fact of the matter is that life is significantly better than ever before. Over all, there is no good reason for so many people to be so worked up. 

In my life as a Hellenist, there has been immense joy, but also a lot of unique hardships and challenges, some that the average person will never go through, such as having a premature child. But Hellenism has also taught me how to live happily, and it is that knowledge, in part, that I wish to share with the reader of this entry. 

Before I begin, I want to say that I think I am different than most other people who claim to champion the subject of happiness. I will not tell you that wealth and riches won't make you happy. As Dan Pena would say, "If you think money can't buy happiness, you don't know where to shop." These things certainly can bring you happiness, it's just that they are not the only things that can. There are many other avenues to the goal. A mansion is a wonderful way to have a home, but you don't have to have a mansion in order to still have a nice home. 

Now an art is always a practice throughout your life. I have certainly not mastered this yet. However, it has helped me internally a lot more than most people may realize. One beautiful summer day, I was driving down a Wisconsin country backroad when a revelation came to me that put most of my worries and fears to rest forever. Most of us find ourselves in mental and emotional anguish because we try to fight the universe. Life can get so hard and frustrating that we want to just swing at the air, knowing that we will hit nothing. In other words, it's out of our hands.

The Greeks believed in the concept of Fate. Now before you presume to know what I'm talking about, read further. Fate does not mean we have no control over our lives. It means we are created each for a unique purpose. Just because you haven't done what someone else has, doesn't mean you're stupid or worthless, or that you cannot accomplish other great things. It just means you have a different purpose.

I began to realize that there is a significant level of peace with accepting Fate. It doesn't mean you should sit on the couch the rest of your life or let your friend drown. It means to understand and accept that there are certain courses for our lives that we cannot change. The pivotal moments are already ordained. For example, it was meant for me to move from North Carolina to Illinois. That was my fate, and there's nothing I can do to change the fact that it happened or that I am now here. So what can I do? I can take this road that has been laid out for me, accept it, and do great things with it. 

Whenever you feel yourself getting mad, scared or frustrated, try saying this to yourself, Don't you fight the universe. You won't win. Just go with it. You may just find that this affirmation sends a wave of peace and wisdom over you that you've never felt before, and relieves you of the emotions that make you feel the worst. Secondly, you'll stop beating yourself up over successes that other people have, and that you yourself haven't achieved. 

When I wake up in the morning and have to take care of my son and work on my home and career, it gets tiring and annoying really fast. Sometimes I want to lash out. But I try to stop and understand that I am here for a reason. This is what Fate has laid out for me. The Gods are not against me, and neither is life. This is just where I am supposed to be at this time, so how can I take what I have been given and make it the greatest that I can? Or, at least, understand that the Gods are wise and be at peace with my life? Equally important, are there things in which I can find peace? For me, that's my temple. There will always be something there for you as well. 

In the Goodness of the Gods,
I'll see you at the next Herm down the road,
Chris Aldridge.

Monday, February 5, 2024

Do We Still Love Athletes Like Ancients?

Our love for the professional and victorious athletes continues to follow us all the way from ancient Greek times. And make no mistake, it is not the professionalism, but the glory that we enjoy. People completely alter their appearance and character when attending their favorite sporting event and cheering for their most loved competitor. 

If people gave 1/10th the enthusiasm toward actual problems in our country as they do to football, we'd be in much better shape. But for some reason, people don't want to take on the hard things in life, and so sports provide a literal escape from reality. People can forget for a time. This is both beneficial and destructive when taken to the extreme. 

We all need a break from time to time, but ignoring life can eventually lead to outright delusion. Ancient Rome had this same problem. People ended up caring more about Games than actually running the State. It's one of the reasons the Empire fell.

But the ancient Greeks were more moderate and reasonable with their love of Games. They were indeed important and even religious activities, but they did not constitute the whole or even the daily life of the people and their societies. They were largely part of the religious events of the day or festival, but the winners, especially those of the Olympics, could expect lavish reward, even including a pension. 

Of course, it was nothing like what athletes are given today, salaries that would be considered a ridiculous amount, especially given the fact that millions of Americans live in poverty, and 333 million children worldwide wake up every day in impoverishment. That's more than the entire population of the United States of America.

I do think exceptional athletes, as in ancient times, deserve a place of honor in the State. They go through many years of hard training, sacrifice, pain, injury and dedication so that they can reach the glory that they so desire, for themselves, their team, and their people. They reach status that most other people probably could not, and for their success and service, they deserve recognition and a pension. I do not, however, think that any athlete deserves a salary of 50 million dollars a year, or even in a lifetime.

I also feel that major Games, such as the Olympics, have lost their meaning. The Games were created to honor Zeus, King of all Gods. In short, they are religious and spiritual events that recognize and revere the Higher Powers, and acknowledge our own proper and unique place in life as human beings. But today, the sacredness is literally all gone. In my view, it's been reduced to mere competition of one person trying to outdo the other, and there is no understanding whatsoever of our humanity and the blessed abilities that have been bestowed upon us by the Gods. 

Not only do we pay athletes too much money, but the money and the mortal basically become the gods of the Games. The Olympics are losing their former glory. Viewership of the Olympics dropped by 40% worldwide during the last cycle. Even football, one of America's most loved past times, has experienced a drop in popularity by about 1 million viewers. 

There was a time when people were excited to love and impress Divinity and one another. When something is reduced to the mere rudimentary, the nature of it is to whither. But the Gods never whither or die. Everything about them is eternal and ongoing. That's probably one of the reasons the Greeks centered everything around their Gods. I'm not saying athletes should be forced into Hellenism or any kind of worship. I'm saying that larger meaning, something more than just self, is what will maintain everything, even ourselves.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
I'll see you at the next Herm down the road,
Chris Aldridge.

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Tomb of Cerberus Set To Be 2023 Gem

This year near the historic City of Naples, there came to the surface of an archaeological dig a fascinating tomb of ancient Greek proportions. Like many great finds in history, though, they were not looking for anything ancient, unless you count the outdated water system that the Municipality of Giugliano had to undertake when they stumbled across the spectacle. 

What's even more wonderful is that the tomb remained protected from vandals and grave robbers during its time hidden far underground, which means that all of its secrets, presumably, remain preserved, such as the beautiful artwork that still captures the human eyes, and several artifacts that were left on the wall shelves. 

Of course, there's nothing unusual about finding an ancient Greek tomb, but this one, perhaps as unique as the Tomb of Bellerophon in Asia Minor, possesses a notable depiction of Cerberus, the three headed dog of the Underworld, who keeps the dead in and the living out. He is the grandest guard that Haides has in the Kingdom of the Dead.

The artwork of the tomb as well displays Cerberus being flanked by Hermes and Herakles (Hermes being an Underworld Psychopomp and Herakles being the Hero who captured the ferocious hound during His 12 Labors). Two centaurs also stand facing opposite of one another on the back wall, all together a wonderful testament to the religious, spiritual and mythological diversity of the ancient world, and the lives of the people who lived, loved and died in that world every day.

The workers and archaeologists who brought it to light after 2,000 years were in a fanatic celebration, because not only do we now have an amazingly preserved ancient Greek tomb with wonderful artwork, but there might be an entire Necropolis (an ancient City Cemetery) surrounding it. It remains unknown, at this time, who occupies the tomb. But still, the amazing amount of history and information that could now be at our fingertips is invaluable.

The burial was far enough underground that no one was able to interfere with it, the people buried inside being forever at peace while Europe erupted in continuous chaos above their chambers. Their bodies were far removed from the upper world that would eventually hate them for their religious devotion, but today, perhaps it is fitting that widespread religious freedom and the restoration of ancient Hellas has made their return to the living world more likely and welcoming.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
I'll see you at the next Herm down the road,
Chris Aldridge.

And consider bookmarking my site by clicking on the star in the top right corner of the web bar.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Life's Altar Blocks Are Always Drenched In Blood

When people hear that word, sacrifice, especially in an ancient Greek or Pagan context, their first thoughts are the common forms of said practice, whether it be a sacrifice in terms of something of great value given to a God or Gods, or the ritual sacrifice of a prized animal such as livestock, to those Deities. Normally, we conjure up an image of the goat or lamb being laid upon the altar, or at least led up to it, and their throats cut open as prayers are cried out to the Higher Powers, and the blood of the victim drenches the ground. Then perhaps some wonderful libations follow. It might even end with a Seer inspecting the entrails for a sign or omen from above.

Generally speaking, sacrifices of this kind are to gain the attention of the Gods for reciprocity, but I also think that something the ancients understood, and that we should still realize to this day, is that there is no blessing that doesn't require a sacrifice. Everything we do in life, we have to give our best. Nothing comes easy or falls into our lap. Anything good or valuable you want out of life takes blood, sweat and tears, pain, hard work, and giving up certain things for others so that you can attain said goal. Sacrifice is what makes life itself move forward for everyone and everything. Just because it's not an animal's head on a blade, doesn't mean it's any less of a dedication and devotion, or a loss of something you might prize in order to hope for something more or better.

People seem to make the concept of sacrifice into such a taboo topic, or at least, they certainly used to. But when I think about all of the things I have willingly given up over the last 14 years to be where I am now, it amounts to far more than a farm animal. In order to get my wife, son, a new home and a new life, I've had to go through over a decade of sacrificing everything I knew from my life prior, giving up my homeland and everything that might have been any inheritance, and enduring a thousand mile trip across the nation. I've had to give immeasurable time, energy and stress to raising a special needs child so that he could be the best man possible. I spent years doing everything I could, hard or easy, to finish my college degree, and finally have done it just this year. Not to mention periods that were stationary and, at times, seemed like they were never going to progress, which caused a lot of depression and anxiety issues. 

But there's also an additional question you must ask yourself, Is it all worth it? I would say that, deep down, I always knew it was. With each sacrifice I made, hardship I endured, or obstacle I faced, the Gods put that vibrating spirit in my heart that always had the hope that, one day, it would all come to fruition. And so it has. Life, of course, is not over, and hopefully won't be for a great many years to come. As we continue to drive the chariot that the Gods have given us, there will be more bumps and broken axles, more potholes and perils, and more rainy days to accompany the sunny ones. Life is ever changing. More sacrifices, in whatever form, will probably be made. But again, sacrifice drives the chariot on.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
I'll see you at the next Herm down the road,
Chris Aldridge.

And consider bookmarking my site by clicking on the star in the top right corner of the web bar.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

How A Hellenic Marriage Endured The Impossible

I certainly will never pass myself off as a licensed relationship counselor, but from my own relationship of the last 14 years, which was a Hellenic union and marriage, I know what creates strength and weakness, love and hate, union and dissolution.

I remember a long time ago a friend of mine, who wasn't a Hellenist or any religion as far as I knew, asked me to pray for her marriage, as it was on the verge of divorce. I said I'd ask Hera for help (Queen of heaven and the Goddess of marriage).

A few days later, my friend told me that her relationship had miraculously improved. I haven't heard from her since, and I hope things are still going well, but the first point is that when you put Hera at the center of your union, it will never break.

Of course, it was first Aphrodite, Goddess of love and passion, who brought my wife and I together. Still to this day, after the better part of 20 years of being together, we still have just as much passion for one another.

The hard part, at the beginning of our relationship, was that neither of our families approved. They either felt one wasn't good enough for the other, or that it was something that was happening too fast and hasty. But sometimes, that's the way the universe works.

So literally, we ran away together. We didn't care what others thought. She left her home, and I mine. We didn't look back either. For a short time, we were technically homeless until we managed to get into a hotel here and there, in which we stayed until our first apartment was finally secured.

When you want to be with someone and the opportunity to change your life for the better is there, don't bother yourself with the opinions of other people. Listen to what the Gods and your heart tell you. 

Some may be critical of spontaneous love, but I can verify that it is an indicator of the strongest kind. If you have to work to get someone to love you, it's just not meant to be. A natural connection does not require labor, nor can it ever be destroyed, just as energy itself cannot be.

When we rented our first apartment together in High Point, North Carolina in the summer of 2009, we were so poor that I was astounded they even gave us one in the first place, and as nice as it was to add. We literally had nothing but our laptops, clothes to sit on, and an air mattress for sleep. 

But we were as happy as we could be, even though we didn't have any material. We didn't even have good jobs at the time. Nevertheless, we were delighted just to be with each other in our own place, away from everything and everyone else. Therefore, I'd say the second phase is finding someone who is willing to run away with and love you for you only.

Of course, finding someone who only wants you for you may not be that easy if you're rich or well off. In that case, I really can't give advice because I've never been rich. But what I can say is that someone who wants you when you're poor, won't leave you when you're rich. So if you want a lifelong partner, get one either when you're poor, or who doesn't know you're not.

However, we could not have possibly guessed what was to come next, something that would change so many lives, including ours, forever; a severely premature baby. Even though Gryphon pulled through amazingly after being born at only 24 weeks, he still has issues he will have to work through throughout his life.

Why does this have such an impact on the marriage between my wife and I? Because over 80% of marriages with children with disabilities end in divorce or separation. Ours never did. That's not to say it hasn't had its difficult times, but the hardships uniquely made us stronger together.

When Gods like Zeus, Athena, Artemis and Apollon are part of your life, you realize that you have a duty and an obligation to others, no matter how difficult things may become at times. It was mine to love my wife and be there for my son, because I had assisted in bringing this union together and creating our child. My personal feelings and stresses are irrelevant when it comes to duty.

In short, Hellenism instills in you honor. Honor is the most important of all virtues, because without it, there is nothing you won't do under the right circumstances. Honor puts the personal to the side and brings to the top what is simply right and what is simply wrong. Would it have been much easier to leave my marriage? Quite possibly. But easy isn't always right, nor does it always make you better.

Additionally, the more you experience hardships and trials together, the more love and strength your connection will have. Don't run or recoil from challenges if they come. Instead invoke the Gods, take each other's hand, and push through them. Whatever you do, never see one another as the enemy or the reason for your troubles. You are in it together. Your partnership is supposed to help you manage things better. Use it.

Life is not easy. It's a full time job, full of stress, health and financial issues, and sometimes even legal concerns. But I tell you truly, the Gods and your love will bring you through all of it.

One might say, "Yes, but why bother? If it's been that hard a significant amount of the time, wouldn't it be better to just not go through it?"

The answer is, if you never want to change for the better and you don't want to get the most out of a relationship, then no, it's not worth your time. Otherwise, it's worth every step. You'll notice progress for the better, just as we have. Things have always improved slowly but surely. We are a world better off now than when we first met. It's not even a close comparison. For two reasons; the Gods and the refusal to give up.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
I'll see you at the next Herm down the road,
Chris Aldridge.

Friday, July 7, 2023

Difference Between A Sacrifice and An Offering

In Hellenism and contemporary Pagan and Polytheism, we are familiar with the terms sacrifice and offering. 

Some people use them interchangeably, and I suppose on the surface it's not really a big deal, as some consider sacrifice to be anything made scared, but I think it's worth discussing that the two are not historically the same thing generally speaking.

A sacrifice is normally something of exceptional cost or worth to you, that you give up to the Gods, and in so doing, make sacred. 

In ancient Greek times, this would have encompassed livestock a lot, because they met the above criteria. Giving up sheep, goats, and cattle was, or could be, very costly to the livelihood of the average person.

Yet that willingness to still risk the loss in order to show love, admiration, and request favor from, the Gods, is what made it a sacrifice and a sacred act. The willingness to go long was believed to have grabbed the Gods' attention more.

Today, of course, it doesn't have to pertain to livestock because most people don't live that kind of life anymore. Now our costly sacrifices would be things like money, valuable properties, and our physical time and labor. Even large portions of food and drink, things that take a lot of effort to put together, would be sacrificial.

An offering, however, is a general gift, such as a votive statue, libation, a valuable, or some appropriate foods. They are things that are more readily available and not as costly; easy for pretty much anyone to obtain.

If I give a fresh bar of soap to Aphrodite for Her baths, a libation of olive oil for Athena, or burn incense to Zeus, those would be offerings. This is a bit contradictory to me, because I have normally called all of my burned offerings sacrifices, but to be more accurate, I should use the term offering: my burned offering.

Then again, if it were a huge portion of incense, it may be able to be called sacrifice, but that would take an almost comical pile. Not something normally done. 

Often these days, I find myself paying more attention to how I term things, especially publicly. In many cases, I felt the term offering had been used in the religious communities almost to the point of being cliche or monotonous, so I didn't really like using it a lot.

But as a Reconstructionist Hellenist, I find myself more and more concerned with historical accuracy and appropriate piety on a regular basis. It's a lifelong learning experience. Do I think the Gods are petty and care about which term you use? Absolutely not. But the properness sets the human mind correctly. 

In the Goodness of the Gods, I'll see you at the next Herm down the road,

Chris Aldridge.

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

In Another Solar System, Would I Still Call Him Helios?

The Sun is a God to ancient Greeks; they called Him Helios. Hence the terms mainstream still uses today that are named after Him, such as Heliocentrism and Heliotropium. 

Really, anything centered around the Sun could begin its term with Helio.

To Hellenists like me, Helios and Apollon are not the same Gods. I see Apollon as God of the sun and light, and Helios as the Sun itself.  Perhaps I will be considered the one to have coined the term "Extreme Polytheism" as a theological worldview.

Without the Sun, life would not exist. Not to mention that the Sun can actually cure humans of illnesses. The Sun obviously has a consciousness because it can intentionally move things from one place to another, or in and out of human beings. Put babies in this Divine light, and it will save them from jaundice. Stand in it on a daily basis, it will fight your depression.

But wait, can't it also give you skin cancer? Yes, it can, because within a God is also the power to destroy. Although most people are not harmed by an appropriate amount of sunlight. Quite the contrary, they are given life. Perfection is not needed in order to understand that the Sun gives far more benefits than disadvantages. 

It's no wonder that, for countless time periods, the Sun was worshiped across cultures as a God, because it is. Some historians and scholars still argue to this day that even Jesus is a sun god. But that is neither here nor there in this particular post.

Unlike the ancient Greeks, we today know that our Sun is not the only one out there. I suppose it's certainly possible that some Greek thinkers and scientists could have theorized such a reality as well, but not that there are 200 billion galaxies, and those are probably just the ones that we know of. 

There are, in fact, suns out there all over, some far larger than our own.  So if I were on another planet far outside the Milky Way, and there was a bright and wonderful Sun overhead like, or similar to, the one back home, what would I call it? The answer is still Helios.

Why? Because the power of Helios, like the power of all Gods, is not caged into a single body. That's why many of the myths show the Gods changing forms, and even changing the forms of the universe around them, at their whim. 

And for that matter, how do we know that every Sun isn't Helios? What if they are all His body or part of it?

Helios, at least in part, is a universal consciousness. For humans, the mysteries of the Gods dictate that we will never have perfect knowledge or even understanding of all things. Like I commonly tell people; I cannot tell you everything about the Greek Gods, but what I can tell you for certain is that they are real, because they've saved my family more than once.

Pick a nice summer sunset to sit and just look at Helios out there on the horizon, and think about the fact that the same Sun looked upon the dinosaurs, has watched over your entire life, and presided over all Eras and Ages in-between. And that's just the mystery and eternity of one of the Divinities. 

In the Goodness of the Gods,
I'll see you at the next Herm down the road,
Chris Aldridge.