Showing posts with label Athene. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Athene. Show all posts

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Christian Pastor Threatens Nashville Parthenon

It's April Fools Day, so here's a fool, was my initial response when I came across a facebook video posted by Hellenic Awakening of a Christian Pastor named Pastor Dowell, walking into the main chambers of the magnificent Nashville Parthenon. There he gets on video, calling Athene ugly names, calling Her a "false God," and threatening to "take a sledgehammer" and destroy it. He also makes a reference to the Goddess Nike who is in the hand of Athene's statue, equating it with the popular shoe brand. He's apparently too ignorant to realize that it's not the Goddess who is named after the shoe, but the shoe that was named after the Goddess far later in human history. I'm willing to bet he doesn't even know what the name Nike means without looking it up. The video was posted on his own youtube channel last summer, but was uploaded to the Hellenic facebook page this year. For those who wish to see this magnificent display of human idiocy, I will put a link at the end of this post, but for now, I want to talk about my thoughts on the matter in full.

One of the first thoughts that ran through my mind was the fact that he's clearly a radical Christian and monotheist who hates the old Gods, yet he pays money to enter Athene's temple, money that will be used to help maintain the facility and the things inside it, including the statue. Maybe he didn't think of that initially, but it's amazing to me how he would be so dedicated to his hate that he would actually help support what he hates just so he could film it for one minute and fifteen seconds.

I'm not really concerned with his personal religious opinions about Athene or the Greek religion. For two thousand years, we've heard these rants about "false Gods" and the host of other insults the anti-Polytheism crowd throws. The Greek Gods have been more real in my life than Jesus ever dared to, that's for sure. But whatever he personally believes, I could not care less about. It's what he threatened to do next that has me upset. He said he wanted to take a sledgehammer and destroy it, meaning presumably the statue of Athene.

The fact that he would somehow think he has a right to destroy something that other people spent a lot of money building and maintaining, really shows not only how crazy he is, but how little he regards other human beings. It shows what he thinks of the human right to freedom of religion, expression, and private property. Everyone who built, maintains and admires that temple is completely willing to give this pastor his religious freedom, but he's not willing to give it back to them in return. What's notable is how comparable his words are to that of the Islamic State, who also goes around taking hammers to statues and other ancient relics.

I also find it equally disturbing that no Christians have come out to condemn his words. 

There are some things I think we need to consider here. One, the Nashville Parthenon should be notified of this man issuing public threats against their establishment. I do plan to contact the facility soon and inform them of my concerns. I will also be sending a copy of the video along with it. Two, it should remind Hellenists and Pagans that the threats to our rights and the things we hold dear are still, unfortunately, very real in our time. We've been facing it for centuries, and sadly, it still hasn't ended. And three, consider donating to and/or being a patron of the Nashville Parthenon so they can remain strong and growing. I've been there twice to give reverence to the Goddess, and it truly is a wonderful place.

The man ends his video stating that our nation doesn't fear his god. Well, that's one of the best things about the United States. No one is obligated to fear his god, or worship his god, or do anything that supports his religion or worldviews. Rest assured, our founders had people like him in mind when they wrote the first amendment, guaranteeing freedom of religion and protection to all human beings. It's still extremely vital that we don't forget that, and are always prepared to stand and defend it against tyrants, fascists and terrorists.

Link to Video - Click Here

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Hidden Hellenic Secrets: The Mark of Poseidon's Trident

Like many other religions, Hellenism is filled with its mysteries, perhaps housing among the most of the world's religions. As a constant student of ancient Greece, and of course, a modern ancient Greek worshiper, I am always on the lookout for truths of our spirituality and people, things surfacing to show the powerful reality behind Hellenic Polytheism. Mostly all religions do this. Whether they have sacred artifacts, or like in this post, an actual imprint of a God's staff, the mysteries of the Divine are numerous, and I simply love exploring them. I am equally excited that you, the reader, have decided to join me on this particular exhibition.

We probably all know of the ancient Athenian myth concerning the contest between Athene and Poseidon, both Gods battling it out for control of the new city. Poseidon struck the earth with His trident to produce His gift to man (some say a horse, others a spring), and Athene then raised Her own (the olive tree). Athene's gift was determined to be the most useful and She was awarded the Patronage of Athens.

I've been reading a book recently called, The Parthenon Enigma, by Joan Breton Connelly. The Parthenon, as we all know, was the Temple of Athene that stood atop the Acropolis. I think it's important to remember, as well, that Connelly presents historical and unbiased research. She is a classical archaeologist, and gives very good information from what I can tell. On page 109 of her book, I found something extraordinary to say the least. Placing the contest between Athene and Poseidon on or near the Acropolis, she says that even now, an indention of a trident is visible in the bedrock below the Erechtheion temple (also on the Acropolis), marking the spot where the God hit the ground.

Since ancient times, this eternal scar upon the surface, left over from Poseidon's mighty staff, still speaks to us now of the wonder of the Gods. Certainly, it's no less than a holy place for Hellenists like myself. In school, many of us were taught a number of things about special places and objects concerning the world's religions, but how many of us were told where we could find the place where Poseidon struck the earth? The answer is, none of us. That is one of my main points in this post. Our modern society has only recently begun to treat Hellenism as a legitimate religion in the world. For years, we were blanketed with ignorance by the educational system, teaching us little to nothing about ancient Greek spirituality. Only when we reached adulthood and entered the religion, did we understand for ourselves the immense beauty, truth and magnificence of it. I'm not saying that the school system should teach a religion. I am saying that Hellenism should be included in teaching about the religions of the world. Teaching the facts of a religion is not the same as telling students what to believe or how to live. Furthermore, I want the educational system to treat Hellenic Polytheism as a legitimate religion the same as it would the mainstream belief systems.

As someone closely tied to the element of water, I am close to Poseidon, and consider Him one of my Patrons. But to read something this profound honestly gave me a new sense of holiness with my religion. In the past, I've even thought about writing a book concerning the truths and wisdom of Hellenism. I see such books on mainstream religions, but none on the ancient. That needs to change, and even if in a small sense, this publication in question concerning Poseidon has started to turn that tide. For us Hellenes, it speaks truth to the presence of our Gods, that they are here within the universe and the lives of mortals.

In closing, I hops this post gets people thinking and interested in studying the history of Hellenic religion and culture.

In the Goodness of the Gods,

Connelly, Breton Joan, The Parthenon Enigma, New York, Vintage Books, 2014. Print. (pp.109)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Learning From The Greek Gods: Athene

Athene, spelled in Latin as Athena, is one of the most powerful and influential Goddesses, not just in Greek culture, but ever in the history of the world. She appears on currency and within American states, and Her statues can be seen standing in places around the world, including before the entrance of the University of Athens in Greece. Athene encompasses many attributes and epithets, but some of Her main ones are wisdom, war, and domestic art. She can be prayed to for protection and victory in battle, whatever form that battle may come in, and the wisdom of the heavens and beauty of the arts. Abundantly, I pray to Athene for protection and defense. In the past, I have managed to successfully invoke Her in these regards and the results were beyond any description of amazement. But I also never neglect to recognize Her wisdom as well, for She is great enough to fight, but also wise enough to resolve conflicts without it, and my endless pursuit of wisdom in general doesn't neglect to have Her in mind.

We can learn many great things from Athene, one of them being the necessary components of battle. When Athene fights, She does not hold back. She fights with all of Her might and does not give up. She accepts nothing but victory, and She has always achieved it. When we are involved in our own battles in life, we too should understand that the time for war, or the time to fight, has arrived, and when there is no other choice, we must commit ourselves fully to the defense of ourselves, family and all that we love and hold dear. We too must only accept victory when we have been given no other choice but to achieve it as an outcome.

Athene is also the Goddess of Wisdom. While She is a fierce fighter, She would rather have peace. If She can avoid the conflict, She will. In other words, when a conflict arises, if peace is possible, She will try for it. She only fights when She must. This can also be our own inspiration for how to settle conflicts. Sometimes, fighting is unavoidable, but we should make sure that, before we engage in it, we have tried all other solutions. We too should prefer peace to war, and try our best to make that the outcome instead of jumping right into throwing punches.

Athene's wonderful beauty is also expressed in art, particularly the domestic. When I pray to Her in these regards, I ask Her to, "mold and weave my home into a place of beauty," and in fact, a statue of Her honoring this epithet stands in my home. Domestic art can include anything from weaving and sewing, to the homemade culinary arts (food-making). In this, She comes to provide comfort and happiness in our homes, whether we find that in our beautiful creations for the home, or in the meals we prepare and enjoy with our families. These times and things are very valuable in terms of our satisfaction in life and the contributions and growth to our families.

Athene is strong enough to do battle, wise enough to create peace, and beautiful enough to enrich lives.

In the Goodness of the Dodekatheon,