Showing posts with label People. Show all posts
Showing posts with label People. Show all posts

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.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Love and Lust Are Equally Beautiful

When the universe came into existence, Eros was among the first to be born, which means that life and beauty came from both love and eroticism, for He is the God of both love and lust. People today act as though lust is something to be avoided and reviled, unvirtuous at best, but that's just our brainwashed minds talking, repeating the modernized social norms, mainly derived from Abrahamic cultures, to make us feel ashamed of our humanity. 

Love and lust are both equally valid and wonderful, and one can be found powerfully in the other. Diverse pleasure is the human experience. It allows you to accept everything as it is, and people as they are, without ruining your relationships or experiences.

For starters, no lifelong love begins with love. Most of the time, no one says I love you on the first date. It all begins with a lust. The person turned you on, caught your eye, struck your interest. Maybe you even had sex on the first encounter, and that's wonderful. When you receive someone to share intimacy with, it's a gift from Aphrodite, as well as Eros, and you should enjoy it. 

I know I have certainly had such experiences in the past. I have even been with women who I only had sex with once, which means it was lustful, and yet, I still care for them even to this day. Because you share something special with the person(s), and in your mind and heart, that will always mean something. In fact, throughout my younger life, I ignored several opportunities to have that pleasure with people, and I later had to work through the regret. You'll always regret the things you don't do. Take it from someone who knows, don't pass it up. 

Within lust, one can as well find that they love something or someone. Equally, within love there can be lots of lust. I dearly love my wife, but I still have the carnal desire for all that she is, which would be called lust. I love her body, her kiss, and her touch, and also notable, the lust drives the passion that has never died for the entire 15 years we have been together.

These are all powerful and important forms of sexuality and human interaction; sometimes one even hinges on the other. Somethings are meant to turn into lifelong love, and others are meant for pleasure's sake, for the benefit of friendship and attraction, and both of these can bring equal amounts of joy, beauty and support into your life. 

Life was, is, and always will be multifaceted. An individual is not meant to be just one thing, or experience one event, throughout their entire life. The opportunity to take part in all that life has to offer is not meant to be feared. We are meant to live fully. The Gods did not give us life, and send people and things into our lives, for no reason at all. We are meant to enjoy and find pleasure in all of that, to learn and grow, and define all that is part of our lives.

That is, if you accept that both love and lust are valuable. If you abandon one another just because of the kind of attraction and connection you have, you'll always lose all the benefits of that relationship. If you are of the mind that you should resent your humanity, you must first change that mindset, and realize that your humanity is blessed, not damned.

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

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

When Religion Was What It Should Be

Crusades, terrorism, and oppressive theocratic dictatorships. These are the things that commonly come to mind today when people think of widespread religion, mainly because we are so used to seeing the dominant religions, which are based on oppression, wreak havoc on the world. A fringe element of radical Muslims committed the worst terrorist attack on American soil, and only our Constitution stops radical Christians from using the government to force everyone into their way of life.

It's almost as if you have to rally against religion if you want to be a freedom fighter, or at least stand against the militant elements of it. However, religion was not always like this, which is something that Pagans and Polytheists like myself are trying to teach and bring back to humanity. Religion was not about imposition in ancient times, nor did it possess so much insecurity that one culture couldn't stand another simply because they had a different religion. Ancient man found himself more than able to live harmoniously in a diverse world. Of course his own culture had its own theology and customs, but there was never any reason conceived to force the entire world into the same way of life. When a Greek visited Egypt, for example, they didn't demand that the Egyptians worship the Greek Gods instead, and abandon their own culture. 

When I was in my first year of college in 2008 back in North Carolina, my philosophy and writing class held a discussion on the history of religion and spirituality. At one point, a girl across from me said that ancient religion was the way religion was supposed to be. It was about a man, woman, or community worshiping their Gods, so that the City, sea, fields, etc, would produce the good and productive things of life for them. 

Only later when I became a Hellenist did I fully understand where she was coming from. Hellenists worship the Gods because it brings bliss to our lives, and shows our proper reverence for the Higher Powers. We simply love and also respect our Gods. Even to this day, we are perfectly content in our own skin, and do not concern ourselves with the fact that other people may have a different theology. 

The admission of monotheism was really the time when religion became globally weaponized, especially when governments realized the great ability that religions like Christianity had to control massive amounts of people. Even though religion had changed, mostly by force, it still retained an ultimate place of importance in people's lives, especially as time went on and the newer generations could be lied to about how their ancestors were converted, and governments were not ignorant of this. They found that they were able to use the new religions and their orthodoxies to produce any kind of obedience, war or wealth they so desired.

However, theology itself was, and is, about the Divine and the human experience of it. It's not about a system of oppression. I don't normally think about it when I walk through my temple doors, but it should be a revelation that I don't walk through them for the same reason I did church doors when I was a Christian. It's not my hope that the world bows to me, but that I find the Gods in my life. If we as the human race could but understand the simple truth that this is the goal of human religion and spirituality, we would never again fall.

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

Monday, November 27, 2023

The Ancient Chaotic Void Still Exists, But The Gods Fill It

The other night, my wife and I were watching one of our favorite TV series together, and one of the main characters was talking about his unwavering devotion to his religion. He faced so many persuasive opportunities for his own personal gratification, which he desperately longed for, but it was always on the condition that he betray his spiritual convictions, and that he would not do. He basically said that without Higher Powers, nothing else mattered. While the character was not the same religion as us, I could not disagree with his general conclusion.

The ancient Greeks believed that the universe began as Chaos and a vast void, then after a long passing of time, Order came and the void was filled, and in that Order was life, in a nutshell. It's the creation of all that exists today according to the ancient Greeks.

That void was generally conquered by the Gods, but I think the battle between Gods and Chaos can sometimes find itself at a constant. Throughout Greek religion and myth, even though the Gods brought Order, there were still Heroes who had to kill or conquer many things that disrupted the common good of life.

I've said in the past, and meant it, that even if someone offered me a billion dollars on the condition that I renounce the Gods, I would not do it - nor would I even need time to think about it. Because I know that no matter how much material I have, without the Gods there would be a hole that could never again be filled in my life. If all you have is the mere physical, which eventually fades or goes just far enough to indulge the carnal, that won't be enough. Most of us need something eternal and undying. Over 60% of studies have shown that religious people are less depressed.

I think that somewhere inside of us, and in the universe itself, there remains the threat of that vast void, and it will consume us if the Gods aren't there. No amount of money or mansions can conquer it. I'm not saying that financial success can't bring a substantial level of happiness, or any said success in the mortal world, but without the Gods, you're always going to feel a blackness or a bottomless pit inside you somewhere. There is something we long for that the mundane simply cannot satisfy. 

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

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Soul's Journey: Ancient Greek Afterlife from Start to Finish

"Not a man alive can send me to Haides until it's my time, and when it is my time, be I brave or coward, nothing can stop it." - Homer.


During my life as a Hellenist, I have more than once happened upon questions concerning the ancient Greek afterlife. What is it? Why would you want to go there? What happens? What are your goals? The curiosity and desire for possible knowledge never ends, and deservedly so. 

Especially in our time, it's only natural that people be exceptionally wonderous, for not much has been seriously written or thought about on the topic in over 2,000 years, certainly not in a serious religious context. Nevertheless, belief in the old Gods continues to rise and death impacts us all, from the passing of people we know and love to the realization that we will one day join them.

I intended to answer all of those questions and more. Although the interesting factor is that the afterlife is not the primary focus in Hellenism. We believe in an elaborate world full of possibilities, and yet, the beyond is not our primary target. It's also very relevant to say that not all Hellenists believe the same things about it. There is no holy book.

Using my own worldviews along with Greek myth and religion from times forgotten, I will attempt to paint the most vivid depictions possible, from the last breath to the final destination, if there indeed is one.

Section 1: Get Some Coin!
Bad news! Or maybe good depending on how you see it. You're about to take your last breath. Thanatos, the Spirit of death, is here. Hopefully, you're also being visited by Makaria, the Spirit of blessed death. 

But before now, did you ever stop to wonder what it's like to stop existing in your current form? What it's like to go to sleep for decades, only this time, to never wake again?

Some indeed are terrified at the mere thought. Bad news certainly, although Plato said that death isn't the worst thing that can happen to a man. The truth is that you're not dead, your body is. Death is not the ultimate end but a transition. It may, therefore, be inaccurate to call it the afterlife because life does not cease, it simply changes.

Take the air in one last time, then exhale. Your whole life flashes before you, then you blackout. All physicality has ceased. Your current life is over.

Since most people today are not Hellenists, I hope you left instructions. Your body, being dead, is now considered a pollutant upon the living, and anyone who comes into contact with it will need to later cleanse themselves with sulfur to purify their own body and life. Although in today's time, the undertaker will probably bear most of the burden.

At your funeral, coin of proper value will have to be placed with your body. Why? Because soon, in the spiritual world where you now stand, you will meet Charon the boatman, and you'll need that transcendental payment for him to boat you across the rivers, but more on that a bit later.

The good news about the money is that the exchange rate from ancient to modern time is very affordable for even the poorest of people. One coin, or obol, would be placed in the mouth of the body. Today, that value would be 10 USD. There are very rare $10 coins that can be purchased through the US mint, but it would be very costly and not arrive in time. However, paper dollars can be exactly exchanged for gold coin dollars at most banks. All 10 can be placed in the mouth, which would be the traditional method.

Why the mouth? It must have been believed that the mouth was the place from which the soul emanated, because part of the coin practice was to seal off the entrance the soul could use to return to this world. It makes sense. The mouth is where the very breath of life comes from. It was time for the soul to pass on and therefore had to be directed into the next realm. And so what better way to make sure the soul can retrieve the ferryman's fee?

I have also heard of coins being placed over the eyes or in the hand of the body, but I think that's more modern than ancient.

Coin Practice Continues Today!
Leaving coins for the dead has, in fact, never left the human condition. If you take a stroll through a large graveyard or cemetery, you may see a tombstone or marker with a variety of coins on it, especially if the deceased was military. The love of War Heroes is very ancient Greek. Heroism on the battlefield also wasn't only reserved for Kings and Generals. All of the Homeric warriors are Heroes, and a City or Locality in the ancient Greek world might even worship a soldier as a Hero if they came from, and died in service of, that City.

Coins left today on graves normally have several meanings depending on the value of the currency, usually having something to do with the visitor's relation to the dead person.

The Funeral
According to ancient Greek customs, your body must go through proper funerary rites. It must be washed and dressed in clean clothing or garments, something that, again, the undertaker would handle today. However, a female member of your family must anoint the body with olive oil.

"I anoint you in the good name of Hermes, the Guide of Souls, and for Haides, Receiver of the Dead."

Believe it or not, much of the same funerary customs in ancient Greece are still observed today in the West. All those years you may have spent as a Christian, not knowing you were performing Greek Polytheistic rites during the funerals of your friends or family.

The cleaning, dressing and laying out of the body for viewing with the feet facing the door and the head resting on a pillow, the area decked with funerary decorations, memorabilia, and emblems of mourning such as wreaths and flowers, the recitation of songs and prayers, accompanying the deceased to their final resting place, and even the feast or reception after, all originated from ancient Hellas. A laurel wreath should also be placed upon your chest. 

However, if it is all ancient Greek custom, your body will not be buried until nightfall, at which time you would have the pall bearers and a procession that includes friends and family. At the gravesite or cremation location, a final funerary speech would be given, hopefully in good praise of you.

The end comes when you are lowered into the ground or set ablaze in cremation. The only thing that will remain of your old self above ground is the tombstone or marker, although you are never completely separated from the living. 

In Greek belief, your grave is a direct link to you in the Underworld or afterlife, and libations can be poured down to you from that very spot. In fact, at the funeral, a declaration is recited to make your memory last forever, and then libations of water, olive oil, milk and honey are made, one for each declaration, then the vessels are broken onto the ground as the pourers turn away from the deceased.

Ideally, your friends and family will maintain religious honors for you each year. But that's their job. Yours is now to start your journey through the Underworld.

On The River Bank
The River Styx waits for you to cross it. While you stand upon the shore, think of all who have passed here before you, and even Achilles Himself who was dipped into the water as an infant. But why water or a river? How does this manifest into a reality of life after death? Simply put, water is not only the element of spirituality, but the eternal, recycling element of life through which all life must travel. Hermes Himself led you to the entrance where the river starts. Now you wait.

The Styx (Hate) in particular stands as a border between the world above and below, or rather, the living and dead. When Charon approaches you in his boat, you will hand over the 10 gold coins that were left with you by friends or family. You can now board and begin your journey, but don't expect to see all rainbows along the way.

If you do not have the coin to pay Charon, there's bad news. You will not be able to board, and you'll have to wait on the shores for 100 years. But if that is indeed the case, look at it this way, you'll have lots of company especially in today's time.

We might modernly interpret this to mean that those who do not cross with Charon, for whatever reason, remain ghosts. In fact, even Plato talked about the phantoms that haunted the tombs and cemeteries around his area in the Dialogue of Phaedo. 

The Underworld is divided by 4 other rivers. These are Akheron (Woe), Kokytus (Wailing), Phlegethon (Fire), and Lethe (Forgetfulness). All of the rivers have something that links them with death. The hate people have for death and dying, the woe and wailing that comes from everyone effected, the fire that destroys and purifies the dead and the living, and the forgetfulness that the soul goes through to forget its previous incarnation or mortal life (perhaps this explains why reincarnated people cannot readily recall their past lives).

Judges of the Underworld
You probably thought you'd be meeting Haides Himself here, but no. He's very Supreme and has lots of lower officers, if you will, to handle the duties necessary; people He can trust and who lived greatly enough to be able to adequately judge the deeds of men. You will eventually face the 3 Judges of the Underworld. They are Minos, Rhadamanthys, and Aiakos. 

These 3 Judges are also given access to different parts of the afterlife or Underworld. Haides entrusts His very keys to Aiakos. Rhadamanthys will be the one deciding if you get Elysion or not (some may consider Elysion to be the same as the Isle of the Blessed). And Minos who normally gets the last vote. 

The very interesting thing about Minos as a Judge of the Underworld is that we don't actually know who he is. Many automatically connect him with the Minos of Theseus, but historians now think that Minos was a dynastic title, not something reserved for only one person. The Minos of the Underworld is therefore technically not identified. Very fascinating and also a little unsettling, to my mind any way.

Where Will You Go?
With 3 Judges, it may not be outlandish to connect them with 3 commonly known realms of the afterlife. If you were a virtuous and pious person, Elysion is your reward, which is basically the ancient Greek version of heaven. It is nothing but an eternity of peace, beauty and bliss. If you were exceptionally bad, Tartaros will likely be your destination, which is the ancient Greek version of punishment and torment (although, as you will see, it's not eternal). Finally, someone who has been neither good or evil may find themselves a resident of the Underworld or reincarnation.

Er Tells All!
Toward the end of the 10th Book of Plato's Republic, the philosopher describes a man named Er, who had a near death experience, but returned to tell of the amazing parts of the afterlife he had experienced. It is truly a fascinating account, but also very lengthy, so I will do my best to sum it up adequately. 

Er was a solider who fell on the battlefield, but unlike his comrades, he was not completely dead. He recovered, but during the penetration of the other side, he was told that he was to return to the physical world and tell people what he had witnessed.

He described people coming down from heaven and up from the earth, the ones from below being unpurified and the ones from above being holy. The two classes talked with each other about both places, the earthly wanting desperately to reach heavenly, but could not because, presumably, they were still on their journeys below to make up for the injustices they had inflicted on others during their life, each injustice having to be repaid 10 times over.

Er then describes the fate of the most wicked of people, Tartaros. They, he said, had not paid a sufficient penalty and thus heaven rejected them as they tried to go upwards. They were bound by their hands and feet, lacerated, and dragged to the entrance where they would be thrown into the bowels of the gloom. But Er also gives the impression that even if someone is sentenced to punishment, they can ascend after they have served their time.

Er now talks about the many facets of "the light and whorl" which hold all things together in many manifestations, and the souls of the many reaching it over all of heaven and earth. And that among these things, people are given new lives to return to, not always human lives either. Once all was decided, they were immediately launched up into their new births. In other words, Er not only saw people in the bliss of heaven and the atonement of below, but also in reincarnation. 

Of course, keep in mind, this is a very, very brief description; one needs to read the account completely to grasp the true amazement of it all. 

Conclusion
I cannot say for certain what your journey will be, nor mine, when the time comes. But what seems to be a consensus is that whether your next life will be happy, hateful or neutral, or what you may have to go through to get to the life you want, depends on how you have chosen to live the life you're presently in. Keep this in mind always, before every decision, before every action, before every word. Live a pious and virtuous life.

What're my goals? I'd say to reach peace and happiness. That may take a very long time, but that's where I'm headed, friends. 

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

Sources

Adkins, Lesley and Adkins, A. Roy, Handbook To Life In Ancient Greece, Oxford University Press, New York, 1997.

Hellenic Council YSEE of America, Hellenic Ethnic Religion: Theology and Practice, New York, 2018.

Cooper M. John, Plato Complete Works, Hackett Publishing, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1997.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Have City Loyalty; Your Greek Ancestors Would Be Proud

There was no mortal establishment more important to an ancient Greek than their City State (Polis). It was not only their place of residence, but their nationality and the identity of their particular part of Hellenic religion. 

Someone from Athens or Sparta would have called themselves Athenian or Spartan, not Greek in the sense of an all in one national people. In fact, Athenians and Spartans would have probably taken grave offense if you had called them the same people.

To an ancient Greek, cities also didn't have to be highly populated. In modern America, we call locations with only a few thousand people villages, but the Greeks would have considered them cities still. While places like Athens eventually boasted huge numbers, many cities had at, under or a little over 5,o00 people. And so my location (Machesney Park, Illinois), which houses well over 20,000, would certainly meet the definition.

Yesterday as I was driving home through Rockford and back into the Park, I thought on things I wanted to buy, and although I was several miles from home, I wanted to try there first, because I like keeping as much of my commerce as possible in the place where I reside. So I took the extra miles for my City, because that's what a Hellenist should do.

Since I set up my temple in Machesney, I've become increasingly involved in the City's politics and services. I've even considered running for office, but never actually have. The national identity, and even state identity stage, is of course very important, but your City literally hits home. It's where you spend most of your time, where you experience your love life, home, career and where you pray to your Gods.

You may not realize, but your City is of the most importance, because whatever happens there, has the greatest chance of happening to you as well. If the economy tanks, you will feel the bankruptcy. If crime spikes, you may need a few more locks. If the environment isn't kept clean, it could come out of your faucet or garden. 

If something, good or bad, happens in a City or State 2,000 miles away, you wouldn't even know it if not for the news. But if it happens where you live, the ripples are on their way to you. 

Therefore, make your City good and protect it from the bad. Stand up for her and her people. Run for office, go to the Council meetings, voice your concerns, write your representatives, get involved in community projects, spend your money at City businesses, and something else you may not consider, be kind to your fellow citizens. The more supported and happier a people are, the better their City will do.

You don't have to be the federal President or join the Marine Corps to serve. The opportunity to be of invaluable service is before each and every one of us right now, by the simple fact that we live there.

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

Sunday, April 9, 2023

It's The Size Of Your Devotion, Not Your Altar

It has taken me over a decade to build the beautiful temple and sanctuary that I have today, and I won't pretend for a second that I don't love it. Like anyone, and as the Maxims of Delphi say, I would stand to protect and preserve what is mine. 

But that is certainly not to say that I have always had big and elaborate places of worship. In fact, for most of my Hellenic life up to this point, I've been lucky to have enough space for religious purpose at all. The picture on the left is of my Sphinx Altar, if you will, that I had back in 2018 when I lived in South Beloit, Illinois, only about a year before my wife and I bought the house and land that we have officially built our temple on. 

The altar sat on top of a slim bookcase at the window where sunlight could reach it, and the tools were simply a small brass tripod cup for libation offerings (normally oils), a decorative glass on the far right for digestive libations, a porcelain block for burned sacrifice (normally incense), and a decorative brass plate in the back left for solid offerings like food and valuables. 

It was incredibly small compared to what I have today, and nothing to match any kind of public space. But it was mine, and I made it beautiful with my statues, artworks, and most importantly, my devotion.

There's a wonderful ancient story from Delphi about a very poor man named Hermioneus. Upon his visit to Apollon's altar there, he encountered a very rich man from Thessaly. The rich man showered the God with very expensive and lavish gifts that only the fullest of pockets and bank accounts could accrue, thinking that he surely had the favor of Apollon as a result. 

When Hermioneus came forward to present his gifts, he took from his pouch a mere small portion of field barely and placed it upon the altar. The rich man may have laughed, at least on the inside. But through the Oracle, Apollon spoke, and said that He liked the offering of Hermioneus more.

You see, the rich man was concerned with vanity, whereas the sincere devotion came from Hermioneus. It was nothing for the rich man to give Apollon the best money could buy, because he had all the money. It would be like Jeff Bezos donating ten thousand dollars, knowing that it means absolutely nothing to him. 

But the devotion of Hermioneus meant everything, because it was the best he could give, to do his best, before the Gods. In short, there was character in his sacrifice. It was sincerity not flattery. I highly doubt that Hermineous returned home to a lavish altar or shrine either. You yourself may also raise your hands before a very humble worship space, but remember the story and what it really means to be Hellenic.

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