indigenous hellenic religion officially recognized by greek government

Quietly, and without much fanfare, the Greek Government recently approved the indigenous Hellenic religion as a recognized religion, on April 9th, 2017. The official statement, released by the Secretary of the Supreme Council of Ethnic Hellenes, is below

“After more than twenty years of struggle, the Greek state has finally recognized the Hellenic Religion as a «known religion» according to paragraph 17 – the only form of recognition for a religion in Greece. The mentioned paragraph includes the permission to build a temple as well as the right of «public exercise» of any recognized religion. The recognition of Hellenic Religion as a «known religion» is only the first step towards a general recognition of Hellenism. Now the YSEE at Athens is still waiting for recognition as a religious statutory body in Greece. The Supreme council of ethnic Hellenes will approach the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg if the state leaves them no other choice, said its Secretary.”

A member of the Hellēnismôs composes an offering to their deity in the traditional way, Source: Hellēnismôs, https://hellenismos.org/

The group is dedicated to the cause of not only re institutionalizing the freedom to worship their native gods, but to bring about an international recognition of the genocide of the Hellenes by the Eastern Roman Empire and its state church. They are publicly outspoken against racism, nationalism and nazi sympathizers, pointing out the fact that many Odinists were killed alongside Jews and other Pagans during the Holocaust. 
      As a plains native American Indian myself I was amused to find a photo of a traditional medicine man in full regalia presiding over their meeting. My Greek is terrible and Google translate doesn’t work everywhere so I have no idea what the context of the meeting was, but there is a statement that they wish to “internalize” the “
Declaration of War Against Exploiters of Lakota Spirituality”, which was influential in slightly reducing the amount of offensive profiteering taking place within the United States of America by uninitiated, self-titled “shamans” falsely claiming to be practicing true American Indian beliefs.
       The rest of the site is filled with informative articles that can easily be translated into English using Google Translate (right click in chrome and select “translate to English”. There’s also a pleasant photo gallery featuring ritual documentation and pictures of the gods against NASA images. 
      The webpage insists that it is against any kind of syncretic philosophy or occultism, this may seem restrictive or even tyrannical to many occultists, yet it is a necessity. Even though the Hellenic peoples themselves were highly involved in syncretic activities, merging deities with every culture they conquered, this is not necessarily the best way to go forward for a Hellenic reconstructionist effort today. So much has been lost, fractured and completely destroyed within Hellenic culture that allowing random revisionism to creep in would threaten the stability of what they are trying to achieve.
      As it is, The Abrahadabra Institute isn’t interested in religion except in its capacity to instill power and raise the foundation of Man via certain theurgical practices. Nor are we concerned with what religion or atheism our members choose. That being said, groups that are highly specialized, careful, scholarly and interested in an authentic, historical assessment are very useful to us, whether they are theistic or atheistic in nature. Most of the work pertaining to the important deity Ningishzidda, who shares the AIQ BKR Gematria value of 418 with Abrahadabra was fulfilled by the secular Ancient Near East study group Enenuru.net and its founder, emerging Assyriologist Bill McGrath. Without their strict adherence to ancient, original, non-syncretic thought, we would never have been able to unearth important aspects of the godform’s characteristics which can be put to good use in practical theurgy, whether or not one views deities as living beings, merely archetypes useful for theurgical framework, or as a mapping of consciousness nodes.
      An affiliate website, in English can be found at http://www.labrys.gr they offer some free information and an inexpensive book on household practice. The praxis outlined on the site parallels traditional Hermetic ritual as preserved within The Golden Dawn, Rosicrucian Order and so on, which was interesting to see. The rest of Europe was following in some form of Pagan worship before the advent of iconoclasm, and many nations were hugely influenced by Hellenic culture, so it is a very important part of the occult dialectic, particularly in the case of Hermetic traditions.


      We look forward to seeing further developments in the field of Hellenic studies and a revival of the indigenous religion and mystery cults of Greece. 

book review: hermes, guide of souls by karl kerenyi

Hermes is connected with the fourth day of the month and the number four, in general. July 4th is a very special day for the West, as it represents the crowning achievement of the Enlightenment and Western thought; the founding of The United States of America. Ideas of democracy have always been connected to the culture of Greece, and the marks of that ancient culture are all over the place in the U.S.A., from the eagle of Zeus atop our flag, the neoclassical architecture of Capitol Hill, and to the murals of Greek and Egyptian ideas in the Library of Congress. 

Chemistry, in the Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson Building, by Walter Shirlaw, 1898

I’ve been searching for second year curriculum books in anticipation of our membership launch this coming August, which will lead into first year material in March of 2018 for the foundational elements leading up to Mutational Alchemy material which will be presented in the third year. (Yes, it is that involved.) So, naturally I went out and acquired every book on Hermes possible. It’s so difficult finding the perfect book for the job, in any branch of the Hermetic arts.
       Few books on Hermes himself have been quite as lovely and thoughtfully written as Karl Kerenyi’s Hermes, Guide of Souls. Even though it goes over common material like the Odyssey, Kerenyi reveals himself as a crack researcher who notices every little detail Homer instilled in his masterpiece, and manages to reveal Hermes in a way that few other books are able to. Many, like The Egyptian Hermes by Garth Fowden, are very insightful, yet they miss the essence of Hermes as he interests Hermetic Alchemists. 

Instead of focusing on the obvious, Kerenyi “hacks away the inessentials” to reveal the true Hermes, even touching on the mysterious and sinister titanesque nature of the Prince of Thieves, in his thirst for flesh and blood and devotes an entire chapter to his connection to the night.
   It’s definitely an interesting, worthwhile read, and while I would like to say it is the *best* book on Hermes (who has been experiencing a spike in popularity on Reddit’s Occult sub) I haven’t yet passed through 50% of the Hermes books I’ve been reviewing.  It is much less dry than Garth Fowden’s “The Egyptian Hermes” which is an incredible window into the ancient world of Graeco-Egyptian life and packed with useful information, but might leave many readers yawning throughout some of the more technical bits.
      That being said, both books are worth a peak if you love Hermes already. I’m not sure it’s for every pagan and occultists out there, but it is at least both represent scholarly, careful work.  
      Kerenyi explores the works of many other writers such as the classical philologist Walter Friedrich Otto, who influenced him deeply:

Danger lurks everywhere. Out of the dark
jaws of the night which gape beside the
traveler, any moment a robber may emerge
without warning, or some eerie terror, or the
uneasy ghost of a dead man–who knows what may 
once have happened at that very spot? Perhaps
mischievous apparitions of the fog seek to 
entice him from the right path into the desert
where horror dwells, where wanton witches dance
their rounds which no man ever leaves alive.
Who can protect him, guide him aright, give
him good counsel? The spirit of Night itself,
the genius of its kindliness, its enchantment,
its resourcefulness, and its profound wisdom.
She is indeed the mother of all mystery. The
weary she wraps in slumber, delivers from care,
and she causes dreams to play about their souls.
Her protection is enjoyed by the unhappy and 
persecuted as well as by the cunning, whom
her ambivalent shadows offer a thousand 
devices and contrivances. With her veil she
also shields lovers, and her darkness keeps
ward over all caresses, all charms hidden and
revealed. Music is the true language of her
mystery–the enchanting voice which sounds for
eyes that are closed and in which heaven and
earth, the near and the far, man and nature,
present and past, appear to make themselves
understood.

But the darkness of night which so sweetly
invited to slumber also bestows new vigilance
and illumination upon the spirit. It makes
it more perceptive, more acute, more enter-
prising. Knowledge flares up, or descends like
a shooting star-rare, precious, even magical
knowledge. 

And so night, which can terrify the solitary
man and lead him astray, can also be his friend,
his helper, his counselor.

– Otto, The Homeric Gods

Kerenyi himself was a friend of Carl Jung and a famed mythographer and classicist. The book is 149 pages and was first published in Switzerland in 1944 in the German language. 

Featured Image: The Souls on the Banks of the Acheron by Adolf Hirémy-Hirschl, 1898