. The Term "Hellenic"
Throughout the 20th century in Europe, America and other places there were many different reconstructions and revivals of ancient non-Christian spiritual practices, new interest in worshiping gods from ancient times, etc. As far as the word "Hellenic" itself, it just means something or someone reflecting ancient Greek spiritual and philosophical traditions.
The name comes from Hellen
, an ancient Greek patriarchal figure (not to be confused with Helen of Troy, a woman), so Greek people were commonly called "Hellenes" in ancient times. Whenever the Greek general, Alexander the Great, conquered a territory and brought his new Greek ruler in to rule it, it was considered at that point to be "Hellenized" (like today we might say somewhere not in America seems "Americanized" because of American businesses or other culturally American things there). A famous example of Helenization is the line of "Cleopatra" queens in ancient Egypt, who were actually all of Greek descent. There were seven of them, the last one being the one about which people have made movies.Hellenism in WiccaHellenism
in the context of Wicca just means incorporating a god or gods from the ancient Greek pantheon into one's Wiccan spiritual practices (I guess you could say, people choose to Hellenize Wicca too, lol). Hecate and Pan seem to be the most popular Greek gods with many Wiccans, from what I've seen. Here's an older post that lists some Greek gods
. When talking about Hellenism and Wicca, I think this author makes some really good points to keep in mind, though: Remember: Hellenism isn't Wicca. While many elements of Hellenism can fit neatly within Wicca, Wiccans need to realize that Wicca is not, in fact, Hellenism. Hellenic Reconstructionist religions are simply different. While Wiccans may be interested in bringing Hellenism into Wicca, Hellenic Reconstructionists are not interested in bringing Wicca into Hellenism.
This is why I use the term “Hellenistic Wicca” rather than “Hellenic Wicca.” Wicca can be ‘Hellenic-flavored,’ but cannot be interchangeable with actual Hellenism as Wicca has too many other influences to be pure Hellenism. Keep in mind that the Wiccan Rede, the Threefold Law and Wiccan ritual tools and structure are not something you find widespread in all ‘Greek’ Paganism. If you do find yourself befriending Hellenists or going to public gatherings, it’s important to keep that in mind. A lot of Wicca 101 books tend to paint all of Paganism as if it follows a Wiccan model, and it’s just not the case and should never be expected. Source: wiccansage.hubpages.com/hub/Hellenistic-WiccaRespecting Others' Spiritual Traditions
I think this what loona wynd was trying to get across in this thread a little while ago is similar to what the author above is saying: Runes and Norse Mysteries
. Since Wicca is a relatively new religion (one of the 20th century revivals I mentioned in the first paragraph above; research "Gerald Gardner"), it often feels offensive to people who practice spiritual paths where their gods are "borrowed" and used syncretically by Wicca, yet taken out of context because a lot of Wiccans mistakenly think any
pagan gods are automatically Wiccan, that any
mention of witchcraft is automatically a reference to Wicca, etc. These misunderstandings are based on a lack of research, and I think all loona wynd was basically saying was that she has come across this quite a bit. Ha, I don't know how many times I have explained that "psychic" "witch" and "Wiccan" are not
synonymous, or that I have had to respond to, "Because I'm psychic that makes me a witch/Wiccan, right?" or vice versa, or "what am I?!" questions.
I guess the safest thing to do is proper research, and have a respectful approach knowing that any gods you adopt into Wiccan spiritual practices already had their own pre-Wicca life that may be thousands of years old. Many (not all) people who revived/reconstructed the worship of Hellenic gods, for example, are of Greek ethnic heritage, and get offended hearing Wiccans say Hellenic gods are Wiccan, though I don't think they mind if Wiccans incoporate those gods into their practices. That, I think, is what the author above meant when she warned against Wiccans imposing Wiccan principles on Hellenic worshippers. You'll see discussions on this message board where, for example, Wiccans warn other witches their spells are "breaking The Threefold Law," without inquiring first as to whether or not that witch cares to observe Wiccan practices. These are just misunderstandings, that's all.
Here is the website for a Hellenistic reconstructionist group based in California for more information: hellenion.org/About.html They worship the Greek pantheon, though they're not Wiccans.