This was originally posted on my Patreon and old blog.
Turns out I had a Lot to Say™ so this ended up needing two parts. In Part One, I got into the “something else” rather than explain why I don’t often self-identify as a Hekatean or Hellenic, despite occasionally and partially using both. Somewhat backwards of me but I hope you won’t mind terribly.
As I explained in Part One, Hekate is the central deity of my practice and overall Triskelion system. Understandably, one might ask “how are you not a Hekatean then?”. The answer is, well, I am! I do consider myself a Hekatean practitioner (devotee, witch etc) but I don’t often use it as an identifier unless I’m referring to the Hekatean community in general. The main reason for that being that despite Hekate’s monumental significance in my practice, She is far from the only important deity or influence. Limiting myself to identifying mainly as Hekatean would be a disservice to the other Gods and Spirits I follow and who are dear and important to me.
This reason also applies to my avoidance of “Hellenic” as a self-identifier although in this case, there are other reasons as well. To begin with, I have to say, being ethnically Greek means I am Hellenic anyway. “Hellenic” is an ethnonymic adjective for my people, our land, our culture and all we create (the Hellenic language, for example). We call ourselves “Hellenes”, not Greeks (though the latter exists in our language today as well as in antiquity: “Γραικοί”). We call the Gods my ancestors worshiped and named Hellenic or Greek: they are “of the Hellenes/Greeks”. Furthermore, I do worship and honor Hellenic Gods as well as study and utilize Hellenic sources for religious and magical practices (though not necessarily as a Reconstructionist would).
Technically speaking, I am a Hellenic polytheist. I don’t usually call myself that though. A big reason is my personal disdain with the local and international Hellenic communities and the tendency to equate Hellenic polytheism as a whole with Reconstructionism (which is a methodological approach, not a religion or religious practice in itself). In other words, I avoid self-identifying directly as Hellenic polytheist because I do not want to be associated with the related communities in general (that said, I know plenty of individuals who are excellent people and practitioners and do wonderful work to heal the Hellenic polytheistic communities – sadly internationally more than in Greece). The general disapproval of magic and mysticism in the Hellenic communities is another factor, given the importance of magic and mysticism in my own practice.
I have chosen a unique label for my religious identity (Triskelion Witch) and prefer to use more neutral labels when interacting with less in-the-know people, such as “polytheistic witch” or “religious witch” plus a brief mention of my devotional relationships, i.e. “devotee of Hekate, the Wildwood Court, and the Witchfather”. Even then, despite the rather common label of “Witch”, I still use another word to precede and clarify it. The complexity and multi-aspected nature of my praxis require a suitably unique and specific label. Fun fact, before it evolved to its current incarnation, I used to call the early form of the Triskelion system “NeoHellenic Witchcraft”. However, the growing importance of the Wildwood and the eventual arrival of the Witchfather made me reconsider the place of “Hellenic” in the main name for the practice.
Names are powerful. As a theologian and practitioner of magic, names are power to me. To name something properly, to know its true name, is to hold power over it. Taken a bit further into the mystical, to name something properly, to know its true name, is to truly know that thing. Properly naming yourself, your practice, your work means truly knowing these things. Dare to name yourselves.
As someone who is ethnically Greek as well, I really resonate with what you’re saying. Saying I’m a “Greek Hellenic and Minoan Polytheist” is a bit wordy (and a bit redundant-sounding); sometimes I just say Greek Mystic, Greco-witch, or my username: Minoan Magissa. Names are indeed powerful. By the way, I’m a devotee of Athena and her potential precursor, Atana Potnia, in Minoan Religion – and I have worked with Hekate (Ἑκατη) on occasion. Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts!
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Thank you! I’m glad to hear my words resonated and I’m happy to see others who follow these paths in such a way!
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You’re welcome. As am I!
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