It’s becoming evident to me that I am not specifically a Hellenic Pagan. Or any particular ancient tradition.

Due to illness, I have been giving regular prayer and offerings to Brigid. I enjoy the Book of Hours that Clann Bhride put out. It feels almost devotional Christian, which I find oddly pleasing. It’s Pagan but also recognizes that there is a Christian element to Her worship…and it shouldn’t be discarded.

So there are a few deities that are my focus. Each of different traditions. Brigid (Gaelic), Aphrodite (Greek), and Sri Ganesha (Hindu). Every once in a while, I will also give worship to Sri Ganapati’s parents, Shiva and Devi, as well.


I am sometimes self-conscious about being one of those “pick-and-choose” type Pagans but I try to respect the original culture and worship of these individual deities. I burn olive oil lamps to Aphrodite, ghee for Ganesha. I give different offerings to each. And, if possible, approach each in the original language.

(Since I’ve worshipped Ganesha for about 16 years, I’ve picked up a bunch of Sanskrit titles and mantras. I don’t know any Greek other than some epithets for Aphrodite, which I try to use during Her worship. There are Gaelic songs for Brigid in the Clann Bhride book that I’ll try to sing).

I find it hard relating to any specific pantheon. If you look at the ancient Greeks and Romans, they were open to many different deities from many different places. (Though there was an unfortunate tendency, especially in Rome, to take another culture’s god and label them as a version of a particular Roman deity.)

I feel as though trying to strictly recreate a particular culture specifically is almost like play-acting. Nova Roma is a Roman reconstructionist group that has its own Roman senate, coins, and everything. But this world that we live in is decidedly a post-Rome world.

We are modern-day Pagans. We cannot ignore the 1600 or so years of history in between the rise of Christianity and revival of Paganism. While I think it’s important to look to the past for inspiration, the world has changed. And not all of that change has been bad. Slavery and misogyny were rampant in ancient cultures. I do not wish to go back to those times.

In a sense, we are living in our own golden age. How can we approach Paganism in a way that makes this world an even better place to live?

Of course, it’s not about us. It’s about the gods. But surely they’ve come back to us now for a reason. Do we recreate the mistakes of the past? How can we avoid this?

I believe the answer lies in prayer and devotion to the gods.


~ by R.M. McGrath on 06/24/2016.

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