Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Question Collections post 4

I am smack in the middle of moving (sort of, long story), so I have very little time and energy to write. I have, however, amassed quite a few questions which require only short answers, but which would be interesting to readers of this blog, or questions which I have answered in the past but could bear repeating. As I have done before, I'd like to collect some of those questions today.


"What is it like to live in the Netherlands being a lesbian woman and a hellenic polytheist? Are people open minded over there? Is there beautiful nature?"
                                       
I have been fortunate in not having found too much prejudice and backlash in my open style of living here in The Netherlands. Very few people understand my religious inclinations, and most think I’m nuts, but in general, they accept that this is what makes me happy and leave it at that. The Netherlands is a pretty progressive country, and it shows. That said, I have no idea if my religion has ever adversely affected a job interview or anything like that.

As for being gay; I’ve been open about my sexuality since high school, and while I’ve had my fair share of bullying and teasing, in general I have been fortunate in that regard as well. The Netherlands has marriage equality, discrimination based on sexual orientation is not allowed, and the older I get, the less issue people have with my sexuality. The older I get, the less I care about the people who do.

I am very fortunate to live in an area with exceptionally beautiful nature; even my back yard is wild and overgrown. I live ten minutes from a heath and forest. I am very, very, blessed with both.


"I'm a polytheist just getting past the theory and into the practice part of the faith. I've set up a home shrine/altar according to the guidelines from your videos and I'm ready to do a libation. I'm having a bit of trouble with my ethanol. I was doing a test light in my sacrificial bowl, and instead of a nice orderly flame like in your video, I got a small blue fire ball exploding out of the bowl. I wasn't hurt, but I'm worried that I might not be so lucky next time. Have you ever had problems with your ethanol flaring up? If so, how did you take care of them?"

I haven't encountered that specific reaction, but I'm using bio-ethanol as a burning agent, not raw ethanol. Make sure you use something that says 'safe to use in indoor fireplace' or something like that; it will say something about indoor use on the packaging. It could be that you are using something that evaporates too quickly, causing the rapid consummation of the liquid--and thus causing a fireball? Please be careful!


"What would be recommended to burn for the smoldering leaf, if you don't mind my asking? (For khernips) Thank you so much!"

I tend to use verbena or bay leaf for my khernips, but any smouldering herb or scented piece of wood would work well. Unfortunately, we don’t have a perfect guide left over from the ancient Hellenes, so I try to burn something that would be appreciated by the deity in question. Verbena is a good one, though, because it burns easily and gives off its scent right away. Make sure to check if the herbs can't negatively affect your health before burning!


"[H]ave you heard of Daimonia Nymphe? They're a group that plays music in the Ancient Greek style. They do a lot of Orphic hymns, and they're really useful if you want to hear the words spoken and pronounced correctly.

I have definitely heard of Daemonia Nymphe, and while they don't perform a genre of music I enjoy very much, I have listened to them exactly for the reason you describe. In fact, I made a post about some of their work a while back. For anyone looking to get a bit of practice on their Greek, Daemonia Nymphe is a great help! Thank you!


"Is your calendar different from the one on the Hellenion site? Thanks for any explanation. I hope you are well."

I use the HMEPA (Hellenic Month Established Per Athens) calendar as the base for my calendar, and I have added a lot of events to it from my own research, mostly the events of the Mên kata Theion, 'sacred month', and many of the sacrifices I could find in Erchia, Athens, and several other city-states. I think I also ended up disagreeing on a couple of the dates after doing my own research, but in general, if it's on the Hellenion calendar, it's also on mine. I'm not sure how true that is the other way around, though.


1 comment:

Rob Buckley said...

Daemonia Nymphe seem like nice people. Every year, Theatre Lab does a production of ancient Greek play here in London and Daemonia Nymphe perform their music live to accompany the play. You can buy CDs from them after the performances. I chatted a bit with them before the rest of the audience descended on them but didn't ask them if they were Hellenists or not - maybe next year ;-)