Before I get too far into this, there are a few points that I’d like to put out there regarding myself, my beliefs and my religion/religious practice. So you know where I’m coming from, to avoid misunderstandings, and for other reasons. So for the record…

There’s a good chance that you’re assuming that I’m pagan. That’s not unreasonable, however it stands to mention that I rarely identify myself as “pagan” for a number of reasons:

1. What does “pagan” really mean? It’s extremely nebulous. Next to meaningless for all intents and purposes as far as I’m concerned.

2. I’ve long since gotten tired of people assuming that “pagan”, for me, meant the generic, vaguely Wicca-flavored neopaganism that Llewelyn publishes a zillion books about. Really, no thanks.

3. To refer to the classical meaning of the word…I’m not a country dweller. Just the opposite in fact, I live, happily, in the middle of Baltimore city. I prefer to live in cities- larger ones at that. Prior to living in Baltimore, the happiest time of my life was the two years that I spent living in Dallas. (It had to do with a lot more than that, but living in the city was definitely a factor.)

4. I’m not a member of the motorcycle gang. 😛

Moving along, there is a very common concept amongst pagans of patron deities. What exactly that means has some variation, but it’s usually something to do with a deity or a few deities to whom one feels closest or has a particularly close relationship. While Apollo could definitely be referred to as my patron deity in such a sense, I do not use that designation for reasons that I cannot put very well into words. “Patron” does not even remotely begin to describe what I feel the relationship is. (And right now, I can’t really tell you that, since I don’t know for certain myself. I’m trying to figure it out. A year ago, I could have told you. But then it started getting interesting.)

Regarding both the “pagan” and “patron god” terminology, I’ve used them not terribly infrequently in the spirit of employing the vernacular when talking to other folks who know what I’m talking about. That feels more and more wrong to me as time goes on, so I’ve not been doing that anymore.
There has been some controversy, especially in the last year or so, amongst sundry Hellenic folks about what is and is not Hellenic reconstruction, what is and is not Hellenismos, bah blah blah. This has lead to lots of debate, argument, fighting, headaches, screaming, nasty blog entries, flaming on email lists and probably puppy-kicking and orphan-punching. To head off any possible miscommunication, nastiness and hair-pulling, please understand:

1. I do not call my religion “Hellenismos”, nor have I ever.

2. I do not call myself a Hellenic reconstructionist, nor have I ever. I have referred to myself as “somewhat reconstructionist” in terms of approach. Reconstructionism is not my religion.

Finally, I do tend heavily towards mysticism. I know that there are those out there who may read this who have the attitude that those of a mystical bent are mentally ill or delusional. If you are going to come here with that attitude, let me be clear: I do see a therapist who is aware of my proclivities. I do run this stuff by him, he doesn’t seem to think I’m crazy. If you think that you are better qualified to discuss my mental state, I will happily refer you to him, it’ll get you out of my hair all the quicker.

Now you know.

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