Hello! This is Kaye.
This blog is about Hellenic polytheism — specifically Hellenistic Syncretic Polytheism (or HeSP, which you can pronounce hesp, like Hesperos). It means that I worship Greek gods, engage with philosophy and theology, and yet maintain some practices, outlooks, and fusions of all of the above with my root culture; it’s different from the religion practiced by Greek orgs like YSEE or LABRYS even though some/many of the ritual practices may look the same. You will see the word Hellenism in most older posts; I’m trying to move away from that and towards HeSP so we have more clarity of terminology.
My views on this blog are also influenced by my philosophical outlook. I’m veering→Platonism, which is my fun ideogram way of saying that I am extremely into Plato and his commentators, but I am a nonspecialist — if part of the goal of philosophers is to teach people how to be good polytheists, I’m in that target audience. Politically, I’m a social democrat, so I believe in state-provided benefits systems, regulations, and high taxes on people who have too much, so many of my posts draw from this underlying worldview.
The gods I worship the most are Apollon, Mnemosyne, the Mousai, Athene, Hermes, and the Erinyes/Eumenides. I worship Seshat and Bast and do some ancestor worship in a style that is more appropriate for my Scandi and Québécois ancestors. Otherwise, the ritual calendar I follow is lunar (and very similar to the one used by most US-based Hellenistic practitioners). Professionally, I’m a librarian in higher education, and I studied English literature before 1850 and astronomy as a major/minor pair back in undergrad. I am also a published poet and writer.
This blog once lived on Blogger. That site was started in 2008 when I was 20-21, and it was one of the first few blogs on the English-language web (outside of LiveJournal) that focused on recon-style worship of Greek gods. Things have changed a lot since then.
I grew up in American Neopaganism, although my family also attended a Unitarian Society for most of my childhood. (Thank you, Bast!) Gradually, I centered on worshipping Mnemosyne and Apollon, and I spent most of my teens working through advanced, non-initiatory Wiccan books by authors like Christopher Penczak. From 9/2007 to 5/2009, I was a co-chair of the Association of Smith [College] Pagans (ASP), except for the semester I was abroad.
I transitioned into reconstructionist-style Hellenic polytheism in early 2008 because it made sense given the gods I worship, and I read Sallust‘s On the Gods and the World, which convinced me it was the correct path forward. Today, I am mostly religiously active on this blog, although I am a member of Hellenion (note: I don’t speak for them, although I am on the Boule — feel free to ask me questions).
Social Media Presence
I stopped using Facebook in late 2016. To me, local community with ties to others beyond it seems much more sustainable than continuing to exist solely in virtual spaces, and I adhere to digital minimalist positions similar to those espoused in Cal Newport’s book Digital Minimalism, with the caveat that not all of us are so lucky as to have local community. In late 2016, I also quit Instagram; in Fall 2019, I added Instagram back, with the caveat that my account is private, and I prioritize granting permissions to view things to people I know.
I used to be active on Twitter, but have realized over time that Twitter’s toxicity outweighs the delights of the sub-communities I enjoyed interacting with there. Ergo, I’m on hiatus from Twitter until January 2020, and I’m currently deciding whether I will go back there at all and what the healthiest use of the platform looks like.
In the previous iteration of KALLISTI, I had hundreds of posts dating from when I was 20 to the present. My ideas have shifted a lot since then, and this is a great opportunity to share my current thoughts on polytheism without having to account for ideas I had when I was 20 that I no longer have at 32. A lot is different in society now from when I was younger, which is probably best explained by sharing this Twitter thread.
On this blog, I plan to share personal practice anecdotes — good and bad — alongside things that I think are generally helpful to the community. This is a living space, and not everything is set in stone.