About KALLISTI & Me

Hello! This is Kaye. Welcome to my religious blog. I’ve divided the About Me page into three sections — (1) Intentions; (2) Some History; and (3) Perspective.

Note: If you’re looking for my contact info, email me at
kallisti {at symbol} fea {dot} st

Intentions

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. Some things you may see include:

  • Commonplace book posts, often called A Miscellany of Quotations: followed by information about which authors I’m quoting.
  • Practical guides that describe how to get started with the basics of practicing polytheism, with most examples drawing on my experience worshipping (primarily) the Hellenic Gods.
  • Poetry and prayers given to the Gods.
  • Information about things I’m trying out in ritual or rituals I have conducted.
  • Essays, often impromptu, about a variety of topics at the intersection of polytheism and practice. Occasionally, I also write essays about astronomy, science, and polytheism.
  • Essays about minimalism, consumerism, and polytheism.
  • Occasional cross-posts from my writing blog when I have done something that is topically relevant to this blog.

As a caveat, I have absolutely no polytheism-related credentials — I’m not a priestess, oracle, or member of any organization, and I don’t have any degrees that give me academic authority on religious topics, either. My only two applicable experiences are growing up in Neopaganism and, after I became an adult, over thirteen years worshipping the Hellenic Gods and researching theology and philosophy to inform my ritual practice and everyday life. The more I read and apply what I have learned, the more I realize just how little I know and how much there is left to uncover.

Some History

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 the Hellenic 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. From 2009-2020, I was a member of Hellenion.

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. I started a blog called KALLISTI, which I sunsetted in the mid-2010s only to restart it again on WordPress a year or two later.

In the previous iteration of KALLISTI, I had hundreds of posts dating from when I was 20 to the present. My perspective and beliefs have shifted a lot since then (for instance, I don’t call what I do “recon”), 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 in my mid-30s.

Perspective

I am a polytheist, which means I worship many Gods and divinities. Many of the Gods I worship are Hellenic, and within that framework, the term “Hellenistic Syncretic Polytheism” (HeSP) is an accurate way to characterize the practice. I engage with Hellenic Gods, philosophy, and theology, but I am not Greek — I am Scandi and French-Canadian American. My practice is different from the religion practiced by Greek orgs in Greece and the Greek diaspora even though many elements may look the same. I do not use the word Hellenism, as it refers to Hellenic (Greek) culture in general. The Gods can be worshipped by anyone, and we always need to think about how cultural reception impacts how we first encountered the Gods and what that means for our practice so we can fully integrate our spirituality into our lives.

The Gods I worship the most are Apollon, Mnemosyne, the Mousai, Athene, Hermes. For several years, I worshipped the Erinyes/Eumenides very heavily. I keep a generically polytheistic practice for ancestral Gods, spirits, and ancestors, motivated by the philosophers’ insistence on respecting our lived context and practices associated with it; however, in the words of Rumi, “being human is a guest house” — these ancestral practices shift from lifetime to lifetime, and our engagement with them is transient. Right now, that means having a household practice for several Nordic and Gaulish Gods. In another lifetime, who knows? My devotion to the Gods who hold my heart (okay, specifically Apollon) is a much stronger thread. I follow a lunisolar ritual calendar. Professionally, I’m a librarian in higher education. I studied English literature before 1850 and astronomy as a major/minor pair back in undergrad. I am also a published poet and writer.

My views on this blog are definitely influenced by my philosophical outlook. I love Plato and the Platonists and read them voraciously, but I am a nonspecialist despite having been veering→Platonism for years at this point. If part of the goal of philosophers is to teach people how to be good polytheists, I’m in their target audience. Politically, I’m a social democrat — economically very progressive, socially moderately progressive (… I have read the Protagoras …), according to one quiz. While I’m still registered Democrat to vote in the primaries, I joined the Working Families Party in late 2021 because it more closely matches my top policy positions. Lighting incense and praying to the Gods is available to anyone with the desire to learn how to pray — I’m offering this information about me in the spirit of disclosure, and you can make of it what you will.