Despite the fact that family is suposed to be the most important thing in Hellenismos, as this is how traditions are passed down, I’m estranged from my own family for very good reasons — let’s just leave it as my blood relations are people of an extremely toxic sort, and even calling them once every few years on the phone really will invite more harm than good.
“It is not he who begate me, but he who made me a man who is my father.” — Anonymous ancient maxim
The “blood relations” I keep in close contact with are my ancestors, who I communicate through the Goddess Britannia.
My friends have essentially become a surrogate family, and like any family, there are varying degrees of closeness and general willingness to put up with each-other’s eccentricities.
It is with some lament that I admit to having few friends in the Hellenic community, on-line or off, simply because there seem to be only a handful I get along with well enough to consider such. But then again, when narrowed down to the Hellenic community, as opposed to the greater Pagan&Polytheist umbrella, dollar for dollar, there is a higher rate of people I get on well with. When one narrows it down like that, there’s just a higher rate of common ground, even if there are ultimately going to be personality clashes that keep me from really befriending a large amount of people.
Most of my friends are not other Hellenistai — no, most of my friends are other Mods and trad skins. As I’ve said in other posts before, I can count the other Mods into “pagan” religions on one hand, and still have fingers to spare.
While religion is certainly a major part of my life, influencing daily actions and short and long-term projects, the only explanation I can think of for why my patterns of friends has worked out this way is perhaps divine plan: Where Psykhe weaves your thread tightest and why is known only to Her, our only real choice is to follow it.
I’m not the “outest” about my religion —I don’t make it a point to tell every friend about it— but I don’t make it a secret, either. It’s what I do, and while tolerance is necessary to being my friend, I’m not going to test peoples’ patience with subjects they find uninteresting in the name of forcing tolerance. It’s not a “needs to know” thing, but I’m not going to go out of my way to make sure every-one knows, either. That said, most of my scene friends do know, usually because it’s either come up in conversation, or cos they saw a small bust at a DJ gig, or they’ve been to my home and remarked on a painting or shrine, or cos they wander over to these posts via The FaceBorg.
Nobody’s really had to “get used to it”, though I lament that the closest I’ve ever gotten to “converting” any-one was a couple of those friends once each separately remarked that “if [they were] going to be pagan, Classical Polytheism makes more sense and seems more appealing than Wicca, if only cos it really does have history”. No offense to Wiccans, of course; I’m just relaying what others have said to me.
Sometimes, I feel like I’m missing out on something by lacking many friends, especially off-line, who share my religion (even if we have to define it broadly to say it’s shared), but other times, I rather like the fact that I’m quite an oddity amongst my tribe.
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