30-Day Religious Meme — Day 22 ~ Hellenismos and major life events

Hellenismos has rituals for a number of major life events, starting with the birth of a child and going on until death. There is not, however, an initiation into the religion such as many Pagan paths (and even some Christian ones) have. This is something that can come as a surprise to someone who starts off as a pagan following some branch of Wicca. The reason for there not being an initiation into Hellenismos is simple. Hellenismos is at its heart a religion of the family and there is not an initiation into a family.

One of the earliest events in a child’s life happens around the tenth day and is when that child is formally accepted into the family. The reason for the delay is probably due to the fact that if an infant survives until he or she is ten days old then that infant is more likely to make it PAST infancy. This is followed by other ceremonies introducing the child to the extended family and the community at large.

Around the age of puberty there are records of coming-of-age ceremonies for males — and although there is no recorded ceremony of the sort for females it can be assumed that they likely existed. These usually involved a sacrifice of something symbolizing childhood and childhood pursuits.

Marriages were simple affairs and were more civil contracts than religious ceremonies. There would usually be a sacrifice of some sort to solemnize the contract.

Death is the last major life event and would take a long time to discuss. Simply, the deceased MUST be given funerary rites in order for their soul to find its way to the underworld. Along with this the living pay their respects to the deceased at set intervals. This custom has been preserved to this day by modern Greeks

As there are many more events in a person’s life, these are just a taste of them. More details and thoughts on some of them will follow after the 30-Day writing is finished.

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