Thankfully, the folkish elements in Hellenic Polytheism are not as prominent or prolific writers as the ones found in the Nordic community. However, there remains the idea that you “should not” worship gods that are not from the ethnic heritage you are descended from.
To put it as politely as I can, that’s BULLSHIT. I’ve said it before, and when John Beckett over at Patheos feels the need to write a post about The Gods Call Who They Will it’s simply put, happening way to often. Not everyone who the Hellenic Theoi call are of Greek Heritage, nor do the Theoi always insist on being the only pantheon a person is called to.
There’s a dear friend of mine in New Orleans who is called to be priestess of Dionysus AND Pele — and is a red-headed mix of Scotch-Irish and Cherokee heritage. She is not of EITHER heritage that the FOLKISH would have worshipping those deities — but the GODS themselves are the ones that called to her. Her youngest son is drawn to Tyr and wears an iron hammer, where mommy wears a pentacle.
Is this wrong? Hells no! This is what the THEOI are doing. THEY are calling people to their service, and it is the height of hubris to think we — as mortals — know better. MY job as a devotee of Hestia, Demeter and Hera is to hold the gate OPEN for people to enter when the Theoi call. My JOB is to welcome them into the phratry of worshippers of the Theoi and to help them learn to honor the Theoi the best way I know how. MY JOB is to welcome them to the Theoi’s hearth and share the stories of the Theoi with the next generation
And, gatekeepers make it a LOT harder for me to do my job….