House of Zephyrus practices Hellenic (Greek) Pagan Religion, using historical religious reconstruction as a foundation of an evolving, modern, dynamic practice.
House of Zephyrus is a Hellenic pagan community that uses historically-based knowledge of ancient Greek religion and spirituality as the basis for a modern iteration of that religion. We support each other in community to help build individual relationships with the Greek Gods (Theoi) through meditation, discussion, and informed interpretation.
The form and structure of our rituals are designed to be consistent so that they can be practiced with the support of group consciousness even if we are physically separate. We believe practicing as a group is important because Greek religion was inherently communal, both at the household and the civic level. We also support personal connections with the Gods through formal initiations and less formal dedications, as well as training in oracular work and mediumship.
Our goal is to give individuals the tools to build a personal devotional practice and to create an active community practice that is visible and relevant in the modern world.
These are the types of community rituals we hold at our temple in Reno. We are working on making these more accessible and available to remote members in the coming months!
- Devotionals: Praise of and meditation with the Theoi.
- Storytelling: Telling and/or performing the traditional stories of the Theoi, either in their original form or in a modern interpretation. This includes original satyr plays!
- Celebrations of Ancient Festivals: Translating an ancient rite or festival into a ritual for our era.
- Initiations/Dedications: Led by a priest, the community supports and witnesses the personal commitment of one of the Temple members to form a specific relationship with one or more of the Theoi. The actual form of this relationship will naturally depend on the Dedicant.
- Oracular Work/Mediumship: Practicing mystical techniques. These typically take two forms:
- Rituals in which a priest acts as an avatar/oracle for the Theoi, speaking as the Theoi and conveying messages.
- Rituals in which a priest facilitates personal trance experiences for members of the circle. In these cases, the experience is internal, the participants do not speak as the Theoi and do not convey messages to others without divinatory confirmation.
What We Believe
We believe that the Hellenic Gods are real, present, and active in the world. Like many modern practitioners of Hellenismos (traditional Hellenic religion), we do not believe that one needs to be Greek or live in Greece in order to have a spiritual connection to the Hellenic Gods. In that, we also acknowledge that our lives and our world have changed significantly since ancient times, and that our relationships with the Gods are constantly evolving. We are the House of Zephyrus, the spirit of the west wind, because we strive to embrace the movement, change, and evolution of our religion across time, and because we are, physically, a western American tradition.
We call this temple a ‘house’ because we consider the members of our community to be analogous to a Greek ‘oikos’, or household. The oikos involves the house itself, its goods, and its history as well as its people, so the concept of the oikos extends to everything we build as a community.
We study the ancient practice of Hellenic religion not to recreate it in full, but to understand it and use it as the foundation for a modern practice. Inspired by the Greek Mystery Tradition and their practices of experiential connection to the Gods, we use a variety of techniques, both ancient and modern, to build dynamic spiritual practices that both honor the Gods in Their ancient rites and bring Their worship powerfully and effectively into the modern world. While this is a central part of our practices, we do not argue that there is any ‘one true way’ to revere the Gods or form relationships with Them. The structures we provide are intended to support individuals’ personal experiences with the Gods.
Our doors are open to people of all backgrounds, all types of Hellenic practitioners, and anyone seeking to learn. In our community space, we try to understand where individuals are coming from, honor their perspectives and their differences, and ensure their comfort as much as possible.
Parrhesia: Open Discourse
We welcome discussion and debate, but the basis of our discourse must always be respect. We support the right of every person to have their own voice and to speak their own truth. However, this does not include any form of hateful, abusive, or dismissive speech that invalidates the voices of others.
Sophia: Pursuit of Knowledge
We are committed to learning from the ancient sources, from spirit, and from one another. Our purpose in coming together is to share our knowledge, to teach, and to learn. We respect and welcome everyone’s unique viewpoints and perspectives.
In our dealings with both humans and spirits, we try to be humble. While our knowledge and personal gifts may be extensive, we recognize our own limitations. We do not presume to speak for the experiences, gnoses, or challenges of others.
Arete: Realizing our Potential
Whatever we do, we do our best. As we learn, we know better, and as we know better, we try to do better. By coming together, we work not only to live up to our own potential, but to support each other, our communities, and ultimately our society in making progress.