LABRYS: «About us», retrieved from: Labrys (About), last checked: Anthesterion 14, 4th Year of the 698th Olympiad / February 11, «2017». Official website.
LABRYS Religious Community aims to preserve, promote and practice the Hellenic (Greek) polytheistic religious tradition through public rituals, lectures, publications, theatrical and musical events, and other forms of action.
Our vision is to restore the Hellenic (Greek) polytheistic religious tradition and by extension the Hellenic worldview and lifestyle to its rightful place, as a respected, acknowledged, legally recognised and fully functional spiritual path.
The values that govern and guide LABRYS Religious Community are:
Eusebeia (Piety): in our relationship with the Gods
Organikotis (kinship): in our relationships within the Community
Dikaiosyne (Justice): in terms of members‘ relations within the Community and also as a guiding principle in the conduct of the community as a whole towards third parties
The members of LABRYS Religious Community also aim to achieve Eudaimonia through attaining freedom, autonomy and self-sufficiency.
Founding Declaration (Winter Solstice „2008“)
The era we live in can be characterized as a period of decline, not only because cultural production is static, but also because everything indicates that the factors that give human life a deeper inner dimension, have long since been disregarded and forgotten.
Our era is also characterized by rapid changes. Within a limited historical time, less than a generation, we saw the overthrowing of once powerful ideologies and systems, the rapid evolution of technology and its applications with a parallel change in daily lifestyle, and the overthrow of powerful illusions, like those of happiness from consumerism and blind faith in a perpetual „development.“
In this socio political climate, not only in Greece but around the world, perhaps more strongly in Europe, there was a gradual shift of people’s attention to the old standards, so as to find answers to address the questionable modern. Thus approaches, systems and worldviews which the modern world have long tried to keep in obscurity, began slowly to emerge and quickly evolved into a river penetrating all sectors of society seeking to overturn the negative characteristics of the modern, with grafting from ancient roots.
Especially we Hellenes are blessed, in that the seed of our ancestors has left indelible and multiple imprints that we can still study, the exact elements that can lead to a new renaissance. In other words, it is still possible to graft from the ancestral roots and continue our historical trajectory from the point where this was brutally interrupted under the persecution and almost passed into oblivion, then moved to indifference and finally today the re-discovery.
In this world of rapid external changes, always remain within the unchanged existential center the facts which move our being, that is Nature and Man. And despite the socio-political changes, despite the unimaginable lifestyle change, this particular creature, man remains the same, with the same needs, „I thank the blessed Nature that made the necessary easy to obtain and the difficult to obtain unnecessary“, the same goals and quests.
We believe that our tradition has shown in the past, the path that can lead a person to an end, to a perfection. In a life that is, Virtuous and Eudaimon, where the real needed things are provided and the unnecessary do not acquire a disproportionate value. We also think this Path of perceiving things and experiential walk, necessarily passes through what we define as Hellenic polytheistic tradition. The system that is located within the center of the wondrous manifested culture that is historically known as Hellenism.
It is true that in the last 20 years at least, there have been and still exist several collective and organized efforts, sometimes successful and sometimes failed, to highlight the value of the Hellenic culture, tradition, and return to it not as a dead and alien subject of study but as a vibrant living worldview and timeless lifestyle. In many of these efforts in fact, we were ourselves involved in the past, or we even still are. But after specific observations, most important the one that it’s necessary to maintain focus on the devotional part of the tradition, we felt it necessary to create this purely devotional community, so that we can seamlessly focus on what exactly we believe to be the Center, and try to bring in contact with it, many people who have approached us over the years with interest.
It’s a fact that the first step to Approach a religious tradition is the willingness and pure motive, but unfortunately there are some given obstacles we must overcome. Taking into account very seriously Saloustious dictum that a man who wants to deal with this should not have been grown up with silly beliefs, we need to clarify that religious tradition does not and cannot have any dependencies on ideologies of the modern world based on foreign systems of thought. It should also be noted that even the philosophical considerations should not affect the devotional part of the tradition, not of course to define it, but remain personal and marginalized when it comes to worship. These observations are not a theoretical field of knowledge, but an experiential approach, Act, and what is required as already mentioned is focus and struggle primarily internal.
With this background we founded the LABRYS Religious Community which apart from the internal cultivation of its members, intends to operate and externally with the following indicative mentioned ways:
– Following a worshiping calendar with open ceremonies and public celebrations
– Presenting – either through the website or by speeches etc. – rituals so that everyone can follow the religious tradition
– Texts on Hellenic religion and ways of worship, in order to clarify basic concepts and practices
– Assist interesting groups or individuals to perform needed rituals
– Contact with people who already follow or want to follow the Hellenic religious tradition so that there is a fruitful but also critical progress for the tradition itself.
Of course, many paths can lead to the top of a mountain, and we the LABRYS Religious Community can not assume that our own is unique.
For this reason we invite you to a fruitful contribution to maintain alive the sacred fire of Hellenism.