On the occasion of a celebratory event for the YSEE’s 20th anniversary in the cult room of Ethnic Hellenic Religion at Athens on July 15, founding members of YSEE gave numerous speeches about important events during the first years of battle, reflected on what has been achieved over this 20-year period and formulated collective goals for the next years. Speakers included the Secretary of YSEE Vlassis G. Rassias, High Priestess Elena Petri and the Representative of the Mythological Laboratory for Children Amelia Mathe. Konstantinos Malliaros, an other member of YSEE, closed his speech about Rehellenization by saying: «This means that we need to change radically our mentality from the way the system has programmed us to think.»
Here you can find some photographs of the event: https://www.ysee.gr/index.php?type=d&f=ysee20
Few days ago some people in Greece celebrated the so-called «Promitheia» on mount Olympus. Now greek news agencies try to link Hellenismos with this new age festival. So let’s get things straight: Hellenismos has nothing to do with the so-called «Promitheia» or other new age or para-christian festivals celebrated by New agers, Nationalists and UFO-cultists in Greece. Hellenismos is not plastic laurel wreaths, kitsch chitons or white bedsheets, fakelore and reenactment. If anything, contemporary Hellenismos is the result of a serious attempt to revitalize indigenous Hellenic tradition as a way of functioning in everyday life on both the personal and collective levels.
But the ridiculization of indigenous traditions is not only a hellenic problem. There are many examples that show that this is a phenomenon that takes different forms across the globe. To be honest, we are not overly concerned about the activities of the spiritual branches of the current cultural imperialism. For these are the dog days of a collapsing world system.
The Parliament of Lithuanian Republic
Gedimino ave. 53,
The Ministry of Justice
Gedimino ave. 30,
Athens, Greece, May the 20th, 2017
We, the legal body of the Hellenic Ethnic Religion, herewith express our full support to the appeal of Romuva, the legal body of the Ancient Baltic Religion for state recognition by the Parliament (Seimas) of the Lithuanian Republic, as part of the Lithuanian historical, spiritual and social heritage.
The fundamental principles of Romuva faith are fostering the high moral principles of respect to ancestors and ancestral values, peaceful social life, harmony between the nature and the humanity, the protection of all forms of life, and, as all the ethnic religions of Old Europe do, a life of what, us the Hellenes, call Arete (Virtue).
Just as the Hellenic Ethnic Religion, Romuva is by no means a «neo-pagan movement» or a «new religious movement». It belongs to the category of religions that the Religious Studies of the last 150 years name «ethnic» and «indigenous», as it consistently refers to the recorded in the historical sources ancient Lithuanian traditions and, most importantly, to the living tradition of the indigenous religion, values and symbols, carried forward from generation to generation through the customs, songs, folklore and polyphonic ritual singing – sutartines. Romuva promotes the ancient Baltic Religion, cherishing in our days the
traditional culture of the ancient Baltic ethnii as a spiritual, cultural and social heritage.
Vlassis G. Rassias
General Secretary – The Supreme Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes (YSEE)
Yesterday the Secretary of the Supreme council of ethnic Hellenes (YSEE) announced that after more than twenty years of struggle, the Greek state has finally recognized the Hellenic Religion as a «known religion» according to paragraph 17 – the only form of recognition for a religion in Greece. The mentioned paragraph includes the permission to build a temple as well as the right of «public exercise» of any recognized religion. The recognition of Hellenic Religion as a «known religion» is only the first step towards a general recognition of Hellenism. Now the YSEE at Athens is still waiting for recognition as a religious statutory body in Greece. The Supreme council of ethnic Hellenes will approach the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg if the state leaves them no other choice, said its Secretary.
The Supreme Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes (Ypato Symboulio Ellinon Ethnikon – YSEE) has the legal entity of a Non Profit Organization (NPO) and was founded in June of 1997 aiming to the morale and physical protection and restoration of the Polytheistic, Ethnic Hellenic religion, tradition and way of life in the „modern“ Greek Society from which is oppressed due to its institutalised intolerance and theocracy.
The foundation of the YSEE was the result of long processes and contacts starting from 1993 between the longest standing Ethnic Hellenic organizations in Hellas (Greece), like Diipetes of Athens, Taleta of Sparta and Ethnikoi Hellenes of Thessaly, during 1995-96 a temporary coalition between these organizations was established knew as the Omovoulio (Commonwealth) of Ethnikoi Hellenes after a pan-Hellenic gathering in south Olympus in 9 September of 1995.
After 14 years of activity in the (modern) Greek reality with more than 230 interventions (letters and press releases) and many protests for the protection of the Hellenic tradition, human rights and religious tolerance, 300 seminars, tactical celebration of the ancient festivals, public rituals and educational events the Supreme Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes is the front line, in Hellas, in the movement for the protection of the Ancient Hellenic Heritage and the return to the ancient ways, being always open to corporation with any „healthy“ and democratic group/organization, with common aims, and willing to help and encourage such groups by any means possible.
YSEE is an organization umbrella, which in good will and mutual respect aims to the empowerment of the movement of Ethnikoi Hellenes in Hellas, with technical, legal and even economical help when possible to the heathy organizations and individual teams and encouraging to the creation of new in every part of Hellas and the world, were Ethnikoi Hellenes exist.
Our organization is one of the founders of the World Congress of Ethnic Religions (WCER), and up till today, it has two active chapters in Australia (since 1999) and USA (since 2007).
In June 2004 YSEE was honored with the responsibility to host the 7th World Congress of Ethnic Religions, covering all costs from member contributions and its reserves.
YSEE fights without the support of any „shadowy centers and interests“ basing its power only to its volunteers which support it with an annual economic contribution of 60 Euros, supporting in these way a reserve fund for legal fights, publishing of written material, protests, the future building of public Altars, Temples and a Library dedicated to the Polytheistic scholarship.
First Press Release from the Supreme Council
of Ethnikoi Hellenes ( 17 July 1997)
For years, we the Ethnikoi Hellenes, i.e. contemporary Greeks who still respect and honour the rites and beliefs of our ancestors, the Hellenes, remained stoically patient when faced with the systematic (and not at all coincidental), negligence and degradation of our monumental and living ethnic heritage by a „Greek“ State, which is obviously enslaved by an economico-religious giant whose cultural and logical interests promote the open scorn for our real (i.e. pre-Christian) ethnic Tradition.
Lately however, probably as a counter-effect of a few small attempts to have our word made public and spread inside modern Greek society, we realised we could not afford the luxury to remain silent in front of this open but „quiet“ war against real (pre-Christian) Hellenism.
This was due to the fact that our adversary seems, for the first time since the Middle Ages, to resort to intolerant and aggressive acts, which cannot be openly committed in a supposedly democratic society.
We have experienced threats against the life of individuals who act and speak in public as members of the Ethnic Hellenic community. We have had one of our bookshops burned down. We also had waterfalls of slanders against our Tradition from Church-preachers and from the Church-controlled mass media. We have also (and this is the most outrageous!) seen destruction of pre-Christian monuments and remains of Temples.
Under this new and terrifying reality that we all see being formed against real Hellenism, and as none of the State Officials supposedly responsible for its protection seem sensitive enough, personalities from the community of the Ethnikoi Hellenes have decided to found the Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes, which shall aim at the protection and restoration of the real (pre-Christian) Hellenic Tradition. We shall work by all legal means necessary towards awakening the Greek people and securing respect, survival, natural and moral protection, restoration and honour of our monuments, symbols, ideas and living forms of ancient Hellenic Tradition in the forms of cosmoperception, philosophical thought, political perception, ethnic religion, arts, morals and customs, language, mythology, symbols etc.
The present announcement / press release is our first one sent to the mass media and other responsible and interested parts. We hope that it, plus all the others that follow, will be fairly treated and published as is required by the principle of free speech for all citizens.
Honour and Glory to our Ancestral Gods
We the Ethnikoi Hellenes fight for:
The right to live and exist as Ethnikoi Hellenes
- The right to live and exist as Ethnikoi Hellenes according to our ancestral way of life, the right which in modern Greek society exist and guaranteed only for those of Monotheistic faiths (as Christians, Jews and Muslims).
- The right to our ancestral name giving process, the right to a pure Classical education without the current religious brain wash which is done in Greek schools for the Christian Orthodox Church (even the ministry of Education is responsible for religious matters).
- The right of legal protection of our ancestral Religion and Tradition, in all its diversity and magnificence.
- The right of legal recognized rituals of name giving, marriage and funeral instead of the current situation which only the Monotheistic are recognized.
- Finally the right of dignity in death, thus we demand the legalization of euthanasia without any condition, and the right for incineration of ones dead body, which is part of the Hellenic tradition and it’s now forbidden in Hellas by demand of the Christian Orthodox Church in violation of our human rights.
The immediately protection of our historical and caltural heritage!
- We call for guaranteed protection of our Museums, archaeological sites and Ancient Holy Sites from the unwilling or incapable Greek State. If our demand is not satisfied we will go to the internationals courts with the Greek state in order to take up the right we as Ethnikoi Hellenes to protect our ancestral and holy artifacts and sites, by a new institution of volunteers guards which will respect our Cultural Heritage and will be founded by the money which are collected from the state, using our Holy Sites as tourist attractions.
- We also want the initiation and conclusion of the archaeological diggings of all located sites in Greece, in order the true history of the Hellenic Civilisation to be made known.
- We aim to the elevation of Cultural standards in the modern Greek Society in every way, we demand from he Greek state the decoration of our cities, public buildings and important historical sites with classical statues, monuments and other pieces of art, in order this land which once was the birthplace of civilisation, to be worthy of its historical heritage.
The restoration and pre-operation of our ancient Holy sites
We plea from the Greek State that all archaeological sites which contain Altars, Temples or any other religious significance in context with our Ethnic Hellenic Religion, to be proclaimed as Holy Sites of Hellenismos (the nation of Ethnikoi Hellenes) and to be restored (as much as this is possible), all archaeological artefacts that have been removed and taken to foreign Museums to be return or exact copycats to be made from those museums in order to be placed were there belong.
Forms of struggle:
In order for YSEE to achieve its objectives it is willing to be involved to the following non-violent forms of struggle:
- Continues press releases, protest letters to political parties and every responsible institution when are by any way the Greek antiquities, our ancestral symbols, or our way of life is offended due to cultural or religious intolerance or any other reason.
- Collection of signatures for the defense of our way of life, and often legal fights in Greek and International human rights institutions and courts, for these reason a „Bank“ of signatures will be created, for immediately reaction to such matters.
- Legal fights against any act of sacrilege against our Sacred and ancestral Sites, Symbols etc
- Collection of founds for the creation of a TV and Radio station, in order the Ethnikoi Hellenes to obtain freedom of public speech.
- Struggle for information of all people (without discriminations, religious, racial or ethnical) about the Hellenic polytheistic tradition, myths, legends, symbolisms, theology, culture and way of life.
- Encouragement and networking between the Ethnikoi Hellenes in Hellas and in every country in the world and people/organizations of all ethnic polytheistic Traditions aiming to mutual respect between the different polytheistic traditions and cultural tolerance.
- Satisfying economical and other prerequirements for the creation of Temples and self regulating Communities of Ethnikoi Hellenes.
Nine reasons for which YSEE exist, and ask your support:
- Clear definition of characteristics that define our community as modern Ethnikoi Hellenes.
- Representation of our community as Ethnikoi Hellenes to the state and to any one that may concede or not.
- Guarding our community from provokers and anyone that may wish to diverge our ideas.
- Obtaining our own worshiping sites and covering the needs of our community.
- Defending our social, political and religious rights in a collective level as a community or individuals in the Greek Society were intolerance (religious, ideological, racial and sexual) is institutalised.
- Promoting the Culture, education, Science, Art and Cultural tolerance according our beliefs as Ethnikoi Hellenes wich will reverse the „Dark Age“ state in the uneducated, intolerant and prejudice Greek society.
- Active organization and lobbying of our community in order to establish a strong pressure group.
- Eficient protection of our Ethnic and Cultural Heritage and Tradition, from the mistreatment, of a uninterested Greek State, if not a hostile one.
- To honor according to our ancestral ways our Ethnic Gods and our ancestors.
The restoration of our ancient tradition and culture demands the dedication of all Ethnikoi Hellenes, we dare to struggle and we dare to win, we don’t negotiate our right to exist.
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.