"Has not Zeus given you directions? Has he not given to you what is your own, free from hindrance and free from impediment, and what is not your own subject to hindrance and impediment?"  
(Ἐπικτήτου διατριβαί 1:25, trans. George Long 1877.)

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Ælefthæría (Freedom: Eleutheria, Ἐλευθερία. Pronounced ĕh-lĕf-thĕh-REE-ah)

Freedom is instinctual in all sentient beings and beloved of the Gods. It is a major principle in Ællînismόs (Hellênismos, Ἑλληνισμός), the ancient Greek religion. As such, Ællînismόs is tolerant of a vast multitude of viewpoints. All the glorious Gods are free and they desire and promote this freedom for all. 

Since freedom is so fundamental to our religion, Ællînismόs does not and has never supported institutions such as slavery or the domination of peoples, despite the behavior of ancient civilizations. Slavery and any effort to impose bondage on others, is completely incompatible with the Hellenic religion. The foundation of Ællînismόs is securely grounded in freedom and tolerance. This can be demonstrated even in the manner in which we worship: we do not kneel or prostrate (προσκύνησις) as they do in other religions (although we do, of course, have the freedom to do so, if we so wish).

Justice, the means to rectify imbalances of freedom in society, is upheld by all the Gods and is overseen by Zefs (Ζεὺς) himself. Justice is so highly esteemed that it is viewed as one of the Four Cardinal Virtues. The imposition of injustice is a violation of freedom and a transgression against the will of the Gods. Many other examples can be drawn where lack of virtue imposes bondage, not only on others, but on oneself as well.

Freedom is a Natural Law and is particularly the dominion of Apóllôn (Apollo, Ἀπόλλων). Freedom is also very much associated with Diónysos (Διόνυσος). Both of these deities share the epithet Ælefthæréfs (Eleutherius, Ἐλευθερεύς) meaning liberator, he who makes free.

Freedom is the compassion of Zefs

In the Orphic theogony we learn that Zefs established a new generation of creatures --- our generation --- beings endowed with immortal souls like the Gods themselves, but whose bodies are subject to sickness, violence, and death. Through the process of reincarnation (παλιγγενεσία), our souls return in new bodies in an involuntary circle of births (κύκλος γενέσεως) replete with sorrows. Although we experience much beauty in our lives, the mortal condition is also inherently painful. This is the best possible world which could be created due to constraints of nature. Zefs is aware of this and devised a great plan to alleviate us from our misery; he conceived a mighty son, Diónysos, who is the fulfillment of his providence. Through his Mysteries, Diónysos frees us from the endless circle of births. The compassion of Zefs is freedom.

The Four Laws of Freedom

Freedom is a great and ancient law; it is never violated by the blessed Gods. There are four manifestations of this law which provide important guidance to the practice of our religion; these are called The Four Laws of Freedom:

1. The happy, deathless Gods live in a state of freedom.
2. The Gods want us to have this same freedom.
3. Thus, the Gods never violate our freedom.
4. It is always wise to imitate the Gods, and, therefore, we should never violate the freedom of others and impose our will on them.


In the se
cond epilogue of War and Peace by Lev Tolstoy, the author gives us a brilliant discussion of the interplay of Necessity and freedom or free-will. It is well worth your time to examine his essay. Tolstoy’s arguments are well thought out and extensive and, of course, he is talking about huge movement in history, but from the perspective of religion and one's personal life, freedom and free-will are a matter of conscience, despite the constraints of Necessity.


It is not that I adulate the people:

   Without me, there are demagogues enough,
And infidels, to pull down every steeple,
   And set up in their stead some proper stuff.
Whether they may sow scepticism to reap hell,
   As is the Christian dogma rather rough,
I do not know; --- I wish men to be free
As much from mobs as kings --- from you as me.

Lord Byron Don Juan Canto the Ninth XXV 

The story of the birth of the GodsOrphic Rhapsodic Theogony.
We know the various qualities and characteristics of the Gods based on metaphorical stories: Mythology
Dictionary of terms related to ancient Greek mythology: Glossary of Hellenic Mythology.

Introduction to the Thæí (the Gods): The Nature of the Gods.
How do we know there are Gods? Experiencing Gods.

The logo to the left is the principal symbol of this website. It is called the CESS logo, i.e. the Children of the Earth and the Starry Sky. The Pætilía (Petelia, Πετηλία) and other golden tablets having this phrase (Γῆς παῖς εἰμί καὶ Οὐρανοῦ ἀστερόεντος) are the inspiration for the symbol. The image represents this idea: Earth (divisible substance) and the Sky (continuous substance) are the two kozmogonic substances. The twelve stars represent the Natural Laws, the dominions of the Olympian Gods. In front of these symbols is the seven-stringed kithára (cithara, κιθάρα), the lyre of Apóllohn (Apollo, Ἀπόλλων). It (here) represents the bond between Gods and mortals and is representative that we are the children of Orphéfs (Orpheus, Ὀρφεύς).

PLEASE NOTE: Throughout the pages of this website, you will find fascinating stories about our Gods. These narratives are known as mythology, the traditional stories of the Gods and Heroes. While these tales are great mystical vehicles containing transcendent truth, they are symbolic and should not be taken literally. A literal reading will frequently yield an erroneous result.  The meaning of the myths is concealed in code. To understand them requires a key. For instance, when a God kills someone, this usually means a transformation of the soul to a higher level.  Similarly, sexual union with a God is a transformation.

The story of the birth of the Gods: Orphic Rhapsodic Theogony.
We know the various qualities and characteristics of the Gods based on metaphorical stories: Mythology
Dictionary of terms related to ancient Greek mythology: Glossary of Hellenic Mythology.

SPELLING: uses the Reuchlinian method of pronouncing ancient Greek, the system preferred by scholars from Greece itself. An approach was developed to enable the student to easily approximate the Greek words. Consequently, the way we spell words is unique, as this method of transliteration is exclusive to this website. For more information, visit these three pages: 

PHOTO COPYRIGHT INFORMATION: The many pages of this website incorporate images, some created by the author, but many obtained from outside sources. To find out more information about these images and why this website can use them, visit this link: Photo Copyright Information

DISCLAIMER: The inclusion of images, quotations, and links from outside sources does not in any way imply agreement (or disagreement), approval (or disapproval) with the views of by the external sources from which they were obtained.

Further, the inclusion of images, quotations, and links from outside sources does not in any way imply agreement (or disagreement), approval (or disapproval) by of the contents or views of any external sources from which they were obtained.

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For answers to many questions: Hellenismos FAQ

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