When I decided to do this blog, a bunch of things were going through my head.
First, I thought that urban-based and (shudder to think) pro-urban spirituality was something that had a relatively small voice in the greater Pagan and Polytheist community, and a small voice that often appeared to be “silenced” by the wealth of pro-rustic voices out there. If you’re somebody who has spent more than a fortnight in the Pagan/Polytheist/Witch community (and if you’re reading this, chances are good that you’ve at least spent that much time doing that), then you at least have an idea of how much rural worship and rural worship advocacy is out there, and how even some rather prominent voices in the Pagan and Polytheist community have said things like “true Pagans prefer worshipping in a rural setting” and “no real Pagan likes a concrete and iron landscape”. This can be upsetting, disheartening, and downright offensive to “those to whom the city speaks”. I love cities; I was born and raised in metro-Detroit* and I honestly find the hum of the nearby El trains in Chicago some of the most soothing sounds and sleep much easier during the week or two each year I’m in Chicago than the quiet suburban hum of Ann Arbor, Michigan. I felt that urban paganism needed a voice and, since I’m an Hellenic polytheist, I would keep my knowledge and experiences to that, just because I don’t think it’s a good idea for one to talk outside of one’s circles of expertise.
Secondly, based on the small amount of knowledge that I have of other Pagan religions, Hellenic polytheism seems especially well-suited to urban people. In ancient times, all of the biggest and best-kept temples were in the hearts of the cities. Yes, the traditions that were maintained longer (some of which even survive to this day with only the tiniest superficial changes), were maintained in rural areas, but that fact alone does not diminish the fact that city dwellers played a *huge* part in the growth and evolution of the Hellenic polytheistic religion and Theos-centred cults in the ancient world.
I also wanted to just… have a voice within the comparatively small Hellenic polytheistic community. The more voices that are out there, the better-defined the religion becomes.
Now, having this blog on WordPress.com has a few advantages — one of these is simply the fact that blog hit stats and incoming link sources are automatically counted with almost no real effort from my end. I will return to this point momentarily.
Like many bloggers who feel that they have something to say that’s worth saying, I did a small amount of linking this blog on other sites, but my efforts in that, due to my severe distaste for “spamming” practises, was reserved to a few e-mail lists that I’m on, my personal web-diary, and a message board that I read and post to periodically. I didn’t make a huge effort. In fact, I expected most of my readers would be people that I regularly spoke to on these fora already, most of whom already knew about my practises and about my love for large urban areas.
What I didn’t expect, in one month’s time, was to go and check my “incoming links” list, as I do every week, and find readers in Brazil who (after deciphering the Portugese on Bablefish) seem very enthusiastic about this blog. 🙂 This makes me very happy.
Maybe it’s a bit egotistical to say something about this so soon? After all, my first post to this blog was only made on October 4th of this year, but it’s still something that I found impressive and very flattering nonetheless. I’m very glad that somebody from outside of the major English-speaking countries I mainly converse on-line with (being the United $tates, Canada, the UK, and Australia) is excited enough about this blog to make a post about it on their own. I hope she doesn’t mind, but if you can read Portugese (or are at least willing to run her blog through Bablefish or Google Languages), check out Louro brotando (Urban Hellenistos has been added under “Links”).
*OK, technically I was born and mostly-raised in Toledo, Ohio (until my father remarried a Quaker woman with a chicken farm in rural Michigan — where I went to high school); but if you’re familiar enough with the urban Midwestern U$, you know that Toledo, Ohio is to Detroit what Gary, Indiana is to Chicago.