Monday, February 18, 2008

Timothy Alexander Reviews In Her Service

Timothy Jay Alexander is one of the very few writers specializing in the contemporary practice of ancient Greek religion. His books, A Beginner’s Guide to Hellenismos, Hellenismos Today and The Gods of Reason are among the rare titles available on the market in this genre. When In Her Service became available on Amazon, Timothy reviewed it (to my great pleasure).

"To begin with, while I do not know the author personally, I did have the opportunity to discuss this work with her prior to my reading it. The author went to great lengths to make sure I was aware that this book is not a work about Hellenismos, or written for Hellenic Reconstructionists.

"Within in the opening chapter she also explains that her influences are Gardnerian Wicca, Cochrane traditional Witchcraft, modern Druidry,and other Neopagan traditions. After reading the book, I have to say this is an excellent resource for practitioners of Hellenismos, Hellenic Reconstruction, and Hellenic Polytheists. If fact, perusing through the bibliography, one notices that the overwhelming number of resources are primary and secondary sources for the ancient Greek religion and ancient worship of Aphrodite. The work includes what many will recognize as a Reconstructionist methodology. It includes a good bit of information on tradition style Hellenic rituals, with an excellent modern interpretation example that can fit into Hellenic Reconstructionist practice, a sufficient amount of historical perspective, a good list of epithets, and enough information as a primer on the subject. Where it lacks is the breezing over or ignoring of Aphrodite's other qualities, such as being a Goddess of the Sea and a Goddess of War.

"What will some Hellenic Reconstructionists not like about this book? It is not a sanitized, lily white interpretation of Aphrodite's worship. Some so-called Reconstructionists are nothing more than bored intellectuals who were raised in a typical Puritan cultural paradigm. They either ignore, reject, or condemn the mystical, ecstatic, orgiastic, and erotic rites of the ancient Greeks. Their attempt is to sanitize and sterilize everything. These Hellenic Reconstructionists are fundamentally disconnected from what they espouse and what they actually do. Overall, this is a worthy work for both Neopagan and Reconstructionist alike. The book is well written and presented, and I'm hoping to see a larger, more expansive book on this subject, from this author, in the near future. I fully recommend this work. "

2 comments:

vevadreamsgreen said...

I bought and read your book, and enjoyed it very much...I have always had a very strong pull to Aphrodite and am trying to connect to that pull. Thanks for putting that book out there!

Laurelei said...

I'm sorry to see your comment so long after it was originally posted. But I want to thank you for your praise. I am glad my book was a help to you and that you connected to it! That makes me happier than you can know!!