This page deals with Polytheistic Reconstructionism. For Christian Reconstructionism go here
Polytheistic Reconstructionism is the practice of reviving an ancient polytheistic religion in at least a semi-historically accurate manner. The degree of historical accuracy can vary from an academic approach based on historical texts and archaeology, though to a more mystical or spiritual approach that may border on more general neo-pagan practice.
Major Polytheistic Recontructionist Organisations
The most important of the New-Pagan religions tend to focus on Celtic and Norse religious traditions from northern Europe. However in recent years others have sought to reconstruct other religious practices, particularly those of the Classical and Egyptian pantheons.
Ypato Symboulio Ellinon Ethnikon - YSEE (Supreme Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes)
The YSEE is the most organised and explicitly political of polytheistic reconstructionist religious organisations. Based in Athens and focused within Greece (though with international outreach in Cyprus, the US and Australia) it aims to win rights for followers of traditional Hellenic religion. It often accuses the Greek government of “Neo-Byzantine” behaviour in attempting to prevent Ancient Greek religious sites from being used for religious purposes and attempting to circumvent religious rights of non-Christians.
YSEE is actually an umbrella organisation for several smaller Hellenic Recontructionist groups based in Greece, but they now speak and operate mainly though YSEE
YSEE expects all it’s members to follow the Hellenic gods.
Other Hellenic Recontructionist Groups
There are also Hellenic Recontructionist movements outside Greece, the most prominent of which are Elaion and Hellenion. The latter operates mostly online, though is based in the United States. Elaion specifically requires it’s members to worship only the Hellenic Gods.
Nova Roma is a Roman recontructionist group, although they do not require that their members worship the Gods of Rome at the lower levels, though higher levels must be willing to do so as the office requires. Like Ethnakoi Hellenes they have a political dimension, though much less active, and take a long term view of their aims, and are more internationalist in nature. Membership is international.
Egyptian (Kemetic) Reconstructionism
Egyptian Reconstructionism is both newer and older than the other main groups. Individuals had dedicated themselves to worship of the Gods of Egypt in a modern setting from the early 20th century, but as an organised group this didn’t emerge until the mid 1980’s. Various groups (Temples) tended to compete, and the idea of an umbrella organisation has yet to meet with success. The only current organisation of any significant scale is the House of Netjer (aka Kemetic Orthodox), though many smaller organisations continue to exist, including Per Heh, Per Ankh, and some attempts at umbrella organisations.
The House of Netjer requires it’s members to worship the Gods of Egypt, but at lower levels does not forbid the worship of other gods in parallel, though priests may only serve the Gods of Egypt. House of Netjer is not technically polytheistic (a major reason for the division between it and others in Egyptian Reconstructionism) and adopts a monolatic view of the cosmos.
Relations with the Neo-Pagan Community
Generally, due to the un-dogmatic nature of polytheistic religions, relations with other groups are mostly focused on non-interference and tolerance. However, followers of some neo-pagan traditions, paticularly the more eclectic may be regarded by some followers of more "hard" polytheistic or reconstructionist faiths as being "fluffy". There is little real rivalry, however, and for the most part the ancient polytheistic approach of "Our Gods" and "Their Gods" is accepted.