On Groups, and the Nature of Compromise

This post springs directly from a conversation I had with one of my Treasury Sisters last evening.  I decided to write a bit about it here, because it revolves around our group calendar, and how and why it came to manifest the way it did.

One of the first things (if not the first thing) you will notice about the Treasury’s Calendar, is that we have set our New Year celebration near to the Winter Solstice, as opposed to most of the ancient Hellenic calendars, which set the New Year at the first Noumenia after the Summer Solstice. While this is not totally universal, as the Doric calendar was, we believe, set to begin around the Autumnal Equinox, this is usually the standard to which many Hellenic organizations and individuals apply their own calendars.

However, for us, matching the old systems, or systems utilized by other organizations was never our priority.  What has always been important for us, and in all aspects of our organization, was that we came together harmoniously in the decision-making process.  In order to build a solid foundation from the pillars of individuals, it is our goal to always take the considerations of our Sisterhood into account when making decisions.  We are all equals, and so have an equal say in how this Tradition is shaped.

We all come from differing backgrounds in regard to religion and our expression thereof.  Some are Hellenic, some are more Roman-leaning, some are of Jewish descent, some are Wiccan, and so on. We all have varied interests in certain seasons or times of year, and sometimes those interests mesh, while sometimes they do not.  But that is the nature of working within a group structure.  We have to make room for one another, to make space for the thoughts, desires and practices of each Sister.  In fact, the days of our calendar are already a coming together of our differing household traditions. None of us actually celebrate every single holy day we have marked, because… imagine how overwhelming that would be on one person. The reason we even have a calendar is to bring a cohesive focus onto Apollon throughout the year, not to stress each other out.  That is why we compromise so well.

So, as per the Treasury’s Calendar, I have already celebrate the birth of Apollon as Prostateria, whereas Lykeia has not yet.  This does not bother us in the slightest, because for all that we strive for unity, we also understand that personal preferences will ultimately shape the outcomes of our household practices.  We do not offer up these Treasury-specific dates as a way of supplanting the traditionally Hellenic, or Roman, or what-have-you.  We offer them to one another, and to the public, as a general guideline for those who wish to have a year full of days special and specific to Apollon. These days are symbolic in nature anyway, as none are thought of as the actual physical days upon which the specific events occurred.

We also keep in mind that the ancient calendars were not universal, that each city-state had their very own, with sometimes overlapping themes at certain seasonal shifts, but there was no One True Calendar fit for all Hellenic worship.  Therefor, we do not worry about trying to fit ours within such an imaginary framework.  We are the Treasury of Apollon, not ancient Athens, or even ancient Sparta, which is of great personal significance to several of us, myself included.

When you work and worship with a group of individuals, it is imperative that you all find your way together, that you each are incorporated into the process of building the Tradition you seek together.  Otherwise, it just seems a bit like one or two people handing down rules or regulations, which is just not how we at the Treasury operate.

Hail Apollon!

— Columbine