The Principles of Neos Alexandria

Neos Alexandria is a modern group devoted to the revival of Greco-Egyptian syncreticism.

We, the members of Neos Alexandria, worship those gods, spirits, and divinized mortals who were known to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans – with a special emphasis on the forms of worship that developed during the Hellenistic era. However we hold that our gods are living beings who can reveal themselves in a multitude of forms, and that our religious tradition is one of continuous growth and adaptation, a process which did not cease at some arbitrary point in history. While we are open to evolution, any modern developments must be weighed against ancient tradition and found to be consistent with its spirit. Any significant deviation from this, while not automatically discarded out of hand, must clearly be labeled as such and not represented to be something that it isn’t.

Beyond affirming the existence of a multitude of divinities, Neos Alexandria holds to no official religious dogma, feeling that such theological matters as the nature and number of the gods is a matter best left up to the individual conscience to decide, based on their own personal experience and their divinely-given ability to form rational thought.

We honor our divinities through a number of different forms. We perform sacrifices (including offerings and libations) and devotions (consecrated activities) to them, as well as marking numerous holy days and keeping festivals in their honor. At present Neos Alexandria has no temples: instead all of our worship is carried out in the domestic sphere, in our homes or among small groups of worshippers.

Neos Alexandria is a non-hierarchical religious organization, governed by a strict adherence to the principle of isopoliteia which means “equality under the law”. As such, all of our members are held to the same standards of behavior and have an equal say in determining how the group will be run. We have no priestly caste; every member can approach the altar of his or her god and make offerings there and participate in whatever religious activity they feel compelled to. We do recognize that some individuals may be more experienced in religious matters or have a stronger relationship with a given deity than another: as such their knowledge and experience are to be respected, without necessarily feeling that such a person is fundamentally different or superior to his or her fellows.

While we acknowledge that the Nisut and Basileios played a vital role in ancient Egypt and Greece respectively, and that the individuals who bore these titles performed important religious, cosmic, and temporal duties and could function as focal points through which the divine powers were channeled and manifested into mundane reality, we do not feel that Greco-Egyptian religion depends entirely upon such a personage, especially since the focus of Neos Alexandria is on the domestic sphere and not in reconstructing the temple and priestly structures of antiquity. As such, Neos Alexandria does not acknowledge the authority of any single individual over it, nor do we support the claims of any person who is currently acting in this role. While we recognize that there are several people who have adopted this title for themselves and have been given authority over their respective religious communities, we do not feel that these individuals have any right to speak on behalf of our group or to intercede for us with our gods. Privately a member of Neos Alexandria may belong to another Temple or House, and therefore acknowledge the authority of a Nisut over them, but that does not carry over into activities they participate in under the aegis of Neos Alexandria.

Neos Alexandria is open to everyone who is interested in the gods of Greece and Egypt, and the ways in which those two religious traditions met and merged during the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. We make no exclusions based on gender, race, sexual orientation, financial status, national origin, political ideology, philosophical creed, or religious profession. We are non-exclusionary: members can belong to any other group they wish to, provided that the aims and philosophy of such groups are not antithetical to our own. We ask only that members do not try to unduly proselytize for those groups on our discussion list or at our events, or carry ongoing conflicts from there into our hallowed neutral territory. We have come together for one purpose and one purpose only: to honor the gods of Greece and Egypt and to share our experience with kindred souls. Everything else should be considered strictly off-topic and will be dealt with accordingly.

All members of Neos Alexandria will strive to uphold Ma’at, which means truth, justice, right order, cosmic harmony, and pious interactions with the gods. Behaviors not in accordance with this philosophical and religious ideal should be vehemently shunned as Isfet. Meaning, do nothing you know to be offensive to the gods. Avoid actively harming others or yourself. Do not disrupt the order of the community unless that order is based on harmful principles. Make your words truthful: do not speak something you know to be false, and when you have given your word that you will do something do all in your power to make sure that it comes to pass. Do not be content in offering anything that is short of your best. Always hold true to your highest ideals.

Members of Neos Alexandria are polites or citizens. Citizens are, first and foremost, residents in a polis or city. We view our cities as an extension of our homes, and our homes as the dwelling-places of the gods. Thus our cities are considered sacred, full of the presence of our gods, and worthy of respect as the place which nourishes our bodies and spirits, and in which we dwell as a part of a greater whole. Members of Neos Alexandria should have concern for their cities, taking efforts to beautify and care for them, to be involved in their spiritual and intellectual life, to make things better for their fellow-citizens, and to be engaged in the government of their city, if only through local elections and political debates. They should not fear opposing injustice and inequality wherever it springs up. The true citizen is also one who is civilized and educated. Thus our members should value culture, wisdom, and learning in all of its many forms, and help to support the growth of institutions dedicated to the promotion of these principles. They should also conduct themselves with temperance, kindness, charity, and a recognition of our universal brotherhood based on the common experiences and descent shared by all humanity. This was the goal of Alexander’s world empire, to unite East and West in a single great culture that could benefit from the monumental strides made by all of the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean, and was the guiding principle of Alexandria, whose light has continued to shine down through the ages, and which we seek to rekindle once more through the establishment of the spiritual city of Neos Alexandria, to which all of us belong as citizens and defenders.

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One Response to The Principles of Neos Alexandria

  1. Pingback: Khairete! Em Hotep! | neosalexandria

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