Welcome to Discovering the Male Mysteries with Mel Mystery. This blog is a supplement to my podcast is for and about gay and bi pagan men. My podcasts are about what it is to be gay, what it is to be pagan, what it is to be men — sometimes as separate topics and sometimes all meshed together as one. I started this endeavor after seeing that there were few, if any, podcasts out there on this topic. The podcasts are informative, and present topics that challenge conventional thinking.

Ancient Greek Culture

Arete

Arete is the Greek concept of excellence. In it’s broadest form arete is excellence of any kind, but the Greek notion of arete is living up to one’s fullest potential – being the best you can be. Arete involves developing all one’s abilities to be effective in the world. This includes developing the mind, body, and soul. The mind is developed through mental training including oratory (public speaking), rhetoric (the effective use of language), and learning the basic sciences. The soul is developed by spiritual training which includes music and aspiring to virtue. The body is developed through excercise and physical training. All of these elements were a significant part of training a Greek boy into manhood.

Arete was sometimes personified as a goddess, the sister of Harmonia and the daughter of Praxidike (a goddess of justice). As a minor goddess, there isn’t much in the way of mythological stories related to Arete, but she does play a part in one story of Heracles where he is given the choice of living a life of wealth and pleasure or a life of arete. Heracles chose to follow the path of Arete.