A rune does not moralize anything as good or evil; it just shows the forms of power in nature.
The reverse Ansuz warns of danger but does not say Loki is evil or bad. The same trickster who can drag you down can be good in the context of an anarchy when you need to overthrow someone with a single flaw,, and can also be bad in the context of an aspiring culture, where one rust is enough to spread the rot and corruption.
The rune merely reveals the scope of action in all its (per)mutation, but does not moralize.
"The Greek Helen of Troy. Her name can be reconstructed *Swelenā ‘mistress of sunlight’, i.e. Dawn."
"Tejas is a special form of splendour: the sharp, fiery, martial “force of heat and light which emanates from a human or divine personality, externally visible as an aura.” It was in the Ṛgveda used for weapons, but quickly came to take on a broader meaning of ‘energy, fiery glow’."
Hope is not Odins realm. Odin is home. One either is there, or not. Odin allows no half-heart or wish.
I was referring to your own words; you should make necessary clarifications on BTL.
The word in the dark, the lines in the sand at the coasts of consciousness, the will of the one who speaks and the one who listens bound as one. The privacy of the gods, the beam of light that falls through the keyhole on the wall and reveals a small part of a great truth. Suggestion that is more powerful than knowledge. Hope, faith, the end of fear-of-fear, fear as a charm, a firefly guiding out of the swamp of safety. Strange trees, jagged hooked and crooked branches, black against the grey mist; lures into the lost-and-found. A light along the way that shouldnt be there and is only seen by oneself. The other travelers seem to follow the same path and yet notice none of its curves. Secret knowledge, decrease of relativity. Densening of perspective. Marriage to ones will-and-imagination. Initiation, a walk in the forest that never ends, Alice in Wonderland, the rabbit hole. Gods, spirits, sounds of crows, the friendly eye of a predator. Branches and leaves and the patterns in which they fall. Divination, runes, magic, release from false and unnecessary protection, freedom, aloneness, Odin."
Who said, "In the beginning was the S(w)ord"?
Germanic first function has Tyr(Sword)-Odin(word),, just as Mitra-Varuna.
Hope is the swelling power and a ray of light that cuts through an aporia. Words are hope in as much they open a Breathing space. The practice of Utiseta or mound/grave-yard/outdoor/cross-road sitting falls under Ansuz.
"The trick of doing the four-fold breathing thing is to actually extend yourself at the times when you're holding the breath out. You breathe out for four counts, and then you slip further out during the counts before you breathe in again."
Breathing is not just cleansing, but a slow, steady self-expansion. The art of [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] chanting or shamanic throat singing, uses the voice like a steady ladder to ascend up slowly asserting oneself till one permeates and pervades as space, or till one captures the [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] of a river or a mountain by catching-up with it. It stretches out the voice of the inner word like a loom of unending thread, till there is generated a life of its own, and one goes back to the inexhaustible source and well-spring of words, the voice of the voice.
Odin gathered the runes by letting out a scream.
Ansuz, the "Pitch"-fork extracts the intent out of something.
"Somewhere along the line I discovered that the breathing techniques learned for voice training and the breathing techniques taught by yogic practitioners were not all that different, and could be combined with a form of magic that I later learned was a form of galdr - singing your intent out with your breath."
"In ancient Icelandic, Utiseta mean "powering down". The term "inner child" refers to the subconscious. If you treat this child like it does not have a voice, and has an opinion, it will do what any child does. It shuts down, decides that it is unloved, grows depressed. It will stop you from dreaming and feeling those subtle emotions and feelings that it communicates with. This is when Utiseta is most important. The inner child is your only way to hear and feel the messages in our other worlds. The Ancient Norse used Utisenta to "sit at the crossroads": between the worlds."
Ansuz as the voice rune, more accurately means, "holding wind", the element of Odin itself:
"The term "overtone singing" refers to an extraordinary vocal technique in, which a single performer simultaneously produces up to three separate voca1 lines, which can be clearly distinguished by listeners. The Bayad Jamiyan, for instance, recalled People who could be heard over a distance of three kilometres (IN) The Tuvans in Bayan Olgii aimag used xöömii to "call" yaks ‑ a function which may be connected with this great value placed on carrying power.
It is claimed that several birds produce xöömii ‑type sounds. For instance, the usny buxI bittern keeps its head under water in the lake and produces a sound which can be heard a saaxalt away (Sengedorj IN). The crane (togoruu), said to live for 3,000 years, also has a distinctive call which, when heard, is considered a portent of long life (Bolorma IN). The noise produced by the wings of the snow cock (xoilog), widespread in Mount Jargalant as well as on the lakes, is said to be very like the sound xöömii. Xöömii is sometimes referred to as the 'voice's echo" or "bird's echo". Mountains. The mountains stand alone in the steppe, seperated from the main Altai massif. The people of Chandman' sum stress that the sounds heard in the mountains have a special quality, and those who live on Mount Jargalant often discuss the variety of sounds which they hear. For example, they say that sounds are different in the morning from the evening because of a difference in the flow of air (agaaryn ursgal), that common sounds such as rain sound quite different in the mountains, and that there is a particular kind of echo which enables a noise to be heard four or five am.
Mount Jargalant also has a special power. It is said to be able to "hold" the very strong winds which come from the west before releasing them into the steppe below. Sometimes the wind is "held" for four to five hours (Sengedorj) sometimes 24 hours (Tserendavaa INc) and sometimes for as long as three days. During this time the mountain drones or makes a hollow sound (dungenex). The people in the steppe below are thus warned of the impending wind and able to make preparations to meet it. Old people credit the same power to the lake as well. They say that Mount Jargalant and Lake Xar Us Nuur "attract and digest the sound of the wind" (tataj sleingeex). Batchuluian (IN), a horse herder who lives on the steppe between the mountains and the lake, talked of a musical communication which is set up between the two. His father, a very good xöömiich born 100 years ago, told him, "Our mountain and lakes speak to each other in musical language, and that is why people living between do the same."
Chuluun used to perform a melody on his morin xuur Called "The River Eev” or "The flow of the River Eev" producing xöömii at the same time. He said that this melody represented the sound of the River Eev which was connected with the origin of xöömii and with the playing of the tsuur. Xöömii said Chuluun is an interpretation of the sounds of the River Eev in the mind of the xöömiich. The sounds of this river also had a magical effect. They lured animals to the water to drink but then bewitched them, causing them to fall in (Margad IN, Tserendavaa INb). They also had the power to entrance people. For example, the tale was told of a young girl who went to the river to get water: once she heard the melody of the river she remained there all day, forgetting her mission (Tseveen IN). Samdan (IN) maintained that people born by the River Eev became very good singers and very beautiful people.
When demonstrating the sounds produced in "the old tme", Purev growled impressively from deep in the chest, using the very low fundamental AA, and referred to it as xargaraa. He also admitted that the stream of air goes through three places‑the nose, lips and throat‑and stated that this is how the terms xamryn (of the nose), amny xendii (of the mouth cavity) and xooloin xöömii (of the throat) have arisen."
"The legends narrate that Tuvan learnt to sing Khomei to establish a contact andassimilate their power trough the imitation of natural sounds. Tuvan people believe in factthat the sound is the way preferred by the spirits of nature to reveal themselves and tocommunicate with the other living beings. What is so wonderful in Throat-Singing? It is the appearance of one of the harmonicpartials that discloses the secret musical nature of each sound. When in Throat-Singing thevoice splits in two different sounds, we experience the unusual sensation of a pure,discarnate, sine wave emerging from the sound. It is the same astonishment we feel whenwe see a rainbow, emerging from the white light, or a laser beam for the first time. The Throat-Singing allows extracting the notes of a natural melody from the body of the sound itself.
The hearing mechanisms organize the stream of perceptive data belonging to differentcomponents of different sounds, according to psychoacoustics and Gestalt principles. The “grouping by harmonicity”, for example, allows the fusion in the same sound of thefrequency partials, which are multiples of a common fundamental. The “common fate” principle tells that we integrate the components of a complex sound, which show the same amplitude and frequency behaviour (i.e. similar modulation and microvariation, similarattack and decay, similar vibrato, etc.). If one of these partials reveals a particular evolution (i.e. it is mistuned or has not the same frequency and amplitude modulation, etc.), it will be heard as a separate sound. So the Throat-Singing is a marvelous example to understand the illusory nature of perception and the musical structure of the sound."
"Some are dream images inspired from being out on the land, a practice which Moss refers to as utiseta or ‘out, sitting for wisdom’, divining knowledge in the ancient Nordic way. Others seem to come from deep within her psyche, slowly maturing and nurtured over the years.
Finally, utiseta usually involves sitting outside on a seidrhjallr, a seidr platform or high seat. Odin’s Hlidskjalf (open platform or tower?) is hisseidrhjallr from which he can see the entire world."
"Another personal means of expression is the outdoor sitting (útiseta), It is said of the seeress or the volva in the Edda:
"Ein sat hon títi She was sitting alone outdoors, ßá er hin aldni kom. when the Old man came."
(Vsp. st. 28)
The Norwegian expert Gro Steinsland declares outdoor sitting to be "a technical term for foreboding" (Steinsland 1979, 139)."
"The first known Greek writer to mention a sibyl is Heraclitus, in the 5th century BC:
"The Sibyl, with frenzied mouth uttering things not to be laughed at, unadorned and unperfumed, yet reaches to a thousand years with her voice by aid of the god."
As you know I am only recently embarked on the journey into the runes, after working for 13 years to become worthy. And my entries on BTL are tentative, my first depth explorations. I still get important things wrong, I feel that. But as Bill said, no man can Fully Know the Runes.
It is my honor to honestly err before Odin. He is the bleeding god who not forgives but loves mistakes. I feel I can say this safely now. Now that I have grown strong by my own mistakes, and wanderings - far stronger than those who do not wander bleed and err can become or desire to be.
Hail Hagalaz! But you caught that in code did you not. It was for you anyway.
I will not go back on my first steps but simply make a new entry, when the power knocks. No, when it whispers in my ear.
Gender : Posts : 2479 Join date : 2013-10-26 Age : 26 Location : Land of Dance and Song
Odin is lord of the Mannerbunde, of which one of their principle practices is untiing with their ancestors. Their dead ancestors. Not only communicating with them, but becoming their ancestors, though in living bodies, they become the dead -- all of their past selves untied into one. This is the secret of gaining your Hammingja, and is as old (or older) than the stone-age bear cults. It goes back to Rudra (who is the vedic Odin, they are teh same deity.
Rudra was later watered down to become Shiva, because Rudra and his practices were too dark for the budding Hindus.
If people understood what Odin really was, instead of their sky-daddy, most of them would shit themselves.
Gender : Posts : 2479 Join date : 2013-10-26 Age : 26 Location : Land of Dance and Song
We live in an era of over-consumption. Under conditions when consumption and attempt to get a few unnecessary things grab your whole mind, any moves in this direction will deprive you of Power. Weaklings hide from the problems, veil their eyes with mind altering substances. And only the strong draw energy for self-development in a source of strength. The main ally, which is designed to give a person the strength and durability to withstand all the destructive temptations - Nature. Nature will help you to see the right way, on the right way man needs a Will, the ability to master all the powers on one mission without spending too much energy on empty and unnecessary things. Physical Development and Sports teach self-control, self-discipline, without these qualities we are defenceless against the spiritual filth. He who conquered himself, his weakness and cowardice, he has already won, he is already on the right way. TV will show you degradation of the body and mind, and the new movie "Under the programme Father Frost 2016" will show you where and how draw Strength of Spirit and body those who are committed to the development and creation.
''.... For Pagans it is nobility, the connection of self to ancestry, to reality, the spirit that refuses to go on living without dignity, honesty, honor. God, the gods, for the pagans are not some vague abstraction detached from reality, and their morals reflect this. Pagan gods begin as a worshiping of dead ancestors, manifesting as self. When a pagan prayed to his ancestors it was to himself, for they participate in his becoming as genetic memory, as DNA. When he honored his ancestors he honored himself, and when he respected himself he respected his ancestors. So when he did not want to shame his ancestry he was holding himself accountable in relation to them. And what are ancestors but past?
Then gods became anthropomorphic representations of natural processes, and those the pagan worshiped because they made him possible. The past took on a broader perspective, because past = nature - the sum of all previous nurturing.
Nobility finds its meaning here. To be true to self is to be true to your past. True to your past is to hold yourself accountable before nature, the sum of all nurturing. True to your past means your object/objective will not dishonor, or detach from it, nor will this object/objective negate, ignore, forget, this past/nature.
Nobility means to refuse to live without your core principles: honor, dignity, freedom, awareness, honesty...and to hold yourself accountable. It is refine and discriminate, sharpening your sense of self, your identity.''
''The pagan man, the natural man, wants to take a woman and turn her from sex object, from means to self-gratification, into a mother, a means towards legend. The Modern man takes woman and wants to retain her as sex object, as means to his own ephemeral gratification, or takes mother and wants to reduce her, like a nihilistic miser, to sexual object, even to her sons. This is Freud, another Jew dominating western psychology. To understand why children, especially males, are shamed away from mother, and approach father as a sexual competitor, and how this diminishes human power, you must first understand nihilism and its most vocal proponents. In traditional families it was the female who entered into the male's clan, as a subordinate mother, to the maternal head. In modern "marriages" of convenience, the male is expected to first break away from his family, and then become subordinated to her family’s hierarchies, no matter how dysfunctional these might be. The male is subordinated to the father figure, which most often is subordinated to the mother, with the alpha-male, figurehead being the institution, the system. The male is not only detached from his heritage, which he is supposed to be the representative of when his own father dies, but he becomes a representative of a representative which has no clout, no connection to anything other than the alpha-male abstraction of institution, to which he is expected to submit to and live-up to.
The process of decline can be found in Christianity where the God, the monopoly of alpha-maleness, is placed above father, as is seen in the Abrahamic tale of emasculation. Christ takes his disciples away from their families, and tells them this is the only way they can be saved – an anti-family position where family is considered a subordination to a male other than the father figure, the corporeal real man. In paganism the male was a direct, real, corporeal representation of his entire clan, in Nihilistic structures the male is a nothing; another female beneath the only One male. He is second even to the female because unlike her he cannot be this alpha male’s means, except as a fertile womb for the shared memes.
The absence of blood lines, of cultural and genetic homogeneity has made the search for the shared lowest-common-denominator a concern among lost, emasculated males with no sense of self, no blood connections and no self-knowledge. With no father figure to respect and look up to, and prepare to replace, they seek the absolute authority outside self, in the before and the after.
With no solid father figure to connect the boy to his past/nature, and give his existence meaning, stability, direction, the boy turns to mother, wanting to be the father of himself. In the absence of a mother he becomes woman himself, a stray womb looking for fertilization; to be someone's means to an end, displaying the cynicism of the stringently critical, looking for perfection to deal with their emasculation and need to be mind-fucked until complete, absolute, fullness. Some emasculated males find their alpha in an idea(l) and surrender to its authority completely...the ones who do not, or cannot, roam from idea(l) to idea(l) seeing the fallibility in all so as to not bend over to them: some dive into being mind-whores, others resist, wanting to save themselves for the perfect one. The last, being not fully matures males, and not fully awake females, settle for the cynical path of 'freedom" from all; lost in space/time. This lostness is what they call "liberty". They laugh at everything and everything. Their artistry is found in the thumb on nose.''
Lyssa Har Har Harr
Gender : Posts : 9031 Join date : 2012-03-01 Location : The Cockpit
Byron wrote of the two trees - one of life and one of knowledge as inversions of each other, a motif that runs through Heraclitus' sleep and wakefulness, as much as the Upanishads:
"My slumbers—if I slumber—are not sleep, But a continuance of enduring thought, Which then I can resist not: in my heart There is a vigil, and these eyes but close To look within; and yet I live, and bear The aspect and the form of breathing men. But grief should be the instructor of the wise; Sorrow is knowledge: they who know the most Must mourn the deepest o’er the fatal truth, The Tree of Knowledge is not that of Life. " [Byron, Manfred, Act I, Scene I]
In cosmic beliefs, where the cosmos was taken to be a sacred and stable order, the fleeting nature of the world in flux was considered the Error, as erroneous as the unstable mind of the feminine nature… fickle, following its own path, flowing 'aimlessly', the mutability of the moon and fortune… GvL. says of the Error/Yr rune:
""A sixteenth I speak to a coy maiden to get me goodness and luck: that changes and turns the wishes and mind of the swan white armed beauty."
The yr rune or error rune, which causes confusion, whether through the excitement of the passions in love, in play, in drink (intoxication), or through pretexts of speech (sophistry) or by whatever other means will perhaps conquer resistance through confusion. But the success of a victory gained by such means is just as illusory as the victory itself -- for it brings anger, wild rage, and ultimately madness. The yr rune or error rune therefore also contrasts with the os rune, since it tries to force the conquest of an opponent with mere pretext instead of with real reasons. Therefore it teaches: Think about the end!" [Secret of the Runes]
The sophistry of the feminine or the Actor has a beguiling nature… Which can be both good and bad, for without "illusions" of "stability", there would be no sense of self, or unity or culture, or any organizing instinct that works by fixing abstractions. Errors are not only life-sustaining, but also life-advancing:
"Increase in "dissimulation" proportionate to the rising order of rank of creatures. It seems to be lacking in the inorganic world-- power against power, quite crudely-cunning begins in the organic world; plants are already masters of it. The highest human beings, such as Caesar, Napoleon (Stendhal's remark on him)," also the higher races (Italians), the Greeks (Odysseus); a thousandfold craftiness belongs to the essence of the enhancement of man- Problem of the actor.
My Dionysus ideal- The perspective of all organic functions, all the strongest instincts of life: the force in all life that wills error; error as the precondition even of thought. Before there is "thought" there must have been "invention"; the construction of identical cases, of the appearance of sameness, is more primitive than the knowledge of sameness." [WTP, 544]
Here, N. is also careful to differentiate that from the errors of the "hunger artists":
"It was suffering and incapacity that created all Hinterwelten—this and that brief madness of bliss which is experienced only by those who suffer most deeply.
Weariness that wants to reach the ultimate with one leap, with one fatal leap, a poor ignorant weariness that does not want to will any more: this created all gods and Hinterwelten." [TSZ]
Creative barbarians who are transgressors and criminals who make wither old orders, and cause havoc and disasters and costly errors beyond any rationality of loss/gain, pain/pleasure, are as life-advancing of a species' evolution as bottled-up excess only sublimate into rage-banks and lower forms of cunning and petty seduction. Terribleness as part and parcel of greatness, means to desire life For all its painful and undesirable and unpleasant elements, and not just Despite it.
A culture manages to grow only whenever breaches made into a dying civilization and its old forms shattered, is followed by a renewal of a newer and stronger health, like injured skin managing to rejuvenate again. A shift in epicentres building around new standards of values and spawning a new cycle. Excessive errors have killed many a civilization.
Such insights are what led N. to see the punishment of the criminal-hero Prometheus for his Error of "inventing" fire [mythologically "stealing" fire from the gods] as a cosmic justice. For every Error committed upon and into nature and godly knowledge, one paid for those errors of one's ungodly wisdom.
N. saw in it, how a Prometheus without a Zeus, how an inventive artist without a reality principle would have to prove fatal:
"The myth of Prometheus presupposes the unbounded value which naïve humanity placed on fire as the true palladium of every rising culture; but it struck those contemplative original men as a crime, a theft perpetrated on divine nature, to believe that man commanded fire freely, rather than receiving it as a gift from heaven, as a bolt of lightning which could start a blaze, or as the warming fire of the sun. Thus the very first philosophical problem presents a painful, irresolvable conflict between god and man, and pushes it like a mighty block of rock up against the threshold of every culture." [BT, 9]
"Did Prometheus first have to imagine having stolen light and pay for it before he could finally discover that he had created light by desiring light, and that not only man but also god was the work of his own hands and clay in his hands? All mere images of the sculptor – no less than delusion, theft, the Caucasus, the vulture, and the whole tragic Prometheia of all those who know."[JW, 300]
"Man, rising to Titanic stature, gains culture by his own efforts and forces the gods to enter into an alliance with him because in his very own wisdom he holds their existence and their limitations in his hands. But what is most wonderful in this Prometheus poem, which in its basic idea is the veritable hymn of impiety, is the profoundly Aeschylean demand for justice. The immeasurable suffering of the bold “individual” on the one hand and the divine predicament and intimation of a twilight of the gods on the other, the way the power of these two worlds of suffering compels a reconciliation, a metaphysical union — all this recalls in the strongest possible manner the center and main axiom of the Aeschylean view of the world which envisages Moira enthroned above the gods and men as eternal justice." [BT]
"In view of the astonishing audacity with which Aeschylus places the Olympian world on the scales of his justice, we must call to mind that the profound Greek possessed an immovably firm foundation for metaphysical thought in his mysteries, and all his skeptical moods could be vented against the Olympians. The Greek artist in particular had an obscure feeling of mutual dependence when it came to the gods; and precisely in the Prometheus of Aeschylus this feeling is symbolized. In himself the Titanic artist found the defiant faith that he had the ability to create men and at least destroy Olympian gods, by means of his superior wisdom which, to be sure, he had to atone for with eternal suffering." [BT]
Its not a well known fact, that the real meaning of a Hero, goes back to the ancient cult of the Gk. Heros, figures of excess who "arose from the dead" and confines of inert matter, dead bodies, buried earth, and broke and burst open those "limits"… much like a new star from the ashes of a dying civilization.
When the Nazi occultists and "Totenkopfs" revered the Yr as the death rune, it was that kind of "heroism" and ancestral cults Yrrr-rupting.
What is left of the word Hero today is yet again another proof of modern sanitization at work or our own cultural oblivion, cleaning away all the dark aspects. Dumezil's books attest to how much Heroism had to do with "pollution", like the berserker Cuchulain had to be cooled down in 3 vats of water before he could re-enter and be re-integrated again into civilization, from the deathly-excess accrued to him.
"The Blond Beast prowling about…" could have been an apt description that fit the "Heroic" figure of [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Incidentally, while the recent film Revenant portrayed a story of a father avenging his son, Sophocles' play is of a son avenging his father… both as Wandering, prowling Ghosts… What brings the film and the ancient tragic play together is a contest of Two kinds of 'Survivals'; life within life [the rational], and the life beyond life [the Yrrr-rational]…
Festive and eternal cyclic myth. Beneath the city, the rustic dead. Beneath our civilization, our 'barbarian' origins. But the wild, too, is sacred. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Gender : Posts : 970 Join date : 2013-01-04 Location : MA
"...The isolated “glance into the horrible” – what we may refer to as tragic seeing – is transfigured into a radiant picture of enchantment – what we may call Dionysian seeing: “A lightning flash. Dionysus becomes visible in emerald beauty.” Cosmological confusion is thus limited through the reestablishment of a cosmic (vertical) axis. No longer a reflection of Titanic isolation and horror, the image becomes a source of earthly and heavenly union: “the genius of heart…to lie placid as a mirror, that the deep sky may be reflected in it.”" -"Nietzsche: The Meaning of Earth"
A station like the herald Mercury / New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill
Gender : Posts : 2479 Join date : 2013-10-26 Age : 26 Location : Land of Dance and Song
The study of ancient myth is more often than not a tedious task which leaves the reader with problems of interpretation at the basic level. The basic level would leave the reader with knowledge of the texts in that they understand plotlines and characters but would not allow for an understanding of the text in the way that it (the oral stories) were understood in the past. As a result, the reader is left seeking interpretive theories of myth from philosophers or other authors. However, the amount of ways that exist to interpret myths show that there is no clear answer to what the purpose of myths were and in turn there is no knowledge of how these myths were actually interpreted. Perhaps the logical solution would be to place these myths in a worldwide context, comparing them with different "religions" of the traditional world, contrasting them with early understandings of Hinduism, Buddhism, and pre-Christian European beliefs. This was the work of Julius Evola, an Italian philosopher from the twentieth century who found patterns in traditional ways of living which provides some answers to the obscurity of myth. By applying Evola's thought processes to Celtic myth it will be possible to have a clearer understanding of what these stories held for people and how they were interpreted at the time.
Before analyzing the subject matter it is first necessary to explain what Evola thought of modern attempts to describe and recreate ancient paganism. Evola refuses to accept the word pagan itself as it is a Christian oversight in the definition of these ancient "faiths".1 The word pagan comes from the Latin paganus which can be translated to something like village.2 As a result the labeling of faiths as pagan was for Christian authors to say that these faiths were village beliefs, they were primitive and beneath Christianity.3 Following this scheme, Evola would argue that a literal belief of pagan faiths, of multiple deities or of natural (Earth, Sun, Moon gods etc...) was an oversimplified view of the traditional beliefs. This Christian view sought to prove that pagan myths were absurd.4 Indeed, many of the stories in myths seem preposterous. This however, is only if one is to take a literal Christian interpretation that was used to discredit traditional faiths.5 If one is to delve deeper into the symbolism of the stories and myths, various patterns emerge that seem less "primitive" and more "divine". Studying two short myths this trend will hopefully become evident to the reader.
In the Adventure of Cormac, Cormac is in Liathdruim and is approached by an old warrior with a tree branch that had three apples on it.6 Cormac wants the branch because it makes sweet music (which puts the rest of Ireland to sleep) and offers the warrior any three things that he wants in exchange.7 The warrior takes Cormac's daughter, son, and wife.8 When the warrior takes Cormac's wife, Cormac is outraged and follows the warrior.9 Cormac thus finds himself on a spiritual journey, he passes a stronghold that has warriors of the sid gather feathers for the top of a house but they do not fasten them.10 The warriors then must continue the process (as the feathers keep falling off) eternally.11 In the next phase of the journey Cormac sees a warrior building a fire, the warrior only deposits a log in each time and then leaves to fetch another one.12 By the time that the warrior returns with the new log the old one was burned and the warrior had to continue this cycle eternally.13 The last part of this journey contains a well which is beautiful and the sound of the falling of the streams is described as "sweeter than any music".14 Following this Cormac meets the warrior at his house who vaguely explains the journey and returns Cormac's daughter, son, and wife.15 Evola would immediately notice the similarities between this story and methods of super consciousness described in early Zen Buddhism.16 Cormac is shown the endless cycle (Samsara) which results from the failure of the attainment of a super consciousness which joins with the conscious mind to destroy the subconcuious.17 This would subsequently destroy the cycle and lead the person into Nirvana, a high state of being in the world.18 Without spiritual guidance the warriors kindling the fire are doomed to the same material cycle for the rest of their lives, without spiritual guidance the dead warriors of the sid are doomed to repeat their same cycle almost infinitely. These cycles, in general relate to the wider understanding of time as cyclical before the introduction of Judaic faiths.19 As such this cyclical understanding is almost lost to a modern reader. Furthermore, seeing as Cormac is king it is known that in ancient societies there was no division between a priestly and noble class.20 To be a noble was to have a higher level of divinity and to be closer to the "invisible world". This is true of ancient India when the caste system served the purposes of instilling faith from the higher clasess.21 Since Cormac was the king he needed to have knowledge of the invisible world and have a transcendental experience (not going below as in the Latin but rising above) to permit him to act as a spiritual gateway for his subjects so that they did not get stuck in the cycles of samsara.22 A loose connection also exists in that Cormac is betrayed in his desire to obtain a man made material object (the branch with apples) which subdued his (and presumably Ireland's) spirituality. When Cormac heard the sound of the streams, which are made by nature, it is noted that this was more beautiful than any other sound on the Earth (including the branch). This flows into Evola's writings in Revolt Against the Modern World but the connection is not substantial enough for it to be a concrete example of nature (invisible world) having a higher level of divinity than man.
Another example is found in the story of Niall. Niall is born by his father, the King of Ireland, to another woman.23 As such he has four half brothers than were born to the Queen of Ireland.24 After being abandoned Niall is fostered by what seems to be a spiritual guardian in that he is told to have prophesized Niall's future.25 Niall eventually returns and the five brothers go on a hunting trip.26 During the hunting trip all five brothers are in need of water and each go to search for water on their own.27 Each encounter an old dreadful woman who wants a kiss in exchange for water.28 All refuse the water except for the fourth brother who gets a small prize and Niall who lays with the woman.29 The woman transforms into a beautiful lady and turns out to be the goddess of soverignty.30 She then bestows the knowledge Niall needs to be king.31 The concept of a sovereignty goddess is one that is common to many ancient faiths in that it is seen that the woman had a level of wisdom that the man did not.32 To achieve spiritual satisfaction and to act as a spiritual bridge in the form of a king between the subjects and the invisible world the king needed the knowledge of a woman.33 The old woman here falls into this ancient virtue that holds women up to high esteem. The second example that may be found is that the king, who was a spiritual bond for the visible and invisible world, needed to be the "right" king in order for the land to flourish. As the land is dependent on invisible forces in the traditional world, a secular king, a king who was not a bridge between the people would result in the land being fallow. Thus the goddess of sovereignty is old when Niall meets her, the current king is not the right king and the land thus must be suffering.34 So too, is the goddess of sovereignty suffering. However, after Niall lays with her the rightful kingship is returned and she (and most likely the land) return to their youthful form.35
There are countless examples which one can find in Celtic myth and in any traditional myth that can be viewed through Evola's lens. What makes Evola's perspective different from other philosophers is that Evola focuses on the representations and patterns between ancient societies. There are countless examples of the same metaphor in other faiths before the spread of Judaic religion that speak to a common understanding of most of the worlds populations of the invisible world and how to communicate with it. Unfortunately, most ancient traditions fell into disarray with the onset of civilization, and science was seen as the new way to interpret ancient religions. Rejecting modern "scientific" analyses of traditional myth, Evola uses what he believes to be the traditional framework (mindset) in reconstructing the meaning behind myth, ritual, and sacrifice. As a result, Evola's works are held in high regard by modern students of traditional faiths.
1. Julius Evola, and Annemarie Rasch, Grundrisse Der Faschistischen Rassenlehre. Berlin: Runge, 1943.
2. Julius Evola, and Annemarie Rasch, Grundrisse Der Faschistischen Rassenlehre. Berlin: Runge, 1943.
3. Julius Evola, and Annemarie Rasch, Grundrisse Der Faschistischen Rassenlehre. Berlin: Runge, 1943.
4. Julius Evola, and Annemarie Rasch, Grundrisse Der Faschistischen Rassenlehre. Berlin: Runge, 1943.
5. Julius Evola, and Annemarie Rasch, Grundrisse Der Faschistischen Rassenlehre. Berlin: Runge, 1943.
6. John Carey, and John T. Koch, eds. and trans, The Celtic Heroic Age: Literary Sources for Ancient Celtic Europe and Early Ireland and Wales, 3rd ed. Oakville, CT and Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2000, 184.
7. John Carey, and John T. Koch, eds. and trans, The Celtic Heroic Age: Literary Sources for Ancient Celtic Europe and Early Ireland and Wales, 3rd ed. Oakville, CT and Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2000, 184.
8. John Carey, and John T. Koch, eds. and trans, The Celtic Heroic Age: Literary Sources for Ancient Celtic Europe and Early Ireland and Wales, 3rd ed. Oakville, CT and Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2000, 185.
9. John Carey, and John T. Koch, eds. and trans, The Celtic Heroic Age: Literary Sources for Ancient Celtic Europe and Early Ireland and Wales, 3rd ed. Oakville, CT and Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2000, 185.
10. John Carey, and John T. Koch, eds. and trans, The Celtic Heroic Age: Literary Sources for Ancient Celtic Europe and Early Ireland and Wales, 3rd ed. Oakville, CT and Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2000, 185.
11. John Carey, and John T. Koch, eds. and trans, The Celtic Heroic Age: Literary Sources for Ancient Celtic Europe and Early Ireland and Wales, 3rd ed. Oakville, CT and Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2000, 185.
12. John Carey, and John T. Koch, eds. and trans, The Celtic Heroic Age: Literary Sources for Ancient Celtic Europe and Early Ireland and Wales, 3rd ed. Oakville, CT and Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2000, 185
13. John Carey, and John T. Koch, eds. and trans, The Celtic Heroic Age: Literary Sources for Ancient Celtic Europe and Early Ireland and Wales, 3rd ed. Oakville, CT and Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2000, 185.
14. John Carey, and John T. Koch, eds. and trans, The Celtic Heroic Age: Literary Sources for Ancient Celtic Europe and Early Ireland and Wales, 3rd ed. Oakville, CT and Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2000, 185.
15. John Carey, and John T. Koch, eds. and trans, The Celtic Heroic Age: Literary Sources for Ancient Celtic Europe and Early Ireland and Wales, 3rd ed. Oakville, CT and Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2000, 187.
16. Julius Evola, "The Meaning and Context of Zen." Radical Traditionalist Philosophy and Metaphysics.
17. Julius Evola, "The Meaning and Context of Zen." Radical Traditionalist Philosophy and Metaphysics.
18. Julius Evola, "The Meaning and Context of Zen." Radical Traditionalist Philosophy and Metaphysics.
19. Julius Evola, Revolt against the Modern World. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions International, 1995, 3 - 7.
20. Julius Evola, Revolt against the Modern World. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions International, 1995, 7 - 29.
21. Julius Evola, Revolt against the Modern World. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions International, 1995, 21 - 29.
22. Julius Evola, "The Meaning and Context of Zen." Radical Traditionalist Philosophy and Metaphysics.
23. John Carey, and John T. Koch, eds. and trans, The Celtic Heroic Age: Literary Sources for Ancient Celtic Europe and Early Ireland and Wales, 3rd ed. Oakville, CT and Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2000, 203.
24. John Carey, and John T. Koch, eds. and trans, The Celtic Heroic Age: Literary Sources for Ancient Celtic Europe and Early Ireland and Wales, 3rd ed. Oakville, CT and Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2000, 203.
25. John Carey, and John T. Koch, eds. and trans, The Celtic Heroic Age: Literary Sources for Ancient Celtic Europe and Early Ireland and Wales, 3rd ed. Oakville, CT and Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2000, 203 - 204.
26. John Carey, and John T. Koch, eds. and trans, The Celtic Heroic Age: Literary Sources for Ancient Celtic Europe and Early Ireland and Wales, 3rd ed. Oakville, CT and Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2000, 205.
27. John Carey, and John T. Koch, eds. and trans, The Celtic Heroic Age: Literary Sources for Ancient Celtic Europe and Early Ireland and Wales, 3rd ed. Oakville, CT and Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2000, 205 - 206.
28. John Carey, and John T. Koch, eds. and trans, The Celtic Heroic Age: Literary Sources for Ancient Celtic Europe and Early Ireland and Wales, 3rd ed. Oakville, CT and Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2000, 205 - 206.
29. John Carey, and John T. Koch, eds. and trans, The Celtic Heroic Age: Literary Sources for Ancient Celtic Europe and Early Ireland and Wales, 3rd ed. Oakville, CT and Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2000, 206.
30. John Carey, and John T. Koch, eds. and trans, The Celtic Heroic Age: Literary Sources for Ancient Celtic Europe and Early Ireland and Wales, 3rd ed. Oakville, CT and Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2000, 206.
31. John Carey, and John T. Koch, eds. and trans, The Celtic Heroic Age: Literary Sources for Ancient Celtic Europe and Early Ireland and Wales, 3rd ed. Oakville, CT and Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2000, 206 - 207.
32. Julius Evola, Revolt against the Modern World. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions International, 1995, 7 - 16.
33. Julius Evola, Revolt against the Modern World. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions International, 1995, 7 - 16.
34. John Carey, and John T. Koch, eds. and trans, The Celtic Heroic Age: Literary Sources for Ancient Celtic Europe and Early Ireland and Wales, 3rd ed. Oakville, CT and Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2000, 206.
35. John Carey, and John T. Koch, eds. and trans, The Celtic Heroic Age: Literary Sources for Ancient Celtic Europe and Early Ireland and Wales, 3rd ed. Oakville, CT and Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2000, 206.
The first 3 are the older or sick and they set the pace of the group. If it was on the contrary, they would be left behind and lost contact with the pack. In ambush case they would be sacrificed. The following are the 5 strongest. In the center follow the remaining members of the pack, and at the end of the group follow the other 5 stronger. Last, alone, follows the alpha wolf. It controls everything from the rear. That position can control the whole group, decide the direction to follow and anticipate the attacks of opponents. The pack follows the rhythm of the elders and the head of the command that imposes the spirit of mutual help not leaving anyone behind.
Yes, the process of spieciation happens gradually, slowly genetically distancing one population from another, and until a total separation occurs to where reproductive mixing is no longer possible, intermediate stages allow a reversion back to the common ancestor. Asses and horses, pumas and leopards, sheep and goats, grizzlies with polar bears and so on. The stage before this is where we place dog breeds, and human races.
It is the stage before a separate species can be given a new name, which is the stage before a total genetic rupture is established - the past/nature manifesting as presence/appearance. Some will claim, from a position of weakness, that mixing and reversion is a "good" thing, feeling unhappy with their own presence, or wanting to return to a uniformity in the past, idealized as "better than the undesirable present. The theory implies that reversion will recombine the best elements of what has been cultivated as apparent divergence, essentially watering down the entire period that manifested in divergence - all the environmental conditioning, nurturing, that gave one population different organic potentials. It is a wishful thought to believe that nature cares or has some secret consciousness that selects the "best", which would include intellectual potential. A thought solidly rooted in Christian, and Marxist progress. The belief implies that there is some hidden will, some secret order, some divine consciousness, that prefers higher order to lower order, because it loves and values itself, before it is even in existence, or that it is in fact existing because it loves and values itself. In such a belief system the positive is already presumed as evident, as self-evident, requiring, only to be proven, to be validated by awareness - enlightenment is this (re)cognition of what is already valuable, lovable, intelligent, aware, seeking its own self in the universe.
Mixing becomes a return to a unity, which has fragmented, for some reason - most likely because of evil, or ignorance, or bad luck. The cosmos in flux, leading to the circumstances of genetic isolation and environmental conditioning, stressing each population to diverge, are considered "bad" events that must be "corrected" by us wise, enlightened, humans, returning, as it were, to higher order, connecting us back to the singularity of the cosmic event that exploded, due to some evil, some badness. Intercourse becomes a sacred ritual returning all to their primordial unity - erasing centuries of suffering, of differences, of conflicting goods - sex as a loving embrace of our shared value, our common denominator. Our species mission is to noetically return, using our imagination, and using our wise interventions, to this past, though we will call it an immanent future, to agree with our self-identifying progress towards the Utopian future - Paradise returned to earth.
These separated species find communion in their mixing - an affirmation of their common, singular, identity. A promising spiritual event, returning us back to a uniformity easing differences, conflict, competitions, antagonism, war, struggle....final peace in a singular life, reflecting the Divine one's mind; a world where each one chooses his/her own identity, and it means no more than that: a consumer choice, a fashion statement, a recyclable symbol, for the single race, the single species, to play with, creatively ascending towards god's sacred promise. Yes, "god is dead"...or they have prematurely declared him so.
_________________ γνῶθι σεαυτόν μηδέν άγαν
Lyssa Har Har Harr
Gender : Posts : 9031 Join date : 2012-03-01 Location : The Cockpit
"ge = gift, giver, the Nordic God, earth; death, and so on.
Gibor altar is still contained in the place name Gibraltar, a name for which the derivation from Arabic gibil tarik is as impossible as it can be; Gib(o)raltar was a temple site consecrated to the Nordic God, the All Begetter by the Vandals at the southern extreme of Spain) -- the Nordic God, the All Begetter! -- the Nordic God is the giver, and the earth receives his gifts. But the earth is not only the receiver, she is also in turn a giver. The primal word is gi, or ge; in it lies the idea of arising (to give), but it also indicates being, in the idea of the gift, and passing away to new arising, in the idea of going. This primal word gi or ge can now be connected to other primal and root words, a few examples of which follow. In connection with the primal word fa as: gifa, gefa, gea, geo, it indicates the gift begetting earth, and with bar or bor, burn, spring, the gift burn the Nordic God. As gigeur (the gift goes back to the Primeval), in Gigur, the gift destroying frost giant, who becomes a personification of death and later of the devil, appears to be named.
By the idea word gigas (gigeas: the gift goes out of the mouth, out of the source) the fiddle (Geige) is understood. This is the old skaldic magical instrument of awakening which introduced the song, and since song (bar) also means life, the fiddle was one of the many ideographs (hieroglyphs, symbols) of rebirth, and it is for this reason that it is often found in graves as a sacred gift. Therefore it is not necessarily so that the dead man in whose grave a fiddle is found was a fiddle player. Flutes and fiddles enticed people to dance, to the excitement of love, and were therefore banned by the church -- with its ascetic temperament -- because they served as magical instruments to arouse the human fyr, fire, of love. So the church replaced the Wotanic symbol of awakening with the Christian symbol of awakening, the trumpet of judgement." [The Secret of the Runes]
Gibor is the symbol of the perfect balance and sacrifice, that every gift-giving partnership is. The spiritual flame rising and raising things upwards. Gibor in reverse signifies greed, and the 'fall', depression, pressure that sucks and wipes you out totally when in excess of that right measure. This is why the custom of the Potlatch - the sacrificial excess was dangerous, whether given or received; Mauss went into detail of how the other word for gift was poison. Knowing where to stop, where little becomes much, and a bit more becomes ruin, shows the precariousness in tight-rope walking.
When speaking of the flute, the Orphic tragedy of not just stopping there and turning back, harkens back to the Delphic 'Nothing in Excess'. Music can become wet, and drown you down, instead of whetting you up.
Related to this is the "fair cup", or as it was called "the cup of justice" by Pythagoras.
"The Pythagorean cup is a form of drinking cup which is a deep sense of control measures of a drink. Creating a bowl ranked among the discoveries of Pythagoras of Samos. The uniqueness of the bowl of Pythagoras in a fairly simple principle that works as a mechanism of the valve filling the cup up to a certain level you can drink its contents as a regular cup but that’s as soon as we overfill the liquid over the mark level of the cup all of its contents follows through a hole located at bottom of the bowl. "Tradition says Pythagoras, during water supply works in Samos around 530 BC moderated the workers' wine drinking by inventing the 'fair cup'. When the wine surpasses the line, the cup totally empties, so the greedy one is punished."
In the second video, the false philotimo wrt. "austerity measures", foreign aid, in the greek economic "depression" is metaphorized through the Pythagorean cup:
Gibor in reverse shows the power of Vir/tu(e).
Vir/tu demands right measure. The Buddhist noble 8-fold path of "right" seeing, "right" thinking, etc. shows this vir/ile spirit and vir/gin measure. Ge - gaia, earth, virgo is the sign of sacrifice and meticulous, care-full measure.
"Oh, those Greeks! They understood how to live. What you need for that is to be brave and stop at the surface, the fold, the skin, to worship appearance, to believe in forms, tones, words, the whole Olympus of appearance. Those Greeks were superficial - out of profundity… And isn't this precisely what we are coming back to? - we spiritual adventurers, who have scaled the highest and most dangerous peak of today's thought and looked round from up there, looked down from up there. Aren't we, then, precisely - Greeks?" [JW, Preface]
Superficial: "from super "above, over" + facies "form, face". Meaning "not deep, without thorough understanding, cursory, comprehending only what is apparent or obvious"."
Gibor in reverse: Pay attention to the ob-vious; "via" - way, road, path… methods. Quality changes with quantity.
This is the first of two essays dealing with the Germanic cosmology. Only in the second essay will I actually discuss the details of that cosmology, as presented in the Eddas and other sources, and offer an interpretation of it.
Lyssa Har Har Harr
Gender : Posts : 9031 Join date : 2012-03-01 Location : The Cockpit
"The marriage of Zeus and Hera is a way of restarting the clock. It is what we refer to as a hieros gamos, a ‘sacred marriage’ which can be ritually enacted." [Ken Dowden, Zeus]
"Zeus does not send rain, he actually rains. So, in Aristophanes’ comedy, Clouds, the simpleton Strepsiades is confronted by a wonderfully overdrawn sophistic Socrates and cannot understand how Socrates can claim that Zeus does not exist:
Soc.: What Zeus? Don’t talk nonsense at me. There is no Zeus.
STREPS.: What do you mean? Who rains then? That’s what you can tell me for starters.
Aristophanes, Clouds 367f.
It is also traditional that he ‘lightens’, i.e. himself does lightning as we see in Homer:
As when the husband of Hera with her lovely hair lightens making a large and awesome rainstorm or hail or blizzard when snow sprinkles the ploughland . . .
Homer, Iliad 10.5–7
As when from the high peak of a great mountain lightning-gatherer Zeus stirs a dense cloud and all the peaks and jutting crags shine out and the glens, and the awesome aither is torn apart from heaven down . . .
The electricity of the sky is awesome and invites cult. Places where lightning struck were very special and practically showed the god descending. In Arcadia we find fifth-century BC inscriptions dedicat- ing a spot to Zeus Keraunos, ‘Zeus lightning’ or Zeus Storpaos, ‘Zeus of lightning’ (IG V 2.288, 64). Elsewhere you might find Zeus Astrapaios, or Keraunios (‘of lightning’, both), or Keraunobolos (‘lightning thrower’), or Kataibates, ‘descending’, or, at Gytheion (Laconia) Kappotas, ‘falling’. At Gytheion a stone was on display in the second century AD, which in our modern mythology we call a meteor." [Dowden, Zeus]
"When we think of oracles we think of Apollo and Delphi. But Zeus too had oracles, at Dodona and Olympia. We first hear of Dodona from Achilles as he prays to a very distinctive Zeus:
Zeus lord, Dodonaian, Pelasgian, dwelling afar, ruling over wintry Dodona; and around you the Selloi dwell, the interpreters, unwashed their feet, their bed on the ground!
This is the principal oracle of Zeus in classical times. The Selloi are an archaic priesthood, bound by ancestral tabus. Their unmediated contact with the ground has a number of parallels including those with the equally antique and tabu-ridden priest of Jupiter in Rome, the Flamen Dialis. The site itself goes back a long way: remnants have been found of Late Mycenaean pottery and of wooden huts.46 Here, thanks to the rustling of Zeus’s sacred Oak and the work of the Doves, presumably priestesses, the will of Zeus and his wife Dione may be ascertained by states or by those who wondered whether to keep sheep, emigrate or find a stolen piece of cloth. At least they might find out which god or hero it is best to pray to.
Oracles, however, are an unusual tool in Zeus’s otherwise indirect and distant management of the universe. The oracle at Olympia was dead by the time of Pausanias (c. AD 150) and only appears once or twice in the historical record, though these mentions are interesting.
Every nine years the Spartan ephors would watch the skies for a shooting star and, if they saw one, suspend the kings until an oracle from Delphi or Olympia allowed them to resume. This echoes the way in which every nine years Minos had to converse with Zeus. Kingship is something that runs out and needs to be restored from its source, Zeus.
A king is also diotrephes – nourished by Zeus, reared and made into who he is by Zeus.
Greeks were sensitive to the point at which the fortune of battle shifted or turned. The word for this was trope (usually translated ‘rout’) and the god who determined the point at which the battle turned was of course Zeus Tropaios. To celebrate this, a dedication was made, usually at the very spot, called a tropaion, which leads to our word ‘trophy’. Tropaion is however an adjective and applies to the bretas, the crude wooden statue that trophies in effect were. In their simpler form they were made from an oak tree roughly lopped of its branches, with the captured weapons displayed on it, just as ancient Germanic tribes displayed sacrificed prisoners on trees. These distinctive monuments were set up primarily to Zeus Tropaios, though of course dedications could be made to any god. Once set up it was tabu to move them. They evidently constituted a fully dedicated religious place". [Dowden, Zeus]
"Nausicaa knows that ‘All xenoi and beggars are from Zeus’ (Odyssey 6.207f.), a line which Odysseus himself picks up at 14.251 and which, a millennium later, was a favourite line of the pagan emperor Julian when he hammered home the point that pagans should not leave Christians a monopoly on charity. Xenia is the relationship of reciprocal hospitality between persons of different states, and both parties are known as a xenos, regardless of who is the host and who the guest on any particular occasion. To ask which is the guest is like asking which of two friends is the recipient of a good turn. Zeus Xenios, then, enforces respect for these relationships. This is why Nausicaa’s statement is tinged with the worry that the xenos may be a god in disguise, inspecting the earth, precisely as we see at Odyssey 17.485–7 when there is talk of ‘gods in the form of foreign xenoi’. This is also why Odysseus, even though he knows in his heart that Polyphemos is a savage, still appeals to him:
. . . but we, reaching your knees, have arrived as suppliants, in the hope you might provide us with a xenion or in some other way give us a gift, which is the themis [religious right] of xenoi. Be respectful, my good man, of the gods: we are your suppliants [hiketai]. And Zeus is avenger of suppliants and xenoi, Zeus Xenios, who stands beside respectful xenoi.
A whole culture underlies this passage: the ‘arriver’ (hiketes) is the Greek for a suppliant and he performs the ritual of supplication by getting down and grasping the knees of the person supplicated; the xenion is a present whose giving solemnly creates the bond of guest- friendship and the obligation, when possible, to reciprocate; and themis is the uninfringeable divine law or order, quite different from the dike, the order or justice that a good ruler or a good society maintains. Zeus can be Zeus Hikesios, Zeus Xenios; he has children by Themis. It is a terrible sin, requiring expiation, when a person kills a xenos. So for instance Herakles killed his xenos Iphitos.
It is said that Zeus, appalled at the xenos-killing, instructed Hermes to take Herakles and sell him as dike [in effect, ‘penalty’] for the murder. He took him to Lydia and sold him to the queen of the place, Omphale, at a price of three talents. The story is in Pherekydes.
Thus there are conventions and there are sanctions which can only be exercised by god. Nowhere is this truer than in the case of oaths. The mightiest, and most persuasive, oath is naturally by the mightiest god and Zeus Horkios (of oaths, horkoi) is its guarantor:
The statue of Zeus in the Council-Chamber [at Olympia] is the most terrifying of all the statues of Zeus to unjust men. He is called Horkios and has a thunderbolt in either hand.
Double thunderbolts strike fear into the oath-taker who perjures himself next to the statue as he swears over slices of boar’s flesh, just as in the great oath of Agamemnon at Iliad 19.258: ‘Let Zeus know first, of gods the highest and best’. Oaths were not always by Zeus and he was in any case often combined with forces of earth and sea (e.g. Ge and Poseidon), but if an oath was worth swearing it was often worth swearing by him. Thus the thunderbolt stood for the deadly recoil of ultimate power taken in vain by those who did not understand the world’s order.
The bard Phemius is anxious to avoid Odysseus killing him. One option he considers in order to achieve this objective is to claim asylum:
to go out of the megaron and sit at the altar of great Zeus Herkeios, a properly made altar where many were the thighs of oxen that Laertes and Odysseus had burnt.
So the geography is clear: this Greek palace, like any Greek house, has its living room (megaron) and outside, a fenced area (herkos is a boundary fence, or the area so enclosed) with an altar of Zeus of the Fenced-off Area (Herkeios). This is where the family would do its sacrifices and is the outward-facing religious point in the house, to which in this case a suppliant flees. Zeus is the ultimate father of the family and head of household, reflecting the key person in the home, the oikos, in Greece. Like an Agamemnon or an Odysseus, the head of household would sacrifice at his altar of paternal Zeus Herkeios, though it may be doubted whether epic oxen thighs would be much in evidence, rather than sheep or pig. In the simpler rustic surroundings of Eumaios’s hut, however, there is no altar and the pig is sacrificed indoors at a blazing hearth (eschara, Odyssey 14.420). But you can talk about an eschara too when you focus on the part of the altar that burns, something which is to the forefront of your mental image, as it is for Pausanias when he describes the slaughter of Priam by Neoptolemos at the eschara of Zeus Herkeios. This was a particularly vile and irreligious act.
This is also a defining cult for citizenship. When the suitability of a candidate for archon (magistrate at Athens) was scrutinised, Aristotle tells us (Constitution of the Athenians 55) that they were asked not only about their fathers’ and mothers’ families but also about the location of their cult of paternal Apollo or Zeus Herkeios.
Zeus in the house is also frequently known as Zeus Ktesios (‘of the possessions/stores’), which seems to relate above all to the larder, where a lexicographer says an image of him had to be set up. This then replicates the pattern of household cult known from Roman religion, in which there is a division between the gods of the area of land (Lar or plural Lares) and the gods of the store cupboard (Penates). Close to the latter is the god of the hearth, Hestia in Greek (Vesta in Latin), though the personal focus is often on Zeus Ephestios (‘at the hearth’). The Romans also had public Penates as though the state itself were only a large household. This may be the sort of thinking that under- lies an altar of Zeus Ktesios in a temple at a large village in Attica or his worship at the Piraeus (the port of Athens), and similar considerations may apply to public worship of Zeus Herkeios, worshipped on the Athenian acropolis itself. Zeus Ktesios can be depicted with, or as, a snake, which matches well with the folk views of harmless snakes: they were manifestations of the beneficent spirit of a given place and should be fed. But you could also make statuettes of Zeus Ktesios at home like this:
Put a lid on a new two-eared [i.e. handled] kadiskos [type of jar], drape its ears with white wool, and from the right shoulder and from the brow dress it with a saffron [mini-robe?], and pour in ‘ambrosia’. Ambrosia is pure water, olive-oil, mixed grain – that’s what you put in.
Autokleides, Exegeticon (fourth/third century BC) FGrH 353F1, emended
"Where Zeus had challenged the other gods (Iliad 8.18–22):
Come, try, you gods and all you goddesses: hang a golden chain from heaven and hold on to it, you gods and all you goddesses – you won’t drag down from heaven to the ground Zeus highest counsellor, not even if you labour very hard . . .
Aristotle took this unseemly tug of war and used it as an image for the nature of motion (On the movement of animals 699b37). Motion is relative to something fixed and unmoving and this applies to the Universe, which moves under the influence of the unmoved mover – a single, focal god, by implication Zeus in an Aristotelian Homer. What Aristotle was using as a casual illustration was used more determinedly in later mystic tradition, and by the time of the last Neoplatonists, such as Proclus, there is a doctrine that the ultimate divine force driving the universe, the One, is tied or connected to all the forms of being beneath it through a seira (‘chain’, the word Homer uses), or rather a series of chains. Though lower forms of being may display a baffling multiplicity, what makes them intelligible and valuable is their link to the divine. This idea has a continuing popularity today as the ‘Golden Chain’, or the ‘Great Chain of Being’.
"first, Jove as fire: this is why he is called Zeus in Greek – Zeus in Greek can mean either life [zen] or heat [zein – to seethe, boil], either because they mean that all animate things have vital fire, as Heraclitus holds, or because this element is hot"
Fulgentius, Mythologiae 1.3 (bullet points added for clarity)
Vergil is of course Dante’s guide to the Underworld. Jove exists in the background, occasionally emerging thundering at the Giants he once defeated, or as the planet Jupiter, to which his name had been applied by misguided pagans. But even the Ovide moralisé doesn’t quite prepare us for this theology:
o sommo Giove, O supreme Jove, Che fosti in terra per noi crocifisso. who was crucified on earth for us.
Nothing is without precedent: this equation of Zeus with Christ had also been made before by one John the Deacon, drawing the logical conclusions from Plato’s Cratylus (see p. 95f):
And Zeus son of Kronos, father of gods and men, is to be understood as the only-begotten son of God: as he is responsible for life [zoe] he is called ‘Zeus’. But as he is the son of God, he is called ‘son of Kronos’, because we should think of Kronos as that pure mind [koros nous] which we can neither see nor grasp, which had no origin . . . but Kronides, the son of this one, consubstantial and sharing his throne, and seated above those gods who are as a conceit called his sons, judging all humanity and for this reason called father of men and gods."
"In the nineteenth century, classical education continued to be central. The first Gilbert and Sullivan operetta was Thespis, in which Jupiter descends to earth to find out why the gods are no longer respected. But its first performance in 1871 was not exactly a success: it was booed not only by the audience but also by the orchestra! Despite 64 performances, it no longer survives. At the other end of a career, Richard Strauss’s The Love of Danae of 1940 was his penultimate opera. Hofmannsthal’s libretto brings together so much of the mythology of Zeus’s amours. Danae, Semele, Leda, Europa, Alkmene – they are all there, in a work where Strauss is thought to have identified himself in a way with the god Jupiter, inconsistently raising his tone somewhere near to the Wotan of Wagner in his Ring." [Dowden, Zeus]
"Elsewhere there were altars of Zeus Ombrios, ‘of rain showers’, and Zeus Semaleos, ‘who gives signs’ – evidently weather signs, perhaps cloud formations or, more immediately, lightning and thunder (Parker 1996: 30–32). On Cos, there is an association of those who make a monthly, voluntary journey together to Zeus Hyetios (‘of rain’)." [Dowden, Zeus]