Saturday, July 12, 2008


The wheel turns. The walk along the path I have chosen to walk these last months has not been arduous, but it has placed a few challenges before me. It started with Hestia, virgin goddess of the hearth, and moved to Apollo, the Lord of Light, Music, and Artistry. From there to Hera, Queen of Heaven, and now to one of the three ruling deities of our pantheon.

Myth tells us that after the great war in heaven, the Titanomachia, the Olympian Gods were victorious and the three brothers, Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades drew lots to decide who would rule what part of the world. To Zeus fell the heavens and mighty Olympus. To Hades fell the gloomy Underworld which would for ever more bear his name. And to him who is now to be my focus, Poseidon, fell the sea and all the wonders therein.

Poseidon, like Hera and Hestia, is one of the Kronides, the children of Kronos in our mythos. His place as the ruler of the second kingdom, the fluid kingdom that is always in motion, always changing, places him closer to us in many respects than Zeus. His place in the pantheon as Sea God places him all around us, and by means of the sea, the people of the earth were both separated and in time able to once again connect to each other. And so the Greeks, who’s tribes made their way onto the Greek mainland soon found themselves in contact with other people, many living as part of large powerful cultures, such as Egypt and the Hittites, who were related to them in the grand scheme of humanity through the Indo-European migrations, and lesser yet closer cultures, such as the Minoans, who would leave their indelible marks on the culture of the people who would one day come to call themselves Hellenes.

Religiously, Poseidon is very much a kind of father figure. His presence is a vast one, like the Sea itself, and in so being it creates a sense of awe that one can easily equate with the feeling one gets from one’s father. A feeling of a figure that is both protective and punishing at the same time. Even in the earliest extant works of the Greeks, those of Homer, we see Poseidon as an elder God, a God who is feared for his power, and a God who is willing to punish with great and disastrous effect those who will not abide by his laws or dictates.
But what does this mean in the grand scheme of things religious? Does it mean that Poseidon must be obeyed without question? Is Poseidon truly to be feared, or does he simply demand respect? What, in the end, is the difference?

Before continuing, I want to either introduce, or perhaps reintroduce, my idea of the structure of the cosmos as a religious concept. The universe is like an onion. The ten dimensions of the universe are layered as an onion, and we exist as part of the third dimensional plane, this means that we partake of the first, second, and third dimensional planes. The Gods exist as part of the 11th and 12th dimensions, which are actually a single dimensional plane which is a transformative dimension. The universal balance is maintained by the entropic forces leaving through the South pole and as they travel through this divine dimension, they are transformed and once again enter. This happens at the smallest levels of our cosmos s we perceive size.

Poseidon represents, in many ways, this fluid interchange of energies. This fluidic aspect of nature is part of his domain, and it is a transformative power. Ask anyone who has never seen the ocean how it feels to stand on its shore for the first time. How it feels to bear witness to its power, both subtle and abrupt. It is a feeling of transformation.

Poseidon, according to myth, did not start out this way. He was the son of Kronos, the sky god, king of the cosmos, lord of what would later be called Olympus. But his domain was not decided by his nature, it was decided by lots. In other words, Poseidon became what was necessary for his domain to function. He became a transformative power rather than simply being that from the beginning of things. In other words, again, he was himself transformed by the needs of his function in the cosmos.

This leads me to a fundamental difference between me and what is probably the majority of the Hellenistic and Pagan communities, and that is that I do not really think of the Gods as manifestations of particular aspects of nature. I don’t think of Poseidon as actually being the sea, or Helios as actually being the Sun, or Ge as actually being the Earth, but rather, I think of these aspects of nature as epiphanies or objects that inspire the epiphanies of the Gods. The sea is not Poseidon, but it inspires an epiphany of the God. It inspires us to feel his presence near us.

Yet the God can also be present in other things, all depending on how you associate the world around you with him. Thus that traditional epiphanies of the God, the sea, the horse, the earthquake can also be accompanied by boating, the joy of riding a horse, or the heroism of people coping with the disaster of an earthquake. Or perhaps you see Poseidon in a different light, as the sea-storms, what we call Hurricanes. What does the Hurricane symbolize to you in relation to Poseidon, and why?

Poseidon stirs.
The Earth shakes.
Boulders fall into the sea.

Poseidon awakens.
The sea quivers.
The waves crash onto the shore.

Poseidon walks.
The trees tremble.
The leaves shaken from their stems.

Poseidon rests.
The ocean calls.
The waters reflect the Moon

Poseidon angered.
The land crumbles.
The hearts of men tremble.

Poseidon is merciful.
The sea breeze blows.
The ship reaches the far off shore.

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