Sunday, September 14, 2008

Impressions of the God

Poseidon, lord of the sea, earth ruler, shaker of the foundations of the earth is a backward God. Don't misunderstand when I say that, it is not an insult, but rather a comment about the God as a kind of "conservative" element in the Olympian Pantheon.

Not particularly versed in his cult, I do get the impression that the cults of Poseidon were much more "old world" than those of say Athena, or Zeus. It is as if the cults of the God found a proper grounding in archaic forms, which again is not a negative, just a different outlook, than those of the Gods who seemed to flow into philosophy and high religion. A term, which I admit, is rife with a kind of arrogant representation of the more philosophical religious movements as inherently better than the older, more nature based religious cults and movements of the time.

Poseidon, as a God who seems almost stodgy as compared to Apollo for example, is a god who brings a different balance to Hellenismos. Where most of the other Gods seem to travel well into the many forms that Hellenismos takes in the modern world, including the more hippy/neo-witchy strains, Poseidon seems to ground himself so that even in the more eccentric and eclectic cults, he seems to stand as a force for considering, if not following, old ways.

When approached, Poseidon feels immensely old. This is not to say this feeling is a proper representation in the sense of linear time, after all, Gods are eternal, but as a representation of something old in ourselves that is immediately touched by the presence of this God. When we approach him, a part of us that still recalls living in the sea is touched. That part of us that us still the single celled organism floating in the primordial sea is made to stir. That part of us that somehow remember being in the amniotic fluids of the womb is touched and made to emote something primal, something powerful, something all together unknowable in a rational way, but emotionally.

So, in trying to find Poseidon, whether by the river, or by contemplating the river from my bike as I ride by it or along its banks, I am forced to find him a bit off putting in a strange way. Not that I lack respect, but that I am often at odds with myself in relation to my own liberal versus conservative streaks.

For most of us, there is a balance in such things. Very few people really are 100% conservative or 100% liberal in a political and social sense, and in many ways, I am quite a mix of both, but taking the liberal stance where the rights of people as individuals are concerned.

But when I reach out to Poseidon, I feel that he demands that I examine my more conservative aspects and do so not with my usual liberal attitude, but in a very serious manner. It is as if Poseidon himself is telling me, check yourself young man, and don't be so sure of your every opinion.

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