Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Trident: Sea God: The All-Surrounding

Poseidon as sea God is also a God that surrounds. He surrounds the Earth. Embraces it. Even holds it up, by ancient ideas about how the world was formed. The sea was itself like an enormous basin of water on which the land rested, thus the water surrounded it in all directions.

This all encompassing aspect was seen as one of the primal deities that are called Titans in Greek mythos. His name in that aspect was Okeanos, which becomes the root word for the word Ocean. In our times, of course, we know that the Ocean does indeed encompass the whole of the land masses of the Earth, but unlike our ancient ancestors we also know that the Earth itself is that upon which the ocean sits.

Still, the image of the Sea God as the all-encompassing power, the power that surrounds all things upon the Earth, is one that offers a kind of reassuring strength to his worshippers. He is a power that is strength through patronage, which like a father, reassures with a hug.

It is difficult to see Poseidon this way sometimes, because he is indeed a God who is most often quite severe and even prone to rash punishments, but in this sense he is also like a father, who is often feared by his children. Not in a dark evil way, but in a strict way that many fathers have of imposing their rules and the rules of society on their unruly children.

Is that, perhaps, how he sees us?

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