May 062016
 

inanna-sumerian-god-annunaki1From the great above she opened her ears to the great below

from the great above the Goddess opened her ears to the great below

from the great above  Inanna opened her ears to the great below

my lady abandoned Heaven and Earth to descend to the Underworld

she abandoned her office of holy priestess

to descend to the Underworld

she gathered together the measures of

heavenly and earthly powers

she took them into her hands

with the measures of heavenly and earthly

powers she prepared herself

Inanna set out to the Underworld…

 

Sep 172013
 

atalantaThree Golden Apples from the Hesperian grove.
A present Worthy of the Queen of Love.
Gave wise Hippomenes Eternal Fame.
And Atalanta’s cruel Speed O’ercame.
In Vain he follows ’till with Radiant Light,
One Rolling Apple captivates her Sight.
And by its glittering charms retards her flight.
She Soon Outruns him but fresh rays of Gold,
Her Longing Eyes & Slackened Footsteps Hold,
‘Till with disdain She all his Art defies,
And Swifter then an Eastern Tempest flies.
Then his despair throws his last Hope away,
For she must Yield whom Love & Gold betray.
What is Hippomenes, true Wisdom knows.
And whence the Speed of Atalanta Flows.
She with Mercurial Swiftness is Endued,
Which Yields by Sulphur’s prudent Strength pursued.
But when in Cybel’s temple they would prove
The utmost joys of their Excessive Love,
The Matron Goddess thought herself disdained,
Her rites Unhallowed & her shrine profaned.
Then her Revenge makes Roughness o’er them rise,
And Hideous feireenesse Sparkle from their Eyes.
Still more Amazed to see themselves look red,
Whilst both to Lions changed Each Other dread.
He that can Cybell’s Mystic change Explain,
And those two Lions with true Redness stain,
Commands that treasure plenteous Nature gives
And free from Pain in Wisdom’s Splendor lives.

Michael Maeers, Atalanta Fugiens

Mar 092013
 

The worship of Adonis was practised by the Semitic peoples of Babylonia and Syria, and the Greeks borrowed it from them as early as the seventh century before Christ.

The true name of the deity was Tammuz: the appellation of Adonis is merely the Semitic Adon, ‘lord’, a title of honour by which his worshippers addressed him. But the Greeks through a misunderstanding converted the title of honour into a proper name.

In the religious literature of Babylonia Tammuz appears as the youthful spouse or lover of Ishtar, the great mother goddess, the embodiment of the reproductive energies of nature. The references to their connection with each other in myth and ritual are both fragmentary and obscure, but we gather from them that every year Tammuz was believed to die, passing away from the cheerful earth to the gloomy subterranean world, and that every year his divine mistress journeyed in quest of him

“to the land from which there is no returning, the house of darkness, where dust lies on door and bolt.”

During her absence the passion of love ceased to operate: men and beasts alike forgot to reproduce their kinds: all life was threatened with extinction. So intimately bound up with the goddess were the sexual functions of the whole animal kingdom that without her presence they could not be discharged.

A messenger of the great god Eas was accordingly dispatched to rescue the goddess on whom so much depended. The stern queen of the infernal regions, Allatu or Eresh-Kigal by name, reluctantly allowed Isthar to be sprinkled with the Water of Life and to depart, in company probably with her lover Tammuz, that the two might return together to the upper world, and that with their return all nature might revive.

 

Oct 102012
 

As for Orpheus’ head: after being attacked by a jealous Lemnian serpent (which Apollo at once changed into a stone) it was laid to rest in a cave at Antissa, sacred to Dionysus.

There it prophesised day and night until Apollo, finding that his oracles at Delphi, Gryneium and Clarus where deserted, came and stood over the head crying: ‘Cease from interference in my business; I have borne long enough with you and your singing!’ Thereupon the head fell silent.

Orpheus’ lyre had likewise drifted to Lesbos and been laid up in a temple of Apollo, at whose intercession, and that of the Muses, the Lyre was placed in Heaven as a constellation.

Some gave a wholly different account of how Orpheus died: they say that Zeus killed him with a thunderbolt for divulging divine secrets. He had, indeed, instituted the Mysteries of Apollo in Thrace; those of Hecate in Aegina; and those of Subterrene Demeter at Sparta.

Orpheus’ singing head recalls that of the decapitated Alder-god Bran which, according to the Mabinogion, sang sweetly on the rock at Harlech in North Wales; a fable, perhaps, of the funerary pipes made from alder-bark. Thus the name Orpheus, if it stands for ophruoeis, ‘on the river bank’, may be a title of Bran’s Greek counterpart, Phoroneus, or Cronus, and refer to the alders ‘growing on the banks of’ the Peneius and other rivers.

The name of Orpheus’ father, Oeagrus (‘of the wold sorb’ apple’), points to the same cult, since the sorb-apple (French = alisier) and the alder (Spanish = aliso) both bear the name of the pre-Hellenic River-goddess Halys, or Alys, or Elis, Queen of the Elysian Islands, where Phoroneus, Cronus and Orpheus went after death. Aornum is Avernus, an Italic variant of the Celtic Avalon (‘apple-tree island’)

Orpheus is said by Diodorus of Siculus to have used the old thirteen-consonant alphabet; and the legend is that he made the trees move and charmed wild beasts apparently refers to its sequence of seasonal trees and symbolic animals. As sacred king he was struck by a thunderbolt – that is, killed with a double-axe – in an oak grove at the summer solstice, and then dismembered by the Maenads of the bull cult, like Zagreus’ or of the stag cult, like Actaeon; the Maenads, in fact, represented the Muses.

In Classical Greece the practice of tattooing was confined to Thracians, and in a vase-painting of Orpheus’ murder a Maenad has a small stag tattooed on her forearm. This Orpheus did not come in conflict with the cult of Dionysus; he was Dionysus, and he played the rude alderpipe, not the civilised lyre. Thus Proclus writes: ‘Orpheus,  because he was the principal in the Dionysian rites, is said to have suffered the same fate as the god’ and Apollodorus credits him with having invented the Mysteries of Dionysus.

The Greek Myths, Robert Graves

 

Apr 252012
 

I begin to sing of Demeter, the holy goddess with the beautiful hair.

And her daughter [Persephone] too. The one with the delicate ankles, whom Hadês seized.

She was given away by Zeus, the loud-thunderer, the one who sees far and wide.

Demeter did not take part in this, she of the golden double-axe, she who glories in the harvest.

She [Persephone] was having a good time, along with the daughters of Okeanos, who wear their girdles slung low.

She was picking flowers: roses, crocus, and beautiful violets.

Up and down the soft meadow. Iris blossoms too she picked, and hyacinth.

And the narcissus, which was grown as a lure for the flower-faced girl by Gaia [Earth]. All according to the plans of Zeus. She [Gaia] was doing a favour for the one who receives many guests [Hadês].

It [the narcissus] was a wondrous thing in its splendor. To look at it gives a sense of holy awe to the immortal gods as well as mortal humans.

It has a hundred heads growing from the root up.

Its sweet fragrance spread over the wide skies up above.

And the earth below smiled back in all its radiance. So too the churning mass of the salty sea.

She [Persephone] was filled with a sense of wonder, and she reached out with both hands to take hold of the pretty plaything. And the earth, full of roads leading every which way, opened up under her.

It happened on the Plain of Nysa. There it was that the Lord who receives many guests made his lunge.

He was riding on a chariot drawn by immortal horses. The son of Kronos. The one known by many names.

He seized her against her will, put her on his golden chariot, And drove away as she wept.

She cried with a piercing voice, calling upon her father [Zeus], the son of Kronos, the highest and the best.

But not one of the immortal ones, or of human mortals, heard her voice.

Homeric Hymn to Demeter

Apr 232011
 

‘Artemis, with bow and quiver,
Stands aloft on Mount Olympus,
As the doe and hind, in silence,
Jump the clear and Star-lit river.

‘Swift they run. Like magic carpets
Are the green and silver forests.
Watch the bears – and bees with honey –
As the Goddess hits her target.

‘“Bravo, Sister!” beams Apollo –
Gazing at the sea below them –
“Never did you miss with arrow!”
Sinks the form of bold Orion”.

‘Lord Apollo watches, silent,
As the virgin’s beau drifts skyward.
Watches as the only question
O’er her virtue learns his lesson.

‘By a cedar stands she grieving,
Bows her head in shame, a-weeping,
Cries upon the smelted moon beams,
Chastens, then, her ruthless sibling.

‘“King of priests, my Lord Apollo,
‘Reasons for his death ring hollow.
While the muses – nine that love thee –
Contemplate their selves, you’d fool me!”

Laughs the god: “Your love’s a martyr,”
Facing fear the charging Taurus,
“Tempted by the Atlas daughters,
Girls who shine on lucid waters.”

Apr 232011
 

‘Now a voice so fair, ascending,
Fills the air with love unending,
Rises on the silver moonbeams
Woven from Apollo’s sun streams.

‘”Bold Orion, Starman leaping,
How my heart for you is beating.
I have set you there so thy fame
Lights the path of this, the sky-train!”

‘Next she calls with gentle words
The creatures of her wooded world,
Speaks to them with tender charm
To keep the slightest safe from harm.

‘“Sweet you are as honey, bee.
Bear and Stag, come follow me.
Jump with me across the river.”
Seeks she souls with bow and quiver.

‘Then the Goddess steps up on it –
Disc of night, the lamp of dreamers –
As the steeds with hooves of onyx
Take to flight with sweet Selene.

Apr 232011
 

From her garden filled with flowers
Aphrodite screams in terror.
Then, the Goddess, caught off balance,
Falls into the field of Ares!

‘Thus, the God of War is fuming.
Anger grows inside him. booming,
So much so that grave Athena
Has to watch him blow up Thera!

‘As the scenes of devastation
Reach the eye of Lord Osiris
Thinks he: ‘I shall end a nation,
Then uphold another’s rising.

‘‘Cultured isle, the great Minoa –
Massive once but soon a shadow –
Shall become as mist to Egypt,
Nothing more than dust by morrow.’

‘All Olympus stands in silence,
Knowing that the day is over,
Watching as the face of darkness
Brings a wave from Cretan waters.

Apr 232011
 

‘‘Come, fair queen, the virgin Isis,
Wife of mine who loves me tender,
One who made me whole, my goddess,
She who is my soul defender.

‘‘Where the sun doth shine at midnight,
In a place of cryptic splendour,
Let the mage of mathematics
Make an early learning centre.

‘‘In my belt are three magicians
Come to praise a child, the true king,
In whose arms the vernal lamb lies.
Spring has come; the falcon Prince flies.

‘‘‘Royal Stars – Antares, West light;
Formalhaut of Northern waters;
Aldebaran, Bull’s Eye, East Side;
Regulus, the Solstice, South sight –

‘‘Cross in space, the throne upholding.
Fix for Earth the four directions.
Keep in place the sign, the sun’s King.
All uphold the resurrection.

‘‘Let the rainbow – seven colours –
Born of light, be veils for Isis.
Maiden bright, a Holy Mother,
Star more bright than any other.

Mar 022011
 

That hero Sudyumna, accompanied by a few ministers and associates and riding on a horse brought from Sindhupradeśa, once went into the forest to hunt. He wore armor and was decorated with bows and arrows, and he was very beautiful. While following the animals and killing them, he reached the northern part of the forest.

There in the north, at the bottom of Mount Meru, is a forest known as Sukumāra where Lord Śiva always enjoys with Umā. Sudyumna entered that forest.

O King Parīkṣit, as soon as Sudyumna, who was expert in subduing enemies, entered the forest, he saw himself transformed into a female and his horse transformed into a mare.

When his followers also saw their identities transformed and their sex reversed, they were all very morose and just looked at one another.

Mahārāja Parīkṣit said: O most powerful brāhmaṇa, why was this place so empowered, and who made it so powerful? Kindly answer this question, for I am very eager to hear about this.

Śukadeva Gosvāmī answered: Great saintly persons who strictly observed the spiritual rules and regulations and whose own effulgence dissipated all the darkness of all directions once came to see Lord Śiva in that forest.

When the goddess Ambikā saw the great saintly persons, she was very much ashamed because at that time she was naked. She immediately got up from the lap of her husband and tried to cover her breast.

Seeing Lord Śiva and Pārvatī engaged in sexual affairs, all the great saintly persons immediately desisted from going further and departed for the āśrama of Nara-Nārāyaṇa.

Thereupon, just to please his wife, Lord Śiva said, “Any male entering this place shall immediately become a female!”

Since that time, no male had entered that forest. But now King Sudyumna, having been transformed into a female, began to walk with his associates from one forest to another.

Sudyumna had been transformed into the best of beautiful women who excite sexual desire and was surrounded by other women. Upon seeing this beautiful woman loitering near his āśrama, Budha, the son of the moon, immediately desired to enjoy her.

The beautiful woman also desired to accept Budha, the son of the king of the moon, as her husband

Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 9