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Described as elusive and difficult to pinpoint, the ‘Old Man of the Sea’ may take on many names in mythology, but he embodies the virtues of truth and justice, until he was usurped by a sinister character who made a nuisance of himself by latching on to men, like an irritating conscience, which one could only be rid of by inebriation.
Second Century Nereid Mosaic From Hillside Houses of Ephesus ( CC BY-SA 2.0 )
The fourth book of Homer’s Odyssey says that: “ when the sun hath reached mid-heaven, the unerring Old Man of the Sea is wont to come forth from the brine at the breath of the West Wind, hidden by the dark ripple .” In the same work, the sea-nymph Eidothea identifies her father Proteus as, “an old immortal who lives under the sea”. Proteus is the righthand man of Poseidon and like the modern science of bathymetry, knows every inch of the seabed. If a traveler manages to capture and restrain him, Proteus can answer any questions they may pose about their voyage, which course to follow and how to sail to reach home. He can even inform them of all that has happened at their homes during their absence. However, capturing the willy sea god means holding on tightly as he is a shape shifter and transforms easily from one form to another.
Nereus in a frieze of the Pergamon Altar (Berlin).( CC BY-SA 3.0)
The title of the ‘Old Man of the Sea’ does not seem to be confined to just one being. Although Homer is adamant that the old man of the sea is Proteus, Hesiod’s Theogony refers to the Nereids (sea nymphs) as daughters of, “Nereus, the Old Man of the Sea”. In a completely different Middle-Eastern culture, the ‘Old Man of the Sea’ is described as a rather more sinister figure. In the tale of Sinbad the Sailor he is said to trick a traveler into allowing him to ride on his shoulders while the traveler transports him across a stream. However, the old man would then not release his grip, forcing his victim to transport him wherever he pleases and he allows his victim little respite.
Proteus and Nereus, Prophetic Old Men of the Sea
Oceanus, one of the old sea-gods, was a Titan who aided Zeus in the great war of the gods. When Poseidon became the new god of the sea, Oceanus and his many children were subjugated to Poseidon.
One of the major deities in Greek mythology, Poseidon was the supreme ruler of the seas. The Romans called him Neptune. An awesome, unruly, and powerful god, Poseidon was associated with storms, earthquakes, and some other violent forces of nature. When angry, he could stir the sea to a fury. But he could also calm the raging waters with just a glance. One of his titles, Enosichthon (Earth-shaker), reflected his ability to cause earthquakes by striking the earth and mountains with his trident. Another name for Poseidon was Hippios (lord of horses), and the god presented horses as gifts to various individuals.
Poseidon rode the waves in a swift chariot drawn by golden sea horses. He used his mighty trident not only to provoke earthquakes and stir ocean waves but also to raise new land from beneath the sea or cause existing land to sink below the waters. Although often helpful to humans—protecting sailors at sea, guiding ships to safety, and filling nets with fish—Neptune could be a terrifying figure as well. Quick to anger, he directed his fury at anyone who acted against him or failed to show proper respect.
Poseidon's Siblings. The son of the Titans Cronus* and Rhea, Poseidon was swallowed at birth by his father. He was saved by his brother Zeus*, who tricked Cronus into taking a potion that caused him to vomit up Poseidon and the other siblings—Hades*, Demeter*, Hera*, and Hestia. Poseidon later joined Zeus and Hades in overthrowing Cronus, and the three brothers then divided the universe among themselves. Zeus received the sky, Hades ruled the underworld, and Poseidon became god of the seas.
deity god or goddess
trident three-pronged spear, similar to a pitchfork
Titan one of a family of giants who ruled the earth until overthrown by the Greek gods of Olympus
Although Zeus was king of the gods, Poseidon often asserted his independence. Once he even plotted with the goddesses Hera and Athena* to overthrow Zeus. Together they managed to put Zeus in chains. However, the sea goddess Thetis saved Zeus by bringing a giant from Tartarus—a realm beneath the underworld—to release the king of the gods from his chains. As punishment for this rebellion, Zeus made Poseidon serve as a slave to King Laomedon of Troy for a year. During this time, Poseidon helped build great walls around the city. When the king refused to
*See Names and Places at the end of this volume for further information.
pay for this work, Poseidon took revenge by siding with the Greeks against Troy in the Trojan War*.
Love Life and Children. Poseidon had a turbulent love life and fathered many children, including a number of monsters and sea creatures. With his wife, the sea nymph Amphitrite, he had three offspring. One was the sea god Triton, a merman who resembled a human above the waist and a fish from the waist down.
Poseidon had children with other partners as well. After seducing his sister Demeter while disguised as a horse, he had two children: the divine horse Arion and a daughter, Despoina. A beautiful woman named Medusa* also bore Poseidon two children: the winged horse Pegasus and a son named Chrysaor. The goddess Athena, angered that Poseidon had made love to Medusa in one of her temples, turned the woman into a hideous monster, a Gorgon. Through his son Chrysaor, Poseidon became ancestor to some of the most fearsome monsters in Greek mythology, including Cerberus, the Hydra, the Nemean Lion, and the Sphinx.
Gaia, the earth, bore Poseidon two children: Antaeus, a giant, and Charybdis, a sea monster that almost destroyed Odysseus* during his journey home after the Trojan War. Another giant offspring of Poseidon—the one-eyed Cyclops Polyphemus—also threatened Odysseus on his voyage home. When Odysseus blinded the giant, he became a target of Poseidon's hatred.
When Poseidon tried to seduce the beautiful sea nymph Scylla, his wife, Amphitrite, became jealous and transformed her into a horrible sea monster with six dogs' heads. Like Charybdis, Scylla terrorized sailors, and she devoured several of Odysseus's companions.
Among Poseidon's other children were the evil Cercyon and Sciron, normal-sized offspring who threatened and killed travelers in Greece, and the giant Amycus, who forced people to fight with him and then killed them. Various ordinary mortals also claimed Poseidon as their father, including the famous Greek hero Theseus*.
Poseidon's Quarrels. Poseidon had numerous quarrels with other gods. One of his most famous disputes involved the goddess Athena. Both Poseidon and Athena claimed the city of Athens and the surrounding region of Attica as their own. A contest was held to see which god could give Athens the best gift. Athena created an olive tree Poseidon produced a saltwater spring. When the Athenians judged Athena's gift to be superior, the angry Poseidon flooded the surrounding plain.
nymph minor goddess of nature, usually represented as young and beautiful
Gorgon one of three ugly monsters who had snakes for hair, staring eyes, and huge wings
Poseidon, the god of the seas, was one of the 12 Olympian gods in Greek mythology. Known for his terrible temper, Poseidon was associated with storms, earthquakes, and other violent forces of nature.
Poseidon also quarreled with the sun god Helios over control of the Greek city of Corinth. The giant Briareos settled the argument by giving the hill overlooking the city to Helios and the surrounding land to Poseidon. Satisfied with this decision, Poseidon caused no problems for the people of Corinth.
Another of Poseidon's famous quarrels was with Minos, the king of Crete. Minos asked Poseidon to send him a bull that he could sacrifice to the god. Poseidon sent such a magnificent bull that the king decided to keep it for himself instead of sacrificing it. Furious, Poseidon caused Minos's wife, Pasiphae, to fall in love with the bull and to give birth to the Minotaur, a monstrous beast that had the body of a man and the head of a bull.
The Old Man of the Sea: Shape Shifting in Service of Poseidon - History
POSEIDON (puh-SYE-dun or poh-SYE-dun Roman name Neptune ) was the god of the sea, earthquakes and horses. Although he was officially one of the supreme gods of Mount Olympus, he spent most of his time in his watery domain.
Poseidon was brother to Zeus and Hades. These three gods divided up creation. Zeus was ruler of the sky, Hades had dominion of the Underworld and Poseidon was given all water, both fresh and salt.
Although there were various rivers personified as gods, these would have been technically under Poseidon's sway. Similarly, Nereus, the Old Man of the Sea, wasn't really considered on a par with Poseidon, who was known to drive his chariot through the waves in unquestioned dominance. Poseidon had married Nereus's daughter, the sea-nymph Amphitrite.
In dividing heaven, the watery realm and the subterranean land of the dead, the Olympians agreed that the earth itself would be ruled jointly, with Zeus as king. This led to a number of territorial disputes among the gods. Poseidon vied with Athena to be patron deity of Athens. The god demonstrated his power and benevolence by striking the Acropolis with his three-pronged spear, which caused a spring of salt water to emerge.
Athena, however, planted an olive tree, which was seen as a more useful favor. Her paramount importance to the Athenians is seen in her magnificent temple, the Parthenon, which still crowns the Acropolis. The people of Athens were careful, all the same, to honor Poseidon as well (as soon as his anger calmed down and he withdrew the flood of seawater with which he ravaged the land after his loss in the contest with Athena).
Poseidon was father of the hero Theseus, although the mortal Aegeus also claimed this distinction. Theseus was happy to have two fathers, enjoying the lineage of each when it suited him. Thus he became king of Athens by virtue of being Aegeus's son, but availed himself of Poseidon's parentage in facing a challenge handed him by King Minos of Crete. This monarch threw his signet ring into the depths of the sea and dared Theseus to retrieve it. The hero dove beneath the waves and not only found the ring but was given a crown by Poseidon's wife, Amphitrite.
Poseidon was not so well-disposed toward another famous hero. Because Odysseus blinded the Cyclops Polyphemus, who was Poseidon's son, the god not only delayed the hero's homeward return from the Trojan War but caused him to face enormous perils. At one point he whipped up the sea with his trident and caused a storm so severe that Odysseus was shipwrecked.
Poseidon similarly cursed the wife of King Minos. Minos had proved his divine right to rule Crete by calling on Poseidon to send a bull from the sea, which the king promised to sacrifice. Poseidon sent the bull, but Minos liked it too much to sacrifice it. So Poseidon asked Aphrodite, the goddess of love, to make Minos's queen, Pasiphae, fall in love with the bull. The result was the monstrous Minotaur, half-man, half-bull.
As god of horses, Poseidon often adopted the shape of a steed. It is not certain that he was in this form when he wooed Medusa. But when Perseus later killed the Gorgon, the winged horse Pegasus sprang from her severed neck.
Poseidon sometimes granted the shape-shifting power to others. And he ceded to the request of the maiden Caenis that she be transformed into the invulnerable, male warrior Caeneus.
BERYTOS Important Seaport of Lebanon
POSEIDON Vs DIONYSOS > 1 - Nil
A very similar turn of events occurs in the dispute between Poseidon and Dionysos but the effect is unique in Poseidon's experience and is rather curious for the piece of literature in which it is found. The battle which ensues between their two armies is by far the most violent action sequence between two groups of deities in this mythology since the Titans' War.
Over the course of three episodes (Books 41-43 of the epic), Nonnus is essentially allegorising the story of how Berytos [Berytus], now Lebanon's capital city Beirut, became the principal polis of Roman Phoenicia. In like manner to Poseidon's popularity contests with Hera, Athena and Helios, the King of the Sea clashes with his nephew over ownership of this Near Eastern centre of imperial influence. In this instance, though, the city has been personified as Beroe, a daughter of Okeanos who occurs as a minor character in Virgil's Georgics.
A Primaeval City and a Newer Version of Itself
The Dionysiaka presents a pair of diverging origin stories for this character, both connected with the goddess Aphrodite, who is Beroe's mother in the second story. The goddess orchestrates the disagreement between the two gods in order to bring her daughter, and thus the city of Berytos, to prominence. (Nonnus might here be borrowing the idea that Zeus masterminded the Trojan War in order to bring fame to his daughter Helen.)
In the first story, which is cosmic in scale, Beroe is an Oceanid and her uncle the Titan-King Kronos is the first person to ever build a city, which happens to be none other than the magnificent Berytos. It is implied that Zeus was born here, or at least that the stone which Kronos swallowed instead of his son was served to the Titan while Kronos was enthroned here. In this context Nonnus reports that the famous tradition about Aphrodite having first made landfall on Cyprus Island is really a lie, because she actually first touched terra firma at this most ancient Lebanese port, a few days east of Cyprus (41.66-118).
The Dionysiaka's interest, however, eventually shifts and settles upon the second story, which makes Beroe (and thus Berytos) much younger, as the alluring mortal daughter of Aphrodite by the Assyrian prince Adonis. The story is thus framed, rather than a fight for territorial acreage, as a romantic fantasy action drama featuring a contest about who will become Beroe's bridegroom. Nonnus does, however, completely spoil the ending by starting off with a declaration of who gets the girl, which information is supplied to the audience even before the rival suitors seem to be aware that the young woman exists.
When Beroe grows up in Book 41, Zeus sees her and is charmed with reminiscences of another beautiful Asian princess, namely Europa, whom he long before then abducted after assuming the form of a bull which was eventually placed in the sky as the constellation Tauros [Taurus]. The king of the gods fantasises about reenacting the abduction the same way, in bull form, but Tauros senses this and bellows aloud his displeasure at the potential of eventually being rivalled by a second bull-constellation in the sky. So Zeus "left Beroe, who was destined for a watery bridal, as his brother's bedfellow, for he wished not to quarrel with Ennosigaios ['Earth-Shaker'] about an earthbound wife."
Making a Love Triangle
At the end of Book 41, Aphrodite charges her son Eros to inflame both Poseidon and Dionysos with passion for Beroe, which command Eros obeys at the beginning of the next book. The two impassioned gods each then attempt to woo Eros's young half-sister and they present their cases in terms of what magnificent dowry they have at their disposal. Aphrodite claims that she wishes she could grant both gods the honour of being Beroe's husband but since this would be unlawful, her solution is that they must duke it out in combat against each other, winner take all.
She, however, causes them to swear "by Kronides [Zeus] and Gaia, by Aither [Aether] and the floods of Styx" that the loser will not lay waste to Berytos, whether by earthquake in Poseidon's case or by destruction of vineyards on the part of Dionysos. The three Fates themselves witness this most solemn oath, upon which each god promises not only to be at peace with the city but also to directly participate in its beautification and to grant it prosperity. With that admin out of the way, Zeus himself descends from Mt Olympos together with all its divine inhabitants in order to watch the agon between the older god and the younger one.
Book 42 then concludes with a second spoiler about who's going to win , when there "appeared a great omen for love-stricken Dionysos." A falcon was pursuing a pigeon when suddenly a haliaïetos, "sea eagle" (called an osprey or fish-hawk in English), snapped the pigeon up off the ground and flew, with it in its talons' grasp, towards the depths of the sea.
When Dionysos beheld this, he cast away hope of victory. Nevertheless he entered the fray. Kronion the Father [i.e. Zeus] was pleased with the contest of these two, as he watched from on high the match between his brother and his son with smiling eye.
Now in spite of the discouraging omen, and the narrator's remark about Dionysos practically throwing in the towel before the action begins, the two relatives start out Book 43 with a spirited rap battle, complete with pre-rugby-match-style psych-out war-dancing, before their armies descend upon each other with no holds barred.
All the sea deities, and most freshwater ones, side with Poseidon. Dionysos, who has just conquered the Indians, together with them among his forces, also has elephants from their country, as well as bears, panthers and other wild beasts, and also Panēs [Pans], Seilenoi [Sileni] (some of whom are riding horned bulls) and Satyrs. Troops of women augment the wine-god's regiments too: the Mainades, Bakkhantes, Mimallones and Bassaridai, together with a number of nymphs. The opposing forces rip up the countryside and hurl huge rocks and even entire cliff-sides at each other.
In 43.337-340 one of Poseidon's sea-lions is attacked by a strange phenomenon: an elephant which is described as hypsinephēs, "as high as a cloud." I can think of only two ways of interpreting this: either the elephant can fly or it is so big it is quite literally a skyscraper (which would be gigantic even in comparison to J.R.R. Tolkien's Oliphaunts)! Either way, with that sort of clout, the battle should be over, but as though that's not enough, one thing happens to turn the tide to its tipping point.
One of the Bassaridai, in a Dionysian frenzy, charges onto the sea and begins to dance, stamping her feet against the water's surface, and not sinking while she does so. Fire then blazes forth from her hair, directed at the sea and its inhabitants. Horrified and bewildered at this, the Nereid Psamathe launches into a lamentation prayer to Zeus, detailing her fear that Dionysos will kill the sea-god Glaukos and enslave her father Nereus, her sister Thetis, and even Dionysos' own aunt Leukothea. Psamathe begs Zeus to spare the sea-deities the madness of Dionysos. Surprisingly, and very anticlimactically, Zeus immediately complies, hurling thunderbolts all around Dionysos to indicate to him that it's Game Over. | just when it seems like the younger god is going to win!
Immediately following this is the wedding of Beroe to Poseidon, celebrated in the sea, with the river-gods bringing many gifts. Dejectedly, Dionysos sulks his way through the nuptials until Eros comes to persuade him that other prospects await him on dry land. Taking heart, the young wine-god leaves, heading for his mother's home city.
Some conclusions to which one might perhaps reasonably arrive
Zeus sides with Poseidon against his own favourite son, the same one whom the very epic is named after! It's additionally a big deal because this version of Dionysos is a reincarnation of Zagreus, an ancient, beautifully monstrous, shape-shifting baby son of Zeus. Back in Book 6, the king of the gods loves Zagreus so dearly that he arms the baby god with his thunderbolts and even sets him on his own throne, indicating his desire to abdicate in the child's favour. Zagreus is, however, slain violently, and that's a whole other story. (On a later occasion, in a vengeance campaign against the city of Pylos, more characteristically, Zeus sides with another favourite son of his, Herakles, against Poseidon.)
In the battle for Beroe, Dionysos seems to have the upper hand against Poseidon when Zeus pulls rank on his son, rendering the Sea-King's victory a T.K.O. Nonetheless, unlike Briareus' ruling regarding Korinthos, or the decision about Troizenos, this one is not a draw at all. Poseidon has unequivocally won the day.
It is a double victory: Poseidon acquires not only exclusive rights to a coastal city (finally) but also a well-desired bride.
I believe it may be the Tritons, but there are probably other part-fish, part-humans. Plus, there was a fish-headed god in antiquity (not greco-roman).
A side note is that there were some mistranslations and some of the "sirens" in Greek tales were half-birds and not half-fish (i.e., harpies and not mermaids).
"In Greek mythology, the Sirens were three dangerous bird-women, portrayed as seductresses who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island. Roman poets placed them on an island called Sirenum scopuli. In some later, rationalized traditions, the literal geography of the "flowery" island of Anthemoessa, or Anthemusa, is fixed: sometimes on Cape Pelorum and at others in the islands known as the Sirenuse, near Paestum, or in Capreae. All such locations were surrounded by cliffs and rocks.
When the Sirens were given a parentage they were considered the daughters of the river god Achelous, fathered upon Terpsichore, Melpomene, Sterope, or Chthon (the Earth in Euripides' Helen 167, Helen in her anguish calls upon "Winged maidens, daughters of the Earth"). Although they lured mariners, for the Greeks the Sirens in their "meadow starred with flowers" were not sea deities. Roman writers linked the Sirens more closely to the sea, as daughters of Phorcys.
Their number is variously reported as between two and five. In the Odyssey, Homer says nothing of their origin or names, but gives the number of the Sirens as two. Later writers mention both their names and number: some state that there were three, Peisinoe, Aglaope, and Thelxiepeia.
The Sirens of Greek mythology are sometimes portrayed in later folklore as fully aquatic and mermaid-like the facts that in Spanish, French, Italian, Polish, Romanian and Portuguese the word for mermaid is respectively Sirena, Sirene, Sirena, Syrena, Sirena and Sereia, and that in biology the Sirenia comprise an order of fully aquatic mammals that includes the dugong and manatee, add to the visual confusion, so that Sirens are even represented as mermaids. However, "the sirens, though they sing to mariners, are not sea-maidens," Harrison had cautioned "they dwell on an island in a flowery meadow." - Sirens (Crystalinks)
Plus, there was a fish-headed god in antiquity (not greco-roman) could you name him/her? From which mythology is he/she from? – plannapus May 11 at 9:46 1
There are several, the most famous is Dagon:
"Dagon was originally an East Semitic Mesopotamian (Akkadian, Assyrian, Babylonian) fertility god who evolved into a major Northwest Semitic god, reportedly of grain (as symbol of fertility) and fish and/or fishing (as symbol of multiplying)."
There are also fish-headed fertility figures, like:
"The anthropomorphic female sculpture (known as Praroditeljka / Ancestress) found in the front of the sanctuary in house No. XLIV at Lepenski Vir has a large "fish-like" head, collar-bones and clawed hands that appear to be opening up her vulva, in a very similar way to that of European Sheela-Na-Gigs figures." - Lepenski Vir "Fish-Head" Ancestress
The original Question asked
What creatures are they referring to?
If it is a non-mythological creature, it may be based on real anthropomorphic fishes like the monk/clerc fish or the "cardinal" fish, the poisson évèque which was described by 16th century French naturalists, as in this site in French.
Nereus was a fish-tailed deity.
Anything needed to be said about Nereus is nicely expressed in this link, but I'll sum up some things.
That Nereus is a sea-god of some antiquity is noted by the familiarity in which he appears in Hesiod, though that particular name might be later. In Homer, he is named instead something like "The Old Man of the Sea."
He wasn't always depicted half-fish, though. The earliest depiction we have of him does (a cup made ca. 520), but contemporary pottery (late 500s/early 400s) also portrays him human-like.
Romero Recio and B. Kowalzig connect him to archaic maritime divinities that sprang up following Greek overseas expansion.
Virtually all the ichthyanthropomorphic [part fish, part humanoid] characters featured in Greco-Roman mythology are water deities, usually sea-gods. Even Aigipan, the one aegichthyomorphic [part goat, part fish] character of these myths, is a god (who was made into one of the twelve signs of the zodiac, the Sea-Goat Capricorn). And as a matter of fact all the top-shelf water-gods in this mythology are at least partly ichthyomorphous [fish-shaped], with the glaring exception of their king Poseidon. (I suggest why this is the case in the last section below.)
Okeanos and Eurynome
The only explicit description (that I've been able to find) of a creature which fits the description of a mermaid, i.e. a woman with the lower half of a fish in place of legs, in ancient Greco-Roman myth, is from Pausanias' travelogue called the Description of Greece. On his tour of Arkadia [Arcadia] the writer came across a river called "Afterbirth." At the point at which it met with another river there was a shrine to Eurynome which even in Pausanias' time was supposed to be ancient. Says the writer, the Phigalians believed that Eurynome was a surname of the goddess Artemis.
Those of them, however, to whom have descended ancient traditions, declare that Eurynome was a daughter of [the Titan] Okeanos, whom Homer mentions in the Iliad, saying that along with Thetis she received Hephaistos [when he was cast out of heaven at birth by his own mother Hera]. On the same day in each year they open the sanctuary of Eurynome, but at any other time it is a transgression for them to open it. On this occasion sacrifices also are offered by the state and by individuals. I did not arrive at the season of the festival, and I did not see the image of Eurynome but the Phigalians told me that golden chains bind the wooden image, which represents a woman as far as the hips, but below this a fish. If she is a daughter of Okeanos, and lives with Thetis in the depth of the sea, the fish may be regarded as a kind of emblem of her. But there could be no probable connection between such a shape and Artemis.
Contrary to Pausanias I can think of a few reasons why Artemis would be thus represented, including the fact that Artemis was closely connected to at least sixty daughters of Okeanos [Oceanus].
According to Apollonius Rhodius' Argonautika, before Poseidon's parents (and Artemis' grandparents) the Titans Kronos and Rhea ruled the universe, atop Mt Olympos [Olympus] there sat enthroned an ancient Titan couple, namely Ophion ("Snake") and Eurynome. While Kronos wrestled Ophion for his throne, Rhea wrestled Eurynome for hers. The younger Titans won the matches and cast their defeated opponents into Tartaros, the deepest part of the Underworld.
In an alternate ending, Kronos and Rhea hurled Ophion and Eurynome into the Okeanos River. Perhaps the meaning here is that Ophion fell to Earth and became the world-encircling stream of Okeanos in which waters Eurynome dwelt thenceforward. It is here that she is later found in the company of her niece, the Nereid Thetis, and where they receive the fallen Hephaistos. It may be at the point of her own fall that Eurynome acquired her ichthyoid features.
If this is so, it should be easy to see her affinity for Hephaistos, who was rejected by his mother because he was born deformed, and either he was also born crippled or the fall from heaven took from him the use of his legs. In Hesiod's Theogony, around the time of the cataclysmic conflict between Kronos and his son Zeus, Eurynome became the third in Zeus' series of seven wives. She bore him three goddesses called the Kharites [Charites, "Graces"], one of whom would become the wife of her own half-brother Hephaistos.
In interpreting the writings of Pherekydes of Syros, from whom Apollonius seems to have acquired his wrestling-match episode, Eusebius of Caesarea posits that Ophion is essentially an original Phoenician version of Okeanos. Whatever the case may be with that, there is iconographic material which might provide a conceptual connection between them.
In the centre of this image we have Okeanos attending the wedding of his granddaughter Thetis among the other deities. In his right hand he holds a fish and his left a snake. (If Israel was Hellenised enough by the 1st century AD perhaps there's a connection to be found between this and the question asked in Luke 11.11: "What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of ikhthyos [a fish] give him ophin [a serpent]?") Okeanos' lower half is itself more serpentine or eel-like than it is especially ichthyoid, although I suppose it might represent something such as an oarfish, which, apart from being a genuine ikhthys, is no small creature.
Nereus, Phorkys, Triton and the Ikhthyokentauroi
Okeanos, the firstborn Titan, was older than the Sea-King Poseidon, but there were other water deities who may have been yet older than Okeanos, and these are his half-brothers Nereus, Phorkys [Phorcys] and Thaümas, the sons of Pontos (the Sea) and Gaia (the Earth). Of these, Hesiod says that Nereus was the eldest, who got married to Okeanos' daughter Doris. There do not seem to be any surviving ancient depictions of Thaümas but Phorkys is featured in Antiochene Roman mosaic while Nereus is a lot more popular, appearing on Greek pottery hundreds of years earlier.
Unlike her sister Eurynome, Doris was not a mermaid, and both she and her husband are depicted as completely humanoid, although there are quite a few instances of Nereus appearing as almost indistinguishable from his half-brother/father-in-law Okeanos, complete with the giant serpentine fish-tail in place of legs. Nereus and Doris had fifty daughters and one son, none of whom is described as ichthyomorphous at all (except for the fact that the son was eventually transformed into a shellfish). One of the daughters, Amphitrite, married Poseidon and thus became the Queen of the Sea. Together they had a number of children, all completely humanoid except for the huge merman Triton, who became an important sea-god. Lake Tritonis in Libya, where he lived, was named after him.
Nereus possessed arcane knowledge and was also fond of shape-shifting. He was willing to part with his hidden knowledge if the seeker thereof was able to wrestle him without losing his grasp upon him while the god transformed himself into all sorts of things like various animals, plants, water and fire. His daughter Thetis and grandson Triton seem to have inherited this trait from him. Thus among the adventures of Herakles is included a wrestling-match first against Triton, who barred the way to his grandfather, and then again against Nereus to acquire from him the information that he wished to obtain. Thetis agreed to marry the mortal king Peleus only if he managed a similar feat against herself, which he did.
This art-piece would appear to be preserving a tradition in which not only Nereus (left, completely humanoid) was present when Herakles wrestled with Triton (centre) but so was Triton's father Poseidon (right, wielding his Trident).
According to the Byzantine lexicographer Suidas, Carthaginians were originally called the Aphroi. They derived their name from their ancestor Aphros, the first king of Libya. Africa had previously been referred to as Libya but from the seafaring Aphroi it received its current designation. King Aphros, says Suidas, was a son of Kronos by Okeanos' daughter Philyra, which would thus make him the brother of the Centaur Kheiron [Chiron] and a half-brother of Poseidon and Zeus. From Roman mosaics in Carthage, Cyprus and Antioch, we know that Aphros was an Ikhthyokentauros [Ichthyocentaur, "Fish-Centaur," as distinct from the Hippokentauroi, "Horse-Centaurs," such as Kheiron]. Essentially, Ikhthyokentauroi were part god, part horse and part lobster (or—in place of the lobster parts—crab, or, as usual, serpentine fish), sometimes portrayed as red all over.
William Smith’s 1867 Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology describes the Ikhthyokentauros as “a particular kind of Triton”. The aforementioned mosaics also portray other specimens of this Libyan breed of mermen, who may also be sons of Kronos and Philyra. Courtesy of Aaron Atsma's website The Theoi Project, we have them listed as Bythos, Agreus, Anaresineus and Gaeeus. Most of the "merpeople" of Greco-Roman myth, however, belong to the tribe of sea-sprites descended from Triton himself, and these are thus called the Tritones [Tritons], the females of whom are Tritonides (Anglicised Tritonesses). In his Imagines ["Images"] Philostratus the Elder says that the Tritonides were the handmaidens of Nereus' daughter Galateia (who at some point is beloved of the Cyclops Polyphemos).
In the Roman mosaics, a maroon-coloured Bythos appears carrying Thetis and flanked by Thetis' mother Doris and sister Galateia Anaresineus is carrying Galateia Agreus is carrying the Nereid Kymothoe and Gaaeus is carrying the Nereid Pherusa.
Galateia and Anaresineus: Okeanos and nearly all the sea-gods depicted in these mosaics have crab's forelegs as horns.
Merman Phorkys carrying his niece, the Nereid Dynamene. He is not horned like the Ikhthyokentauroi but he does still have the crab's forelegs, albeit growing from his waist.
The first Triton also had at least four daughters, who presumably were all mermaids, or at least avid shape-shifters like him and his grandfather Nereus: namely Tritonis (according to Apollonius Rhodius & Hyginus), Triteia [or Tritaia] (according to Pausanias), Kalliste (according to Apollonius Rhodius) and Pallas (according to Apollodorus). Their mother was probably Okeanos' daughter Libya, who had given to Africa its previous name. According to Atsma, most of the Tritones were similar in appearance to the first Triton "but others were said to be monstrous creatures with red eyes, sea-green hair, vicious teeth and dolphin-tails." He further describes the Tritones as the attendants of the major sea-gods, which would include their ancestors Nereus and Poseidon.
In Greek and Italian mosaic the form that Triton takes is an interesting case which distinguishes him from other mermen in that he actually seems to have a literal pair of legs, except that each leg is a fish-tail. This corresponds surprisingly closely to the description of the Giants against whom the gods went to war. These creatures are also bipedal but their legs are snakes, which could provide an aquatic connection back to Ophion-Okeanos, their half-brother.
Poseidon, Glaükos, Palaimon and Proteus
Curiously, the only time that Poseidon ever seems to take on the form of a sea animal is in an obscure story mentioned by Ovid, who is building on a passing statement of Pausanias. The city of Delphi was reputedly named after a son of Apollon [Apollo] but in this version Poseidon somehow managed to seduce Melantho, daughter of Deukalion and Pyrrha, in the form of a dolphin. The child they have together is called Delphos, "Dolphin," and after him the famous city receives its name.
Barring this, Poseidon is unique among all sea-gods, who each, with their hybrid shapes, seem to represent the changing nature of the sea. Glaükos [Glaücus] and Melikertes-Palaimon [Melicertes-Palaemon], when they became sea-gods, also basically turned into mermen. The snake-like form of the mermen's fish-tails suggests a fluidity of form which Poseidon perhaps counters with Olympian stability, with himself as the bridge between the sea and the rest of the cosmos. However, if the Melanthian Delphos story really is something to go by, perhaps there might have been ancient artistic depictions of Poseidon in mid transformation, with his upper half humanoid and the lower that of a dolphin.
Although he is never described as a merman, Poseidon's herdsman Proteus bears striking resemblance to Nereus, whose son-in-law he also is. Both of them are called the Old Man of the Sea, and Proteus prefers not to share his wisdom unless its seeker can out-wrestle him through an adrenaline-rush series of metamorphoses. It is not unlikely that Proteus looked like all the ichthyoid sea-gods, or at least, in nature and form, was like something in between Poseidon and Nereus.
They are among us. Blood-drinking, flesh-eating, shape-shifting extraterrestrial reptilian humanoids with only one objective in their cold-blooded little heads: to enslave the human race. They are our leaders, our corporate executives, our beloved Oscar-winning actors and Grammy-winning singers, and they're responsible for the Holocaust, the Oklahoma City bombings and the 9/11 attacks . at least according to former BBC sports reporter David Icke, who became the poster human for the theory in 1998 after publishing his first book, The Biggest Secret, which contained interviews with two Brits who claimed members of the royal family are nothing more than reptiles with crowns. (Picture Dracula meets Swamp Thing).
The conspiracy theorist and New Age philosopher, who wore only turquoise for a time and insisted on being called Son of God-Head, says these "Annunaki" (the reptiles) have controlled humankind since ancient times they count among their number Queen Elizabeth, George W. Bush, Henry Kissinger, Bill and Hillary Clinton and Bob Hope. Encroaching on other conspiracy theorists' territory, Icke even claims that the lizards are behind secret societies like the Freemasons and the Illuminati. Since earning the dubious title of "paranoid of the decade" in the late 1990s, Icke has written several books on the topic, including his latest work, The David Icke Guide to the Global Conspiracy, while operating his own website complete with merchandise and advertisements.
Shape-Shifting Jesus Described in Ancient Egyptian Text
A newly deciphered Egyptian text, dating back almost 1,200 years, tells part of the crucifixion story of Jesus with apocryphal plot twists, some of which have never been seen before.
Written in the Coptic language, the ancient text tells of Pontius Pilate, the judge who authorized Jesus' crucifixion, having dinner with Jesus before his crucifixion and offering to sacrifice his own son in the place of Jesus. It also explains why Judas used a kiss, specifically, to betray Jesus — because Jesus had the ability to change shape, according to the text — and it puts the day of the arrest of Jesus on Tuesday evening rather than Thursday evening, something that contravenes the Easter timeline.
The discovery of the text doesn't mean these events happened, but rather that some people living at the time appear to have believed in them, said Roelof van den Broek, of Utrecht University in the Netherlands, who published the translation in the book "Pseudo-Cyril of Jerusalem on the Life and the Passion of Christ"(Brill, 2013).
Copies of the text are found in two manuscripts, one in the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City and the other at the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania. Most of the translation comes from the New York text, because the relevant text in the Pennsylvania manuscript is mostly illegible. [Image Gallery: 2 Ancient Curses Deciphered]
Pontius Pilate has dinner with Jesus
While apocryphal stories about Pilate are known from ancient times, van den Broek wrote in an email to LiveScience that he has never seen this one before, with Pilate offering to sacrifice his own son in the place of Jesus.
"Without further ado, Pilate prepared a table and he ate with Jesus on the fifth day of the week. And Jesus blessed Pilate and his whole house," reads part of the text in translation. Pilate later tells Jesus, "well then, behold, the night has come, rise and withdraw, and when the morning comes and they accuse me because of you, I shall give them the only son I have so that they can kill him in your place." [Who Was Jesus, the Man?]
In the text, Jesus comforts him, saying, "Oh Pilate, you have been deemed worthy of a great grace because you have shown a good disposition to me." Jesus also showed Pilate that he can escape if he chose to. "Pilate, then, looked at Jesus and, behold, he became incorporeal: He did not see him for a long time . " the text read.
Pilate and his wife both have visions that night that show an eagle (representing Jesus) being killed.
In the Coptic and Ethiopian churches, Pilate is regarded as a saint, which explains the sympathetic portrayal in the text, van den Broek writes.
The reason for Judas using a kiss
In the canonical bible the apostle Judas betrays Jesus in exchange for money by using a kiss to identify him leading to Jesus' arrest. This apocryphal tale explains that the reason Judas used a kiss, specifically, is because Jesus had the ability to change shape.
"Then the Jews said to Judas: How shall we arrest him [Jesus], for he does not have a single shape but his appearance changes. Sometimes he is ruddy, sometimes he is white, sometimes he is red, sometimes he is wheat coloured, sometimes he is pallid like ascetics, sometimes he is a youth, sometimes an old man . " This leads Judas to suggest using a kiss as a means to identify him. If Judas had given the arresters a description of Jesus he could have changed shape. By kissing Jesus Judas tells the people exactly who he is. [Religious Mysteries: 8 Alleged Relics of Jesus]
This understanding of Judas' kiss goes way back. "This explanation of Judas' kiss is first found in Origen [a theologian who lived A.D. 185-254]," van den Broek writes. In his work, Contra Celsum the ancient writerOrigen, stated that "to those who saw him [Jesus] he did not appear alike to all."
St. Cyril impersonation
The text is written in the name of St. Cyril of Jerusalem who lived during the fourth century. In the story Cyril tells the Easter story as part of a homily (a type of sermon). A number of texts in ancient times claim to be homilies by St. Cyril and they were probably not given by the saint in real life, van den Broek explained in his book.
Near the beginning of the text, Cyril, or the person writing in his name, claims that a book has been found in Jerusalem showing the writings of the apostles on the life and crucifixion of Jesus. "Listen to me, oh my honored children, and let me tell you something of what we found written in the house of Mary . " reads part of the text.
Again, it's unlikely that such a book was found in real life. Van den Broek said that a claim like this would have been used by the writer "to enhance the credibility of the peculiar views and uncanonical facts he is about to present by ascribing them to an apostolic source," adding that examples of this plot device can be found "frequently" in Coptic literature.
Arrest on Tuesday
Van den Broek says that he is surprised that the writer of the text moved the date of Jesus' Last Supper, with the apostles, and arrest to Tuesday. In fact, in this text, Jesus' actual Last Supper appears to be with Pontius Pilate. In between his arrest and supper with Pilate, he is brought before Caiaphas and Herod.
In the canonical texts, the last supper and arrest of Jesus happens on Thursday evening and present-day Christians mark this event with Maundy Thursday services. It "remains remarkable that Pseudo-Cyril relates the story of Jesus' arrest on Tuesday evening as if the canonical story about his arrest on Thursday evening (which was commemorated each year in the services of Holy Week) did not exist!" writes van den Broek in the email.
A gift to a monastery . and then to New York
About 1,200 years ago the New York text was in the library of the Monastery of St. Michael in the Egyptian desert near present-day al-Hamuli in the western part of the Faiyum. The text says, in translation, that it was a gift from "archpriest Father Paul," who, "has provided for this book by his own labors."
The monastery appears to have ceased operations around the early 10th century, and the text was rediscovered in the spring of 1910. In December 1911, it was purchased, along with other texts, by American financier J.P. Morgan. His collections would later be given to the public and are part of the present-day Morgan Library and Museum in New York City. The manuscript is currently displayed as part of the museum's exhibition "Treasures from the Vault" running through May 5.
Who believed it?
Van den Broek writes in the email that "in Egypt, the Bible had already become canonized in the fourth/fifth century, but apocryphal stories and books remained popular among the Egyptian Christians, especially among monks."
Whereas the people of the monastery would have believed the newly translated text, "in particular the more simple monks," he's not convinced that the writer of the text believed everything he was writing down, van den Broek said.
"I find it difficult to believe that he really did, but some details, for instance the meal with Jesus, he may have believed to have really happened," van den Broek writes. "The people of that time, even if they were well-educated, did not have a critical historical attitude. Miracles were quite possible, and why should an old story not be true?"
Synopsis – Theogony Summary
(N.B. There are various alternative spellings for many of the names mentioned here. For instance, “c” and “k” are generally interchangeable, as are “us” and os”, e.g Cronus/Kronos, Crius/Kreios, Cetus/Ceto/Keto, etc, and some are better known in their Latinized form).
In the very beginning, Chaos, the nothingness out of which the first objects of existence appeared, arose spontaneously. The parthenogenic children of Chaos were Gaia (the Earth), Eros (Desire or sexual love), Tartarus (the Underworld), Erebus (Darkness) and Nyx (Night).
Erebos and Nyx reproduced to make Aither (Brightness) and Hemera (Day), and from Gaia came Ouranos (Sky), the Ourea (Mountains) and Pontus (Sea). Ouranos mated with Gaia to create three sets of offspring: the twelve Titans (Oceanos, Coeus, Crius, Hyperion, Iapetos, Theia, Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, Tethys and Kronos), a race of powerful deities that ruled during the legendary Golden Age the three Kyklopes or Cyclops (Brontes, Steropes and Arges), a race of one-eyed giants and the three Hecatonchires (Kottos, Briareos and Gyges), hundred-handed giants of even greater power and ferocity than the Titans.
Ouranos was so disgusted with the Hecatonchires that he pushed them back into Gaia’s womb, so Gaia begged the Titans to punish their father. Only Kronos, the youngest and most ambitious Titan, was willing to do so, and he castrated his father with Gaia’s sickle. Ouranos’ blood splattered onto the earth, producing the Erinyes (the vengeful Furies), the Gigantes (Giants) and the Meliai (a race of tree nymphs). Kronos threw Ouranos’ severed testicles into the sea, and Aphrodite (the goddess of Love) formed out of the sea-foam which resulted.
Nyx produced many children, including Moros (Doom), Oneiroi (Dreams), Ker and the Keres (Destinies), Eris (Discord), Momos (Blame), Philotes (Love), Geras (Old Age), Thanatos (Death), the Moirai (Fates), Nemesis (Retribution), the Hesperides (Daughters of Night), Hypnos (Sleep), Oizys (Hardship) and Apate (Deceit). Eris, in her turn, produced Ponos (Pain), Hysmine (Battles), the Neikea (Quarrels), the Phonoi (Murders), Lethe (Oblivion), Makhai (Fight), Pseudologos (Lies), Amphilogia (Disputes), Limos (Famine), Androktasia (Manslaughters), Ate (Ruin), Dysnomia (Lawlessness), the Algea (Illnesses), Horkos (Oaths) and Logoi (Stories).
After Ouranos’s castration, Gaia married Pontus and they went on to produce a line of sea deities, nymphs and monsters, including Nereus (the Old Man of the Sea, also known as Proteus and Phorcys in his other aspects, from whom were descended the Nereids, the fifty nymphs of the sea, the best-known being Thetis), Thaumas (who later married the Oceanid Electra, and bore Iris, or Rainbow, and the two winged spirits, Aello and Ocypetes, known as the Harpies), Eurybia and Cetus (a hideous sea monster).
Cetus and her sibling Phorcys had many children of their own, including the Graiae (the three grey witches with one eye and one tooth shared among them), the three Gorgons (the best known being the snake-haired Medusa, who would later give birth to the winged-horse Pegasus), Echidna (a serpent-bodied monster who in turn produce many other well-known monsters such as the Nemean Lion, the Chimera, the Hydra, the Sphinx and Cerberus) and Ophion.
The Titans married between themselves and had Titan offspring of ther own: Oceanus and Tethys bore the three-thousand Oceanid nymphs (including Electra, Calypso and Styx) as well as all the rivers, fountains and lakes of the world Theia and Hyperion had Helios (Sun), Selene (Moon) and Eos (Dawn) Crius and Eurybia bore Astraios (father, with Eos, of the wind gods, Zephyros, Boreas, Notos and Eurus, as well as all the stars), Pallas (father, with the Oceanid Styx, of Zelos or Zeal, Nike or Victory, Cratos or Strength and Bia or Force), and Perses Coeus and Phoebe married to produce Leto and Asteria (mother, with her cousin Perses of Hecate, the goddess of wilderness, childbirth, witchcraft and magic) Iapetos married the Oceanid nymph Clymene and had Atlas, Menoetius, Prometheus and Epimetheus.
Kronos, who had established himself as leader of the Titans, married his sister Rhea but, mindful of the prophecy that one of his children would overthrow him, he made sure to swallow each of the children she birthed: Hestia (goddess of the hearth and domesticity), Demeter (goddess of the earth and fertility), Hera (goddess of women and marriage), Hades (god of the Underworld), Poseidon (god of the sea) and Zeus (god of the sky and thunder, and later to become the king of the gods) in that order. However, with the help of Gaia and Ouranos, Rhea managed to trick Kronos into saving Zeus from this fate, and then to further trick him into vomiting up his other five children.
Joining with Zeus, the other offspring of Rhea and Kronos (collectively known as the Olympian gods, for their chosen home on Mount Olympus), along with the Kyklopes, Prometheus and Epimetheus, then waged a great ten-year war on the Titans and the Giants for control of the cosmos. Eventually Zeus released the Hecatonchires from their imprisonment in Tartarus to shake the earth, allowing him to gain the upper hand in the struggle and, casting the fury of his thunderbolts at the Titans, throw them down into Tartarus.
In her anger at the defeat of the Titans, Gaia had a final son, fathered by Tartarus, known as Typhoeus or Typhon. Typhoeus was one of the most grotesque and deadly monsters of all time, reaching as high as the stars, his hands reaching east and west with a hundred dragon heads on each, his bottom half composed of gigantic hissing viper coils, and his whole body covered in wings and with fire flashing from his eyes. He too was defeated by Zeus, however, who trapped him underneath Mount Etna.
Because Prometheus had helped Zeus in the battle against the Titans, he was not sent to Tartarus like the others, but his subsequent attempts to trick Zeus and then his theft of forbidden fire from the Olympian gods, led Zeus to punish him by chaining him to a cliff where an eagle would perpetually feed on his liver, which would magically regenerate each day. Also as a result of Prometheus‘ theft of the secret of fire for man, Zeus called on Athena and Hephaistos, the lame blacksmith to the gods, to create a beautiful woman, Pandora, who opened a jar (referred to as “Pandora’s box” in modern accounts) releasing all the evils of mankind, leaving only Hope inside once she had closed it again. Hesiod also suggested at this point that women in general were henceforth to be considered a curse on men.
Zeus, now established as king of the Olympian gods, first married the Oceanid Metis, but, in order to avoid a prophecy that any offspring of his union with Metis would be greater than he, Zeus swallowed Metis herself to prevent her from giving birth. However, Metis was already was pregnant with Athena at that time and she nurtured her inside Zeus, until Athena burst forth from Zeus’ forehead, fully armed.
Zeus’ second wife was the Titan Themis, who bore the three Horae (the Hours, goddesses controlling orderly life), Eunomia (Order), Dike (Justice), Eirene (Peace), Tyche (Prosperity) and the three Moirae (the Fates, white-robed personifications of destiny, namely Klotho the Spinner, Lachesis the Alotter and Atropos the Unturned, an alternative version of their parentage to their creation by Nyx).
Zeus’ third wife was the Oceanid Eurynome, who bore the three Charites or Graces, goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity and fertility, namely Aglaea (Beauty), Euphrosyne (Mirth) and Thalia (Good Cheer).
Zeus’ fourth wife was his own sister Demeter, who bore Persephone, who was later to marry Hades and bear Melinoe (goddess of ghosts), Zagreus (god of the Orphic mysteries) and Macaria (goddess of the blessed afterlife).
Zeus’ fifth wife was the Titan Mnemosyne, from whom came the nine Muses, Clio (History), Euterpe (Music), Thalia (Comedy), Melpomene (Tragedy), Terpsichore (Dance), Erato (Lyric Poetry), Polyhymnia (Choral Poetry), Urania (Astronomy) and Calliope (Heroic Poetry).
Zeus’ sixth wife was the second generation Titan Leto, who gave birth to Apollo (the god of music, poetry and oracles, who was born on the floating island of Delos after Hera had banned Leto from giving birth on earth) and his twin sister Artemis (goddess of the hunt, childbirth and fertility).
Zeus’ seventh and final wife was his sister Hera, who gave birth to Hebe (cupbearer of the gods), Ares (god of war), Enyo (goddess of war), Hephaistos (the lame blacksmith and craftsman of the gods) and Eileithyia (goddess of childbirth and midwifery).
Outside his marriages, however, Zeus also had many affairs with mortal women, such as: Semele, who was the mother of Dionysus (also known to the Greeks as Bacchus), god of wine and ecstacy Danae, who was the mother of the hero Perseus Leda, who was the mother of Helen of Troy, Clytemnestra and the twins Castor and Pollux and Alkmene, who was the mother of the hero Heracles.
Zeu’s brother Poseidon married the Nereid Amphitrite and produced Triton, the messenger of the deep. The hero Theseus, who was the son of Aethra, was considered to have been jointly fathered by both Poseidon and by Aethra’s husband Aegeus, as Aethra had lain with both on the night of his conception.
Aphrodite was given in marriage by Zeus to his own son, the lame and ugly Hephaistos, in an attempt to prevent any jealousy and rivalry which might arise over her great beauty. But she nevertheless had an affair with Ares and gave birth to Eros (Love), Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Cowardice) and Harmonia (Harmony). Harmonia would later marry Cadmus, the founder of Thebes, to sire Ino, Semele (the mother of Dionysus by Zeus), Agaue, Polydorus and Autonoe.
The principle of Voodoo Magic lies in the connection with Gods (Loas) and spirits. Voodoo Magic is about worshipping of these Gods, spirits and ancestors.
Voodoo priest makes connection with Gods and spirits through performing magic rituals and prayers. But his role is not just to make this connection, but also to win God's favour and this way to motivate this strong entity to help. Voodoo priest goes into the trance state of mind, makes the contact with the chosen God or spirit, communicates his/her desire and brings back the information, what is needed to do (including what sacrifices are needed to bring).
Majority of people considers voodoo magic as something dark, negative or even diabolic. This image is not what Voodoo really is. There are many people, whose lives has been saved through voodoo healing rituals! If Voodoo Magic is used with the right intentions, it can bring to people love, health and much more.
In our voodoo practice, we perform voodoo magic through prayers to God and to the beings of Light, so that we preclude all negative influences.
Voodoo has been here for ages. It is strong, universal power, which needs to be used in a responsible way, to the welfare of all people. Then, it work properly. For us is work with this power a tool, which transforms the intention into reality of our material world. The intention has to be absolutely clear, and magician has to be able to target it precisely, so that desired result is achieved. We can compare it to the work with the laser beam. Because laser beam is also the power of light transformed and concentrated.
The one, who know exactly, what he wants and why, and who really works on himself, such person will achieve everything what he wants. Also things, which seemed first unbelievable!
In this central core of voodoo worship is Loa (god, divine being, good spirit), Oracle, ancestral worship and reincarnation. Heaven and hell do not exist in Voodooism. Why? In Voodoo they believe in reincarnation. The deeds of a person influence his next life. Someone who has been a good, honest and faithful person has the chance to ascend to Loa. Thus they are given not only the power and influence but the opportunity to shape the world. If the person has not behaved well and was angry the person will be again born as a human and begin a new life cycle. He again well have every opportunity, but all the temptations from before well still threaten and entice him.
If the person was not good in their life it is possible that in his next life he will be punished by Loa. This could be a spiritual or physical impediments. However the belief of voodoo involves primarily light punishment for offenses. However, serious offenses will be punished with misfortune or illness, or the rebirth as an animal. If the person was particularly bad, they can be reborn as Diab, as a demonic creature that only aspires to harm the living or dominate you. Voodoo believers believe that Loa as well as Diab are Omnipresent. Therefore both take part in ones everyday life and are informed about all actions and misdeeds of believers.
Hestia as illustrated by Deities and Demigods
As goddess of fire and home, Hestia had omnipotent control over all fire, and by some accounts all heat. She never left the halls of Olympus, but watched over all homes with ease. It is said that the hearth of each Greek home was Hestia's window to the mortals' world that she watched over them through. To honor her, each Greek City-state had a hearth in the center of town attended by her priestess, the Vestal Virgins. The Vestals kept the flame burning all day everyday and it was considered a bad sign if the fire was ever put out, signifying ruin. Because of this, the Greeks considered the single greatest offense to the Olympians being harming a Vestal or putting out the flame at the center of town. Hestia was seen as the most caring and empathetic of her siblings and she is the only deity that was worshiped uniformly through-out Greece, with a smaller shrine inside every other temple to every other god. Worship of Hestia signified prosperity and divine protection. The later Christian concept of claiming Sanctuary in a Church was based on a rite the temples of Hestia offered before-hand, protecting the poor or even criminals from being harmed if they came seeking safety and redemption.
Poseidon as illustrated by Deities and Demigods
Poseidon was god of the Sea but ruled over all bodies of water once he claim his title as King of the Oceans from Nereus. With his trident Poseidon was able to create massive earthquakes, which he found quite amusing. When Poseidon's earthquakes got out of control and affected cities, Zeus would get back at him by sending storms out to sea, And when Zeus's storms got out of control and drifted out to sea Poseidon would get back at him by intentionally shaking cities to the ground, thus did the two frequently antagonize each-other. Storms followed by earthquakes were seen as occasions when the two gods were feuding or attempting to one-up each-other. Poseidon protected his worshipers on their travels and as such he was worshiped by traders, sailors and even pirates. Poseidon was said to have invented domesticated creatures as gifts for Demeter to win her affections, the crowning jewel of these being the horse, which Poseidon was so proud of he lost interest in Demeter to marvel at his own creations. Worship of Poseidon would remain the most enduring, as well into the eighteenth century European sailors and pirates were still highly superstitious and believed to still be at the mercy of Poseidon once they set off their shores.
Hades as illustrated by Deities and Demigods
Though often called the god of death, Hades is in-fact the god of wealth, but rules death, or more specifically the Underworld. The actual embodiment of death, Thanatos, was subservient to Hades and obeyed his master's commands. Hades is the only god that makes frequent contact with the Fates, this is necessary to be able to remain up-to-date on those scheduled to die. Hades is also the only god to have, or at-least use, omniscience constantly. Hades remains aware of all virtues and vices of mortals and plans out accordingly what to do with them. As it's king, the Underworld is entirely subject to Hades' wishes, expanding and conforming to accommodate each and every soul to pass on. While Hades himself routinely judged mortal souls of specific note, Hades left the majority of souls to be sentenced by his three judges, Rhadamanthus, Aeacus and Minos, who would determine if they warranted eternal happiness or eternal punishment. Though humorless, stern and nihilistic, Hades held himself and his system to a high and honorable standard. Hades firm sense of reward and punishment for certain deeds is the basis of human morality. Because Hades was often far too occupied running the Underworld he almost never took issue with the gods of Olympus, the few times he did, his siblings knew to prioritize pacifying him to avoid further insult.
Demeter as illustrated by Deities and Demigods
Demeter is the goddess of the harvest and plant-life in general. Normally keeping to herself, Demeter had less of an established agenda than any of her siblings, her time was spent farming, talking to animals and raising her children. Demeter is however highly bipolar, quickly shifting from happy, to sad, to angry at the slightest of provocations. Demeter would eventually create autumn and winter in protest of losing her daughter Persephone to Hades. Though Zeus attempted to appeal to Demeter's compassion for humanity Demeter was more than willing to starve and freeze all of Greece just to protest the lose of her daughter. The rotation of seasons is based on days of the year Persephone is with Demeter, as when Persephone is with Demeter it is summer, when the time approaches for Persephone to leave Demeter becomes anxious and autumn sets in, once Persephone is gone Demeter's sorrow plunges the land into cold winters where nothing grows and upon Persephone's return flowers and crops begin to bloom and the weather becomes temperate in what is seen as the season of spring. Demeter had many children but Persephone was the oldest and by most accounts favorite. Demeter was also capable of inflecting great hunger on people And once cursed a king who stole tribute from her temple by infecting him with such hunger that he ate all he owned, his own children and eventually himself. Demeter had frequent affairs with Poseidon but it remained a casual sexual relationship and never an emotional one.
Hera as illustrated by Deities and Demigods
Hera was goddess of marriage and woman-hood and became queen of Olympus thanks to her marriage with Zeus. Hera mainly gave less immediately apparent blessings than the other gods and most of the time her protection was the explanation for fortune and good luck. Hera's subtle influence on mortals also meant she would levee curses upon those that angered her, from bouts of misfortune, to sickness, to fits of madness, to transformation. Temples to Hera were used to sanction marriages and get divorces, although Hera's priests discouraged divorce it was a provided service and it was said that both spouses needed to pay financial tribute to Hera for breaking their vows. Depending on what caused the divorce one spouse might need to complete some task to make amends either to the other spouse or to the community at large to be allowed to marry again. Hera is presented as refined and virtuous when sacred but conniving, manipulative and bloodthirsty when angered. Her fits of anger marked great disasters for mortals and gods alike, as such, most gods and mortals were very wary of crossing her, either by making sure not to upset her, or just trying not to get caught doing things that might upset her.
Zeus as illustrated by Deities and Demigods
Zeus is the god of storms and master of the heavens. Zeus controlled the winds, rains and hail, his authority over the weather was usually more potent than Poseidon's if shorter lasting though he left power of the weather to Demeter by default. Zeus encouraged mortals to be honest, brave and true, though often did not practice such concepts himself. Zeus is called the father of heroes for all the mortal children he gave birth to, the deconstruction of this concept means of course that Zeus had numerous affairs, not all of them with women or even humans. Zeus despite his rather liberal outlook on sexual conquest was disgusted by mortals who raped sworn virgins or children and he would frequently punish such acts with city shaking results. Zeus is seen as the most courageous of the Children of Cronus and by some accounts the strongest, however not all. Zeus would frequently sponsor wars with no regard to particular sides or kingdoms and more in regards to morals, ideals and ways of life, as such generals and soldiers often praised him before battle to win his favor in their efforts. Most Greeks were wary of crossing Zeus, for though easy going, even he had solid limits to what was and was not acceptable behavior. One of the worst social faux-pas was for a mortal to compare themselves to a god, it was thought that this in particular annoyed Zeus and he would strike them down without warning. While not partying on Olympus or engaging in sexual conquest Zeus was fond of smiting monsters and won many great conflicts through-out Greek mythology. Zeus encouraged mortals to be brave, active in their community, thoughtful, and charitable despite his otherwise hedonistic life-style.