Friday, June 10, 2011

The Orphic creation myth

First there was the god Time, whom the wise call Aeon and the goddess Necessity; the lord and lady came to know each other. Necessity gave birth to triplets. Two of the triplets were counted as gods; their names were Chaos and Darkness. One of the triplets was counted as a goddess; her name was Aether. But look: Time came to desire Aether and fulfilled his desire. From their union a child was conceived. Aether stretched out her wings and as she stood above the darkness of Chaos she spread her legs and gave birth to the silver egg of the world.
Behold the egg of the world hatched and divided into two. The upper half became the firmament above the stars and the sky while the lower half became the crater that would become the foundation of the earth. Out of the egg came Protogonos, whom the wise call Phanes; Phanes was both male and female, had two wings and two heads. One head was that of a lion and the other head was that of a bull.
Phanes came to know himself; he bore a daughter called Night. Look: Phanes came to know Night and Night bore twins, one god called Uranus and one goddess called Gaea. Uranus, the sky beneath the firmament and Gaea, the earth above the crater came to lie together; they were inseparable and there was no space between them. A first time Uranus and Gaea knew each other; their children were the three hundred handed ones. A second time Uranus and Gaea knew each other; their children were the three cyclopes. A third time Uranus and Gaea came to know each other; their children were the seven sets of twins, one god, one goddess in each pair called the titans. The names of these children were Cronos and Rhea, Oceanus and Tethys, Hyperion and Theia, Iapetus and Themis, Crius and Phoebe, Caus and Mnemosyne and Phorcys and Dione.
Gaea called out to Night: Uranus has given me a terrible burden. My children remain within me and cannot come out for Uranus is above me. There is no space above me where they can live. Free me from Uranus' grasp. Night came to conspire with Cronos to take the throne from Uranus.
Cronos, it was thee who accomplished the great deed. It was thee who lifted Uranus off Gaea and castrated Uranus. The castrated member fell into the sea. Aphrodite came out of the member and walked upon the shore as Phanes greeted her. Thus Cronos gained the throne of the gods.
Rhea was CFronos' wife and bore him six children. But Cronos was afraid that one of his six children would take the throne he sat upon just as he had taken the throne from Uranus. Cronos had swallowed his first five children, Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades and Poseidon as Rhea gave birth to them. Yet when Rhea gave birth to Zeus she wrapped a stone in swaddling clothes. Cronos swallowed the stone, thinking it to be Zeus.
But behold: Rhea gives birth to Zeus in the cave in Mount Ida on Crete. There, in Crete she hides Zeus in the cave he was born in. In secret, Rhea nurses Zeus on goat's milk. Zeus grows to be a man; he gives his father mead and Cronos disgorges his siblings. Laid low by the mead, Cronos fights Zeus not. As Cronos had done before him, Zeus now castrates Cronos. Cronos is exiled into Elysium, the western isle in the ocean beyond the horizon and remains there today just as Uranus remains above us, living as the sky.
Night in her wisdom advised Zeus: Zeus, swallow me, Protogonos, the other gods and the whole world. Night said to Zeus: Zeus recreate the world according to your will when you are finished. Behold: Zeus swallows Protogonos. Zeus swallows all of the other gods. Zeus swallows the world and becomes the all; he becomes the one; he becomes the order of all things.
Zeus beheld the nothingness about him and conceived in his mind a better world. Zeus spoke the name of the world and the world came to be. Zeus spoke the name of every god, save Aphrodite, Demeter and Protogonos; the gods once more came to exist. The knowledge of the world was the knowledge of Phanes that Phanes had given to Uranus and Uranus had given to Cronos. When Zeus had swallowed the world Zeus had gained the knowledge of the world. That was the knowledge hbe would one day impart to Athena.
Know that now Zeus assigned the sky to himself, the sea to Poseidon and the subterranean realm to Hades. Yet Phanes was yet to be reborn; in latter days it would be Phanes who would become Zeus' heir and peacefully be given the throne by Zeus. In those latter days, that are yet to come, Phanes will once again ascend the throne. Zeus shall place the crown upon the head of Phanes, who now lives as Dionysus and Dionysus shall become king of the world. Know also that Zeus came to know Dione and Dione gave birth to Aphrodite.
It was Zeus and Rhea who became serpents and knew each other in the cave of mount Ida on Crete. Rhea gave birth unto Demeter and Demeter became a serpent. As serpents, Zeus and Demeter came to know each other in the cave of mount Ida on Crete. Demeter gave birth unto Persephone and Persephone became a serpent. As serpents Zeus and Persephone came to know each other in the cave of mount Ida on Crete. Persephone gave birth to Zagreus, who was none other than Phanes reborn in the cave of Mount Ida on Crete.
Zeus set Zagreus on the throne, put a scepter in his hand and a crown on his head. But Hera, Zeus' wife was jealous of Zagreus. Hera secretly spoke to the titans and bade them to kill Zagreus. They tempted the child Zageus with toys. They tempted Zagreus with a mirror, a doll, dice and a spinning top. They lured Zagreus out of the cave in mount Ida. Zagreus came to realize that the titans wished to kill him. Zagreus tried to flee, turning himself into the shape of one animal after another. But the titans caught Zagreus. They divided Zagreus into seven parts, boiled and roasted those parts on a spit. They ate six parts of Zagreus. But they had not yet touched the heart that existed as the seventh portion.
Athena had seen what the titans had done and screamed. Zeus threw his thunderbolt and the thunderbolt burnt the titans to ashes. Athena breathed life into Zagreus' heart and Zeus swallowed the heart of Zagreus. Out of the ashes Zeus created man and woman. It was from man and woman that all humanity descended. Half titan, half God it is humanity who shall overcome the titan in themselves, learn the sacred mysteries of Orpheus and Eleusis and come to know the enlightenment of the gods as taught in the teaching of the Lokayata.
Ages past and Zeus came to know the love of a mortal woman named Semele. But Hera grew jealous and tricked Semele into asking Zeus to promise to reveal himself in all his glory. Semele did not know that seeing Zeus in all his glory would be her death. Semele asked a boon of Zeus and Zeus agreed to give her whatever she wanted. Semele asked Zeus to reveal himself in all his glory and Zeus could not refuse. Zeus revealed himself and Semele was incinerated. Athena, the wisdom of Zeus is Metis reborn. Athena rushed to Zeus' aid and after rescuing the unborn child sewed the child into Zeus' thigh.
Zeus gave birth and Dionysus was born. Dionysus, the mind of Zeus is Protogonos and Zagreus reborn. One day in the distant future Dionysus shall be crowned ruler of the world by Zeus and peacefully succeed Zeus upon the throne of the gods without castrating him or casting him out of Olympus.


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