Goddesses of the Calendar Month:
Pomona, Goddess of Fruit and Fruit-trees
Indian: RADHA, Avatar of Lakshmi. (Fell. of Isis Dir.) “September 1st: Radha and Krishna. Love. Cheerfulness. Divine Union through shared
Jewish: ST. ANNE AND THE VIRGIN MARY. (Irish Catholic Dir.) “September 8th. The Nativity of
the Blessed Virgin Mary (with Octave) ... Preface of the B.V.M. Et te in Nativitate”.
(Church of England Cal.) “September 8th. Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary”.
Note: In Coptic and other lives of the Virgin (see Apocr. New. Test. p. 87) Mary was
born on the 15th of Hathor.
(The Book of James, or Protevangelium,
V. 2) “And her months were
fulfilled, and in the ninth month Anna
brought forth. And she said unto the midwife: What have I brought forth?
And she said:
A female. And Anna said: My soul is magnified
this day ... and she gave suck to the child and called her name Mary.”
(The Legend of Joachim
and Anna, cited by Mrs. Jameson, Legends of the Madonna,
p. 139) “There
was a man of Nazareth, whose name was Joachim
and he had for his wife a woman of Bethlehem,whose name was Anna …
“And when her time was come, Anna brought forth a daughter
... and she called the name of her child Mary, which in Hebrew is Miriam”.
(Ashe, The Virgin, p. 200)
“Mary’s birth or ‘Nativity’ [was] added to the calendar between 650 and 700”.
(Bridgett, Our Lady’s Dowry,
p. 228) “an account of our Lady’s Feasts: The
Nativity. The fourth feast celebrated by the Anglo-Saxons was that
of our Lady’s Nativity ... One of poems of
St. Aldhelm, who wrote in the seventh century in England, distinctly
that the feast of the dedication of the
church built by the Princess Bugge was the Nativity of our Lady:
nempe them qua templi festa corruscant
Nativitate sua sacravit
festival is also mentioned
by Venerable Bede, who died in 735. Butler
gives us authorities which prove its celebration in Rome in the sixth
in the ninth and tenth centuries it was
celebrated in many places with great pomp, and ranked as one of the
of the Church. Pope Innocent IV in 1243 ...
ordered that an octave should be kept of our Lady’s Nativity”.
(Mrs. Jameson, Legends of the
Madonna, p. 146) on the Nativity as
represented by painters: “The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin ... It is
treated apart as a separate scene; and a
series of pictures dedicated to the honour of the Virgin, and comprising
only a few
of the most eventful scenes in her history,
generally begins with her Nativity. The primitive treatment is Greek,
varied in the details and the sentiment, it
has never deviated much from the original motif.
Anna reclines on a couch covered with
drapery, and a pillow under her head; two
handmaids sustain her; a third fans her, or presents refreshments; more
a group of women are busied about the
new-born child. It has been the custom, I know not on what authority, to
and friends who come to congratulate ... The
whole scene thus treated is sure to come home to the bosom of the
There is both dignity and simplicity in
the fresco by Taddeo Gaddi (Florence,
Baroncelli Chapel). St. Anna is sitting up in bed; an attendant pours
water over her
hands. In front, two women are affectionately
occupied with the child, a lovely infant with a glory round its head.
other attendants are at the foot of the bed”.
Greek: ASCLEPIGENIA, (Perp. Fest. Cal.) “September
9. Asclepigenia, Eleusinian priestess”.
THE QUEENS OF EGYPT. (Perp. Fest. Cal.) “September 11. King and Queen initiates of Ancient Egypt”.
Jewish: THE VIRGIN MARY. (Irish Catholic Dir.) “September 12. The Most Holy Name of Mary … Preface of B. V. M. Et te in festivitate”.
The Virgin, p. 201) This feast is included among those allocated to the Virgin Mary
by the Carmelite Order.
Egyptian: The Ceremony
of Lighting the Fire. (Maspero, Dawn of Civil.
p. 322). “The night of
the 17th Thot - which, according to our
computation, would be the night of the 16th to the 17th - was, as may be
the Great Inscription of Siut (1. 36, et
seq.), appointed for the ceremony of ‘lighting the fire’ before the
of the dead and of the gods. As at the ‘Feast
of Lamps’ mentioned by Herodotus (ii, 62) the religious ceremony
was accompanied by a general illumination
which lasted all the night; the object of this, probably, was to
visit which the souls of the dead were
supposed to pay at this time to the family residence”.
Roman: JUNO and MINERVA; The Lectisternium, in honour of the three Capitoline
Deities. (Seyffert, Dict.)
“Lectisternium. A festival of Greek origin,
first ordered by the Sibylline books in 399
(before this era) ... From the commencement of the 3rd century a banquet
given to the three Capitoline Divinities,
Jupiter, Juno and Minerva, on every 13th of November, in conjunction
with the plebeian
games. Under the Empire the celebration was
on the 13th of September, and was associated with the Roman games. From
this era) it was provided by the College of Epulones.
The images of the three deities
were decked with curls, anointed, and tricked
out with colours. Jupiter was placed reclining on a cushion, with a
on each side of him seated on a chair; and
the divinities were invited to a banquet, in which the whole senate
448) “September 13. On this day, in the
temple of Minerva of Rome, the copper shields were assigned by the
(Montfaucon, Antiq. Suppl. p. 413) “On great Festivals, when they exhibited
the Lectisternia, and used to place God and Goddess on one Couch or Bed, they always put Mars and Venus together.
Ceremony of Lighting the Fire. See under September 13th.
Italian: CATHERINE OF GENOA. (Perp.
Fest. Cal.) “September 15. Catherine of Genoa, mystic ... born 23 March 1447”.
German: ST. HILDEGARDE. (Perp. Fest.
Cal.) “September 17. Hildegarde, German mystic”. Born in 1099.
General: THE DIVINE TRINITY; Feast of Divine Life. (Lux Madriana Cal.) “Mala 17. (September 21), Feast of Divine Life”. (The Coming Age, No. 16)
“Divine Life. This central festival of the Mysteries of Life Cycle
the essence of life, the abundant outpouring
of the Spirit, Who creates and sustains all that is. It is a festival
to the Divine Trinity, upon whom all
existence is entirely dependent; to the Mother, creator of all things in
their pure and
perfect Essences; to the Daughter, Whose
sacrifice poured life anew into the fallen and disintegrating world; and
to the Dark Mother, Absolute Deity, the
unknown, unknowable Ground of all Being, Whose very nature is life
celebration of the festival includes the decoration
of shrine and altar with the fruits of the
season. The apple, representing the golden apples of Avala, the western
is the central symbol of the feast. Apples,
cycler and seedcake are the traditional festival foods”.
Autumnal Equinox. Sun enters Libra (tropical).
Greek: DEMETER and PERSEPHONE; Roman: CERES and PROSERPINA; The Greater Eleusinian Mysteries, First Day. (Lempriere,
Dict.) “Eleusinia ... This festival (i.e. the Greater) was observed in the month
Boedromion or September, and continued nine days from the 15th to the 23rd”. (Kerenyi, Eleusis,
p. 8) According to this author’s reckoning
the 15th of Boedromion is taken as corresponding to September 23rd or
Julian, Hymn to
the Mother of the Gods, 173A) “I was
saying that we ought not to suppose that the ancients appointed the
of the rites irrationally, but rather as far
as possible with plausible and true grounds of reason; and indeed a
this is that the goddess herself chose as her
province the cycle of the equinox. For the most holy and secret
Deo and the Maiden (Koré)
are celebrated when the sun is in the sign of Libra, and this is quite
(Commentary by Cave Wright) “The Eleusinian
Mysteries of Demeter and Persephone: the Lesser were celebrated in
the Greater in September”.
(Lempriere, Dict., Eleusinia) “A
year after the initiation of the less mysteries they ... were admitted
in the greater”. (id.)
“Persons of both sexes and all ages were admitted
at this solemnity, and it was looked upon as
[a] heinous crime to neglect this ... The initiated were under the more
care of the deities, and therefore their life
was supposed to be attended with more happiness and real security than
men. This benefit was not only granted during
life, but it extended beyond the grave”. (Enc.
Brit. 1810 ed.) “Eleusinia ... The Athenians were solicitous to secure these advantages to their children, by
having them initiated as soon as was allowed.”
“Eleusinian … They were carried from Eleusis to Rome in the age
of Adrian, where they were observed with the
same ceremonies as before, though perhaps with more freedom”. (Enc. Brit. 1810 ed. Mysteries)
on the Eleusinian Mysteries: “At
last ... the gate became wider, and crowds of
people, of all nations, kindreds and languages, provided their
fair and unreproachable, rushed in by it”.
Eleusis, p. 12) on the Mysteries of Eleusis in the latter half of the 4th century
of this era: “They were thought to ‘hold the entire human race together. (Zosimus, Historia
Nova, IV. 33)’ not only because people
continued, no doubt, to come from every corner of the earth to be
as they had in the days of the Emperor
Hadrian, but also because the Mysteries touched on something that was
common to all
men. They were connected not only with
Athenian and Greek existence but with human existence in general. And
(i.e. on his successful appeal to
Valentinian, Emperor from 364 - 375) clearly states just this: bios, life, he declared, would be ‘unlivable’ (abiotos)
for the Greeks if the celebration were to cease”.
(Enc. Brit. 1810 ed., Mysteries) “Some days
before the commencement of the festival, the praecones,
criers, invited all the initiated, and all
pretenders to that honour, to attend the festival, with clean hands and a
(Lempriere, Dict.) “Eleusinian ... The first day of the celebration was called agormos,
assembly, as it might be said that the
worshippers first met together”. (Butterworth, on Clem. Alex. p. 383)
“On the 15th [Boedromion] a gathering was
held of candidates for initation. Certain instructions were then given
mystagogues (introducers or guides) as to the
various acts and formulas, a knowledge of which was necessary in the
of the initiation”. (Enc. Brit. 1810 ed., Mysteries)
“On the evening of the 15th day of the month called Boedromion
commenced ... On this day there was a solemn
cavalcade of Athenian matrons from Athens to Eleusis, in carriages drawn
In this procession the ladies used to rally
one another in pretty loose terms, in imitation, we suppose, of the
described by Herodotus ... The most
remarkable object in this procession was the Mundus Cereris, contained
in a small coffer
or basket. This was carried by a select
company of Athenian matrons, who, from their office, were styled Camphorae. In this coffer were
lodged the comb of Ceres, her mirror, a serpentine figure, some wheat
... The procession ended at the temple, where
this sacred charge was deposited with the greatest solemnity”.
(Miriam Simos, Spiral Dance,
p. 88) “Kore Chant: Spring and Fall Equinox (Fall) ... “All
seeds she deeply buries, She weaves the thread of seasons …”
Roman: JULIA DRUSILLA, PANTHEA. (Balsdon, O.C.D.) “Drusilla, Julia (born
probably in 16 of this era) … “Her name, like her sisters’,
was compulsorily included in vows and oaths
after the succession of her brother Gaius ... She was named as Gaius’
during his illness ... she was consecrated as
Panthea, probably on the anniversary of Augustus’ birthday”. Note:
Augustus was born on September 23, 63 before
Celtic: Alban Elfed. See Under March 21st.
General: THE WITCHES, Lesser Sabbat. See under February 1st.
Finnish: MIELIKKI. (Catherine Koppana, Ms.) “Mielikki is a Finnish Artemis, and protects animals ... The name Mielikki has variations: Mimerkki,
Mieulutar, Mielus. Mielus means ‘friendly’. The word ‘Mieli’ means ‘mind’ even ‘intelligence’.
She is resonantly described as ‘Aulae sylvestris mater familias atque domina’.
“Mielikki is mentioned throughout the Finnish Epic ‘Kalevala’; her feast-day
is September 23rd, when the forests begin to turn to gold”.
Samothracian: AXIOKERSA. (Regardie, The Golden Dawn, Vol. 11. p.
108) “AXIOKERSA, the Third Kabir spake to Kasmillos the Candidate and
‘I am the Sun in Equinox,’ initiating Summer
or heralding Winter - mild and genial in operation, giving forth
or withdrawing the vital heat of life’.”
Greek: CARPO. (Perp.
Fest. Cal.) “September 23. Karpo, Goddess of Autumn”. (Fell. of Isis Dir.)
“September 23rd: Karpo, Goddess of Autumn. Love of Natural Beauty.”
(Fell. of Isis Dir.) “September 23rd:, Carman, goddess of poetry.”
Greek: DEMETER and PERSEPHONE; Roman: CERES and PROSERPINA;
The Greater Eleusinian Mysteries, Second Day. (Liddell and Scott, Lex.)
(hals) to or into the sea ... halade mystai,
name of the second day of the Eleusinian mysteries, the 16th of
Polyaenus, 3.11, 2”.
(Lempriere, Dict.) “Eleusinia ... The second day was called halade mystai, to the
sea, you that are initiated because they were commanded to purify themselves by bathing in the sea”. (Kerenyi, Eleusis,
p. 60) “on
the 16th day of Boëdromion ... the cry rang
out: ‘Initiates into the sea!’ As they had bathed in the Ilissos
before the myesis, now they bathed in the sea
between which and the goddess of Eleusis there were certain secret
perhaps in very ancient sacred legends ...
The common purification in the sea seems, however, to have been a
institution ... as we see in an Eleusinian
relief - one of the goddesses herself sprinkled the man whom she chose
Triptolemos or another Eleusinian hero. All
this was no secret”. Note: (Tertullian, cited by Larson, Rel. of Occident, p. 183) “
‘Washing is the channel through which they are initiated into the sacred
rites of Isis or Mithras; ... at the ...
Eleusinia they are baptized’ to achieve ‘regeneration and the remission
of their sins. (On Baptism V)”.
(Enc. Brit. 1810 ed., Mysteries)
on the Eleusinian Mysteries: “The
candidates for initiation bathed themselves
in holy water, and put on new clothes, all of linen ... From the
ceremony of bathing
they were denominated hydrani; and this again was a kind of baptismal ablution. Whether
the phrases of washing away sin ... putting off the old man with his deeds, putting on a
robe of rightousness … the words mystery, perfect, perfection,
occur so frequently in the New Testament ...
are borrowed from the Pagan mysteries, or from usage current among the
we leave to our more learned readers to
Eccl. Hist., Vol. 1. p. 173) “among the Greeks and the people of the East, nothing
was held more sacred than what were called the Mysteries. This circumstance led the
Christians, in order to impart dignity to their religion, to say, that they also had similar mysteries,
or certain holy rites, concealed from the vulgar; and they not only applied the terms
used in the pagan mysteries to the Christian
institutions, particularly baptism and the [Last] supper; but they
introduced also the rites which were designated by those terms. This practice originated
in Eastern provinces; and thence, after the times of Adrian, who first introduced
the Grecian mysteries among the Latins (note by Soames: ‘Spartianus, Hadrian,
c. 13. p. 15. ed. Obrechti. Spartian speaks
only of the Eleusinian Mysteries, into which Adrian was initiated at
it spread among the Christians of the West. A
large part, therefore, of the Christian observances and institutions,
this century (i.e., the 2nd), had the aspect
of pagan mysteries”.
DEMETER and PERSEPHONE; Roman: CERES and PROSPERPINA; The
Greater Eleusinian Mysteries, Third Day. (Lempriere, Dict., Eleusinia)
On the third day offerings are made, “also barley from a field of Eleusis”.
Greek: DEMETER and PERSEPHONE; Roman: CERES and PROSERPINE; The Greater Eleusinian Mysteries, Fourth Day. (Lempriere, Dict.)
“Eleusinia ... On the fourth day they made a solemn procession, in which the kalathion,
holy basket of Ceres, was carried about in a consecrated cart, while on every side the people shouted Chaire Déméter, ‘Hail Ceres!’ After these followed women, called kisophoroi, who carried baskets, in which were sesamum, carded wool,
grains of salt, a serpent, pomegranates, reeds, ivy boughs, certain cakes, etc.”
p. 61) “The mystai are said to
have stayed at home on the 18th ... a
libation was offered to Dionysos and to the other gods ... However, it
was a feast having
to do with wine, from which Demeter abstained
during her period of mourning. Herein the mystai imitated her when they
not leave their homes. It was probably on
this day that the kykeon was made ready”.
General: (Perp. Fest. Cal.) “September 26th. Day of Duties of
home, parents and State”.
Greek: DEMETER and PERSEPHONE;
Roman: CERES and PROSERPINA; The Greater Eleusinian Mysteries, Fifth Day, Evening of the Holy Night. (Lempriere, Dict.) “Eleusinia ... The fifth (day] was called Hé
ton lampadón hémera,
the torch day,
because on the following night the people ran
about with torches in their hands. It was usual to dedicate torches to
and contend which should offer the biggest in
commemoration of the travels of the goddess, and of her lighting a
the flames of Mount Aetna”.
p. 62) “Then came the 19th of Boedromion, the first day of the festival
was called Mysteria, The Mysteries, for
everything else was mere preparation, and other mysteries were not the
which were now about to begin. This day had
the special name of agyrmos
‘gathering’. In the morning the procession of
mystai assembled, began to move, left the city by way of the potters’
quarter and the Sacred Gate, and marched
along the Sacred Road to Eleusius, where it arrived in the evening.
For the Holy Night see under September 28th.
Greek: DEMETER and PERSEPHONE; BAUBO, GE THEMIS, HECATE
and IAMBE. Roman: CERES and PROSERPINA; The
Greater Eleusinian Mysteries, Sixth Day, The Holy Night. (Lempriere, Dict.)
“Eleusinia ... The sixth [day] was called Iacchos, from Iacchus
... who accompanied
his mother in search of Proserpine, with a
torch in his hand. From that circumstance his statue had a torch in its
was carried in solemn procession from the
Ceramics to Eleusis ... In the way nothing was heard but singing and the
brazen kettles, as the votaries danced along.
The way through which they issued from the city was called Hiera hodos, the sacred way, the resting place Hiera syké, from
the fig tree
which grew in the neighbourhood. They also stopped on a bridge over the
Cephisus, where they derided those that
passed by. After they had passed this bridge they entered Eleusis by a
mystiké eisodos, the mystical entrance”.
p. 62) “By the Greek reckoning
the next day, the 20th of Boëdromion, began
with the evening of the holy night … We do not know precisely what
sort of sacred objects had been brought from
Eleusis to Athens five days before but only that after crossing the
border those bearing them had stopped by the hiera syké,
the sacred fig tree.
But as we shall soon see, the choice of the
site probably had to do with these objects. They were kept for a time in
of Athens, and carried back to Eleusis in the
procession. The priestesses bore them on their heads in baskets.
these basket bearers flanked the inside of
the gate leading into the sacred precinct. We should know still less but
discovery of a painting, the gift of a
certain Niinnion, representing the procession and more than that; the
idea of the procession.
was impossible to keep secret certain of
the elements characteristic of the
procession: the myrtle boughs in the hair and in the hands of the
mystai, the cry ‘lakchos’
Niinnion’s painting, lakchos
and the goddess Hecate, both bearing torches,
lead the initiates - men and women - towards the great Goddesses of
In dark clothing and bearing pilgrims’ staffs
like the simplest of wanderers, the mystai follow in the traces of the
grieving goddesses. White garments were first
introduced into the festival in 168 (of this era). Probably this was
the influence of the Egyptian mysteries, the
cult of Isis, of which such white garments were characteristic. But
the classical period the garments worn on the
occasion of the myesis were
high esteem. They were dedicated to the
goddesses or kept as swaddling clothes for the new generation, although
the simplest sort of dress, that worn by
beggars and wayfarers.. Apart from the myrtle the mystai are identified
as such by
two other signs: the women bear kykeon
vessels carefully bound to their heads, and
in the hands of the men we recognize the
little pitcher which Herakles, Hermes, and the gods of Agrai held in
was a kind of procession of spirits, cloaked
in a veil of secrecy, which became more and
more dense as the mystai approached Eleusis ... On the bridge the
awaited by mockery and strange games, the gephyrismoi,
or ‘bridge jests’.
According to one report they were performed
by a woman, a hetaira ... In Aristophanes a comic old woman boasts of
at the bridge, in a cart (Plutus 1014). She
was playing the role of Iambe, or rather of Baubo, who with her jokes
gestures moved Demeter to laughter (note: see
below, Clement of Alexandria). This episode served to relieve the
the mystai. It was the moment to drink of the
kykeon which the women had brought along
on their heads …
which is today still in evidence, the salty
Rheitoi, was also crossed by a bridge ... Here, in all probability, the
had to identify themselves with the words
that have come down to us as their password and sign of recognition, or synthema. They are a summary of everything the initiated had to do before being admitted to the epopteia. In the form that has come down to us, only what was no secret is stated clearly: ‘I have fasted,
drunk the kykeon, taken things out of the big basket and, after performing a rite,
put them in the little basket, whence I put them back in the big basket’.
“The word that I have translated as ‘little basket’ is kalathos, while the ‘big basket’ is kiste, the cista mystica. The ‘rite’ refers to the myesis …
The kalathos may have belonged to the Kore ... the cista mystica
on which Demeter
is sitting [is that] from which the unnamed
mysterious something is taken to be put into the little basket and to
(Clement of Alexandria, Protrept. 22. 19) on the Eleusinian Mysteries as celebrated in
about the end of the 2nd century of this era: “Demeter, wandering
Eleusis, which is a part of Attica, in search
of her daughter the Maiden (Kore) ... sits down at a well in deep
This display of grief is forbidden, up to the
present day, to those who are initiated, lest the worshippers should
imitate the goddess in her sorrow ... Baubo,
having received Demeter as a guest, offers her a draught of wine and
declines to take it, being unwilling to drink
on account of her mourning. Baubo is deeply hurt ... and thereupon
her secret parts and exhibits them to the
goddess. Demeter is pleased at the sight, and now at last receives the
delighted with the spectacle. These are the
secret mysteries of the Athenians. These are also the subjects of
I will quote you the very lines of Orpheus,
in order that you may have the originator of the mysteries as a witness:
“ ‘This said, she drew aside her robes, and showed
Her body all unveiled; child Iacchus was there,
And laughing, plunged his hand below her breasts.
Then smiled the goddess, in her heart she smiled,
And drank the draught from out the glancing cup’.
“And the formula of the Eleusinian mysteries is as follows: ‘I fasted; I drank the
I took from the chest: (kiste); having
done my task, (note by Butterworth: ‘Lobeck
suggested “having tasted”, which meaning can be obtained by
a slight change in the Greek’), I placed in
the basket (kalathos), and from the basket into the chest’ …
too, the contents of the mystic chests ...
Are they not sesame cakes, pyramid and
spherical cakes, cakes with many navels, also balls of salt and a
serpent ... Are they
not also pomegranates, fig branches, fennel
stalks, ivy leaves, round cakes and poppies? These are their holy
things. In addition,
there are the ineffable symbols of Ge Themis,
marjoram, a lamp, a sword, and, a woman’s comb (kteis), which is a euphemistic expression used in the mysteries for a woman’s secret parts”.
The Nocturnal Rites, The Holy Night.
(Kerenyi, Eleusis, p.
75) “Through the Gateways and the Courtyard
… We seem to be able to follow
the procession through this passage-way.
Holding a torch in each hand, the Dadouchos, the second priest of the
rite, must at nightfall have lighted the way
for the procession on its ascending path”.
p. 79) “Though part of the procession is depicted
on the remains of a pedestal ... we possess
no representations of the whole procession that might have shown us all
dignitaries at its head: the Hierophant, the
Dadouchos, the priestesses, and the Hierokerykes, or Mystery heralds,
the rest. But it is certain that they all
took part in the procession and that the holy night had already begun
reached the dancing ground outside the walls
of the sacred precinct ...
painter of Niinnion’s votive tablet (about
400 before this era) put two torches in the hands … of Hekate, the
leader of the women initiates, for whom this
is nothing surprising … On Niinnion’s tablet Demeter receives the
arriving mystai near the omphalos. In radiant
colour, she is sitting on a rock, the agelastos
petra … Beside her a soft seat is
prepared for her daughter, who, painted in dark colours, sits enthroned
the background: the true queen of the
underworld. On the ground in front of the white hemisphere lie two
bundles of myrtle,
which have been laid down by the mystai, and
some sacrificial cakes such as those depicted on the brackets of the kistophoroi …
(id. p. 82) “On the Threshold
of the Telesterion. The mystai streamed towards the Telesterion (i.e.
temple of initiation) ... The building bore a
roof with a peak which could be opened to serve as a kind of chimney.
holy night of the 19th of Boëdromion great
fire and smoke burst forth from it, breaking as it were, the secrecy of
“The content of the epopteia (i.e. ‘seeing’;
the Beatific vision) is named
in a papyrus fragment with a few lines from
an oration of Hadrian’s time. The words are put into the mouth of
in a situation that the author had no need to
invent. He drew on the Eleusinian tradition ... the last words of the
fragment: ‘(I have beheld) the fire, whence
(... and) I have seen the Kore’.”(id.
p. 88), “In the Telesterion. The entire procession did not enter the Telesterion
in order to see. For it consisted of mystai of the Lesser Mysteries and possibly of
epoptai, who had already ‘seen’ Eleusis. It was not forbidden to participate
several times in the epopteia
… Starting in the early morning, they reached
the threshold of the sanctuary in the
darkness. But they were not yet at their goal. ‘Until thou hast reached
says the orator Maximos of Tyre, xxix 3),
‘thou has not been initiated’. The word anaktoron,
‘palace’, also applied, but only in an extended sense,
to the whole building which received the
mystai. Within it was a small edifice which originally bore this name
and which is
the important archaeological discovery with
which we must concern ourselves if we are to form a picture of Kore’s
in the Mysteries”.
(id. p. 90) “It has been
possible to determine precisely the situation and orientation of the
which the Hierophant sat or in front of which
he stood, when, like the Bishop of the Christian liturgy, he officiated
ceremony. The nature of his office is
expressed in his title: strictly speaking, hierophantes
means not he who ‘shows the holy things’ that would have been called hierodeiktes in Greek - but ‘he who makes them appear’,
phainei. His throne, to the right of
the single door of the little anaktoron, was turned towards it. There
can be no
doubt that what he ‘made to appear’ came from
there. On the other three sides the throne was screened off: no
other impression must distract the Hierophant
in his concentration on the awaited epiphany ...
edifice with its secrets must have been opened at a word from the
A great light burst forth, a fire blazed up;
but it is certain that this was not yet the ineffable, holy thing that
appear. Many authors speak of this fire”.
(id. p. 94) “The queen of the underworld would be called ... At Eleusis, it must have
been the Hierophant who intoned the call for Kore. He beat the echeion, the instrument
with the voice of thunder. The epopteia
began; ineffable things were seen. A vision
of the underworld goddess may be derived from
the papyrus fragment (Milan Papyrus No. 20, line 31). If an
in Sopatros’ text has been properly
corrected, a figure - schema ti - rose above
the ground. (note on p. 202): Charles Lenormant suggests ... ‘une figure qui s ’élève
audessus du plancher’. It seems most
likely that this emendation is correct. According to Plutarch, the
undergo a complete transformation: they act
as it is fitting to act in the presence of a deity. If we now reread the
words of the quotation, it becomes evident
that Plutarch also had in mind the epiphany of a deity”.
(Mircea Eliade, Rites of Initiation,
p. 110) on the Eleusinian Mysteries: “it is
by virtue of this nearness of the Goddesses, and finally of their presence, that the initiate (mystes) will have the unforgettable experience of initiation”.
p. 95) The Eleusinian version of the Visio Beatifica … There is undeniable
evidence that the epopteia conferred happiness. Unquestionably beatitudo, the telos attained in the Telesterion, was engendered at
once, hic et nunc. But it left room for elpis,
hope and anticipation”. (id.
p. 97) on the votive stele of Eukrates: “Over
the inscription are two eyes ... Above … is
the head of a goddess surrounded by red rays. The rays suggest the light
in which the goddess appeared ... These
testimonies show indirectly that the great vision, the visio
beatifica of Eleusis, was seen with open, corporeal eyes ... Persephone was the object of vision.” (id. p. 101) “The fire of Persephone in the Telesterion” was only a curtain of fire and outwardly,
for the world, an announcement of the beatific event that had taken place within”.
For the Epiphany of Kore at Alexandria, see under January 6th.
p. 94) “In a second phase - how
much later we do not know - the Hierophant,
silent amid profound silence, displayed a mown ear of grain”.
Refutatio, V8, 39, cited by Kerenyi, Eleusis,
p. 202) “The Athenians when initiating
(people) into the Eleusinian (Mysteries) show to those who have been
the mighty and wonderful and most perfect
mystery for an epopt there - a mown ear of corn -in silence”.
on Clem. Alex. Protrept,
p. 385) on the Eleusinian Mysteries: “The following
list will give some idea of the ceremonies …
The exposition of an ear of corn, a symbol of Demeter”. (Kerenyi,
Eleusis, p. 147) “This duality - the scission of the Mother into ‘mother
and daughter’ opened up a vision of the feminine source of life ... just as
the ear of grain had opened up a vision into the ‘abyss of the seed’.” (Larson, Rel. of Occident, p. 68) “the initiates are shown ‘an ear of corn in silence reaped’, which
was the mystic Eucharist”. Note: Barley, water and mint (pennyroyal) are the ingredients of the kykeon, carried by the women, and drunk on the way to Eleusis (see above).
showing of the ear of corn may in fact be a symbolic representation
of the display of Baubo to Demeter, regarded
by Clement of Alexandria as the secret of the Eleusinian Mysteries. The
association between the grains of certain
cereals and the vulva is shown in the Japanese scriptures. Here the
Ogetsu-Hime (Uke-Mochi) produces food from
different parts of her body. Thus (The Kojiki,
1.18.4) “in her genitals ... Wheat”, and the variant reading (Dale Saunders in
Myth. of Ancient World, Japan, p. 437) “genitals - barley”. (Durdin-Robertson, Idols, Images and Symbols, China and Japan, p. 42) “This association [in the Kojiki] between barley and
wheat and the Goddess’s genitals would suggest a recognition of their
similarity, the grains of both these cereals
having a longitudinal division resembling the vulva.” Thus the “vision
into the “abyss of the seed” would also be
the “vision of the feminine
source of life”.
action of a similar nature appears also to have been performed. (Kerenyi, Eleusis,
p. 106) “ ‘By touching a reproduction of a
womb, the initiate evidently gained certainty of being reborn from
the womb of the Earth Mother and so becoming
her very own child (Kern, Pauly-Wissowa, Real-Enc.
XVI Col. 1249; after A. Korte)’. The
assumption which - if justified - would in one opinion give the
Mysteries a sublime
... content is as follows: A replica of a
womb was contained in the cista mystica,
and with it the action mentioned in the synthema was undertaken”. (id. p. 206) “The supposed testimony as to the womb - Theodoretos, Graecarum
affectionum curatio, VII, 11 … - is couched in very general terms”.
(Neumann, The Great Mother,
p. 324) on the Eleusinian
Mysteries: “in the mysteries the male was
enabled, through the experience of the creatively transforming and
power of the Great Mother, to experience
himself as her son”. (Hargrave Jennings cited by Durdin-Robertson, Init. and Myst., p. 25) “According to Theodoret, Arnobius and Clemens of Alexandria, the Yoni of the
Hindus was the sole object of veneration in the Mysteries of Eleusis (Demosthenes, On the Crown)”.
Among the accounts describing the effects of the epopteia is the following: (Enc. Brit. 1810 ed., Mysteries) on the things seen at the Eleusinian Mysteries: “The sight of those appearances was called
the Autopsia or ‘the real presence’; hence these rites were sometimes
called Epoptica”. (id.) “The Epoptai
having ... heard and seen everything
requisite, taken upon them the vows and engagements above narrated, and,
in a word having
shown themselves good soldiers of Ceres and
Proserpine, were now declared perfect men
… They were not only perfect but regenerated men. They were now crowned with
laurel ... and dismissed with the two barbarous words Konx, ompax,
of which perhaps
the hierophants themselves did not comprehend
the import. They had been introduced by the first Egyptian
remained in the Sacra after their signification was lost”.
Greek: DEMETER and PERSEPHONE; Roman: CERES and PROSERPINA;
The Greater Eleusinian Mysteries, Seventh Day. (Lempriere, Dict.)
... On the seventh day were sports, in which
the victors were rewarded with a measure of barley, as that grain had
sown at Eleusis”.
General: St. Michael and All Angels. (Church
of England Cal. and Church of Ireland Cal.) “September 29th. S. Michael
and All Angels”. (Perp. Fest. Cal.) “September 29th. Archons and Archangels”.
(Fell. of Isis Dir.) “Archangel Michael and All Angels. Awareness of the realm
of the Sidhe, Devis and Devas, elemental spirits and all Orders of Angels”.
Greek: DEMETER and PERSEPHONE; Roman: CERES and PROSERPINA; The Greater Eleusinian
Mysteries, Eighth Day. (Lempriere, Dict.) “Eleusinian ... The eighth
day was called Epidaurión Hémera,
Aesculapius, at his return from Epidaurus to
Athens, was initiated by the repetition of the lesser mysteries. It
therefore, to celebrate them a second time
upon this, that such as had not hitherto been initiated might be
Roman: MEDITRINA; The Meditrinalia. (Lempriere, Dict.) “Meditrina,
the goddess of medicines, whose festivals, called Meditrinalia, were celebrated at Rome the last day of September
when they made offerings of fruits, Varro de L.L.5, C. 3.” See also under October
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