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APPROACH THE GODS THROUGH EROS
Bronze statue in the possession of the author who releases the foto to the Public Domain: Ἔρως (modeled after Houdon's Cupid).

ΔΙ ΕΡΩΤΟΣ ΠΡΟΣΕΓΓΙΣΗΣ ΤΩΝ ΘΕΩΝ
Eros, which flows between Gods and Mortals
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Approach the Gods through Ǽrohs (Di Ǽrohtos Prosǽngisis ton Thæóhn; Gr. Δί Ἔρωτος Προσέγγισης τόν Θεῶν) [1] 

If we approach Deity like a child, with simplicity, innocence, and imagination, we are able to see the great beauty of the Gods; it is by this attraction that we approach them. This attraction is called Ǽrohs (Eros; Gr. Ἔρως, ΕΡΩΣ). Ǽrohs, who the Romans called Cupid, is often depicted in iconography as a childlike, winged being shooting arrows, but Ǽrohs is not a personal God; Ǽrohs is a force, an energy, the force of attraction. We are drawn to the Gods. This attraction arouses their attention. They feel the strength of our Ǽrohs and this causes them to be attracted to us, for our Ǽrohs is an invitation and it is beautiful. There is a great law that the Gods never violate; they never impose, for the Gods live in freedom and they desire this freedom for all beings. Therefore, the Gods patiently wait for our progress, through many incarnations, until we are able to perceive their beauty, and when this occurs, it is an invitation which the Gods have been waiting for a great deal of time. And now Ǽrohs flows back and forth between Gods and men. 

Ællinismόs (Hellenismos; Gr. Ἑλληνισμός), the ancient Greek religion, is based on Ǽrohs; ours is an Erotic religion, based not on sex but on the passionate relationship between Gods and mortals. The word Ǽrohs is often translated with the English word "love" and there is something valid to this translation, yet Ǽrohs is more than love. The scholastic dictionaries often connect Ǽrohs with sexual passion, and there is something valid to that perspective also. Ǽrohs is the reaction that occurs when the soul directly perceives beauty, and desires it passionately. So the beautiful becomes the object of our rapturous desire, and we become the object of the love of the Gods. This great power
 is known by the epithet Pyrphóros  (Gr. Πυρφόρος), which means bearer of fire, for Ǽrohs is passionate.

Ǽrohs is Attraction, the fifth Natural Law under the dominion of the Goddess Íra (Hera; Gr. Ἥρα). Íra tries to develop Ǽrohs in the Aithír of our soul, which flows between the mind and the will. The soul consists of three parts, like the three parts of an egg: the mind (cortex), the will (yolk), and the Aithír in between them, in which reside the emotions. It is necessary for Ǽrohs to develop between the mind and the will, in which case harmony is possible. Likewise, on a larger scale, Íra tries to develop Ǽrohs in our communication with the world and with the Gods. Íra has governance over the kosmic Ǽrohs. 

Ǽrohs is the catalyst which propels the construction of the Four Pillars of Ællinismόs, for Ǽrohs arouses the desire to learn the religion (Akoí; Gr. Ἀκοή); Ǽrohs makes possible communication between Gods and men (Thæouryía; Gr. Θεουργία); Ǽrohs motivates the mind to uncover truth and develop wisdom (Philosophía; Gr. Φιλοσοφία); and Ǽrohs stirs the soul to achieve virtue (Arætí; Gr. Ἀρετή).

There is another form of Ǽrohs which is the dominion of Pándimos ("popular" or "vulgar;" Gr. Πάνδημος) Aphrodíti; this is the attraction involved in the sexual union of mortals, which is not our current subject.


Excerpts from the Sympósion (Symposium; Gr. Συμπόσιον) of Plátohn  (Plato; Gr. Πλάτων):

"What! Said I, must Love (ed. Ǽrohs [2]) then be a mortal? - Far from that, replied she. - Of what nature was he then? I asked her. - Of like kind with those natures we have just now been speaking of, an intermediate one, between the mortal and the immortal. - But what in particular, O Diotima? - A great dæmon, replied she. [3] For the dæmon-kind is of an intermediate nature between the divine and the human. - What is the power and virtue of this intermediate kind of being? - To transmit and to interpret to the Gods what comes from men; and to men, in like manner, what comes from the Gods; from men their petitions and their sacrifices; from the Gods in return, the revelation of their will. Thus these beings, standing in the middle rank between divine and human, fill up the vacant space, and link together all intelligent nature. Through their intervention proceeds every kind of divination, and the priestly art relating to sacrifices, and the mysteries and incantations, with the whole of divination and magic. For divinity is not mingled with man; but by means of that middle nature is carried on all converse and communication between the Gods and mortals, whether in sleep or waking. Whoever has wisdom and skill in things of this kind is a dæmonical man: the knowing and skilful in any other thing, whether in the arts, or certain manual operations, are illiberal and sordid. These dæmons are many and various. One of them is Love." [4]
 

"DIOT: No God is a philosopher or seeker after wisdom, for he is wise already; nor does any man who is wise seek after wisdom. Neither do the ignorant seek after wisdom. For herein is the evil of ignorance, that he who is neither good nor wise is nevertheless satisfied with himself: he has no desire for that of which he feels no want.

SO: But who then, Diotima, are the lovers of wisdom, if they are neither the wise nor the foolish?

DIOT: A child may answer that question. They are those who are in a mean between the two; Love is one of them. For wisdom is a most beautiful thing, and Love is of the beautiful; and therefore Love is also a philosopher or lover of wisdom, and being a lover of wisdom is in a mean between the wise and the ignorant.  [5]


"DIOT: What is the cause, Socrates, of love, and the attendant desire? See you not how all animals, birds, as well as beasts, in their desire of procreation, are in agony when they take the infection of love, which begins with the desire of union; whereto is added the care of offspring, on whose behalf the weakest are ready to battle against the strongest even to the uttermost, and to die for them, and will let themselves be tormented with hunger or suffer anything in order to maintain their young. Man may be supposed to act thus from reason; but why should animals have these passionate feelings? Can you tell me why? 
 
SO: I replied that I did not know.

DIOT: And do you expect ever to become a master in the art of love, if you do not know this?

SO: But I have told you already, Diotima, that my ignorance is the reason why I come to you; for I am conscious that  I want a teacher; tell me then the cause of this and of the other mysteries of love.

DIOT: Marvel not if you believe that love is of the immortal, as we have several times acknowledged; for here again, and on the same principle too, the mortal nature is seeking as far as is possible to be everlasting and immortal: and this is only to be attained by generation, because generation always leaves behind a new existence in the place of the old." [6]


Excerpt from Alkiviádis Álpha (First Alcibiades; Gr. Ἀλκιβιάδης αʹof Plátohn

"SOHKRÁTIS: And if any one has fallen in love with the person of Alcibiades, he loves not Alcibiades, but the belongings of Alcibiades?

ALKIVIÁDIS (Alcibiades; Gr. Ἀλκιβιάδης): True.

SO: But he who loves your soul is the true lover?

AL: That is the necessary inference.

SO: The lover of the body goes away when the flower of youth fades?

AL: True.

SO: But he who loves the soul goes not away, as long as the soul follows after virtue?

AL: Yes.

SO: And I am the lover who goes not away, but remains with you, when you are no longer young and the rest are gone?

AL: Yes, Socrates; and therein you do well, and I hope that you will remain." [7] 



The Orphic Hymn to Ǽrohs

Please visit this page for a thorough examination of the Orphic hymn to Ǽrohs, a veritable snapshot of the essence of the God. It includes the Thomas Taylor translation, the original Greek text, an easy transliteration of the Greek text for anyone who may wish to learn the hymn in ancient Greek, a word-by-word examination of the poem, and a new translation of the hymn for purposes of study:

The Orphic Hymn to Ǽrohs






TITLES AND GLOSSARY OF ǼROHS

Please visit this page: The Epithets of Ǽrohs



The story of the birth of the GodsOrphic Rhapsodic Theogony.
We know the various qualities and characteristics of the Gods based on metaphorical stories: Mythology
Dictionary of terms related to ancient Greek mythology: Glossary of Hellenic Mythology.
Introduction to the Thæí (the Gods): The Nature of the Gods.


NOTES:

[1] διʹ (by) Ἔρωτος (Ǽrohs) προσέγγισις (approach) τῶν (the) Θεῶν (Gods)

[2] Jowett translates the word Ǽrohs (Gr. Ἔρως), as "love."  A better word would be attraction, or, perhaps, to leave the word untranslated. In Greek, the sentence is: Τί οὖν ἄν, ἔϕην, εἴη ὁ Ἔρως (Ǽrohs); θνητός; Ἥκιστά γε.

[3] Jowett translates the word daimohn (Gr. δαίμων) as "spirit." Spirit is a Christian word which we avoid using as it has the incorrect connotation, implying an immaterial existence.

[4] Plátohn (Plato; Gr. Πλάτων) Sympósion (Symposium; Gr. Συμπόσιον) 202d-203a, trans. Thomas Taylor & Floyer Sydenham, 1804; found here in the 1996 Prometheus Trust edition entitled The Works of Plato Vol. 3, Huan House (Somerset, UK) where this quotation may be found on pp. 529-530.

[5] Plátohn Sympósion 203-204, translated by Benjamin Jowett, 1892; found in the 1937 Random House edition of The Dialogues of Plato, Vol. I, p. 329.

[6] Plátohn Sympósion 207, Jowett p. 332.

[7] Plátohn First Alkiviádis (First Alcibiades; Gr. Ἀλκιβιάδης αʹ) 131c-d, DPII = Plátohn; translated by Benjamin Jowett, 1892, volume 2 of the 1937 Random House edition of The Dialogues of Plato, p. 767. Some scholars question whether this dialogue was actually written by Plátohn.


"Love each other dearly always. There is scarcely anything else in the world but that: to love one another."

(These being the dying words of Jean Valjean spoken to Cosette and Marius. Victor Hugo Les Misérables, Jean Valjean, Book Ninth, Chapter 5, just before the very end of the book. Trans. Charles E. Wilbour, 1862, as can be found in the 1998 Everyman's Library edition, Alfred A. Knopf [New York – London – Toronto] p. 1431)







The logo to the left is the principal symbol of this website. It is called the CESS logo, i.e. the Children of the Earth and the Starry Sky. The Pætilía (Petelia; Gr. Πετηλία) and other golden tablets having this phrase are the inspiration for the symbol. The image represents this idea: Earth (divisible substance) and the Sky (continuous substance) are the two kozmogonic substances. The twelve stars represent the Natural Laws, the dominions of the Olympian Gods. In front of these symbols is the seven-stringed kithára (cithara; Gr. κιθάρα), the lyre of Apóllohn (Apollo; Gr. Ἀπόλλων). It (here) represents the bond between Gods and mortals and is representative that we are the children of Orphéfs (Orpheus; Gr. Ὀρφεύς). 



PLEASE NOTE: Throughout the pages of this website, you will find fascinating stories about our Gods. These narratives are known as mythology, the traditional stories of the Gods and Heroes. While these tales are great mystical vehicles containing transcendent truth, they are symbolic and should not be taken literally. A literal reading will frequently yield an erroneous result. The meaning of the myths is concealed in code. To understand them requires a key. For instance, when a God kills someone, this usually means a transformation of the soul to a higher level. Similarly, sexual union with a God is a transformation.


The story of the birth of the GodsOrphic Rhapsodic Theogony.
We know the various qualities and characteristics of the Gods based on metaphorical stories: Mythology
Dictionary of terms related to ancient Greek mythology: Glossary of Hellenic Mythology.

SPELLING: HellenicGods.org uses the Reuchlinian method of pronouncing ancient Greek, the system preferred by scholars from Greece itself. An approach was developed to enable the student to easily approximate the Greek words. Consequently, the way we spell words is unique, as this method of transliteration is exclusive to this website. For more information, visit these three pages: 

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