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GLOSSARY OF HELLENIC MYSTERY RELIGION
(ORPHISM)
Part Two

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GREEK WORDS CONCERNING THE STUDY OF ORPHISM (PART 2):
N
OTE: A list of abbreviations can be found on this page: GLOSSARY HOME.

Mæristí Ousía - (Meristi Ousia; Gr. Μεριστή Οὐσία. Ety. μερίς "part, portion.") The Mæristí Ousía is the divisible kozmogonic substance: Earth or Yi.

Mainádæs - (Maenads; Gr. Μαινάδες, ΜΑΙΝΑΔΕΣ) Mainádæs are the ecstatic female followers of Diónysos.

Mathimatikós - (mathematicus; Gr. μαθηματικός, ΜΑΘΗΜΑΤΙΚΟΣ. Noun [also adjective] Plural: μαθηματικοί.) The mathimatikí are advanced Pythagoreans of the doctrine of numbers. They were seen in contrast to the akouzmatikí (Gr. ἀκουσματικοί), those students of Pythagóras whose interest was centered on the secret mystical teachings.

Meilinóï - (Melinoe; Gr. Μειλῐνόη) Meilinóï is a Goddess honored in Orphic Hymn 71. She is presented as the offspring of Zefs (Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς) and Pærsæphóni (Persephone; Gr. Περσεφόνη) which would make her sister to Zagréfs (Zagreus; Gr. Ζαγρεύς, who was sacrificed by the Titans and whose heart was saved and born again as Diónysos from the leg of Zefs). All that can be said of Meilinóï can be discovered in her hymn, as this, other than a few scattered inscriptions, is the only text from antiquity concerning her which survives:

 

"I call, Melinoe, saffron-veil'd, terrene,
Who from infernal Pluto's sacred queen,
Mixt with Saturnian Jupiter, arose,
Near where Cocytos’ mournful river flows;
When, under Plouton’s semblance, Zeus divine
Deceived with guileful arts dark Proserphone.
Hence, partly black thy limbs and partly white,
From Pluton dark, from Jove ethereal bright
Thy colour'd members, men by night inspire
When seen in specter'd forms, with terrors dire;
Now darkly visible, involved in night,
Perspicuous now they meet the fearful sight.
Terrestrial queen, expel wherever found
The soul’s mad fears to earth’s remotest bound;
With holy aspect on our incense shine,
And bless thy mystics, and the rites divine."

(trans. Thomas Taylor, 1792; we are using a facsimile of the original edition where this quotation may be found on p. 202.)

Metragyrtes - See Mitrayírtis.

Mimallónæs - (Mimallones; Gr. Μιμαλλόνες, ΜΙΜΑΛΛΟΝΕΣ) Mimallónæs is the Macedonian name for Mainádæs, the ecstatic female devotees of Diónysos.

Mitrayírtis - (metragyrtes; Gr. μητραγύρτης, ΜΗΤΡΑΓΥΡΤΗΣ. Plural is μητραγύρται. Noun.) Mitrayírtai were wandering priestly beggars (of Κυβέλη, i.e. Cybele) in the Classical period who performed rituals for a fee and promised deliverance from past crimes committed. They were grouped together with the Orphæotælæstai, who behaved the same. See Orphæotælæstai.

Mousaios - (Musaeus; Gr. Μουσαῖος, ΜΟΥΣΑΙΟΣ) Mousaios is a figure who lived in such antiquity that the details of his life are cloaked in mystery. Literature attributed to Orphéfs usually opens addressing Mousaios, and tradition has it that he was his closest student, and like his teacher, he was a great thæológos (theologian; Gr. θεολόγος). It is even said that Mousaios was Orphéfs' son and that he was the Iærophántis (Hierophant; Gr. Ίεροφάντης) of the Ælefsínia Mystíria (Eleusinian Mysteries; Gr. Ἐλευσίνια Μυστήρια) during the life of Iraklís (Hercules; Gr. Ἡρακλῆς) in the age of Heroes (Διόδωρος Σικελιώτης Βιβλιοθήκη ἱστορική 4.25.1). Yet there is another tradition which declares him the son of Évmolpos (Eumolpus; Gr. Εύμολπος) and the first to teach the genealogy of the Gods (Διογένης Λαέρτιος Βίοι Prologue 3.)

Mousaios is said to have written a number of mystic compositions:

 

Χρησμοί (oracles)

Ὑποθήκαια (instructions)

Ἐξάκεσεις νόσων (thorough cure for illness)

Θεογονία (Theogony)

Τιτανογραφία (history of the Titans)

Σφαίρας [sphere], a poem about Dimítir

 …and other books. None of these texts have survived except in fragments.

Musaeus - See Mousaios.

Myǽoh - (myeo; Gr. μυέω, ΜΥΕΩ. Verb.) to teach, initiate into the Mysteries, to be initiated.

Mýisis - (myesis; Gr. μύησις, ΜΥΗΣΙΣ. Noun. Etym. μύω, "close, be shut.") initiation.

Mystagohyǽoh - (mystagogeo; Gr. μυστᾰγωγέω, ΜΥΣΤΑΓΩΓΕΩ. Verb.) perform mystic ritual, initiate.

Mystagohyía - (mystagogia; Gr. μυστᾰγωγία, ΜΥΣΤΑΓΩΓΙΑ. Noun.) worship, initiation into the Mysteries

Mystagohgós - (mystagogos; Gr. μυστᾰγωγός, ΜΥΣΤΑΓΩΓΟΣ. Noun.) mystic teacher introducing to or initiating into Mysteries, guide to those desiring the Mysteries. 

Mystárkhis - (mustarches; Gr. μυστάρχης, ΜΥΣΤΑΡΧΗΣ), chief of Μύσται, those initiated into the Mysteries.

Mystikós - (mysticus; Gr. μυστικός, ΜΥΣΤΙΚΟΣ. Adjective.) connected with the Mysteries.

Mystípolos - (mustipolus; Gr. μυστίπολος, ΜΥΣΤΙΠΟΛΟΣ. Adjective.) pertaining to the Mysteries.

Mystíria - (Musteria; Gr. Μυστήρια, ΜΥΣΤΗΡΙΑ. plural. From μύω, "to closebe shut," of the eyes) Mystíria are the Mysteries, the deepest understanding of the ancient Greek religion.

Mystiriazmós - (musteriasmos; Gr. μυστηριασμός, ΜΥΣΤΗΡΙΑΣΜΟΣ. Noun.) an initiation.

Mystirikós - (mustericus; Gr. μυστηρικός, ΜΥΣΤΗΡΙΚΟΣ. Adjective.) of or for the Mysteries.

Mystírion - (musterion; Gr. μυστήριον, ΜΥΣΤΗΡΙΟΝ. Noun. Typically in plural = Μυστηριτὰ; Orgies) Mystic truth, Mysteries, or secret rites orgies. Mystic articles.

Mýstis - (mystes; Gr. μὐστης, ΜΥΣΤΗΣ. Μύσται is plural. Noun.) one who is initiated. Sometimes Gods (such as Diónysos) are simply referred to by this word.

Mystodókos - (mustodocus; Gr. μυστοδόκος, ΜΥΣΤΟΔΟΚΟΣ. Adjective) of the initiated.

Næophándis - (neophantes; Gr. νεοφάντης, ΝΕΟΦΑΝΤΗΣ. Noun.) a μύστης newly initiated.

Nævrís - (nebris; Gr. νεβρίς, ΝΕΒΡΙΣ. Noun. Etym. νεβρός, fawn, the young of a deer.) the skin of a fawn, this being worn by Diónysos and his entourage.

Nebris - See Nævrís.

Nympholipsía - (Gr. Νυμφοληψία, ΝΥΜΦΟΛΗΨΙΑ) Nympholipsía is the experience of Ǽrohs (Eros or Attraction; Gr. Ἔρως) from the Gods when encountered by a male. This experience is not the same as the erotic love between ordinary humans. Cf. Æphivolipsía.

Ohmophayía - (Omophagia; Gr. Ὠμοφαγία, ΩΝΟΦΑΓΙΑ) Ohmophayía is communion with the God. The term refers to the eating of raw flesh by the Mainádæs (Maenads; Gr. Μαινάδες) in the rites of Diónysos. The ohmopháyion (omophagion; Gr. ὠμοφάgιον), a living animal, was sacrificed by means of sparagmós (Gr. σπαραγμός), 'ripping apart,' in imitation of Zagréfs (Zagreus; Gr. Ζαγρεὐς) being torn apart by the Titánæs (Titans; Gr. Τιτᾶνες). The raw flesh was then eaten in communion with the God, producing an experience known as OhmophayíaOhmophayía is not literal; it is symbolic of the opening of the centers of the soul. In ancient times there may have been instances, at least we see such activity described in the tragedies and mythology, where so-called Vákkhic practitioners actually killed and ate raw animals in the way described, but even in these ancient instances, such practitioners had misunderstood. Orphéfs is thought of as addressing such behavior as expressions of the deterioration of the religion and for his reforms he is known as the great restorer of the tradition. Similarly, the association of wine with Diónysos was used as an excuse for drunkenness; in reality, the intoxicating quality of wine is symbolic of the intoxicating quality of the Aithír (Αἰθήρ) of Zefs (Ζεύς). 

Omophagia - See Ohmophayía.

Onomákritos - (Onomacritus; Gr. Ὀνομάκριτος, ΟΝΟΜΑΚΡΙΤΟΣ) Onomákritos (520-485 BCE) was a khrismológos (χρησμολόγος, compiler of oracles) and diathǽtis (διαθέτης, arranger) of the works of Mousaios, the student or son of Orphéfs. He performed this task under the Peisistratídai (Πεισιστρατίδαι, the house of the Athenian tyrant Πεισίστρατος) but when it was discovered that he had interwoven some of his own compositions into the compilation of oracles, Ípparkhos (Hipparchus; Gr. Ἵππαρχος) banished him from Athens. Onomákritos and the Peisistratídai were eventually reconciled when the family was expelled from Athens. He supplied oracles to the Persian king Xerxes which may have played a role in convincing Xerxes to invade Greece. Onomákritos seems to have been a type of priest and his forgeries were likely not created with bad intentions, but since his work is lost, the content is uncertain. Pafsanías states (Παυσανίας 8.37.5) that Onomákritos is responsible for the mythology whereby the Titánæs are depicted in an unfavorable light, as the author of Zagréfs' sufferings, that is, of course, if the myth of Zagréfs and the Titánæs is taken literally.

Oöyænís - (Oögenes; Gr. ᾨογενής, ΩΙΟΓΕΝΗΣ) Oöyænís is an epithet of Prohtogónos (Protogonus; Gr. Πρωτογόνος) meaning born of an egg. (Orphic Hymn 6 Prohtogónos line 2)

Ophíohn - (Ophion; Gr. Ὀφίων, ΟΦΙΩΝ. Etym. from ὄφις "serpent.") The Titan God Ophíohn is found in the little Orphic thæogonía (theogony; Gr. θεογονία) in the Argonaftiká (Ἀργοναυτικά) of Apollóhnios Ródios (Απολλώνιος Ρόδιος). Ophíohn is described as the first to rule Ólympos (Όλυμπος), ruling jointly with Evrynómi (Eurynome; Gr. Εὐρυνόμη), the daughter of Okæanós (Ocean; Gr. Ὠκεανός). Ophíohn is also found in the writing of Phærækýdis (Φερεκύδης), and, as in Apollóhnios, he is defeated by Krónos (Κρόνος).

Ophionéfs - (Ophioneus; Gr. Ὀφιονεύς, ΟΦΙΟΝΕΥΣ) = Ophíohn. See Ophíohn.

Orgy - See Óryia.

Orphæotælæstís - (Orpheotelestes; Gr. Ὀρφεοτελεστής, ΟΡΦΕΟΤΕΛΕΣΤΗΣ. Noun. Ὀρφεοτελεσταί is plural.) Orphæotælæstai are practitioners or initiators of Orphic rites. Plátohn (Ρλάτων) and others speak derisively about some of these as being fraudulent teachers who took advantage of the superstitions of the ignorant, asking money for rituals which would assure the patsy of a better afterlife. (Πλάτων Πολιτεία [The Republic] 364b)

Orphéfs (Orpheus; Gr. Ὀρφεύς, ΟΡΦΕΥΣ) Orphéfs is considered as the founder of all Mystíria, the deepest meaning of the ancient Greek religion. He is called The Great Theologian because he taught us the theogony. And he is called the Great Reformer because he restored the religion from decay, superstition, and great misunderstandings. 

Orphiká - (Orphica; Gr. Ορφικά, ΟΡΦΙΚΑ. Adjective. Singular and plural.) The term Orphiká refers to all of the rites and, in particular, the literature associated with and usually attributed to Orphéfs (Ὀρφεύς). The term, when used in English, is often treated as a noun.

Orphikí - (Orphikoi; Gr. Ορφικοί, ΟΡΦΙΚΟΙ. Adjective, plural.) Orphikí is an adjective meaning Orphic.

Orphikí Ýmni - (Gr. Ορφικοί Ύμνοι, ΟΡΦΙΚΟΙ ΥΜΝΟΙ) The Orphikí Ýmni are the Orphic Hymns, a collection of eighty-seven hymns (some collections add one or more hymns) to the Gods which have been used in the Mystical rituals of Ællinismόs (Ἑλληνισμός), the ancient Greek religion.

Orphismós - (Gr. Ορφισμός, ΟΡΦΙΣΜΟΣ) Orphismós is the term used to refer to the Orphic Mystíria or, simply, the teachings attributed to Orphéfs.

Óryia - (orgia or orgy; Gr. ὄργια, ΟΡΓΙΑ. Etym. from ἔργον "work." Noun, plural of ὄργιον [rare].) the secret rites and worship of those initiated into Mysteries. 

Oryiasmós - (orgiasmos; Gr. ὀργιασμός, ΟΡΓΙΑΣΜΟΣ. Noun.) Lexicon entry: celebrating ὄργια, Mysteries.

Oryiastís - (orgiastes; Gr. ὀργιαστής, ΟΡΓΙΑΣΤΗΣ. Fem. ὀργιαστίς. Noun.) he/she who celebrates ὄργια.

Oryiázoh - (orgiazo; Gr. ὀργιάζω, ΟΡΓΙΑΖΩ. Verb.) to celebrate ὄργιαMysteries.

Oryiophándis - (orgiophantes; Gr. ὀργιοφάντης, ΟΡΓΙΟΦΑΝΤΗΣ. Noun.) priest who initiates into ὄργια.

Ousía - (Gr. οὐσίἁ, ΟΥΣΙΑ) Ousía is the ancient Greek word for substancemattermaterial.

Pærí pnévma - (peripneuma; Gr. περί πνεύμα, ΠΕΡΙ ΠΝΕΥΜΑ. That which is περί "around" the soul.) The pærí pnévma is the Aithir (Aether; Gr. Αἰθήρ) and all the khitóhnæs (χιτῶνες; garments) which surround the soul. Within the pærí pnévma are the archives of everything that has occurred to that soul.

Palingænæsía - (Palingenesía; Gr. Παλιγγενεσία, ΠΑΛΙΓΓΕΝΕΣΙΑ. Noun.)  the transmigration of the soulreincarnation, older term than μετεμψύχωσις.

Pandǽleia - (Panteleia; Gr. Παντέλεια, ΠΑΝΤΕΛΕΙΑ) Pandǽleia is the Pythagorean name for the number ten. Cf. Trietirikí Pandǽleia.

Paraisavázoh - (paraisabazo; Gr. παραισαβάζω, ΠΑΡΑΙΣΑΒΑΖΩ. Verb.) to be intoxicated with the Aithír of Σαβάζιος, i.e. Zefs (Ζεὺς) or Diónysos.

Pærimáktria - (perimactria; Gr. περιμάκτρια, ΠΕΡΙΜΑΚΤΡΙΑ. Noun.) A pærimáktria was a priestess associated by the common people with Orphismós in ancient times, although the identification is dubious. The pærimáktria used magic for purification. An γραῦς (old woman) pærimáktria usually refers to a witch.

Persinus - See Pythagóras.

Phánis - (Phanes; Gr. Φάνης, ΦΑΝΗΣ. Etym. ϕαίνω, "make known" "reveal") Phánis, according to Orphic kozmogony, is the Protogónos (Protogonus; Gr. Πρωτογόνος), the First-Born of the Gods. His name means "I reveal" and with this ability, he makes obvious the potential of the universe, a type of creation from pre-existent matter.

Physiká - (Physica; Gr. Φυσικά, ΦΥΣΙΚΑ) Physiká was an Orphic text attributed to both Onomákritos (Ὀνομάκριτος) and Vrondínos (Βροντῖνος). The book (not extant) discussed how the soul, after having been carried by the winds, is breathed into or inhaled by the body. These winds or their guardians are called Tritopátoræs (Τριτοπάτορες), and their action may be connected with the transmigration of the soul.

Protogónos - (Protogonus; Gr. Πρωτογόνος, ΠΡΩΤΟΓΟΝΟΣ) In the Orphic kozmogony, Protogónos is the First-Born of the Gods: Phánis (Φάνης).

Psykhí - (psyche; Gr. ψυχή, ΨΥΧΗ. Noun.) Psykhí is life, the soul. This author’s teacher prefers ψυχή over πνεῦμα to designate the soul, a term she associates more with Christianity.

Psykhogonía - (psychogonia; Gr. ψυχογονία, ΨΥΧΟΓΟΝΙΑ) the generation of the soul.

Pythagóras - (Gr. Πυθαγόρας) Pythagóras of Sámos (Gr. Σάμος) is regarded as Orphic because many of his ideas, such as reincarnation and the belief in the soul, are typical of Orphismós. Pythagóras not only influenced Plátohn (Plato; Gr. Ρλάτων), who held similar views, but also many Pythagoreans before Plato are seen as in the Orphic tradition, the following being an incomplete list:

Arignóhti (Arginote; Gr. Ἀριγνώτη) who wrote works concerning the Mystíria of Dimítir and Diónysos.

Kǽrkops (Cercops; Gr. Κέρκωψ) who wrote an Orphic work entitled Κατάβασις εἰς Αἵδου (The Descent to Hades) which is also ascribed to Pródikos (Prodicus; Gr. Πρόδικος).

 Pæsínos (Persinus; Gr. Περσῖνος) who wrote an Orphic work entitled Σωτηρῐ́ᾱς Ορφικά.

 Vrondínos (Brontinus; Gr. Βροντῖνος) who wrote an Orphic work entitled Φυσικά.

Zóhpyros (Zopyrus; Gr. Ζώπυρος) of Irákleia (Heraclea; Gr. Ἡράκλεια) who may have composed some Orphic poems himself and who worked with Onomákritos (Onomacritus; Gr. Ὀνομάκριτος), the compiler of the oracles of Mousaios.

Rhapsodies, Orphic - (Sacred Logos in Twenty-Four Rhapsodies; Gr. Ιερός Λόγος σε 24 Ραψωδίες) The Orphic Rhapsodies, which now only exist in fragments, seem to have been generally accepted as the "orthodox" thæogonía (θεογονία).

Savai - (sabai; Gr. σαβαῖ, ΣΑΒΑΙ) a Vákkhic cry, similar to εὐαίεὐοῖ.

Savázoh - (Sabazo; Gr. Σαβάζω, ΖΑΒΑΖΩ. Verb) to cry out to Σαβάζιος.

Scepter of Phánis - See Kirýkeion.

Sóhma - (soma; Gr. σῶμα, ΣΩΜΑ. Noun. Etym. σῆμα sign by which a grave is marked.) body of a mortal man, in Homeric times always meaning a corpse.


"...for, according to some, it (ed. the body) is the sepulchre of the soul, which they consider buried at present; and because whatever the soul signifies, it signifies by the body; so that on this account it is properly called σῆμα, a sepulchre. And indeed the followers of Orpheus appear to me to have established this name, principally because the soul suffers in body the punishment of its guilt, and is surrounded with this enclosure that it may preserve the image of a prison. They are of opinion, therefore, that the body should retain this appellation, σῶμα, till the soul has absolved the punishment which is her due, and that no other letter ought to be added to the name." (Plátohn Κρατύλος 400c, trans. Thomas Taylor 1804, found here in the 1996 Prometheus Trust edition entitled The Works of Plato Vol. V, Vol. XIII of The Thomas Taylor Series [Somerset UK], where this quotation may be found on p. 481.)

Sparagmós (Gr. σπαραγμός, ΣΠΑΡΑΓΜΟΣ. Noun.) Sparagmós refers to the tearing open the centers of the soul, resulting in Ohmophayía, union with the God.

Sphrayís - (sphragis; Gr. σφραγίς, ΣΦΡΑΓΙΣ. Noun.) Sphrayís is a seal. The phrases found at the beginning of Orphic texts, "Begone! you who are sinful. Close your doors! you who are profane," are a type of seal or sphrayís , protecting the text from profane eyes.

Symbola - See Sýmvola.

Sýmvola - (Symbola; Gr. Σύμβολα, ΣΥΜΒΟΛΑ) Sýmvola in the Mysteries are signs or tokens such as the Toys of Diónysos.

Synækhís Ousía - (Syneches Ousia; Gr. Συνεχής Οὐσία) The Synækhís Ousía is the continuous kozmogonic substance: Water-Fire-Aithír.

Sýnthima - (Synthema; Gr. Σύνθημα, ΣΥΝΘΗΜΑ. Noun.) The sýnthima is the password, indicating that the initiate has been properly prepared for initiation into the Mystíria.

Syrianós - (Syrianus; Gr. Συριανός, ΣΥΡΙΑΝΟΣ) Syrianós (died 437 CE) was head of the Platonic school in Athens after Ploutarkhos of Athens (but not the writer of biographies). He was the teacher of mighty Próklos (Proclus; Gr. Πρόκλος). Amongst other works, Syrianós wrote a treatise on Orphéfs and another harmonizing the ideas of the Platonic and Pythagorean philosophers with Orphismós, but both of these works are lost.

Sýstasis - (sustasis; Gr. σύστασις, ΣΥΣΤΑΣΙΣ. Noun.) Sýstasis is contact with a God; the term is often associated with the Neoplatonic practice of thæouryía (θεουργία), ritual.

Tælæsphoría - (telesphoria; Gr. τελεσφορία, ΤΕΛΕΣΦΟΡΙΑ. Noun. Etym. τέλος, "fruition" + φορά, "gestation.") initiation in the Mystíria.

Tælæstír - (telester; Gr. τελεστήρ, ΤΕΛΕΣΤΗΡ = τελεστής. Noun. Etym. τέλος "fruition" + τηρέω "to guard.") A tælæstír is an initiating priest. Cf. Tælæstís.

Tælæstírion - (telesterion; Gr. Τελεστήριον, ΤΕΛΕΣΤΗΡΙΟΝ) place of initiation.

Tælæstís - (telestes; Gr. τελεστής, ΤΕΛΕΣΤΗΣ = τελετής. Noun.) A tælæstís can refer to either the initiating priest or the one who has been initiated. Cf. Mýstis.

Tælætai - (Teletae; Gr. Τελεταί, ΤΕΛΕΤΑΙ) Tælætai is a lost Orphic text composed by Onomákritos (Ὀνομάκριτος) in which some (Shuster) believe included the first presentation of the Zagréfs mythology.

Tælætárkhis - (Teletarches; Gr. Τελετάρχης, ΤΕΛΕΤΑΡΧΗΣ. Noun.) Tælætárkhis is Orphéfs, the founder of Mysteries, ultimately Diónysos and Rǽa.

Tælætí - (telete; Gr. τελετή, ΤΕΛΕΤΗ. Plural is τελεταί.)a rite, esp. initiation into Mysteries, mystic text. In plural, any mystic ritual.

Tælætís - (teletes; Gr. τελετής, ΤΕΛΕΤΗΣ = τελεστής) See Tælæstís.

Thæoloyía - (theologia; Gr. θεολογία, ΘΕΟΛΟΓΙΑ) theology, the study of the divine.

Thæourgós - (theurgos; Gr. θεουργός, ΘΕΟΥΡΓΟΣ) The thæourgós is any individual who conducts ritual, priest. The word means divine worker. Ritual (thæouryía) is the divine work. The divine work is the worship of the Gods. The cosmic Thæourgós is the Dimiourgós, i.e. Zefs (Ζεὺς).

Thæouryía – (theurgy; Gr. θεουργία, ΘΕΟΥΡΓΙΑ. Noun.) Thæouryía is the worship of the Gods in ritual, the divine work, one of the Four Pillars of our religion.

Thiaseia - (Gr. θιασεία, ΘΙΑΣΕΙΑ. Noun.) Vákkhic festivity.

Thiasévoh - (thiaseuo; Gr. θιασεύω, ΘΙΑΣΕΥΩ. Verb.) initiate into the θίασος. See Thíasos.

Thiasóhtis - (Thiasotes; Gr. θιασώτης, ΘΙΑΣΩΤΗΣ. Noun.) member of a θίασος. See Thíasos

Thíasos - (Gr. θίασος, ΘΙΑΣΟΣ. Noun. Plural is θίασοι.) religious brotherhood and the festivities they participate in

Thronizmós - (thronismus; Gr. θρονισμός, ΘΡΟΝΙΣΜΟΣ = θρόνωσις. Noun.) Thronizmós is an enthronement in which the candidate for initiation is ceremoniously seated for purification. Cf. Thrónohsis.

Thrónohsis - (thronosis; Gr. θρόνωσις, ΘΡΟΝΩΣΙΣ = θρονισμός. Noun.) enthronement ceremony for those newly initiated into the Mystíria. Cf. Thronizmós.

Thyïpolía - (thuepolia; Gr. θυηπολία, ΘΥΗΠΟΛΙΑ. Noun. Pronounced: thee-ee-poh-LEE-ah) mystic rites.

Toys of Diónysos – The Toys of Dionysos are seven children’s toys, symbolic for sure, presented to Zagréfs (Ζαγρεύς, the first Diónysos) in a Basket by the Titánæs before he was sacrificed. They are:

 

1. Mirror (Ǽsoptrona; Gr. Ἔσοπτρονα)
2. Knuckle-Bones (Astrágalos or 'dice;' Gr. Ἀστράγαλος)
3. Sphere (Sphaira; Gr. Σφαῖρᾰ)
4. Top (Rómvos; Gr. Ρόμβος)
5. Apple (Míla; Gr. Μῆλα)
6. Cone (Kóhnos; Gr. Κῶνος [Orphic verses] or Stróvilos; Gr. Στρόβιλος [Clement])
7. Pókos (Gr. Πόκος, tuft of wool or donkey hair)

Triætirikí Pandǽleia - (Trieterike Panteleia; Gr. Τριετηρικὴ Παντέλεια, ΤΡΙΕΤΗΡΙΚΗ ΠΑΝΤΕΛΕΙΑ) Triætirikí Pandǽleia is the conclusion, completion of the Great Mysteries.

Triagmós - (Gr. Τριαγμὸς, ΤΡΙΑΓΜΟΣ) Triagmós is a mystical text (not extant) on the number three by the Pythagorean tragedian and philosopher Íohn (Ion; Gr. Ἴων) or possibly Æpiyǽnis (Epigenes; Gr. Έπιγένης).

Tritopátoræs - (Tritopatores; Gr. Τριτοπάτορες, ΤΡΙΤΟΠΑΤΟΡΕΣ. Plural of Τριτοπάτωρ.Τριτοπατέρες means simply "ancestors.") ancestors, great-grandfathers. The Tritopátoræs are wind or Aithír-daimonæs (δαίμονες), the great ancestors, who carry the soul between lives and blow it into a new body. See Physiká.

Vǽdi - (Bedu; Gr. βέδυ, ΒΕΔΥ = Ἀήρ. Noun.) Vǽdi is the mystic water (or misty air) of the Nymphs. (Orphic Frag. 219 Kern)

Vǽvilos - (bebelos; Gr. βέβηλος, ΒΕΒΗΛΟΣ. Adjective, singular. βέβηλοι is plural.) Vǽvili refers to the profane , the inappropriate intruders, the uninitiated. The rituals of the Mysteries open with the exhortation, θύρας δ' έπίθεσθε βέβηλοι, "Shut your doors, you who are profane!"

Vakkhefma - (Baccheuma; Gr. Βάκχευμα, ΒΑΚΧΕΥΜΑ; singular. Noun. Βακχεύματα is plural.) Vakkhéfmata are Vákkhic rites and festivities.

Voukolǽoh - (boukoleo; Gr. βουκολέω, ΒΟΥΚΟΛΕΩ. Verb.) Voukolǽoh is the act of worshiping Savázios (Σαβάζιος), who is Zefs (Ζεύς) and Diónysos (Διόνυσος). Savázios in this word (βουκολέω) is symbolized by the bull as βουκολέω literally means to tend cattle.

Voukolos - (boukolos; Gr. βούκολος, ΒΟΥΚΟΛΟΣ. Noun. Plural is βούκολοι.) he who tends cattle, metaphor for those (βούκολοι) who worship Diónysos, who is symbolized by the bull.

Water-Fire-Aithír are all Synækhís Ousía, continuous substance (in contrast to Earth, the Mæristí Ousía or divisible substance). In Orphic literature, Water-Fire-Aithír are typically simply called Water (Ὕδωρ), indicating all three. See Ýdohr.

Ÿæ! Kýæ! - (Ue! Kue!; Gr. Ύε! Κύε!, ΥΕ! ΚΥΕ! Pronunciation: EE-ay, KEE-ay) According to Athínaios (Ἀθήναιος) in Δειπνοσοφισταί (The Learned Banqueters) 11.496a, Ÿæ! Kýæ! is an exclamation made on the last day of the Ælefsínia Mystíria (Ἐλευσίνια Μυστήρια), the meaning of which is uncertain. Ÿæ is a verb calling out, "rain!" Kýæ (κύε) is a form of κυέω, meaning "to bring forth" or "conceive." This exclamation was pronounced while two libations to the dead were made; earthenware vessels were turned over (as is customary in libations to the dead, in other words, not poured but turned over), one to the east and one to the west. Athínaios states that a ritual formula was spoken, not specifically mentioning these two words, but it has been surmised by some scholars that this was the formula as it would seem that the libations were made near a well where the two words are inscribed.

Ýdohr - (Hydor; Gr. Ὕδωρ, ΥΔΩΡ. Noun.) Ýdohr is Water, the Synækhís Ousía, the continuous substance. The other kozmogonic substance is Earth. Ýdohr is active; Earth is receptive. Ýdohr is continuous; Earth is divisible. Plátohn (Plato; Gr. Πλάτων) calls these two substances the One (Monad) and the Other. In Orphic literature, the word Water usually represents all three types of Synækhís SubstanceWater-Fire-Aithír. See Earth. See Water-Fire-Aithír.

Yípsos - (gypsos or gypsum; Gr. γύψος, ΓΥΨΟΣ. Noun. Pronounced YEEPS-os) Yípsos is chalk or gypsum. The Titánæs smeared their faces with chalk before presenting the Toys to Diónysos. It is believed that in antiquity, Orphic initiates were smeared in this way symbolizing a type of purification.

Zopyrus - See Pythagóras.



For a list of terms specifically associated with the Eleusinian Mysteries, please visit this page:

Glossary of the Eleusinian Mysteries


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 

 

, 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.


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: 

Pronunciation of Ancient Greek        

 

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