M - Illustrated Glossary of Hellenic Polytheism

BEING A DICTIONARY OR BRIEF ENCYCLOPEDIA OF HELLENISMOS, THE ANCIENT PAGAN GREEK RELIGION

                                                                         
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PLEASE NOTE:  Throughout the pages of this Glossary, you will find fascinating stories.  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 often 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.

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ABBREVIATIONS:  A list of abbreviations used in the glossary can be found on this page: GLOSSARY HOME PAGE


Μ, μ (MU) - The Greek letter MU (pronounced mee) sounds like the m in Mary or museum.  See Pronunciation of Ancient Greek and Transliteration of Ancient Greek.

Mǽgæthos - (megethos; Gr. μέγεθος, ΜΕΓΕΘΟΣ) 1) Mǽgæthos is a Greek philosophical term meaning a magnitude: something which can be measured. 2)  In Homer the term Mǽgæthos refers to personal 'greatness', for instance the greatness of a hero.
- Lexicon entry: μέγεθος, Ion. (not Hp.) μέγᾰθος Hdt. (v. infr.):— greatness, magnitude, opp. πλῆθος. I. in Hom. always stature, of men and women. 2. freq. in dat., μεγέθει . . ἐκπρεπεστάτη in stature. II. of quality and degree, greatness, magnitude. 2. might, power. 3. greatness, magnanimity. 4. Rhet., loftiness, sublimity. III. Math., magnitude. 2. Astron., magnitude, of stars. IV. Gramm., metrical length. 2. τὰ ἐν τῷ μέτρῳ μ. the recognized lengths of lines in a metre. V. τὸ μ. τινός, as title, his Highness. (L&S p. 1089, left column, edited for simplicity.)

Mǽli - (meli; Gr. μέλῐ, ΜΕΛΙMǽli is the ancient Greek word for honey or the sweet ash-tree gum (manna). Honey is a major symbol in that it is golden, the color most associated with the Gods. Honey, also, preserves, thus it is representative of the immortality of the Gods. The word mǽli is etymologically related to other important words and names such as Mælíai, the ash-tree nymphs, and Mǽlissai.
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 Lexicon entry: μέλῐτό, gen. ῐτος, etc.; dat. μέλι; gen. pl. μελίτων:—honey; said to be made from the palm (φοῖνιξ), Hdt.1.193. 2. in comparisons, of anything sweet, esp. of eloquence. II. sweet gum collected from certain trees, manna. (Cf. Goth. milip, Lat. mel.) (L&S p.1097, left column, edited for simplicity.)

Mælía - (melia; Gr. μελία, ΜΕΛΊΑ) Mælía is the manna ash tree.
- L
exicon entry: μελία, Ep. μελίη, , manna ash, Fraxinus Ornus. II. ashen spear. (L&S p.1097, left column, edited for simplicity.)

Mælíai - (Meliae; Gr. Μελίαι, ΜΕΛΙΑΙ. Etym. μελία "wood ash" and μέλῐ "honey" and "sweet ash-manna gum") The Mælíai are the ash-tree nymphs.
-
 Lexicon entry: Μελίαι, αἱ, a race of nymphs said to have sprung from the spot of earth on which fell the blood of Uranus, Hes. Th.187Call. Jov.47, etc. (L&S p. 1097, left column)

Mælikraton - (melicraton; Gr. μελίκρατον, ΜΕΛΊΚΡΑΤΟΝ) Mælikraton is a libation of milk and honey; a libation of milk and honey made to the dead or to the Gods who have dominion over the realm of the dead.

Lexicon entry for mælikratonμελίκρᾱτον, Ion. μελί-κρητον, τό, (κεράννυμι) drink of honey and milk offered as a libation to the powers of the nether world; also, a mixture of honey and water. (L&S p.1097, right column)  

See Libation in Hellenismos.

Mælispontha - (melisponda; Gr. μελίσπονδα, ΜΕΛΊΣΠΟΝΔΑ) Mælispontha are drink offerings of honey, μ. θύειν Plu.2.464c, 672b, cf. Porph. Abst.2.20. (L&S p.1097, right column)  See Libation in Hellenismos.

Mǽlissai - (Melissae; Gr. Μέλισσαι, ΜΕΛΙΣΣΑΙ) Mǽlissai are "the Bees,"  1)  the priestesses of Demeter (Deo), of Artemis, of Delphi. (L&S p. 1097, right column)  2) The name of Mǽlissai can also be used to refer to the Nymphs, this on account of the story of the nymph Melissa, who is said to have discovered honey and its use. 3) the bee-priestesses of Minoan Crete who were followers of Pasifáï, (Pasifaë; Gr. Πασιφάη) the daughter of Helios and the wife of Minos.  4) the nymphs who, along with the Kuretes, protected the infant Zeus from his father Kronos (the Mæliai). They nursed the God, in particular the nymph Melissa, who fed him with honey and the milk of his foster-mother Amalthea (or the milk of Amalthea's goat).  See also Mæliai.

Mæristí Ousía - (Meristi Ousia; Gr. Μεριστή Οὐσία. Ety. from mærís [Gr. μερίς], "part, portion." [19]) The Mæristí Ousía is the divisible kosmogonic substance: Earth or Yi.

There is a story from mythology that Ǽrmis (Hermes; Gr. Ἑρμῆς) brought the infant Iraklís (Herakles; Gr. Ἡρακλῆς) to suckle the breast of the sleeping Íra but she awoke and pulled away her breast, spraying milk throughout the universe creating the galaxy of the Milky Way. (Hyginus' Astronomica II.43.) Gála (Gr. γάλα) means "milk" (L&S p.335. right column) ; Galaxías (Gr. Γαλαξίας) means "the Milky Way." (L&S p.336. left column) The Mæristí Ousía in the Kósmos is symbolized by the milk of Íra.

Mætæmpsýkhohsis (metempsychosis; Gr. μετεμψύχωσις, ΜΕΤΕΜΨΥΧΩΣΙΣMætæmpsýkhohsis is the Greek term meaning rebirthreincarnation, or the transmigration of the soul. This  is a late word; the more ancient term is  palingænæsía (palingenesía; Gr. παλιγγενεσία) [ref. Greek Philosophical Terms by F.E. Peters, 1967,  p. 151]. Cf. Palingænæsía.

Mætavolí - (MetaboleGr. Μεταβολή, ΜΕΤΑΒΟΛΉ) Mætavolí is one of the three astrological sign quadruplicities (Mutable) known as Changing, manifesting influence in the zodiacal calendar, in the following months:

Toxótis (Sagittarius)
Ikhthýs (Pisces)
Dídymi (Gemini)
Stákhys (Virgo or Spica)

Magia - See mayeia.

Magic - See Mayeia.

Magos - (Gr. Μάγος, ΜΆΓΟΣ) A Magos is a highly advanced soul who has, through his bond with the Olympian Gods, control over Natural Laws.  See magia.

Lexicon entry: Μάγος [], ου, , Magian, one of a Median tribe, Hdt.1.101, Str. 15.3.1: hence, as belonging to this tribe,   2 one of the priests and wise men in Persia who interpreted dreams, Hdt.7.37, al., Arist.Fr. 36, Phoen.1.5, Ev.Matt.2.1.   3 enchanter, wizard, esp. in bad sense, impostor, charlatan, Heraclit.14, S.OT387, E.Or.1498 (lyr.), Pl.R.572e, Act.Ap.13.6, Vett. Val.74.17: also fem., Luc.Asin.4, AP 5.15 (Marc. Arg.).   II μάγος, ον, as Adj., magical, μάγ τέχν πράττειν τι Philostr.VA1.2; κεστο φωνεσα μαγώτερα AP5.120 (Phld.). (Opers. maguš 'Magian'.)  (L&S p. 1071, right column)

Maia - daughter of Atlas and Pleione, eldest of the Pleiodes, mother of Lord Hermes by Zeus.  Maia is a nymph and is referred to in both of the Homeric Hymns to Hermes as a shy Goddess living alone in a cave.

Mákar - (Gr. μάκαρ, ΜΑΚΑΡ. Adj. masc. & fem. nom. sing.; μάκαρες is plural adj. masc. & fem. nom. & voc. plural.) Mákar means blessed, happy, and is an adjective as well as a noun; Mákar is a major epithet for any God.
Lexicon entry: μάκαρ [v. infr.], ᾰρος, ὁ, also μάκαρς; μάκαρ as fem. μάκαιρα :— blessed, happy, prop. epith. of the Gods, as opp. mortal men, μάκαρες the Blessed Ones; μ. ὀλίζονες lesser Gods, Call.Jov.72.—In this sense always in pl., exc. in addressing single Gods; μάκαιρα, of Persephone. II. of men, blest, fortunate; esp. wealthy. III. esp. μάκαρες, οἱ, the blessed dead; μακάρων νῆσοι the Islands of the Blest. IV. Sup. μακάρτατος; μακάρων μακάρτατε, of Zeus. (L&S p. 1073, right column, edited for simplicity.)

Mákaræs - (makares; Gr. μάκαρες, ΜΑΚΑΡΕΣ) Mákaræs means blessed, happy; this word (both an adjective and a noun) is a major epithet of the Gods; mákaræs is the plural of mákar. You will frequently see in the epics of Ómiros (Homer; Gr. Ὅμηρος), Μάκαρες Θεοὶ, the Blessed Gods. See Mákar.

Makaría - (Gr. μακαρία, ΜΑΚΑΡΙΑ) Makaría is happiness, bliss. II. foolishness, nonsense. (L&S p. 1073, right column, edited for simplicity.) III. personified, Makaría the daughter of Aidis (Hades; Gr. Ἅιδης), i.e. Ploutohn (Pluto; Gr. Πλούτων) and Pærsæphóni (Persephone; Gr. Περσεφόνη), the Goddess of a blessed death.
- Aristotǽlis (Aristotle; Gr. Ἀριστοτέλης) in Ηθικά Νικομάχεια (Nicomachean Ethics) implies that makaría is the happiness and blessedness of the Gods or the divine, while efdaimonía (eudaemonia; Gr. εὐδαιμονία) is a more earthly or human happiness, but he seems unsure if a mortal can achieve the more divine happiness of makaría. Cf. Efdaimonía.

Makariótis - (Greek:  Μακαριότης, ΜΑΚΑΡΙΟΤΗΣ) Makariótis is the basic characteristic of the Gods, that state of blessedness, happiness, and bliss. 2. Makariótis is the blessed joy achieved by Kouros (Gr. Κοῦρος) through valiant death.

Manna - Visit this page: Mánna.

Mántis (Gr. Μάντῐς. Feminine: Mántissa; Gr. Μάντισσα) - A Mántis is a prophet or seer who speaks the will of God. Apóllohn (Apollo; Gr. Ἀπόλλων) is the genuine Mántis because he knows and speaks the mind of Zefs (Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς).

Mantosyni - Please visit this page: DIVINATION IN HELLENISMOS - MANTOSYNI - ΜΑΝΤΟΣΎΝΗ.

Maponus - Keltic God equated with Apollo.  The God is depicted naked with a lyre.  (source:  Dictionary of Celtic Religion and Culture by Bernhard Maier, 2000, p. 187-188)

Marmarinus - surname of Apollon, from Marmarion, a town of Eubœa. 

Mars - Roman word for Ares.

Mároullos, Mikhaḯl Tarkhaneióhtis
- (Michael Tarchaniota Marullus; Gr. Μιχαήλ Μάρουλλος Ταρχανειώτης) (1458-1500 CE) Mikhaḯl Tarkhaneióhtis Mároullos Greek poet and Neoplatonist of the Italian Renaissance. Mároullos was influenced reading Plato, the writings of the emperor Julian, and others. For our purposes, the work of most interest by Mároullos is the Hymni naturales, poems dedicated to the Gods, written in Latin, known in English as the Natural Hymns.

From the third hymn (H I, 3) by Mároullos, dedicated to Love, 'gracious father of the heavenly ones, winged Cupid, lord of the broad ether, gleaming star and twofold glory of your twinned mother' (heavenly and earthy Venus):

O peace and the mighty restorer of mighty
Nature and the supporting pillar of all things,
O God whom I've adored, following your rite,
From my first years,

Be with me, finally O blessed boy.
Show your favour, and, pitying the blind emotions
Of my weak breast, come now, free me
From worldly cares.

37-44 (Marullus: Soldier Poet of the Renaissance by Carol Kidwell, 1989. Gerald Duckworth & Co., [London, England], p. 190.)

Marullus, Michael Tarchaniota -  See Mároullos, Mikhaḯl Tarkhaneióhtis.

Materialism, Mystic - Visit this page: Mystic Materialism.

Mayeia - (magic; Gr. μᾰγεία, ΜΑΓΕΙΑ.  Pronounced: mah-YEE-ah)  Mayeia is divine work performed by an advanced soul, the Magos (Gr. Μάγος), who has profound knowledge and ability concerning the Natural Laws.  It is a misunderstanding to think that mayeia has anything to do with ordinary views of magic and, particularly, with any notion of evil.  Exactly the opposite. The word mayeia (magic) is etymologically related to the root mægas (Gr. μέγᾰς), which means "great" or "high."  It is great or mighty because few have control over the Natural Laws; it is great or mighty because those who are able to utilize such power have an invincible bond with the Olympian Gods, who have dominion over the Natural Laws.

Lexicon entry: μᾰγεία, ἡ,  theology of the Magians, μ.ἡ ωροάστρου Pl.Alc.1.122a.  II. magicThphr.HP9.15.7 (pl.), Act.Ap.8.11 (pl.), PMag.Berol.1.127, etc.; τὴν γοητικὴν μ. οὐδ' ἔγνωσαν [οἱ μάγοιArist. Fr.36. (L&S p.1071, left column)

M
eal - See Deipnon

Meat - for a brief article concerning eating meat, please see visit the glossary entry for  animal products.

Medea
 - 
[Greek: Μήδεια]  the daughter of  the Okeanis nymph Eidyia (Idyia) and King Aeëtesof Kolkhis, granddaughter of Helios.    Medea had magic power from her aunt Circe.  She is not only involved with the mythology of Jason, but with the Trojan war, as well as the story of Theseus. 
 

In the most familiar story concerning her, Medea fell in love with the hero Jason (Iason) while on his quest to obtain the Golden Fleece.  After securing the fleece, destroying the trust of her family and killing her brother Apsyrtus, Medea and Jason fled Kolkhis.  But after ten years of marriage, Jason decided to abandon her and marry the daughter of the king of Corinth for political reasons.  Medea retaliated with a series of murders including that of their two children.  

Medea now fled to Athens and married King Aegeus.  By him she had a son Medus.  When Aegeus' long-lost son, Theseus,  came home, she plotted to kill him in order to insure the future of her own son.  She convinced Aegeus that Theseus was a danger and they gave him a cup of poison at a banquet, but Medea failed when Aegeus recognized Theseus' sword.

Medea now went back to Kolkhis.  She found that her father had been deposed by her uncle, whom she promptly murdered, restoring her father to the throne.

Like so much mythology, there are other variants of the story of Medea.  This author can find no account of her death, but in some myth, after her death she married Achilles in the Islands of the Blessed.

Meden agan - See Midǽn ágan.

Meristi Ousia - See Mæristi Ousia.

Midǽn ágan - (meden agan; Gr. μηδέν άγαν) Midǽn ágan is the famous Delphic maxim meaning "Nothing in excess." Cf. Gnothi sæafton.

Medusa - (Greek:   Μέδουσα)  Medusa is the daughter of the Sea-God Phorcys and Ceto.   She is  sister to the Graeae.  She is one of the Gorgons, who also are her sisters.   Of the three Gorgons, Medusa is mortal where the other two Gorgons are immortal, and like the other Gorgons, Medusa has hair and a girdle of snakes.  To look into their faces turns one into stone.

There is a story about Medusa that says she had been very beautiful.  But Medusa had desecrated the temple of Athena, who turned her beautiful hair into snakes.

The hero Perseus slew Medusa and cut off her head in his quest to win the hand of Andromeda.  He gave the head to Athena, who affixed it to her shield.

Megethos - See Mǽgæthos.

Meli - See Mæli.

Melia - See Mælia.

Meliae or Meliai - See Mæliai.

Melissa - 1) a surname of Artemis, Goddess of the moon, who aids women with the pain of childbirth,  2)  nymph who discovered honey and its use (by another account a male daemon named Melisseus is given this honor.  See Melisseus note 2).

Melisponda - See Mælispontha.

Melissae -  See Mælissai.

Melisseus - 1)  Melisseus was the ancient king of Crete who was the father of the nymphs that Rhea entrusted to raise the infant Zeus.  There are differing accounts of who these nymphs were.  In one story, Amalthea is the mother of Adrastea and Ida;  in another version of the story, the daughters (of Melisseus) are Melissa and Amalthea.  2)  rustic daemon who is said to have discovered honey and its use (by other accounts, this honor was given to the nymph Melissa).

Melpomene
 - One of the nine Mousai (Muses), Melpomene is the daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne.  She is the mother of the Seirenes (the Sirens).  She is the Muse of Tragedy.  The etymology of her name gives clues as to her other aspects, melpomai
, "celebrate with song and dance."

Memory - see Mnemosyne.

Meno's Paradox - This paradox is found in Plato's dialogue Meno (80).  The words are put in the mouth of Meno himself: "And how will you enquire, Socrates, into that which you do not know?  What will you put forth as the subject of enquiry?  And if you find what you want, how will you ever know that this is the thing which you did not know?" 

Socrates then elaborates the dilemma saying "I know, Meno, what you mean; but just see what a tiresome dispute you are introducing.  You argue that a man cannot enquire either about that which he knows, or about that which he does not know; for if he knows, he has no need to enquire; and if not, he cannot; for he does not know the very subject about which he is to enquire."  (DPI pp.359-360)  Socrates states that the argument is unsound (Meno 81) and  refutes the paradox by saying that inspired people, wise men, have said that the soul is immortal and is reborn many times.  Therefore, the soul can recollect all that she ever knew.

Mercury - Roman name for Hermes. 

Meristi Ousia - (Greek: Μεριστἠ Οὐσίἁ, ΜΕΡΙΣΤἨ ΟΥΣΊἉ) The Meristi Substance is Earth, one of the two basic material cosmogonic substances.   Earth is a receptive, female, and represented by Hera.   The other cosmogonic substance is the Synehis Ousia, called variously Water, Fire, or Æther, and is represented by Zeus.  Æther is active, formative male.  Earth is divisible.  Æther is continuous.  Plato calls these two substances the One (Monad) and the Other.

There is a story from mythology that Hermes brought the infant Herakles to suckle the breast of the sleeping Hera, but she awoke and pulled away her breast, spraying milk throughout the universe creating the galaxy of the Milky Way (Hyginus' Astronomica II.43). Gala (Gr. γάλα) means "milk" (L&S p.335. right column); Galaxias (Gr. γαλαξίας) means "the Milky Way" (L&S p.336. left column)  The Meristi Ousia in the Cosmos is symbolized by the milk of Hera.

Meristi comes from meris (Greek: μερἰς), part, portion.  (L&S p.1104, left column)

Lexicon entry for Ousia: οὐσί-α, II. stable being, immutable reality. 2. substance, essence. 3. true nature of that which is a member of a kind. 4. the possession of such a nature, substantiality. 5. in the concrete, the primary real, the substratum underlying all change and process in nature. Etc. (L&S p. 1274, right column)

Metaboli - See Mætavoli.

Metaphysics - Metaphysics is the study of the fundamental nature of reality and being.

Metempsychoses - See Mætæmpsýkhohsis.

Metis - See Mítis.

Metriotes - moderation  as exemplified in the Delphic maxim "nothing to excess"

Miasma - (Greek:  μίασμα)  1) stain, defilement, especially by murder or other crime, taint of guilt; 2)that which defiles, pollution.  (L&S p.1132, left column) 

Midǽn ágan - (meden agan; Gr. μηδέν άγαν) Midǽn ágan is the famous Delphic maxim meaning "Nothing in excess." Cf. Gnothi sæafton

Míla (Gr. Μῆλα, ΜΗΛΑMíla, the Appleis one of the Toys of Diónysos and also one of the great symbols of the Ælefsínia Mystíria (Eleusinian Mysteries; Gr. Ἐλευσίνια Μυστήρια).

2.
 The apple was one of the prizes at the Pythian games at Dælphí (Delphi; Gr. Δελφοί) and is sometimes used in the iconography of Apóllohn:

"Sometimes he (ed. Apollon, in iconography) holds an apple, the prize at the Pythian games."  (CM p.19)

"At their first institution (ed. the Pythian games), they were only celebrated once in nine Years, but afterwards every fifth Year, according to the number of Parnassian Nymphs, that came to congratulate Apollo, and brought him presents after his victory (ed. over the Python).  

"The rewards were certain Apples consecrated to Apollo, according to Ister, and the fore-sighted Epigram of Archias, in which he thus enumerates the Prizes in this, and the other three Sacred Games,

Αθλα δε των κότινο, μήλα, σελινα , πίτυς

"the prizes were  olive branches,  apples, celery, haulm (the stems or remainder of the wheat-ear)"  - all plants with sacred symbolism.

"Where Brodeus will  have  μήλα to signify the Delphian Lawrel, which, he tells us, brought forth berries streak'd with red and green, and almost as large as Apples; but this interpretation is by no means genuine or natural since the word μήλα is never used in that sense: However that be, 'tis certain the Victors were rewarded with garlands of Lawrel, as appears from the express words of Pindar, who tells us that Aristomenes was crowned with ποία Παρνασίας, or Lawrel that flourished upon mount Parnassus: whence some imagine that the Reward was double, consisting both of the Sacred Apples, and Garlands of Lawrel."  

(Archæologiæ Græcæ: or the Antiquities of Greece, by John Potter, 1770,  Ch. 23 On the Pythian Games, found in the second edition on p. 450)

Milikhia or meilichia - (meilichia; Gr. μειλιχία, ΜΕΙΛΙΧΊΑ) kindness, sweetness.

- Lexicon entry: μειλιχ-ίαEp. μειλιχίηgentleness, softnessμειλιχίη πολέμοιο lukewarmness in battle, Il.15.741kindnessHes.Th.206A.R. 2.1279, etc. 2. = ἱκετεία, Hsch. (L&S p.1093, left column; within the entries beginning with μειλίχ-ἠ)

Milk - Milk represents Queen Hera. While she was asleep, Zeus conspired to have the infant Herakles (or Hermes) suckle her breast, but she awoke, flinging milk throughout the universe, forming the galaxy, the Kosmic forces. Milk represents Hera and Earth, the Meristi substance.  Milk is used symbolically in ritual in the blessing of a house or a temple, washing the entryway.

"There is a certain circular figure among the constellations, white in color, which some have called the Milky Way. Eratosthenes says that Juno, without realizing it, gave milk to the infant Mercury, but when she learned that he was the son of Maia, she thrust him away, and the whiteness of the flowing milk appears among the constellations.

Others have said that Hercules was given to Juno to nurse when she slept. When she awoke, it happened as described above. Others, again, say that Hercules was so greedy that he couldn’t hold in his mouth all the milk he had sucked, and the Milky Way spilled over from his mouth."  (Hyginus Astronimica II:43, trans. Mary Grant)


For a brief article concerning drinking milk, please see visit the glossary entry for animal products.

Milokydóhnion - (Μηλοκυδώνιον, ΜΗΛΟΚΥΔΩΝΙΟΝMilokydóhnion (ancient) or simply kydóhni (modern Gr. κυδώνι) is the quince, a fruit sacred to Aphrodíti (Aphrodite; Gr. Ἀφροδίτη).

Mind - See Nous.

Minerva - Roman name for Athena. 

Minotaur
 -  
(Greek:   ΜῑνώταυροςMīnṓtauros) Minos quarreled with his brothers over the throne of Crete.  He asked the assistance of Poseidon, asking the God for a sign:  a perfect white bull.  The God gave him this sign.  Minos promised Poseidon that he would sacrifice the bull, but was so taken by the animal's beauty that he did not keep his agreement.  As punishment, Poseidon cause the king's wife Pasiphaë to fall in love with the bull.

Pasiphaë conspired with Daedelus, the genius inventor, to copulate with the bull.  Daedelus created a wooden cow so realistic that the Cretan bull mated with Pasiphaë, who was hidden within it.  The union produced the monster called the Minotaur who had the body of a man, but the head and tail of a bull.

In one version of the story, Minos waged war against Athens for the murder of his son Androgeus, and won.  He exacted a terrible penalty on the city:  at regular intervals (every nine years perhaps) seven Athenian male youths and seven Athenian maidens were to be fed to the Minotaur.  At the third such event, the Athenian king's son, Theseus, volunteered to go.

While in Crete, Ariadne, the daughter of Minos, fell in love with Theseus.  She acquired the assistance of Daedalus, who had created the Labyrinth in which the monster lived and from which no one returned.  Ariadne gave Theseus a ball of thread, allowing him to find his way back out.  Theseus killed the Minotaur with his father's sword, the sword of Aegeus.

Theseus, having escaped and saved his city this terrible fate, returned to Athens by ship.  He had told his father that if the mission succeeded, they would change the sails from a black color to white.  Theseus forgot to do this, and before he arrived, Aegeus committed suicide.

Mira - (Moira; Gr. Μοίρα, ΜΟΊΡΑ)  The word mira has many meanings; for our purposes, we are concerned with the philosophical definition of the term: Mira is one of three words which are all translated as destiny, but each of these words has a distinct meaning. Mira is defined as degree, like the degrees of a circle, one's current position in destiny. 

Lexicon entry for Mira:  part. 2. portion of land, of a country, etc. 3. division of a people. 4. political party.  5. degree, in the astron. and geog. sense; a division of the zodiacII. lotportion or share which falls to one, esp. in the distribution of booty.  2. generally, partlot.  III. one's portion in life, lotdestiny.  2. like μόρος, man's appointed doom; also, the cause of death.  IV. that which is meet and right.  2. respectesteem.  B. Μοῖρα the Goddess of Fate = destiny. (L&S pp.1140-1141)

Visit this page: DESTINY-ΜΟΊΡΑ-ΠΕΠΡΩΜΈΝΟ-ἘΙΜΑΡΜΈΝΗ.

Miracle - One of the definitions of the word miracle found in the 1944 edition of The New Century Dictionary is: "an effect in the physical world which surpasses all known human or natural powers and is therefore ascribed to supernatural agency (as, 'A miracle may be accurately defined, a transgression of a law of nature by a particular volition of the Deity, or by the interposition of some invisible agent') ." [1] This definition of miracle is regarded as superstition and an incorrect view of the nature of the Gods, who not only have dominion over the Natural Laws, but never violate them.  There is no spiritual or supernatural agency because the Kosmos consists of material substances; there is no "spiritual" god that is "above" and "before" the natural world.  The Gods are intrinsic to the Kosmos and therefore are expressions of the natural world with its laws.  Is there a type of miracle?  Yes, a genuine miracle is a wonderment, a marvel of the natural world.  The action of Zeus on the soul is a miracle, but this miracle is part of the natural world and complies with its laws.

[1] The New Century Dictionary of the English Language, Vol. Two, p.1067; P.F. Collier & Son, NY, 1944 edition.

MirrorThe Mirror is one of the Toys of DiónysosSee Ǽsoptrona.

Mítis - (Metis; Greek:  Μῆτις)

1)  In Orphic theogony, Mítis is one of the three aspects of Phanes known as the Triple God (source:  G.R.S. Mead in Orpheus, 1965, p.107). In this description, Mítis is thought of as the 'intellect', while Phanes is said to be the 'father', and Erikepaios is the 'power'.  (Mead, p. 109)

2) Mítis is one of the Oceanid Titan daughters of Okeanos and Tethys (Hesiod Theogonia, 358, 924), swallowed by Zeus (Hesiod, 886) when about to deliver Athena.

3) Mítis was a naiad nymph who gave birth (by Maion) to the great poet Homer. (source:  Homerica, Contest of Homer & Hesiod)

Mnemosyne - (Greek Mνημοσύνη, ΜΝΗΜΟΣΥΝΗΣ) the Goddess of remembrance, Memory. She is an extremely important deity for the Mysteries, as it is she who opens the key to former lives. Visit this page: MNEMOSYNE

Mnimósynon - (Memorial; Gr. Μνημόσυνον, ΜΝΗΜΟΣΥΝΟΝ) A mnimósynon is, literally, a memorial, but as regards our religion, the Mnimósynon is the funerary ritual.

Moira - See Mira.

Moirai - see The Fates

Momos - Blame 

Monad -  See Æn.

Monism – Monism is the belief that all phenomena are manifestations of a single principle.

Monolatrism - (monolatry; etymology: μόνος "single" + λατρεία "worship") Monolatrism is the exclusive or almost exclusive worship of only one deity while acknowledging the existence of other Gods. In very ancient times, the Egyptian Pharoah Akhenaten set up a monolatry with the worship of Aten, the Sun-disk. Many modern people who follow the traditions of Ællinismόs (Hellenismos; Gr. Ἑλληνισμός), the ancient Greek religion, practice a form of monolatrism; they will, for instance, center all their cultus on Ártæmis (Artemis; Gr. Ἄρτεμις) or Ærmís (Hermes; Gr. Ἑρμῆς). A more strict form of monolatry was practiced in ancient Israel, where, although other deities were acknowledged, the Jews were permitted the worship of only one; by the 6th century BCE, Judaism had become a complete monotheism, denying the existence of all other Gods.

Monotheism – Monotheism is the belief that there is one, and only one, God. Religions which practice monotheism are Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Moon, Full - It is said that the Aithir (Aether or Ether; Gr. Gr. Αἰθήρ) is swollen at the full moon and that it is, therefore, an auspicious time.

Moritasgus - Keltic God equated with Apollon.  (source:  Dictionary of Celtic Religion and Culture by Bernhard Maier, 2000, p. 198)

Moros - Moros is doom.\

Morphe - See Morphi.

Morphi - (Morphe; Gr. Μορφή, ΜΟΡΦΗ)  Morphi is Form, the fourth Natural Law under the Dominion of mighty Iphaistos.  2) Morphi "pertains to the colour, figure, and magnitude of superficies" (superficies = outward appearance).  (TTS XV p. 10)

Morta - (Latin, from the Greek ΜορτήLD p. 1167, left column) = Átropos (Gr. Ἄτροπος), one of the FatesPlease visit this page: Destiny.

Mortós - (Gr. μορτός, ΜΟΡΤΟΣ = βροτός) Lexicon entry: μορτόςήόνβροτός (q. v.), mortal, Call.Fr.271. (L&S p. 1147, left column) Cf. Thnitós and Vrotós.

Mousaios - (Musaeus; Gr. Μουσαῖος, ΜΟΥΣΑΙΟΣ) Mousaios is pronounced moo-SAY-ohs (not myoo-SAY-ohs) The details of Mousaios life are clouded in obscurity and there are various tales about all the details of his life.  He was thought to be a pupil or son of Orphefs (Orpheus; Gr. Ὀρφεύς, ὈΡΦΕΎΣ) and a seer and priest.  He composed and is thought of as the founder of priestly poetry, writing mystical hymns, oracles, and prose.  The oracles were collected by the scholar Onomakritos (Onomacritus; Gr. Ονομακριτος, ΟΝΟΜΑΚΡΙΤΟΣ) 530-480 BCE, although this scholar was accused of adding forgeries of his own making.  The name Mousaios is associated with the mystic and oracular verses and customs of Attica, and particularly the Ælefsinian (Eleusinian) Mysteries.  He was buried on Mousion Hill (Gr. Μουσεῖον, ΜΟΥΣΕΙΟΝ), southwest of the Akropolis (Acropolis; Gr. Ακρόπολις, ΑΚΡΌΠΟΛΙΣ) in Athens. 

Movement = Kinisi (Gr. Κίνηση) - Movement is the first of the Natural Laws, ruled by the Goddess ÆSTIA Movement in the divine world is ruled by ÆRMIS. See Kinisi.

Multipotent - See Polythynamos.

Musaeus - See Mousaios.

Myrrh - (Greek:  smurna or smyrnaσμύρνα) the resin obtained from Commiphora myrrha, used as incense.  It is requested five times in the Orphic hymns.  Most resins and gums have medicinal qualities, but myrrh is known as much for its healing qualities as it is for use as incense.  Thus, you may find  mention of myrrh in ancient literature indicating a healing aspect about a deity or personage. 

Mystagogue -  a teacher of the Mysteries

Mystagogy or Mystagogics - the principles and interpretation of the Mysteries

Mysteries or Mystery Religion - The subject of Mystery Religion is too complicated for a short essay in the Glossary, requiring a page of its own: Mystery Religion

Mystery Month - The Mystery Month is anther name for the Orphic Zodiacal Month.  See Zodiacal Rulerships.  Also, visit this page: Hellenic Zodiacal Calendar

Mythology - Please visit this page: Mythology in Hellenismos. 

Mythology, Glossary of - Please visit this page: Glossary of Mythology in Hellenismos.


ABBREVIATIONS:  A list of abbreviations used in the glossary can be found on this page: GLOSSARY HOME PAGE


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