N - An 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 



Ν, ν (NU) - The Greek letter NU (pronounced nee) is pronounced like the n in need or new.  See Pronunciation of Ancient Greek and Transliteration of Ancient Greek.


nækros - (nekros; Gr. νεκρός)  Nækros means the dead (especially in plural form), or a corpse.

nækyia - (nekyia; Gr. νέκυια, ΝΕΚΥΙΑ) νέκυιαἡ, (νέκυς) a magical rite by which ghosts were called up and questioned about the future, Plu. 2.17b (pl.); νεκυίᾳ χρήσασθαι Hdn. 4.12.4; name for the eleventh Book of the OdysseyD.S.4.39, Plu. 2.740e. II. funeral ceremonyIII. rabbleIV. = φλόμος, so called because used in necromancy. (L&S, edited for simplicity)


nækyomanteia - (necromancy; Gr. νεκῠομαντεία = prophecy by the nækrosG
r. 
νεκρός = the deadNækyomanteia, or necromancy is the practice of divination through communication with the dead.  This is a pollution by which there is no admittance to the Sacred Mysteries.  This practice is called deception because the soul contacted is likely a kakothaimon (cacodemon; Gr. kakodaimōn) of the lower sky wishing to deceive and bind you; this being is not the actual soul you are trying to consult, but a polluted soul who has committed many crimes in its mortal life and wishes to continue committing crimes through you. Any practice, whether necromancy or otherwise, which creates a state of bondage, causes the door of the Mysteries to close.
  

In ancient times there were rare instances where an effort was made to contact an important person who had died.  This act was dependent on very special conditions and very evolved people, great heroes capable and discerning, involved in critical situations such as when Odyssefs (Odysseus; Gr. Ὀδυσσεύς), a highly advanced soul, consulted the spirit of Teiræsias (Tiresias; Gr. Τειρεσίας) as described in Odysseia Book 10.568.  Even under these conditions, the results are extremely difficult to control, as can be seen in the cited text.  Nækyomanteia involves stipulations that are not possible and are not wise for our contemporary world, therefore it is not permitted to the Orphic community; those outside of this community would be wise to be cautious and avoid the practice as well.

There is one situation in which communication with the dead is permitted, but this circumstance is not called nækyomanteia, necromancy.  When a relative or close friend dies, it is permitted and good to pray to this soul for solace and to wish the soul well on her journey, particularly during the first forty days after the soul has left the body.  Even with this practice, we should be kind to our deceased loved ones, as our grief, when extended too far past the time of death, can cause them to remain near us out of pity.  It should be kept in mind that those you love wish you well and desire for you to be happy, not miserable, so we should, after a period of grief, try our best to become independent and be of happy mood, for the benefit of both yourself and the departed soul.

See also nækyia.

Næmæsis
 - (

Nemesis; Gr. Νέμεσις, ΝΈΜΕΣΙΣ

N
æm
æsis

 is the Goddess of retribution for great hubris and evil acts.  She brings equilibrium to the world by restoring proper distribution of wealth.


Lexicon entry for N
æm
æsis
 (L&S p.1167, left column):  νέμεσιςεωςEp. dat., νεμέσσι Il.6.335: (νέμω):—prop., like νέμησις, distribution of what is due; but in usage always retribution, esp. righteous anger aroused by injustice, not used of the Gods in Hom.; later, of the wrath of the gods; indignation at undeserved good fortune.  B. Νέμεσις, εως, ἡ, as pr. n., voc. Νέμεσι S.El.792:—Nemesis, the impersonation of divine Retribution, coupled with  Αἰδώς (ed. Aedos, the feminine personification of modesty and respect; in Trag. and later writers freq. avenger of the dead; (the) two were worshipped at Smyrna.   2. Astrol., name of the seventh κλῆρος (ed. klaeros: certain degrees in the zodiac connected with planets and important in a nativity)   C. Pythag. name for five.



Hymn to 
N
æm
æsis


"Thee, 
N
æm
æsis
, I call, almighty queen, 
By whom the deeds of mortal life are seen: 
Eternal, much rever'd, of boundless sight, 
Alone rejoicing in the just and right: 
Changing the counsels of the human breast 
For ever various, rolling without rest. 
To every mortal is thy influence known, 
And men beneath thy righteous bondage groan; 
For ev'ry thought within the mind conceal'd 
Is to thy sight perspicuously reveal'd. 
The soul unwilling reason to obey
By lawless passion rul'd, thine eyes survey. 
All to see, hear, and rule, O power divine 
Whose nature Equity contains, is thine. 
Come, blessed, holy Goddess, hear my pray'r, 
And make thy mystic's life thy constant care: 
Give aid benignant in the needful hour, 
And strength abundant to the reas'ning pow'r; 
And far avert the dire, unfriendly race 
Of counsels impious, arrogant, and base."
By whom the deeds of mortal life are seen: 
Eternal, much rever'd, of boundless sight, 
Alone rejoicing in the just and right: 
Changing the counsels of the human breast 
For ever various, rolling without rest. 
To every mortal is thy influence known, 
And men beneath thy righteous bondage groan; 
For ev'ry thought within the mind conceal'd 
Is to thy sight perspicuously reveal'd. 
The soul unwilling reason to obey
By lawless passion rul'd, thine eyes survey. 
All to see, hear, and rule, O power divine 
Whose nature Equity contains, is thine. 
Come, blessed, holy Goddess, hear my pray'r, 
And make thy mystic's life thy constant care: 
Give aid benignant in the needful hour, 
And strength abundant to the reas'ning pow'r; 
And far avert the dire, unfriendly race 
Of counsels impious, arrogant, and base."

(To 
N
æm
æsis
 from The Hymns of Orpheus, translated by Thomas Taylor, 1792; found in the 1981 edition as reprinted by The Philosophical Research Society, pp. 192-193)

names and words - Homer says that the Gods call things by their correct and natural names, names which may be different than those which mortals use.  (Plato Kratylos 391d; Homer Iliad xxi.332-80, xx.74, xiv.291, and ii.813.

Naos - (Gr. Ναός, ΝΑΌΣ.  Latin: cella) the innermost chamber of the temple usually containing the cult image (Agalma) of the God.

Napæus - (Gr) surname of Apollo, from his being worshipped in groves.  (CM p.23)

Narcissus - See Narkissos.  

Narkissos - (Narcissus; Gr. Νάρκισσος)  In the city of Thæspiai (Thespiae; Gr. Θεσπιαί) in Biohtia (Boeotia; Gr. Βοιωτία), there was a hero named Narkissos, who was youth of matchless beauty.  Another young man by the name of Ameinias (Gr. Ἀμεινίας) fell deeply in love with Narkissos, but the hero spurned his love.  Tiring of his affection, Narkissos gave Ameinias the gift of a sword.  The distraught lover went to the door of Narkissos, cursed him and then killed himself with the sword.  One day Narkissos gazed into a pool of water and fell in love with his own reflection.  In desperation for a love that could never be consummatedNarkissos drew his sword and took his own life, fulfilling the curse of Ameinias.

Natural Laws, The Twelve - Visit this page: The Twelve Natural Laws of the Olympian Gods


Nature - Visit this page: NATURE - ΦΎΣΙΣ.

necromancy - See nækyomanteia.

nectar - (Greek: νέκταρ) (Latin: nectar) the red wine of the Gods

Lexicon entry: nectar, = νέκταρ, the drink of the Gods. II. Poet. transf. of anything sweet, pleasant, delicious, nectar. (LD p. 1196, center column)

Nemesis - See Næmæsis.

Neomenius - (Gr) surname of Apollon by which he is invoked at the beginning of every lunar month, or (as the name implies) on every new moon.  (CM p.23) 

Nero - "This same emperor (ed. Nero) gave 400,000 sesterces to the Pythia for uttering some oracles that suited him; this money Galba (ed. the Roman emperor following Nero) recovered. But from Apollo, on the other hand, whether from vexation at the God for making some unpleasant predictions to him or because he was merely crazy, he took away the territory of Cirrha and gave it to the soldiers. He also abolished the oracle, after slaying some people and throwing them into the fissure from which the sacred vapour arose." (Dio Cassius' Roman History, Epitome of Book LXII, 14.2, translated by Earnest Cary in 1925, found in the 2005 edition, Books 61-70, on p.161)

Nestorius
 - (Not to be confused with the Christian archbishop who created Nestorianism) Nestorius was the penultimate hierophant of the Eleusinian Mysteries.  As recorded by Eunapius (although he did not name him), Nestorius is credited with having predicted the appointment of the unlawful and final hierophant, a non-Athenian consecrated to Mithras, and the sacking of the sanctuary in 395 CE by Alaric the Goth and his Christians during this unlawful hierophant's reign.  During the tumultuous year of 380 CE, Nestorius' life was threatened by a Christian mob, after which he terminated the Mysteries, declaring "the predominance of mental darkness over the human race."

Nike
 - The  daughter of Pallas and Styx (Homeric Hymn says the daughter of Ares), the daimon of Victory.  Nike was the charioteer of Zeus in the battle of the Titans

Niobe - daughter of Tantalus  who married Amphion of Thebes, thereby becoming queen.   Niobe had six (7?) sons and six (7?) daughters.  Due to her excessive pride gloating to their mother Leto, Apollo and Artemis slew all the sons and daughters.  Niobe then fled to Mount  Sipylus of Lydia in Anatolia (Spil Mount) and was turned into a stone waterfall with her unceasing weeping.  The rock formation can still be seen.  This tale is symbolic like most of the myths.



Noærá æpivolí - (noera epibole; Gr. νοερά επιβολή, ΝΟΕΡΑ ΕΠΙΒΟΛΗ) Noærá æpivolí is "Intellectual Projection. The immediate energy of intellect is thus denominated, because it is an intuitive perception, or an immediate darting forth, as it were, to its proper object, the intelligible."  (TTS XV p. 10)

Noærá gnóhsis - (noera gnosis; Gr. νοερά γνῶσις, ΝΟΕΡΑ ΓΝΩΣΙΣ) Noærá gnóhsis, literally intellectual knowledge, is intuitive knowledge which transcends the subject/object relationship, a Neoplatonic term.

Noera epibole - See Noærá æpivolí.

Noera gnosis - See Noærá gnóhsis.

Nomius or Nomios

1) pastoral Gods of pastures and flocks, such as Apollo, Hermes, Aristaios, and Pan.

2) (Gr) surname of Apollon, from a word meaning shepherd; that being the epithet applied to him during the time he tended the cattle of Admetus.   (CM p.23)

3)  surname of Zeus as presiding over laws, from a Greek word signifying law.  (CM p.23)

nomos - (Gr. νόμος, ΝΌΜΟΣ; not to be confused with νομός, spelled the same but the accent on the second syllable) When we speak of nomos, using the word with a small-case n, nomos is law, as a human construction.  For the deity Nomos, visit this page: NOMOS - ΝΌΜΟΣ.

Lexicon entry edited for brevity:  νόμος, (νέμω) that which is in habitual practice, use or possession.  I. usage, customlaw, ordinance.  b. in VT, of the law of God.   c. with Preps., κατὰ νόμον according to custom or law, Hes.Th.417Hdt.1.61etc.; κν νόμον Pi.O.8.78οἱ κατὰ ν. ὄντες θεοί the established deities.  d. statute, ordinance made by authority, of general laws.  e.  to come to blows, into action, die in action, under martial law.  2. Νόμος personified, οἱ θεοὶ σθένουσι χὡ κείνων κρατῶν N. E.Hec.800, cf. Orph.Fr.105160.  II. melody, strain.   2. esp. a type of early melody created by Terpander for the lyre as an accompaniment to Epic texts; also for the flute; without sung text; later, composition including both words and melody.   III. = νομμος.   IV. Archit., course of masonry. (L&S p.1180, left column)

Nomos - Nomos is the manifestation of Divine Law.  Visit this pageNOMOS - ΝΌΜΟΣ.

Nona - (Latin, from the Greek Νῶνα, LD p. 1215, middle column.) = Klohthóh (Clotho; Gr. Κλωθώ), one of the Three Fates (Gr. Moirae, Lat. Parcae). Please visit this page: Destiny.

North Wind, the - Boreas

noumenia - the new moon, which is the beginning of the new month in ancient calendars, the first visible crescent of the moon.

Nous - (Gr. Νους, ΝΟΥΣ) Nous is MindIntellect. Nous is one of the three parts of the soul, represented by an egg; analogous to the outside shell of the egg is Nous, the mind or intellect, under the dominion of Zefs (Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς). 

Definition of Nous as used by Próklos: "In the human soul is the summit of dianoia, and is that power by the light proceeding from which, we perceive the truth of axioms. But in divine natures it is a self-subsistent, impartible, eternal essence, perceiving all things at once."  (TTS XV p. 10)

Nýmphi or Nymph - Please visit this page: Nymphs.

Nympholipsía - (Gr. Νυμφοληψία, ΝΥΜΦΟΛΗΨΙΑ. Etym. Νύμφη, "female nature deity" + λῆψις, "attack of," as in a fever.) Nympholipsía is the experience, by a mortal, of Ǽrohs (Eros or Attraction; Gr. Ἔρως) from the Gods when the partner is a female deity. This experience is not the same as the erotic love between ordinary humans. Cf. Æphivolipsía. Please visit this page: Nymphs.

Nyx - Please visit this page: Nyx.


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


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