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Generalities concerning Ploutohn

Ploutohn - (
Pluto; Gr. Πλούτων, ΠΛΟΎΤΩΝ.  
Pronounced: PLOO-tohn.

Ploutohn is one of the most important deities in all of 
Ællinismόs (Hellenismos; Gr. Ἑλληνισμός), the ancient Greek religion,
He is not an Olympian 
God, but a khthonic deity. Ploutohn is also known by the names Aidis (Hades; Gr. Ἅιδης) and Aidohnéfs (Aidoneus; Gr. Ἀϊδωνεύς), as well as many other names.

Many people fear Ploutohn on account of negative connotations placed upon his name by various authors, both Christian and from our own religion, but these ideas are misunderstandings. Ploutohn is a terrestrial (khthonic) deity, an "earthy" deity; he is the great God of the earth, the king of the Earth. Despite what the mythology says, Ploutohn is not the God under the earth, where there is nothing alive but worms and microbes; rather, he is the God of our world, the world of the mortals. As such, Ploutohn has dominion over and represents the magnificent verdure and abundance of the earth. Rather than fear him, he should be invoked when we are in need. The word plutos is derived from his name; plutos means "wealth."

Ploutohn (Zeus) is the son of Krónos (Cronus; Gr. Κρόνος) and Rǽa (Rhea; Gr. Ῥέα), which makes Zefs (Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς) and Poseidóhn (Poseidon; Gr. Ποσειδῶν) his brothers. For the same reason, the following Goddesses are his sisters: Æstía (Hestia; Gr. 


). Dimítir (Demeter; Gr. Δημήτηρ), and Íra (Hera; Gr. Ήρα). Ploutohn is symbolically married to and united with Pærsæphóni (Persephone; Gr. Περσεφόνη), the Kori (Kóre or Core; Gr. Κόρη). The Kóri is a great God who comes back to the Earth and wears a mortal body, as did famous Iraklís (Heracles; Gr. ρακλς), to help the humans and the other creatures. 

Ploutohn is the third ZefsPoseidóhn and Olympian Zefs being the other two. For there are three Gods we call Zefs: Olympian Zefs (who is predominant over the other two Zefs and who specifically rules the area above the Moon), Poseidóhn (Zefs of the Sea and the Middle Sky from the Earth up to the Moon), and Ploutohn (Zefs of the Earth). Ploutohn rules the Earth, including the floor of the sea; this includes a small area above the Earth and above the sea-floor. As explained by Proclus:

"He (ed. Olympian Zefs) is also the summit of the three, has the same name with the fontal (ed. fontal means fundamental source) Jupiter (ed. Zefs), is united to him, and is monadically called Jupiter. But the second is called dyadically, marine Jupiter, and Neptune (ed. Poseidóhn). And the third is triadically denominated, terrestrial Jupiter, Pluto, and Hades. The first of these also preserves, fabricates, and vivifies (ed. animates) summits, but the second, things of a second rank, and the third those of a third order. Hence this last is said to have ravished Proserpine (ed. Pærsæphóni), that together with her he might animate the extremities of the universe." [1]

Using the symbolism of the Orphic egg, Ploutohn is the yolk, Zefs is the cortex (the outer layer), Poseidóhn is the middle section (the liquid or white of the egg); these are the three Zefs.

As Zefs wields the thunderbolt and Poseidóhn wields the Tríaina (Trident; Gr. Τρίαινα), Ploutohn possesses the Áïdos kynǽin (Aïdos kuneēn; Gr. Ἄϊδος κυνέην), the dog-skin cap which renders the wearer invisible. All these symbols of the Three Zefs were created for these mighty Gods by the Kýklohpæs (Cyclopes; Gr. Κύκλωπες).
Ploutohn is sometimes identified with Ploutos (Plutus, Gr. Πλοῦτος) [who is said to be the son of Dimítir (Demeter; Gr. Δημήτηρ) and the hero Iasíohn (Iasion; Gr. Ἰασίων)] the great God of wealth, depicted as a boy holding a grain-filled cornucopia, blinded by Zefs, so that he would distribute wealth indiscriminately.

"Demeter, bright Goddess, was joined in sweet love with the hero Iasion in a thrice-ploughed fallow in the rich land of Krete, and bare Ploutos, a kindly God who goes everywhere over land and the sea's wide back, and him who finds him and into whose hands he comes he makes rich, bestowing great wealth upon him." [2]

Ploutohn and the Dead

First, it must be understood that the dead are not exactly "dead." When the mortal body dies, the soul continues, and, for a period of time, approximately forty years, dwells in the sky "in the region between earth and moon" as is said in Ploutarkhos (Plutarch; Gr. Πλούταρχος) [3] ... this is the way it is described ... after which the soul is re-born again. Orphéfs (Orpheus; Gr. Ὀρφεύς) taught palingænæsía (palingenesía; Gr. παλιγγενεσία), the transmigration of the soul. So when we speak of "dead souls" this must be kept in mind, that they are the souls between lives, souls awaiting rebirth.

The mythology that describes the dead dwelling in hell, beneath the earth in the realm of Hades, is the ordinary or crude belief. As we have discussed, Ploutohn is a khthonic deity, an earthy deity. If we wanted to speak of something under the earth, we would use a different term: ypokhthonic (hypochthonic, from ypokhthónios; Gr. ὑποχθόνιος).

Nor is Ploutohn the "lord of the dead," despite the commonplace beliefs concerning him. The only souls between lives which are in the realm of Ploutohn are the prósyeia pnéfmata (Gr. πρόσγεια πνεύματα), the landed daimons, i.e. those souls who have not progressed, who may have committed crimes, and who, by their own actions are attached and bound nearest the terrestrial earth in the lower sky. Their souls are too heavy to ascend. [4] Consequently, Ploutohn has dominion over these souls (because of their proximity to his dominion, the earth), but he is not the God of the dead, as they say; he is the God of Earth. Nor does Ploutohn punish the souls of the lower sky nor does he punish any souls. The landed daimons are bound to the lower sky because of their own lack of progress. 

Therefore, Ploutohn is not the God of the dead; Ploutohn is the God of those who are going to die: he is the God of the vrotí (brotoi; Gr. βροτοί, plural of βροτός), the mortals, those who are subject to birth and death.

While Ploutohn rules the souls between lives who dwell in the lower sky very close to the earth, Poseidóhn's province is the Sea and the Middle Sky from the oceans and the lands to the moon. As such, it is actually Poseidóhn who has dominion over the vast majority of "dead" souls, those souls awaiting rebirth, those souls who dwell in the Middle Sky.  

The final deity we shall discuss concerning the dead is Íphaistos
 (Hephaestus; Gr. Ἥφαιστος). The most familiar mythology depicts Íphaistos born lame and cast out of Ólympos (Olympus; Gr. Όλυμπος) by his mother into the sea where he was cared for by Thǽtis (Thetis; Gr. Θέτις) and Evrynómi (Eurynome; Gr. Εὐρυνόμη). This "lameness" is symbolic of the light or fire of Íphaistos, changing the direction of the Aithír (Ether; Gr. Αἰθήρ) in the Middle Sky, bending the direction like a bent or lame foot. So, like Poseidóhn, Íphaistos is connected with the Middle Sky, in its uppermost regions. He is called the Lord of the Gates, the entrance to the great copper palaces of the Olympians and those souls in the highest realms of the Middle Sky who are near to being deified. [5]

It should now be clear that there are principally three Gods who have dominion over the souls of the dead: Ploutohn, Poseithohn, and Iphaistos. Of course there are other deities who play a role, such as Ærmís (Hermes; Gr. Ἑρμῆς) Psychopompos, but there are primarily three.

Ploutohn and the Deepest Hell

If Ploutohn is actually the Lord of the Earth, how then can we understand the negative language found in mythology regarding his realm? The myths speak of Ploutohn's kingdom being a land of darkness and misery deep under the earth. But this land of darkness is actually our realm, the place where we dwell, the difficult and often miserable dominion of the mortals, where we all live, and, of course die. It is kind of an inside joke; we think the myths are talking about some horrible place in the deepest hell where there is no light, because that is what the myths actually say. But the joke is on us because the myths are actually describing our dwelling place. And sometimes the myths describe those who are dead as if they were zombies, walking aimlessly about, only coming to life if given blood....but this is the mortal condition...our condition. In contrast to the the realms of the Gods, our world is without light and is full of "punishments," but these punishments are of our own making. And the "dead" souls who dwell there (the mortals) remain "forever," in a cycle of births and deaths, until they finally actually die and are transformed, for in truth there really is only one death: the final death after which we become deified.

The many names of Ploutohn: PLOUTOHN - The Epithets

Ploutohn from the Kratýlos (Cratylus; Gr. 
Κρατύλος) of Plátohn (Plato; Gr. Πλάτων): [6]

Sohkrátis (Socrates; Gr. 
Σωκράτης): Pluto gives wealth (πλουτος), and his name means the giver of wealth, which comes out of the earth beneath. People in general appear to imagine that the term Hades (ed. Aidis; Gr. Ἅιδης) is connected with the invisible (ἀειδὲς); and so they are led by their fears to call the God Pluto instead.

Ærmoyǽnis (
Hermogenes; Gr. 
Ἑρμογένης): And what is the true derivation?

So. In spite of the mistakes which are made about the power of this deity, and the foolish fears which people have of him, such as the fear of always being with him after death, and of the soul denuded of the body going to him [7], my belief is that all is quite consistent, and that the office and name of the God really correspond.

Ær. Why, how is that?

So. I will tell you my own opinion; but first, I should like to ask you which chain does any animal feel to be the stronger? and which confines him more to the same spot, --desire or necessity?

Ær. Desire, Socrates, is stronger far.

So. And do you not think that many a one would escape from Hades, if he did not bind those who depart to him by the strongest of chains?

Ær. Assuredly they would.

So. And if by the greatest of chains, then by some desire, as I should certainly infer, and not by necessity?

Ær. That is clear.

So. And there are many desires?

Ær. Yes.

So. And therefore by the greatest desire, if the chain is to be the greatest?

Ær. Yes.

So. And is any desire stronger than the thought that you will be made better by associating with another?

Ær. Certainly not.

So.  And is not that the reason, Hermogenes, why no one, who has been to him, is willing to come back to us? Even the Sirens, like all the rest of the world, have been laid under his spells. Such a charm, as I imagine, is the God able to infuse into his words. And, according to this view, he is the perfect and accomplished Sophist, and the great benefactor of the inhabitants of the other world; and even to us who are upon earth he sends from below exceeding blessings. For he has much more than he wants down there; wherefore he is called Pluto (or the rich). Note also, that he will have nothing to do with men while they are in the body, but only when the soul is liberated from the desires and evils of the body. Now there is a great deal of philosophy and reflection in that; for in their liberated state he can bind them with the desire of virtue, but while they are flustered and maddened by the body, not even father Cronos himself would suffice to keep them with him in his own far-famed chains.

Ær. There is a deal of truth in what you say.

So. Yes, Hermogenes, and the legislator called him Hades, not from the unseen (ἀειδὲς)--far otherwise, but from his knowledge (εἰδέναι) of all noble things.

Ploutarkhos (Plutarch; Gr. Πλούταρχος) from Pærí Ísidos kai Osíridos (Isis and Osiris; Gr. Περί Ίσιδος και Οσίριδοςin the Ithiká (Moralia; Gr. Ἠθικά):

"...Plato says that Hades is so named because he is a beneficent and gentle God towards those who have come to abide with him. Moreover, among the Egyptians many others of the proper names are real words; for example, that place beneath the earth, to which they believe that souls depart after the end of this life, they call Amenthes, the name signifying 'the one who receives and gives.' "  [8]

Próklos (Proclus; Gr. 
concerning Ploutohn: [9]

That some badly analyze the name of Pluto 
(ed. Ploutohn) 
into wealth from the earth, through fruits and metals; but Hades (ed. Aidis; Gr. Ἅιδης) into the invisible, dark and dreadful. These Socrates (ed. Sohkrátis; Gr. Σωκράτης) now reprobates, bringing the two names to the same signification; referring the name of Pluto, as intellect, to the wealth of prudence, but that of Hades to an intellect knowing all things. For this God is a sophist, who purifying souls after death, frees them from generation. (ed. It would seem, therefore, if this be true, that Ploutohn has a role in deification) For Hades is not, as some improperly explain it, evil: for neither is death evil; though Hades to some appears to be attended with perturbations (εμπαθώς; ed. æmpathóhs); but it is invisible and better than the apparent; such as is every thing intelligible. Intellect therefore, in every triad of beings, convolves itself to being, and the paternal cause, imitating in its energy the circle.

That men who are lovers of body, badly refer to themselves the passions of the animated nature, and on this account consider death to be dreadful, as being the cause of corruption. The truth however is, that it is much better for man to die, and live in Hades (ed. Aidis) a life according to nature, since a life in conjunction with body is contrary to nature, and is an impediment to intellectual energy. Hence it is necessary to divest ourselves of the fleshly garments with which we are clothed, as Ulysses (ed. Odysséfs = Odysseus; Gr. Ὀδυσσεύς) did of his ragged vestments, and no longer like a wretched mendicant together with the indigence of body, put on our rags. For as the Chaldean Oracle says, "things divine cannot be obtained by those whose intellectual eye is directed to body; but those only can arrive at the possession of them who stript of their garments hasten to the summit." 

That Neptune (ed. Poseidóhn; Gr. Ποσειδῶν) when compared with Jupiter (ed. Zefs = Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς) is said to know many things; but Hades (ed. Aidis) compared with souls to whom he imparts knowledge is said to know all things; though Neptune is more total than Hades.

That as it is necessary to analyse Pluto (ed. Ploutohn), not only into the obvious wealth from the earth, but also into the wealth of wisdom, so likewise Ceres (ed. = Dimítir = Demeter; Gr. Δημήτηρ) must be analysed not only into corporeal nutriment; but beginning from the Gods themselves it is requisite to conceive her to be the supplier of aliment (ed. nutriment, food, or nourishment), first to the Gods themselves, afterwards to the natures posterior to the Gods; and in the last place, that the series of this beneficent energy extends as far as to corporeal nutriment. For the characteristic of love shines forth first of all in the Gods: and this is the case with the medicinal and prophetic powers of Apollo (ed. Apóllohn; Gr. Ἀπόλλων), and with those of every other divinity. But nutriment, when considered with reference to the Gods, is the communication of intellectual plenitude from more exalted natures to those of an inferior rank. Gods therefore, are nourished, when they view with the eye of intellect Gods prior to themselves; and when they are perfected and view intelligible beauties, such as justice itself, temperance itself, and the like, as it is said in the Phædrus (ed. Phaidros; Gr. Φαῖδρος).

For more of this essay, visit this page:

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.
How do we know there are Gods? Experiencing Gods.


Próklos (Proclus; Gr. 
Πρόκλος) Manuscript Scolia On the 
Kratýlos (Cratylus; Gr. 
Κρατύλος) of Plátohn (Plato; Gr. Πλάτων), extract, as found in The Theology of Plato/Proclus, trans. Thomas Taylor, Prometheus Trust (Somerset UK), Vol. VIII of The Thomas Taylor Series, where this quotation may be found on p. 683. 

[2] Isíodos (Hesiod; Gr. Ἡσίοδος) Thæogonía (Theogony; Gr. Θεογονία) 969-973 ff, trans. Evelyn-White, 1914; we are using the 1936 Loeb edition entitled Hesiod: The Homeric Hymns and Homerica, Harvard Univ. Press (Cambridge MA USA)-William Heinemann (London England), where this quotation may be found on p. 151.

[3] "All soul, whether without mind or with it, when it has issued from the body is destined to wander <in> the region between earth and moon..." (Ploutarkhos (Plutarch; Gr. Πλούταρχος) Ithiká (Moralia; Gr. Ἠθικά), Concerning the Face Which Appears in the Orb of the Moon, Chap. 28, 943C; trans. Harold Cherniss and William C. Helmbold, 1957, as found in the 1967 Loeb reprint entitled Plutarch's Moralia Vol. XII, Harvard Univ. Press (Cambridge MA USA)-William Heinemann (London England), where this quotation may be found on p. 201)

[4] "Where the range of the earth's shadow ends, this he set as the term and boundary of the earth.  To this point rises no one who is evil or unclean, but the good are conveyed thither after death and there continue to lead a life most easy to be sure though not blessed or divine until their second death." (Ibid. Cherniss and Helmbold, Chap. 27, 942F, p. 197)

[5] "...just as our earth contains gulfs that are deep and extensive...so those features are depths and hollows of the moon...the two long ones are called <"the Gates">, for through them pass the souls now to the side of the moon that faces heaven and now back to the side that faces earth. a. The side of the moon towards heaven is named 'Elysian plain,' the hither side 'House of counter-terrestrial Phersephone.' "  b.

a. They pass to the outer side on their way to the 'second death' (944 E ff. infra) and to the hither side on their way to rebirth in bodies (945 C infra). In Amatorius, 766 B the place to which souls come to be reborn in the body is called οἱ Σελήνης καὶ ' Αϕροδίτης λειμῶνες.

b. Plutarch uses ἀντίχθων in the usual Pythagorean sense in De An. Proc. in Timaeo, 1028 B (cf. De Placitis, 891 F, 895 C, 895 E=Aëtius, ii. 29. 4; iii. 9. 2; iii.11. 3).  Identification of the moon with the counter-earth is ascribed to certain "Pythagoreans" (but cf. Cherniss, Aristotle's Criticism of Plato and the Academy, i., p.562) by Simplicius, De Caelo, p. 512. 17-20 (cf. Asclepius, Metaph. p. 35. 24-27; Scholia in Aritotelem, 505 A 1 [Brandis])."

(All content in this note is a direct quotation: Ibid. Cherniss and Helmbold, Chap. 29, 944C, pp. 209-211)

[6] Plátohn (Plato; Gr. Πλάτων) Kratýlos (Cratylus; Gr. Κρατύλος) 403-404;
trans. Benjamin Jowett, 1892, found here in 
The Dialogues of Plato
Vol. 1, 1937 Random House, New York USA, where this quotation may be found on pp. 192-193.

[7] Cp. Republic 3. 386, 387.

[8] Ploutarkhos (Plutarch; Gr. Πλούταρχος) Ithiká (Moralia; Gr. Ἠθικά)Pærí Ísidos kai Osíridos (Isis and Osiris; Gr. Περί Ίσιδος και Οσίριδος) Chap. 29,  362E; trans. Frank Cole Babbitt, 1936, Plutarch's Moralia Vol. V; found here in the 1969 Loeb edition, Harvard Univ. Press (Cambridge MA USA)-William Heinemann (London England), where this quotation may be found on p. 73.  

Próklos (Proclus; Gr. 
Πρόκλος) Manuscript Scolia On the 
Kratýlos (Cratylus; Gr. 
Κρατύλος) of Plátohn (Plato; Gr. Πλάτων), extract, found in The Theology of Plato/Proclus, trans. Thomas Taylor, Prometheus Trust (Somerset UK), Vol. VIII of The Thomas Taylor Series, where this quotation may be found on p. 686.

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, Πετηλία) and other golden tablets having this phrase (Γῆς παῖς εἰμί καὶ Οὐρανοῦ ἀστερόεντος) 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, κιθάρα), the lyre of Apóllohn (Apollo, Ἀπόλλων). It (here) represents the bond between Gods and mortals and is representative that we are the children of Orphéfs (Orpheus, 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.

The story of the birth of the Gods: Orphic 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.

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