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PLUTO - PLOUTOHN - ΠΛΟΥΤΩΝ

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GENERALITIES

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

Ploutohn is the king of the Earth

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 are misunderstandings. Ploutohn is a terrestrial (khthonic) deity, an "earthy" deity; he is the great God of the earth. Indeed, Ploutohn is the king of the Earth. Despite what the mythology says, Ploutohn is not the God under the earth, where there is nothing 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 πλοῦτος is connected with his name; πλοῦτος means "wealth."

Parentage and Siblings

P
loutohn is the son of Krónos (Cronus, Κρόνος) and Rǽa (Rhea, Ῥέα), which makes Zefs (Ζεύς) and Poseidóhn (Poseidon, Ποσειδῶν) his brothers. For the same reason, the following Goddesses are his sisters: Æstía (Hestia, Ἑστία). Dimítir (Demeter, Δημήτηρ), and Íra (Hera, Ήρα). Ploutohn is symbolically married to and united with Pærsæphóni (Persephone, Περσεφόνη), the Kóri (Core, Κόρη). The Kóri is a great God who comes back to the Earth with a mortal body, as did famous Iraklís (Heracles, Ἡρακλῆς), to help the humans and the other creatures.

Ploutohn and the Three Zefs


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, 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. Próklos (Πρόκλος) explains the three Zefs thus:

"He (Olympian Zefs) is also the summit of the three, has the same name with the fontal (foundational) Jupiter (Zefs), is united to him, and is monadically called Jupiter. But the second is called dyadically, marine Jupiter, and Neptune (Poseidóhn). And the third is triadically denominated, terrestrial Jupiter, Pluto, and Hades. The first of these also preserves, fabricates, and vivifies (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 (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 shell), 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, Τρίαινα), Ploutohn possesses the Áïdos kynǽin (Aïdos kuneēn, 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 associated with Ploutos (Plutus, Πλοῦτος) [who is said to be the son of Dimítir (Demeter, Δημήτηρ) and the hero Iasíohn (Iasion, 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 Crete, 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

The souls of the dead are immortal

First, it must be understood that the dead are not exactly "dead." When the mortal body dies, the soul, which is immortal, continues, and floats in the sky "in the district between earth and moon" for a period of (some say) forty years, as is told in an essay of Ploutarkhos (Plutarch, Πλούταρχος) [3]. When this time has elapsed, the soul returns with a new body. Orphéfs (Orpheus, Ὀρφεύς) taught palingænæsía (palingenesía, 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 into mortal bodies.

Ploutohn is the lord of the Earth, not the lord of the dead

The popular belief is that the dead go to hell, to the land of Hades, but Ploutohn is not the "lord of the dead," despite the commonplace beliefs concerning him. He could be thought of as the lord of the dead bodies that we bury in the earth, but the only souls between lives in his realm are the prósyeia pnéfmata (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. 

Ploutohn is the God of those who are going to die: he is the God of the vrotí (brotoi, βροτοί, plural of βροτός), the mortals, whose bodies are subject to birth and death.

Deities of the dead

Poseidóhn has governance of the Sea and the Middle Sky up to the moon. As such, it is actually Poseidóhn who has dominion over the souls whose mortal bodies have died, those souls awaiting rebirth, those souls who dwell in the Middle Sky.  

The final deity we shall discuss concerning the dead is Íphaistos
 (Hephaestus, Ἥφαιστος). He is imaged as lame, but his "lameness" is symbolic of the light or fire of Íphaistos, changing the direction of the Aithír (Ether, 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, Poseidóhn, and Íphaistos. Of course there are other deities who play a role, such as Ærmís (Hermes, Ἑρμῆς) Psychopompos (Ψυχοπομπός), 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 below. But this land of darkness is actually our realm. It is the place where we dwell. It is 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 deepest hell where there is no light. 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 portray the dead as zombies, walking aimlessly about, only coming to life if given blood. This, unfortunately, is the mortal condition, our condition. In contrast to the realms of the Gods, our world is without light and is full of "punishments," but these punishments are of our own making. The dead who dwell in this realm 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 are freed by the compassion of Zefs and deified.


The many names of Ploutohn: PLOUTOHN - The Epithets


Ploutohn from the Kratýlos (Cratylus, 
Κρατύλοςof Plátohn (Plato, Πλάτων): [6]

Sohkrátis (Socrates, 
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 (Aidis, Ἅιδηςis connected with the invisible (ἀειδὲς); and so they are led by their fears to call the God Pluto instead.

Ærmoyǽnis (
Hermogenes, 
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.


Próklos (Proclus, 
Πρόκλος)
concerning Ploutohn: [8]

That some badly analyze the name of Pluto into wealth from the earth, through fruits and metals; but Hades (Ἅιδης) into the invisible, dark and dreadful. These Socrates 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); 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 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 (Odysseus, 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 (Ποσειδῶν) when compared with Jupiter (Ζεύς) is said to know many things; but Hades (Ἅιδης) 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, not only into the obvious wealth from the earth, but also into the wealth of wisdom, so likewise Ceres (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 (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, 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 (Φαῖδρος).


NOTES:

[1] Πρόκλος Commentary on Κρατύλος Πλάτωνος, trans. Thomas Taylor, 1816. 

[2] Θεογονία Ἡσιόδου 969-973, trans. Evelyn-White, 1914.

[3] Ἠθικά Πλουτάρχου, Concerning the Face Which Appears in the Orb of the Moon, 28.943C:

Πᾶσαν ψυχήν, ἄνουν τε καὶ σὺν νῷ, σώματος ἐκπεσοῦσαν εἱμαρμένον ἐστὶν <ἐν> τῷ μεταξὺ γῆς καὶ σελήνης χωρίῳ πλανηθῆναι

"All soul, whether with or without wit, when it has departed from the body, is ordained to wander in the district between earth and the moon" (trans. by the author)

Βίοι καὶ γνῶμαι τῶν ἐν φιλοσοφίᾳ εὐδοκιμησάντων Διογένους Λαερτίου, 8.30:

"The soul draws nourishment from the blood; the faculties of the soul are winds, for they as well as the soul are invisible, just as the Aether is invisible. The veins, arteries, and sinews are the bonds of the soul. But when it is strong and settled down into itself, reasonings and deeds become its bonds. When cast out upon the earth, it wanders in the air like the body. Hermes is the steward of souls, and for that reason is called Hermes the Escorter, Hermes the Keeper of the Gate, and Hermes of the Underworld, since it is he who brings in the souls from their bodies both by land and sea; and the pure are taken into the uppermost region, but the impure are not permitted to approach the pure or each other, but are bound by the Furies in bonds unbreakable." (trans. C. D. Yonge, 1828)

[4] Ἠθικά ΠλουτάρχουConcerning the Face Which Appears in the Orb of the Moon27.942F

ὅπου γὰρ ἡ σκιὰ τῆς γῆς ἐπινεμομένη παύεται, τοῦτο τέρμα τῆς γῆς ἔθετο καὶ πέρας. εἰς δὲ τοῦτο φαῦλος μὲν οὐδεὶς οὐδ' ἀκάθαρτος ἄνεισιν, οἱ δὲ χρηστοὶ μετὰ τὴν τελευτὴν κομισθέντες αὐτόθι ῥᾷστον μὲν οὕτως βίον

"For wherever the boundary of the shadow of the earth ends, this he accorded as the end and limit of earth. Whereas beyond this no-one mean or unclean rises, but those worthy are instantly carried safe away (after death) to an easy life indeed" (trans. by the author)

[5] 
Ἠθικά ΠλουτάρχουConcerning the Face Which Appears in the Orb of the Moon29, 944C:

τὰ δὲ δύο μακρὰ <τὰς Πύλας>. περαιοῦνται γὰρ αἱ ψυχαὶ δί αὐτῶν νῦν μὲν εἰς τὰ πρὸς οὐρανὸν τῆς σελήνης, νῦν δὲ πάλιν εἰς τὰ πρὸς γῆν· ὀνομάζεται δὲ τὰ μὲν πρὸς οὐρανὸν τῆς σελήνης Ἠλύσιον πεδίον τὰ δ' ἐνταῦθα Φερσεφόνης  οἶκος ἀντίχθονος.

"whereas the two long (craters of the moon) are <the Gates>, for thereupon the souls cross to the other side of the moon towards the sky, and now go back to that side which faces earth; the side of the moon towards the firmament is called the Ilýsion (Elysian, Ἠλύσιονplain, herein the opposite (side) the house of Pærsæphóni
(Περσεφόνη). (trans. by the author)
 
[6] Κρατύλος Πλάτωνος 403-404;
trans. Benjamin Jowett, 1892
.

[7] Cf. Republic Πολιτεία 3. 386, 387.

[8] Πρόκλος Commentary on Κρατύλος Πλάτωνος, trans. Thomas Taylor, 1816.


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.


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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