Bronze statue in the possession of the author who releases the foto to the Public Domain: Ἔρως (modeled after Houdon's Cupid).


Eros, which flows between Gods and Mortals


Approach the Gods through Ǽrôs (δὶ Ἔρωτος προσέγγισης τὸν θεῶν) [1]

If we approach deity like a child, with simplicity, innocence, and imagination, we are able to see the great beauty of the Gods; it is by this attraction that we approach them. This attraction is called ǽrôs (eros, ἔρως). Ǽrôs, who the Romans called Cupid, is often depicted in iconography as a childlike, winged being shooting arrows, but ǽrôs is not a personal God; ǽrôs is a force, an energy, the force of attraction. Ællinismόs (Hellenismos, Ἑλληνισμός), the ancient Greek religion, is based on ǽrôs.

There is a great law that the Gods never violate: they never impose their will, forcing us to honor them in fear of horrible punishments, for the Gods live in freedom and they desire this freedom for all beings. Therefore, the Gods patiently wait for our progress, through many incarnations, until we are able to perceive their beauty. When the progress of the soul is great enough to perceive the beauty of divinity, such a soul is given a glimpse of that divinity, which the soul rightly perceives as beautiful, and the natural reaction to perceiving beauty is to want it. This wanting, this attraction, is an invitation which the Gods have been waiting for a great deal of time. They accept our invitation, which they perceive as beautiful, and draw close to us. And now ǽrôs flows back and forth between Gods and men.

Ours is an erotic religion, based not on sex but on the passionate relationship between Gods and mortals. Ǽrôs is the reaction that occurs when the soul directly perceives beauty, and desires it passionately. So the beautiful becomes the object of our rapturous desire, and we become the object of the love of Gods. This great power is known by the epithet pyrphóros (πυρφόρος), which means “fire-bearer,” for ǽrôs is passionate.

Ǽrôs is the catalyst which propels the construction of the Four Pillars of Ællinismόs, for ǽrôs arouses the desire to learn the religion (Akoí, Ἀκοή); ǽrôs makes possible communication between Gods and men (Theurgy, Θεουργία); ǽrôs motivates the mind to develop wisdom (Philosophía, Φιλοσοφία), for we become attracted to the truth; and ǽrôs stirs the soul to achieve virtue (Arætí, Ἀρετή) as we become attracted to achieve balance in our lives and we burn inside to make this accessible to all people.

There is another form of ǽrôs which is the dominion of pándimos (popular, πάνδημος) Aphrodítî (Ἀφροδίτη); this is the attraction involved with the sexual union of mortals, which is not our current subject.

EXCERPTS from the Συμπόσιον Πλάτωνος:

“What! Said I, must Love (Ἔρως [2]) then be a mortal? - Far from that, replied she. - Of what nature was he then? I asked her. - Of like kind with those natures we have just now been speaking of, an intermediate one, between the mortal and the immortal. - But what in particular, O Diotima? - A great dæmon, replied she [3]. For the dæmon-kind is of an intermediate nature between the divine and the human. - What is the power and virtue of this intermediate kind of being? - To transmit and to interpret to the Gods what comes from men; and to men, in like manner, what comes from the Gods; from men their petitions and their sacrifices; from the Gods in return, the revelation of their will.” [4]


Διοτίμα: No God is a philosopher or seeker after wisdom, for he is wise already; nor does any man who is wise seek after wisdom. Neither do the ignorant seek after wisdom. For herein is the evil of ignorance, that he who is neither good nor wise is nevertheless satisfied with himself: he has no desire for that of which he feels no want.

Σωκράτης: But who then, Diotima, are the lovers of wisdom, if they are neither the wise nor the foolish?

Διοτίμα: A child may answer that question. They are those who are in a mean between the two; Love is one of them. For wisdom is a most beautiful thing, and Love is of the beautiful; and therefore Love is also a philosopher or lover of wisdom, and being a lover of wisdom is in a mean between the wise and the ignorant.” [5]


Διοτίμα: What is the cause, Socrates, of love, and the attendant desire? See you not how all animals, birds, as well as beasts, in their desire of procreation, are in agony when they take the infection of love, which begins with the desire of union; whereto is added the care of offspring, on whose behalf the weakest are ready to battle against the strongest even to the uttermost, and to die for them, and will let themselves be tormented with hunger or suffer anything in order to maintain their young. Man may be supposed to act thus from reason; but why should animals have these passionate feelings? Can you tell me why?

Σωκράτης: I replied that I did not know.

Διοτίμα: And do you expect ever to become a master in the art of love, if you do not know this?

Σωκράτης: But I have told you already, Diotima, that my ignorance is the reason why I come to you; for I am conscious that I want a teacher; tell me then the cause of this and of the other mysteries of love.

Διοτίμα: Marvel not if you believe that love is of the immortal, as we have several times acknowledged; for here again, and on the same principle too, the mortal nature is seeking as far as is possible to be everlasting and immortal: and this is only to be attained by generation, because generation always leaves behind a new existence in the place of the old.” [6]


EXCERPT from Ἀλκιβιάδης α Πλάτωνος:

Σωκράτης: And if any one has fallen in love with the person of Alcibiades, he loves not Alcibiades, but the belongings of Alcibiades?

Ἀλκιβιάδης: True.

Σωκράτης: But he who loves your soul is the true lover?

Ἀλκιβιάδης: That is the necessary inference.

Σωκράτης: The lover of the body goes away when the flower of youth fades?

Ἀλκιβιάδης: True.

Σωκράτης: But he who loves the soul goes not away, as long as the soul follows after virtue?

Ἀλκιβιάδης: Yes.

Σωκράτης: And I am the lover who goes not away, but remains with you, when you are no longer young and the rest are gone?

Ἀλκιβιάδης: Yes, Socrates; and therein you do well, and I hope that you will remain.” [7]


According to Ἠθικὰ Πλουτάρχου· Ἐρωτικός (Amatorius, The Dialogue on Love) 17.761f, it is Ἔρως by which Orphéfs (Orpheus, Ὀρφεύς) is able to move Aidîs (Hades, Ἅιδης) to allow the soul to become free from death.

ὅτι μόνῳ θεῶν ὁ Ἅιδης Ἔρωτι ποιεῖ τὸ προσταττόμενον·

“that alone of the Gods, Áidis considers the prescriptions of Ǽrôs” (trans. by the author)


σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Ἀλκιβιάδου αʹ Πλάτωνος 109 e p. 509, 9 Cous.:

ἐν γὰρ τῶι Διὶ ὁ Ἔρως ἐστί. καὶ γὰρ Μῆτίς ἐστι πρώτως (l. πρῶτος) γενέτωρ καὶ Ἔρως πολυτερπής, καὶ ὁ Ἔρως πρόεισιν ἐκ τοῦ Διὸς καὶ συνυπέστη τῶι Διὶ πρώτως ἐν τοῖς νοητοῖς· ἐκεῖ γὰρ ὁ Ζεὺς ὁ πανόπτης ἐστὶ καὶ τοῦ Διὸς ἁβρὸς ῎Ερως (fr. 83), ὡς 'Ορϕεὺς ϕησι. συγγενῶς οὖν ἔχουσι πρὸς ἀλλήλους, μᾶλλον δὲ ήνωνται ἀλλήλοις καὶ φίλιος αὐτῶν ἑκάτερός ἐστι.

“for Ǽrôs (Ἔρως) is within Zefs (Ζεὺς). In fact Mítis (Μῆτις) is first-begetter and much-delighting Ǽrôs, and Ǽrôs both proceeds from Zefs and coexists with Zefs primarily in the intelligibles; for all-seeing Zefs is in the intelligible world and pretty Ǽrôs is of Zefs, as Orphéfs (Ορϕεὺς) says. They are certainly of like kind to each other, but, better yet, they are united to each other, and each of them is the friend of the other.”

(trans. by the author)


[1] διʹ (by) Ἔρωτος (Ἔρως) προσέγγισις (approach) τῶν (the) Θεῶν (Gods)

[2] Jowett translates Ἔρως as "love." Perhaps it would be better to leave the word untranslated. In Greek, the sentence is: Τί οὖν ἄν, ἔϕην, εἴη ὁ Ἔρως; θνητός; Ἥκιστά γε.

[3] Jowett translates δαίμων as "spirit" but it also would be better left untranslated, as the word “spirit” implies something immaterial.

[4] Συμπόσιον Πλάτωνος 202d-203a, trans. Thomas Taylor, 1804.

[5] Συμπόσιον Πλάτωνος 203-204, trans. Benjamin Jowett, 1892.

[6] Συμπόσιον Πλάτωνος 207, Jowett p. 332.

[7] Ἀλκιβιάδης α Πλάτωνος 131c-d, trans. Benjamin Jowett, 1892. Some scholars question whether this dialogue was actually written by Plátôn, but it is beautiful nonetheless.

"Love each other dearly always. There is scarcely anything else in the world but that: to love one another." (These being the dying words of Jean Valjean spoken to Cosette and Marius. Victor Hugo Les Misérables, Jean Valjean, Book Ninth, Chapter 5, just before the very end of the book. Trans. Charles E. Wilbour, 1862.)

The story of the birth of the Gods: Orphic 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.

This logo 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 Apóllôn (Apollô, 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 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 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: 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

Transliteration of Ancient Greek

Pronouncing the Names of the Gods in Hellenismos

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