Ípta - (Ippa or Hipta; Gr. Ἵπτα, ΙΠΤΑ. Pronounced: EEP-tah.)

According to Orphic theogony, the Goddess Ípta received the newborn infant Kradiaios (Cradiaeus, Κραδιαῖος) [1] Diónysos (Dionysus, Διόνυσος), the son of Sæmǽlî (Semelê, Σεμέλη), from the thigh of Zefs (Ζεύς) and placed him on her head in a red líknon (winnowing-basket, λίκνον) with a snake wound about it. She then went up Mount Ídî (Ida; Ίδη) to Mítîr Thæóhn (Mêtêr Theôn, Μήτηρ Θεῶν), the Mother of the Gods, and presented the divine child to her. All this story can be found in a commentary by the Neoplatonic philosopher and mystic Próklos (Proclus, Πρόκλος), who says that Ípta, as stated by Orphéfs (Ὀρφεύς) himself, is the soul of the universe. The below quotation from this commentary is an entirely Neoplatonic interpretation of this mythology, the outline of which can be discerned from the text.

Kern Orphic frag. 199 σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος 30 b (I 407, 22 Diehl):

διὰ τούτων καὶ ἡ τοῦ θεολόγου διάνοια γίγνεται καταφανής. ἡ μὲν γὰρ Ἵπτα τοῦ παντὸς οὖςα ψυχὴ καὶ οὕτω κεκλημένη παρὰ τῶι θεολόγωι τάχα μὲν ὅτι καὶ ἐν ἀκμαιοτάταις κινήσεσιν αἱ νοήσεις αὐτῆς οὐσίωνται, τάχα δὲ καὶ διὰ τὴν ὀξυτάτην τοῦ παντὸς φοράν, ἧς ἐστιν αἰτία, λίκνον ἐπὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς θεμένη (cf. in Tim. 35b [II 198, 9 Diehl] ἐπὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς φέρουσαν τὸν θεόν et II 222, 20 τὴν ἑαυτῆς κεφαλὴν ἐνιδρύσασα) καὶ δράκοντι αὐτὸ περιστέψασα τὸν κραδιαῖον ὑποδέχεται Διόνυσον· τῶι γὰρ ἑαυ | 408 Diehl τῆς θειοτάτωι γίγνεται τῆς νοερᾶς οὐσίας ὑποδοχὴ καὶ δέχεται τὸν ἐγκόσμιον νοῦν. ὃ δὲ ἀπὸ τοῦ μηροῦ τοῦ Διὸς πρόεισιν εἰς αὐτήν -- ἦν γὰρ ἐκεῖ συνηνωμένος -- καὶ προελθὼν καὶ μεθεκτὸς αὐτῆς γεγονὼς ἐπὶ τὸ νοητὸν αὐτὴν ἀνάγει καὶ τὴν ἑαυτοῦ πηγήν· ἐπείγεται γὰρ πρὸς τὴν μητέρα τῶν θεῶν καὶ τὴν Ἴδην (cf. fr. 105), ἀφ᾽ ἧς πᾶσα τῶν ψυχῶν ἡ σειρά. διὸ καὶ συλλαμβάνειν ἡ Ἵππα λέγεται τίκτοντι τῶι Διί· ὡς γὰρ εἴρηται πρότερον (30b), νοῦν ἄνευ ψυχῆς ἀδύνατον παραγενέσθαι τωι, τοῦτο δὲ ὅμοιον τῶι παρ᾽ Ὀρφεῖ·

γλυκερὸν δὲ τέκος Διὸς ἐξεκαλεῖτο,

“... the conceptions of the theologist (Ὀρφεύς) become manifest through what is here said. For Hippa (Ἵπτα) who is the soul of the universe, and is thus called by the theologists, perhaps, because her intellectual conceptions are essentialized in the most vigorous motions, or perhaps on account of the most rapid lation (ed. celestial motion) of the universe, of which she is the cause, ­ placing a testaceous (ed. brick red) vessel on her head, and encircling the fig leaves that bind her temples, with a dragon, receives (Kradiaios, see the Greek) Bacchus (Διόνυσος). For with the most divine part of herself, she becomes the receptacle of an intellectual essence, and receives the mundane intellect, which proceeds into her from the thigh of Jupiter (Ζεύς). For there it was united with Jupiter, but proceeding from thence and becoming participable (ed. capable of being shared) by her, it elevates her to the intelligible, and to the fountain of her nature. For she hastens to the Mother of the Gods (Μήτηρ Θεῶν), and to Mount Ida, from which all the series of souls is derived. Hence also, Hippa is said to have received Dionysus when he was brought forth from Jupiter. For as Plato before observed, it is impossible for intellect to accede to anything without soul. But this is similar to what is asserted by Orpheus; by whom also Dionysus is called:

‘the sweet offspring of Jupiter.’ ” [2]

As stated above, Ípta received Diónysos from Zefs, but in Orphic Hymn 48, Zefs is called Savázios (Sabazius, Σαβάζιος), a Phrygian deity syncretized to Zefs:

48. Σαβαζίου, θυμίαμα, ἀρώματα.

Κλῦθι, πάτερ, Κρόνου υἱέ Σαβάζιε, κύδιμε δαῖμον,

ὃς Βάκχον Διόνυσον ἐρίβρομον, εἰραφιώτην

μηρῷ ἐγκατέραψας, ὅπως τετελεσμένος ἔλθοι

Τμῶλον ἐς ἠγάθεον, παρὰ θ’ Ἵππαν καλλιπάρῃον.

ἀλλά, μάκαρ, Φρυγίης μεδέων, βασιλεύτατε πάντων,

εὐμενέων ἐπαρωγὸς ἐπέλθοις μυστιπόλοισιν.

48. Savázios (Sabasius, Σαβάζιος)

The Fumigation from Aromatics.

Hear me, illustrious father, dæmon fam'd.

Great Saturn's offspring, and Sabasius nam'd;

Inserting Bacchus, bearer of the vine,

And founding God, within thy thigh divine,

That when mature, the Dionysian God

Might burst the bands of his conceal'd abode,

And come to sacred Tmolus, his delight,

Where Ippa dwells, all beautiful and bright.

Come blessed Phrygian God, the king of all,

And aid thy Mystics, when on thee they call. [3]

Ípta is called the nurse (τροφός) of Diónysos. She is a Khthonic Mother-Goddess associated with Mount Tmóhlos (Tmôlus, Τμῶλος) in Lydía (Lydia, Λυδία) as is stated in her hymn:

49. Ἵππας, θυμίαμα, στύρακα.

Ἵππαν κικλήσκω Βάκχου τροφόν, εὐάδα κούρην,

μυστιπόλον τελετῇσιν ἀγαλλομένην Σάβου ἁγνοῦ,

νυκτερίοισι τε χοροῖσιν ἐριβρεμέταο Ἰάκχου.

κλῦθί μευ εὐχομένου, χθονίη μήτηρ, βασίλεια,

εἴτε σύ γ' ἐν Φρυγίῃ κατέχεις Ἴδης ὄρος ἁγνὸν,

ἢ Τμῶλος τέρπει σε, καλὸν Λυδοῖσι θόασμα·

ἔρχεο πρὸς τελετὰς ἱερῷ γηθοῦσα προσώπῳ.

49. Ípta [Ippa, Ἵπτα]

The Fumigation from Storax.

Great nurse of Bacchus, to my pray'r incline,

for holy Sabus' secret rites are thine,

The mystic rites of Bacchus' nightly choirs,

compos'd of sacred, loud-resounding fires:

Hear me, terrestrial mother, mighty queen,

whether on Phyrgia's holy mountain seen,

Or if to dwell in Tmolus thee delights,

with holy aspect come, and bless these rites [4]


[1] Diónysos is called Kradiaios, i.e. "of the heart," because he is conceived from the heart of Zagréfs (Ζαγρεύς). He is called this name by Próklos. See the Greek text in the above quotation (κραδιαῖον in context). Carl Kerényi, in his book on Dionysos (1976, Princeton Univ. Press [Princeton NJ USA], p. 260) points out that the word κραδιαῖος can have two meanings. It can be translated, “of the heart,” but it can also mean, “made of fig-shoots,” a phallic symbol. That the heart was taken by Athîná (Athena, Ἀθηνᾶ) is significant in this regard as she, along with Ærmís, are the great cultivators of the soul, just as the plow (another phallic symbol) cultivates the earth.

[2] trans. Thomas Taylor, 1820.

[3] trans. Thomas Taylor, 1792.

[4] trans. Thomas Taylor, 1792.

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.

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 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.

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.

SPELLING: HellenicGods.org 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

PHOTO COPYRIGHT INFORMATION: The many pages of this website incorporate images, some created by the author, but many obtained from outside sources. To find out more information about these images and why this website can use them, visit this link: Photo Copyright Information

DISCLAIMER: The inclusion of images, quotations, and links from outside sources does not in any way imply agreement (or disagreement), approval (or disapproval) with the views of HellenicGods.org by the external sources from which they were obtained.

Further, the inclusion of images, quotations, and links from outside sources does not in any way imply agreement (or disagreement), approval (or disapproval) by HellenicGods.org of the contents or views of any external sources from which they were obtained.

For more information: Inquire.hellenicgods@gmail.com

For answers to many questions: Hellenismos FAQ

© 2010 by HellenicGods.org. All Rights Reserved.


Web Analytics Made Easy - StatCounter