ORPHISM - ORPHISMÓS - ΟΡΦΙΣΜΟΣ
Orpheus, or as his name is pronounced in Greek, Orphéfs (Gr. Ὀρφεύς) is one of the most important figures in all of Ællinismόs (Hellenismos; Gr. Ἑλληνισμός), the ancient Greek religion. His influence permeates everything that you find on this website in a general way, but the below pages deal specifically with teachings related to this great theologian, teachings referred to as Orphismós (Orphism; Gr. Ορφισμός), which is the religion of Diónysos and his Mysteries. Orphéfs is the famous musician and theologian who is called the father of all Mystery Religion. Read here about his mythology and get an idea of what he taught:
The Orphic Rhapsodies, the Sacred Logos in Twenty-Four Rhapsodies, is the story of the birth of the blessed Gods believed to have been taught by Orphéfs (Orpheus) himself. This is the most important page of the entire website as all the other numerous pages are simply an attempt to explain its meaning:
This is the introductory page which explains basic things about Thæogonía (Theogony; Gr. Θεογονία), stories of the origin and genealogy of the Thæí (Theoi, Θεοί), the mighty Gods:
The Orphic viewpoint is based on the material nature of the Kózmos (Cosmos, Κόσμος), that all things have two basic kozmogonic substances at the root of their nature. This way of perceiving reality has terminology. The concepts presented on this page are fundamental to grasp an understanding of every other page of this website:
Deeply related: Experiencing Gods.
The Orphic Hymns are essential for ritual in our tradition. Visit this page for information about them and to download the hymns in English and in ancient Greek:
Orphic Hymn Index - Most of the English translations of the Orphic hymns do not have a usable contents page or index, making it very difficult to find individual hymns. Here is the solution: Orphic Hymn Index
Here follows a link to download the Thomas Taylor translation of the Orphic Hymns along with the complete ancient Greek text: Hymns of Orpheus in English and in ancient Greek
To access the hymns in the original: The Orphic Hymns in Ancient Greek Online.
ORPHIC FRAGMENTS: Here is a link to a page of important links required for the study of ancient Greek Orphism, including a download of the entire Orphicorum Fragmenta by Otto Kern. There are also individual pages which have fragments in their original language as well as English translations:
For Those Who Practice Orphismós, our traditions are largely kept privy; why?
The story of Iásôn (Jason, Ἰάσων) and the Argonáftai (Argonauts, Ἀργοναῦται) has several variants, the most common being that which was told by Apollóhnios Ródios (Apollonios of Rhodes, Ἀπολλώνιος Ῥόδιος), but there is a one which is specifically in the Orphic tradition. The Orphǽohs Argonaftiká (Ὀρφέως Ἀργοναυτικά) is symbolic of the journey of the soul to Deification.:
Arætí - Arætí is defined as Virtue. What is virtue in our religion?
We are not alone in this world and our religion provides a model of how to behave towards other people and our fellow creatures:
The doctrine of the Deification of the Soul, in Greek Ækthǽohsis (Ektheosis, Ἐκθέωσις), has detractors. This link will take you to a page with a citations from both contemporary and ancient sources supporting the teaching:
There are often strong misunderstandings regarding the Orphic view of rebirth:
Orphéfs (Ὀρφεύς) is said to be the originator of all the Mystíria (Mysteria or Mysteries, Μυστήρια). What are the Mysteries and why is there controversy concerning them in the contemporary Hellenic community outside of Greece?
For a list of terms concerning the Mysteries, please visit this page:
For two millennium and possibly much longer the Ælefsínia Mystíria (Eleusinian Mysteries, Ἐλευσίνια Μυστήρια) offered a powerful means to push forward the Progress of the Soul. What was the Ælefsínia Mystíria?
For a list of terms specifically associated with the Eleusinian Mysteries, please visit this page:
The Toys of Diónysos are a great symbol of the Mysteries. This page enumerates the Toys, cites passages from ancient literature concerning them, and gives clues to their meaning:
The Golden Tablets are thin sheets of gold found in the graves of initiates of the Orphic religion. They have been discovered in parts of Italy and in areas of Greece. Perhaps the most famous of these is the Pætilía (Petelia, Πετηλία) Tablet, presented here in the original Greek and in an English translation, with some commentary:
Offerings may be made using a special vessel that has been associated with the rituals of the Ælefsínia Mystíria (Eleusinian Mysteries, Ἐλευσίνια Μυστήρια):
Just before ritual a special musical instrument may be employed:
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:
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