I hope you had a lovely Deipna my friends! May the Noumenia be full of blessings!
The son of Nereus and the first love of Aphrodite. For a
time after her birth, the Golden Goddess lived in the waters, and there she
fell in love with the beautiful sea God Nerites. Eventually, however, Olympus
called for her, and she knew that she must go. She offered to take Nerites with
her, and wanted to give him wings. But he refused, choosing to stay with his
family (or with Poseidon, accounts vary) in the waters. Angered, Aphrodite
turned him into a sea snail.
Another story says that Nerites was Poseidon’s charioteer,
and he loved to race across the waves at a reckless speed. This caught the ire
of Helios, who prides himself on his own mastery of the chariot. Elsewhere,
Helios desired Nerites to join him in the heavens and was refused. In this
story, it is Helios who turned the beautiful God into the sea snail. Some of
the stories suggest that Nerites was also the lover of Poseidon, and that his
reluctance to leave was due to his overwhelming affection for the King of the
His sisters are, of course, the many Nereids, after whom
many Gods and Heroes have lusted.
Today the shells that get their name from Nerites form an
entire family of snails. They are small, and their shells are particularly
round and come in a wide range of colors. Nerites generally eat diatoms and
algae. They are quite unusual for snails, as they reproduce sexually! (most
snails spawn by releasing gametes.) Nerites can be salt-water or freshwater
oriented (it’s a big family.)
Hard, Robin. The
Routledge Handbook of Greek Mythology, Psych Press, 2004.
Sanders, Ed, et al. Eros in Ancient
Greece, Oxford, 2013.
Sprung, Julian. “Aquarium Invertebrates: Nerites: Bleeding Tooth, Zebras,
Checkers and More,” from Advanced
Aquarist, vol. II, Sept. 2003, at http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2003/9/inverts
Peterson, Bob. “Checkered Nerite,” photo 2014 of a nerite
tessellate from North Palm Beach, Florida. Via wikicommons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nerita_tessellata_-_Checkered_Nerite_(13377464844).jpg
Massoulle, Andre-Paul Arthur. “Genie au trident chevauchant
un poisson,” bronze sculpture, 1900. Photo taken by Dr. Murali Mohan Gurram, 2013,
in the 7th arrondissement in Paris at the Pont Alexandre III. Via
“can’t people just have their opinions?????”
If your “opinion” is hurting people? No.
If your “opinion” has wandered into bigotry territory? No.
There is no excuse for either, and people shouldn’t be forced to tolerate bigotry, even if it is your “opinion”. End of story.
You have no idea what the moon phase is
You have no idea if it is retrograde or life is just fucking with you
You haven’t attempted a spell in months
Magic probably could have helped you cope with some of the things you dealt with in the last few months
It’s been months since you opened a book on magic/witchcraft
It’s okay… it happens. Sometimes life just hits us from all directions. There’s no pressure to be a super witch.
Install a phase app on your phone that has a widget for the home screen
Try to incorporate mini spells, little magics with your coffee cup in the morning…stir it clockwise with your intention or draw sigils with your spoon/stirrer
Who cares if it is retrograde or not… if life is hitting you from all sides, take precautions like it is.
Remember you are not required to open a book on the craft every week, or even every month. You’re not always ready to start learning new things and absorbing new knowledge. Relax.
“polytheism uncucked” oh my god please i cannot contain the fucking cringe this name contains
not to mention: sorry kenaz filan, i’ll call out racists if i see them, polytheists or no. no one says “beautiful white babies” without saying it in a racist context, because they believe in blood purity, eugenics, and only non-interracial relationships.
Propolos: Guide, companion, servant. Sophocles, The Root Cutters. The Homeric Hymn to Demeter.
In the LSJ Propolos suggests “going,” or “acting before,”
and was usually applied to servants, attendants and those who minister to
another. Those who serve a God, or who interprets the Gods’ will to men are
also sometimes known as Propolos.
Jacqueline Feather, who admittedly approaches Hekate from a
more psychological angle, suggests that Hekate is Propolos when guiding the
Gods, and Phosphoros when guiding mortals. But there is naught to suggest that
this has a historic background.
Propolos can also mean ‘handmaiden,’ and Hekate’s role in
the Hymn to Demeter directly notes that She becomes the handmaiden of
Persephone. It is Hekate who sometimes guides Persephone into (and out of) the
Underworld. She also serves a similar purpose for the Dead themselves. It is
from this position that Hekate became the Mistress of Ghosts and Leader of the
Restless Dead. I have not had the chance to read the original Greek, but I
wonder if Sappho’s poem about Hekate being the attendant to Aphrodite describes
her as Propolos.
Iphigeneia, who is, according to some stories, also Hekate,
is the propolos of Artemis. The story goes that Iphigeneia, daughter of
Agamemnon, was offered as sacrifice to the Gods, because the Gods were holding
the King’s fleet from sailing for Troy. She was rescued by Artemis, and thereby
became her companion.
Hermes too is Propolos to Zeus. He regularly attends to the
King of the Gods, or serves as his messenger. We see them together in several
stories, perhaps most popularly the story of Deucalion and Pyrrha. He could
also attend on a few different Goddesses, alongside Pan.
But Priests could also be Propolos, though we are uncertain
of the specifics of their position and responsibilities. The title varied from
cult to cult, and usually the God’s attendant was expected to be the same
gender as the deity (which notable exceptions in the cultus of Cybele and
others.) Each cult had its specific responsibilities, which varied considerably
depending upon the polis and the variations of interpretations of the Gods.
I have encountered a lot of Hekatean practitioners who are
uncomfortable with the idea of Hekate being the handmaiden or attendant or
companion to anyone. They see her as the indomitable Queen of the Underworld.
And that’s cool. But I would argue that Queens (and Kings) are best understood
in terms not of their domination of others, as they are truly servants to the
responsibilities of their position. There is no degradation in service. I am
not made less by my helping others nor am I weakened by doing service to
another. Kings and Queens serve the good of their domains, and if they do not,
then they are not worthy of the throne. Hekate Propolos is not diminished by
her service to the other Gods, nor is Hermes, rather they are empowered and
magnified by their companionship with them!
Feather, Jacqueline. Hekate’s
Hordes: Memoir’s Voice, Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2009.
Harrison, Jane Ellen. Themis: A Study of
the Social Origins of Greek Religion, Cambride, 2010.
Johnston, Sarah Iles. Restless Dead:
Encounters between the Living and the Dead in Ancient Greece, Univ.
Mikalson, Jon D. Ancient Greek Religion,
Wiley & Sons, 2009.
Ogden, Daniel. A Companion to Greek
Religion, Wiley & Sons, 2010.
Peck, Elisabeth Sinclair. A Study of the Greek Priestess, Univ.
Doyen, Gabriel Francois. “The Sacrifice of Iphigeneia,” oil
painting, 18th c. CE, now in the Maison Motais de Narbonne, via
Smith, William. “Persephone (Proserpine) Enthroned,” from A Smaller Classical Mythology: with
translations from the Ancient Poets, and Questions Upon the Work, John
Murray, 1882. Wood-engraving, 1882. Via wikicommons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Persephone_enthroned_(Illustrated_by_Engravings_on_Wood).jpg