Daimones of lies and falsehoods. sons of Eris,
or created by Dolos.
The sons of Eris are many, and most are personifications of
troubles that we each encounter in our lives. In this case, lies. The
Pseudologoi have no father, springing forth from Discord Herself, according to
Hesiod. Aesop tells us that Dolos, the daimon of treachery created the
Pseudologoi when Prometheus was creating Aletheia, Truth. By the 2nd
century CE, they are understood to be the children of Air and Earth themselves.
Whatever their origin, lies are with us. They trip off the
tongues of politicians and lovers. They dance between acquaintances and around
the workplace. And wherever they are, they cause trouble, even if not
Strabo used the term pseudologoi to describe various authors
from India, as a means of besmirching them. Of course, we have little
opportunity to determine how accurate his perspective might be.
Right now, we are seeing politicians using lies to shape an
expedient version of events that paints a picture that serves their own
purposes. Lies can serve in the short term, but they also eat at us. Sometimes
they protect us from things worse than deception. And yet, too often they cause
us pain in the process.
In witchcraft (and I
know I don’t usually talk magic on these posts but…) pseudologoi are dangerous.
They misdirect our meditations, and make us misread situations. Witchcraft
requires a certain brutal honesty with one’s self, and overwhelming our
personal lies is an important step forward on the path. Without honesty, one
cannot embrace the injunction To Know.
Pseudologoi are not something one worships. They range
around the world in the company of Apate (Deception) and Dolos.
Virtue lies in embracing their twin, Aletheia, the Truth.
This is no simple feat, of course. Particularly when we are faced with the very
real harms that can be done to us in response to our truths.
Gialoures, Nikolaos. Ancient
Elis: Cradle of the Olympic Games, Adam editions, 1996.
Gill, Christopher and Timothy Peter Wiseman, eds. Lies and Fiction in the Ancient World,
Grant, Michael. Greek
and Roman Historians: Information and Misinformation, Routledge, 2004.
Levine, Timothy R. Encyclopedia
of Deception, Sage, 2014.
Pigon, Jakub. The
Children of Herodotus: Greek and Roman Historiography and Related Genres,
“Renard the Fox and the Hen,” Capital decoration at the
Chateau de Pierrefonds in Oise, France, 14th c. CE. Photo by
Jean-pol Grandmont. Via wikicommons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:0_Ch%C3%A2teau_de_Pierrefonds_-_Chapiteau_histori%C3%A9_-_Le_renard_ligot%C3%A9_et_la_poule_du_%22Roman_de_Renart%22_(1).jpg