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Greek Goddesses, Mnemosyne

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Mnemosyne, in Greek mythology, the goddess of memory. A Titaness, she was the daughter of Uranus (Heaven) and Gaea (Earth), and, in accordance with Hesiod, mom (by Zeus) on the nine Muses. She gave birth to the Muses after Zeus went to Pieria and stayed together with her nine consecutive nights.

Mnemosyne, Greek goddess of memory, was one among the strongest goddesses of her time. After all, it can be memory, some believe, which is a gift that distinguishes us with the other creatures in the animal world. It is the gift which allows us to reason, to predict and anticipate outcomes, and is the very foundation for civilization.Sadly, the goddess Mnemosyne is basically forgotten, lost in the mists of energy. When she actually is remembered it will always be only in the context of her being mom of the Muses, though all acknowledge that without memory the lively arts of the Muses would never happen to be possible.Mnemosyne was a Titaness, a daughter of the first generation of deities in Greece. Her parents were the rulers Cronus and the goddess Gaia.Mnemosyne is usually depicted with a full mane of luscious hair, often a rich auburn in color. There are few stories about her even if she is often mentioned by the ancient poets who recount her awesome gifts to mankind.The goddess Mnemosyne is sometimes credited with being the first philosopher, her gift the strength of reason. She was handed responsibility for the naming of all objects, by doing so gave humans the means to dialog and to talk to oneself. The powers to place things in memory an that relating to remembrance were also influenced by this goddess.

Make no mistake concerning this. Memory was of the utmost importance at the time of Mnemosyne. Long before the invention of the alphabet and the written word, it was important to the well-being of an individual or a society who had to rely solely on the lessons passed on in an oral history.Besides, we aren’t speaking about memorizing shopping lists or the times tables here. The memory of Mnemosyne was rather more than that — it was the memory of the rules and energies of the universe, the cycle of life, the memory of how to live in the earth.The ancients believed that when one died and crossed into the Underworld one would get a choice whether to drink from the river Lethe the place you would forget all the pains and terrors of your previous life (and with them, the teachings they brought), or whether to drink from the Mnemosyne, before summer memory.İndividuals who made a decision to forget had to be reborn, revisit earth to learn the lessons they needed. Those who had chosen to recollect were admitted to the Elysian Fields where they might spend eternity in comfort and peace.The esteem where the memory was held is made clear in the initiation rites on the ancient gnostics, who were required to discuss with an oracle.

Before being brought to the oracle, initiates were taken to a location with two pools lying alongside oneself. They were instructed to first drink through the pool of Lethe, the goddess of forgetfulness, so that they might forget their previous lives. Certainly they were taken to the spring of Mnemosyne to drink so that they would remember everything that they were about to gain knowledge from the oracle.The initiate would then be ‘buried alive’ (i.e., put in seclusion) for a few days in the ‘tomb’ of the world god, Trophonios to await the arrival of your oracle. If the initiate were definitely properly prepared and was discovered worthy, the mysteries of life is told to him by oracle. And when he was brought back on the realm of the living, the priests would set him upon its own seat, called the Throne of Mnemosyne. While seated there, however remember and tell all that he’d learned below .Once an important goddess in her own right, Mnemosyne is largely remembered today in their capacity since the mother from the Muses, the nine Greek goddesses whose role it absolutely was to inspire poets and musicians and to promote the humanities and sciences.

After Zeus led the war against the Titans and established himself for the reason that leader of the Olympians, he feared that, despite the fact that he may be immortal, his great victories and decisions might soon be forgotten.Searching for a means to preserve the memory of his many great feats, he dressed for a shepherd and joined find Mnemosyne. They slept together for nine nights before he returned to his home on Mount Olympus. (By the way, Zeus was still being single and this hasn’t been one in all his famous extramarital affairs.)Zeus got his wish. Months later Mnemosyne gave birth for nine days, everyday delivering a daughter. Collectively these were referred to as the Muses and were called “having one mind, their hearts set upon song as well as their spirit free from care”.No banquet on Mount Olympus was complete that don’t have them. Seated close to the throne of the father, they entertained your guests, singing not just of the greatness of Zeus, but about the marvelous feats on the Greek heroes plus the creation of the heavens along with the earth and all sorts of its wondrous animals.

Greek Mythology, Elysium

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Elysium was the final resting area for the souls of heroes and virtuous men. The ancients often distinguished between two such realms the islands of the Blessed and also the Lethean fields of Haides.The first of such, often known as the White Island or the Islands of your Blessed, was an afterlife realm reserved for the heroes of myth. It was an island paradise perfectly found on the far western streams of the river Okeanos, and ruled over by the Titan-King Kronos or Rhadamanthys, a son of Zeus.Your second Elysium was a netherworld realm, perfectly found on the depths of Haides beyond the river Lethe. Its fields were promised to initiates from the Mysteries who had lived a virtuous life. The gods with the Mysteries associated with the passage of initiates to Elysium after death include Persephone, Iakkhos (the Eleusinian Hermes or Dionysos), Triptolemos, Hekate, Zagreus (the Orphic Dionysos), Melinoe (the Orphic Hekate) and Makaria.When the idea of reincarnation gained currency both Elysian realms were sometimes tiered–a soul which have thrice won passage to netherworld Elysium, would, while using fourth, be transferred permanently for the Islands of your Blessed to reside in with the heroes.

It should be noted that Elysium was an evolving concept. Homer knows of no such realm, and consigns all of his heroes to the common house of Haides, while Hesiod and many other poets speak only of a paradisal realm reserved for heroes. Roman writers (such as Virgil) combine the two Elysia–the realm of the virtuous dead and the realm of heroes become one and the same.Late Greek writers who attempted to rationalise the myths identified the mythical White Island with one located near the mouth of the river Danube on the Black Sea. The Islands of the Blessed, on the other hand, were sometimes identified with the islands of the eastern Aegean, or with islands located in the Atlantic Ocean.In ancient Greek the terms Elysium and Haides always occur as adjectives rather than proper names, i.e. pedion Elysium (the Elysian plain) and domos Haidou (the domain or house of Haides). The etymology of Elysium is unclear. It may be connected with the Greek verb eleusô (eleuthô), “to relieve” or “release” (i.e. from pain), and/or using the town Eleusis, site of the celebrated Eleusinian Mysteries.

In Greek mythology, Elysium would be a portion of the Underworld (the spelling Elysium is a Latinization of the Greek word Elysium). “Elysium is an obscure and mysterious name that evolved from a designation of a place or person struck by lightning, enElysium, enelysios.The Elysian fields were the final resting place of the souls of the heroic and the virtuous. Two passages in Homer established for Greeks the character of the Afterlife: the dreamed apparition of the dead Patroclus in the Iliad and the more daring boundary-breaking visit in Odyssey. Greek traditions concerning funerary ritual were reticent, but the Homeric examples encouraged other heroic visits, in the myth cycles accreted upon Theseus and upon Heracles.
The Elysian Fields lay on the western margin of the world, by the encircling stream of Oceanus (Odyssey), there the mortal relatives of the king of the gods were transported, without tasting death, to enjoy an immortality of bliss (Odyssey book iv: 563). Hesiod refers to the Isles of the Blessed in the Western Ocean (Works and Days).Pindar makes it a single Isle. Walter Burkert notes the connection with the motif of far-off Dilmun: “Thus Achilles is transported towards the White Isle and becomes the Ruler of the Black Sea, and Diomedes becomes the divine lord of an Adriatic island.”
In Elysium were fields from the pale liliaceous asphodel, and poplars grew. There stood the gates that led to the house of Ais.

Elysium in Literature

Among the poets to interpret Elysium is Virgil, who describes an encounter there between Aeneas and his father Anchises. Virgil’s Elysium knows perpetual spring and shady groves, with its own sun and lit by its stars solemque suum, sua sidera norunt (Aeneid book vi:541).In the Renaissance, the heroic population of the Elysian Fields tended to outshine its formerly dreary pagan reputation; the Elysian Fields borrowed a few of the bright allure of paradise.In Paris, the Champs-Elysees retain their name of the Elysian Fields, first applied in the late 16th century to a formerly rural outlier beyond the formal parterre gardens behind the royal French palace of the Tuileries.After the Renaissance, as popular poets became less relying on reading Greek and Latin literature, and images of Valhalla entered the popular European imagination, a level cheerier Elysium evolved for some poets. Sometimes it is imagined as a place where heroes have continued their interests using their lives. Others suppose it is a location filled with feasting, sport, song; Joy is the “daughter of Elysium” in Friedrich Schiller’s Ode to Joy.Dante had a different idea of the Elysian Fields – he described them as the very upper level of hell, a place of peace that the unbaptized and also the non-believers who lived virtuous lives go. It is a place of happiness, but it’s closed removed from God and thus remains as hell.

Elysium in Neopaganism

Many Neopagans today, especially Hellenic neopagans in the usa, have what most would consider a new-age view of Elysium. Elysium is seen as a multi-layered paradise, or Heaven, to a lot of modern neopagans. Some believe that the outer layer of Elysium is composed of great and beautiful fields, often envisioned in imaginative descriptions as having green glowing blades of grass and bubbling springs of glowing water and wine, often made from the nectar of Ambrosia. At night fields of Elysium, reserved only for the most righteous and virtuous, is the Golden City where spirits appear in a state of constant euphoria. Whether such beliefs are based in actual mythology often seems rather unimportant to many neopagans. Most claim that old myths are simply mortal accounts and interpretations of the divine, however the same might be argued about any current beliefs regarding Elysium. A lot of what many modern neopagans believe today regarding Elysium seems to be borrowed from popular Christian imagery of Heaven.