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Author Topic: Mercury - Can Someone Give Me More Than: The One With the Winged Sandals?  (Read 9715 times)
marshamarshamarsha
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« Reply #15: June 02, 2011, 08:11:39 pm »

I did not say Goddess, I said God.
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« Reply #16: June 02, 2011, 09:37:38 pm »

He is the only god aside from Pluto himself that is allowed into the underworld. 

Well, not entirely. Dionysos (I am of the camp of Bacchus, Liber, and Dionysos being the same god, just viewed through different cultural lenses -- but not everyone is in this camp) travels to the underworld numerous times, including becoming a chthonic version of himself for a year according to the trietric festival calendar (basically one year he is "above ground", and one year he is "below ground"), taking his mother from the underworld to be a god on Olympos, and in his role as Iacchus/Iakhos, the torch-bearer who leads the procession for the Eleusinian Mysteries. According to the Orphics, he was also the son of Persephone and born in the underworld (before being torn apart by the titans and reborn as Dionysos to Semele).
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« Reply #17: June 02, 2011, 09:49:24 pm »

Well, not entirely. Dionysos (I am of the camp of Bacchus, Liber, and Dionysos being the same god, just viewed through different cultural lenses -- but not everyone is in this camp) travels to the underworld numerous times, including becoming a chthonic version of himself for a year according to the trietric festival calendar (basically one year he is "above ground", and one year he is "below ground"), taking his mother from the underworld to be a god on Olympos, and in his role as Iacchus/Iakhos, the torch-bearer who leads the procession for the Eleusinian Mysteries. According to the Orphics, he was also the son of Persephone and born in the underworld (before being torn apart by the titans and reborn as Dionysos to Semele).

A really big deal is made, in the Persephone story, of Hermes being the only deity allowed in and out of Hades realm.  Perhaps others were let in later, and of course Persephone was, although unlike Hermes she cannot choose when she comes and goes, but it is still an important attribute.
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« Reply #18: June 02, 2011, 09:51:18 pm »

A really big deal is made, in the Persephone story, of Hermes being the only deity allowed in and out of Hades realm.  Perhaps others were let in later, and of course Persephone was, although unlike Hermes she cannot choose when she comes and goes, but it is still an important attribute.

Point out exactly where you heard this version of the story.  I suspect it might be a modern retelling and nothing one of the ancient writers came up with.
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« Reply #19: June 02, 2011, 09:56:05 pm »

Point out exactly where you heard this version of the story.  I suspect it might be a modern retelling and nothing one of the ancient writers came up with.

From my parents originally.  Obviously it's not something an ancient writer came up with, it's in English, not in Ancient Greek.

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« Reply #20: June 02, 2011, 10:27:27 pm »

A really big deal is made, in the Persephone story, of Hermes being the only deity allowed in and out of Hades realm.  Perhaps others were let in later, and of course Persephone was, although unlike Hermes she cannot choose when she comes and goes, but it is still an important attribute.

Which is just that: a story. A sacred story, but still a story. The myths that we know of now were the few acceptable ways for the ancient Greeks to discuss the secret Mystery cults and what happened there. However myth does not always equal what happened in the cults (for example, despite Hera depicted as the jealous shrew in many myths, she was prayed to heavily in matters of matrimony, the household, etc. alongside her husband-brother, Zeus). Just because only certain gods show up in certain re-tellings, does not mean that other gods are not involved as well in actual cult practice.

And just to put some dates in here, Homer's hymn of Persephone, which is I believe the one you're referencing?, dates to about 650 B.C.E.. It seems most sources put the start of the Eleusinian cult somewhere between 1600 BCE and 1100 BCE. Dionysos' cult is also not a late addition: his name is found in Linear B, which is around or before the time frame I just previously mentioned.

This doesn't mean that Homer's hymn or those related to it, are wrong or inaccurate. It just means that it's not the ONLY story depicting this material.
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« Reply #21: June 02, 2011, 11:02:27 pm »

A really big deal is made, in the Persephone story, of Hermes being the only deity allowed in and out of Hades realm.  Perhaps others were let in later, and of course Persephone was, although unlike Hermes she cannot choose when she comes and goes, but it is still an important attribute.

You might find this thread of interest on this subject (that being the Rape of Persephone): http://www.ecauldron.net/forum/index.php?topic=15839.0

If we deconstruct the myth to reflect the cultural norms of ancient Greece, it would make sense for Hermes to be the one to go back and forth: as well as being a limnal god, he's a god of travel, commerce and conversation. Who better to mediate between a very pissed off mother who has lost her child, because her father decided to give her away to her husband, the father, and her daughter's husband? I'm sure Demeter could go to the underworld, but she couldn't take her daughter back because of what had been done. Which reflects pretty accurately what would happen to mortal mothers in ancient Greece and their daughters.

Of course it's a lot more complex than that in a way (including a huge agricultural component), because we're talking about a several thousand years old cult practice that has been filtered through various cultural lenses every which way.
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« Reply #22: June 02, 2011, 11:25:38 pm »

(for example, despite Hera depicted as the jealous shrew in many myths, she was prayed to heavily in matters of matrimony, the household, etc. alongside her husband-brother, Zeus).

I think Jealous Shrew is a bit harsh.

Most women would be rather upset if their husbands were running around impregnating other women willy nilly.
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« Reply #23: June 02, 2011, 11:30:44 pm »

I think Jealous Shrew is a bit harsh.

Most women would be rather upset if their husbands were running around impregnating other women willy nilly.

Yeah, but most women don't punish women that their husbands impregnated (sometimes by force) and the offspring of such unions.
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« Reply #24: June 02, 2011, 11:33:20 pm »

Yeah, but most women don't punish women that their husbands impregnated (sometimes by force) and the offspring of such unions.

Not nowadays no.

Viewing the actions of ancient deities with modern morality is generally counterproductive though.
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« Reply #25: June 02, 2011, 11:35:37 pm »

Not nowadays no.

Viewing the actions of ancient deities with modern morality is generally counterproductive though.

That's assuming deities don't change over time, or that our modern moralities should be thrown out the door when we approach religion. Personally, I think the things many of the gods done in myths are despicable - but I don't approach myth as a literal depiction of the gods. (Otherwise... I can't justify associating with beings who rape. Goodbye most of the Theoi.)
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« Reply #26: June 02, 2011, 11:36:18 pm »

Yeah, but most women don't punish women that their husbands impregnated (sometimes by force) and the offspring of such unions.

I can't help wondering if that doesn't have at least as much to do with opportunity, as it does with inclination Wink
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« Reply #27: June 02, 2011, 11:45:58 pm »

Not nowadays no.

Viewing the actions of ancient deities with modern morality is generally counterproductive though.

True, but the myths written by ancient people in a different culture than ours still wrote myths where she was jealous and vindictive when her husband (forceful or not) cheated on her. And "jealous shrew" might be harsh (I certainly don't believe she is, and definitely wouldn't say that to her face!) but quite a number of her myths do not depict Hera in a favourable light. At all.
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« Reply #28: June 02, 2011, 11:54:18 pm »

That's assuming deities don't change over time, or that our modern moralities should be thrown out the door when we approach religion. Personally, I think the things many of the gods done in myths are despicable - but I don't approach myth as a literal depiction of the gods. (Otherwise... I can't justify associating with beings who rape. Goodbye most of the Theoi.)

Let me switch one important word then.

Viewing the ancient actions of deities with modern morality is generally counterproductive.

And Nykti she's definitely extremely vindictive, including against people who did not deserve it (Zeus' various children) but they're mere mortals, playthings and pawns, she doesn't hurt them to hurt them, she hurts them to hurt Zeus.
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« Reply #29: June 02, 2011, 11:55:44 pm »

Mercury is a trickster god and a god of quick thinking.  In his role as Hermes he represents maleness in much the way that Mars does (thus the word Hermaphrodite, a melding of Hermes and Aphrodite)  He is the only god aside from Pluto himself that is allowed into the underworld. 

Truthfully I wouldn't be so quick to make the assumption that Hermes and Mercury are the same god.  I've encountered far to many gods / goddesses that are pretty pointed in their statement they are not the other.

The melding of Aphrodite and Hermes was the child known as Hermaphroditue or Hermaphroditos.  A two sexed child who was also androgynous in apperance.  Thus the word Hermaphrodite did not originate with Hermes and Aphrodite but their child.
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