Monday, 23 July 2012

Poseidon

©Mellado & Phellan
Today, I drew a card from the Mythic Oracle (Blue Angel, 2009) to meditate on.  What I received was "Poseidon - the unknown" (there are two versions of several of the Gods in this oracle, including Poseidon).

I was struck by the similarities between this card and the High Priestess, whom I wrote about on Saturday.   He also wears robes which flow and which are both clothing and water, in this case the sea.  A full moon shines behind him, too, haloing his head.  What I gained from my meditation on Poseidon was seeing a moonlit path across the surface of the water.  This path led to instinctual knowing and an exploration of my deeper emotions and unconscious drives.

The largest difference for me, though, was all the baggage that I have around male authority figures.  I don't think this is just me, there's also a cultural aspect to it.  For example, less ancient tellings of the myth of Orestes have him being put on trial for killing his mother, but being freed because he did it to avenge his father's death.  In these more "modern" (for lack of a better word to differentiate between primeval, ancient, and just old) versions, the patriarch is valued more highly than the matriarch, and it is a man's duty to impose order on the women of his household!

Interestingly, Robert Graves suggests that originally, the killing of Orestes' father (Agamemnon) by his mother (Clytemnestra) was a "ritual" killing of the old God to make way for the new, as in the Holly/Oak King dynamic.  However, as Greek patriarchy came to the fore, the tale was altered so that even a female Goddess, Athena, supported Orestes' matricide.  In the same way, Zeus, as King of the Gods, was a rapist, Hades an abductor, and the first tale told of Poseidon is of him sending a tidal wave against the Athenians to punish them for choosing Athena as their patron in his place.  Petty and tyrannical, anyone?

I find it incredibly hard to connect with the male deities of the Ancient Greek Pantheon.  The females, by comparison, do call to me; Artemis in particular, but each has an aspect I can respect.  When I meditated with Poseidon, however, I kept seeing flashes of images from TV shows and films, showing him as vengeful, spiteful, violent, punishing, and altogether unpleasant.

My first impulse was to say this deck will be one I use more for readings than for meditations.  However, that moonlit path from my meditation on Poseidon suggests it would probably do me good to try to connect more with some of these male deities.  Perhaps I will be able to find the aspects of them that are accessible or useful, to balance the more negative views that I currently have.

I'd love to hear other people's feelings and experiences with Greek Gods and Goddesses...

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