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Faeries & Universal Beings

Post  AgathonZante on Fri Apr 11, 2014 12:04 pm

In Greek religion and mythology, the cases of Faeries are rare, certainly not as prevalent as in places like Ireland and England. However, there are some cases of Greek Faeries, such as the Sylphs, Silvani, Nereides, and some even consider Nymphs to be a class of Faery. Would it be outside the realm of Hellenism to have relations with these Spiritual beings? If not, what, if anything, did the ancient Greeks do to connect with them?
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Re: Faeries & Universal Beings

Post  Erodius on Fri Apr 11, 2014 12:56 pm

'Sylphs' are a concept invented during the Middle Ages by alchemical occultists; no such things ever feature in Greek or Roman myth. The word itself was made up by Paracelsus, who likely invented the concept itself.

Nereids are nymphs, the name simply means 'children of Nereus', referring to their parentage. Nymphs are a type of daemon, literally the souls of things and certain places. Being embodied souls, they have also been considered to be ultimately mortal, though very long lived.

Fairies come from Christianized, medieval Celtic folklore, the result of divinities worshipped by the Celtic tribes being 'disempowered' by Christian influenced and turned into minor 'wood sprites'.

Daemones and nymphae are worshipped in certain instances in much the same way as any other divinity, but fairies (insofar as you mean it as something different from a 'daemon') are 18/19th century fantasy, loosely derived from Medieval folktales.

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-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
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Re: Faeries & Universal Beings

Post  AgathonZante on Fri Apr 11, 2014 1:05 pm

I've seen them though. Scores of people around the World continue to report sightings and photographs, so I would say they are perhaps far more than simply fantasy. I understand that some things that people may call Faeries today were not called or depicted as such in ancient times, but my question was would it be contradictory to the practice of Hellenism?
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Re: Faeries & Universal Beings

Post  Erodius on Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:17 pm

People report seeing all sorts of fantastic things, from giant pterodactyls, to fairies, to unicorns and plesiosaurs, to Sasquatch, and all kinds of other monsters. This is all pareidolia. If you believe you will see something, the mind creates the images for you, and if one has a vivid imagination, one will probably be able to even see these images.

As I mentioned, 'fairies' have nothing to do with Classical myth. Not insofar as the word is used to mean anything other than a tutelary or genius loci.

Recognition of daemones/genii locorum certainly features in Classical religion, but the Classical world also gave us rationalism and scientific inquiry; credulosity and superstition were viewed with derision.

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Faeries & Universal Beings

Post  AgathonZante on Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:33 pm

Well I certainly don't want to get into a debate about what exists and what doesn't, but not all people who have reported Faeries had wild imaginations. Some people never believed in such things, some even Atheists, until they ran into one of these beings.
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Re: Faeries & Universal Beings

Post  Erodius on Fri Apr 11, 2014 3:22 pm

AgathonZante wrote:Well I certainly don't want to get into a debate about what exists and what doesn't, but not all people who have reported Faeries had wild imaginations. Some people never believed in such things, some even Atheists, until they ran into one of these beings.

I think it is probably impossible to quantify whether or not somebody has a wild imagination. Everyone has an imagination, it is just that some people stop using it. However, it still remains in the psyche. Every time one sees a movie and feels connected with it, one is using imagination — and there are those situations like the rope snake of the Upanishads. You are walking at night and see a coiled rope, your imagination jumps in to supply the understanding to your mind because you are not close enough to see, and it is too dark to tell with your eyes, and you panic because you see a 'snake'.

Even the most committed atheist, certainly, still has his or her imagination and reflex instinct to deal with. As long as any of us are alive and in bodies, our imaginations, reflex instincts and pareidoliae are chronic, though they might consequently show their heads in different places.

While John Doe Catholic sees the Virgin Mary in his swimming pool, Jane Doe nonbeliever follows post hoc, ergo, propter hoc's and false correlations (the pirates vs. global temperature as a comical example of such).  Laughing 

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Faeries & Universal Beings

Post  Linda on Fri Apr 11, 2014 4:08 pm

I think one should be careful with stating what exists and what does not exist. There's a lot of things we don't know about and don't understand out there. And now and then you keep reading in the paper about fishermen bringing up aquatic life thought exist.

So one can only say what's plausible or not. I consider things like mermaids and elves very unplausible, gray aliens a bit more plausible and sea-monsters and yetis even more plausible to mention a few examples on modern lore. The monster of Loch ness might have been a couple of fishes swimming together, and the yeti might be a grizly or a huge monkey. Some 'beasts' might be 'normal' animals with genetic defects for instance.

One example: For a long time in my country the White Elk was considered just a myth, then back in the 50ies there was a hunter downing an albino elk, and if there was one, for sure there have been others early on. Usually animals kill off albinos and other specimens with defects, but sometimes for one reason or another they get to live. As with the albino elk. And because they are so rare, they give the fodder for legends. The unicorn might for instance be a horse with a genetical deviation giving it some kind of bone growth defect in the head.

Then there's the legend with the centaurs. The ancient greeks seldom rode, they tied their horse to the chariots, and so when they met people riding a lot, they reffered to them as 'horsemen' and that was the beginning of the legend of the centaurs.

And when it comes to fairies, well that might be humans who chosed to live a bit off the civilisation for one reason or another. Looners. I can imagine that when christianity came to the Brittish islands for instance, there were people who refused to conform and so they might've run out in the woods and live the equivalence of 'hippie life' thus giving the fodder to the legend of the fairies.

Then again, of course there are legends which are just that. Tales, created for entertainment reasons for instance. No one today believes in Chtulhu, but those stories sure are amazing to read!

Just some thoughts.

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Re: Faeries & Universal Beings

Post  apseudos on Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:55 pm

Linda wrote:I think one should be careful with stating what exists and what does not exist. There's a lot of things we don't know about and don't understand out there.

Linda, that's a truism that, if followed a bit more carefully by all humanity, would result in far fewer conflicts than we would dare dream about. The thing is, it's not just what's "out there" - there's a huge amount "in here" - inside every single one of us - that we don't know about or understand. Indeed, I would offer that it is largely our difficulty seeing what's "in here" that leads to the difficulties of understanding what's "out there".

Linda wrote:And when it comes to fairies, well that might be humans who chosed to live a bit off the civilisation for one reason or another. Looners. I can imagine that when christianity came to the Brittish islands for instance, there were people who refused to conform and so they might've run out in the woods and live the equivalence of 'hippie life' thus giving the fodder to the legend of the fairies.

As a Brit I can tell you that the best evidence suggest that, when Christianity came, our ancestors did not run out into the woods and become hippies. Rather, Christianity adopted a much more subversive approach - assimilating pagan religious sites (a bit like Star Trek's "Borg").

Some sites were harder to assimilate than others. Near where I live is the ancient stone circle (with ditch and bank) of Avebury. It's large enough to contain the village itself! However, when it was Christianised, the Pope himself (forget which one) granted special permission for the church to be built OUTSIDE the stone circle. It seems that building INSIDE was a step too far for the natives.

In Britain, many such assimilations are marked by churches dedicated to St Michael (or, later, St George) - serpent/dragon slayers. The serpent or dragon represents paganism.

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Re: Faeries & Universal Beings

Post  Erodius on Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:57 pm

Linda, that's a truism that, if followed a bit more carefully by all humanity, would result in far fewer conflicts than we would dare dream about. The thing is, it's not just what's "out there" - there's a huge amount "in here" - inside every single one of us - that we don't know about or understand. Indeed, I would offer that it is largely our difficulty seeing what's "in here" that leads to the difficulties of understanding what's "out there".

I disagree, partially. Would it not be an awfully intellectually slumberous if we did not test out truth and falsehood — no science, no mathematics, no learning, no civilization. Where there is no conflict, there is stagnation. Ἀγών is a virtue. To live is to strive.

Each ontological level of being is fundamentally parallel and related to those that have begotten it, and those it begets, to genuinely comprehend the essence of any is to do likewise for the others. It is when one tries to break up the set of matryoshka, and make that one doll is heterousian from the others, that the whole assembly fails.

Science without religion wears a blindfold, religion without science shuts its eyes.

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Faeries & Universal Beings

Post  Linda on Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:50 am

Erodius wrote:
Linda, that's a truism that, if followed a bit more carefully by all humanity, would result in far fewer conflicts than we would dare dream about. The thing is, it's not just what's "out there" - there's a huge amount "in here" - inside every single one of us - that we don't know about or understand. Indeed, I would offer that it is largely our difficulty seeing what's "in here" that leads to the difficulties of understanding what's "out there".

I disagree, partially. Would it not be an awfully intellectually slumberous if we did not test out truth and falsehood — no science, no mathematics, no learning, no civilization. Where there is no conflict, there is stagnation. Ἀγών is a virtue. To live is to strive.

I don't see how these two things excludes each other.

Of course it's hard to see what's inside of us, but that does not mean that we are not supposed to try. On the very contrary.

The only thing is that the scientific methods we have been applying to look at the outside (at the stars, the biology, the physical medicine et cetera) is not exacly rightly aligned with looking inside of us. Empiric methods to analyze and evaluate for instance psychic ailments have often proved inadequate and in some cases even hazardous. The dead end with electricity treatment within the mental health care and the extensive use of psychopharmacological drugs are two examples upon that. What's inside of us must be treated differently. And how is hard to say at this very moment, but our insides work differently from the outsides, they are of another quality than the things you can take and touch. But I'm all for turning every stone there is and then some to come up with a better way than for instance giving drugs pills to people to treat mental conditions.

On top of that - things we today are regarding as deviations could and should rather be seen as perfectly normal and healthy. The problem is that we have created a society too rigid and thus it is sorting out people who should have a room in a society more accepting and forgiving. Perfectly normal kids are stamped with the diagnosis of ADHD and similar things and sorted into the 'ill' box. Instead of being given the chanse to do something else with their lives than to sit in a classroom for several hours a day. Not all people are made for this rigid society, we better start accepting that rather than to sort people into little boxes and call them for sick.
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