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Post  spokane89 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:50 pm

Mêlinoê (also called Meilinoê) is Goddess of the Offerings to the Dead and Goddess of Haunting.

Orphic Hymn #71

I call upon Melinoe, saffron-cloaked nymph of the earth,
To whom august Persephone gave birth by the mouth of the Kokytos,
Upon the sacred bed of Kronian Zeus.
He lied to Plouton and through treachery mated with Persephone,
Whose skin when she was pregnant he mangled in anger.
She drives mortals to madness with her airy phantoms,
As she appears in weird shapes and forms,
Now plain to the eye, now shadowy, now shining in the darkness,
And all this in hostile encounters in the gloom of night.
But, goddess and queen of those below, I beseech you,
To banish the soul’s frenzy to the ends of the earth,
And show a kindly and holy face to the initiates.

So, what do we make of this enigmatic Goddess? And her domain of ghosts, haunting and offerings to the dead?
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Re: Mêlinoê

Post  Erodius on Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:16 pm

Meilinoe is a specifically Orphic goddess, who, though she shares some attributes with other more widespread divinities, appears only in Orphic writings.

Her symbolism is profound and deeply connected with Orphic theology, and while some of this symbolism is restricted to Orphic initiates, I can say that part of it has to do with her depiction as radiant white on one half of her body and black on the other side. Her name also has two meanings. It can be spelt 'Meilinoe' (Μειλινόη) meaning 'gentle/friendly mind' or likewise 'Melinoe' (Μηλινόη) meaning 'dark/sinister mind.'

"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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