Spiders and Fate

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About Ruadhán McElroy

Ruadhán has been a traditional Hellenic polytheist for about a decade, and has also maintained devotions to Eros and Apollon most of that time; his status as a devotee of Nyx is more recent. He also paints, makes music, makes jewellery, and writes novels set in the Mod Revival (UK) and Swampie (Oz) subcultures of the 1980s. He also gets a lot of odd little experiences that he jokes will forever render him an insufferable Goth.

[PBP2013] Triads

Unless you’re the newest of nubs in Hellenic polytheism (in which case, you shouldn’t start with this blog, you should start with most of the info I have under “Hellenismos Resources”), the you probably already know that the Triple Goddess of Maiden, Mother, Crone is pretty much an invention of Robert Graves. Graves is also author of The Greek Myths, typically published in two volumes, and it’s full of some really weird ideas that are largely dismissed by Classics scholars and pseudo-etymology that seems more based on the kind of “feels” and “truthiness” that Kaldera and/or Schwartzstein lept to in Urban Primitive than any sort of scholarship of the ancient Hellenic dialects. Now, as mythological poetry, it’s no more valid or invalid than some of the “UPG-based” stuff I’ve read from people less-read on the Internet, and he certainly writes better than most of them. That said, the idea of Persephone, Demetre, and Hekate being unified in some Maiden-Mother-Crone tryptich is purely from Graces’ own imagination and the only basis for it in Hellenic mythology —if you squint— is the fact that all three play a role in the mythology of the Elusinian Mysteries, but even then, Hekate is still clearly the “Maiden” She has always been in classical Greek thought. Yes, by some mythology, She is also Mother to Kirke and others, but the menopausal dowager of popular Neopagan religion is in no way a manner in which the ancient Hellenes depicted Hekate.

That said, the idea of goddesses in particular grouped together in triads certainly is an ancient concept, and was no stranger to the ancient Greeks. So, just from memory, here are all the triad deities in the Hellenic pantheon that I can think of –it might not be literally all of them, but oh well– and this is not counting groups of more than three, like the Pleiades or the standard Nine Olympian Moisai.

Moisai Titanades: The three “Titan” Muses; by some accounts, the Moisai Titanades are four in number with Melete being the only common name and Theoi Project says the two groups are essentially the same three plus one, but my own gnosis says literally all named Muses exist. Their names are Mnene (Memory), Melete (Practise), and Aiode (Song), and by some fragments, They’re the daughters of Gaia and Ouranos.

Moisai Apollonides (as per Eumelus fragment): Daughters of Apollon, They are Kephiso (of the river Kesiphus), Apollonis (Daughter of Apollon), and Borysthenis (Strength). I’ve found no narrative mythology about them, and only Borysthenis is named for a virtue of the creative process, though it’s easily arguable that Apollonis would embody much of the same command for music that Apollon Himself does.

Moisai Apollonides (as per Plutarch): Nete, Mete, Hypate –they rule, respectively, the lowest, middle, and highest octaves of the lyre. On a personal gnosis bend, this extends to the octaves of music, in general. While I have found no ancient narratives about this set, either, I have one in my draft folder; I’m not happy with it at all, but most of the stuff that I post in spite of thinking it’s complete shit seems to get kinda popular, anyway, so maybe I’ll post it some time, anyway.

Moirai: While there are certainly others named, and I do, too, believe I have knowledge that that not only are all named as Moirai are Moirai, but also Tykhe and Psykhe are among their numbers, classically only three are named: Klotho (She Who Spins our Threads) and Lakhesis (She Who Measures Our Threads) and Atropos (She Who Cuts Our Threads). The primary three are the daughters of Nyx, and the Moirai in general are believed to preside over all births, both mortal and Divine, dispense major life lots before they’ve ever happened, and even assign domain to the Deathless Ones.

Kharites: Again, many are named and I personally believe most, if not all of Them exist, but they’re typically depicted by ancient and modern eyes as a triad —while modern eyes tend to lean Them almost always in attendance of Aphrodite, there is no shortage of surviving ancient accounts of Them being worshipped outside of Aphrodite’s cult, and as I recall, one of Pindar’s accounts, they were worshipped alongside Apollon, and in Delphi and Delos, They (rather than the Moisai) were depicted in the hands of Apollon, and They have been depicted in ancient art as attending Hera, Dionysos, Hermes, Eros, the Horai, and the Moisai. Their worship originated in Boiotia, by way of the legendary king of Orkhomenos, Eteokles, who also numbered them as Three, but apparently, even by surviving ancient accounts, They weren’t named until later. The most common name of the triad of Kharites is usually Aglaia, Euphrosyne, and Thaleia.

Erinyes or Praxididai: The Erinyes, “murky ones”, avenging crimes against the gods, homicides, and abusive child-parent relationships. By some accounts in narrative mythology, They are assigned by Hades and Persephone to torture the damned amongst the dead. The Praxidikai, “avenging ones”, is a Boiotian grouping of three similar goddesses. Unfortunately, having interacted with these Goddesses minimally, I’m just going on gut here, but I personally approach these two names for the “sets” as a regional difference for the same class of goddess triad.

Erotes: You know, I almost left this other common triad out, cos a good three or four years ago, I just stopped thinking of this grouping as a triad altogether at the behest of Eros. There FAR are fewer extended names for the Erotes than there are for Kharites, but I dunno, somehow it’s easier for me to think of the Kharites, though They are far more than Three, as simply travelling in threes –maybe the spirit of Eteokles is simply overriding what would normally seem logical to me about that. That said, the most common triad of Erotes tends to be Eros, Himeros, and Pothos. This is also an unusual triad, as triad deities tend to overwhelmingly be female in nature, and this seems to be a habit that even extends into the Celtic and Norse pantheons.

Again, going only by memory, the only other male triad of deities I can think of are the judges of the Dead in Hades’ employ. By Platonic accounts, the “demiurgic triad” of Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades is a rather loose one, in that unlike the others that are usually depicted in art as almost inseparable, They’re seldom depicted together in that way (another reason I hesitated toward adding the Erotes, as Eros Himself, as well as others associated with that grouping, are just as, if not more often, depicted without the triad).

About Ruadhán McElroy

Ruadhán has been a traditional Hellenic polytheist for about a decade, and has also maintained devotions to Eros and Apollon most of that time; his status as a devotee of Nyx is more recent. He also paints, makes music, makes jewellery, and writes novels set in the Mod Revival (UK) and Swampie (Oz) subcultures of the 1980s. He also gets a lot of odd little experiences that he jokes will forever render him an insufferable Goth.

Moisai & Moriai: A Love Story

We who are driven by music, conducted by Apollon and the Moisai, tend to hear the music we’re meant to when we’re meant to hear it. We may even dismiss something we stumble upon too early as “not [our] thing”, but be it years, months, or even weeks later, we can hear the same band, artist, album, or even song as if it’s for the first time, and it will be life-changing, life-affirming, or however we’re meant to hear it. I hated Scott Walker five or six years ago, and had barely heard one song when i dismissed his work; lately I cannot live without his music.

If free will was at all a part of the equation, we might realise at that pivotal moment, “hey, wait, this is the same thing I’ve dismissed for years, why does it sound better now?”, and we could choose away the importance of that music. Sure, some songs or suites may lose importance with time, that’s only natural and is no more in our control than the burning feeling that this song, at this moment, is keeping me alive, or similar burning feelings. Our desires and choices don’t matter here, and they never will. What matters is that we entertain Her and all Her children and grand children, and great, greater, and greatest grands…. What matters is that the story of love that we’re here to tell called for us to hear that piece, by that muso, at that moment, and place importance on it for that length of time.

And that’s all this is: It’s a story of love, told with love and out of love, for the Mother of Love (Eros) and divine mitochondrial of all Divine beings. We are but marionettes carved lovingly to tell Her stories is love and joy and spirit and creation — of herself, her eldest boy, the youngest Fate to Whom He was betrothed, and Their shining daughter who puts the smile on the face of every child, the sweat of the brow of every orgasm, the delirium on the tongue that has tasted every dessert, and the pure unadulterated bliss on every mind that has enjoyed any great work of art, literature, music, and philosophy. They’re very close, you see, and They are truly in charge —Zeus is but a figurehead that keeps the uninitiated mortals in order. Some day, perhaps in a future lifetime, they, too, will come to understand this.

About Ruadhán McElroy

Ruadhán has been a traditional Hellenic polytheist for about a decade, and has also maintained devotions to Eros and Apollon most of that time; his status as a devotee of Nyx is more recent. He also paints, makes music, makes jewellery, and writes novels set in the Mod Revival (UK) and Swampie (Oz) subcultures of the 1980s. He also gets a lot of odd little experiences that he jokes will forever render him an insufferable Goth.

Free Will

Free will is an illusion of Nyx’s children
Apatê and Dolos, Deceit and Trickery
And people love Them so much for this illusion
It allows them to believe that humans are above the Moirai
When not even Zeus is above the Moirai
When Eros is in cahoots with the Moirai
When Nyx is the mother of the Moirai
and They live to please Her
They weave Their tapestry of eternity
for Their beloved mother
We never had any say
We will never have any say
So go about your day
Perform the actions you believe are choices
And remember that it’s all for Her
We do this all because
the beloved daughters of Night
wish nothing more than to delight Their mother
with the beautiful pictures that Tykhe designs
and Klôthô spins threads for
which are measured by Lakhesis
and cut by Atropos
and woven by Heimarmenê
as we are guided by Psykhe
to create this picure
This ever-moving picture
that will end long before They do
for They are deathless,
and our lot is fated short,
and we don’t get to say when it ends,
we don’t get to say when we’ll eat
or drink
or fuck
or piss,
we only think we do,
because She her brood likes it best that way.

About Ruadhán McElroy

Ruadhán has been a traditional Hellenic polytheist for about a decade, and has also maintained devotions to Eros and Apollon most of that time; his status as a devotee of Nyx is more recent. He also paints, makes music, makes jewellery, and writes novels set in the Mod Revival (UK) and Swampie (Oz) subcultures of the 1980s. He also gets a lot of odd little experiences that he jokes will forever render him an insufferable Goth.