For a Kinder, Gentler Society
The God Who Comes: Dionysian Mysteries Reclaimed
  • Rosemarie Taylor-Perry
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The God Who Comes: Dionysian Mysteries Reclaimed.
Sound Bite

The mystical, ecstatic religions of the Greco-Roman culture were a direct threat to the newer Judeo-Christian movements, and had to be obliterated. But what were the Mysteries? Here, the veil is lifted, revealing traces of cultural conflicts at the root of Kosher law and other religious prescriptions that are still with us today.

This solidly researched text will serve as an important resource for those interested in Classical Greek culture and the roots of modern Western civilization, including the symbolic meaning of many references in Greek art and literature.

The book also examines the roots of human spirituality, the questions and the quest that lie at the foundation of the precursors to today's religions.


About the Author

Rosemarie Taylor-Perry has researched the Dionysian Mysteries using comparative mythologies, the writings of archeologists, Classical pagan writers and other sources. Her articles have been published in Circle Sanctuary Magazine and Shaman's Drum.

About the Book

The most widely acclaimed and influential religious cult in the ancient Greek world, for almost 2000 years, was the Eleusinian Mysteries, the Mystery Rites of Dionysos and associated Hellenic deities....

The most widely acclaimed and influential religious cult in the ancient Greek world, for almost 2000 years, was the Eleusinian Mysteries, the Mystery Rites of Dionysos and associated Hellenic deities. Drawing participants from Rome, Egypt and all around the Mediterranean, the Mysteries influenced and inspired many of the greatest minds including Aristotle, Homer and Plutarch. But initiates were sworn to secrecy; and with the advent of Christianity, the Roman Empire stamped out this "cult." How did adherents of Hellene Mystery Deities performed their worship? What was the symbolism of the sacred objects and the actions performed? The God Who Comes is a meticulously researched exploration of how and why these rites were performed, based upon archaeological, scholarly, and iconographic evidence - a refutation of facile New Age inventions.

Cicero said, "Athens never created anything nobler than those sublime Mysteries through which we became gentler and have advanced from a barbarous and rustic life to a more civilized one, so that we not only live more joyfully but also die with a better hope."

The author traces how the rituals were related chronologically; why it seems that many aspects of ritual action are unclear or appear transposed; and why no scholar intent upon probing the hows and wherefores of ancient Mystery rites had ever presented them in any sort of chronological, easily-understood manner.

She examines parallels in diverse civilizations including the use of hallucinogens in religious rites, and archetypal deities such as shape-changers (like the Navajo Coyote).

The book includes an index, Greek-to-English glossary, extensive footnotes and bibliography.


Introduction

This book began nearly ten years ago, from the desire to determine — as accurately as historically possible — exactly how ancient and Classical adherents of Hellene Mystery Deities performed their worship. I understood why they should wish to worship these Deities,...

This book began nearly ten years ago, from the desire to determine — as accurately as historically possible — exactly how ancient and Classical adherents of Hellene Mystery Deities performed their worship. I understood why they should wish to worship these Deities, as I myself shared that impulse: What I did not understand, and proposed to amend with The God Who Comes…, was how the rituals were related chronologically; why it seemed that many aspects of ritual action were unclear or appeared transposed; and why no scholar intent upon probing the hows and wherefores of ancient Mystery rites had ever presented them in any sort of chronological, easily-understood manner. The writing of this book has ended in the same spirit in which it has begun, but I now have a much deeper understanding of both how and why our Hellene forebears worshipped as they did — based upon archaeological, scholarly, and iconographic evidence, as opposed to prevailing New Age fictions. In this book I have attempted to share the easier understanding of these deeper meanings with all who are interested in them.

I have also attempted to describe how each ritual was performed. However, I have avoided a cookbook-type “do this, then do that” format, as such a format ultimately confuses more than it enlightens, and imposes an author’s own strictures upon material which, by its very nature, is open to various levels of interpretation. As Kerenyi noted in Dionysos, (350): “Only where there was no set place for the mysteries — no setting hallowed from time immemorial as was the Boukoleion in Athens — a place had to be sought and the setting created.”

CHAPTER ONE: HELLENIC MYSTERY DEITIES

Prior to taking part in ancient Greek Mystery ceremonies, initiates were required to gain some understanding of the nature of the Deities which were believed to appear, in one form or another, during the sacred rites.1 Such an understanding is no less necessary for the readers of this book, which attempts to give a detailed glimpse into the specifics of those Hellenic rites of passage and initiation that sought to unveil the mysterum tremendum.

Lady of Much Bounty

The most thoroughly documented of the Hellene Mystery ceremonies is that of Demeter at Eleusis, known in ancient times as the “Greater Mysteries,” or Eleusinia. Demeter, an agricultural goddess, evolved from earlier, pre-agricultural Mother goddesses similar to Gaia, Rhea, or Meter.2 She was known in the Hellene world as the spirit of the unripe fruit, whereas her virgin daughter Kore was considered to be the spirit of flowering….




Pages 220
Year: 2003
LC Classification: BL795.E5T25
Dewey code: 292.3'6--dc22
BISAC: HIS002010
BISAC: REL033000
BISAC: REL072000
Paper
ISBN: 978-0-87586-213-2
Price: USD 19.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-214-9
Price: USD 26.95
Ebook
ISBN: 978-0-87586-230-9
Price: USD 26.95
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