Monday, August 29, 2011

Meet Phanes!

Meet Phanes.

Some folks syncretically wed him with Eros the Elder, and some Orphic sects saw him as the “ancestral force” (if you will) behind (Zagreus/) Dionysos. At least, if I understand what they're saying, anyway.

As noted in the Theoi article: “His name means bring to light or make appear from the Greek verbs phanaô and phainô.” One would compare this to the idea of Dionysos as “the God who comes,” or “the Lord of Epiphany.”

Orphic Hymn #5 is dedicated to him, as the Protogonus. Like Dionysos, he also seems to have a tendency to hang out with cosmic snakes.

Sometimes, when I use the title “Lucifer” (Light Bringer) I'm being an asshole and referring to Phanes, Iakkhos, or Prometheus. (Although I tend to refer to Prometheus as such.) My reasons for Iakkhos are entirely UPG (I experienced him as “joyous torchlight at midnight,” but hardly expect that to makes any sense to most folks).

I primarily do this to freak out people I don't want to deal with. It's done a pretty good job of keeping me from being overly annoyed in terms of those who I speak with, honestly. They mistake me for a Satanist, and I get to roflcopter along most of the time.

I lampoon the idea of the Black Brotherhood, on an unrelated note, for reasons of satire.


Frater A.I.T. said...

"The third principle after the two was engendered by these--Ge (Earth) and Hydros (Water), that is - and was a Serpent (Drakon) with extra heads growing upon it of a bull and a lion, and a god’s countenance in the middle; it had wings upon its shoulders, and its name was Khronos (Unaging Time) and also Herakles"--from the Phanes link in the post.

Phanes is very interesting; undifferentiated passion, a hidden fire, neither male nor female but before and initiatory. The Serpent makes a lot of sense...of course, I can't help but get alchemy all over it. Between Phanes and Vulcan, then the Planetary Gods, there is a ridiculous amount of lore that is directly relevant for the alchemically-minded Goes. I'd never heard of it until you brought him to light...between you and JSK I spend the majority of my time these days studying old Greek lore, with jaunts into the Catholic saints thanks to Valentines. Good times!=)


Jack Faust said...

In the bits of the Derveni Papyrus that I've seen, the author seems to be arguing that everything which exists, also (albeit in a different form) existed before linear time. One modern commentator compared this to the notion of the big bang.

But the idea of Herakles as Kronos, or Kronos as the ancestral force that powered him, is interesting if you consider that the Orphics did not mind the idea of "fallen gods" returning as mortals so that they could later be redeemed.

Jack Faust said...

... Isn't there an alchemical symbol of a serpent whose head is that of a lion? Or have I seen that in my dreams? Lmao.

Frater A.I.T. said...

Hmm....I wonder if this incarnation as Herakles was before Zeus gave him the Elysium to rule? Heroic births being the pre-req to get in there?

Frater A.I.T. said...

Yes there is! An alchemical Hydra; there is even one with a bull, serpent, and Lion head all atop one dragon body. Basil Valentine, I think.

Frater A.I.T. said...

...Also, the image of the AZOTH in my book is quite similar to this description...the AZOTH is Saturnus as well, so it all ties in nicely.

Jack Faust said...

Re: Herakles as Kronos reborn and freed: that is a semi-safe line of reasoning, I think.

If I recall correctly: in Prometheus Bound, Prometheus states that he knows the child which Zeus will bear who will overthrow him. While the second and third books which explain who this is, and the process of reconciliation, are lost... There are some suggestions that the child in question is Herakles. One of his trials involves freeing Prometheus, and as a child of Zeus he has the potential to "take over" in the same fashion as Zeus did, but he seems to choose not to or ignore that possibility. Seeing this as a process of "redemption" of a sort is actually interesting.

But I wouldn't jump to conclusions, too soon.