Ceres – meter antaia

v  Ovid, Metamorphoses 5. 341 ff:  (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.)

“Ceres first turned the earth with the curved plough; she first gave corn and crops to bless the land; she first gave laws; all things are Ceres’ gift. Of Ceres I************ must sing. Oh that my song may hymn the goddess’ praise as she deserves; a goddess who deserved high hymns of praise.”


v  Greek Lyric V Scolia, Fragment 885:  (trans. Campbell) (Greek lyric B.C.)

“I sing of the mother of Ploutos***** , Demeter Olympia, in the garland-wearing season, and of you, Persephone, child of Zeus: greetings, both! Tend the city well.”

Sender of Prophetic Visions

Hekate and her priestesses were known for their powers of divining and foretelling the future. As a goddess of the crossroads she looks in three directions simultaneously. Seeing the past, the future that will come about if one maintains their current course, and the future that might be if they turn to a different path.

This unique wisdom is Hekate’s special gift, and is one she passes on to her followers in form of prophetic visions of the future, whispered secrets of the present, and visitations by the spirits of those long past. She is our link to the psychic world, the archetypal shaman, every individual’s possibility as a magician, seer, healer, and medium.

A device known as “Hekate’s Circle” was used for divining. It was a golden sphere with a sapphire hidden at its center. Twirling with an ox-hide thong, it was said to provide the means to reveal the future, presumably in a manner similar to that of a pendulum.


As Antaia, the Sender Of Nocturnal Visions, she was both the bringer of visions and madness, and in this aspect she had a son called Museus – The Muse Man. She grants us insights which are not those of the rational mind, but rather the stuff of the deep unconscious, such as the inspirations of artists, poets, and visionaries.

In King Lear, Shakespeare attributes dreams to: “The mysteries of Hekate and the night” as she has long been associated with interpreting dreams. Unfortunately, her visions can be more than a person can bear, resulting in nightmares, terrors, and insanity.

Her power is like that of a poison such as belladonna. In lower quantities it can intoxicate or release one from pain or inhibitions, while in higher doses it destroys.



v Orphic Hymn 41 to Demeter :

“To Meter Antaia*  Basileia Antaia , of celebrated name, from whom both men and Gods immortal came; who widely wandering once, oppressed with grief, in Eleusis’ valleys foundest relief, discovering Persephone thy daughter pure in dread Aides**, dismal and obscure. A sacred youth while through the earth you stray, Dysaulos*** , attending leader of the way; the holy marriage Khthonios**** Zeus relating, while oppressed with grief you rove. Come, much invoked, and to these rites inclined, thy mystic suppliant bless, with favouring mind.”


v Callimachus, Hymn 6 to Demeter – A hymn for the Thesmophoria festival of Athens: (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.)

 “As the Basket comes, greet it, ye women, saying ‘Demeter, greatly hail! Lady of much bounty, of many measures of corn.’ As the Basket comes, from the ground shall ye behold it, ye uninitiated, and gaze not from the roof or from aloft–child nor wife nor maid hath shed her hair****** –neither then nor when we spit from parched mouths fasting*******. Hesperos *******from the clouds marks the time of its coming: Hesperos, who alone persuaded Demeter to drink, what time she pursued the unknown tracks of her stolen daughter, Persephone.

Lady, how were thy feet able to carry thee unto the West, unto the Melanoi (Black Men) and where the golden apples are? Thou didst not drink nor dist thou eat during that time nor didst thou wash. Thrice didst thou cross Akheloios with his silver eddies, and as often didst thou pass over each of the ever-flowing rivers, and thrice didst thou seat thee on the ground beside the fountain Kallikhoros********* parched and without drinking, and didst not eat nor wash.

Nay, nay, let us not speak of that which brought the tear to Deo! Better to tell how she gave cities pleasing ordinances; better to tell how she was the first to cut straw and holy sheaves of corn-ears and put in oxen to tread them, what time Triptolemos was taught the good craft . . .

O Demeter, never may that man be my friend who is hateful to thee, nor ever may he share party-wall with me; ill neighbours I abhor.

Sing, ye maidens, and ye mothers, say with them : ‘Damater, greatly hail! Lady of much bounty, of many measures of corn.’ And as the four white-haired horses convey the Basket, so unto us will the great goddess of wide dominion come brining white spring and white harvest and winter and autumn, and keep us to another year. And as un-sandalled and with hair unbound we walk the city, so shall we have foot and head unharmed for ever. And as the van-bearers bear vans**********  full of gold, so may we get gold unstinted. Far as the City Chambers let the uninitiated follow, but the initiated even unto the very shrine of the goddess–as many as are under sixty years. But show that are heavy and she that stretches her hand to Eileithyia*********** and she that is in pain–sufficient it is that they go so far as their knees are able. And to them Deo shall give all things to overflowing, even as if they came unto her temple.

Hail, goddess, and save this people in harmony and in prosperity, and in the fields bring us all pleasant things! Feed our kine, bring us flocks, bring us the corn-ear, bring us harvest! And nurse peace, that he who sows may also reap. Be gracious, O thrice-prayed for, great Queen of goddesses!”


*Meter Antaia = Cerulean Queen/Demeter/Ceres

** Aides = Hades

***Dysaulos = Iakkhos

**** Khthonios Zeus = Hades

***** Ploutos = Pluto

****** the locks were dedicated at puberty

*******  the Nesteia, the second day of the Thesmophoria, a day of fasting

******** the evening star Venus

*********(Callichorus) [i.e. the well at Eleusis]

********** skull-shaped baskets, sued for offering first-fruits to the gods

*********** goddess of childbirth

************ the Mousa/Muse Kalliope



all images on wikicommons/demeter


~ by meanderingsofthemuse on August 13, 2013.

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