This couple is an expression of the forces which support the divine movement of return towards the origin (ΚΡ+Ι). Here the spouse of the Titan is not one of his sisters, a Titanide, but rather a daughter of Pontos (Life) named Eurybia, ‘a vast force’ representing the highest plane of the vital’. There are therefore grounds to conclude that this union is temporary and works towards the dynamisation of the movement of return. When these forces, charged with the task of reconnecting the totality of our being to its divine source will have achieved their goal successively through the planes of the mind and the vital, Crius will find his legitimate spouse, probably the Titanide Themis, ‘Divine law’.
This couple bore three sons, Astraeus, Perses and Pallas (see diagram 6).
The first, Astraeus the ‘starry’, was, through his union with the goddess Eos “who brings the New”, at the origin of the ‘divine lights’, or awakenings of consciousness which are the ‘stars’, and the ‘divine aids’ symbolized by the four great winds to help the return journey towards Unity.
The second, Pallas, evokes through his union with Styx the powers which will become available to man when the union of body and spirit will have come into effect.
Through his union with Asteria, Perses describes the multitude of transformations required to perfect this evolution, allowing for the progressive influence of the goddess Hecate, the deity who is to rule over the future of mankind.
Astraeos (Astraios) and Eos
Uniting with Eos the goddess of the dawn, Astraeos represents the action of a multitude of luminous states of consciousness (starry consciousness, points of light-matter) which through the maturation of the psychic being lead towards the eternally New, Eos. Their children are therefore the ‘spiritual aids’ which allow the growth of the former. Initiates of ancient times classified them into two categories, ‘the stars’ and the ‘the winds’. They are the passive and active aids of the Absolute respectively; the ‘stars’ guide man in his aspiration and the winds support or jostle him, depending on what is needed for his evolution. The latter were rapidly anthropomorphised by the Christian Church still steeped in Greek culture. Theologians named them ‘angels’ from the Greek αγγελος, a word which means ‘messenger’, but they sometimes maintained the Greek image of the winds to describe its forces (Hebrews 1.7 ‘ He makes His angels winds’ and Psalm 104.4 ‘ He makes the winds His messengers’).
The four great winds
These are the winds originating in the four symbolic cardinal points: Boreas the North Wind, Notos the South Wind, Eurus the East Wind and Zephyrus the West Wind.
Although these names also designate the winds which actually blow in Greece, one must not attempt to liken their physical characteristics to those attributed to them in mythology. Hesiod only lists three, omitting Eurus. The reason for this omission remains a mystery.
They each have a specific task corresponding to their symbolic direction, frequently intervening in the quest of the Golden Fleece, the Trojan War (Iliad) and the Ulysses return (Odyssey), to help, stimulate or when necessary hinder the progress of the heroes. They indicate specific ‘tendencies’ of the corresponding phase, aids which the seeker receives or obstacles which he must surmount.
As their task is both to support and to redress errors, their tumultuous manifestations can seem harsh to the seeker. Most often it will be Poseidon, the god of the subconscious, who will in his role as the activator of emotional knots unleash these winds against the hero in storms or squalls.
One must not confuse them with the multitude of lesser, redoubtable and noxious winds unleashed by Typhon, ignorance, which bring peril to sailors and destroy crops (see the section on Typhon in chapter 3). These noxious winds are surface manifestations that Typhon, vanquished by Zeus, unleashes from his dwelling in Tartarus. These manhandle unconscious man according to the whims of the forces of nature and pull him downwards.
There is therefore a battle between the four great winds sought after by the soul and those which oppose evolution with all their strength, keeping the greater part of humankind in their hold.
It is not easy to precisely determine the characteristics of these great winds, for the initiates of ancient times seem to have described them each according to their own experience. In this study we will adhere most closely to Homer’s texts, which depending on the intensity of the stages of the path made their intensity vary from gentle breezes to storms so as to give a general ‘impression’ of the difficulty of the passage being considered. But it must be taken into account that the force applied by the Absolute is proportional to the amount of resistance. In addition, the perception that each individual can have of it varies depending on the nature of his progression in a particular domain.
Boreas is the North Wind, cold and dry, and the season which characterises him is winter.
It is the wind of spiritual asceticism. Its land is Thrace, the northernmost province of Greece considered to be the land of cold par excellence. Through the structuring characters of his name, Β+Ρ, he represents the force which accompanies the process of incarnation (Β) in accordance with the divine movement (Ρ).
As the wind of asceticism, it is for a long time that of effort, an effort which can become excessive and mislead the seeker. And in fact, we find in Thrace the deviations of an inappropriately conducted or overly violent asceticism, for example in Diomedes of Thrace, ‘he whose thought is turned towards the Divine’, who fed his horses with human flesh and who Heracles faced during his eighth Labour.
But a well-conducted spiritual effort can generate extraordinary results, particularly by elevating the vibrations of the vital; according to Homer, Boreas, transformed into a blue-maned horse, mated with the mares of Erichthonius, who consequently bore eight fillies. They would gallop over wheaten fields without bending a single ear of grain, and would travel over the broad back of the sea over the tops of waves.
Erichthonius was one of the first kings of Athens, and therefore governs the beginnings of the quest. During this period, the seeker is led to appease his emotional reactions so as to reduce their somatic repercussions to a minimum.
Giving from the most elevated and purified part of his mind (the blue mane), he neither damages the fruits of his work nor allows himself to be troubled by emotional and vital turmoil.
In a passage by Pausanias, Boreas is described as having snakes in the place of feet, which expresses his contribution to the evolution of matter in incarnation.
Boreas united with Orithyia, ‘she who leaps impetuously onto the mountain’, a daughter of Erechteus, a king of Athens. (The mountain is a symbol of the spiritual path.) This union brought to the practice of asceticism an ardour of elevation and aspiration.
As we will see, the kings of Athens ‘direct’ the construction of the inner being, the psychic. Erichthonius is the seventh king, a son of Pandion, ‘he who has given himself completely to Truth or to union in consciousness (Pan+ΔΙ)’, which is to say that he represents a seeker who is relatively well-advanced on the path.
From his union with Orithyia were born two children, Calais, ‘the aspiration” (from the root καλ calling + I)’, and Zetes, ‘he who searches and strives (word originating from Ζητεω)’. They are called the Boreads from their father’s name. They represent the foundations of the quest, one issued from the psychic and the other being more will-based. We will encounter these characters again on several occasions – they are especially well known for having pursued the Harpies over great distances during the quest of the Golden Fleece.
Orithyia also bore Boreas two daughters, Chione, ‘of the whiteness of snow’ or ‘the evolution of the concentration of consciousness’, and Cleopatra, ‘famous ancestors or past realisations’.
Chione bore Poseidon a son named Eumolpus, ‘a song which rings true’, which is to say ‘a harmonious mode of being’. As soon as she had given birth, Chione flung the infant into the sea for she feared the anger of her father Boreas, but Poseidon rescued and took in the child; thus, when the quest is well underway and is already bearing fruits, there appears to consciousness the possibility of a ‘sunlit path’, Eumolpus, ‘a harmonious mode of being’ resulting from a purification obtained by the gathering consciousness allied to the subconscious forces represented by Poseidon. But the seeker, still too tense on his personal effort, cannot yet integrate into his ascetic progress the release that this represents. This path of just equilibrium must wait in the subconscious to be able to establish itself later on.
It will therefore not be a surprise to notice that in many traditions Eumolpus was linked to the mysteries of Eleusisi, to which he initiated Heracles after having purified him from his murder of the Centaurs.
Some say that Apollo would spend the winter in Hyperborea, which is to say the land ‘beyond asceticism’; it is the moment in which effort is no longer necessary, for the process of yoga is then taken in hand by the psychic being or the Divine. We have seen that in this land ‘eternal spring rules, and nothing casts a shadow’ – it is the place of the eternally New which lies outside of duality.
The incarnation and aspiration characteristic of Boreas can seem paradoxical or contradictory. But opposition only manifests itself on the path which rejects the possibility of the transformation of the lower planes, the Trojan path, or that of a materialism which completely negates the existence of the worlds of the spirit.
Notus is the South Wind, and is said to be unhealthy. In the Iliad it is stated that ‘the South Wind sheddeth a mist over the peaks of a mountain, a mist that the shepherd loveth not, but that to the robber is better than night ‘ (Iliad 3.10-12). It is equally dangerous for sailors.
It therefore represents a force which cloaks both the aim and the path itself, and favours the presence of obstacles so that the seeker can gain his liberty. His domain of action extends from the plane of the vital till the highest levels of the spiritualised mind, which is to say from the beginning to the end of the quest. It is the symbol of a certain confusion, but one that is necessary and healthy, for Notus is a son of Eos and Astraeus.
According to the structuring characters of his name, Ν+Τ, he demonstrates a power of aspiration which in excess can lead towards an exaggerated propensity for disincarnation and bring mental confusion. He is both the opposite of and complementary to Boreas.
Eurus, otherwise known as Euros, is the East Wind. He is symbolically the carrier of the forces of renewal; the symbolism of the East is in fact linked to the rising sun and to the beginning of a new day.
His name carries the same structuring character Rho as that or Eros, Rhea and Hera, ‘she of the right movement’. His name signifies ‘he who flows well’.
Homer writes that he melts the snow which Zephyrus has gathered’, thus announcing the spring. He often also associates Eurus with Notus whether their breaths are united or opposing each other. In this case it is a matter of a struggle between confusion, Notus, and that which propels forward towards what is new, Eurus.
As it blows towards the west it also obliges the seeker to examine his past and his psychological blockages.
Zephyrus is the West Wind. Homer describes him as unleashing the violence of autumn storms which causes the fall of dead leaves and branches. But according to Hesiod, he lightens the sky. (His name could mean ‘watering down from the top to the bottom’. It is therefore a force of purification acting as a partner of Eurus by ‘cleansing’ the past. Let us however note that he is also sometimes described as ‘the gentlest of winds’
He united with the Harpy Podarge who gave birth to the famous horses of Achilles, Xanthos and Balios, who were immortal and gifted with the ability of speech.
Let us remember that the Harpyes (the children of Thaumas, himself the second son of Pontos, Life), were known to be extremely swift. They are symbols of processes of homeostasis, or at the opposite, of the reversals of equilibrium at the roots of life in the beginnings of its mentalisation (for the harpies are winged beings, but not birds). These variations of states are so swift that consciousness can only take them into account with great difficulty. The Harpy Podarge, ‘the clear-footed’, represents what is luminous in those movements in accordance with the truth in matter (a return to the true cellular movement).
Therefore, the union of a spiritual power of purification, Zephyrus, and of the right movement at the root of the vital, Podarge, transforms vital energy to its depths, rendering it ‘golden yellow’ (Xanthos) and ‘swift and free’ (Balios).
The fact that these horses are immortal indicates that once it has been acquired, this realisation belonging to the world of non-duality can no longer disappear.
Their being gifted with the power of speech demonstrates that the seeker is conscious of all the movements of his vital till its deepest levels. This leap of consciousness is the logical development of the work which he must accomplish to be aware of everything happening within himself, beginning with the superficial levels of thought, emotions and feelings. The more refined becomes the work, the more it deals with the swift archaic processes of life and matter. We easily imagine that its accomplishments belong to very advanced phases of yoga; not only must one be capable of detecting these extremely fleeting transformations, for they are incomparably more rapid that what we are ordinarily conscious of, but one must also be capable of acting upon them and mastering them. At the cellular level, the Mother speaks of an almost infinite speed within a complete immobility.
As an illustration of the action of the winds, let us mention the story of Achilles praying to Zephyrus and Boreas to blow on Patroclus’ funerary pyre, which would not catch on fire; the seeker is forced to seek the help of these winds (divine aids or angels), to free himself of all traces of the grip of these past realisations (Patroclus), even when the latter are no longer consciously adhered to by the seeker (for the soul of Patroclus is already with Hades). It is therefore a purification which the seeker cannot carry out through his own forces alone.
To the four winds generated by the couple Astraeus and Eos Hesiod adds ‘the glittering stars’. They are the guides and points of reference, fleeting moments of absolute presence with an intense, light and joyful sensation that everything is perfectly in its right place. Satprem describes these moments as ones in which ‘it exists’.
Hesiod reserves a special place for the most remarkable of these stars, Eosphorus, ‘the messenger of dawn’ (also known as Phosphoros, ‘the bearer of the light’, and Lucifer amongst the Latins), for he precedes the rising of the sun. His presence announces the contact with the soul, hence his preeminence over the other stars. This announcing herald-like role has elicited an exaggerated association of Eosphorus with Venus, ‘the morning star’ when she precedes the sun’s rising and ‘the evening star’ when she follows his setting.
An erroneous interpretation by Christian theologians transformed Eosphorus ‘the bringer of light’ into Lucifer, a force of darkness. And in fact, since the beginnings of time every bringer of divine light was progressively identified with Satan or the devil, a fallen angel who by his rebellion against God became the Prince of Darkness.
A very lengthy exegesis would be necessary to bring to light the successive shifts of meaning and interpretation occurring from the book of Isaiah, in which is exclaimed, ‘How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn!’, and from that of Ezekiel, (Isaiah 14.12 and Ezekiel 28.11-19), in which the epithet Cherubin is given to the king of Tyr. Here we will restrict ourselves to suggesting a few clues which could allow these to be understood.
In mythology the winds and the stars are known as ‘messengers’, αγγελος (Εἰ γὰρ ὁ θεὸς ἀγγέλων ἁμαρτησάντων οὐκ ἐφείσατο: “if God has not spared the angels who have sinned”, Second Epistle of Peter, 2.4). But as we have just seen these messengers included both the stars and the divine winds but not the evil winds, children of Typhon, ignorance. It would appear that this distinction between the winds was progressively lost and Eosphorus, one of the great αγγελος, was either through error or intentionally associated with the evil winds.
Probably to give support to this alteration of meaning from the original myths, theologians created the myth of the revolt of the angels, an account which was permanently added to Christian dogma in the Middle Ages. Lucifer (the bringer of light), the Dragon or Serpent (evolutionary force) and Satan (the power of incarnation) became a single being, the devil (from dia-bolein, that which divides) at the origin of all evil.
Eosphorus had a son Ceyx, an expression of ‘the new light’.
Ceyx united with Alcyone, one of the daughters of Aeolus. They were in the habit of calling each other Zeus and Hera, and this angered the king of the gods who transformed them into two birds, Alcyone into Halcyon and Ceyx into an ocean bird, the Ceyx.
The name Ceyx (Κηυξ, Κ+Ξ) could mean ‘a consciousness which opens towards the equivalence of Spirit and Matter’. It represents an advanced stage of the quest in proximity to the overmind. Zeus allowed these processes of consciousness on the boundary line of the vital and the body to be mentalised (transformed into birds).
Ovid and Hyginus attributed to Eosphorus another son, Daedalion (Δαιδαλιων). This name is almost identical to that of Daedalus (Δαιδαλος), the famous architect and inventor who built the labyrinth for the Minotaur. His name also carries the meaning ‘he who works skillfully’.
In the myth of the Minotaur Daedalus was an architect of great renown and a brilliant inventor, but as we will see later on he was only a creator of ‘images’ of reality, of forms empty of real meaning resulting from the union of mental intelligence and a strong vital.
But in the myth being discussed, Daedalion is not in any way invested of a negative connotation of this kind. Ovid and subsequently Hyginus, who seems to have drawn inspiration from the text of the former, make him a symbol of a creator of new forms with an opening in the direction of matter. And in fact, his name carries the character omega at the very end of it. His daughter Chione, the evolution of the gathering of consciousness, united with Hermes and bore Autolykus, ‘he who is his own light or self-awareness’, the most cunning of men and the grandfather of Ulysses. She also united with Apollo and by him bore the great musician Philammon, a poet and soothsayer of great beauty who established Demeter’s Lernaean mysteries.
Pallas – Styx
Pallas, the second son of the Titan Crius, united with Styx, the eldest daughter of the Titan Oceanus.
Pallas and Styx bore Zelos, Nike, Kratos and Bia. When the war between the gods and Titans broke out, Oceanus asked his eldest daughter, Styx, to bring her children to Zeus’ side to offer him their support. Henceforth, none of them would be able to manifest or move outside of Zeus’ presence.
While the children of Astraeus are the ‘divine aids’, those of Pallas represent the aim of souls, the union of the Psychic Being and the purified and liberated personality once the former has completed its process of growth. When this union will have been accomplished – when Styx, the river skirting the boundaries of the underworld, will have been ‘integrated’ – then having united the physical inconscient and the conscious, man will have at his disposal the ‘qualities and divine powers’, amongst them:
Zelos: the jealous zeal of one who is exclusively devoted to the Divine, as well as ardour and enthusiasm (divine transport).
Nike: divine victory in incarnation (for the goddess who carries this name is known to have beautiful feet).
Kratus: power originating from the Soul.
Bia: the strength or force (of the consciousness of the Absolute within incarnation).
In his current manifestation man lives in the lower planes of the mind, and his divine powers and qualities are therefore very greatly attenuated, for they do not find any point of support to express themselves other than through the conscious mind. Man can only reach them from the level of the overmind, for ‘none of them could manifest or bring themselves outside the presence of Zeus’.
Perses – Asteria, and their daughter Hecate
Perses, the third son of Crius, united with Asteria, the sister of Leto. The Perses discussed here must not be confused with his eponym, the brother of Aietes (or Aeetes) the king of Colchis, who was himself the son of Helios and Perse the Oceanid.
The relationship between the three brothers Astraeus, Pallas and Perses, can be conceived of in the following way: with the support of the ‘divine aids’, the great winds given by Astraeus, Perses offers the means of achieving the restitution of union announced by Pallas, namely the process of destruction and transformation which has as its aim an infinity of luminous leaps of consciousness, ‘Asteria’. His name, Perses, seems to originate from the root ‘περθω, to destroy’, which we find again in Persephone, ‘she who destroys death’, and in Perseus, ‘he who destroys fear’.
Perses and Asteria gave birth to the very mysterious Hecate, the most honoured of goddesses; she was granted by Zeus greater honour and privilege than any of the other gods. Her authority, we are told by Hesiod, extended over the earth and the fruitless sea and even to the starry skies, originally attributed to her during the rule of the Titans. She granted wealth, glory, support and aid to whomsoever implored it of her, but could also deprive others from glimpsed gifts if so was her wish. With Hermes she multiplied the number of herds, but could also diminish them as she pleased. Zeus had entrusted her with the protection of young men who had due to her intervention witnessed the light of dawn, which holds a million elements within its gaze.
Hecate therefore symbolises a force of transformation originating from transformation (Perses) and acting towards the aim of establishing the light of Truth, Asteria. She especially watches over the seekers (young men) who have had a first experience of this light, a first glimpse of the Unity of all things.
For the vast majority of humanity, she remains a deity of the future. Her action is in fact subordinated to the movement which considers all the events of life in light of the will of holistically perfecting oneself (the dawn which holds a million elements within its gaze).
This force acts on all the planes of the being, in the body, the vital and the mind of man up to the overmind (her authority extended over the earth and the fruitless sea, and even over the starry skies), while generally the other gods each act within a particular domain. In addition, she was present at the time of the Titans even prior to reflective human consciousness taking form., and therefore acts in all planes of consciousness.
She is the emissary of the (supramental) Consciousness of Truth, and the seeker becomes aware of her action gradually as its progress advances.
With Hermes, the power of aspiration and knowledge of the overmind, she works to accrue spiritual gifts (with Hermes she multiplied the herds), but she can also deprive the seeker of them if it is necessary for his evolution (…but she could also diminish them if she so pleased).
Addressing oneself to Hecate is wishing to ‘progress in Truth’, and the soul automatically receives a reply which is however not always in agreement with the will of the ego: she answered the prayers addressed to her and granted what was asked for in accordance to her wisdom.
Her name can have multiple meanings depending on the roots being considered. It can mean either ‘she who strikes far’ (in time or on a more elevated plane), which is to say a far-off realisation, or ‘she who lies outside error and the blindness of the mind’, or in addition her name can have the same meaning as the figure ‘hundred’, symbol of a completion in unity.
Helios ‘Panoptes’, he who sees all, witnessed Persephone being abducted by Hades, but only Hecate heard her cries, which is to say that while only the consciousness of Truth ‘which is conscious of the totality’ (Helios) records the first movements of the work in the corporeal inconscient, only ‘the will of transformation’, Hecate, perceives the panic or the agitation of the seeker (Persephone’s cries).
The fact that Hecate’s following is constituted of the ‘shades’ of those who have suffered violent or premature deaths or were not given burial rites (she is ‘the queen of ghosts’ ) reflects that her presence within the consciousness of the seeker attracts the knots buried in the inconscient, which are to be addressed. In other words, when the seeker draws near to Hecate, all past ‘knots’, which include those inherited through the evolutionary process, emerge automatically in the seeker’s life or consciousness, seeking to be appeased and dissolved. Essential to the work of unification, she works in the wake of Demeter’s passage (See the Homeric Hymn to Demeter 24-25, 52-59 and 438-440). She therefore naturally became a companion of Persephone, preceding and following her in her recurrent journeys, for the work on the inconscient cannot bear fruits unless the nature of the seeker is ‘transformed into truth’ in both the work of investigation and that of the ascent to consciousness of past experiences and of their understanding. It is not here a matter of a ‘complete’ vision obtained from far above, as is the case for Helios, but of a consciousness of all the possibilities opening themselves at every instant.
She is depicted as a woman with three heads and three bodies, perhaps representing her action in the three periods of past, present and future, or her action on the three planes of the mind, vital and body in accordance to the spheres of influence allocated to her.
She is also known as Ennodia, ‘the goddess of paths’, or as Trioditis, ‘she of the three paths or journeys’; it is she who would guide the seeker on his spiritual quest and govern the three spiritual paths, namely the yogas of knowledge, devotion and work.
She was also the goddess of crossroads (the places in which it is difficult for the soul to identify the direction which it must take), the goddess who protected travelers on steep paths (the challenges of the path), and who presides over the paths of night’, guiding the soul through darkness.
She also went by many other names and epithets, including Chthonia, ‘she who rules over the subterranean world (or over the body)’, and Propylaia, ‘she who stands before the door’, which is to say, in the idiom of initiates, ‘the guardian of the threshold’.
As in Antiquity the precise symbolism of Hecate was only perceived by a small number, she was sometimes identified as Artemis or attributed characteristics of Demeter and Athena, and was in time associated with the dark side of the moon goddess when her ‘magical’ aspect became preponderant.
For this reason, she became in later periods the deity of paranormal manifestation, magic and enchantment, and hence associated with the children of Helios, all of whom were great sorcerers. This gradual change of her attributes and characteristics originates from the fact that the transformations and the light of the Consciousness of Truth, Hecate’s answers to her worshipers, are not in keeping with the human laws which seek to understand the world, and can therefore seem miraculous. As Hecate also intervenes in the planes of the vital and of the body, her actions can be perceived as ‘sacred magic’. For the powers of the world of Truth, which are the powers which the individual soul can access when it has reached the required stage of evolution, still seem akin to magic to ordinary man.
A last alteration of meaning made Hecate the goddess of witchcraft and black magic.
We will include Themis in the study of Crius, for we suppose that when man will have overcome his ego this Titanide will be able to take her legitimate place as the partner of Crius. It seems in fact logical to match the other Titanide to remain single, Mnemosyne, ‘complete memory’, to the Titan Iapetus, who is specifically charged with the return towards the Origin through the ascension of the planes of consciousness.
Themis represents ‘divine law and order’ and presides over all things. She is well versed in the art of prophecy (absolute prophecy), which has access to knowledge in truth. In this role she presided over the ancient oracles, including the Delphic oracle, and taught Apollo the art of soothsaying, which serves as a kind of preparation to the revelation of divine law (for we must not forget that Apollo represents a developing capacity in man).
Her name, built around the characters Θ and Μ, expresses the principles of ‘what is at the center’, of receptivity and balance.
She is one of the few Titanides to live alongside the gods on Olympus, holding a place by Zeus’ side as his advisor. (Although the Titans were banished to Tartarus, the Titanides seem to have been spared this exile, and in fact we may observe that although the forces of creation are no longer perceptible to consciousness, their aims are.)
She followed Metis as the second spouse of Zeus, who fathered her children the Horae – equality, precision in action and purity -, as well as the Moirai. These deities have been examined within the study of the descendants of Zeus.
It is also said that she bore by Zeus the nymphs of Eridan, ‘the currents of consciousness which strive powerfully for Union (Ερι+Δ)’.