Calydonian boar hunt represents a very advanced purification of the deep layers of the vital, only possible when equality is achieved.
The Boeotian Atalanta fighting with Peleus – Staatliche Antikensammlungen
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The lineage of Aethlius is an essential key for understanding the Trojan War, for it includes several characters of primary importance: Leda, the mother of Helen, Meleagros, Deianira and Diomedes, and the children of Oeneus ‘the winemaker’ or ‘the work necessary for acquiring Joy and divine intoxication’.
See Family tree 9
According to Apollodorus and Pausanias, Aethlius was the son of Protogenia, ‘she of those who advance at the forefront’, herself a daughter of Deucalion and thus a sister of Hellen (see Diagram 7). It is this genealogy which will be adhered to in this study, even though it has been suggested that Aethlius could also be considered to be a son of Aeolus. (Refer to Chapter 2 in Volume I.)
The name Aethlius, ‘that which concerns the price of the battle’, seems to designate a reply of the Divine to the seeker, who has long striven to know and unite with Him.
The aim of this struggle is the blooming of the psychic flower, Calyce ‘the flower bud’.
From the union of Aethlius and Calyce was born Endymion, ‘he who is filled with consecrated consciousness’. But according to Hesiod, Aethlius was a son of Calyce rather than her husband. Apollodorus claims that Zeus was his divine father.
Endymion, and the three generations following him.
Endymion led the Aeolians out of Thessaly and founded Elis, or succeeded his human father Aethlius on the Elis’ throne according to some accounts. He therefore indicates a turning point in the yogic process, the first stage of which ends in Thessaly, and the entry into a deep work of purification/liberation which consecrates its victory to Olympus and Elis.
Endtmion was known for his great beauty. According to some accounts, Selene fell in love with him and was so taken by his comeliness that she would contemplate her lover while he slept.
Whether there was an intervention from Selene’s part or not (see the study of this character in Volume I), almost all ancient Greek writers are in agreement that Endymion prayed to Zeus to be granted eternal sleep, and thus be exempt from the ravages of old age.
Aethlius is the symbol of a seeker who has since long fought for a consecration of his nature as a whole.
His son was Endymion, ‘he who is completely consecrated’; at this stage, the seeker asks his higher being for an ‘eternal sleep’ of the ego which will allow the power of action of the supramental – the true personality represented by Selene – to finally become active. In fact, if Helius symbolises the illuminating pole of the supramental which intervenes in the histories of the great heroes through the intermediary of his children (Circe and Aeetes, and in later texts Pasiphae as well), then Selene is the symbol of the supramental’s realisatory action, an external nature that is completely transparent and dedicated to divine action. As this transparency is very far from being realised, Selene only rarely appears in Greek mythology; completely pure act cannot in fact be carried out as long as the ego is present, even if it only continues existing in the body.
According to Pausanias, Selene bore Endymion fifty daughters, a number which indicates a totality in the world of forms, and therefore the accomplishment of consecration.
As this hero belongs to the lineage of Iapetus, the immobilisation granted by the supraconscient (the sleep induced by Zeus) can be considered to be a realisation of mental silence, as well as abolition of the ego. This attainment is definite, for Endymion’s sleep is to be eternal.
The fact that Endymion is ‘exempt from the ravages of age’ suggests that the seeker is at every moment ‘new’, available and virgin-like in the present moment, which means full adaptation to the movement of becoming.
In some sources it is added that Hypnos put him to sleep while keeping his eyes open, a sign of the continuation of active consciousness and an attainment of full awareness in the silence of the mind.
While Aethlius opens a lineage of very advanced seekers (for he weds Calyce, ‘the flower bud’), his son Endymion, as the founder of Elis, can be considered to be a symbol of advanced liberation, including psychic transformation and beginning of spiritual transformation.
Endymion fathered three sons, who characterise three distinct modalities of yoga: Aetolus, ‘he who calls liberation’, Paeon ‘the healer’ (this name being also applied to a song in honour of Apollo, ‘the psychic light’), and Epeius, ‘stable consciousness’. The only legend which refers to them describes a race organised by their father in Olympus to choose the successor of the Elis’ throne, which was finally won by Epeius. Aetolus ascended to the throne after his brother and established Aetolia, ‘the province of freedom in the plane of the spirit’, a place designated for vital purification.
(Endymion also fathered a daughter named Eurycyda, who coupled with Poseidon and bore Eleius, a symbol of the work carried out in the subconscious most probably with the same objective. However, we do not have sufficient details to make a reliable interpretation).
The three generations following that of Aetolus do not appear in any notable legend, and only their names can be used to indicate a certain progression in the process of liberation. Unfortunately, their precise meaning most often escapes us, and the ones listed here must be considered with care.
Aetolus was joined in marriage to Pronoia, ‘she who puts forward the spirit’, who bore him two sons, Pleuron, ‘he who navigates in the right manner’, and Calydon, ‘he who calls for union’.
Pleuron wed Xanthippe, ‘a golden energy’. This colour is the sign of an energy or force more refined on the vibratory plane than that represented by Leucippus, ‘white energy’ or purified energy. She bore him four children: Laophonte, Stratonice, ‘the victory in combat’, Sterope, ‘a wide vision’, and Agenor, ‘that which leads evolution’. The latter wed his cousin Epicasta, ‘she who goes forward towards integrity’. Epicasta was the daughter of Calydon, ‘he who calls for union’, and of Aeolia, ‘she who is always in movement’, the latter being the daughter of Amythaon, ‘he who is wordless’.
Agenor, ‘he who leads evolution’, and Epicasta, ‘she who goes forward towards integrity’, bore two children, Demodice and Porthaon, the latter later becoming the father of Oeneus, ‘the winemaker whose work is devoted to joy’.
Agenor therefore founds two distinct lineages, which develop in a parallel manner however.
The lineage of Demodice, ‘the right manner of acting in the outer being’, which allows the appropriate force to express itself on the plane of forms. The god Ares became her lover in fact, and she bore him a son named Thestius, ‘inner sincerity and rectitude’.
The lineage of Porthaon, ‘he who is plundered’, indicates an inner evolution of an even greater degree; only a total devastation of the egotistical nature can allow Joy to be established in the being.
The lineage of Demodice: Thestius and his children, Leda, Althaia, Hypermnestra and the Thestiads.
Demodice, ‘a right manner of acting in the external being’, was according to some sources responsible for founding Elis, ‘the province of liberation’. Its founding is more often attributed to her forefather Endymion, or even to Aethlius. She therefore represents a precision in each thought, each feeling and gesture.
She was very beautiful, but would not accept any of the suitors who sought her favours except for the god Ares by whom she bore two children. This indicates that she can only represent an objective for a movement of yoga which inscribes itself in an exactitude covering all aspects of the being, for only a force belonging to the overmind could lead to a right act. It is therefore Ares, the son of Zeus in charge of the right renewal of forms, who became the father of her children Evenus, ‘a right evolution’, and Thestius, ‘the rectitude which comes from within, sincerity’.
Evenus became the father of Marpessa, who was courted by Idas and Apollo and whose story we have discussed previously. He therefore represents a stage in which the seeker cannot yet completely abandon the leadership to the psychic being.
Thestius, ‘sincerity’, was the king of Pleuron, the city of ‘those who navigate in the right manner’. He coupled with Eurythemis, ‘a great higher law’, and engendered three famous daughters, Leda, Hypermnestra and Althaia, as well as several sons known collectively as the Thestiades. The latter were only known for having been slain by Meleagros during the Calydonian boar hunt. From this detail we can understand that at this stage, the personal will is no longer capable of directing on its own the process of yoga, and the three daughters of Thestius consequently represent the ‘goals’ of advanced seekers who devote themselves to the work of consecration.
Hypermnestra embodies ‘an aspiration for what is most elevated’ in the mind. She is paired with Oicles, ‘a renowned consciousness’, who was the grandson of Melampus, the seer ‘of the black feet’. The perception of the latter is, however, only a mental one, as confirmed by his belonging to the lineage of Cretheus in the ascension of the mental planes. Hypermnestra and Oicles bore the renowned seer Amphiaraos, ‘he who draws near to the right perception’, who symbolises one who is striving to express true knowledge. He is especially visible in the purifying Theban Wars and predicts the heroes’ deaths during their first expedition.
Leda represents a union through purification. Although her daughter Helen, symbolising the evolution of liberation, is unambiguously a daughter of Zeus, her story and those of her children will be studied along with that of Tyndareus the king of Sparta, who belongs to the lineage of Taygete (Taygete is the sixth Pleiad, and represents the stage of the intuitive mind).
The third movement symbolised by Althaia refers to a will for growth and for healing oneself, and perhaps also a will for inner freedom. She wed Oeneus, ‘he who strives for joy’, who was the son of Porthaon, an analysis of whose lineage follows below.
The lineage of Porthaon, his son Oeneus and his grandchildren Deianira, Tydeus and Meleagros.
Porthaon, ‘he who is plundered or ransacked’, wed Eurytia, ‘a vast spirit’. The latter was a daughter of Hippodamas, ‘vital m