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Eleusinian Mysteries

A group to explore the secrets of the ancient initiatory Eleusinian rites of death and rebirth

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Latest Activity: Oct 27, 2018

the Eleusinian Cave of Hades, the Underworld

The Eleusinian Mysteries, were the initiation ceremonies held annually in honor of Demeter, the Mother Goddess of agriculture and fertility, and Persephone, the Maiden Queen of the Underworld, were the most sacred and revered of all the ritual celebrations of ancient Greece. They were instituted in the city of Eleusis, some twenty-two kilometers west of Athens, possibly as far back as the early Mycenaean period (c.1600 B.C), and continued for almost two thousand years. Large crowds of worshippers from all over Greece (and later, from throughout the Roman empire) would gather to make the holy pilgrimage between the two cities and and participate in the secret ceremonies, generally regarded as the high point of Greek religion.

The Eleusinian Mysteries began on the 15th day of the Greek lunar month of Boedromion and ended nine days later. The structured rituals produced a change of consciousness in the participants which brought about a spiritual birth, thus regenerating the whole individual. This was intended to reunite the personal self with the divine spirit of the kosmos as a whole. It was often accompanied by and aided the bringing about of enlightened comprehension. It also led to the development of intuitive insight and spiritual will-power as well as a deepening realization of oneness with all that exists, as well as a growing power to draw upon that oneness for the benefit of others. The rites, ceremonies, and beliefs were kept secret, as initiation was believed to unite the worshipper with the gods and included promises of divine power and rewards in the afterlife. Since the Mysteries involved visions and conjuring of an afterlife, some scholars believe that the power and longevity of the Eleusinian Mysteries came from psychedelic agents, a potion made out of barley, the Kykeion, magic mushrooms, and DMT containng plants.
Most of the initiates were women, but men (including Sophocles, Aristides and Cicero) also took part. The sacred attendants to these mysteries included:
* the Hierophant
* the High Priestess of Demeter
* the Herald, and
* the Torch-Bearer (representing Demeter's wanderings about the earth)
The first day was called the Day of Assembly when those who had participated in the purification rituals during the spring of the previous year, processed from Athens to Eleusis, carrying symbols of Demeter. The second day the initiates bathed in the ocean and dressed in new linen clothing. The following days were spent re-enacting Demeter's search for her missing daughter. The culmination of the mystery took place on Holy Night in a subterranean temple where the initiates waited in darkness. Probably there was a ritual drama. The early Christian fathers who disapproved of the rites claimed that the heirophant and the high priestess had sex (the Hieros Gamos ritual). According to Hippolytus, the revelation at the heart of the ritual was the display of "the mighty and wonderful and most perfect mystery - a harvested ear of corn - in silence."

In silence is the seed of wisdom gained.
Does not the real secret of every mystery lie in its simplicity?

— Kerenyi, Introduction to Mythology, p 248

Through this revelation, the initiates recognized their own immortality and divinity. Plutarch wrote about his initiation:

"When a man dies he is like those who are initiated into the Mysteries. Our whole life is a journey by torturous ways without outlet. At the moment of quitting it come terrors, shuddering fear, amazement. Then a light that moves to meet you, pure meadows that receive you, songs and dances and holy apparitions".

As Christianity began to spread, the Mysteries were condemned by the early Church fathers; yet the rites continued for hundreds of years more and exercised considerable influence on the formation of early Christian teachings and practices.

Discussion Forum

Looking for Karen James

Started by Martin Adil-Smith May 30, 2017. 0 Replies

Hi AllApologies in advance for the absurdity of this post. I am trying to contact Karen James.I think I may have had some sort of experience that can be interpreted through the medium of the…Continue

Tags: eleusinian, hades, death, demeter

The Rites and Festivals

Started by ☤Tris☤ Jan 29, 2010. 0 Replies

Within the Eleusinian Mysteries the role of Demeter is vitally important. She took her name from Mother Earth, as was among the generation of children born of Cronus and Rhea. Her name provides a…Continue

Tags: festivals, rites, elusinian

Stations of Mythic or Spiritual Journeys - part 4

Started by Carol from Sweden Jul 14, 2009. 0 Replies

Persephone enters the UnderworldStations of Mythic or Spiritual JourneysThe following "stations" or "events" represent those typically found in any initiatory experience, whether the initiation be…Continue

Tags: eleusinian, mysteries, eleusis, illumination, greek

Stations of the Eleusinian Mysteries - part 3

Started by Carol from Sweden Jul 14, 2009. 0 Replies

In this detail from a red-figure vase, Hermes leads Persephone from the Underworld, led by Hekate with torches (or perhaps an iconic Demeter with her Aetnean torches) as (another iconic…Continue

Tags: Asklepios, kykeion, procession, ergot, retreat

Major Events of The Myth - part 2

Started by Carol from Sweden Jul 14, 2009. 0 Replies

Hermes, Demeter and Persephone's return from Hades, Leighton 1891MAJOR EVENTS OF THE MYTH* *Kore (in her pubescent state) is picking flowers with the other *Virgins including Artemis and the…Continue

Tags: hecate, Kore, ambrosia, hades, persephone


Started by Carol from Sweden Jul 13, 2009. 0 Replies

For almost thousand years, the most exclusive society in the ancient world consisted of people initiated into the Eleusinian Mysteries. Only the wise could be so honored; and wisdom, then as now,…Continue

Tags: initiation, greece, demeter, history, eleusis

ELEUSIAN PHILOSOPHY - The Soul's Journey through the Mysteries

Started by Carol from Sweden. Last reply by alchemistra Jul 13, 2009. 1 Reply

ELEUSIAN PHILOSOPHY - "The Soul's Journey through the Mysteries"By: Karen James and Travis MeadIn the ancient Eleusinian Mysteries, Kore is abducted. She represents the Archetype of the human soul.…Continue

Tags: journey, soul, descent, Jung, psychology


Started by Carol from Sweden. Last reply by alchemistra Jul 3, 2009. 5 Replies

HOPKINS SCIENTISTS SHOW HALLUCINOGEN IN MUSHROOMS CREATES UNIVERSAL “MYSTICAL” EXPERIENCEJohns Hopkins MedicineMedia Relations and Public AffairsMedia Contact: Eric Vohr410-955-8665;…Continue

Tags: entheogenic, study, experiment, trip, experience

The Eleusinian Mysteries-Part II

Started by alchemistra Jul 1, 2009. 0 Replies

"Beautiful indeed is the mystery given us by the blessed gods:death is for mortals no longer an evil, but a blessing."Inscription found at Eleusis"Blessed is he who has seen these thingsbefore he…Continue

The Eleusinian Mysteries- Part I

Started by alchemistra Jul 1, 2009. 0 Replies

Be there any so shrouded in mystery as the rites at Eleusis? It is only this...sincere and profound reverence for the same that has sealed the lips of the Wise Ones. Silence is the guarding of the…Continue

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Comment by DANIELA on March 20, 2010 at 9:50am
Oh, I'm enthralled!
Comment by Carol from Sweden on July 14, 2009 at 1:52am

Comment by Carol from Sweden on July 14, 2009 at 1:24am
Comment by Carol from Sweden on July 1, 2009 at 2:01am

700 B.CE,In the Cave of Pitson,Korinthos,Peloponnese,the Agricultural Adornment of Da-mater,Pan and Nymphs.The picture above is the ancient one,540/530 wood.''Sacrifice in Nymphs''

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