Asterion: Star of the Labyrinth

The Star Within the Labyrinth

The Star Within the Labyrinth

The following is based upon a combination of research and personal gnosis.

The Starry Bull of Heaven.

The Sacred Moon-Child of the Moon and Sea.

Half-Bull, Half-Man, All Hero.

He is the Sacred King who sits within the center of the Labyrinth.

The Labyrinth: the spiral dance of the Sun Bull, the House of the Double-Axe, the fylfot womb which nurtured the Beloved Child. He is Taurus, the Starry Bull of the Equinox that marked the New Year. His sacrifice maintained the Law of Themis, the covenant  between the Deathless Ones and the mortal realm. His death was the expiation for the world to maintain its harmony. He is simultaneously father and son. He is the light that perpetually shines in the Underworld as He walks the veil above. He is Zagreus: the torn child whose seven separate limbs became the Seven Planets, His heart remaining to birth forth humanity. Order from Chaos.

He is the apotheosis of the Labyrinth mandala –  the place to which we all aspire to travel, and come forth back again. I desire for the Bull to eat and ravage me into pieces, for I desire rebirth into His world. I desire to be eaten, to be separated, and to be brought back together within His body. I desire to know the pain of omophagia that I might truly live in wonder, and behold the Starry world which is hidden from all but those courageous enough to walk the darkness of the spiral.

I am His sacrifice. I am His propitiation. I am His expiation. I am His and I am not my own.

I am the sweat of the stars made flesh. I am the incarnation of His form above. I am the spilled semen, the joy of His ejaculate, the ekstasis of His guttural cries, the bliss of His little death (or is He the bliss of mine?). Where does He begin and I end? Where do I end and He begins?

He is my Psychopomp, guiding my soul to reunion with the stars. As the light penetrates the entrance to the cavernous womb in Knossos, might He be its very manifestation, come to awaken us to Truth?

Awaken, awaken. Awake!

Eirene kai Hugieia!
(Peace and Health!)
~Oracle~

Asterion: The God of Cannabis

Marijuana Leaf (Photo Courtesy of marijuana.com)

Marijuana Leaf (Photo Courtesy of marijuana.com)

“Cultivated hemp. Cannabis (some call it Cannabion, some Schoinstrophon, some Asterion) is a plant of much use in this life for the twisting of very strong ropes. It bears leaves like to the Ash, of a bad scent, long stalks, empty, a round seed, which being eaten of much doth quench geniture, but being juiced when green is good for pain of the ears.” (Russo, E.B., MD. Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutic Potential)

“Pausanias continues that above the Argive Heraion flowed the river Asterion, on whose banks grew the asterion plant. The vines and leaves were woven into garlands for the statue of Hera, and the plant was made an offering to Her. Asterion was one of the ancient names for cannabis, according to the first century C.E. Greek physician named Dioscurides.” (Rigoglioso, M. The Cult of Divine Birth in Ancient Greece)

Cannabis
Cannabis has been a psychotropic drug, otherwise known as an entheogen, since ancient times. The origin of the plant is thought to have come from Central Asia (Rudgley, R. The Lost Civilizations of the Stone Age). Its use for twine is well-known, but braziers were also discovered as far west as Romania showing evidence that the seeds were burnt for ritual purposes (and I suspect the use of cannabis may have lead to big munchies which nearly killed of the Mammoths, but just my morbid speculation). These discoveries date back to the Neolithic Era. Cannabis, along with opium, were venerated in places like Minoan Crete for their properties as mind-altering substances which opened up the portals to the spirit realm. It’s a well-known fact that many spirit walkers in indigenous societies use entheogens in order to connect with the spirit realm. Central Asia, as the ancient home of cannabis, is also conjectured to be the source of Pythagoras’ teacher Abaris (Kingsley, P. A Story Waiting to Pierce You). It wouldn’t be too much of a leap in logic to suggest that wherever a spirit-walker went, his psychotropic drugs went with them.

Connecting to the Spirits
This fact makes the illegal status of marijuana even more of a travesty, since it is forbidding us from engaging with the Gods in ways our ancestors would have known. Many realms, I believe, remain untapped due to the non-use of this potent drug, and it has also diluted the essential power of the Craft (in my opinion). To be a spirit walker, an iatromantis, a shaman, or what-have-you, is to have an alliance with the realms of the plant and animal spirits. It means to remember the time of the Sacred Ancestors and join in the Sun Dance of the Labyrinth. It means to open ourselves up to the spirits themselves and use their connection as a authentication of our power. Without that connection, a spirit walker is nothing. Although the use of drugs is not necessary, it is also not forbidden. I think the Mysteries, missing this ingredient, are robbed in some way of their true essence. These plants had a meaning that was more than the average street user or the “War on Drugs” politician could ever imagine. They were the lifeline our ancestors relied on for a purpose. Opium was sacred to the Goddess Rhea for a reason. Cannabis was labeled Asterion for a reason.

Courtesy of theoi.com

Europa taken by the White Bull

The White Bull and the Western Cow
As I wrote in another post, the public name of the God in the Minoan Brotherhood is Asterion. The mythology we have available states that Asterion was the name of two sacred kings in Minoan Crete: the first was a Cretan King who reared the children of Zeus and Europa. Europa was a Phoenician princess (hinting at the cultural relationship between the Minoans and the Phoenicians), kidnapped by Zeus in the form of a white bull. The etymology of Europa means “wide-eyed,” and hints that she was possibly a Cow Goddess. The abduction story of Europa is very similar to the kidnapping of Kore by Hades:

“Zeus saw Europa the daughter of Phoenix gathering flowers in a meadow with some nymphs and fell in love with her. So he came down and changed himself into a bull and breathed from his mouth a crocus.18 In this way he deceived Europa, carried her off and crossed the sea to Crete where he had intercourse with her. Then in this condition he made her live with Asterion the king of the Cretans. There she conceived and bore three sons, Minos, Sarpedon and Rhadamanthys. The tale is in Hesiod and Bacchylides.” (The Catalogues of Women by Hesiod).

All three sons were raised by Asterion, who wed Europa. After their marriage, Zeus transformed the White Bull into the constellation Taurus. Two of the sons, Minos and Rhadamanthys, became Judges of the Underworld. Sarpedon became a long-lived king (some say he died in the Trojan War, and Philostratus mentions that he, too, became  Judge in the Underworld with his brothers). This is quite the story, and holds a lot of interest to me because of the early relationship, as I previously pointed out, about the kidnapping of the Maiden to become a Queen of a rich land.

Image Courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasipha%C3%AB

Attic Kylic depicting Pasiphae and Her baby Minotaur

The Star of the Labyrinth
The second Asterion is the Minotaur of the Labyrinth. Asterion was the Son of Poseidon (the Zeus of the Sea) and Pasiphae, daughter of the Sun God, sister of the sorceress Kirke, and wife of Minos (son of Zeus). Pasiphae was considered to be a Goddess in Her own right. Plutarch mentions:

“Now there was a temple and much respected oracle of Pasiphae at Thalamae.” (Plutarch on Sparta, p. 60).

Pasiphae possessed the ability of Witchcraft, which was to say she was a skilled pharmakos. I personally would LOVE to know how she had her husband ejaculate scorpions, millipedes and snakes into women she hated. Talk about some jacked up shit! That makes for a great anime!

Anyway, Pasiphae and Poseidon’s child was at the center of the Labyrinth. For now we’re ignoring the Greek telling, because it was full of political claptrap that made the Athenians look good and the Minoans very evil. Theseus, the hero, was the legendary founder of Athens (and Athenian democracy which subjugated women as chattels and property). What a piece of shit. Ignoring the political veneer, the Minotaur is shown in the Attic Kylix just like the classic Mother-Child motif found with Aset (Isis) and Heru (Horus), Parvarti and Ganesha, and Mary with Jesus.

R.F. Willetts speculates that the Labyrinth design was based on an ancient sun dance (Ancient Crete: From Early Times Until the Roman Occupation). The ancient mimetic dance was probably used to honor the Sun Bull, the Cretan Zeus, who was represented in the person of the Minoan King. The journey into the Labyrinth and from it was probably a rite of Initiation, whereby the person was led by the Priestess (Ariadne, the Spider Weaver who used the scarlet cord to lead them to the center). At the very heart, the initiate became the Man-Bull: the union of Divinity and Mortality.

Reefer Madness!
Cannabis was identified as being called Asterion, the gift of Poseidon. His mother was a pharmakoi Goddess, Pasiphae. The ritual use of cannabis was the catalyst of Enlightenment (or, as I call it, Gnosis). The prototype for Dionysus from Crete, then, is the jewel Cannabis: the Son of the pre-Olympian Poseidon who is the Sacred Bull. That’s right peoples: reefer madness of Dionysus! Pipe it up, inhale, and enjoy the effects. In fact, cannabis enjoys and interesting piece of warning which the United States slapped on it much like the Romans did on the Bacchic revels in 186 BCE:

“Marihuana is that drug – a violent narcotic – an unspeakable scourge – The Real Public Enemy Number 1! It’s first effect is sudden, violent, uncontrollable laughter; then come dangerous hallucinations – space expands – time slows down, almost stands still…fixed ideas come next, conjuring up monstrous extravagances – followed by emotional disturbances, the total inability to direct thoughts, the loss of all power to resist physical emotions…leading finally to acts of shocking violence…ending often in incurable insanity.”

Eirene kai Hugieia!
(Peace and Health!)
~Oracle~

Sources:

Hunter, R. (Ed.)(2008). The Hesiodic Catalogue of Women: Constructions and Reconstructions.

Kingsley, P. (2010). A Story Waiting to Pierce You: Mongolia, Tibet, and the Destiny of the Western World.

Rigoglioso, M. (2009). The Cult of Divine Birth in Ancient Greece.

Rudgely, R. (1999). The Lost Civilizations of the Stone Age.

Russo, E.B., MD. (2002). Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutic Potential.

Talbert, R.J.A. (Transl.) (1988). Plutarch on Sparta.

Willetts, R.F. (1965). Ancient Crete: From Early Times Until the Roman Occupation.

My Minoan God

Courtesy of http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/greece/crete/knossos/t.html

Ancient Cretan coin. (Left) Head of Pasiphae/Ariadne. (Right) Swastika Labyrinth with four crescents between arms, five pellets in center.

I happen to be an initiate Witch of the Minoan Brotherhood, a men’s Mystery Tradition for gay, bisexual and hetero-comfortable-with-their-sexuality-and-willing-to-engage-with-other-men-erotically men. (I know a mouthful. Get it? Mouth.Full.? Never mind). Being a Mystery Tradition, there isn’t much really I can share about the lore, but what I aim to do is to bring in the Dionysian aspect as I study about Dionysus Zagreus more in His role of Asterion, the Sacred Bull God of the ancient Minoans. Anything I share will already have been published in scholarly books, and the rest is pure guesswork and my own careful navigation of what I can share versus what I feel is very, very private. Sub rosa.

Courtesy of theoi.com

Europa taken by the White Bull

Asterion
Asterion (Gk. “Starry One”) was the name of two kings in ancient Crete, the island-nation that was the seat of the Minoan Civilization. Publicly, it is the also the name of the Bull-Horned Son of the Great Goddess Rhea. As my devotion towards Dionysus continues, I’ll be posting my personal thoughts and research on Asterion, and His connection to my beloved Intoxicant. Asterion was my first cult-image connection to the Raving One, and my spiritual path was all the better for it. He became more real, more sublime, and much more powerful than I could have ever known.

Courtesy of Wikipedia

(Roman Motif, 1st Century CE) Grapes being torn apart, much as Zagreus was also torn apart by the Titans.

Zagreus
Zagreus is another cult-image of Dionysus from Crete: the Divine Son of the Dread Queen and Zeus (although sources may differ on whether it was Sky Zeus or Hades). Zagreus is also another face of the Divine Son and Mother motif as recorded from Alkmeonis, an early Greek epic that is now lost, with only fragments quoted here and there. Dating from about the sixth century BCE (about the time when Pythagoras was born), a prayer goes:

“To Mistress Earth and Zagreus who art above all the other Gods.”
(~Alkmeonis)

I’ll be exploring these and other Mysteries during the upcoming week. Maybe longer or shorter, depending on the Serpent-Crowned God Himself and what He wants. Either way, this should be of interest. If to no one else then to at least me.

Eirene kai Hugieia!
(Peace and Health!)~Oracle~