Voyage to Athens and Eleusis (41.2)
April 6, 2017
It was midmorning, December 10, when the harbor master of Piraeus saw three large warships enter into Athens’ main harbor from the Saronic Gulf. The ships were identical in size and design.
Each appeared to be close to 60 meters in length and 10 meters in width. The hulls comprising the top of the waterline downwards were covered with thin copper sheets. The hull above the waterline covered in gold sheets. The decks and bulwarks were wood. The aft of each ship carried an eagle totem that was a high, as was the deck of the ship above the sea. The bows carried a figurehead of what seemed to be a serpent curving toward the aft and slightly taller than the eagle totem. Protruding from the front of the bows were stout metal-layered hardwood, battering rams.
Each vessel carried three wooden masts wrapped in some kind of metal braid from the deck to near its masthead. The attached sails were beige in color, triangular, and had a wooden pole fixed to the bottoms of each. The lead ship carried an embroidered large golden sun with nine rays. The next, a large silver crescent moon. The last displayed the descending dove of Astártē.
Each ship presented a poop-deck aft. The harbor master saw no sailors on deck other than one at the rudder wheel.
Most curious, none of the ship showed any banks of oars. One of the ships towed a much smaller ship which carried a single set of oars.
The harbor master called to one of his assistants, “Diomedes, go inform the magistrates of the three war ships, please. Also inform them that the High Priestess Iris from the Temple of Demeter and Kore awaits these ships in her chariot with her driver. ” Diomedes left and mounted a horse. He left at a gallop on the walled road riding toward Athens.
The three warships dropped anchors inside the harbor. The smaller oared ship came alongside of the ship bearing the descending dove and was loaded with two chariots, four horses, and four persons. The harbor master could not see anything after the articles were lowered onto the deck.
Soon, the smaller ship landed and the bow opened and the two chariots disembarked being pulled by golden horses with crimson plumes. The first chariot carried two military officers and the second two soldiers. Both chariots were accompanied by six foot soldiers.
The two officers stepped down from their chariot and went to speak with the High Priestess who had been waiting patiently since dawn. After a few minutes, both returned to their respective chariots and the High Priestess’ driver turned her horses and headed for the city proper. All three chariots following the Panathenaic Way until they reached the Altar of the Twelve Gods near the Agora. Here the chariots stopped and were met by the chief magistrates of the City.
The High Priestess began the conversation, “I prayed to Demeter and Kore to send to Athens a Friend of the god Apollo to educate our Philosophers. He teaches on an island far to the West of the Pillars of Hercules. She answered our prayers and the Teacher has arrived. Let his representatives speak.”
One of the officers motioned to the soldiers in the second chariot. Both dismounted and lifted a wooden chest bearing the golden emblem of Apollo. They carried the chest and laid it at the feet of the magistrates. One of the men opened the chest showing it filled with nuggets of pure gold. They returned empty-handed to their chariot.
The two officers were regally dressed in gold ceremonial armor. Their heads were enclosed in golden helmets with a face plate of an unknown god. One helmet held a black plume and the other a red-gold plume. They wore short white tunics covered by gold breast plates. The front and rear breastplates of the officer with the red-gold plume were cast so to portray Phoebus’ chariot ascending from out of the dark night. The other’s breastplates carried the figure of Phoebus’ chariot descending into the dark night. The bottom of each tunic was hemmed in gold and ended mid-thigh. Upon their feet were gold colored sandals held on tightly by gold braid wrapped around the calves which were covered with front guard plates.
The two officers removed their helmets. The magistrates were surprised for both were young women in their mid-teens. Both were as beautiful as goddesses, one with black hair, the other with red-gold hair. The red-gold haired one spoke, in perfect Attic Greek, “In your tongue, I am called ανατολή ηλίου (Sunrise), my sister is named ηλιοβασίλεμα (Sunset). We bring this gift of gold and the greetings of our husband, Lord-General Ευγενή, γιος του Προμηθέας (Eugenis, son of Prometheus). As your High Priestess has said, we hail from a land far to the West of the Pillars of Hercules.
“We believe that you call our land, Ηλύσιον (Elysium), or the Fortunate Isles of the Blessed? We have been sailing for twelve weeks. We seek hospitality and shelter.”
The dark-haired officer, Sunset, continued, “Our Beloved has visited with your gods in Zeus’ Palace at Olympus so to teach of things that are to be someday. He is not a seer. He is older than this Creation and will be still after the gods are gone. He presents a single request to Athens. He requests that he be unimpeded for the time we reside in your City and be accorded the respect due his position. Moreover, he insists that the citizens and slaves of Athens treat both of us with the utmost respect and honor, befitting the immortal wives of a man who is more than any god imagined by man. We demand the rights every male citizen of Athens possesses.
“During our residence, we will come to the Agora to teach from Sunday to Wednesday. We will arrive after the Sun’s Chariot is above the horizon. We will choose a sacred edifice to teach from. We will instruct those of sound mind and good character from dawn to dusk. This incubation period, as with the incubation period for a mortal child, will continue for forty weeks, a ‘gestational nine months’ prior to the beginning of the Greater Mysteries. This is the time of insemination and embryonic growth of the present philosophic egg bearing carried by this grand city.
“Thursday to Saturday are days for us to be in silence and meditation and share private time together. However, we expect to be invited to evening dinners and discussions of our teachings on Friday and Saturday. Such dinner discussions are to be conducted in a manner typical of your culture. He expects to have much time to speak with your notable philosophers. Moreover, our Beloved may request complete compliance, as to any sacred rights he requests to be performed at such dinners.
“After the Lesser Mysteries begin next Spring, we will follow the tyros, the mystae, and provide a truer explanation of the ten degrees of the preliminary, initiatory rites. The nine days of the beginning celebration correspond with the birthing from the metaphoric Womb of Athena of a New Philosophy.
“During the time of the Greater Mysteries in September next year (for those properly prepared mystae), we will continue our divine explanations of the stories told of the gods and goddesses–for such stories hold deep meanings to those with ears to hear, eyes to see, and heart to understand. What is presumed vulgar to the eyes of the ignorant, shines as gold to the eyes of the illuminated?
“Finally, our Beloved will initiate the most prepared Hierophants, male and female, of the Greater Mysteries into the Final Mysteries to be disclosed by Apollo, Demeter, and Kore.
“Our Beloved wishes to be made aware of all civic projects that need to be completed for the benefit of the city. He will arrange that such matters are completed before we leave the city.
“We will distribute food, necessities, and purchase shelter for the honestly needy, the elderly without children, the widows, orphan children, and single mothers. We will also provide funds to purchase books for students of the philosophies who are not financially able to do so.
“Each person seeking assistance must demonstrate a legitimate need and swear an oath as to the truth of such need. Therefore, we give the citizens of this City notice that we shall severely punish every person requesting assistance falsely. For the Gods lovingly give to those who have come into need under Fate and severely punish those living in falsity. Our generosity is great, our punishment even greater. So the City is not to interfere in our methods of correction.”