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'Sing of the Company of Women'
Considering Pre-History in the Light of Hesiod's Theogony
The struggle of the powers in four generations is the theme of Theogony, of “deathless-struggle,” as the divine powers are described as deathless, all save one, Heaven, the masculine sky, who was slain by his Titan sons at the behest of their Mother, Earth. This murder of Heaven will give birth to the one major Olympian deity who has not father and no mother, but is purely regenerative, Aphrodite, that meddlesome feminine named Love-desired.
The Poet begins by declaring that the divine feminine vices had come to him in a chorus, as his wretched progress across the face of Mount Helicon, as a mere food-seeking stomach was interrupted by the gift of their song. His naming of the divine female songs in the overture, his naming of dozens of minor female deities throughout, and the final line of his poem, quoted as the title above, focuses his work on the supernatural interaction of masculine and feminine as eternal elements of creation.
Hesiod was a contemporary of Homer and provided a folkish context for that epic poet's yarn of the interaction of earthly and heavenly strife. Many readers have likened the Iliad and Odyssey of Homer with the Old Testament and New Testament of the Bible. I would agree and go further, likening Hesiod's song to the first 2 books of Genesis, concerning the Creation and man's Fall.
Below I shall attempt a summation of the work.
The Muses dance and sing about the Altar of the Mighty Son of Time, the Ages Holder, Father of Gods and Men—Zeus.
“The Muses of Olympus, Daughters of Thunder, who holds the Ages,” admit to many lies and then pledge that their song of the blessed-ones was true.
“They chant the race of men and strong giants,” and focus on The Father, thundering son of crafty Time. Divine right of princes is traced through The Father, which we shall see as a conquering element. “The holy race of the deathless gods.”
The Overture done, the tale of divine struggle begins:
-First there was Chaos, a statement congruent with Scripture in a muted sense and modern science in an active sense.
First Order Powers [Cosmic = Elemental]
-First came Chaos, from which Black Night [female] and Darkness [masculine] come forth, Night begetting Her children Ether and Day, which were born of her union and live for Her brother Darkness.
-Second came wide-bossomed Earth, [1] spawning Underworld and Eros [the passionate instinct that befuddles and overcomes the reason of gods and men] directly, and being the foundation of all second order powers. Heaven, also she bore, to cover her on all sides and to provide a place for her children to ascend and abide. Earth also birthed Pontius, the briny and fruitless Deep. Hence Heaven and the Deep, the face of the waters and the ghostly power gliding above, are brothers.
-Earth mates with The Deep, but they have no children.
-Both Chaos and Earth [the fertile material sphere] produce asexually, without union with another power.
Second Order Powers [Elder = Specific, Titan or Giant]
-Heaven mates with His Mother Earth, becoming her consort, for which he was brought into being, suggesting that this concept of heaven is in fact the interface between material order and cosmic chaos, between Earth and the powers of Infinity.
-The union of Heaven and Earth brings forth Oceanus, who is the fruitful aspect of the seas.
-Heaven recoils at some of the ugly sons of his union with Earth and keeps these monstrous forms hidden and suppressed in dark places.
-Earth encourages their sons to rise and slay their father, Her husband, for his mistreatment of them.
-Only Time takes up this task, using what this reader takes as a Promethean symbol, a saw-toothed sickle of flint, representing fire-making, hunting, war and harvesting.
-Slain by Time, as he mates under cover of his patroness Night, with Earth, Heaven is dismembered and supplanted by Time.
-The body of Heaven is cast into Ocean.
-Earth is now content with her first sterile consort, The Deep.
Third Order Powers [Ascendant = Olympian, generative deathlessness]
-From his rotting limbs the single deity generated of her own and not related to the others, Aphrodite, emerges from the white sea-foam of his dissolving bone, suggesting she is the asexual daughter of murdered Heaven, a niece to His patroness Night.
-Time, “The-Wiley” afraid that he will be supplanted by his children had with his sister Rhea, devours them. Just as she had betrayed Her Son and Husband Sky, Earth conspires with Rhea to raise Zeus to supplant his father, Her son, Time.
-Zeus defeats Time, suggesting he holds Time at bay from outside of his power, returning to intercede between Cosmic Chaos and Earthly Matter, becoming the adoptive father of his brothers and sisters [husband to some of these]
-Other than Aphrodite, the Olympians are brothers, children or begat by these powers over which he holds sway, being more potent than all Olympians combined, suggesting he alone resides outside of Time.
-Zeus remains subject to Chaos, Darkness, Night, Day, Fate, Ether, Eros and yet threatened by the imprisoned and punished titans. Apparently, his not mating with Mother Earth makes him immune to here machinations when eh turns on the titans just like his father, Time. Zeus will enslave his brothers and sons to maintain power, and War, the son he despises, would die if Zeus did not heal him.
-Prometheus, is Zeus' one prisoner second in threat and import to Time, for he helped Zeus overthrow Time and then elevated man from bestiality with the gift of technology. He predicts that his action will doom Zeus, Almighty and Eternal to eventual displacement at the hands mankind.
-Earth powers, such as nymphs, generated asexually by Mother Earth, would mate with men to possibly threaten Zeus. This reader suggests these beings to be vestigial power revered once upon a time by the Cromagnon races also exterminated by the Aryans.
-All of the primary third-order female deities are associated with places [such as Hera and Argos, Aphrodite and Cyprus], rather than actions, arts or heavenly descent. This argues for the female deities being vestigial powers revered by the conquered wives of the Anatolian Civilization.
Fourth Order Powers [Earthly = Heroic]
-Zeus, and some other Olympians and nymphs of earthly generation, mate with human women, usually described as buxom, an attribute indicating short, well-fed women, and possibly reflective of the masculine Aryan conquest of the Anatolian Indigines of Europe.
-Herakles, Achilles and other heroes represent a threat to the Olympians which must be dealt with or accommodated via ascension, and in this reader's view suggests a vestigial indigenous strain in metaphysics and ancestry. Odysseus was said to have fathered four children on the goddesses Calypso and Circe, and he was hated by Poseidon for slaying one of his giant titan children. [2]
Overall, these seven sessions listening to the roughly two-hour reading of Hesiod, leaves this reader with clear sense that feminine conspiracy, stemming from a feminine edification of men, was seen by the poet as the chief existential danger to the ancient order of his day; the absolute necessity of the feminine vessel of life leaving the masculine—even the very Murdered Sky—in constant peril of betrayal.
As a possible reflection on unknown ages, this reading suggests:
-a rise of man to dominate the natural order through technology [represented by Time slaying Heaven] followed by
-the fall of a hubris-infused Civilization by Earthly causes [represented by the defeat of Time by Eternity, personified by Zeus] followed by
-a dark age of imposed technological retardation enforced by the higher powers [personified by Zeus chaining Prometheus], in dread of
-the eventual enlightenment of man and his rise to threaten the natural order, represented by Prometheus' curse upon Zeus that his reign would last a mere ten thousand years.
Finally, and perhaps not incidentally, whatever Civilization that built the pyramids and was washed away in the cataclysmic Younger Dryas Event, was overcome by Heaven and Earth roughly 11,000 years before the cult of Zeus-Jove Eternal was replaced by the Christian Trinity. 10,000 years is also the length of time posited by Plato between his age and the fall of Atlantis.
Overall, the most striking aspect of Hesiod's metaphysics, other than the claim of direct divine illumination common to the later rise of Christianity and Islam, was the unique gender tension built into the Aryan-dominated Aryan-Anatolian hybrid Civilization, much of which is congruent with then contemporary Hebrew earth origins testimony and our current scientific doctrines of Chaotic human origins.
-1. It is not stated that Earth comes from Chaos, merely after.
-2. Titans are suggestive of not just a fallen civilization but also of earlier and physically monstrous indigenous races.
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