“On the fourth day Isis was born in the regions that are ever moist; and on the fifth Nephthys, to whom they give the name of Teleutê (Finality) and the name of Aphroditê, and some also the name of Nikê (Victory).” — Plutarch, On Isis and Osiris 355F
“When the soul comes to the point of death, it suffers something like those who participate in the great initiations (teletai). Therefore the word teleutan closely resembles the word teleisthai just as the act of dying resembles the act of being initiated. At first there are wanderings and toilsome running about in circles and journeys through the dark over uncertain roads and culs de sacs; then, just before the end, there are all kinds of terrors, with shivering, trembling, sweating, and utter amazement. After this, a strange and wonderful light meets the wanderer; he is admitted into clean and verdant meadows, where he discerns gentle voices, and choric dances, and the majesty of holy sounds and sacred visions. Here the now fully initiated is free, and walks at liberty like a crowned and dedicated victim, joining in the revelry.” — Plutarch, De Anima fragment preserved in Stobaios Florigelium 120
“Dancing in the precincts of the dead renews the will to life.” — Walter Burkert, Greek Religion pg. 33
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, saith the Lord, the beginning and the end. Who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” – The Revelation of Saint John the Divine 1:8
“… they roam together – the night-walkers, the magicians, the Bakchai, the Lenai, the participants in mysteries full of unholy rites. Their processions and phallic hymns would be disgraceful exhibitions if it wasn’t for the fact that they are done in honor of Dionysos – that Dionysos who is the same as Haides; it is in his honor that they rave madly and hold their revels.” — Herakleitos, Fragments 76-77
“During this night, it is said, about the middle of it, while the city was quiet and depressed through fear and expectation of what was coming, suddenly certain harmonious sounds from all sorts of instruments were heard, and the shouting of a throng which none could see, accompanied by cries of Bacchic revelry and satyric leapings, as if a troop of revelers, making a great tumult, were going forth from the city; and their course seemed to lie about through the middle of it toward the outer gate which faced the enemy, at which point the tumult became loudest and then dashed out.” — Plutarch, Life of Antony 75
“A bacchant of Haides.” — Euripides, Hercules Insane 1119
“As for wine, those who serve the god in Heliopolis bring none at all into the shrine, since they feel that it is not seemly to drink in the day-time while their Lord and King is looking upon them. The others use wine, but in great moderation. They have many periods of holy living when wine is prohibited, and in these they spend their time exclusively in studying, learning, and teaching religious matters. Their kings also were wont to drink a limited quantity prescribed by the sacred writings, as Hecataeus has recorded; and the kings are priests. The beginning of their drinking dates from the reign of Psammetichus; before that they did not drink wine nor use it in libation as something dear to the gods, thinking it to be the blood of those who had once battled against the gods, and from whom, when they had fallen and had become commingled with the earth, they believed vines to have sprung. This is the reason why drunkenness drives men out of their senses and crazes them, inasmuch as they are then filled with the blood of their forbears. These tales Eudoxus says in the second book of his World Travels are thus related by the priests.” – Plutarch, On Isis and Osiris 353e-c
“People do not go to ‘heavenly nuptials’ hand in hand. To a divine encounter one is called, seduced by a superior power. Where a living person is concerned, this person will achieve the telos in a mystery ceremony through the gamos. Just this happens in the death of young people. Dionysos lured them and also summoned them with a bell; he is shown thus luring a woman on a krater in Ruvo. She follows him with the tympanon which will accompany her dance when she sues for the god’s love. Her face expresses the magic spell that has come over her. One of the two sileni, representing the servants who accompany her, bears both torch and situla. On a bell krater in Lecce a youth, naked except for the cloak thrown lightly over his shoulders, is standing before a seated woman; she is the divine maenad from whom he desires fulfillment. He has arrived as though from a journey, and the egg he brings her is the egg that is buried with the dead. She is awaiting him with a large thyrsos; a silenus holds another behind her. He also holds a wreath in preparation for the marriage which is to resemble that of Dionysos to Ariadne.” — Carl Kerényi, Dionysos Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life
“In terms of the material world [Aristotle] believed that organisms continually moved from imperfect to perfect states in a teleological development, the perfect being innate within the imperfect (E.g a seed becomes a plant, an embryo becomes a baby which becomes an adult). Thus the essence of something is found in the form into which it has grown (its potential has become actualised which leads to higher forms (Evolution?). Thus, ‘What determined a thing’s nature was what counted as its successful operation: its achieving what is good for it to achieve’ (Honerdich p. 56). Humans are organised to live a certain way and the rest of their nature is so organised as to be able to achieve this goal.
‘… every substance not only possess a form; one could say it is also possessed by a form, for it naturally strives to realise its inherent form. It strives to become a perfect specimen of its kind. Every substance seeks to actualise what it is potentially.’ (Tarnas p.58)
In this way Aristotle believed the essential nature of things lay not at their cause (or beginning) but at their end (τέλος).” – Aristotle and the concept of telos
“The gentle sounds of the choir singing ‘Amen, amen’ are not to calm the congregation but to pacify the god. When you know this you have penetrated to the innermost core of religion. And the worst part is that the god can thrust himself outward and into the congregation until he becomes them. You worship a god and then he pays you back by taking you over. This is called enthousiasmos in Greek, literally ‘to be possessed by the god.’ Of all the Greek gods the one most likely to do this was Dionysos. And, unfortunately, Dionysos was insane. Put another way – stated backward – if your god takes you over, it is likely that no matter what name he goes by he is actually a form of the mad god Dionysos. He was also the god of intoxication, which may mean, literally, to take in toxins; that is to say, to take a poison. The danger is there. If you sense this, you try to run. But if you run he has you anyhow, for the demigod Pan was the basis of panic which is the uncontrollable urge to flee, and Pan is a subform of Dionysos. So in trying to flee from Dionysos you are taken over anyhow. I write this literally with a heavy hand; I am so weary I am dropping as I sit here. What happened at Jonestown was the mass running of panic, inspired by the mad god – panic leading into death, the logical outcome of the mad god’s thrust. For them no way out existed. You must be taken over by the mad god to understand this, that once it happens there is no way out, because the mad god is everywhere. It is not reasonable for nine hundred people to collude in their own deaths and the deaths of little children, but the mad god is not logical, not as we understand the term. When we reached the Lamptons’ home we found it to be a stately old farm mansion, set in the middle of grape vines; after all, this is wine country. I thought, Dionysos is the god of wine.” — Philip K. Dick, VALIS pages 165-166
On his voyage from Crete, Theseus put in at Delos, and having sacrificed to the god and dedicated in his temple the image of Aphrodite which he had received from Ariadne, he danced with his youths a dance which they say is still performed by the Delians, being an imitation of the circling passages in the Labyrinth, and consisting of certain rhythmic involutions and evolutions. This kind of dance, as Dicaearchus tells us, is called by the Delians The Crane, and Theseus danced it round the altar called Keraton, which is constructed of horns (kerata) taken entirely from the left side of the head. He says that he also instituted athletic contests in Delos, and that the custom was then begun by him of giving a palm to the victors.
But Theseus, putting in to shore, sacrificed in person the sacrifices which he had vowed to the gods at Phalerum when he set sail, and then dispatched a herald to the city to announce his safe return. The messenger found many of the people bewailing the death of their king, and others full of joy at his tidings, as was natural, and eager to welcome him and crown him with garlands for his good news. The garlands, then, he accepted, and twined them about his herald’s staff, and on returning to the seashore, finding that Theseus had not yet made his libations to the gods, remained outside the sacred precincts, not wishing to disturb the sacrifice. But when the libations were made, he announced the death of Aegeus. Thereupon, with tumultuous lamentation, they went up in haste to the city. Whence it is, they say, that to this day, at the festival of the Oschophoria, it is not the herald that is crowned, but his herald’s staff, and those who are present at the libations cry out: “Eleleu! Iou! Iou!” the first of which cries is the exclamation of eager haste and triumph, the second of consternation and confusion.
It was Theseus who instituted also the Athenian festival of the Oschophoria. For it is said that he did not take away with him all the maidens on whom the lot fell at that time, but picked out two young men of his acquaintance who had fresh and girlish faces, but eager and manly spirits, and changed their outward appearance almost entirely by giving them warm baths and keeping them out of the sun, by arranging their hair, and by smoothing their skin and beautifying their complexions with unguents; he also taught them to imitate maidens as closely as possible in their speech, their dress, and their gait, and to leave no difference that could be observed, and then enrolled them among the maidens who were going to Crete, and was undiscovered by any. And when he was come back, he himself and these two young men headed a procession, arrayed as those are now arrayed who carry the vine-branches. They carry these in honour of Dionysus and Ariadne, and because of their part in the story; or rather, because they came back home at the time of the vintage. And the women called Deipnophoroi, or supper-carriers, take part in the procession and share in the sacrifice, in imitation of the mothers of the young men and maidens on whom the lot fell, for these kept coming with bread and meat for their children. And tales are told at this festival, because these mothers, for the sake of comforting and encouraging their children, spun out tales for them. At any rate, these details are to be found in the history of Demon. Furthermore, a sacred precinct was also set apart for Theseus, and he ordered the members of the families which had furnished the tribute to the Minotaur to make contributions towards a sacrifice to himself. This sacrifice was superintended by the Phytalidae, and Theseus thus repaid them for their hospitality.
- Plutarch, selections from the Life of Theseus