Greek Gods

  • Also known as: Agatho Daemon

The Romans and Hellenistic Greeks did not like deities in the shapes of animals. They liked their spirits to resemble humans. Adopted Egyptian spirits thus adapted in form.

Agathos may be Agatho Daemon in human form; he may be an emanation of Agatho Daemon who developed into an independent spiritual entity; or he may always have been a distinct spirit.

Agathos is Lord of Vineyards and watches over fields of grain, peace, prosperity, and plenty. He bestows wisdom, good health, and good luck. Agathos was venerated at home, traditionally by a family together.

The worship of the Agatho Daimon was and is mostly a private practice. Greek families poured out a few drops of wine to him after every meal. Small offerings were sometimes left out to the daimon, which appeared as a snake around the household.

To honor the spirit, pour out libations to him, speak to him on a regular basis, asking for protection for yourself and your home. You might also make a sculpture of a snake to serve as a visual reminder of your daimon.

He shows his favor via a family’s good fortune (or lack thereof). Agathos guarantees that a family has sufficient food and drink.

  • Favored people: Barkeeps, those who own vineyards or grow artisanal grain.
  • Manifestations: Agathos manifests as a snake or a handsome young man.
  • Attributes: Goblet, ear of wheat, poppies, cornucopia, staff or wand entwined by a snake.
  • Offerings: Toast Agathos with a glass of wine at each meal; if you’re not drinking, then just set one aside for him.

The second day of every Athenian month was also a sacred day, devoted to the Agathos Daimon (good spirit). The name “daimon” does not mean the evil demon of modern Christianity, (although it did have a negative form, called the kakodaimon), but was thought to be an aspect of Zeus, as Zeus Ktesios, Charitodotes, and Epikarpios, titles as giver of increase and joy.

Agathos Daimon is most often represented in the form of a snake, a symbol of healing. However the daimon is also a function of one’s being, a characteristic inherently neither good nor bad. Hence, one prays for a good daimon, an eudaimon, and goodness from the gods for the coming month and also for the favor of father Zeus as Agathos Daimon.

Pindar, Socrates, Proclus and Plotinus mention their daemons as well. The spirit acts as a guardian against error and a guide in life.

Burkert (Greek Religion, p. 181) says that “One must be on good terms with it.” And Pindar sang that “The daimon active about me I will always consciously put to rights with me by cultivating him according to my means” (Pyth. 3.108f) and “The great mind of Zeus steers the daimon of the men whom he loves” (Pyth. 5.122f). The philosopher Sokratēs talks of his own daimon as a small voice which speaks to him and warns him to refrain from certain actions (Plato, Apology, 31d).

The myth of the Agatho Daemon can neither be proved nor disproved. “Agatho” stems from the Greek “to agathon,” meaning the highest or supreme good in a moral sense, summum bonum. Since the daemon brought both spiritual and material wealth to a household or person, the Agatho Daemon amounts to the “good spirit.”

Each person was assigned a daemon at birth, and the “good spirit” of the daemon protected and guided him through life. Sacrifices of milk and honey were made to the daemon on one’s birthday. Otherwise a cup of consecrated or spiritually pure wine was passed around at dinner, called the cup of the Agatho Daemon. As we shall see, these rituals were meant as an affirmation of life (and thus as an acknowledgement of death).

The Agatho Daemon was the “good” half of a good and evil duality. This duality was portrayed in frescoes as a serpent with the head of a lion with 7 or 12 solar rays emanating from it. The serpent portion was called the kakodaemon, representing the underworld and water, and the lion’s head was the Agatho Daemon, representing the solar fires.

The cosmic interpretation of the daemon as solar provider was tied to the household’s prosperity in the form of the genius. The lion-headed serpent was frequently pictured along with the household genius, the latter shown as a youth holding a horn of plenty and a bowl, or a poppy and ears of corn, representing the growth and abundance of harvest. The harvest imagery along with the serpent as rain and sun were all symbolic of a successful harvest.

Information about the Egyptian version of this deity, known as Agathodaemon, can be found here: Agathodaemon.

Information collected from various sources

In praying to most gods, the Greeks stood holding the arms upward. When praying to a sea god, the arms were held forward; to an Earth or underworld deity, the arms were held down toward the ground, at the same time stamping on the Earth to attract the deity’s attention.

In all ritual positions, they faced East. When praying in temples, they faced the altar and the deity’s statue.

From: Moon Magick

wind-man

  • Origin: Greece
  • Festival Days: Jan 16 and 17 – Greek festival in which offerings were made to the Wind Gods of the Eight Directions

In ancient Greek religion and myth, the Anemoi (Greek: Ἄνεμοι, “Winds”) were wind gods who were each ascribed a cardinal direction from which their respective winds came, and were each associated with various seasons and weather conditions.

They were sometimes represented as mere gusts of wind, at other times were personified as winged men, and at still other times were depicted as horses kept in the stables of the storm god Aeolus, who provided Odysseus with the Anemoi in the Odyssey. The Spartans were reported to sacrifice a horse to the winds on Mount Taygetus. Astraeus, the astrological deity, and Eos/Aurora, the goddess of the dawn, were the parents of the Anemoi, according to the Greek poet Hesiod. The daughters of the Anemoi are the Aurae (wind nymphs).

According to Hesiod, the beneficial winds, Notus, Boreas, Argestes, and Zephyrus, were the sons of Astraeus and Eos, and the destructive ones, as Typhon, are said to be the sons of Typhoeus. Later, especially philosophical writers, endeavoured to define the winds more accurately, according to their places in the compass.

The Anemoi are divided into two groups:

  1. Anemoi Major
    • Boreas: North Wind
    • Eurus: East Wind
    • Notus: South Wind
    • Zephyr: West Wind
  2. Anemoi Minor
    • Apeliotes: Southeast Wind
    • Kaikias: Northeast Wind
    • Livos (Lips): Southwest Wind
    • Skiron (Skeiron): Northwest Wind

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Of the four chief Anemoi, Boreas (Aquilo in Latin) was the north wind and bringer of cold winter air, Zephyrus (Favonius in Latin) was the west wind and bringer of light spring and early summer breezes, and Notos (Auster in Latin) was the south wind and bringer of the storms of late summer and autumn; Eurus, the southeast (or according to some, the east) wind, was not associated with any of the three Greek seasons, and is the only one of these four Anemoi not mentioned in Hesiod’s Theogony or in the Orphic Hymns.

Other Minor Wind Deities:

  • Argestes “clearing”, a wind blowing from about the same direction as Skiron (Caurus), and probably another name for it
  • Aparctias, sometimes called the north wind instead of Boreas
  • Thrascias, the north-north-west wind (sometimes called in Latin Circius)
  • Euronotus, the wind blowing from the direction, as its name suggests, between Euros and Notos, that is, a south-southeast wind (Euroauster to the Romans)
  • Iapyx, the northwest wind about the same as Caurus. It was this wind, according to Virgil, that carried the fleeing Cleopatra home to Egypt after she was defeated at the battle of Actium.
  • Libonotus, the south-southwest wind, known as Austro-Africus to the Romans
  • Meses, another name for the north-west wind Skiron
  • Olympias, apparently identified with Skiron/Argestes
  • Phoenicias, another name for the southeast wind (“the one blowing from Phoenicia”, due to this land lying to the south-east of Greece)

0d4059bc8c3dc871b5e07e77d129473cThe most remarkable monument representing the winds is the octagonal tower of Andronicus Cyrrhestes at Athens. Each of the eight sides of the monument represents one of the eight principal winds in a flying attitude.

A moveable Triton in the centre of the cupola pointed with his staff to the wind blowing at the time.

All these eight figures have wings at their shoulders, all are clothed, and the peculiarities of the winds are indicated by their bodies and various attributes.

This is how it looks today:

Wind 5

 

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