30 Days of Poseidon — sacred places

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XII Places associated with Poseidon and His worship.

Once again: if you’re interested in reading about historical places that were associated with Poseidon and His worship, check out theoi.com. Read Pausanias. Check out the sources. The one thing I’ve found, over and over again, as I’ve studied Poseidon’s cult in history?

I am damned envious of His ancient worshipers that were able to worship Him in His own temples. Can you imagine? I mean, can you imagine? Statues painted brilliantly. Offerings, libations, sacrifices made, hundreds of people gathered together to pay Him honor? Can you just imagine?

Alas, I can, and there are a few pieces of knowledge I can’t shake free of, not even to suspend disbelief long enough to let a fantasy play out in my head. I’m female, which means that any role I’d have in this public worship would be slim to none – there’d be a good chance, even, that such a thing would be barred to me. Yes, women and girls belonging (literally) to a particular class (or, you know, caste) had places within the civic religion, and yes, there were priestesses. But there would not be the freedom of worship that I enjoy now, and all the temples in the world cannot replace the intimate relationship that I share with this god. We fantasize about what the world would be like, if the Christians hadn’t stolen or destroyed our temples. We fantasize what it would be like if monotheism hadn’t oppressed polytheism for so long. What ought not be overlooked, and I fear often is, is the liberating force that Christianity was for a number of the classes of people who were counted as sub-human in the Greek world. It wasn’t overnight, of course, but Christianity did not draw people to it in the beginning because it failed to address the problems people wanted help with. We fantasize, and in doing so, I think we romanticize a bit more than we ought to. Bottom line for me is: I’d rather worship here and now than travel back to ancient Hellas, even if this means I’m worshiping in my living room and not in a temple proper.

river oct 27 13What are places sacred to Poseidon, as far as I understand it? Any place with water. Those spots where the water and earth meet are especially powerful, and certainly sing to me of His presence. The ocean, of course, but equally so the rivers, the ponds, the lakes. It isn’t all about the sea, but water cannot be escaped. More so than any other sort of place, it is by the waters where I find my Beloved out of doors.

100_1790I want to have a longer list. I want to have specific places; alas, in my relationship with Him, Poseidon has been as much about specific places as He has been about material things — attachments made to something that isn’t Him, in the worshiping of Him, is not encouraged. Places and things being used to add depth and texture to His worship is allowed, but only provided that they not reach a status of import that detracts from His worship, His Mysteries, His presence. Your miles may vary here; my Poseidon is less “all the things” treasure keeper of the deep and more “it’s all just stuff, don’t get distracted by it.”

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