One reaches romantic maturity when they have accepted their “opposite” side and instead of looking for their opposite, they look for the truely “other”.
I won’t be speaking specifically of Greek goetia today. The understanding transcends Greek culture and even much of the original Greek lore is lost or unaccounted for.
Have you noticed how common references to something being “in the air” are these days? Even more contemporary thinkers have made comments along the lines of ideas coming to them from out of the air, out of thin air or out of nowhere, the surprising or sudden or unexplained. And Eros is perhaps one of the best known daemons between the heavens which were said to be governed by angels, and the earth where man dwells you had an entire kingdom of reality.
Or vanished into thin air, we also say. Yes. Mysteriously gone like a dream. The powers of the air are perhaps universally seen as messengers and sources of inspiration.
Because it cannot be reached by the five senses? That is likely the reason for the symbolic connection. Of course, these same powers were also seen as tricksters and even bringers of disaster and disease. Would you say the air is any more dead in our day and age then it may have been way back then?
Not with all the mobile phones and satellites. Especially not with today’s technology.
Perhaps an Egyptian reference. The Egyptian god Ra was the god of the sun over the river valley, the giver of food and life. The Egyptian god Set (from which I took my Second Life name) was the god of the desert sun as well as sandstorms and the other scary mysteries of the wild desert.
Originally, the two gods were seen as allies, friends, to the point that both the symbol of Ra and the symbol of Set were seen on the Kings headdress, more or less seen as equals.
Balance. Yes. That would change. Human politics warps human perception quite reliably, and has done so for a very long time. In Greece, the spirits responsible for inspiration, Eros, the dactyls, the muses, it’s actually a long list, were not considered to have the authority of the gods, nor were they believed to respect divine law as some might think they should. Hermes was a deity that sort of straddles these classifications. Acknowledged as a god, and serving as the divine courier, but also routinely messing with the other gods.
Did the Egyptians have a pantheon god system? They did. It was a concept of divine order, called “ma’at.” Rather than being a system of sovereign hierarchy, it was more a code of civil law that gods were believed to all adhere to. I was born under the sign of Anubis, the Egyptian god of the underworld before the rise of the Osirian church. Egyptian religion has a long history comparable to the Greek. Now how this relates to western goetia is this. Roman scholars adapted Egyptian, Greek and Semitic lore to their own philosophical jargon and used other cultures figures for expressing their own metaphor.
So the Roman opinions of the inspiring or “familiar” spirits reflected itself in what would become European Christianity leading to what is commonly bandied about as demon lore today. The Greek figure Prometheus was not a part of the divine hierarchy, and giving humans the gift of fire was a rebellion punishable by eternal torment. This same story is told all across the world, in one form or another, with the spirits who give ideas being seen also as standing in defiance of natural or divine order. The Native American spirit, associated with the season and specifically moon I was born under, is coyote. Coyote was notorious for not only confusing and frustrating humans, but doing the same thing to other spirits as well. But he was also one of the most creative and inventive spirits in their tradition.
Ok, perhaps enough of the backstory…
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.