minoic

anonymous asked:

ive been a Hellenic polytheist for a while now and recently ive started to feel connected to Egyptian gods as well. is it okay / respectful to worship both? thank you!

This can certainly be done. In fact, the ancient Hellenes did it. In 7th century BC, after the Hellenic ‘dark ages’ (1100-750 BC), the city of Naucratis was founded in Ancient Egypt. It was located on the Canopic branch of the Nile river, 45 mi (72 km) from the open sea. It was the first and, for much of its early history, the only permanent Hellenic colony in Egypt; acting as a symbiotic nexus for the interchange of Greek and Egyptian art and culture. Under Greco-Roman rule, Egypt hosted several Hellenic settlements, mostly concentrated in Alexandria, but also in a few other cities, where Hellenic settlers lived alongside some seven to ten million native Egyptians.

Alexander the Great conquered Egypt at an early stage of his conquests. He respected the pharaonic religions and customs and he was proclaimed Pharaoh of Egypt. He established the city of Alexandria. After his death, in 323 BC, his empire was divided among his generals. Egypt was given to Ptolemy I Soter, whose descendants would give Egypt her final royal dynasty. Ptolemy and his descendants showed respect to Egypt’s most cherished traditions–those of religion–and turned them to their own advantage. Alexandria became the centre of the Hellenistic world and the centre of international commerce, art and science. The last Pharaoh was an Hellenic princess, Cleopatra VII, who took her own life in 30 BC.

Contacts between both cultures created a sycratic mix of Gods that were influenced by both cultures. Similarly, some Gods were imported one-on-one into either Egypt or Hellas from a very early time on. There might be a depiction of the Egyptian Goddess Taweret in the vault of Minoic Krete, for example, transformed into an aquatic Hellenic deity.

The most important syncratic Gods are the ‘Alexandian Triad’, worshipped–predicatbly–in Alexandria. The triad consisted forstly of the Egyptian God Amon, who was represented by Zeus’ statue with two ram horns. Serapis is the Graeco-egyptian God par excellence: Osiris risen and become the bull Apis. He is identified with Hellenic Gods such as Hades, Zeus and Dionysos. For the Hellenes He was the God of fertility and medicine, represented the male productive forces of nature, and was regarded as sovereign of the kingdom of the dead. He was represented by the Greeks with long hair and beard, and a large cloak covering his entire body except the arms, seated on a throne with Kerberos at his feet. He was represented as a mummy, with the crescent moon and two flails in the Egyptian iconography. Isis, the wife of Osiris and Goddess of motherhood and fertility, was identified firsly with Demeter, but later was associated with other Goddesses such as Aphrodite, Athena or Artemis. She was represented at the Egyptian manner, sometimes with a double crown holding the feather of Maat, or a pair of lyre-shaped horns, and in the half the solar disk. She was also frequently represented sitting with her son Horus in her arms, breastfeeding him. The last god of the 'Alexandrian triad’ was Horus, son of Isis and Osiris. Osiris, after being murdered by his brother Seth, resurrected and had, with Isis, Horus. To the Alexandrians and the Greeks, Horus was equated with Apollon.

Another Alexandrian God was Hermanubis, a combination of Hermes and Anubis. The jackal God was here identified with Hermes Psychopompos, but also was identified with Thoth, the ibis-headed scribe. There were many another assimilations between both pantheons: Hathor and Aphrodite, Min and Pan, Mut and Hera, Nefertum and Prometheus, Ra and also Sobek with Helios, Neith and Athena, Bastet and Artemis, Onuris and Ares, Nekhbet and Eileithyia, and Heryshef and Heracles, amongst others.

But Dionysos was undoubtedly the most accepted Hellenic God by the Alexandrians. Unlike most Hellenic gods, Dionysos was worshiped By His Hellenic name, without being equated with any Egyptian deity. He was the favorite God of Alexander the Great, who, like his mother Olympias, was involved in the Dionysian Mysteries. The kings of the Ptolemaic dynasty, considering themselves the successors of Alexander, encouraged the continuation of the cult throughout their entire reign.

Reconstructing a Graeco-Egyptian pantheon and practice is possible, and I have seen it done. It’ll take a lot of research and a deep understanding of both religious practices to do it respectfully, but I believe a very rewarding practice await those who feel drawn to this pantheon.