Poseidon

Poseidon has been praised, by the Orphic poets, as “gaieochos” –he, who possesses the earth- and “kyanochaites” -he, who has an azure mane, thus possesses the sea. He was the god who “inhabited the foundations of the ocean” and would strike his trident, causing earthquakes and waves. He was the “stirrer of the earth” according to Homer.
Poseidon was the son of Kronos and Rhea and, together with others, the brother of Zeus. Whenever he was not on Olympus, he dwelt in his palace in the depths of the ocean, with his wife, the Nereid Amphitrite. One tradition says that he was raised in Rhodes, where he met Alia, sister of the Telchines, and had six sons and one daughter, called Rhode. The island of Rhodes had Rhode’s name. He was also the father of Theseus but also of Prokroustes, Skiron and the giants: the twins Otos and Ephialtes, Tityos and Orion. He had tamed the first horse (“hippos”) and was the father of winged Pegasus, from his union with Medusa.
His symbols were the fish and especially the dolphin and the “hippos” (horse), thus his epithet as “Hippios”. And, as Socrates says, in “Kratylos”, “Poseidon is posidesmos, since he ties up the feet of the mortals, depriving them of using their logic and forcing them to use their emotions which he controls”. “Hippodromies” (chariot races) would take place in all festivals in honor of the god, for whom the galloping horses shake the earth. Poseidon was the protector of the sailors to whom they sacrificed, before sailing or during the trip, for safe travelling.
Poseidon symbolizes the perpetual motion and the fluidness –just like the nature of the liquid element and, consequently, the world of emotions. Our emotions are never static, being always transformed according to the circumstances and the environment. There is a reason why the illnesses of the psyche were attributed to this great god who “moves” the human sentiments with his trident, just like the way he does it with the waves of the oceans.
According to Pausanias, Poseidon was one of the guardians of the oracle of Delphi, before Apollo. Apollo and Poseidon functioned side by side on many levels, i.e. colonization: the Delphian Apollo provided colonists with his “agreement”, while Poseidon provided them with his “purification water” for the sacrificial ceremony of their establishment in the newly founded colony. We find another connection between the two gods, In Xenophon’s “Anabasis”, a group of soldiers would sing a “paean” (400-399 BC), which was actually a hymn, sang for Apollo.

1. Temple of Poseidon, at Sounion (Attica)
2. Sanctuary of Poseidon at Kalavria of Poros (Saronic Gulf)
3. Sanctuary of Poseidon at Akovitika of Messenia (Peloponnese)
4. Cult of Poseidon, in the Erechtheion of the Acropolis of Athens
5. Temple of Poseidon, at Poseidi of Chalkidiki (Macedonia)
6. Temple of Poseidon, at Isthmia of Corinthia region (Peloponnese)
7. Sanctuary of “Hippios” Poseidon, in Mantineia of Arcadia (Peloponnese)
8. Sanctuary of Poseidon, at Kionia of Tinos (Cyclades)

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