Poseidon

Poseidon

The Dark-Haired One

Origin:

Greece

Poseidon is the lord of the sea. Whitecaps are his horses. He lives in an underwater palace and owns all the ocean’s treasures. Poseidon is a tempestuous spirit who competes aggressively with Athena for veneration and devotees. According to Olympian myth, Poseidon is the oldest son of Rhea and Kronos.

Scholars suggest that he predates the Olympic pantheon. Poseidon was already a local spirit when incorporated, as opposed to out-of-towner Zeus.

• He may be an older Greek deity incorporated into the Olympic pantheon like Hera or Demeter.

• Herodotus thought Poseidon was a Libyan deity adopted by the Greeks, possibly like his frequent rival Athena.

• Poseidon may be associated with the earliest Aryan invaders of Greece who entered the region circa 2000 BCE, conquering with horses and wheeled vehicles.

Waves are described as resembling horses, but Poseidon may have been a horse deity before he was an ocean deity. Poseidon taught people how to bridle horses. Chariot races were held in his honor. (The Isthmian aquatic games were also held in his honor.) Poseidon in the guise of a stallion raped his sister, Demeter, in the guise of a mare. (Demeter may have been his original consort.) Their son Arion is a horse. Pegasus, the winged horse, is the child of Medusa and Poseidon.

Poseidon is the ruler, founder, and divine ancestor of the lost continent of Atlantis, whose first king was Poseidon’s son Atlas.

Poseidon is aggressive with women. His modus operandi is rape and abduction. In addition to his official consort, Amphitrite, those assaulted by Poseidon include Demeter, Salamis, Melantheia, Peirene, and possibly Medusa. (Sex with Medusa may or may not have been consensual, depending on myth.) All bear his children, indicating his powers as a fertility spirit. Poseidon is invoked for fertility, abundance, and protection at sea. He is a powerful deity and can fulfill virtually all desires. Many of Poseidon’s functions were reassigned to Saint Nicholas.

Manifestation:

He may manifest as a vigorous, bearded man, a merman or a horse.

Attribute:

Trident

Spirit allies:

Poseidon often travels accompanied by Amphitrite, their son Triton, and an entourage of Nereids and dolphins.

Tree:

Pine, ash

Number: 8

Creature: Horse—his personal herd has gold manes and brass hooves—also dolphins, bulls

Sacred site:

Among others, Poseidon and Amphitrite shared a sanctuary on the Greek island of Tenos famed for its healing miracles. The Church of the Annunciation at Tenos is built over the foundations. The sacred spring within the precinct remains renowned for miracles. The church is filled with ex-votos and testaments to miracles received.

Rituals: Bull fights, boxing matches, and horse races were held in Poseidon’s honor.

Mount:

His chariot is pulled by horses or hippocampi; sometimes Poseidon rides a hippocampus (a mer-horse) or a dolphin.

Altar:

Decorate his altar with marine and equine images.

See Also:

Amphitrite; Arion; Athena; Atlas; Delphin; Demeter; Despoena; Medusa; Neptune; Nereids; Nereus; Nerites; Olympian Spirits; Pallas; Pasiphae; Persephone; Proteus; Scylla; Telchines; Zeus

Source:

Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by : Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.