Shepherd of the Sea; Old Man of the Sea; The Old Grey Beard Who Tells the Truth



Proteus may be an archaic form of Protogonos, “First Born.” There is no mention of any parents. Proteus may always have been here. Proteus, an old sea deity, tends Poseidon’s flocks of seals. He is a prophet, master of disguise, and the inspiration for the word protean.

Proteus possesses the gift of accurate prophecy, but he likes to keep it to himself. He doesn’t like to share. There is only one way to receive a straight, honest answer from him. He emerges from the water daily around noon to nap with the seals. Sneak up behind him while he’s sleeping, grab him, and hold on. He will frenetically and frantically begin changing shape, going through his entire repertoire of forms. Some may be creepy, scary, or disgusting. One second you’re holding onto a snarling tiger; the next you’re trying to keep your hands on a slimy bug. You must hold him until he gives up— which he eventually will—and reveals what you want to know. Don’t release him until you’re satisfied with the information. You don’t have to go to the islands to find him. (Proteus allegedly lives near Pharos, which may be the island near Alexandria, Egypt, or the one now called Hvar in the Adriatic Sea.) He may be accessed via visualization.

Creatures: All sea creatures but especially seals


Nereus; Oceanus; Phorkys; Poseidon


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.