A man in the night kindles a light for himself when his vision is extinguished; living, he is in
contact with the dead, when asleep, and with the sleeper, when awake.  (Herakleitos,  Diels 236)

Hades and Dionysos, for whom they go mad and rage, are one and the same.  (Herakleitos.)


On this lake it is that the Egyptians represent by night his sufferings whose name I refrain from
mentioning, and this representation they call their Mysteries. I know well the whole course of the
proceedings in these ceremonies, but they shall not pass my lips. So too, with regard to the
mysteries of Demeter, which the Greek term "the Thesmophoria," I know them, but I shall not
mention them, except so far as may be done without impiety. The daughters of Danaus brought
these rites from Egypt, And taught them to the Pelasgic women of the Peloponnese. Afterward,
when the inhabitants of the peninsula were driven from their homes by the Dorians, the rites
perished. Only in Arcadia, where the natives remained and were not compelled to migrate, their
observance continued. (Herodotus, The History II, 171)

The following is a tale which was told by Dicaeus, the son of Theocydes, an Athenian, who was at
this time in exile and had gained a good report among the Medes. He declared that after the army
of Xerxes had, in the absence of the Athenians, wasted Attica, he chanced to be with Demaratus,
the Lacedaemonian in the Thriasian plain, And that while there, he saw a cloud of dust advancing
from Eleusis, such as a host of thirty thousand men might raise. As he and his companion were
wondering who the men, from whom the dust arose, could possibly be, a sound
of voices reached his ear, and he thought that he recognized the mystic hymn to Bacchus, Now
Demaratus was unacquainted with the rites of Eleusis, and so he inquired of Dicaeus what the
voices were saying. Dicaeus made answer - O Demaratus! Beyond a doubt some mighty calamity
is about to befall the king's army! For it is manifest, inasmuch as Attica is deserted by its
inhabitants, that the sound which we have heard is an unearthly one and is now upon its way from
Eleusis to aid the Athenians and their confederates. If it descends upon the Peloponnese, danger
will threaten the king himself and his land army - if it moves towards the ships at Salamis, 'twill go
hard but the king's fleet there suffers destruction. Every year the Athenians celebrate this feast to
the Mother and the Daughter; and all who wish, whether they be Athenians or any other Greeks,
are initiated. The sound thou hearest is the Bacchic song, which is wont to be sung at that
"Hush now," rejoined the other; "And see thou tell no man of this matter. For if thy words be
brought to the king's ear, thou wilt assuredly lose thy head because of them; neither I nor any
man living can save thee. Hold thy peace therefore. The gods will see to the king's army." Thus
Demaratus counseled him; and they looked, and saw the dust, from which the sound arose,
become a cloud, and the cloud rise up into the air and sail away to Salamis, making for the station
of the Grecian fleet.  Then they knew it was the fleet of Xerxes which would suffer destruction.
Such was the tale told by Dicaeus the son of Theocydes; and he appealed for its truth to
Demaratus and other eye-witnesses.  (Herodotus.  The History. VIII, 65)

The Persians, as soon as they were put to flight by the Lacedaemonians, ran hastily away, without
preserving any order, and took refuge in their own camp, within the wooden defense which they
had raised in the Theban territory. It is a marvel to me how it came to pass, that although the
battle was fought quite close to the grove of Demeter, yet not a single Persian appears to have
died on the sacred soil, nor even to have set foot upon it, while round about the precinct, in the
unconsecrated ground, great numbers perished. I imagine - if it is lawful, in matters which concern
the gods, to imagine anything - that the goddess herself kept them out, because they had burnt
her dwelling at Eleusis. Such, then, was the issue of this battle. The Persians, as soon as they
were put to flight by the Lacedaemonians, ran hastily away, without preserving any order, and
took refuge in their own camp, within the wooden defense which they had raised in the Theban
territory. It is a marvel to me how it came to pass, that although the battle was fought quite close
to the grove of Demeter, yet not a single Persian appears to have died on the sacred soil, nor
even to have set foot upon it, while round about the precinct, in the unconsecrated
ground, great numbers perished. (Herodotus The History IX, 65)


The snake of Cychreus: Hesiod says that it was brought up by Cychreus, and was driven out by
Eurylochus as defiling the island, but that Demeter received it into Eleusis, and that it became her
attendant.  (Hesiod Catalogues of Women and Eoiae.  77)

Zeus entered also into the bed of fruitful Demeter, who bore him Persephone of the white arms,
she that Aidoneus ravished away from her mother and Zeus of the counsels granted it.
(Hesiod, Theogony 912-914)

Demeter, shining among goddesses, after the embraces of the hero Iasion in the sweetness of
love, brought forth Ploutos in a thrice-plowed field there in the fertile countryside of Crete, a good
son, who walks over earth and the sea's wide ridges everywhere, and he who meets him with the
giving of hands between them is made a prosperous man, to whom great wealth is granted.
(Hesiod, Theogony 912-914)

Little concern has he with quarrels and courts who has not a year's victuals laid up betimes, even
that which the earth bears, Demeter's grain.  (Hesiod Works and Days 31)

But do you at any rate, always remembering my charge, work, high-born Perses, that Hunger may
hate you, and venerable Demeter richly crowned may love you and fill your barn with food.
(Hesiod, Works And Days,  328-331)

When the Pleiades, daughters of Atlas, are rising, begin your harvest, and your ploughing when
they are going to set. Forty nights and days they are hidden and appear again as the year moves
round, when first you sharpen your sickle. This is the law of the plains, and of those who live near
the sea, and who inhabit rich country, the glens and dingles far from the tossing sea,---strip to
sow and strip to plough and strip to reap, if you wish to get in all Demeter's fruits in due season,
and that each kind may grow in its season.  (Hesiod, Works and Days, 383-393)

Pray to Zeus of the Earth and to pure Demeter to make Demeter's holy grain sound and heavy,
when first you begin ploughing, when you hold in your hand the end of the plough-tail and bring
down your stock on the backs of the oxen as they draw on the pole-bar by the yoke-straps.
(Hesiod, Works and Days, 465-469)

Set your slaves to winnow Demeter's holy grain, when strong Orion first appears, on a smooth
threshing-floor in an airy place. (Hesiod, Works And Days. 597-599)

But when the Pleiades and Hyades and strong Orion begin to set, then remember to plough in
season: And so the completed year will fitly pass beneath the earth.  (Hesiod, Works And Days,

Look about you very carefully and throw out Demeter's holy grain upon the well-rolled threshing
floor on the seventh of the mid-month.  (Hesiod Works and Days 805-807)


The Phrygians, however assert, he says, that he is likewise "a green ear of corn reaped." And
after the Phrygians, the Athenians, while initiating people into the Eleusinian rites, likewise display
to those who are being admitted to the highest grade at these mysteries, the might, and
marvelous, and most perfect secret suitable for one initiated into the highest mystic truths: (I
allude to) an ear of corn in silence reaped. But this ear of corn is also (considered) among the
Athenians to constitute the perfect enormous illumination (that has descended) from the
unportrayable one, just as the Hierophant himself (declares); not, indeed, emasculated like Attis,
but made a eunuch by means of hemlock, and despising all carnal generation. (Now) by night in
Eleusis, beneath a huge fire, (the Celebrant,) enacting the great and secret mysteries, vociferates
and cries aloud, saying, "August Brimo has brought forth a consecrated son, Brimus;" that is, a
potent (mother has been delivered of) a potent child. But revered, he says, is the generation that
is spiritual, heavenly, from above, and potent is he that is so born. For the mystery is called
"Eleusin" And "Anactorium." "Eleusin," because, he says, we who are spiritual come flowing down
from Adam above; for the word "eleusesthai" is, he says, of the same import with the expression
"to come." But "Anactorium" is of the same import with the expression "to ascend upward." This,
he says, is what they affirm who have been initiated in the mysteries of the Eleusinians. It is,
however, a regulation of law, that those who have been admitted into the lesser should again be
initiated into the Great Mysteries. For greater destinies obtain greater portions. But the inferior
mysteries, he says are those of Proserpine below; in regard of which mysteries, and the path
which leads there, which is wide and spacious, and conducts those that are perishing to
Proserpine, the poet likewise says: - "But under her a fearful path extends, Hollow, miry, yet best
guide to Highly-honored Aphrodite's lovely grove." Highly-honored Aphrodite's lovely grove."  
These, he says, are the inferior mysteries those appertaining to carnal generation.  Now, those
men who are initiated into these inferior (mysteries) ought to pause, and (then) be admitted into
the great (and) heavenly (ones). For they, he says, who obtain their shares (in this mystery),
receive greater portions. For this, he says, is the gate of heaven; and this a house of God, where
the Good Deity dwells alone. and into this (gate), he says, no unclean person shall enter, nor one
that is natural or carnal; but it is reserved for the spiritual only.  (Hippolytus The Refutation of All
Heresies V, 3)


Perhaps we can also explain the very ancient but never well-known intercourse of Europe with
Tibet by considering the shout, (’ Konx Ompax’), of the hierophants in the Eleusinian mysteries,
as we learn from Hysichius (cf. Travels of the Young Anacharsis, Part V, p. 447 ff.). For, according
to Georgi, op. cit., the word Concoia means God, which has a striking resemblance to Konx. Pah-
cio (ibid., 520), which the Greeks may well have pronounced pax, means the promulgator legis,
divinity pervading the whole of nature (also called Cencresi, p. 177). Om, however, which La Croze
translates as benedictus (" blessed"), when applied to divinity perhaps means “the beatified” (p.
507). P. Franz Orazio often asked the Lamas of Tibet what they understood by “God” (Concoia)
and always got the answer, “It is the assembly of saints” (i.e., the assembly of the blessed ones
who, according to the doctrine of rebirth, finally, after many wanderings through bodies of all
kinds, have returned to God, or Burchane; that is to say, they are transmigrated souls, beings to
be worshiped, p. 223). That mysterious expression Konx Ompax may well mean “the holy” (Konx),
the blessed (Om), the wise (Pax), the supreme being pervading the world (nature personified). Its
use in the Greek mysteries may indicate monotheism among the epopts in contrast to the
polytheism of the people (though Orazio scented atheism.)  Kant, Immanuel. Perpetual Peace.The
Immanuel Kant Collection: 8 Classic Works (Kindle Locations 342-352). Waxkeep Publishing.
Kindle Edition.


So again when Demeter fell in love with Iasion, and yielded to him in a thrice-ploughed fallow field,
Zeus came to hear of it before so very long and killed Iasion with his thunderbolts.
(Homer. Odyssey V, 125)

As the breezes sport with the chaff upon some goodly threshing floor, when men are winnowing -
while yellow Demeter blows with the wind to sift the chaff from the grain, and the chaff-heaps
grow whiter and whiter - (Homer Iliad V, 499-502)

But all these things grow there for them unsown and e'en untilled, both wheat and barley.
(Odyssey IX, 1O9)

There is a fair and fruitful island in mid-ocean called Crete; it is thickly peopled and there are
ninety cities in it; the people speak many different languages which overlap one another, for there
are Achaeans, brave Eteocretans, Dorians of three-fold race, and noble Pelasgi. There is a great
town There, Knossos, where Minos reigned who every nine years had a conference with Zeus
himself.  (Homer Odyssey XIX, 172-178)


There is a sure reward for trusty silence, too. I will forbid the man who has divulged the sacred
rites of mystic Ceres, to abide beneath the same roof or to unmoor with me the fragile bark.
(Horace Odes III, ii)


(From the constellation Hydra, Crater – the Crow)  Concerning the Crater, Phylarchus tells this
story.  In the Cheronesus, which is located near Troy, where the tomb of Protesilaus lies, there is
a city called Eleusa.  During the reign of a certain, Demiphon, widespread devastation and an
unexpected plague befell the city.  Demiphon, greatly perturbed, sent to the oracle of Apollo to
inquire how the devastation might be halted.  The response of the oracle was that a maiden of
noble birth must be sacrificed each year on the altar of the city’s gods.  Demiphon, choosing the
maidens by lottery, sacrificed all other daughters save his own, until one of the well-born citizens
complained of the practice to Demiphon.  This man said he would not allow his daughter to be
part of the lottery unless the daughters of the king were part of it as well.  The king was angered
and, selecting that man’s daughter without a lottery, put her to death.  The maiden’s father,
Mastusius by name, pretended at the time that he would not be angry since the deed was done on
behalf of their country, for the lot might have fallen to her later, and she might have perished
nonetheless.  After a few days, the father of the maiden lulled the king into forgetfulness, then,
when he had shown himself to be most kindly disposed toward the king, claimed that he was
preparing a solemn sacrifice and invited the king and his daughters.  The king, not suspecting
that anything untoward was about to happen, sent his daughters ahead, as he was occupied with
matters of state and planned to come later.  When what Mastusius had greatly hoped for
happened, he slew the king’s daughters and, mixing their blood with the wine in the wine jar,
ordered that it be offered to the king to drink as he approached.  When the king looked for his
daughters and discovered what happened to them, he ordered that Mastusius be thrown into the
sea, along with the wine jar.  For that reason, the sea into which he was thrown was called
Mastusian in him memory, and the port to this day called Crater (wine jar).  The ancient
astronomers configured it among the stars so that men might be reminded that no one can profit
from an evil deed, and that evil deeds cannot be forgotten.  (Hyginus, Poetic Astronomy,2.40 ff)


The goods of knowledge must not be communicated to him whose soul is not cleansed.  For it is
not fitting to expose that which has been achieved with so much pains to the first comer, nor to
reveal the mysteries of the Eleusinian Goddess.”  (Iamblichus, Life of Pythagoras, 17, 35.0)


For most of the Hellenic cities, in memory of our ancient services, send us each year the first-
fruits of the harvest, and those who neglect to do so have often been admonished by the Pythian
priestess to pay us our due portion of their crops and to observe in relation to our city the
customs of their fathers.  (Isocrates, Panegyricus 31)

When Demeter came to our land, in her wandering after the rape of Kore, and, being moved to
kindness towards our ancestors by services which may not be told save to her initiates, gave
these two gifts, the greatest in the world - the fruits of the earth, which have enabled us to rise
above the life of the beasts, and the holy rite which inspires in those who partake of it sweeter
hopes regarding both the end of life and all eternity, - our city was not only so beloved of the
gods but also so devoted to mankind that, having been endowed with these great blessings, she
did not begrudge them to the rest of the world, but shared with all men what she had received. The
mystic rite we continue even now, each year, to reveal to the initiates; and as for the fruits of the
earth, our city has, in a word, instructed the world, in their uses, their cultivation, and the benefits
derived from them.  (Isocrates, Panegyricus 28-29)

And at the celebration of the Mysteries, the Eumolpidae and the Kerykes, because of our hatred
of the Persians, give solemn warning to the other barbarians also, even as to men guilty of
murder, that they are forever banned from the sacred rites.  (Isocrates, Panegyricus 157)

And since they knew that in matters pertaining to the gods the city would be most enraged if any
man should be shown to be violating the Mysteries (Isocrates, The Team of Horses 6)


Ought I to say something on this subject also?  And shall I write about things not to be spoken
of?  And divulge what ought not to be divulged?  Shall I utter the unutterable?  (The Emperor
Julian:  Hymn to the Mother of the Gods)


In the Mysteries of Demeter all night long with torches kindled they seek for Persephone and
when she is found, the whole ritual closes with thanksgiving and the tossing of torches.
(Lactantius, cited Mylonas Eleusis and the Eleusinian Mysteries p. 215)


Now the Athenians had undertaken the war against Philip for no sufficient reason, since they
retained nothing of their ancient greatness except their spirit. Two young men from Acarnania,
during the celebration of the mysteries at Eleusis, though not initiated, had entered the temple of
Ceres, ignorant that they were committing sacrilege, and merely following the crowd. Their words
easily betrayed them, since they asked foolish questions, and though it was clear that they had
come in openly and by mistake they were put to death as if they had committed some heinous
crime. The Acarnanians reported this revolting and unfriendly act to Philip, and prevailed
upon him to send them Macedonian aid and permit them to attack Athens.  (Livy XXI, xiv, 6-10)


If I see some initiate of the Mysteries giving away the secret ritual and going through the dances
in public, and I get angry and show him up, are you going to consider me the wrongdoer?
(Lucian, The Fisherman 33)


Not the Father alone felt desire; but all that dwelt in Olympus had the same, struck by one bolt,
and wooed for a union with Deo's divine daughter. Then Deo lost the brightness of her rosy face,
her swelling heart was lashed by sorrows. She untied the fruitful frontlet from her head, and
shook loose the long locks of hair over her neck, trembling for her girl; the cheeks of the goddess
were moistened with self-running tears, in her sorrow that so many voters had been stung with
one fiery shot for a struggle of rival wooing, by maddening Eros, all contending together for their
(Nonnus, Dionysiaca VI, 3-12)

But Deo refused to drink, being tipsy with Persephone's trouble: parents of an only child ever
tremble for their beloved children.  (Nonnus, Dionysiaca VI, 30-32)

He learned the details of the day when her only child was new born, and the exact time and
veritable course of the season which gave her birth: then he bent the turning fingers of his hands
and measured the moving circle of the ever-recurring number counting from hand to hand in
double exchange. He called to a servant, and Asterion lifted a round revolving sphere, the shape
of the sky, the image of the universe, and laid it upon the lid of a chest. Here the ancient got to
work. He turned it upon its pivot, and directed his gaze round the circle of the Zodiac, scanning in
this place and that planets and fixed stars. He rolled the pole about with a push, and the
counterfeit sky went rapidly round and round in mobile course with a perpetual movement,
carrying the artificial stars about the axle set through the middle.  Observing the sphere with a
glance all round, the deity found that the Moon at the full was crossing the curved line of her
conjunction, and the Sun was half through his course opposite the Moon moving at his central
point under the earth; a pointed cone of darkness creeping from the earth into the air opposite to
the Sun hid the whole Moon. Then when he heard the rivals for wedded love, he looked especially
for Ares, and espied the wife-robber over the sunset house along with the evening star of the
Cyprian. He found the portion called the Portion of the Parents under the Virgin's starry corn-ear;
and round the Ear ran the light-bearing star of Cronides, father of rain.  When he had noticed
everything and reckoned the circuit of the stars, he put away the ever-revolving sphere in its
roomy box, the sphere with its curious surface; and in answer to the goddess he mouthed a triple
oracle of prophetic sound:  Fond mother Demeter, when the rays of the Moon are stolen under a
shady cone and her light is gone, guard against a robber-bridegroom for Persephoneia, a secret
ravisher of your unsmirched girl, if the threads of the Fates can be persuaded. You will see before
marriage a false and secret bedfellow come unforeseen, a half-monster cunning-minded: since I
perceive by the western point Ares the wife-stealer walking with the Paphian, and I notice the
Dragon rising beside them both. But I proclaim you most happy: for you will be known for glorious
fruits in the four quarters of the universe, because you shall bestow fruit on the barren soil; since
the Virgin Astraia holds out her hand full of corn for the destined lot of your girl's parents.
(Nonnus Dionysiaca VI, 58-102)


In the Mysteries, the public purifications precede; then the more ineffable; after these the
introductory rites; followed by initiation, finally the culminating act of initiation.  (cited Lobeck, p


Good Ceres is content with little, if that little be but pure.  (Ovid, Fasti IV 407-408)

You attendants, with tucked up robes, take the knives away from the ox; let the ox plough;
sacrifice the lazy sow. The ax should never smite the neck that fits the yoke; let him live and often
labor in the hard soil.  (Ovid, Fasti IV, 409-416)

The subject requires that I should narrate the rape of the Virgin.  (Ovid Fasti IV, 417-418)

There the goddess kindled two pine-trees to serve her as a light; hence to this day a torch is
given out at the rites of Ceres. (Ovid, Fasti IV, 492-494)

As she was about to pass within the lowly dwelling, she plucked a smooth, a slumberous poppy
that grew on the waste ground; and as she plucked, 'tis said she tasted it forgetfully, and so
unwitting stayed her long hunger. Hence, because she broke her fast at nightfall, the initiates time
their meal by the appearance of the stars.  (Ovid, Fasti IV ca. 530)

Ceres was the first to turn the glebe with the hooked plow-share; she first gave laws. All things
are the gift of Ceres; she must be the subject of my song.  (Ovid Metamorphoses V, 341-344)

Within this grove Proserpina was playing, and gathering violets or white lilies. And while with
girlish eagerness she was filling her basket and her bosom, and striving to surpass her mates in
gathering, almost in one act did Pluto see and love and carry her away: so precipitate was his
love. The terrified girl called plaintively on her mother and her companions, but more often upon
her mother.  (Ovid Metamorphoses V, 391-398)

Meanwhile all in vain the affrighted mother seeks her daughter in every land, on every deep. Not
Aurora rising with dewy tresses, not Hesperus sees her pausing in the search. She kindles two
pine torches in the fires of Aetna, and wanders without rest through the frosty shades of night;
again, when the genial day had dimmed the stars, she was still seeking her daughter from the
setting to the rising of the sun. Faint with toil and athirst, she had moistened her lips in no
fountain, when she chanced to see a hut thatched with straw, and knocked at its lowly door. Then
out came an old woman and beheld the goddess, and when she asked for water gave her a sweet
drink with parched barley floating upon it. While she drank, a coarse, saucy boy stood watching
her, and mocked her and called her greedy. She was offended, and threw what she had not yet
drunk, with the barley grain, full in his face.  (Ovid, Metamorphoses V, 438-452)

She did not know as yet where her child was; still she reproached all lands, calling them
ungrateful and unworthy of the gift of corn; but Sicily above all other lands, where she had found
traces of her loss. So There with angry hand she broke in pieces the plows that turn the glebe,
and in her rage she gave to destruction farmers and cattle alike, and bade the plowed fields to
betray their trust, and blighted the seed. The fertility of this land, famous throughout the world,
lay false to its good name: the crops died in early blade, now too much heat, now too much rain
destroying them, Stars and winds were baleful, and greedy birds ate up the seed as soon as it
was sown; tares and thorns and stubborn grasses choked the wheat.  (Ovid, Metamorphoses V,

"Proserpina shall return to heaven, but on one condition only: if in the lower-world no food has as
yet touched her lips. For so have the fates decreed." He spoke; but Ceres was resolved to have
her daughter back. Not so the fates; for the girl had already broken her fast, and while, simple
child that she was she wandered in the trim garden, she had plucked a purple pomegranate
hanging from a bending bough, and peeling off the hard rind, she had eaten seven of the seeds...
But now Jove, holding the balance between his brother and his grieving sister, divides the
revolving year into two equal parts. Now the goddess, the common divinity of two realms, spends
half the months with her mother and half with her husband.(Ovid,Metamorphoses 530-538,564-7

Here she gave her fleet car to Triptolemus, and bade him scatter the seed of grain she gave, part
in the untilled earth and part in fields that had long lain fallow.... "My country is far-famed Athens;
Triptolemus, my name. I came neither by ship over the sea, nor on foot by land; the air opened a
path for me. I bring the gifts of Ceres, which, if you sprinkle them over your wide field, will give a
fruitful harvest and food not wild."  (Ovid, Metamorphoses V, 645-647, 652-656)