Mysticism among the Ancient Greeks

September 16, 2022

It is not without reason many of us, modern people, in particular scientists and erudite naturalists, are attracted to caves and rocks. Gloomy and incomprehensible spaces in limestone rocks hide an abundance of various mystical riddles and mysteries. Indeed, the underworld – the world of eternal darkness and total silence, seems rather mystical.

Mentally, we imagine how an ancient man enters such underground worlds and merges into one with him. They made these caves either more mysterious, or they revealed these secrets and tried to tell us about it by leaving marks on the stones.

Using rocks and caves as a canvas, our ancestors used all their imagination and daydreams. Of course, they wanted to pass on the accumulated precious experience and advice to other generations. However, the assumptions that there were talented artists among the ancient people are quite interesting and fascinating. On the rocks they depicted groups of people, various figures, for example, triangles or zigzags. Our distant ancestors were so smart they came up with the idea of signing their creations. Since there was no alphabet at that time, the human artist left the outlines of his own palm next to the painting for this purpose.

With the invention of the Greek alphabet, of course, a lot has changed. And it is important to mention here we are talking not only about literacy and the desire for education, but also about mystery and mysticism. At one time, the ancient Greeks created one of the greatest civilizations in the history of mankind. The achievements of Hellenic culture, architecture, sculpture are still admired all over the world. The absolute achievement is the alphabet, where each Greek symbol carries an individual meaning.

Undoubtedly, the life of the ancient Greeks, like all pagan peoples, contained a large number of rituals and ordinances. Many of them have been lost over the past millennia, but we still know about some of them.

Even in the modern world full of computers and gadgets, people imagine their lives without amulets or talismans, some are still afraid of meeting a black cat. The ancients were even more involved in magic, rituals and ordinances. By the way, even the smartest and most rational Greeks believed in superstition. Even in Greek alphabet order there is a special sacred meaning.

There is a wide variety of physical evidence that magic affected almost all spheres of Greek life. So, for example, it is appropriate to mention ancient Greek necromancy. This is a kind of knowledge about how to summon the spirits of the dead correctly, how to guess and predict the future with the help of the dead. Despite the fact that the ancient Greeks were not afraid to discuss and even condemn necromancy publicly, almost every Greek practiced these rituals in secret. Scientists and researchers have found hundreds of tablets with various curses and symbols.

There were also popular superstitions and decoctions. It was known there is a set of recipes for almost any occasion in life. In fact, this is true, since the functions and purposes of the decoctions invented by the Greeks were rather diverse. By the way, many of them turned out to be simply useless and unnecessary in everyday life and in whole life in general.

The magical properties and functions of amulets and averters seem to have been overestimated by the Greeks. For example, farmers were constantly worried about the weather and were wary of any changes. Since this part of the population was so vulnerable to natural forces, farmers pinned all their hopes on the magical properties of their precious amulets. Many Greeks among the peasants wore amulets, for example, on their necks or wrists to ensure the necessary level of precipitation for a decent harvest.

Moreover, amulets from robbers, various contraceptives for good luck, have become particularly common. Many of them simply protected the owners of these amulets from spells and harmful magic. Some amulets were of a very curious and funny shape. The Greeks believed the wonderful shape increases the magical and protective power of the amulet.





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