Atheopaganism Commentary

  • Jordan Crago recently posted an article "Epicurean Atheopaganism" on his blog "The Modern Epicurean." You can click through to read that article.

    Elli and Elayne have written some lengthy and very good comments on Facebook, and I want to preserve those comments by pasting them here:

  • Thanks Don. There are some significant issues with parts (not all) of the article, as Elli's and Elayne's posts point out, but there are some good parts too and that's part of what we're here for -- to discuss things and help clarify issues for everyone.

  • Reading Philodemus's On Piety and Obbink's commentary has given me an entirely new perspective on Epicurus's participation in the religious and ritual life of his day. So, with that as preface:

    By Zeus! I found JCRAGO 's article an interesting read and overall didn't see anything overly concerning. I think he provides ample justification for the practices he outlines, especially in keeping with Epicurus's and the founders' participation in the festivals and rites of their day and Lucretius's metaphorical language.

    That 10th Principle of Atheopaganism he references seems in keeping with Principal Doctrines 31-33 to not harm nor be harmed.

    I would have avoided the term "religiosity." That has negative connotations.

    I may have additional comments, but - Paian Anax! - I think he may be on to something.

  • - Paian Anax! - I think he may be on to something.

    Hi Don,
    With the "Paian Anax" you remind me a post with a photo that I've posted on FB, last year. :)

    Diogenes Laertius, in the biography of Epicurus, mentions a small fragment of a letter by Epicurus to Leontion who was the wife of Metrodorus. However, and as I read by some translators, in greek language, they make the mistake to translate that Epicurus calls Leontion as "healer and king". No, this is not right. Epicurus here mentions two of the titles that the God Apollon had in Ancient Greece.

    Apóllôn as PAEAN Paián - (Gr. Παιάν, pronounced pay-AHN.) means the physician, healer, savior. Who that cares and helps, and, as such, he is the principal deity of Medicine and Healing for which he is called Paián (Paean, Παιάν). The Kǽndavros (Centaur, Κένταυρος) Kheirôn (Chirôn, Χείρων) taught medicine to Asklipiós (Asclepius, Ἀσκληπιός), who is the son of Apóllôn and the most renowned physician after him. Asklipiós in turn, taught his own sons and daughters medicine, a whole host of healers. Apóllôn is mentioned first in the Hippocratic Oath:

    "I swear by Apollon the physician, and Asclepius (Ἀσκληπιός), and Health (Ὑγεία), and All-heal (Πανάκεια), and all the Gods and Goddesses, that, according to my ability and judgment, I will keep this Oath..."

    Apóllôn as Anax : - (Gr. Ἄναξ, ΑΝΑΞ) it means the king. He is the ambassador of the Olympian Gods of the Solar System and as such, he is on the level of Zeus and thereby worthy the title as Ánax. Apóllôn is also sympárædros (συμπάρεδρος) to Zeus meaning that they hold the throne jointly. The Solar Powers are represented by the two intertwined snakes of the Kîrýkeion (Caduceus or Cêryceion, Κηρύκειον, one of the major symbols of Zeus) which Apollon gives to the other god named as Hermês (Ἑρμῆς).

    However, the symbol of the "caduceus" as it is used by the physicians in the USA is wrong. The link between the caduceus of Hermes (Mercury) and medicine seems to have arisen by the seventh century A.D. when Hermes had come to be linked with alchemy. Alchemists were referred to as the sons of Hermes, as Hermetists or Hermeticists and as "practitioners of the hermetic arts". There are clear occult associations with the caduceus.

    The caduceus was the magic staff of Hermes (Mercury), the god of commerce, eloquence, invention, travel and theft, and so was a symbol of heralds and commerce, not medicine. The words caducity & caducous imply temporality, perishableness, and senility, while the medical profession espouses renewal, vitality, and health.

    The right symbol of Asclepius (in the attached picture) and as it used by greek physicians is with a snake that is entwined on a rod, as well as, the pharmacists that have a snake entwined on a cup.