Magic and the Goddess Melinoë

By Phoenix of Elder Mountain Dreaming – I wanted to look up some Magic Gods and Goddesses to see traces and clues to the ties of karma, that real living magicians and sorcerers are connected to, from the eras of our past history. Well, its everywhere in the ancient scripts of Greek and Mediterranean and Middle East cultures.

Magical traditions today are basically a body of spell-casting techniques, spoken intent sent outward, or philosophical and religious alchemical beliefs pertaining to one particular view or method of magic or occultism practiced. Alchemy can involve both math and or symbols with intent (spells) that give them mind over matter powers. Even the ancient demon bowls from long ago used words and symbols.

They say the wizard doesn’t chose the wand, the wand chooses the wizard. This is a wonderful saying because it puts magic into the realm of nature, not human. Simple magic, or the nature of magic is not really owned by us, its controlled by one of the two astral soul bodies that we have within. When we do not heal those bodies, magic then only serves the magical ones. When we heal and deal with our issues by taking a good look at the self and our own shadow we begin to purify and detox the shadow in magic.

Daily disciplines to curb and control and heal our dislikes, our judgments, our revenge, our negative thoughts, our addictions, our impurities of mind, body and emotional body (self mastery). In real time, this takes a few decades and this is so our soul then, not our mind-body gains consciousness around such matters and we are a respectful person.

And she, our soul is very elusive and only shows up at our death or near deaths, showing that magic that is not used very sparingly, cannot be called upon when you need it most. Being unconscious generally causes more karma, so magic practiced without caution is a practice only fulfilled by fools.


The Goddess Melinoë

The first stories of old, is Melinoë who shows up in the writings from Pergamon in Turkey. Melinoë is a chthonic (huntress) Moon Goddess invoked in one of the Orphic Hymns. Her name appears on a metal tablet in association with Persephone, her mother. The hymns were probably composed around the 2nd century ce.

In the hymn, Melinoë was a goddess or nymph (in her demoted form) that is similar to the Night Goddess Hecate and the Erinyes (Furies) who were three goddesses of vengeance and retribution who punished men for crimes against the natural order. They were particularly concerned with homicide, unfilial conduct, offenses against the women and the goddess, and perjury. Her name is sometimes thought to be an epithet of Hecate’s triple goddess maiden aspect. The terms in which Melinoë is described are typical of moon goddesses of Greek poetry.

Her story is that in ancient times, she existed in a deity family of sexual abusers and abuses of the maiden. In her Greek tale, she is the Night Goddess (which night Goddesses are Moon Goddess and Goddess of Dreams, Dawn and Dusk), rather than the more scientific “Sky” goddess. She was not as famous as Hecate but her family history is worth sharing and were famous.

Her hymns were found in Pergamon which lies on the north edge of the Caicus plain in the historic region of Mysia in the northwest of Turkey. The climate is Mediterranean, a valley mostly composed of volcanic rock and stones. This area, during pre-Hellenistic, Hellenistic, Roman and Arab conquering periods, exemplified men’s rise to power over this region of earth from the first century bce til around the second century ce. A man’s man Kingdom, a Warriors Kingdom and woman descent into slavery and obligation. 

Melinoë represented then, after the collapse of woman and her power in society, as the bringer of Nightmares and Madness to mortals. This means she is not only a Dream Goddess, but a Huntress of Demon’s in dreams as ancient shamans were.

If we go back to the beginning to see how Magic became corrupted in society, we start with Melinoë. In her story, Zeus decides in his awful rulership of the Patriarch, that its good idea to give his daughter, Persephone (Proserpina), the Goddess of Spring, as a bride to his brother Hades (Pluto), the God of the underworld. Zeus doesn’t bother to tell Persephone or her mother, Demeter (Ceres), Goddess of Fertility and Agriculture, of his decision. This starts the downfall of the soul of woman.

The Magic tablet from Pergamon is attributed to Melinoë who is the daughter of Persephone from the union by rape, of both Zeus and Hades, who were synchronized with each other as the same God.  Another child of this union was, from the Orphic tablet of Thurii refers to the abduction of Persephone by Zeus, who then fathers her son, Dionysus. Their child is known as Dionysus Zagreus, Dionysus Iacchus. Another famous man turned god who contributed to the destruction of the pagan maiden and his ceremony is still a small part of today in summer solstice pagan rituals with maidens.

Pergamon Acropolis, Friedrich Thierch, 1882.jpg

The word Melinoë means Black and thus the blackness was overshadowed on this Goddess of Spring. Grandmother is associated with Autumn and Winter, the Mother / Adult Woman is associated with Summer and Autumn and the Maiden is associated with Spring. Even the word Melanoma is from this goddess, which is excessive exposure to sunlight that causes cancer. This brings the subject of the pressure of the patriarch to turn even the night maidens into light goddesses of spring (venus) which obviously has had very bad results for young night women. If they rebelled, rape was probably the punishment.

So Melinoë is the poster child for one born of the Night, forced like her mother Persephone to be attributed to the dark side through destruction of woman in culture (the destruction of the soul of woman) of the Patriarch and Colonizers way back in history.  For this, according to the rules of the Night Goddesses (grandmothers) there is punishment due.

Melinoë becomes eventually an adult and grandmother of Magic in the sense of balancing the darkness of society with the punishment in peoples dreams. In psychology, that is the root of karma when one has constant nightmares and has to take drugs to sleep through it all. Melinoë is one complicated Goddess, part Moon Goddess, part Light, part Huntress like Artemis without the Patriarchal clothing.

Melinoë Orphic poem:

“I call upon Melinoë, saffron-cloaked Goddess of the earth, whom revered Persephone, bore by the mouth of the Kokytos River. Upon the bed of Kronian Zeus. In the disguise of Plouton Zeus (Hades) who tricked Persephone and through wily plots raped her; a two-bodied specter sprang forth from Persephone’s fury.

This specter drives mortals to Madness with Melinoe’s airy apparitions as she appears in numerous shapes and strange forms, now plain to the eye, now shadowy, now shining in the Night of Dreams.

All this in unnerving attacks in the gloom of night of those who have misused magic, misused sex, misused power and misused the earth. O goddess, O queen of those below, I beseech you to banish the Soul’s frenzy to the ends of the earth, show to your initiates only a kindly and holy face.”

Cultivation and uses of Saffron spans more than 3,500 years and extends across cultures, continents, and civilizations. Saffron, a spice derived from the dried stigmas of the saffron crocus (Crocus sativus), has through history remained among the world’s most costly flower. With its bitter taste, its hay-like fragrance, and slight metallic notes, saffron has been used as a seasoning, a fragrance, a color for textiles, a dye, and most importantly medicine which originated in Crete.

Melinoë in her saffron flavors, is described in the invocation of the Orphic Hymn as krokopeplos, “Clad in Saffron”, an epithet in ancient Greek poetry for the complicated Moon Goddesses. In the hymns, only two goddesses are described as krokopeplos, Melinoë and Hecate. Melinoë’s connections to Hecate and Hermes (Mercury) suggest that she exercised her power in the realm of the soul’s passage, and in magical traditions, especially in dreaming, and in those functions may be compared to the torchbearer Eubouleos in the mysteries.

Enchanted Cave in the Blue Mountain, Australia..jpg

According to the hymn, she brings night terrors and night slayings in dreaming to mortals who have welcomed and allowed their shadow to dominate their life (known or unknown). The translation of Thomas Taylor in 1887 has given rise to a conception of Melinoe as half-black, half-white, representing the duality of the heavenly Zeus and the infernal Hades from what rape did to the soul of women.

Andrzej Wypustek (Ph.D) “Votive inscriptions frequently mentioned Pluto but very rarely Hades. Particularly at Eleusis, the Pluto cult was for a deity who, like Persephone and Demeter, was favourably disposed to humans. He was frequently portrayed as a majestic elder with a sceptre, ranch, cornucopia , pomegranate, or drinking vessel in his hand; sometimes he was accompanied by an eagle. His iconography resembled that of Zeus, and especially that of some chthonic personification of the ruler of the gods, above all Zeus Meilichios.

Why would a Spring Goddess of Light and Sun be sick from sunlight? Because the Sun Cult had very dark and sick sides, that is why. But that was only lightly touched on by the scribes of antiquity. Melinoë was raped by the Sun God and his shadow side, the Underworld Hades. Demeter, Persephone and Melinoë were cursed by the rising power of men’s Kingdoms of these ancient times who literally changed society to not protect grandmothers, daughters and women, but take all their power. That is the foundation of Magic of the Sun Cult. Not the magic of shamanic eras of mother nature of prehistory.

A tradition of wounded and karmic Magic passed down for 2,500 years in all those lifetimes of our Soul’s journey, our Soul’s woundedness and our Soul’s Karma… Cinderella finally collapsed and fell asleep. But now she must wake up again and heal her wounds of her past, both victim and perpetrator in order to be free.

In the Orphic Mysteries in particular, Zeus & Hades were in fact, the same Deity and portrayed them as such. Zeus was portrayed as having an incarnation in the underworld identifying him as literally being Hades, essentially being two representations and different faces of the same god and extended powers.

The Orphic Hymn to Melinoë also references this by mentioning that Persephone was impregnated upon the bed of Zeus Kronion in the Underworld by the River Cocytus. The hymn regarding Zeus taking on the form of Plouton before impregnating Persephone was very much related to the very nature of the way the gods were portrayed and worshiped by men, not women, in the Orphic Religion.


The explanation for why both Hades and Zeus are considered to be the father of Melinoë when ancient men of the patriarch began abusing cultural rites and sleeping and having sex with their own children and grandchildren. A true fact that his story will never validate.
Moreover it is believed that Persephone’s resulting anger is derived from several things: the separation from her mother, the loss of her virginity and the fact she had been impregnated by the God of Demons Hades in disguise as the other half, the God of Heaven Zeus. Thus bearing children from that union, one of them being Melinoë.
A Moon Goddess, Melinoë brings night terrors to mortals by manifesting “now plain to the eye, now shadowy, now shining in the darkness”, and can drive mortals insane.
Melinoë appears on a bronze tablet for use in the kind of private ritual usually known as “magic”. The style of Greek letters on the tablet, which was discovered at Pergamon, dates it to the first half of the 3rd century ce.
The use of bronze was probably intended to drive away malevolent spirits and to protect the practitioner. The construction of the tablet suggests that it was used for ritualized divination. It is triangular in shape, with a hole in the center, presumably for suspending it over a surface.
It is triangular in shape, with a hole in the center, presumably for suspending it over a surfaces (“magic words”) that are mostly untranslatable.

Melinoë appears in a triple invocation that is part of the inscription around Phoebe: O Persephone, O Melinoë, O Leucophryne. Esoteric symbols are inscribed on the edges of the triangle.

We can now go a step further. The nearest equivalent to the contrast between Hades and Pluto as presented in the Theophile epigram can be found in the Orphic Hymns, which are assumed to have originated from the Τελεται of the Dionysiac mystic circles in Asia Minor of the 1st – 3rd centuries. Hymn 41 worships Antaia, i.e. Demeter, the goddess who had searched for her daughter in Hades and discovered her in ‘the sacred bed of the sacred chthonic Zeus’.

This formulation in itself is not surprising because the name Zeus (as a synonym for a deity and ruler) was used in reference to Hades-Pluto as the ruler of the underworld. In an interesting, though, sadly, only partly preserved inscription from Appia-Murathanlar in the Tembris Valley (in 3rd century AD Phrygia) the deceased appeals to “Zeus, god of the dead [φθιηένων*], Pluto” to protect his grave. The term “Chthonic Zeus” could, however, mean something more than a mere euphemism for the name Hades.

The idea of defining Zeus as simply Hades had been present in ancient Greek literature from Homer to Nonnos. This was a sort of extension, aspect or ‘shadow’ of the universal power of Zeus in the kingdom of the dead, where he was the judge of the dead and the also the consort of Persephone-Kore. Moreover, he was the provider of riches.

Among other things, he controlled the crops and it was to him (as well as to Demeter) that the farmers turned for the promise of a good harvest. These are hardly well known traditions today. Some scholars maintain that their obscurity is on account of the secret role they played in the mysteries.

Therefore the Orphics worshiped Pluto as the savior and judge of the deceased or the dead parts of our self as society began to destroy the soul and emotional body through war, control and power. Zeus had another embodiment of sorts in the underworld, in Hades. The effect of this assumption was the myth, known to us in several versions, of how Zeus had lain with Persephone (even though she was his daughter).

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