Mysteries of the Cabeiri

Sanctuary of Cabeiri

Religious Center of Thrace

As we mentioned, the Mysteries of the Cabeiri are much older than the ones of the Orphics. The cult however was also widespread in mainland Greece, and one of its centers was the sanctuary of the Cabeiri near Thebes. This cult was associated with that of Demeter the so-called “of the Cabeiri” and used, as opposed to the Orphics, the curvilinear architecture above the ground. Despite this, the worship of the Cabeiri is incorporated into the Eleusinian Mysteries (read here). The cult of the Orphics is Heliocentric (Apollo), the cult of the Cabeiri on the other hand is Geocentric (Gaia). Another important difference was that in the Eleusinian Mysteries the initiates had to speak the Greek language, while in the Cabeiri Mysteries anyone could be initiated, Greek or foreign. The geocentric system was supported by Aristotle who with his prestige also influenced the opinion of the christian world against Aristarchus from Samos, who was accused in 286 B.C. and was forced to flee to Alexandria. While Plato covertly accepted the Heliocentric theory of the Orphics.
This cult is introduced to prehistoric Rome in 1300 B.C. through the Etruscans and, according to Herodotus, comes from a region of northwestern Turkey, Lydia. In Caria there was a town named Cabera. Of all religious centers of antiquity, most inscriptions of the Roman period were found in Samothrace, where the Roman pilgrims were numerous. Samothrace was considered by the Romans to be a National Sanctuary, because they believed that the gods of Rome came from there, where they had arrived from Troy. These gods were brought to Rome by Aeneas who, according to the legends of the Romans, founded Rome. This is the reason the Romans preferred the initiation of Samothrtace, into the Cabeiri Mysteries rather than the Eleusinian. Marcellus, Cicero, Ouarrchon and Hadrian are some of those who visited the island of Samothrace and were initiated to the Cabeiri Mysteries.
So then, based on the above, namely the intervention of the Romans, the Orphic logic of Delphi started to change, all of the curvilinear structures of the Underworld, the arc the arch and the dome began to be released and to rise to the surface.

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Pantheon of Rome is a great example of Curvilinear architecture ascending in the surface (reform of August)

All that we have mentioned in the article “Celestial and Chthonic – Sacred Architecture” is a time spanning process, so that the religious template is clearly defined and the entire Pantheon of the Greeks becomes accepted by the believers and encompasses upwards, but also downwards. Based on everything mentioned in the 1st Part of the book “Holy Sacramental Journey to Greece”, we observe that the above logic corresponds to the religious template we described with the chthonic and celestial gods and is about the Mythology of the Titanomachy and the Gigantomachy.
In this Mythology of Duality the concepts of “attraction” is incorporated, because it is about the relationship between opposing forces, where one is connected with the other, but also “repulsion“, which is the result of the clash of said forces. If however one of these forces is abolished, the logic of “universal attraction” is lost, resulting in the chthonic powers not cooperating with the celestial ones.

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In the above image, we observe the logic of the Orphic template, as forces positive (+) and negative (-), which were in balance. With the abolition of the negative force, the system will create an upwards tension, resulting in the Basilica becoming a Domed Basilica (Celestial Dome) during the Christian period. Through this logic we realize how complete the Orphic worship was.
When then in 17 B.C. the Emperor Augustus abolished the chthonic gods for political reasons and later on, during the christian period, it was forbidden for people to associate themselves with chthonic forces, two basic problems started to emerge:

On the one hand issues of occultism and witchcraft started to emerge because the christian cult did not include the chthonic forces like the Orphic one, which troubled and still troubles mankind, reaching to the extreme cases of the “Holy Inquisition”.

On the other hand the concept of “universal attraction” was lost and these consequences will become evident in science. There was a period of 1.659 years until the time of Newton (1642-1727 A.D.), for the law of universal attraction to be discovered.

Eleusis

Ritual Center of Greece

Eleusis was one of the most important religious centers of Greece. It was founded, according to the archaeological findings, in 1800 B.C. and is located in the Thriasian Plain near the gulf of Eleusis. The operation of the site lasted for 2.200 years, when, beginning with Theodosius I in 379 A.D. and later by the accord of Theodosius II the ancient cults were definitively banned. In 395 A.D. Alaric reduced the shrine to ruins. Despite this fact, it was preserved in the memory of people, because a multitude of important persons, like Plato, Aristotle, Aristophanes, Plutarch, Pythagoras, Aeschylus, but also Roman emperors like Augustus, Marcus Aurelius, Hadrian, Sulla and many others were initiated in this sacred site.
What is quite impressive is that this sacred site, 10.000 square meters smaller in surface than the Acropolis of Athens, became so well known. This of course is mainly because of Athens, under the supervision of which it operated since the 8th century B.C. The second reason was the spread of the cult of Eleusis, which constitutes a combination of the Orphic and Cabeiri Mysteries, of Delphi and Samothrace or Lemnos, namely of Apollo and Hephaestus. In the following image, we can observe the geographical connection between Delphi, Eleusis and Lemnos (Volcanoes – Kaveiria).

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The Eleusinean mysteries were held in remembrance of Demeter and her daughter Persephone; they were celebrated in Eleusis under Athenian jurisdiction. The Eleusinean mysteries later incorporated the Orphic beliefs, when Dionysus was added. They were the oldest ones and were held from 1800 B.C. until the 4th century A.D. when they were definitively banned.

The Mysteries of the Cabeiri of Lemnos and Samothrace were very important. The Cabeiri were a group of deities of the ancient Greek religion, while in the dictionary of Sudas, Cabeir means Daemon. According to Welcker and Maury, the word Cabeiri is produced by the Greek verb καίω (burn), and are the evil daemons born in the depths of the sea, who expel the flame of their father Hephaestus and destroy the ground. The religion of Hephaestus prevailed in Lemnos (the location of his workshop) and the Cabeiri were considered his children, whom he had with Kabeiro, the daughter of Proteus, who accompanied the chariot of Poseidon.

There is also the opinion, according to Pausanias, that the worship of the Cabeiri  is associated with fire worship, which was introduced by the Thraco-Pelasgians and received by the Achaeans in 2.200 B.C. Apollo is also mentioned as a Cabeiri deity.

Other important Mysteries in Greece were the Hyacinthia Mysteries, which were held in Amyclae, just outside Sparta, in remembrance of Hyacinthus and were celebrated until the end of the Roman era. These Mysteries are of Minoan origin, but they were arrogated by the Dorians when they conquered Laconia in 1104 B.C. It is there that Apollo replaced Hyacinthus and was presented in a common worship. Amyclae was the prehistoric capital of the Lacedaemonians. It is the location of the grave of Hyacintus. Geographically it was built in the southeast of Sparta.

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In the above image we observe that if we connect the Cabeiri Mysteries of Samothrace to the Hyacinthia of Sparta, an axis will be formed which will pass from Eleusis, so that these three archaeological sites are on the same straight line, with a length of 364 km and a width of 10km, namely they present a deviation of 3%. This axis can be named “Path of the Mysteries” because it passes through the basic Mystery shrines of the Greek area. The length of 364 km between Samothrace (Cabeiri) and Amyclae (Hyacinthia) is equal to the distance between the Necromanteion and Delos (we shall call this axis “Sacred Path“). Ιt has a width of 5 km, therefore it presents a deviation of only 1,5%.

These two axes are not random because, when projected on the astral dome, they create a system of delineation through fixed geographical points, where the “Sacred Path” is the diameter of the Celestial Sphere (EE’) and this way we can locate the Solstices and Equinoxes of the celestial Sphere. Namely it is a delineation similar to the one used by astronauts, traveling in space, because for the travelers of that time anything that was located beyond the Greek world was unknown space, in the same way we see outer space today. Without this system of delineation there would be no colonies.

Telesterion

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The basic building of the shrine of Eleusis was the Telesterion which was square shaped, with a surface of about 2.500 s.m., a work by Ictinus. Because of its shape, pretty much like in the case of the Brauronion of the Acropolis, an axis is formed in the center of the temple which, due to its chthonic character, leads downwards, bearing in mind that the mystics appear to be living in Hades. So the Telesterion had no windows, so it was a dark space, like Hades was considered to be, inside which the initiations took place.
All of the candidate mystics, the number of whom according to Plutarch was large during the Roman period, namely around 3.000 people, headed to the center of the space, where the Palace was located. It was a rectangular building, 14,20×5,60 m., namely a canopy like the one of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, where the sacred relics of Demeter were placed, which symbolized her presence in the temple. Entry in this space was forbidden and only the Hierophant was allowed to enter, like it happens nowadays in the Holy Sepulchre.
The Palace had a predetermined position and orientation, on the straight line that connects the Necromanteion with Delos (image X). While the Telesterion changed, on occasion, shape and dimensions, the Palace always remained in its initial position. So at some point in time, a blinding light appeared to be coming from within it, by the same logic that the same thing is happening in the Holy Sepulchre. From darkness (Necromanteion-Death), the initiated was bathed in light (Delos-Life) and that is why the Palace had that particular orientation. We observe therefore, how connected the Orphic cult was with Christianity.