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).
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.
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.
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.