Helen’s Golden Tears

Dear pagan readers,

 

Today, let’s talk about a very powerful aromatic plant which everyone knows and which many of you probably eat to on a daily basis. It is still widely used and considered in our kitchen and herbal medicine of nowadays, but not even as half as it was back in antiquity. This plant was considered sacred among ancient europeans and his name was synonymous with courage and bravery in ancient Greece. Ancient Greeks believed this plant and its extracts could restore vigor and mental acuity. They burned it as a religious incense to give them courage in battle. It was also burned as an incense at funerals and placed in the burial mound of the dead. Even Gaius Plinius Secundus, (circa 23 – 79 A.C.E.), better known as Pliny the Elder, said that when it is burned, it “puts to flight all venomous creatures”.

Thymus_vulgaris_001

Moreover, at the time of knights, ladies embroidered a bee buzzing around a sprig of thyme on the scarf of the knights. It was meant to make them remember that they should always bring fairness and kindness in their activities and that it would give them courage and strength, a kind of silent memory from the distant past. Thyme was used throughout the ancient world: the Egyptians applied it in the mummification process, the Greeks burnt it as incense in sacred temples, and Romans treated the depression with it. The ancient egyptians used thyme in the making of their embalmment preparation because of his antiseptic virtue and aroma. It was also used to perfume and purify the sacred greek temples and public bath for the same reason. And the romans were pretending to cure depression by eating and burning it. As said earlier, thyme is linked with bees and honey. Bees appreciate thyme flowers a lot and mediterranean thyme honey is among the most tasty and reputated honey around the world. During the middle ages a sprig of thyme was placed under the pillow to induce sleep and to prevent nightmares. According to another folk belief, fairies supposedly love thyme. Throughout Europe people used to plant large beds of thyme to attract fairies. In A Midsummer Nights Dream, Shakespeare referenced that folk association when writing that Titania, the Queen of the fairies, often went to “a bank whereon the wild thyme blows”. My grand mother told me once ”Oh! Such beautiful memories I keep of the hikes through the hills of Spain and Italy when we found blooming bushes of thyme. What flavor, what strength and power which emerged from small leaves that look more like needles. Indeed, when it grows in its place of origin, thyme is picked pretty dry but with a concentration that we do not get here in our wetter and colder climate”. ”It is the enemy of the toxines because it is a powerful antiseptic” thus said Armand Trousseau(1801-1867) the famous french doctor who performed the first tracheotomy in Paris. This claim as been clinically proven nowadays. As you can see, thyme is a thousand purposes plant, symbol of purity and courage throughout the ages.

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After all, it’s pretty normal that this plant is highly considered for so long when we learn that it is born from the silent tear drop of the most beautiful of all women on earth. Thymus vulgaris, as told in the Iliad, is born from the tear drop of Ἑλένη της Σπάρτα, better known as Helen of Troy, one of the three iconic sorceresses in the pagan initiation ritual. In fact, thyme, is one of the secret lore given to the initiate by the sorceress. A gift, to strengthen the May King’s Hamingja. For a person ‘said to smell of thyme’ meant someone of admirable style, activity, and energy. As you may have understand, the Iliad is in fact a description of the pagan initiation ritual. But that is another subject that I will eleborate in future articles…

Helen_Menelaus_Louvre_G424wildthyme_5928

Once again I ask you all: will you refuse such a beautiful gift given to us by a living goddess? So celebrate the health, purity and courage by making good use of the thyme!

 

Hail the pagan secret lores! Hail Europa!

 

Fredrik Blanchet

 

 

 

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15 thoughts on “Helen’s Golden Tears

  1. A really enjoyable reading, thanks!
    I’d be glad to read more about the various aspects of the European Initiation Ritual hidden in the Iliad. The book is so rich in references and hints to the ritual, but most are difficult to spot, at least to me…

    • Like I said, I will elaborate on the subject in future articles. But, well, let me just say that the various aspects of the initiation ritual are not hidden in the Iliad. The Iliad is in fact a detailed description of the ritual in the ancient greek fashion so to speak, just like the book of the dead is a detailed description of the ritual in the ancient egyptian fashion…

      • If I recall correctly, and if I have to make a comparison between the two books, I’d say that the egyptian book of the dead is more detailed and specific than the Iliad. Time has passed since I read the latter: I should read it again with a new perspective. I’ll wait for your future articles to go through the Iliad again.

      • The main difference between these two books are the cultural particularities and text forms. The ancient greeks were heretic tribes and kingdoms fighting each others in times of peace and fighting together in times of war. The Iliad is impregnate with the ancient greek worldview and warrior culture while the book of the dead is impregnate with the ancient egyptian worldview and ultra ritualistic way of life. These are two very different cultural expression of the same ritual…

  2. Hi Frederik!

    Beautiful article. I also realized that the Iliad could contain a description of the European Initiation Ritual, but I’m very far from a solid hypothesis, I only realized that the Iliad tells about it. Also, it is possible that we had the same intuition about the three sorceresses. I put here a comment that I posted on a precedent TP post:

    “Varg, you wrote in SRAS that maybe inside the burial mound there were three Sorceress/ex-May Queen, waiting for the initiate to come.

    This made me think about the city of Troy as the burial mound, and Elena, Andromaca and Ecuba (they remain always inside the fortress) as the three Sorceress, representing respectively childhood/rebirth, bride/life and crone/death…and all of them together, eternity and reincarnation.

    A concept in relation with that Rite of Passage…what do you think?”

    I add now, about them: they can also represent the Waxing Moon, Full Moon, and Waning Moon. We can also see a Waxing Moon on the picture of Helena that you posted in this article.

    About the Initation Ritual:

    “So, the fact that in the Iliad (differently from the other Myths) there is almost an obsession in taking the weapons of defeated enemies…is this a symbol for the initiate who takes the weapons (among other objects) of his ancestor after the rite?

    Seeing it in this way, the Greeks are the new generations and the Trojans their ancestors, and their oppositions to the Greeks represents the difficulties of the Initiation Rite…”

    What do you think about? I’m totally off the road in your opinion?
    It would be an honor to have a response from you.

    • First Artuso, I must say that you are the first person I meet that shares my view on the Iliad. I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one. I think you are right on track concerning the sorceresses and the duality between greeks and troyans. I also think that Patroclus and Achilles are somehow both playing the role of the May King. Patroclus would be the representation of the falling King and Achilles the representation of the rising King. Many references throughout the Iliad tends to prove it. I also found that Pausanias the geographer (c. AD 110 – AD 180) mentionned that the killing of Las in the Peloponnesos was alternatively attributed to both Patroclus and Achilles. It definately rang a bell in my mind…

      • Thanks Frederik!

        About Achilles and Patroclus, I made this interpretation:

        “Achilleus is a Sacred King/May King and Patroklos is his substitute when the King has to die.

        Originally, it seems, the Sacred King was killed after his year of reign was termined, and another King was elected. However later our ancestors decided to sacrifice a substitute instead of the King. On the day that was supposed to end the year of the King, he withdrew to a solitary construction, pretending to be dead, while his substitute took his place exactly as if it was the King, until the end of the day, when he was killed. Then the real King returned, “reborn”, for another year…later the tradition related to the Sacred King changed in many ways, as we know.

        The roles of Achilleus (he pretends to be dead, until when his subsitute is dead) and Patroklos (his substitute in all ways, he even wears his weapons, and all the Greeks and Trojans believes that he is Achilleus) are very clear under this point of view.

        I think that it’s a good interpretation, and you can find similar situations in other Myths (for example Phaethon and the Sun-God).”

        The difference with your theory is that I see the presence of a substitute of the King. In fact both Achilles and the Sun-God (in the Phaethon Myth) were yet May Kings before they leave their role to another figure…but later they return to theor position!

        What is your wise opinion?

      • I think both our respective interpretation are coming along. Whether if Patroclus is interpreted as the falling King or the King’s substitute, the role is in fact the same. I must add that I’ve found something that might confirm that we are both right. Before Patroclus took the road to Troy with Achilles, Menoetius, his father, told him:

        ”Achilles, by race, is above you, my son; But he is younger than you, even if he’s above you, you must tell him words of wisdom, you must instruct him and show him the way: he will see what he gains from it.”

        This statement, just like many others, tends to prove that Patroclus held both roles in my opinion. In fact, in my opinion, both roles, the King’s substitute and the falling King, have the same purpose and origin. But you seem to suggest that Achilles held both the role of rising King and falling King, that’s interesting. Instead of hanging his clothes, this time the initiate retreat and stay hidden while his substitute dies. And then he return as the reborn King…

        About the Phaethon myth, I haven’t study it yet. Tell me more, I’ll have to explore this myth as soon as possible…

      • Exactly, that is what I think…very interesting, however.

        Phaethon is the son of the Sun-God. He asks to his Father for the possibility to drive his Chariot, the Chariot with which the Sun makes his daily journey around the Earth. The Sun accepts and Phaethon takes control of the Chariot (in my opinion he pretends to be the Sun-God, taking possession of an attribute of him in the same way as Patroclus with the weapons of Achilles). However, he has not the same ability and after a bad situation he is killed by Zeus. Obviously, later the Sun-God regain his functions.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phaethon

        I see in this Myth the same interpretation that I give to the vicissitudes of Patroclus and Achilles, even if maybe here the interpretation is a bit more forced and complicated.

        It can be?

      • I think you are right to most extent. Every myths have their own subtleties and particularities regarding the roles. I personally think that Patroclus and Achilles are to a certain extent the same character. Just like Odin and Hermod in the norse myth for example…

  3. I was thinking about some possible implied aspects in the Iliad when I read it but I couldn’t take anything further as it was just another retold story (but hopefully I’m going to read the original one too whenever I have time).

    What I came up to by reading your theory is that maybe, Helena of Troy IS Andvari’s ring and as the poverty and war had started among the trojans and greeks because of her, the ring also brought the same flaws to its posessor. Although I can’t see how was she ‘cursed’ like the ring, perhaps it was just her beauty compared to the ring’s beauty and ilussion of wealth – because it was made out of gold. That’s all I can reffer to, so far. Any thoughts?

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