About Catullus, Hymenaeus and a hidden ritual

Hymenaios.sv

Among all names of the Gnostics Saints recognized by the E.G.C., the Ecclesiæ Gnosticæ Catholicæ based completely upon Crowleys’ Liber XV, appear as “holy bard” the name of Gaius Valerius Catullus.

This man who lived a bit more than 2000 years ago, should be considered as promoter of the Epicurean thoughts as well as a Thelemite of the 21th Century: the contemporary aspect of his “nugae” (en. “trifles” ) admits the inconsistency of time for a human souls and glorifies the obstinate research of freedom and pleasure, peculiar in every life form upon Earth.

Superficially we are far more impressed by his meters which tried to let sensual pleasures become dreamlike and we study his provocative stylistic choices because of innovatory and distinctive into Latin linguistic.

During the first century before christ, he lived in Rome and while every citizen was interested on conquest and subjugation, the roman poet celebrated his everyday life putting into practice the epicurean “otium” going out from a pure literature style to a life-style in which only intimate pleasures makes life worth living.

Passing from carnal pleasure to intellectual sustenance, every expression of Catullus emphasize his true interior Self without any inhibitory brake that needs an immediately satisfaction, exactly as Horatius highlights in his famous words “Carpe diem / pluck the day”.

There would be many examples to report about Catullus’ poetry and his relation with Thelema, trying to figured out the reason why this name has been inserted on the Gnostics Saints’ list of the E.G.C.

Regarding Eros in Catullus poetry, throughout years erudite latinists declared him as vulgar because of his scabrous verses, inconceivable to believe that a man of that period could openly exalt “fellatio” and “cunnilingus”, masculine and feminine oral sex, into a refined logical-linguistic syntax in which he inserted words of common people into the complicated laws of Latin grammar:

carme XVI

Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo,
Aureli pathice et cinaede Furi,
qui me ex versiculis meis putastis,
quod sunt molliculi, parum pudicum.
I’ll push your shit in and stuff your face,
Aurelius cocksucker and Furius little bitch,
since you think that my little poems, just
because their soft and kind, I’m less prudish and virtuoso.
As Crowley himself points out in Liber ABA:
Thus Catullus, Dante and Swinburne made their love a mighty mover of mankind by virtue of their power to put their thoughts on the subject in musical and eloquent language.

And it’s exactly this eloquentia, as to say the art of knowing how to express himself, together with the intelligence of an expressive power of a elaborate poetic language, which makes this poet a possible follower of ancients traditions and truths, the ones considered today occult traditions. It would be more correct to admit that this traditions were concealed between the lines of sophisticated poems.

Into his Liber is highlighted an elaborate style of high-level in some poems called “carmina docta”: they show some evident and acceptable motivation for which it may have been chosen by the lasts Frater Superior of the OTO the name of Hymemaeus, historically named also Hymenaios, Imene o Hymen.

Surely this name could be referred to the boring christian tradition ascribed to S.Paul on his first letter to Timothy where Hymenaeus lost his faith and will be sent to Satan. (1Ti 1:18-20)

I fell more near to a recent essay of the prominent latinist Ole Thomsen in which he states that  the God Hymen of the Greek mythology is a coder key for a different reading of an ancient  poem of Catullus in which it is hidden an hermetic and mystic ritual.

Even if it was obscure to a mere linguistic comprehension of the danish professor, the ritual is camouflaged by Catullus in a erudite stylistic choice that was partially unveiled by that study thanks to some details observed.

Traditionally in Rome all wedding poems were consecrated to a god of Love and Wedding called Hymenaues: it was considered as the most ancient god of Love, after replaced by Eros and Cupid to make it clear.

On Carmina Docta from 61 to 66 is showed an erotic function of the three young daimones – Hymenaios, Hesperos and Plokamos Berenikes – all connected to Venus and the Starry night sky.

Reading again the Carme 62 is in fact pointed out how the bride has real erotic connection with Hymen on her close relationship with Hesperos: sensual orgasm is a beloved star of Olympus, expected by men to be  expanded as a light upon woman whom are invited to meet them without any hitch. It is always the orgasm a nighty herald sung by women that burns as fire upon Oeta Montain and which become a protector of the connection between star/god with lovers/newlyweds.

extract from carme LXII

IUUENES
Vesper adest, iuuenes, consurgite: Vesper Olympo
exspectata diu uix tandem lumina tollit.
surgere iam tempus, iam pinguis linquere mensas,
iam ueniet uirgo, iam dicetur hymenaeus.

hymen o Hymenaee hymen, ades o Hymenaee!

PUELLAE
Cernitis, innuptae, iuuenes? consurgite contra;
nimirum Oetaeos ostendit Noctifer ignes.
sic certe est; uiden ut perniciter exsiluere?
non temere exsi luere: canent quod uincere par est.

hymen o Hymenaee hymen, ades o Hymenaee!

YOUNG MEN
Vespers, the Night Star, that’s it! Young men, get up: now the Vespa waited for the Olympus for a long time finally extends its lights.
By now it’s time to get up, to leave the rich canteen now,
Now the bride will be, now the singing hymn will be singing.

Health, or Imen Imeneo! Come on, or Imen Imeneo!

YOUNG WOMEN
Girls, do you see the boys? Get up and go meet;
Really the night herald shows its fires on Mount Oeta.
So it is certain; Do you see how quickly they jump out?
It is no coincidence that they are bent out, they will sing what is possible to win.

Health, or Imen Imeneo! Come on, or Imen Imeneo!

 

According to an article appeared on 418, a newsletter of Abracadabra Oasis of O.T.O. from Portland, these carmine kept in secret also a celebration of a mystic wedding that is the alchemical transformation par excellence which is obtained from sublimation of all elements involved, the individual combining with the universe.

Paying attention to the wedding poem structure, read before from men and than by women, shows how all the various verses of the two opposite sex can be synchronized on rhythm. This poem could be singed on the same time from both without that its rhythm feels any effect, musicality of verses could be drowned out to become an exclusive hymn of invocation for the god Hymen.

On the above said academic study it’s pointed out that also on the past was already existing a  really old theory in which the synchronization of male and female orgasm was an essential condition to get a “real” conception, the physical union of opposite sex and a part of in important magic detail hidden by the wise Catullus.

This theory lets us understand more clearly the desire emphasis, the mystic value of a sexual union connected to the sublimation of a man in a  woman and the other way around.

To continue reading these carmine, we see ah high number of ritualistic aspects that evolves and should bring to a clear end even if the action at issue will never show up lightly and never the activity will be said openly. The choice of inserting archaic words compatible to both genres have wisely hidden some detail of the ritual, confused reference and concealed real intentions.

Nevertheless some details keep obvious, especially on carmina 64: from the voices of three old women representing the Parcae, we understand that the poem itself is not dedicated to a birth of a child but to the real moment of conception.

As we know the geographical area in which Catullus lived, it could be that the poet was knowing ancient traditions connected with Cybele that more than one are invocated into poem 63. According to H.P. Blavatsky, this female goddess is part of an older cult of Isis, also called Astarte, Hathor, Freya, Aphrodite and Venus.

That Catullus was knowing some secrets connected to sexual magic, it is for me really possible; that these secrets could be understood by Crowley and admired by our beloved Frater it’s a possibility to be valued.

Surely it would not be me that unveil this idea because of a simple intuition: I invite whom want to get deeper on these details to read my sources mentioned, that anyone could have his own idea upon this intuition and if it could contain some truths.

That the ritual and its wise mystery stay secret and that Catullus is still regarded as vulgar and libertine: anyway the Truth will never show itself to those who are not worthy to understand it.

 
Sources:

Ole Thomsen in  Classica et Mediaevalia. Revue danoise de philologie et d’histoire.
418, Vol I Number 2, Newsletter of Abrahadabra Camp, “All Roads Lead to Rome” of Frater Hippokleides

Picture: detail of Nicolas Poussin
Hymenaios Disguised as a Woman During an Offering to Priapus, 1634

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