Cabeiri mysteries

Cabeiri mysteries
Cabeiri mysteries
  • Cabeiri mysteries
  • Cabeiri mysteries
  • Cabeiri mysteries

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Near the village Panagia was located the sanctuary of Cabeiri, where, nowadays, a lagoon took its place, and also the cave of Philoktitis.

They were considered to be children (or according to other students, grandchildren) of Hephaestus and nymph Cabeirus and were worshiped in Lemnos as gods of sea, fertility and vine. They were represented as crabs, the claws of which had been connected with the pincers of the metallurgist.

It constituted a glorious annual feast commemorating Cabeiri, at the homonymous sanctuary of gods, and was connected with the revival of nature and fertility of land.

The initiation of believers had taken place during the night and after purifications, at the sanctuary, which was considered to be a “fearful” place. The feast was lasting for nine days and till the arrival of the ship with the holy flame from Delos, fires and hearts of fires remained dead in the whole island.

The reception of the flame was festive, with prayers and consecration, while the rhythm of life was changing immediately.

This ceremony drew elements from the ancient rites of Pyrforia, during which the discovering of fire by Sintiis was “revived”.

Non-initiates were forbidden the entrance to the sanctuary of Cabeiri and disobedience was punished with death. Olympia, mother of Alexander the Great, is considered to be one of the most famous and powerful members of Cabeiri mysteries.

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