ORPHEUS AND THE GREEK MYSTERIES
*- F. S. Darrow, A. M., Ph. D. (Harv.)
(* Originally published as “Studies in Orphism.” Serialized in The Theosophical Path, vol. 2, no. 4 through vol. 4, no. 3, April, 1912 through March, 1913; and vol. 43, no.1 through vol. 44, no. 4, July, 1933 through April, 1935.)
I. The Mythical and Historical OrpheusII. The Teachings of OrphismIII. The Greek MysteriesIV. The Myth of Zagreus-DionysosV. Two Interpretations of the Zagreus-Dionysos MythVI. The Life-History of the Soul VII. Concluding Study Notes----------------
I. The Mythical and the Historical Orpheus
(a) The Mythical Orpheus or the Magical Bard
H. P. Blavatsky.... in
says:"The fable of Aristaeus pursuing Eurydice into the woods where a serpent occasionsher death is a very plain allegory, which was in part explained in the earliest times.
Aristaeus is brutal power
Eurydice, the Esoteric Doctrine
into the woods wherethe
serpent, emblem of every sun-god
- kills her, i.e., forces truth to become still moreesoteric and seek shelter in the Underworld, which is not the hell of our theologians.Moreover, the fable of Orpheus torn to pieces by the Bacchanals is another allegory toshow that the gross and popular rites are always more welcome than divine but simpletruth."
The story of Orpheus and Eurydice has ever been a favorite theme with the greatestpoets of ancient and modern times, but its significance has not in general been recognisedbecause most of the extant traditions about Orpheus are mythical, that is, symbolical andallegorical truths,
historical facts. Nevertheless, it is possible to distinguish thehistorical kernel around which these have been grouped. Orpheus' supreme importance