Posted by: aediculaantinoi | December 12, 2012

Season of Epiphanies

In Neos Alexandria today, we observe the Epiphany of Aion, described as follows:

Epiphanios of Eleutheroupolis records that on this date in Alexandria the birth of Aion from Kore was celebrated in her temple. It was a pannukhis or all night vigil in which the celebrants spent the night in singing and dancing before descending at dawn to a hidden chamber to witness the birth of the god in silence.

Aion is one of a small number of deities at the moment (which will be larger when I have more shrine space) who has two representations on my shrine: one that is the traditional leontocephalic image, and another that is not traditionally associated with him, but which became associated with him in the course of my exploration of him several years ago. Part of my results on that exploration can be read in a poem found in Galina Krasskova’s devotional anthology to Sekhmet, in a poem called “The Lions of Egypt.” Indeed, it seems you can’t go very far in the story of Antinous without encountering lions in some fashion…from the lion hunt that he did with Hadrian, to the lion-headed gods and goddesses of Egypt and Nubia (including Sekhmet, Maahes, and Apedemak), to many other possibilities and connections…

But, Aion himself is interesting. He also makes an appearance in his leontocephalic aspect in All-Soul, All-Body, All-Love, All-Power: A TransMythology.

I’ve always found the specific event celebrated today to be interesting, because it makes Aion a child of Kore/Persephone. I usually think of Dionysos or Iakkhos as a child of Persephone, and yet here is Aion in a role that is somewhat suggestive of that Dionysian aspect, and it is called (whether by coincidence or deliberate choice) an “Epiphany” in Neos Alexandria tradition. While it is funny that Epiphanios is the one who reports the tradition, we also have the festival of Antinous Epiphanes coming up later this month, which is one of Antinous’ strongest Dionysian syncretisms. Hmm…

While a great deal more could be said about him, time and space (!?!) prevent me from doing so at present, as it would take a 10,000 word essay at very least to even begin doing him justice, both inside or outside of Mithraic tradition, as well as wider Graeco-Egyptian (and Persian) tradition. So, I will leave it there for now…

Khaire Aion huie Kore!


  1. […] Just like last year, today in Neos Alexandria is the feast of the Epiphany of Aion, described as follows: […]

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