Posted by: aediculaantinoi | August 31, 2013

A Short Note on Pancrates of the Tetrad and Herakles

If ever I doubt that the various sorts of spiritwork that I do, particularly in my poetic and filidecht practices, may not be “viable” or “accurate” or “real” (since we get messages like that not only from the wider overculture, but also from many of our so-called co-religionists in all forms of paganism and polytheism in the modern world), it’s experiences like the following one that re-affirm my trust in my own process and results.

The following is from Apostolos Athanassakis’ notes to The Orphic Hymns, which was re-released recently in a more affordable and expended edition. It is a note on line 5 of Hymn #12, to Herakles:

5 all-conquering: THe Greek word is “pankrates.” This was the name of a god in Athens who was represented as a mature, bearded man accompanied by a younger, unbearded man. The younger man is sometimes called Pankrates Herakles in dedications, and he bears the traditional Heraklean attributes of lion skin and club…

I had not been aware of those figures’ existences at all before reading this…

You may recall that in All-Soul, All-Body, All-Love, All-Power: A TransMythology, not only is Herakles one of the parents and grandparents of the Tetrad++ Group, but that Pancrates of the Tetrad++ Group specifically appears somewhat childlike, and has a lion-head and -skin draped over hirself, not unlike Herakles.

An interesting “coincidence,” eh? 😉


  1. Very nifty stuff, and I’m glad to hear that they released a new editioin of The Orphic Hymns. That actually makes me ridiculously happy. =D

    • It’s totally worth picking up…I’d prefer it if the Greek text was given as well, but this is halfway there, as it were…

      • Well yes, wouldn’t we ALL prefer the Greek inlcuded …😉

        I think my library needs to own a copy of this. Purchase Suggestion – made!

  2. and that, my friend, is why one does not listen to haters.

  3. A very welcome discovery. I am a firm believer that what confirms the gnosis of anybody in our community—I mean the devotional polytheist community generally—strengthens us all.

    • Thanks very much! I appreciate it!

      And, yes: I’ve held since the beginning of that work that the appearance of new gods is a sign that we’re “doing it right”; when what is new is in line with what is older, it’s even better and more interesting, particularly when it is not by the intent of the writers, as in this case.

  4. Oh, I could fill a few notebooks with some of the ‘UPG” I’ve had that later ended up correlating with ancient texts, etc…, I’d not yet read.

    • I’m sure most of us could; it’s not an unusual experience, by any stretch of the imagination; this particular case was just far more unexpected than usual.

  5. […] epithet of Pankrates, i.e. “all-powerful.” Interestingly, this epithet also occurs for Herakles in the Orphic Hymns, and both Herakles and Dionysos (as well as Achilleus) are all parents and grandparents of the […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s