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Silenus

August 28, 2010

Silensus

Identity: Tutor to gods and men

Description: Satyr

Symbol: Wineskin

The Greek Myth

Said by some authorities to represent the spirits of the forests and mountains, satyrs were but one of many groups of beings which were partly of human and partly of animal form. They are described as having low foreheads, snub noses, pointed ears, hairy bodies, goat’s legs and tails, and cloven hooves. The most famous of these mythical beasts was Silenus, whose name means ‘moon man’, although certain schalars, designate the Sileni as a unique and separate species, being originally genii of springs and rivers.

Silenus was traditionally considered to be a loud-mouthed, permanently drunken sort of lout who possessed a never ending source of knowledge and innate wisdom which we saw fit to dispense on certain occasions, notably during his encounter with King Midas when he expounded the Atlantis story in some details.

As tutor to the god Dionysus, Silenus accompanied his charge during the wild, mad days of the godling’s initiations prior to his acceptance on Olympus. The metaphysical theory is that Silenus, like the other two Tutors, Chiron and Pan, simply reflects the mental condition of his pupils so that if they are debauched, hedonistic inebriates lacking in self-control, then that is how they will view the tutorial principle they look up to, in much the same way that a rough and loutish person relates to others who have gained some form of supremacy by aggressive means. This explanation posssibly accounts for the fact that Plato felt no irreverence in comparing Silenus to his master, Socrates, the deciding factor in the recognition of true wisdom being the intelligence level, culture and sensitivity of the beholder.

The Socratic Satyr

Silenus’ tutorial skills are featured in several places in the Greek myths. Those who decide to seek further details are advised to take a long, hard, and honest look at themselves before arriving at any conclusions as to what the Greek sages were hinting at metaphorically in their tales of strange man-beasts with superhuman knowledge or intelligence.

Upright Meanings

Lessons to be learned concerning the use of the intuitive faculties or right hemisphere of the brain, i.e. imagery, creative imagination, inspiration, and so on. Self-confidence when dealing with people in exalted worldly positions. Intuitive reactions to any situation in life. Handling the transpersonal Self. Breaking from the collective. Learning to stand securely alone. Opening the mind to new horizons of thought.

Reversed Meanings

Stepping out of one’s depth both mentally and groupwise. A mind closed against new thought through fear or too strict an adherence to collective social conditioning.

Psychological Comment

Silenus in the positive mode indicates the imminence of a new phase, one which will demand the expansion of mental horizons through the employment of intuitive powers. A point is sometimes reached in life at which the individual is ready to take a step up in worldly status, which might well involve a break from the prevailing social group or ethos. Any break from the collective is always painful until the individual has learned to seek security within the Self and not rely on others to supply it.

Reversed Tutor cards usually indicate that lessons represented by the nature of the card have either:

  1. remained unlearned to date as a result of life’s circumstances;
  2. been rejected through ignorance; or
  3. been conveniently ignored.

With Silenus, the lessons in question all relate to the intuitive side of the nature on the one hand, or the ability to individuate or think for oneself on the other.

(Words by Murry Hope; Olympus-An experience in Self-Discovery, 1991)

Engaging Discernment

The Sileni were Ipotanes who were followers of Dionysus. These Ipotanes were drunks, and looked mainly like other Ipotanes except that they were usually bald and fat with thick lips and squat noses, and had the legs of a human. Later, sileni lost the plural connotation and the only references were to one individual named Silenus (Roman equivalent: Silvanus), the teacher and faithful companion of the wine-god Dionysus.

Musing from the Muse

One of Australia’s exciting vocal talents is Gabriella Cilmi, who burst out when she only 15 – maybe younger. The lyrics of her songs are very evocative, and I just love  “Sweet About Me” from her debut album, “Lessons to be Learned”.  I haven’t figured out how the doohickey with WordPress works to a Youtube video in a blogpost; no biggie!

If there’s lessons to be learned, I’d rather get my jamming words in first………

Allow this lyric line to flow through you, like a line from Rumi.  You know, that one that says either exist as you are, or be as you look.

 

If There’s Lessons To Be Learned, I’d Rather Get My Jamming Words In First Oh
Tell Ya Something That I’ve Found, That The Worlds A Better Place When It’s Upside Down Boy
If There’s Lessons To Be Learned, I’d Rather Get My Jamming Words In First When Your Playing With Desire, Don’t Come Running To My Place When It Burns Like Fire, Boy.

 

 

Sweet About Me, Nothing Sweet About Me, Yeah
Sweet About Me, Nothing Sweet About Me, Yeah
Sweet About Me, Nothing Sweet About Me Yeah
Sweet About Me, Nothing Sweet About Me, Yeah 

If There’s Lessons To Be Learned, I’d Rather Get My Jamming Words In First
Tell Ya Something That I’ve Found, That The Worlds A Better Place When It’s Upside Down Boy
If There’s Lessons To Be Learned, I’d Rather Get My Jamming Words In First
When Your Playing With Desire, Don’t Come Running To My Place When It Burns Like Fire, Boy.

Blue, Blue, Blue Waves They Crash
As Time Goes By, So Hard To Catch
And Too, Too Smooth, Ain’t All That

Why Don’t You Ride My Side Of The Track

Gabriella Cilmi Home Page

 

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