Here’s some very, very cool Herakles art we saw recently (artist is one Javier Charro ) … And, because we wouldn’t feel right just posting some art – a slightly edited transcript of me ranting to a comrade [Y. Allen] about the curious situation of the Classical perception of the Indo-European Striker/Thunderer deific.
Namely, the fact that whilst the Nordic and Vedic expressions are understood as Gods all the way through (i.e. Thor and Indra), born to Sky Father (Odin / Dyaus Pitar) and Mother Goddess (Jörð / Prithvi or Aditi) … in the Hellenic (and, for that matter, Roman) something has evidently shifted – because we get this different notion.
Of Herakles / Hercules as being a Son of the Sky Father (Zeus Pater / Jupiter) that is Half-God [Demigod – or, in Vedic Sanskrit … ArdhaDeva], born ‘down here’ and spending much of His mythic cycle as a very potent (half-)human, meaning He has to Earn His Apotheosis to the Heavens.
Now there are some Hindu exemplars that conform to this typology. Hanuman is one (although in that case, He winds up being … busted back down to the world of men in order to set the stage for His glorious return to the Heavens once He’s learned the apt lessons – rather like, oddly enough, the plot to the first Marvel ‘Thor’ movie); and Krishna, as it should happen, is another.
I have a few theories as to why this happens – and have elaborated upon this at some length elsewhere.
But for now .. ON WITH THE SHOW !
“also, i would add something to your analysis:
It’s kinda like how , well, particular other demigod figures get conceived.
Herakles, i suspect to have been partially .. well .. that – a mortal ‘resonancy’ / demigod incarnation that .. has somewhat ‘overpowered’ the main deific in the imagination of the Hellenics.
So they forgot the fully divine Striker/Thunderer – and intead had the narrative of making His way up to Heaven for post-mortem Apotheosis”
“I think from my perspective, influenced by the writers I am and fully in belief of the divine elements of scripture that reason for this is exactly because Apotheosis is real in our world”
“yes, although it is instructive to compare the situations of Herakles and Diomedes.
Diomedes, too, undergoes Apotheosis – however, the reason why i juxtapose these Two is a simple one:
With Herakles, we have an underlying Indo-European deific complex … a God – with Diomedes … well, it is possible that i may uncover something about this, but at this time, it appears not.
In other words – there is an interesting distinction to be made between a scenario wherein a human attains divinity – as with Diomedes – and .. well, that’s what we know; a human becomes a God –
versus Herakles – wherein an apotheosis occurs in the mythology, and what the rest of the IE sphere believes to have always been a God … well … the Greeks (re-)acquire such (that is to say, what we know to have been a God all along in this broader IE perspective is ‘restored’ to such status accordingly).
Now, one thing that I think is rather useful and important here to additionally mention –
i’m not sure if you followed my ‘On Wyrd Women Dwelling In Waters Handing Out Swords As The Supernal Basedness For A System Of Government‘, but basically it looks like in various Indo-European ritual setups for kingship and coronation.
What happens is the prince that’s about to take over .. takes on the role, the masque of Indra in a ritual to invest with relevant qualities:
Adoption by the Divine Mother, we would say.
Indeed, quite directly, that seems to be what happens.
Herakles, as you know, undergoes this – albeit post-apotheosis as the necessary ‘final step’.
Now, why i mention that is because there is a little-known figure (to most of us, today, at least) … Trasadasyu (‘Dasyu-Remover’ – yes, that’s his name) , a Vedic King.
Basically, there’s .. i think three ? RigVedic hymnals that are attributed (whether in whole or in part) to this human king as Their Rsi (and a number of other occurrences hailing Him elsewhere therein)
Two of these are entitled in the usual editions of translation as ‘Indra-Varuna’ (as, after all, we often refer to RV hymnals by the major deific which They propitiate). Meaning that some people for a long time and uncritically examining things – like, without the .. detailed exegesis and just looking at the words of the hymns’ dedication thought that this meant there was some lesser-known Indra-Varuna Are The Same Deity thing.
Except what’s actually happened is .. this king Trasadasyu … basically had invested into himself ‘divine essence’ from both Varuna and Indra.
He became .. well .. Indra-Varuna, down here on Earth, per his belief and what he got his court and kingdom to go along with.
And so effectively, what’s going on in one of the hymns that springs to mind (probably the others too – will have to check) is there’s all this hailing that looks like it’s to Indra … and it can be …
Except it’s actually to this king Trasadasyu that is ‘as Indra’ [and also ‘Varuna’].
So, you see how my thinking went viz. Herakles, and the pondering that the ‘memory’ of there being a human Herakles … might indeed be correct – and might be a situation rather like that for Trasadasyu:
Wherein with the passage of time , it steadily gets forgotten that Herakles is and always was Divine – and the human figure ascending up into the Heavens post-mortem is … not so much ‘grafted on’, but it comes to … well, become the dominant perception of Herakles.
Oddly enough, you can see .. a not entirely dissimilar thing viz. Krishna – except there it’s .. well, even more .. subtle – because you’ve got two ostensibly human parents:
Vasudeva and Devaki
except …. i) those are ‘hiding in plain sight’ names. Vasudeva … Sky-Radiance God as the Father; and Devaki – well, Divine, Celestial (Female) …
ii) the actual theology directly had Devaki as an incarnation of Aditi anyway.
but yeah – human kid in human kingdom … doesn’t stay human all that long …”