The Myth Of Er (Politeia 641b2-621d4)

In Plato’s work Politeia (I don’t know how it is translated in English, maybe citizenship, town) or About Justice (same book with two titles) in the tenth book, part 614 there is the myth of Er (Ηρ in Hellenic), son of Armenios, from the genre of Pamphylon.

Let’s see the myth of Er. Er was killed in the war. After ten days his body was intact. They moved his body to his city in order to burn it according to the burial customs. He resurrected before the fire approached his body. He described what he saw in the underworld. He was a messenger. The souls after their death appeared in a place of beauty where two chasms in the earth and another two on the sky. From those chasms previous souls could come and watch and the new souls would follow the upper or the downwards route. Among the chasms the judges were placed. Their decisions lead them to the sky or to the earth. Judges told to Er that his role was to describe what was witnessing to humans. The souls who passed to the sky were clean, as the others were full of dust and dry. Each unjust act was paid ten times. If someone was the reason for the death of many people or betrayal of towns or camps… paid ten times with tortures. Disrespect towards the Gods or respect had more than ten times rewards or punishments.

After seven days, the souls who should have gone to the sky had to move from their temporary place of a lawn, for four days to another place, higher in the sky. They arrived in a place where they could see a multi-colored light passes the sky and the earth like forming a column.

The Spindle Of Necessity

The classical heavens, the inside circles loon like the whorls that are described, although Plato's view about their routes is aligned with modern science.

After moving for one day they could see nexuses hold the sky. In the edges it was the spindle of the goddess Anage (=necessity). Through this earth was spinning. The axis of this spindle was made of diamond while the whorl was made from a mix of diamonds and gems. The whorl had 8 whorls one inside of the other. Each circle had its own color and brightness. The spindle was spinning to one direction but the inner seven circles were spinning to the opposite direction, each one had its own speed. The spindle was spinning on the knees of Anage. Around the spindle, the three Fates sat in equal distance to their thrones. The Fates are the daughters of Anage. They wore white robes and crowns on their heads. Their names are: Lachesis, Klotho, Atropos. They sang with harmony of mythological sirens. Lachesis sang about the past, Klotho about the present and Atropos about the future. Klotho touched with her right hand the outer whorl and spinned it. Atropos used her left hand to turn the inner whorls. Lachesis used her both hands and spinned to both directions.

The souls should go straight to Lachesis. A prophet is making a speech saying to the souls that another period of life will begin. So here we see the re-incarnation of the soul. The prophet says to the souls that they are going to choose their daemon. Each one will choose the life he/she wants to have, according to necessity, but the virtue will be shared according to its previous behavior.

Strophalos and the Spindle of Necessity

hecate-wheel-trans1.png According to Plato the whorl has the following shape: A big whorl is on the outer side. Klotho, the Fate of the present touches the whorl and spins it with her right hand, probably clockwise. Inside the present and outer whorl there are many inner whorls. An inner whorl exists inside the first one. So we have 2. Inside the second we had a third one and inside it a fourth one. This continued as we had in totally 8 whorls. This reminds us the 7 planets of the ancient world. (Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Hermes, Aphrodite, Sun, Moon. The outer whorl is the fixes stars. The whorls are the planetary circles-arcs). As the 7 whorls are inside and interfere to the future.

We see that Plato understood the importance of planetary influences and the connection of past, present and future as those are managed in a spindle. The moving whorls that spin in different directions yet they maintain balance and are essential to having order in the world, that’s why Necessity has them on her knees look like the strophalos.

In my pathworking experience, Hekate took me to the same place that Plato has descibed but instead of the spindle I saw clearly a cyan-blue strophalos. The Fates were using that strophalos to see and change the future. The inner parts of the strophalos, those who are three and united with one to the other were spinning to different direction than the outer circle. The three parts of the strophalos remind me the three Fates who are responsible for the movement of the spindle and they are also associated with the re-incarnation process and the associations of Hekate’s role: life-death-rebirth. So Hekate as the Cosmic Soul is watching the process of life, death and rebirth. She has perfect relations with the Three fates. In my experiene Hekate lead me to the Fates and I noticed that they had a good relationship. Moreover, I didn't see the goddess Necessity, as she is a symbolic goddess, but the strophalos was given to me by the Goddess Hekate as I was approaching Her feet and standing close to Her feet. The spindle in the myth was on the knees of the goddess, so there is a connection with strophalos and the spindle again. So the connection between the 8-whorl spindle and the 3-whorl strophalos is more than obvious. I was amazed when I found out that the place I went in the pathworking was the same as described by Plato. Moreover the Fates were friendly enough to share with me an experience.

Though the shape of the strophalos, with three inner circular-labyrinth patterns, is modernly associated with Hekate, it is an ancient hellenic symbol (see this article) it seems that it is really connected with the Goddess after all with that shape, at least if not from the scientific data (until now) from personal experience.