Zeus Lykaios – Cult, Werewolf, Arcadia

What is Zeus Lykaios legend

There are two legends concerning Zeus relating to wolves producing the name of Zeus Lykaios cult, or Lykios, which can be designated Zeus the wolf or Wolves of Zeus.

One legend was related by Ovid relating to an Arcadian king Lykaon who invited Zeus to dine with him. In order to test Zeus’ omniscience the king served him a plate of human flesh.

Zeus was not happy with the king’s trick and as a punishment for polluting the table set for the¬†Olympian¬†king the man was changed into a wolf some say for ten years.

From this proceeds the second legend. According to Pliny an Arcadian nobleman, the festival of Zeus Lykaios held every nine years, was led to a certain lake, after hanging his clothes on a tree, plunged into the water to be transformed into a wolf.

The he roamed the wooded area for nine years, if after that time he had not tasted human fresh he was allowed to depart the lake, return to the tree and put on his clothes, and lead a normal life again.

Historically both legends refer to Zeus, king and ruler of Olympus home to the pantheon of Greek gods. He ruled the pantheon as a father rules a family. The epihetet Zeus Lykaios, “wolf-Zeus” is assumed by Zeus in a formal connection of the archaic festival of Lykaia, held on the slopes of Mount Lykaon, Wolf Mountain, the tallest peak in rustic Arcadia.

Legend has it that upon this mountain rites of passage took place which might have involved cannibalism and metamorphosis of werewolves for some of the cvephebes, Greek adolescents who participated.

Near the ceremonial ground where the sacrifices occurred there was a precinct in which, allegedly, no shadows were cast.

It was Plato who commented on the supposed cannibalism in the ceremony saying that one clan mingled a single piece of human intestine within the animal’s given to the initiates.

Whoever ate the human flesh supposedly turned into a wolf and could only regain human form again provided he did not eat human flesh again before the nine year cycle ended.

The third century, CE, philosopher Prophyry stated that Theophratus compared the sacrifice “at the Lykaia in Arcadia” with the Carthaginian sacrifices to¬†Molech.

This at first seems a strange comparison since the Carthiaginians sacrificed children to Moloch but note Prophyry was in the third century CE and his attribution to Theophratus may signal Christian influence creeping in.

The legends present the metamorphosis of man to werewolf as a punishment which was exceedingly believed during the medieval period with the Devil replacing Zeus. However, within Dark Witchcraft such metamorphosis occurs mentally and spiritually in order to achieve personally deification, the bowing to no one not even to thyself.

Zeus represents lord and master, especially master of thyself. In the first legend the Arcadian king Lykaon represents an inferior king or quality in his own personality, that of lying. If he wanted to examine the omniscience of Zeus he should have asked outright. His punishment made him something that he was, an animal and not a true man.

The second legend refers also to Mount Lykaon and the rites of passages which allegedly occurred there. To become a werewolf and prowling the woods for nine years without tasting human flesh would presumably be a tremendous task because wild wolves attack humans.

Accomplishing such a feat, a genuine right of passage, would sincerely deem someone a true human being. He would deserve the right to put his clothes back on and his nobility.

All of these characteristics a Dark Witch would enjoy and more. In their time both legends represented positive characteristics improving personal character, but in the Dark Witch these traits represent much more, strength.

This person has no regard for social rules since he follows his personal path toward deification. His goal is to become Zeus himself, not like him. To this person, male or female, Zeus is the object of the personal deification. Thus social role models are rejected and eliminated as Zeus eliminated the Titans.

The personal objectives is becoming Zeus, a fearless lord of all, especially self. Whatever steps are required are taken. Such transformation is accomplished only through the adoption of the anti-authoritarian attitude or spirit.

This is not to be confused with anarchism, the anti-authoritarian knows that some laws are necessary, and he knows when they are not. Laws are for society but not always the individual when interfering with reaching individual potential.

It maybe true all individual rights should be protected but when an individual interferes with another’s ability to act this law no longer applies.

The anti-authoritarian knows this. He will never accept this type of interference, never pleads with the interferer to stop, but eliminates the interference. In the end the anti-authoritarian fulfills his potential and is his own deity, Zeus.

Thus the two legends above may be reversed; Zeus maybe the Arcadian king Lykaon. Testing the omniscience of the other king might not be a wrongful trick but a way to improve oneself or one’s advantage.

Going nine years as a werewolf without tasting human flesh may still by a way of building human character or it may not.

If eliminating one’s foe is the goal, it is not. This may be considered sorcery, low magic, but isn’t that what war is about? The Dark Witch honestly admits that the end justifies the means which makes him the social Adversary.¬†A.G.H.


Lykaia. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lykaia>
On the Festival of Zeus Lykaios. <http://www.freefictionbooks.org/books/m/11244-myths-and-myth-makers-old-tales-and-superstitions?start=30>