The Hero is the Temporal aspect of the Young God -that is to say that the Hero, Who brings life back to the world in the Spring, expresses the energy of the Young God in a physical way. The Lover expresses that same energy in a more spiritual or cosmic level.
The Lover represents the God as Consort of the Goddess. She is spirit and He is matter. She is Yin and He is Yang. Their union creates and maintains the physical world, which arises from Her and is carried out by Him.
The Lover represents the principle of the God at It's greatest power. This is the "Yang" or outgoing principle, symbolized by the Sun. The Lover represents the flowering of physical life and the material plane.
The festival of the Lover is the Summer Solstice, when the Sun reaches it's greatest strength. Astrologically He is associated with the Lunar sign of cancer, symbolizing His union with the Goddess.
The principle myth of the Lover is the story of His death and rebirth: for the Sun begins to diminish as soon as the Summer Solstice is past. For this reason He is also sometimes called the "Dying God."
The Lover achieves His union with the Goddess, then dies, becoming the Old God of winter. In spring He will be reborn again to repeat the cycle. The Lover is the spirit of Earthly life which is constantly dying and being reborn, transforming and assuming new forms which carry it forward from life to life. Thus though the Earth turns to winter, it always returns to spring. Though day gives way to night, a new dawn always follows. Though our bodies die, we are eternally reborn in new and different forms, even as we have already lived many lives before this birth. The union of the Lover and the Goddess symbolizes this eternal and perfect cycle.
As a personal Deity, the Lover embodies all of the strengths of the Sun, of life, and of balance. He is the master of every art and skill. He is beautiful beyond words. He embodies all virtues and expresses the highest ideals of a given culture.
The Lover is the ideal consort of the Goddess, and acts from a fully activated heart center -His emotions are positive and harmonious. He is the patron of poetry, music, and dance. He is a God of love, beauty, and joy.
The Lover represents the joy of life and the exhuberence of being.
It is to be born in mind that while the Hero and the Lover are sometimes conceived as separate forms of the God, at other times they are seen more as phases the God moves through. It is not uncommon for a single form of the God to be both the Hero and the Lover. Some Gods, like the Egyptian Osiris, combine all four aspects among Their attributes. However each of these four main aspects -Hero, Lover, King, Sorceror- are inherantly distinct in themselves, and understanding them separately helps to clarify their nature even when a single personal Deity combines them.
Below follow several examples of the Lover:
ATTIS -Attis is the consort of the Mother Goddess Cybele, Whose worship originated in Asia Minor (modern Turkey) and later became popular throughout the Roman empire. According to a central myth, Cybele was the first Being to come into existence: Primordial Deity. Both male and female, Cybele contained within Herself the origins of all things. But Cybele was lonely, and desired a companion -and so She cut off Her masculine genitals and used them to create Attis -Lord of the physical world. Thus Primordial Deity divided Herself between Female (Spirit) and Male (Matter), just as in the Vangello delle Streghe. The physical world took form, and Cybele and Attis lived happily in it. But in time Attis came to die, gored by a wild boar, and went into the land of Death to become the consort of Persephone, Goddess of the Dead. Grief stricken Cybele struck a deal with Persephone, allowing Attis to spend half the year with each of Them, thus establishing the seasons and the cycle of Death and Rebirth. Attis therefor is seen to be the world of matter, eternally moving between Life and Death -or Evolution and Involution. The yearly death and resurrection of Attis were marked by elaborate rites in which He was represented by a Tree, like the European Green Man. Cybele and Attis were served by a transexual clergy who sought to unify both sexes within themselves, like Primordial Deity.
HORUS -In Egyptian mythology the God Osiris taught the Egyptians all arts and sciences and ruled them as their King. In time Osiris was murdered by His brother Set, Who coveted both Osiris' kingdom and His wife Isis. Unwilling to yield to Set, Isis fled from Egypt and resurrected Osiris through magic, becoming pregnant with a child: Horus. Thereafter Osiris became ruler of the Otherworld, while Horus took His place in the world of the living. Though the Egyptians looked upon Horus as the son of Osiris, he still fulfilled the role of the Reborn Deity Who conquors over Death. Growing to adulthood Horus engaged His uncle Set in battle, becoming polar opposites. In earlier traditions the struggle of Horus (Life) and Set (Death) was eternal, and They were more or less equals. In later tradition Horus defeated His uncle Set and banished Him. Identified with the Sun, and with the concept of Light, Horus was often pictured as a falcon or as a falcon headed man. The Disk of the Sun, that is it's physical form, was the Utchat or Eye of Horus.
LUGH -Also called Lugus and Lleu, Lugh is the Celtic version of the dying and reborn God. Born of the Sky Goddess Arianrhod (Silver Wheel) Lugh was raised by His uncle Gwydion, God of Sorcery. Because the magic of His Mother prevented Lugh from marrying any mortal maid, Gwydion used His magic to create a bride for Lugh from nine kinds of flowers. This was Blodeuwydd (Appearance of Flowers). For a time Blodeuwydd lived happily with Lugh, and the world abode in Summer. But after some months, Blodeuwydd fell in love with Hafgan, and together they plotted Lugh's death. But the same magic which Arianrhod had used to prevent Lugh's marriage to a mortal woman, also made Him impervious to any injury either upon land or in water, either indoors or out-of-doors, either mounted or on foot, either clothed or naked. And so it was necessary for Blodeuwydd and hafgan to go to some lengths to bring about the God's death. So Blodeuwydd prepared a bath for Lugh under an outdoor pavillion. When time came for Him to get out of the bath, Lugh found the tub was too high to easily step out. So He wrapped himself in a towel, and had a nearby goat brought over to use as a stepping stool. As Lugh stepped out of the bath -balanced with one foot on the goat, the other on the rim of the tub, wearing only a towel under an open pavillion- Hafgan struck during the few moments that the God was vulnerable, running Him through with a spear. Thereafter the world fell to Winter. Grief stricken Gwydion searched for Lugh for many months. At last Gwydion found Lugh, reincarnated as an eagle, perched in a tree. Gwydion used magic to restore Lugh to His former self, and the world returned to Spring, thus inaugurating the cycle of the seasons.
TAMMUZ -According to an ancient mesopotamian myth, Tammuz was the King of Uruk, and husband of the Goddess Ishtar. Killed by a wild boar -an animal often used to represent the Deity of the Otherworld- Tammuz crossed into the realm of Death, ruled by the Goddess Allat, sister of Ishtar. Grief stricken, Ishtar resolved to go into the land of Death and reclaim Her beloved consort. Descending through seven symbolic gates, representing the seven planes of existence and the seven Chakras, Ishtar arrived at the realm of Her sister Allat. Through means which vary in different versions Ishtar convinces Allat to release Tammuz and all the other spirits of the dead, thus inaugurating the cycle of Death and Rebirth. The myth speaks on several levels to the mysteries of Death and Rebirth, the Cycle of the Seasons, and also the Spirit's entry into the world of Matter. Ishtar, Tammuz, and Allat are the Semitic names of Deities Whom the Sumerians had earlier known as Innanna, Dumuzi, and Ereshkigal. Some people believe that Dumuzi was a real King of Uruk near the end of the Age of Gemini (4400 - 2800 BC) who became identified with the pre-existing myth.
XANGO -Xango is the Afro-diasporic God of fertility. Lord of storms, Xango is accompanied by thunder and lightning, and governs the rains which fertilize the Earth. Xango is thought of as the epitome of masculine beauty and virtue. Xango is the God of courage, honor, and skill. Like the Germanic Odin, Xango hung Himself from the World Tree and died, only to be resurrected through the efforts of the Goddess Oya -thus inaugurating the cycle of the seasons and of Death and Rebirth. Xango's symbol is the two-headed thunder-axe, the Oshe Xango.
Was this article helpful?