Cascadia Druids: White Mountain Druid Sanctuary Blog

White Mountain Druid Sanctuary (WMDS) is a Druid inspired Pagan site in Trout Lake, Washington. This blog describes the planning and creation of the Stone Circle, Shrines and physical surroundings that are being built there.

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Paphos I (Cyprus)

Paphos (Nea Paphos) - the Hellenistic and Roman capital of Cyprus

The king of Palaipaphos was also the High Priest of the Sanctuary of Aphrodite there. But he decided to move the city from its inland location to a harbor on the sea. This new city was named Nea Paphos (or just Paphos), and while Palaipaphos declined rapidly, the great Sanctuary continued to thrive.

Upon the death of Alexander the Great, his empire was split up among his generals. Ptolemy gained control of Egypt and Cyprus. He then dismantled all the Cypriot city states, removing their kings, and appointing a governor for the whole island. And instead of placing the new capital in the leading city of the day, Salamis, he put it in Paphos.

There isn't a lot to see, ruins wise, in Paphos, though there is a huge section of the ancient city which has not been built upon, but most of the area has yet to be excavated. The Agora area, the Asklepeion, and the Odeon are three structures that you can see.


The Odeon at Paphos


Another view from the top of the Odeon towards the Agora (the large, open area).


The Asklepeion, where healing would take place, often involving a visit with the God in dreams.


A close-up of the back of the Asklepeion ruins.


The Agora from the Odeon

But the best things to see there are the mosaics in the great houses which have been exposed. The governors palace has one that can be seen, but there are also some exquisite ones in the ruins of private homes. In particular are the House of Aion, the House of Dionysus, and the House of Theseus (names often based on the subject of the mosaics, when we don't know who the owner actually was).

The House of Aion - Apollo and Marsyus. Marsyus was a Phrigian mortal who challenged Apollo to a music contest, and Marsyus almost won. In revenge, Apollo had Marsyus skinned alive. The moral is, don't mess with Gods, I guess.

One thing you may notice is that Apollo has a halo. This mosaic was made at a time when Christianity was becoming more popular, and the Christian idea of adding a halo to holy beings seems to have caught on here.



Apollo and Marsyus




The House of Aion - The God Dionysus, as a babe, on the lap of Hermes. Once again, we see a halo on Dionysos (though, oddly, not on Hermes).


House of Dionysus - Apollo chasing Daphne.

Dionysos and Ikarios. Ikarios was an Athenian man who was instructed in the art of winemaking by the god Dionysos when He first arrived in the country. Ikarios shared the gift with his countrymen, but was stoned to death by a group of drunken shepherds who thought they had been poisoned. His daughter Erigone and faithful hound Maira (Maera) searched for him and, when they found his body, she hung herself from a tree and the dog leapt into a well. Dionysos was infuriated by their deaths and--after transferring Ikarios, Erigone and Maira to the stars as the constellations Bootes, Virgo and Canis Major--, inflicted the land with drought and drove the young maidens mad, causing them to also hang themselves. Following the advise of an oracle, the Athenians instituted a festival in honour of the dead heroes and so appeased the wrath of the god.


Dionysos and Ikarios. 


The rest of the Ikarios mosaic shows the drunken men.


House of Dionysos - Procession of Dionysos.


House of Dionysos - Close-up of Dionysos in procession.


House of Dionysos - the procession of Dionysos even included a bound slave.

House of Dionysos - this is actually a Hellenistic mosaic done in black and white pebbles. It depicts Scylla, the mythical sea monster, part woman, part fish, and part dog. She is holding a ship's mast and a trident and is surrounded by sea life.


House of Dionysus - Mosaic of Scylla


House of Dionysos - Narcissus gazing at his reflection.

Poseidon and Amymone. Poseidon, to revenge himself for losing Argolis (an area in Greece) to Hera, dried up all the rivers and springs of the area. Danaos sent his fifty daughters, one of whom was Amymone, to search for water advising them to do everything in their power to placate the god’s anger. During her search Amymone saw a deer and aimed at it with her bow. She missed, however, and the arrow fell near a sleeping Satyr who woke up and tried to ravish her. Suddenly Poseidon appeared and chased the Satyr away with his trident. The god of water was immediately attracted to Amymone, and she, remembering her father’s words, gladly gave herself to him. The god, in return, revealed to her the spring of Lerna thus bringing an end to the terrible drought.


Poseidon and Amymone.

Phaedra and Hippolytos. Phaedra, wife of Theseus, has fallen in love with her stepson, Hippolytos. In this scene, he looks embarrassed after reading her love letter. He leaves but Phaedra commits suicide and in a letter accuses him of rape. Theseus curses him and Hippolytos is killed.


Phaedra and Hippolytos

House of Dionysos - the 'rape' of Ganymedes. Zeus, as an eagle, sorely loved the boy, and He carried him off to Olympos to serve as his, uh, cup bearer. Right.


Ganymedes and Zues

House of Theseus - This is actually the house of the Roman governor, and this mosaic is a depiction of Theseus killing the Minotaur, and it is surrounded by a labyrinth.


House of Theseus - Theseus killing the Minotaur

House of Theseus - Close-up of the Theseus mosaic. Some of the faces (like that of Theseus) have been restored in late Roman times. The original mosaic was probably laid early in Rome's occupation of the island.


Close-up of the Theseus mosaic. 

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We are Cascadia Grove of Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship (ADF). Our local Grove serves the Puget Sound area. We meet 8 times a year to celebrate the equinoxes, solstices and the cross quarter days (including Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, and Samhain). We also support the planning and building of White Mountain Druid Sanctuary in Trout Lake WA.


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