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Olympian God Poseidon and Humanity's Ocean Mess

Olympian God Poseidon reveals the hidden consequences of humanity's current relationship with the ocean.
Text title Poseidon

Summary of Contents: Poseidon in Mythology | Arrival and Appearance | Sounion Temple Greece | What a God Can and Cannot Do | What is Permissible | Awareness | Hidden Destruction | Poseidon's Prophecy

Festival Day - August 22

Olympian God Poseidon in Mythology

Marine God Poseidon is listed by Hesiod as son of Cronus and Rhea, sibling of Zeus and Hades.

One of the Olympians to whom the division of everything was given in third: the Underworld for Hades; seas and oceans to Poseidon; everything else was to be Zeus’ dominion.

Our ancestors named Poseidon “Earth Shaker”. Legends related how he had fathered many of the Mythic Age’s heroes and monsters. Under contract to the King of Troy, he raised the impregnable walls of Troy city.

But that city, so Homer told, was opened up and destroyed.

The story of warlord Odysseus' journey home, and surviving of Poseidon is the subject of Homer's epic sequel: Odyssey.

Olympian God Poseidon Mythological references

Goddesses, Gods and You

What kind of Heaven do you expect. Soft fluffy paradise of eternity, or oblivion of nothingness? Out-of-body survival expert Margo Williams discovered a surprisingly simple system of management and afterlife recycling.

There are many goddesses and gods in the community. Speaking their name aloud evidently sends a signal; creates a link to wherever they are at any given moment. If it works for you as it worked for Margo, and they respond, be respectful but be yourself. Honesty and thoughtfulness are appreciated.

Sacrifice nothing but your time. Most of them seemed approachable and appreciated being remembered.

The ancient temples that still can be found in some places, although mostly broken, are huge monumental structures; impressive sacred spaces, their scale designed to impress, to be worthy of divine visitation.

However, it is not the size and splendour of any sacred space but the sincerity of the person seeking contact.

Photo image of Margo Williams in Africa
Margo Williams in Africa
"Is Poseidon Zeus and Hades' brother. CEO of earth's oceans?" Nick Hammond asked out-of-body survivalist Margo Williams.

Arrival and Appearance

"Poseidon didn’t ever confirm to me that Zeus and Hades are so closely related but in my opinion he shared with them a particular big presence and unpredictable ruthlessness. God Oceanus told me Poseidon is top management.

A sea green mist-light seeped in like a rising tide, to sounds of waves crashing onto shore. A figure formed, bare-chested to the waist, loin cloth waist to knee. White hair and beard; elderly but big, toned and muscular. A tough-looking god.

"It is good to be honoured," he said. Didn’t sound friendly. "Much mockery is made of me by those on liners." He pointed a giant forefinger down at me. "You have taken part in such nonsense."

True, I had. During my first crossing of the equator onboard ship bound for Cape Town, South Africa. The seafarer’s ritual of Neptune in which I took part was a joke that seemed now a dangerous mistake.

Nervous and fearful, instinctively I bowed.

"You have no need to fear me. You were young and ignorant, you are forgiven." He waved it away like water under a bridge. Turquoise eyes bright and knowing.

"Centuries ago, priests and priestesses worshipped us mighty ones; many of those mortals only performed these duties as a means of making a living."

He stared hard down at me. "Yet you give up much time each day, without any monetary gain, apart from the gifts the Gods offer you. We realise this is done for the love of us. You will never regret this."

He paused a moment. "You may experience things that frighten you when honouring me; yet I will never harm you." He reached his big hand toward me. "Come."

Temple of Poseidon. Sounion Greece.

We surfaced on a rocky shore. Poseidon heaved out of the water, thirty feet tall. I followed. High above us stood the ruins of a large temple, its columns and lintels grey white against clear blue sky.

The climb up from the beach was a cliff scramble over rocks; a steep incline to the plateau on which the temple stood. Each stride he shed a foot of height, by the time we reached the carcass building he stood only twice my size.

Despite what he said and that reduction in mass, I felt nervous in Poseidon's presence. A big intimidating god, like Zeus and Hades. He gestured to the building. "Ruined though it may be, this still is my temple."

It looked a ruin though not so bad as some I had seen in Greece and Italy. Its columns still supported a long run of impossibly heavy-looking lintels.

Nine tall columns remained of one side wall; half that number on the other. Its interior walling was gone, so too the columns either end.

Poseidon gestured for me to sit on the stone steps, facing the ocean. Even seated, he towered over me.

I recognised where we had arrived. The people who raised the building, so long ago, could not have chosen a better location for the temple of an ocean God.

Cape Sounion, the ancient temple of Poseidon near Athens, Greece. In the distance across the sea rose the heights of the Peloponnese, land of legend; ancient Sparta, Mycenae and Corinth.

Poseidon on What a God Can and Cannot Do?

"Some of the most beautiful buildings stood on these sites." Poseidon continued. "Mortals today build ugly ones."

We were not alone there, other people wandered around the site, cameras and guidebooks in hand. A variety of skin tones and characteristics; tourist visitors, a hundred or so, though none seemed aware of the big god in the building.

"When our temples are rebuilt they will be to our liking," he added. "All colours, pink, blue and green please the gods and goddesses. Never black or dark grey."

A young tourist couple stopped a few paces away, directly facing him. They clicked a picture which must have included Poseidon, but it didn’t seem to irritate him.

"Every temple is now returned to the rightful god or goddess once worshipped there. And we have taken over more," he added. "I now have many temples, all near the sea or a river."

Poseidon, the great Earth Shaker, seemed content to sit and gaze, and concede that some things in life are complicated. "I know you are making a journey across the sea. If I can make the crossing smooth I shall, yet it cannot always be as I wish it."

"It depends upon many things," he added, thoughtfully.

Two fishing boats chugged past Cape Sounion heading out to deeper water. Cargo ships and a cruiser liner came into view. The fishing boats occupied his interest.

He gestured. "I have spoken to some. Those who fish for a living are more difficult to convince of the wrong they do, but accidents to equipment help to cut it down."

He sighed. "Unfortunately greed, one of the most wicked of sins, is a disease mortals appear easily to catch."

Poseidon's What is and What is Not Permissible

I did experience things that frightened me during our time together. His tests were terrifying. Mostly shark hide and seek; man-eaters, singles or twos, sometimes more chasing me.

Yet as often as it was terrifying, swims with Poseidon were occasions of awesome beauty. Visiting corals and caves decorated with starfish and anemones. Kelp forests of vast size whose fronds were thick as trees.

And icebergs high as mountains. "There is beauty in the icy seas as well as in the tropical ones," he said, and rightly so but it was in the tropical seas we came to a coral city of starfish. "This creature is one of my favourites," he said.

Poseidon was fair about things mortals do, too.

We waded ashore on a white-sanded beach; lots of shells, clams, conch, abalones, all sorts of tropical varieties. A man in ragged shorts walked the tide-line carrying a sack, picking them up, unaware of being observed.

"This is permissible," said Poseidon. "This man makes his living selling the shells of dead sea creatures. No harm is done."

He had shown me the other way of doing it: divers in scuba gear scouring the ocean floor of living shell-fish. Bags strapped to waists they cut and pulled them off rocks and gouged them out of crevices.

"This is not permissible," Poseidon countered. "They do not even use the flesh for food. These mortals scoop out the flesh and sell the shells, taking life in a cruel way."

He responded where and when he could. He didn't flatten waves for an easy crossing but certainly was creatively tactical with sharks.

At present Poseidon is not fisherperson-friendly. Be warned.

Awareness of Problems

Another characteristic of Zeus and Hades, which may be common to any god or goddess, perhaps, was their awareness of all things at all times.

Poseidon was ruthless with those who took ocean life and caused pollution. Sometimes he told me his reasons for doing so.

Sometimes we arrived when ships were cleaning out their tanks. We surfaced beside one; lots of oil in the water. On the ocean floor below, huddled a cluster of silvered shells around a rock.

The oil spill covered them all with a thick coating of black.

"Many have stopped doing this, yet these have not." The clean done the vessel powered away; someone tossed a beer bottle overboard.

"They will regret this." The menace in Poseidon's threat was calm, assured and deadly to those individuals. But again not sufficient to prevent the problem there and then, so it seemed to me.

Poseidon genuinely needed to turn ships into rock, as Homer claimed he could in Odyssey, to enforce his protest. Gods are powerful but there are limits to their influence in our world. Different matter when we are in theirs.

Hidden Destruction

Kelp forests were places of great beauty despite the broken glass that littered the roots.

"The kelp provides a home for so many who live in the oceans," Poseidon said. And so it did; the forests were vibrant communities which was why torpedo explosions did such terrible damage.

Navy ships and submarine live-fire exercises caused hurricanes under the ocean with their explosives.

Forests were torn to pieces; billions of ocean-dwelling creatures lost.

Pollution angered him almost as much as that. Rubbish littered the Arctic and Antarctic, generally chemical dumping.

More aware than our world is, he stopped to watch a small dirty ship busy with men pushing drums overboard. "Waste chemicals from a factory on the shore. Within a few weeks those drums will have broken open and more sea life will be lost."

A clustered dozen yellow drums dumped on the ocean floor, two oozed green slime from a weak-soldered seam. One had burst wide open, fluid gushed out. Fish swam nearby, a young hammerhead shark among them.

All suffered as they passed through the liquid, floated belly-up to the surface.

Poseidon's Prophecy

Likewise Poseidon was powerless to help maltreated marine life in aquatic centres. His storms raged and thundered but that couldn’t help in rescuing them. Miserable-looking dolphins balancing balls.

"Atrocious places," was Poseidon’s opinion. "These graceful sea creatures are kept hungry so they will perform. From the smallest fish in captivity to the largest sea mammals, all should be free."

However, despite the destruction, Poseidon seemed aware of good as well as the bad.

"There are many mortals who now try to help the creatures of the oceans, those in trouble or captivity. Turtles, whales." He praised all the people, "Who go out of their way to help."

However, the very bad is unforgivable. Nuclear testing in ocean environment earned a special place in Poseidon’s “fates worse than Hell,” so he explained.

"Those responsible will come to us and will be given to the monsters. It will be far worse than being sent to the Lord of the Underworld, Hades."

That consequence is as nuclear as it gets. Ask anyone in the Underworld.

"Man is cruel, but we the Gods take revenge," Poseidon promised, and concluded with a prophecy. "In years to come ships will not use oil, neither will there be as many. This you have to know."

Thank you for your company on this short introduction to god Poseidon. If you would like to know more about Margo Williams' experiences and suggestions for how to survive in the hereafter, read this book. Now available from Amazon.

Book cover link to purchase Olympian Goddesses and Gods Coexistence
Olympian Goddesses and Gods Coexistence now available from Amazon.co.uk
Useful Links

National Ocean Service. What is a Kelp Forest