he can fight with demons, monsters or gods
Let us briefly examine the mysteries of ancient Greece. We find thatthese are for the most part pre-Hellenic, and that the conqueredpopulations of the country adopted the mystic attitude in order toshroud their religious ceremonies from the eyes of the invaders. Nowthose early populations inherited a strong cultural influence fromEgypt. The most important of the mysteries was perhaps the Eleusinian,and we may take it as typical of the Greek religious mysteries as awhole. The chief figures in this mysterious cult were Demeter and Kore(or Persephone) and Pluto. Now these are all deities of the underworldand, like many other gods of Hades all the world over, they are alsodeities possessing an agricultural significance. Much remains uncertainregarding the actual ritual in the hall of the Mystæ, but one thingis certain, and that is that the ceremony was in the nature of areligious drama or Passion-play, in which were enacted the adventures ofDemeter and Kore, symbolic of the growth of the corn. Hippolytus alsostated that a cornstalk was shown to the worshippers at the Eleusinianmysteries. The whole mystery then resolved itself into symbolism of thegrowth of the crops. Exactly how the ceremonies in connexion with thiscame to have the appearance of those usually associated with a savagesecret society is not quite clear. The blackfellows of Australia andcertain North American Indian tribes possess societies and celebrationsalmost identical with that of Eleusis, but why they should be wrappedin such mystery it is difficult to understand. It has been statedthat the mystic setting of these cults arose in many cases from thedread of the under-world and the miasma which emanated therefrom, andwhich necessitated a ritual purification; but this does not seem atall explanatory. In the of Central America we find whatappear to be the doings of a secret society among the deities of theunderworld, some of whom are gods of growth.
Hero cults could be of the utmost political importance
Khepera is a deity of some importance, for he is called creator of thegods and father of the gods. He was also looked upon as a type of theresurrection, because of his symbolizing the ball enclosing livinggerms, and probably in a secondary sense, because the rising sun stepsas it were from the grave of night morning after morning with thegreatest certainty. The scarabs which were found on Egyptian mummiestypified this hope of resurrection, and have been found in Egyptiantombs as old as the time of the Fourth Dynasty.
This deity was especially connected with the great river whence Egyptdrew her sustenance, and as such was a god of very considerableimportance in the Egyptian pantheon. In time he became identified withOsiris. The name Hapi still baffles translation, and is probably ofpre-dynastic origin. Perhaps the first mention of this deity is in theText of Unas, where the Nile god is exhorted to fructify grain for therequirements of the dead monarch. In the same texts Hapi is alludedto as a destructive force, symbolizing, of course, the inundations sofrequently caused by the River Nile.