In the summer of 2016, the CERN tunnel in Switzerland was opened with a strange ritual involving nymphs and satyrs.
I have written on this blog before about the relationship between satyrs and the image of the devil. I also have written about the esoteric reading of classical myth, that is, in addition to a moral reading as well as a delight in the story of a myth, there is also a hidden meaning in many classical myths tied to theurgic magic.
Well, the CERN ritual popped into my mind when I read the following description of Catherine de Medici’s festive rituals following the signing of the Edict of Amboise in 1563, which brought a temporary truce to the fightings between Catholic and Huguenots in France. James Clough describes this ritual as including “Troops of ladies and gentleman, disguised as nymphs and satyrs” who roamed “the woods and meadows of the estate, gayly re-enacting the legends of ancient Greece.”
As I have suggested, it is my view that the underline esoteric reading of the satyr-nymph trope as well as the other bizarre contacts between gods, animals, and humans in classical myth is sex magic and some early transgressive ritual.
As a side note, the ur-story behind the Robin Hood and Maid Marion tale is an echo of this ritual in Celtic myth.
Why would a Medici Christian queen have a mock pagan ritual to celebrate an edict of religious tolerance?
Was this a reference to the Golden Age being restored?
Why was this same ritual performed at CERN?
Do physicists spend their time practicing the occult and reading classical myth when they are not running particle accelerators?