Frazer both explain Pasiphae's monstrous union as a sacred ceremony (iepos yap,os), at which the queen of Cnossus was wedded to a bull-formed god, just as the wife of the iip X wv lwnXein in Athens was wedded to Dionysus.
These were introduced as a " sacred explanation" (iEpos X6yos) of the rules and prescriptions.
This rape is supposed to point to an original iepos X6 os, an annual holy marriage of a god and goddess of vegetation.
The close relation of the two deities appears in a frequent community of altars and sacrifices, and also in the iepos yapos, a dramatic representation of their sacred marriage.
The details of the iepos yapos may have varied locally, but the main idea of the ritual was the same.
At Samos the iepos yapos was celebrated annually; the image of Hera was concealed on the sea-shore and solemnly discovered.
There is nothing in the Samian iepos yapos to suggest a marriage of heaven and earth, or of two vegetation-spirits; as Dr Farnell points out, the ritual appears to explain the custom of human nuptials.
There seems no reason to doubt that Eriugena is connected with Erin, the name for Ireland, and Ierugena suggests the Greek iEpos, lepos vivos being a common name for Ireland.
In the Eumenides of Aeschylus" the Erinyes are reproached in that by aiding Clytemnestra, who slew her husband, " they are dishonouring and bringing to naught the pledges of Zeus and Hera, the marriage-goddess "; and these were the divinities to whom sacrifice was offered before the wedding," and it may be that some kind of mimetic representation of the " Holy Marriage," the IEpos ydpos, of Zeus and Hera formed a part of the Attic nuptial ceremonies.'