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►Greek Mythology: “Hephaestus”  /

“Collaboration with Holly Rene Hunter”:

“The Fall Of Hephaestus” by C. Van Poelenburg. 17th century.

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Hephaestus (Roman equivalent: Vulcan)  was the Greek god of fire, metal work, blacksmiths and craftsmen.

According to Homer’s  “Iliad”, Hephaestus was born of the union of Zeus and Hera. In another tradition, attested by Hesiod, Hera bore Hephaestus alone.

Hephaestus. Attic Red Figure. 430 – 420 BC.

Hesiod tells us in “Theogony”, that in order to get even with Zeus for solely bringing about the birth of Athena, Hera produced the child Hephaestus all on her own.

Though Hesiod’s version seems to be the one that is most commonly accepted among readers, its content greatly alters our understanding of the birth of Athena. The ancient texts unequivocally state that it was Hephaestus who released the goddess from the head of Zeus by cracking the god’s skull open with an axe.

After Hephaestus was born, Hera was anything but pleased with his appearance, so she threw him off of Mount Olympus and down to earth.

Luckily, baby Hephaestus splashed down into the sea where he was rescued by two daughters of Oceanus; Thetis and Eurynome.

An interesting point is that he was lame. In vase paintings, Hephaestus is usually shown lame and bent over his anvil, hard at work on a metal creation, and sometimes with his feet back-to-front.

Hephaestus Thetis at Kylix, Attica vase figure

He walked with the aid of a stick. In some myths, Hephaestus built himself a “wheeled chair” or chariot with which to move around, thus helping him overcome his lameness while demonstrating his skill to the other gods. The “Iliad”, says that Hephaestus built some bronze human machines in order to move around.

There are two interpretations which describe how Hephaestus lost full use of his legs. The most basic of the two theories simply states that he was born that way and that was the reason why Hera rejected him and chose to toss him into the sea.

Another myth has it that he once tried to protect his mother from Zeus’ advances and as a result, the Ruler of the Gods flung him down from Olympus, which caused his physical disability; he fell on the island of Lemnos where he became a master craftsman.

Archetypal psychology uses mythical and poetic modes of discourse to deepen our understanding of lived experience and behavior. The stories associated with the Greek god Hephaestus are among the earliest representations of disability.

Vulcan. Roman archaic relief from Herculaneum.

Bitter Hephaestus does not intend to stay hidden away in an underground cave forever. Anger toward his mother inspires him to seek revenge.

These “negative” emotions engender the courage that is necessary for the disabled outcast to claim his rightful place in the world.

The archetypal psychologist Murray Stein suggests that loosening the bonds of his mother frees an introverted Hephaestus from his own psychic entrapment and moves him forward in the process of individuation and personal development. Hence, in Hephaestus we find a character who is motivated by his anger to confront a world that has discarded him.

In an archaic story, Hephaestus gained revenge against Hera for rejecting him by making her a magical golden throne, which, when she sat on it, did not allow her to stand up. In another story, Hephaestus sent sandals as gifts to all the gods, but those he sent to his mother were made of immovable and unyielding adamantine. When she tried to walk she fell flat on her face as though her shoes were riveted to the floor. 

Seeing how events were happening, the other gods begged Hephaestus to return to Olympus to let her go, but he refused, saying “I have no mother”. At last, Dionysus fetched him, intoxicated him with wine, and took the subdued smith back to Olympus on the back of a mule accompanied by revelers—a scene that sometimes appears on painted pottery of Attica and of Corinth.

Amphora depicting Hephaistos polishing the shield of Achilles. 480 B.C.

Hephaestus crafted much of the magnificent equipment of the gods. He designed Hermes´ winged helmet and sandals, the Aegis breastplate, Aphrodite‘s famed girdle, Agamemnons staff of office, Achilles‘ armor, Heracles‘ bronze clappers, Helios‘ chariot and Eros bow and arrows.

There is a still a very relevant intervention of Hephaestus in a  well-known cosmogonic myth. It tell us that Zeus was angry at Prometheus, the Rebel Titan, for three things: being tricked by the sacrifices, stealing fire for man, and refusing to tell Zeus which of Zeus’s children would dethrone him. 

As punishment for these rebellious acts, Zeus ordered Hephaestus make a woman made of clay named Pandora. Zeus gave her a box and forbade her from opening it. Then he sent her down to earth, where her curiosity led her to open the lid. Out flew sorrow, mischief, and all other misfortunes that plagued humanity. In the famous story of Pandora’s box, we may learn how earthly hardship was born.

According to most versions, Hephaestus’s wife was Aphrodite, who was unfaithful to Hephaestus with a number of gods and mortals, including her brother Ares.

After he learned his wife had an affair with her brother, Ares, he devised a plan with which he humiliated both lovers.

Helios, the Sun God (later replaced by Apollo) was able to see most things during the day, as he drove his sun chariot across the sky. It was one of those days that Helios witnessed Aphrodite taking her lover in her bed, while Hephaestus was absent.

The Sun God easily recognised Ares. So, he told everything to Hephaestus.

Hephaestus decided to take revenge on the lovers. Thus using his wit and his crafting skills he fashioned an unbreakable net and trapped the two lovers while they were in bed. Hephaestus walked back to his bedchamber with a host of other gods to witness the disgraced pair. Only the male Olympians appeared, while the goddesses stayed in Olympus

Poseidon tried to persuade Hephaestus to release the adulterous pair. At first, Hephaestus refused the request, because he wanted to extract the most out of his revenge, but at the end he released his wife and her lover. Ares immediately fled to Thrace, while Aphrodite went to Paphos at the island of Cyprus.

In Renaissance literature, Hephaestus– as master of fire- is identified as the founder of the alchemical arts and its greatest practitioner. He is frequently portrayed as an evil and sinister figure because in turning base metals into gold he is imitating Nature and thus forging the Work of God. Alchemists believed that the story of the binding of Aphrodite and Ares in Hephaestus’ bed was an encoded recipe. Aphrodite represents copper, Ares represents iron and Hephaestus is the fire that is needed to facilitate an alchemical transformation. In the archetypal psychology literature, Aphrodite and Ares, Love and War, are always imagined as an inseparable “psychic conjunction”. As the alchemist-smith in our soul, it is Hephaestus who binds the two lovers together.

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►Links Post:
https://goo.gl/YZgWZn
https://goo.gl/9s76TL
https://goo.gl/CXVoVz
https://goo.gl/9SXlrG
https://goo.gl/xvg4ju

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“Vulcan” by Bertel Thorvaldsen,1861. Thorvaldsens Museum.

►Poem: “Hephaestus”, by Holly Rene Hunter:

Hera, you have cast me from the mount.

Shattering the sphere, salt lime stings my 

skin where I am abandoned to the sea as

less than weeds. 

My cries are the waves  that

flow from  seashell eyes into the

arms of Oceanus.

Aphrodite plucks me up,  a heron

biting my body  and harpooned legs

that break against the sea wall.

I have loosed the crown of  Athena,

split with my ax the fearsome bird of prey.

Impaled, his eyes are those of a  startled deer.

Seized by  fate  I have gathered my medium and

with my broken hands and feet I mold precious metals

into  creations for Gods.

Goblets for Dionysus,

for Aphrodite, the unfaithful,   a copper belt.

A chariot of human form for broken Hephaestus

that I might roam the world unfettered.

For Hera, a golden throne,

where she is bound to dwell forever.

©Holly Rene Hunter. 2017 .-

Holly Rene Hunter.

About Holly Rene Hunter. 

Holly Dixit: “I am Holly Rene Hunter writing at WordPress under the pseudonym Heartafire. I make my home in Florida.  I began writing as a child, an outlet for a wild imagination, my first poem  published was written at age eight and  included in  the Dade County Public Schools Book of Songs.  I am currently assisting with editing for authors whose first language is other than English.  On a personal note, I am a motorcycle enthusiast who loves to paint and write poetry.  If you are so inclined, you can find a sampling of my poetry at Bookrix.com free of charge or visit  my blog here.

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Book by Holly Rene Hunter. You can find a sampling of her poetry at Bookrix.com free of charge here: https://aheartafire.wordpress.com/.

Check out Holly´s Blog. https://aheartafire.wordpress.com/.

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the centaurs

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“Centaur and Cupid” by Gustave Moreau. 19th century.

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The Centaurs were a tribe of half man, half horse savages which inhabited the mountains and forests of Magnesia. 

Another tribe of Centaurs resided in the western Peloponnese where they came into conflict with the hero Heracles.

The centaurs were usually said to have been born of Ixion and Nephele (the cloud made in the image of Hera, Zeus‘ Wife):

Ixion fell in love with Hera and tried to rape her, and when Hera told Zeus about it, Zeus wanted to determine if her report was really true. So he fashioned a cloud (nephele) to look like Hera, and laid it by Ixion’s side. When Ixion bragged that he had slept with Hera, Zeus punished him by tying him to a wheel, on which he was turned by winds up in the air. The cloud bore Kentauros (Centaurus) from Ixion’s seed. [Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca E1. 20 C2nd A.D.)].~

In the  earliest accounts, the centaurs appear merely as a sort of gigantic, savage, or animal-like beings; whereas, in later writers, they are described as monsters, with the upper body of a man, from head to loins, set upon the body of a horse.

Sometimes, they had the facial feature of a man, at other times they were portrayed with the snub nose and pointed ears of a rustic Satyr.

It is probably owing to the resemblance between the nature of the centaurs and that of the satyrs, that the former were in later times drawn into the sphere of Dionysiac beings; but here they appear no longer as savage monsters, but as tamed by the power of the god.

They are described as leading a rude and savage life, occasionally carrying off the women of their neighbours, as covered with hair and ranging over their mountains like animals. 

The Centaurs are best known for their fight against their cousins, The Lapith tribe, a legendary people of Greeks, whose home was in Thesaly. This fight was caused by the Centaurs’ attempt attempt to carry off  Princess Hippodamia and the rest of the Lapith women on the day of Hippodamia’s marriage to Pirithous, king of  Lapithae.

Pirithous and his friend, Theseus, led the Lapiths to victory over the Centaurs in a battle known as Centauromachy.

The kentauros had come to the Lapithai’s country, and now with wine he clouded his understanding and in his frenzy did monstrous things in the very hall of Peirithoos. The heroes were seized with indignation; they leapt up, they dragged the kentauros across the courtyard and out of doors, they lopped off his ears and nose with the ruthless bronze, and the frenzied creature went his way, taking his retribution with him in his still darkened mind. From this beginning came the long feud between men and Kentauroi (Centaurs) [Homer, Odyssey 21. 293 ff (Greek epic C8th B.C.)].~

The centaur is incorporated into the Zodiac sign for Sagittarius, with the bow and arrow, whose symbolism could be understood as a shamanic reference to mystic or visionary travel.

Centaurs are the antithesis of the knight and the horseman. Instead of mastering or taming their instincts, the centaurs are ruled by them. The exception is the wise Centaur Chiron.

Chiron’s mother was the nymph Philyra who was coupling with Cronos when his wife suddenly appeared on the scene. To escape notice he transformed himself into a horse, and in this way sired a half-equine son.

Chiron’s physical appearance often differs somewhat from other centaurs, demonstrating his status and heritage. In traditional Greek representations of Chiron his front legs are human, rather than equine, this is in contrast to the traditional representation of centaurs,which have the entire lower body of a horse. This clearly sets Chiron apart from the other centaurs, making him easily identifiable.

Besides, centaurs were notorious for being wild and lusty, overly indulgent drinkers and carousers, given to violence when intoxicated. Chiron, by contrast Chiron was notable throughout Greek mythology for his youth-nurturing nature. 

Myths in the Olympian tradition attributed Chiron’s uniquely peaceful character and intelligence to teaching by Apollo and his sister Artemis.

Chiron would also teach Apollo’s son, Asclepius, and Achilles, the best fighter of the Greeks besieging Troy in the Trojan War.

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“Walking Ride”, by Franz von Stuck (1903).

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“Pallas and Centaur” by Sandro Botticell (1482).

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Gallery: “The Centaurs”:

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►Links Post:
http://www.ancient.eu/centaur/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centaur
http://www.theoi.com/Georgikos/KentauroiThessalioi.html
http://www.theoi.com/Georgikos/KentaurosKheiron.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippodamia_(wife_of_Pirithous)

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Click above to visit the blog / Click en el logo para ingresar al blog.~

Click above to visit the blog / Click en el logo para ingresar al blog.~

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►”My Audio Poem at La Poesía no Muerde”:

~”Tiempo Perpetuo”/ “Perpetual Time”. [July 14th, 2015].~

In this occasion, my poem “Perpetual Time” has been featured at “La Poesía no Muerde”. I both wrote and read the poem. The video poem was created by Hélène Laurent. Check out the original post here.

En este caso, mi poema “Tiempo Perpetuo” ha sido publicado en “La Poesía no Muerde”. Se trata de un poema con audio, leído y escrito por mí. El video fue creado por Hélène Laurent. Consultar el post orginal aquí.

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►La Poesía no Muerde~Audio Poem ~

“Tiempo Perpetuo”  / “Perpetual Time” 

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~Perpetual Time~
 
And now …
Where do our memories remain,
those dark splendors?
These barren wastelands were springs
and blue rains,
fruitful outdoors;
Now just grooves of Time … 
~~~  
Cracks of your footsteps.
Surreptitious hollows and shadows.
Unrelenting water flows,
like a river of time.
~~~ 
From a subterraneous mirror drops gurgling.
Your hand exchanging movements,
trapping me inside the storm that precedes any drought.
An hourglass, greedy, thirsty. 
 ~~~ 
And a thousand ships crossing the Lethe,
the salty river of forgetfulness .
Thirst and desire, outsider lighthouses.
All memory is dryness,
vague journey  from Present to Past. 
~~~ 
 Echo, repetition
[Echo] …
dissolved into nothing.
Your summer fertility
turns against me.
~~~
Crater of fire.
Unattainable …
Wind setback,
disintegrating summer abysses  
Beaches devastated by your flames
like a cup filled with ashes.
Legacy of a temporary fold …
Lost constellations.
—–
guarda01
© Amalia Pedemonte. 2015.~

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►Last but not Least: “Three Awards”:

I would like to thank  bloggers from 4 Years Old Adult, The Wall Gallery Blog and Ser un Ser de Luz for nominating my blog for a Brotherhood Award, a Creative Blogger Award and a Bor Litarcihis Award, respectively.

I suggest you to check out these blogs and follow them, if you haven’t still done so…

•Rules for the Brotherhood Award and Creative Blogger Award: ♠Thank the person who nominated you. ♠Add the logo to your post. ♠Nominate ten (10) bloggers of your choice and tell them about the nomination. 

•Notes:

-As always I am not answering questions. Hence, I will just nominate ten bloggers per award.

-If you have been nominated and want to follow the Nomination Process, just click on the award for which you have been nominated for. That way you’ll be able to grab in regular size!.~🍃 🍃🍃 ~

I. Nominees for the Brotherhood Award: 1. Mind Love Misery 2. Henry West 3. Truels 4 . BerlinArt2 5. Round World and Me 6. The Reading Bud 7. The Wall Gallery Blog 8. Ser un Ser de Luz 9. Kintal 10. Aqua Compass 7.

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II. Nominees for the Creative Blogger Award: 1. Tuesdays with Laurie 2. Voices from the Margins 3. Renne Johnson Writes 4 . Upchucking Words 5. Fiesta Estrella 6. Close to Eighty 7. Friendly Fairy Tales 8. Mieux Vivre Jardin 9. 4 Year Old Adult 10. Implied Spaces.

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III. Nominees for the Bor Litarcihis Award: I will follow Silvia´s rules in this case. And I will leave this Award open to all bloggers who want to pick it up and pass it on to other bloggers. 

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►Bonustrack. Some recent Photographs ….

Selfies and Evening Views. Buenos Aires

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