Posts Tagged ‘Aphrodite’

 “Athena, Goddess of Knowledge” /

“Athena, Art Gown by Resa McConaghy”🦉:

Athena. Art Gown by Resa McConaghy©2018.

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This is another post on the series of Tarot, featuring Resa McConaghy´s excellent gown “Athena”

To recapitulate: in previous posts, I have digged into Tarot: Major and Minor Arcana. Furthermore, in the last post, also written in collaboration with Resa, we´ve analyzed how certain Tarot cards  somehow define “archetypes”, and could, therefore, be related to The Hero´s Journey and Mythology.

In this new post, I´ll present Resa´s majestic gown “Athena”.

Before that, I ´ll introduce some facts and information concerning Athena, the Greek Goddess of Wisdom. 

Then comes Resa´s gown. By then, we´ll see how some symbolic details she has chosen could be associated with Mythology, Tarot and Astrology. 

Finally, aside from Athena and to conclude, I wanted to spotlight some sketches that Resa did, based on Goddess Mnemosyne and Artemis.

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►About Resa McConaghy:

Resa is a Canadian artist, costume designer and author.
She hosts two blogs: Graffiti Lux and Murals and Art Gowns.
You can find her version of this post here. Furthermore, Resa has written a book, “Nine Black Lives”, available on Amazon. Find Resa on Twitter, too!.
(Disclaimer: All gown and sketches photographs were taken by Resa and/or featured on her blog Art Gowns © Resa McConaghy. 2018).

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I. Greek Goddess Athena:

Athens – Pallas Athena Statue at Athens University.

Athena (Roman equivalent: Minerva) was born from Zeus after he experienced an awful headache and she sprang fully grown and in armour from his forehead. She has no mother but one of the most commonly cited stories is that Zeus lay with Metis, the goddess of crafty thought and wisdom, and then swallowed her whole as he feared she will give birth to a child more powerful than him because of a prophecy… But Metis had already conceived.

Athena was the Goddess of Wisdom and knowledge. Besides, she was the Goddess of War, the female counterpart of Ares. Athena’s moral and military superiority to Ares derived in part from the fact that she represented the intellectual and civilized side of war and the virtues of justice and skill, whereas Ares represented mere blood lust. 

Athena symbolizes the feminine content that is oriented toward the masculine and particularly helpful to it. Taken as an inner principle, an aspect of a man’s psyche, she represents the feminine figure of wisdom, “Sophia“. 

In fact, Athena gravitates toward men in power to learn from them, adopting them as mentors and partners on her own climb to success. She will go so far as to defend them against accusations of misogyny. 

Athena didn’t even often acknowledge the existence of her mother, Metis, as she was born from Zeus´ head. 

As for defending men, that’s basically what happened in the myth of Arachne.
Arachne challenged Athena to a weaving contest, then she wove a brilliant tapestry that happened to depict Zeus as a promiscuous adulterer. 
Athena turned Arachne into a spider.

Interestingly, she didn’t punish Arachne for challenging her to the contest, or for doing a great job. She punished Arachne for having depicted Zeus, Athena’s beloved, respected father, in a bad light.

In the same direction, Jean Bolen feels Athena is very much a supporter of the social/political status quo, as evidenced by her vote to acquit Orestes in the murder of his mother Clytemnestra.

Known for protecting civilized life, Athena was the Goddess of the City of Athens. Her most important festival was the Panathenaea, which was celebrated annually at Athens.

She helped Perseus slay the Gorgon Medusa. Athena assisted Jason and the Argonauts build their ship before they set out to capture the golden fleece. She looked after Achilles during the Trojan War, and later aided Odysseus on his journey home.

Athena was also a  patron of the arts and crafts, especially when it came to spinning and weaving. In fact, there is a myth tells that she turned the weaver Arachne into a spider after the mortal woman insulted Athena and the Olympian gods.

Athena was essentially urban and civilized, the antithesis in many respects of Artemis, goddess of wild animals, the hunt, and vegetation.

She was usually portrayed wearing body armour and a helmet and carrying a shield and a lance.

Besides, she was said to be the creator of the olive tree, the greatest blessing of Attica. She was associated with birds, particularly the owl, which became famous as the city’s own symbol, and with the snake. 

Jean Bolen groups Athena among the “Virgin Goddesses,” along with Artemis and Hestia

She was also part of the Judgement of Paris, in which she competed with Hera and Aphrodite for the prize of the Golden Apple.

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 II. a) Athena, Gown by Resa McConaghy:

This gown is absolutely beautiful!. Athena, as a Graffiti Goddess  is, in my opinion one of Resa´s most original and creative gown. 

Resa included many symbols from Tarot, Astrology and Mythology, which she painted on the fabric.

As the paint had made the satin heavier and altered the drape, she added a petticoat. 

She included a blue spandex bodice and basted pleats into a strip of the satin. She picked out the basting and draped her “armor” over the spandex… And voilà: Such a Masterpiece!…  🌟💫

II. b) Athena, Gown by Resa McConaghy: 

Details and Symbolism:

Many emblematic figures are included in this gown. These symbols, coming from Mythology, Astrology and Tarot are also closely related to Athena. Let´s take a closer look at them…

 
I. Leo♌:
Resa is Leo!. The zodiac sign Leo is indicatese a Lion. While its glyph appears as the head and tail of a Lion, it also represents the Greek letter “lambda,” which is the first letter in the word “Leon,” meaning Lion. 

Leo´s element is fire. The respective date range: July 23 – August 22.

The Tarot card for Leo in Major Arcana is Strength (VIII). This card in the upright position means strength and power. Refusing to get angry, maintaining composure. Caring about others, compassion. Forgiveness. Persuasion, being able to influence.

 

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II: Libra♎:
Libra was included because is a sign related to Justice, and hence to Athena, as a Goddess of wise counsel and civilization. The sign Libra is represented by the Scales.
They represent the idea of balance and imbalance, and Libra is on a lifelong quest for perfect balance and moderation.
Venus, the planet of love, casts her sensual powers of persuasion and charm on Libra.
The zodiac sign Libra gets its firm mind and morals from the element of Air. Air is the element of intellect and clarity, and Libra leans on these strengths on her quest toward justice and equilibrium. The respective date range for Libra is: September 23 – October 22.
The Tarot card for Libra in Major Arcana is Justice (XI). This card, in the upright position means: Fairness, justice. Honesty and responsibility. Acknowledging the truth and accepting the consequences of your actions.
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III. Scorpio♏:
I am Scorpio. The zodiac sign Scorpio equals the Scorpion, and its glyph depicts the sharp stinger of the Scorpion in its pointed arrow. Much like Scorpio, the Scorpion’s natural weaponry allows it to survive and thrive alone in dark or uncomfortable situations.
The planet Pluto harnesses its powerful and persuasive side as it rules over the zodiac sign Scorpio. The element of Water flows consistently and powerfully through the zodiac sign Scorpio. The date range for Scorpio is: October 23 – November 21.
The Major Arcana card for Scorpio is the Death card (XIII ) This card emphasizes the sign’s connection to the transformative cycle of life. This Tarot card uses death in a figurative sense, representing endings of all forms. Scorpio utilizes this concept of impermanence to continually grow, often killing off the ventures, activities, or relationships in its life that no longer serve them to make room for something new.
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IV. Pisces♓:
The symbol for the sign of Pisces reminds us of two scales and balance, features linked with Athena.
The zodiac sign Pisces is embodied by two Fishes, and its glyph represents an image of these Fishes, linked together. They are a representation of Pisces’ ability to exist simultaneously in both a conscious and subconscious world.
Neptune rules over the zodiac sign Pisces. The element of Water flows through Pisces as a wave of devoted empathy and intuition.
The date range for Pisces is:  February 19 – March 20. 
The Major Arcana card for Pisces is the Moon (XVIII). This card, in the upright position suggests illusion, fear, anxiety. It may entail deception and losing direction.
 
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V. Venus/Woman Symbol♀:
Athena as a virgin, warrior Goddess is one of the most powerful Greek Goddesses. That´s why Resa chose this symbol, associated with Femininity with Goddess Venus/Aphrodite. Venus was the Roman equivalent of Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love. The symbol is often considered to represent a bronze mirror with a handle or a distaff.
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VI. Infinity♾: 
Eight (8) is the Number of the perfection, the infinity. In mathematics the symbol of the infinity is represented by a 8 laid down. It presumably evolved from the Etruscan numeral for 1000, which looked like this: CIƆ. There is another theory that he actually derived the infinity symbol from omega (ω), the last letter of the Greek alphabet. 
The ouroboros symbol, showing a snake twisted into a horizontal figure eight (8) and biting its own tail, is also said to be a most plausible basis for the infinity symbol because it is a fitting depiction of endlessness. Worth noting that the snake was one of the mos important symbols associated with Athena. The snake’s well-known ability to shed its skin and emerge, apparently reborn, gave rise to an association with rebirth, hence with Athena. 
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VII. Star🌟:
The Star Symbolizes: Inspiration, Imagination, Wonder, Dreams, Pursuits, Magic (, Creative Brilliance, and Divine Guidance. These traits are characteristic of Goddess Athena. In Major Arcana, card XVII is precisely The Star. This card is related to the astrological sign of Aquarius. It entails illumination, guidance and renewal and  suggests nourishment and hope. 
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VIII. Queen of Wands and Queen of Swords 👑 🥖 & 👑⚔:
These two Queens could be linked to Athena, as far as determination, strength, rationality and independence are concerned.
⇒Queens of Wands: This card in the upright position means: Exuberance, warmth, vibrancy, determination. Description of the card: The Queen sits upon her throne that is decorated with lions facing opposing direction, a symbol of fire and strength. In her left hand and behind her are sunflowers, symbolising life, fertility, joy and satisfaction. In her right hand is a wand which is beginning to blossom with life. In these positive aspects, the Queen of Wands represents fidelity, warmth, and sustenance. However, at her feet is a black cat, a symbol of the darker, lesser known side of this Queen. Black cats are typically associated with magic and occultism.
 
⇒Queen of Swords: This Minor Arcana card in the upright position means: Quick thinker, organised, perceptive, independent. Description of the card: The Queen of Swords sits high on her throne. In her right hand, she holds a sword pointed to the sky, and her left hand extends as if she has something to offer to others. The sky is clear, representing her clarity of mind as she considers matters of the intellect. The bird above her head symbolises the mind’s ability to soar above daily issues in order to arrive at appropriate solutions.
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IX. Nine of Pentacles 9⃣🔱:
In Tarot, this is a card of Victory, that can not go unnoticed if we think of Athena. This Minor Arcana card in the upright position means: Gratitude, luxury, self-sufficiency, culmination.
Description of the card: The Nine of Pentacles shows a woman walking in the midst of a vineyard. A falcon sits calmly on her left hand. Far in the background is a large house, presumably belonging to the woman herself. There is a general sense of peace, satisfaction, and the fulfilment of a creative venture or personal investment as the result of one’s own efforts.
 
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X. Owl🦉:
Athena Held owls as sacred. In Ancient Greece, owls were associated with wisdom, intuition and prophecy. As a spirit animal, the owl guides us to see beyond the veil of deception and illusion; it helps see what’s kept hidden. It is a strong spirit guide for discernment and making decision based solid foundations.
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XI. Third Eye👁‍🗨:
The third eye is a mystical and esoteric concept of an invisible eye which provides perception beyond ordinary sigh. The third eye is often associated with religious visions, clairvoyance, the ability to observe auras, premonition, and out-of-body experiences. These traits are clearly related to Goddess Athena. 
In ancient Egypt, the all-seeing eye was known as the Eye of Horus or the Eye of Ra. Through various myths they were symbols of protection, healing and restoration.
According to the hindi tradition, The third eye chakra is the sixth chakra, also known as the eye of Shiva. Located on the forehead, between the eyebrows, it is the center of intuition and foresight. The function of the third eye chakra is driven by the principle of openness and imagination.
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III. Sketches by Resa McConaghy:

Mnemosyne and Artemis:

Resa really masters drawing!…  Check out these sketches, featured on her blog Art Gowns. Simply stunning!. She used me as a “Muse” to sketch the Goddess Art Gowns we had done posts on. 🤗 
My heartfelt thanks to Resa for the  sketches. And, above, all for being an inspiration, with her inexhaustible talent, intelligence and versatility. ✨
Make sure to follow Resa´s blogs: Graffiti Lux and Murals and Art Gowns.

Art Gowns: http://artgowns.com/ Graffiti Lux and Murals: http://graffitiluxandmurals.com/

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Links Post:
https://artgowns.com/2018/05/27/⭐-athena-⭐-graffiti-goddess/
https://artgowns.com/2018/02/28/art-gowns-art/
http://mythraeum.com/the-athena-archetype
https://owlcation.com/humanities/The-Greek-Goddess-Athena
https://greekgodsandgoddesses.net/goddesses/athena/
http://www.spiritanimal.info/owl-spirit-animal/

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► “Tarot and Archetypes” /

“Collaboration with Resa McConaghy” 💢:

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Introduction:

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time”.-
(T. S. Eliot. “Four Quartets”: Little Gidding).

This is the third post of a series on Tarot (See these two previous posts: Tarot: “Most Relevant Generalities / Major Arcana” and Tarot: “Minor Arcana”).

The following post was written in collaboration with my friend Resa McConaghy, from Graffiti Lux and Murals and Art Gowns. (See brief bio below).

Here, we´ll analyze how certain cards from both Major and Minor Arcana are “archetypes”, and could therefore be related to Greek Mythology. Our pivotal benchmark, as expected,  will be the Rider-Waite tarot deck.

We´ll then see how examples of Street Art (Murals and Graffiti) could have equivalents in certain Tarot Cards. We could say that such Symbolic images appear once and over  again as expressions of a common collective unconscious. We´ll talk further about this.

We´ll finally dig further into the Major Arcana and the so-called “Journey of The Fool”, which is a graphic expression of Joseph Campbell´s Hero´s Journey,  as it appears in his book “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”. 

Although there is not such scheme in the Minor Arcana, we can also find certain schemes, involving recurrent narrative sequences. These archetypical patterns provide Minor Arcana with a sort of recurrent cyclic structure, as it happens with the “Journey of the Fool”.

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About Resa McConaghy:

Resa is a canadian artist, costume designer and author. 
She hosts two blogs: Graffiti Lux and Murals and Art Gowns.
You can find her version of this post here. Furthermore, Resa has written a book, “Nine Black Lives, available on Amazon. Find Resa on Twitter, too!. 
(Disclaimer: All murals photographs were taken by Resa and/or featured on her blog Graffiti Lux and Murals. © Resa McConaghy. 2018). 

Check out Resa´s Blogs: •Art Gowns: http://artgowns.com/ •Graffiti Lux and Murals: http://graffitiluxandmurals.com/

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I. ►Tarot and Greek Mythology:

A. ►Major Arcana: The Magician:

The Magician is associated with the planet, Mercury and carries with it skill, logic, and intellect. The number of the Magician is one (1), the number of beginnings. The Magician is a psychopomp, a bridge between worlds: the World of the Living and the Underworld, a guide of souls.

In the Marseille French deck this character is called Le Bateleur, “the mountebank” and he is a practitioner of stage magic. 

In the Marseille deck, the table  has a square top and three legs. This is because the card represents, among many things, the Great Pyramid of Giza, in EgyptThe Pyramid has sides of three and a base of four. The Magician’s table has three legs and square top. The letter associated with the card is “B,” known in Hebrew as Beth. This term means “house” and connotes the “House of God.” In Egypt, the Pyramid was considered the House of God.

Infinity symbol.

The curves of the magician’s hat brim in the Marseilles image are similar to the esoteric deck’s mathematical sign of infinity (as we see in the Rider Waite deck). 

In the Rider Waite deck, this symbol also appears in the Strenght card, as well. 

Similarly, other symbols were added in the Rider Waite deck. The essentials are that the magician has set up a temporary table outdoors, to display items that represent the suits of the Minor Arcana: Cups, Coins, Swords. As to the fourth, the Wand, he holds it in his hands. These four suits represent the four elements. Water, Earth, Air and Fire, respectively.

The Magician. Table (Left: Rider Waite. Right: Marseille).

In the Magician’s right hand is a wand raised toward heaven, the sky or the element æther, while his left hand is pointing to the earth. This iconographic gesture has multiple meanings, but is endemic to the Mysteries and symbolizes divine immanence, the ability of the magician to bridge the gap between heaven and earth. The Magician’s robe is white, symbolising the purity and innocence found in the Fool but his cloak is red, representing worldly experience and knowledge. He is surrounded by flowers, symbol of fertility and possibilities.

This card entails feeling centered and committed and being creative. Reversed, the Magician can indicate greed, deceit, manipulation and using one’s skill for negative ends. It can reflect trickery and cunning and mental confusion. Plus, the Magician reversed often suggests that you may be out of touch with reality and struggling to bring yourself back down to earth.

 

The Magician reminds us of Hermes, the Messenger of Gods. Hermes had several attributes and represented many things. Hermes was the Olympian god of herds and flocks, travellers and hospitality, roads and trade, thievery and cunning, heralds and diplomacy, astronomy and astrology. Besides, he was the herald and personal messenger of Zeus. He was also a god of science and wisdom, art, speech, eloquence. And, most importantly: “the God of Writing”.

Hermes´ equivalents were: In Roman Mythology: Mercury. In Norse Mythology, Odin and for the Egyptians, Thoth (also known as Theuth). Hermes Trismegistus could be a representation of the syncretic combination of the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth. Hermes, the Greek god of interpretive communication, was combined with Thoth, the Egyptian god of wisdom, to become the patron of astrology and alchemy. In addition, both gods were psychopomps, who guided Souls into the Afterlife.

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B. Major Arcana: The High Priestess:

In the 18th century Marseilles Tarot, this figure is crowned with the Papal tiara and labelled La Papesse, the Popess, a possible reference to the legend of Pope Joan. 

In the creation of the Rider-Waite tarot deck this card changed into The High Priestess, who appears sitting between the pillars of Boaz and Jachin (which has a particular meaning to Freemasonry).

Other variants that came after Rider-Waite are the Virgin Mary, Isis, the metaphorical Bride of Christ or Holy Mother Church.

In the The Rider Waite deck, the High Priestess is majorly associated with Persephone, Isis, and Artemis (previously: Selene).

Selene is the Greek Goddess of the Moon. She is the daughter of the Titans Hyperion and Theia. Besides, Selene is sister of the Sun-God Helios, and Eos, Goddess of the Dawn. In classical times, Selene was often identified with the Goddess of Hunting, Artemis, much as her brother (Helios), was identified with Apollo.

 

In the Rider Waite deck, the High Priestess sits at the gate before the great Mystery, as indicated by the Tree of Life in the background. She sits between the darkness and the light, represented by the pillars of Solomon’s temple, which suggests it is she who is the mediator of the passage into the depth of reality. The tapestry hung between the pillars keeps the casual onlookers out and allows only those initiated to enter.

The pomegranates on the tapestry are sacred to Persephone. They are a symbol of duty (because Persephone ate a pomegranate seed in the underworld which forced her to return every year).

The blue robe the Priestess is wearing is a symbol of knowledge.

She is also wearing a crown, symbolising the Triple Goddess.

The phases of the moon (Triple Goddess Moon).

The High Priestess is associated with the Moon. Like The High Priestess, the Moon is also feminine so it symbolises fertility, hormonal influences and the mysterious side of femininity.

As mentioned above, Selene and Artemis were Greek Goddesses related to the Moon as well.

The solar cross on her breast is a symbol of balance between male and female.

In her lap, she holds the half-revealed and half-concealed Torah, representative of the esoteric teachings and higher knowledge. The moon under her left foot shows her dominion over pure intuition. The palm indicates fertility of the mind and the cube on which she sits is the earth. The planet associated with the High Priestess is the Moon.

High Priestess. Rider Waite deck. Details: Pomegranate and Moon.

The High Priestess could also be identified with the Shekhinah, the female indwelling presence of the divine. She wears plain blue robes and sits with her hands in her lap.

She has a lunar crescent at her feet, a horned diadem on her head, with a globe in the middle place, similar to the crown of the ancient Egyptian goddess Hathor.

The scroll in her hands, partly covered by her mantle, bears the letters TORA (meaning “divine law”, for the jewish tradition). The High Priestess  conceals the last letter, “H”, beneath her cloak. The Torah contains Jewish laws in the form of the five books of Moses. Great spiritual knowledge and wisdom is to be found within the Torah. The fact that part of the name is hidden indicates mystery and concealment.

The High Priestess is a card of mystery, stillness and passivity.  This is not a time for action of moving forward.  Instead The High Priestess suggests that at present you should retreat from your situation. When The High Priestess shows up Reversed, it suggests inability to find your inner voice or to look beyond.

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C. Major Arcana: The Chariot: 

In the Rider Waite version, there is a chariot standing in the middle and two sphinxes are at the bottom, on both sides.

The sphinxes´colors are reversed, pretty much like a Yin-Yang symbol. (See image 3).

The sphinxes highlight the idea of standing still. The man doesn´t move forward. And yet, there is a probable good outcome.

1.

2.

The sky is yellow representing hopes and prospect.

The stars on the curtain and the Sun in his forehead also stands for hope and trust.  He seems to follow his own intuition and light… His own star. (See image 1, above).

The latter is a recurrent symbol in the tarot deck, as we can see in the Hermit card (See image 1, below) and the Star card (See image 2).

This card represents power, and also it emphasizes the importance of balance within oneself.

3.

The driver has a Sun on his head. We can see rising and falling moons close to his neck. 

The complementary nature of these two opposite forces tend to echo the sphinxes … pointing out to Balance. 

The little red top below the wings ad in the middle of the chariot represents Lingam and Yoni, which entails the connection of two extremes (the “Golden mean”).

The card represents Victory, reaching goals. It entails self-control, balance and discipline. If the card is reversed, it means lack of determination or focus, low self-esteem, defeat or confusion.

This card can be related to Plato´s allegory of the Chariot, as it appears in his dialogue “Phaedrus”.

As he tries to explain the tripartite nature of the Soul, Plato uses an allegory.

He says that a chariot (representing the Soul) is pulled by two-winged horses, one black and mortal; and the other white and immortal.

The black mortal horse is obstinate and wild. The immortal, white horse, on the other hand, is noble, and a lover of honor and modesty and temperance.

In the driver’s seat is the charioteer. His destination is the ridge of heaven, beyond which he may behold the Forms, the absolute Knowledge.  This is a very turbulent ride, as the horses are led by opposite forces. The rider needs to keep the horse in balance. He represents the rational part of the Soul. The Black horse represents man’s appetites, meaning the part of the Soul linked with instincts. The white horse represents man’s spirit, the spirited part of the soul which seeks honor and victory.

This allegory highlights the importance of balance, integration and self-control. The two horses and the charioteer totally echo the characters on the Chariot card. Instead of horses, there are sphinxes, though. But the general meaning is strikingly similar.

The Chariot card also remind us of Helios (later on Apollo), the God and personification of the Sun in Greek mythology. Helios was  portrayed as a mighty charioteer, driving his flaming chariot (or gleaming horses) from east to west across the sky each day. 

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D. Minor Arcana: Three of Cups:

The Three of Cups is a card of celebration and accomplishment. Three young maidens dance in a circle with their golden goblets upraised in a toast of joy. Their arms reach out to each other and they connect through their emotions and their friendship with one another. The ground is covered with fruit and there is a general sense of abundance and happiness. Each woman in the Three of Cups has a laurel wreath on her head. Wreaths of this type have long been a symbol of victory and success.


At the women’s feet lie various flowers, symbolising joy, beauty.

The Three of Cups represents celebration, festivity and socializing. More broadly, the Three of Cups indicates the end or conclusion of any problems you have been experiencing, particularly those that relate to your interactions with others.

When the Three of Cups reverses it can suggest lack of emotional growth, losing touch with friends, over-indulgence, and gossiping.

This card seems to epitomize the Ancient Greek Charites (also known as “Three Graces”).

The Charites were reputed to be the essence of beauty, charm and grace. They were associated with the Nine Muses, who presided and inspired arts and sciences.

The Charites were three goddesses, who were sisters between them. From youngest to oldest: Aglaea (“Splendor”), Euphrosyne (“Mirth”), and Thalia (“Good Cheer”). Frequently, the Graces were taken as goddesses of charm or beauty in general and hence were associated with Aphrodite, the goddess of love.

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E. Minor Arcana: Nine of Swords:

The Nine of Swords shows a woman with her head in her hands, sitting up in her bed. She appears to have just woken up from a bad nightmare, and is obviously upset, fearful and anxious following her dream.

Nine swords hang on the wall behind her. The base of the bed is decorated with a carving of a duel in which one person is being defeated by another. All those Swords are weighing heavily on her as she sits in bed. These are all the Swords she has accumulated on her journey. The Figure in the Nine looks in despair and bereft of any logical thinking. She is in a terrible state of sorrow and feels she cannot share her problems or express them properly. 

The Nine of Swords is the card of fear and nightmares. However, the troubles alluded to in the Nine of Swords are primarily of a psychological nature and do not necessarily indicate suffering in your external reality. That is, it is what is inside your mind that is creating the fear and anxiety. The dreadful worry associated with the Nine of Swords may also come guilt, shame or your conscience eating you up. On the other hand, it may be you who is the victim.  

Reversed, the Nine of Swords indicates that you are working yourself up and becoming incredibly stressed and anxious when, really, this does not have to be a complicated issue. It is also possible that you have already worked through this period of worry and depression and are beginning to make a recovery.

The Nine of Swords somehow reminds us of the Erinyes (or Furies). According to the Greek poet Hesiod, they were the daughters of Gaia (Earth) and sprang from the blood of her mutilated spouse Uranus.

The Erinyes were mainly goddesses of vengeance.  They could be either the angry goddesses, or the goddesses who hunt up or search after the criminal. Hence they were associated with punishments, mainly in the shape of remorse, shame, regret, sorrow and guilty feelings. The wrath of the Erinyes could lead to disease, illness and dearth. This is mostly what happens in Aeschylus’ “Oresteia”. Euripides was the first to speak of them as three in number. Later authors named them Allecto (“Unceasing in Anger”), Tisiphone (“Avenger of Murder”), and Megaera (“Jealous”). They were depicted as ugly, winged women with hair, arms and waists entwined with serpents.

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II. ►Tarot and Graffiti:

According to Carl Jung, myth making is an inherent part of the unconscious psyche.  Myths typically have a number of rituals associated with it and secondary elaborations and expressions. Art is an example.

How about Street Art?. Well… Street art is usually created as a means to convey a message connected to artistic, political and social ideas.  In any case, Street Art could reveal and express archetypes. 

Archetypes consist of the mental representations of certain motifs that may vary a great deal in detail without losing their basic pattern. These archetypes manifest themselves in the form of symbolic images that appear throughout the world as expressions of a common collective unconscious. 

Tarot embodies archetypes behind which lie similar archetypical meanings. And the same applies to certain graffiti or murals. So let´s see how Tarot and Street Art get juxtaposed in an artistic way.

Resa McConaghy presents us some murals from her great blog “Graffiti Lux and Murals”, illustrating the theme of the Tarot. Let´s take a look…

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III. The Journey of The Fool in The Major Arcana:

Joseph Campbell explores the theory that important myths from around the world which have survived for thousands of years  all share a fundamental structure which he calls the Monomyth.
In laying out the Monomyth, Campbell describes a number of stages along this journey.
The hero starts in the Ordinary World and receives a call to enter an unusual world. The hero ventures forth from a familiar world into strange and sometimes threatening lands.
If the hero accepts the call, he might have to face tasks and trials, alone or he could have assistance.
At its most intense, the hero must survive a severe challenge, often with the help earned along the journey. They may achieve a great gift or Boon which most times results in the discovery of self-knowledge.
The hero must then decide whether to return with this boon, often facing challenges on the return journey as well. If he is succesful in returning the ordinary world these  gifts may be used to improve the world. 
Campbell proposed we view this as symbolic of the individual’s departure from their conscious personality, into the unexplored regions of their unconscious in search of the “ultimate boon”,  the unrealized potentials hidden within.

Campbell´s scheme echoes the Journey of the Fool, as displayed in The Major Arcana. 

People interpret the Journey of the Fool in various ways. It represents the process of the life cycle (childhood to middle age to old age). More often it is used to illustrate the process of spiritual development of the individual.

Following the Major Arcana´s cards and stages, people begin in a state of innocent ignorance represented by the Fool (card 0),  as he begins the journey, and pass into a final state of enlightenment reflected by the World (card XXI)After the World (perhaps paradoxically, maybe logically), comes the Fool again, as in many versions one is thought to be beginning the journey again, simply at another stage of knowledge. 

Well get  into the stages of the Hero´s Journey, as proposed by Joseph Campbell in his book “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”. And, simultaneously, we´ll present certain different Major Arcana cards exemplifying the particular phases of the journey. (Note that not all the stages are covered. But most of them, are).

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Joseph Campbell´s Journey of the Hero.

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References Jouney of the Hero/Journey of the Fool (Major Arcana): 

  1. Call to Adventure: The Fool.
  2. Meeting the Mentor: The Hierophant.
  3.  Test and Trials: The Chariot.
  4. Approaching the Innermost Cave: The Hermit.
  5. Meeting the Shadow Self: The Devil.
  6. Ordeal: The Tower.
  7. Boon: The Star.
  8. Refusal to Return to the Ordinary World: The Moon.
  9. Dark Night of the Soul: Death.
  10. Resurrection: Judgement.
  11. Third Threshold: The Hanged Man.
  12. Mastery of the Two Worlds: The World.

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IV.  Is there a “Journey” in the Minor Arcana?.

How does archetypal interactions might work in Minor Arcana?:

The Minor Arcana does not typically have an overall story or narrative to connect them that is specific to the Tarot alone.

However, one thing we can notice is that Minor Arcana cards also follow a “narrative progression”.

And that this seems to apply to all suits. We´ll provide examples. In order to methodize this, we´ll bring up a book that Colleen Chesebro kindly provided to us. The book in question is “The Writer and the Hero´s Journey”, by Rob Parnell.

In page 43, the author says:

“When telling a story, your overriding concern is to provide a platform from which you can derive conflict. Conflict is drama is story. But in order for drama to be compelling, you must create believable characters first”. He then states that the best way to create good characters is “by providing scenarios in which your characters are tested and can interact convincingly with other characters”.

We´ll use Parnell´s tips to demarcate certain progressions in certain implicit narrative sequences. These interactions could be subtle, but they are arranged in a systematic way, as stages. Hence they provide Minor Arcana with  a coherent and recurrent cyclic structure in the form of implicit narrative sequence. Pretty much like the Journey of the Fool in Major Arcana.

Parnell mentions the following “archetypal characters” (not necessarily people, they could be ideas, institutions, etc) who often interact with the main character:

  1. The Hero’s Sidekick, sometimes called “the Reflection” because they represent the hero’ s inner self as he was before the challenge.
  2. The Hero’s Nemesis: A bad person, sometimes a situation or an institution the character is fighting against.
  3. The Hero’s Love Interest, (not always necessary to a story though).
  4. The Hero’s Mentor: The person who the character/”Hero” goes to for advice or guidance.

Here are some examples of archetypal correspondences:

1 Sidekick: The Five of Wands, considered from the Ten of Cups. The latter represents Harmony and alignment; while the Five Of Wands represents disagreement, tension, conflict.

2. Nemesis: The Three of Swords, considered from the perspective of the character included in the Nine of Swords. The first card represents heartbreak ad rejection; whilst the Nine of Swords depicts someone who is depressed or concerned about certain things. We could say he is somehow  fighting against the ideas the Three of Swords represents.

3. Love Interest: Clearly this card: The Two of Cups. Representing: Love and partnership, and considered from any other card (“character”).

4. Mentor: King of Swords and Queen of Cups. Plus King and Queen of Pentacles seem to be characters that could well fulfill this role. King of Swords provides organization and quick thinking. Queen of Cups, emotional safety, calm and compassion. King and Queen of Pentacles represent discipline; and nourishing security, respectively.

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Conclusion:

Symbolic images have appeared throughout time, and all over the world. Whether they be myths, motifs, images in dreams or ritual, they are all manifestations of the unconscious psyche.

These symbols vary in detail, but like the many different decks of Tarot cards, meanings remain the same. They are archetypal. 
These archetypes are experienced by all. The “collective unconscious”, as proposed by Jung in his theories relating to psychology and myth, shares an innate psychic language.

 A.E. Waite had put it in different words, but in the end aligns with the thought that “secret doctrine” is interred in “the consciousness of all”. We may expose our intellect to many creative ideas and philosophical practices, as life and time relentlessly progresses. Not just our bodies mature, but our ideas, ideologies, purpose and direction are called to conscience. This is referred to by some as “Rites of Passage”.

In Tarot, the Major Arcana, presents”Rites of Passage” through the “Fool’s Journey”. Wisely, it presents not just a path of life, but cycles of life. The Minor Arcana purposes cycles of daily life, and therein, leads us to the larger picture. 
Guided by Astrology, Numerology, I Ching (or Book of Changes), Kabbala, Chinese Zodiac and/ or other related mystic arts, we proceed through the stages of life with an ability to live filled with comprehension through creativity. Be it intellectual and/or physical, this creativity includes all arts and sciences including alchemy.
With understanding of the archetypes and symbols representing them, we progress inventively. We become original. Therefore we can aid ourselves in the understanding of our unique path/ cycle through the physical sphere. It also assists in expressing to others, should one be a reader of Tarot, interpreter of Astrological charts, a giver of guidance via numerology religion or portrayal of relevance via mythology, a deeper meaning.
Tarot is special in that it combines most of the archetypes gone before it. Tarot uses its own imagery that contains symbols and ideology from numerology, astrology, religion, history and more. Thereby, Tarot is a powerful guiding force.
Whichever deck of Tarot one chooses to read from, it was illustrated and painted by an artist. Art has depicted Mankind spiritually, intellectually and physically from cave drawings through to Graffiti art. Artists have executed their thoughts, visions and ideas with paint, clay, writing, music, dance, myth and more.
Mythology, Greek or Roman and otherwise, has guided man with culturally relevant imagined tales. Greek myths contain many archetypal characters that are reflected in the Tarot: such as: the hero’s sidekick (The Fool), the hero’s nemesis (The Devil), love interest (The Lovers) and mentor (The Hierophant).
These stories provide a metaphor to individuals’ personal lives involving political and ethical ideals, thereby yielding emotional reactions. Mythology, as many legends, has been represented in many art forms from: sculpture, paintings and drawings, to dance, costumes and music.
In these modern times, even tattoos express the archetypes of “the collective unconscious”.
Pythagoras, a Greek mathematician who created the theorem for right-angled triangles, was also a philosopher. His creative mind was not relegated to mathematics, and he created the Pythagorean Tarot. His creativity was deeply rooted in the art of imagery through mythology and ancient Greek Mysteries. His was a pre-christian world, and his Tarot reflects that. Nonetheless, it is filled with many archetypes of his time’s philosophies. These archetypes prevail today.
In conclusion: All of the arts and archetypes are in the Tarot. The Tarot, through “the consciousness of all” is in all of the arts and archetypes. 
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A few cards from The Rider- Waite Tarot deck.

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⇒Links Post:
http://www.michaeltsarion.com/inner-zodiac.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpV40oP8QEI
http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/cards/pythagorean/
https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/361902/jewish/The-Four-Worlds.htm
https://soa.illinoisstate.edu/downloads/anthro_theses/caldwell_sara.pdfh
https://es.scribd.com/document/311979264/Rob-Parnell-The-Writer-and-the-Hero-s-Journey
https://teachmetarot.com/part-iii-major-arcana/lesson-2/the-high-priestess-ii-upright/
https://teachmetarot.com/part-1-minor-arcana/lesson-2/the-collective-unconscious-archetypes-and-symbols/

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►Greek Mythology: Pandora and Helen of Troy, Misogynistic Stereotypes” /

“Collaboration with Carolee Croft”🍎:

“Pandora” by John William Waterhouse. 1896.

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“With the curse, comes a blessing. Zeus wanted to punish humanity by creating you, the first woman, and by giving you that box filled with curses such as illness, war, and poverty. But if you look inside the box, one thing remains. It is hope”… (“After the Evil Spirits are Unleashed”. Carolee Croft).-

⇒♦ Introduction and Sketch of this post:

Greece is widely known as the birthplace of democracy, freedom of speech and thought, and egalitarian life. But in ancient Greece, women had no political or social rights. In Ancient Greece, males hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, political and social privileges and authority. This, in practice came along with prejudices against women, belittling of women, and their exclusion, and Misogyny in many ways. 

In ancient Greek mythology, two of the female characters who fit (and fed) this patriarchal model are Pandora and Helen of Troy

Both, the myths of Helen of Troy and Pandora spring from cultural anxieties about female beauty and female sexuality, centered on the figure of the Parthenos – the girl at marriageable age, a figure who must cross from the world of childhood in her father’s house to the house of her husband. Both women cause tremendous damage, even to people beyond their immediate surroundings.

Pandora is the giver of all gifts craved for by Mankind. When Prometheus decides to steal the secret of fire from the gods, Zeus becomes infuriated and decides to punish humankind with an “evil thing for their delight”. This “evil thing” is Pandora, the first woman and Epimetheus´wife. Pandora carried a jar (or box) which she was told to never open. Pandora cannot resist peeking into the jar, and by opening it she unleashes into the world all evil.
Carolee Croft, in the second section of this post, wrote a brief story starring Pandora: “After the Evil Spirits are Unleashed”. Carolee presents here an all-encompassing perspective, as her story delves into what might have happened right after Pandora opened the mischievous box. 
Pandora could remind us of  Eve, who tempted Adam to eat an apple, taken from the forbidden Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Curiously enough (or not so much) Helen of Troy´s conflicting participation in the chain of events that led up to the Trojan War, starts with an apple, too. More specifically, a Golden of Apple, sometimes called The Apple of Discord. The so-called “Judgement of Paris” was a contest between the three most beautiful goddesses of Olympus: AphroditeHera and Athena, for the prize of a golden apple addressed “To the Fairest”. Paris chose Aphrodite, swayed by her promise to bestow upon him Helen, the most beautiful woman, for wife. The subsequent abduction of Helen led directly to the Trojan War and the fall of the city.
Pandora´s curse was her curiosity and disobedience, while Helen´s was her extreme beauty. These characteristics, under certain circumstances  could have once caused ominous effects. A clearly patriarchal society might have stressed these features, creating a quite negative perception and reception of these figures.

 1. ⇒♦ Women, according to Hesiod, Aristotle and Plato:

  
Hesiod described the first created woman simply as “the beautiful-evil thing”. She was evil because she was beautiful, and beautiful because she was evil. Being a good-looking man was fundamentally good news. 
Aristotle had no doubts that women were intellectually incapable of making important decisions for themselves. In “Politics” (1254b13–14), he states that: “As regards the sexes, the male is by nature superior and the female inferior, the male ruler and the female subject”. Thomas Martin says that Aristotle´s view of the inferiority of women was based on faulty notions of biology. He wrongly believed, for example, that in procreation the male with his semen actively gave the fetus its form, while the female had only the passive role of providing its matter. 
According to Plato women are physically inferior, bear instead of beget children, and are generally weaker than men. But, in “The Republic”, he argues that women should be able to take on the same social roles equally with men in his ideal state. His ideas are based upon the view that women and men have the same nature in respect to acting as guardians of the state, except that the one is weaker while the other is stronger .
However, in a later dialogue “Laws”, Plato returns to the traditional view of women. He states the relative differences – which he had previously made out to be equal – would prevent women being in any way equal to men. He states that women  have an inferior virtue than men and warns about the dangers of freeing women from their confined, domestic role without giving them an alternative function, because this could lead to “sex indulge in luxury and expense and disorderly ways of life”.

 2. ⇒♦ Women in Ancient Greece:

Young women were expected to marry  (at the typical age of fourteen) as a virgin, and marriage was usually organised by their father, who chose the husband and accepted from him a dowry. 
Married women were, at least in the eyes of the law, under the complete authority of their husbands.
In the family home, women had to rear children and manage the daily requirements of the household. They had the help of slaves if the husband could afford them. Contact with non-family males was discouraged and women largely occupied their time with indoor activities such as wool-work and weaving. They could go out and visit the homes of friends and were able to participate in public religious ceremonies and festivals. Whether women could attend theatre performances or not is still disputed amongst scholars. More clear is that women could not attend public assemblies, vote, or hold public office. If a woman’s father died, she usually inherited nothing if she had any brothers. If she were a single child, then either her guardian or husband, when married, took control of the inheritance. In some cases when a single female inherited her father’s estate, she was obliged to marry her nearest male relative, typically an uncle.

3. ⇒♦ Pandora:

Pandora was the first female sent by Zeus to punish humans. In Greek mythology, the creation of Pandora is branded as the root of all evil. Zeus was angry at Prometheus for three things: being tricked by the sacrifices, stealing fire for man, and refusing to tell Zeus which of  his children would dethrone him. 

As punishment for these rebellious acts, Zeus sent him a woman made of clay named Pandora. Zeus gave her a box (or jar) and forbade her from opening it. Then he sent her down to earth, where her curiosity led her to open the lid. When she did,  all other misfortunes fled out. 

But, the patriarchal interpretation of these myths can be erased to show a different picture. Pandora, who is gifted in every way, entered a society where women play an unproductive role in society, dependent on men for all needs. Hence anxiousness,curiosity, and ignorance consume her. Pandora is also symbolic of the subconscious. She represents the human subconscious which is the deep seat of all emotion, fear and feeling. 

4. ⇒♦ Helen of Troy:

Helen of Troy, also known as “the Face that Launched a Thousand Ships”, was the stunningly beautiful mortal, daughter of Zeus and Leda. She came out of the same egg as her mortal sister Clytemnestra and she also had two brothers, the twins Castor and Pollux.

Helen’s name, which sounds similar to the word for Greece (Hellas), but also to a verb “to destroy”. This was exploited particularly by Aeschylus, who sees Helen as the “ship-destroyer, man-destroyer, city-destroyer”.

Back to Helen, it seems that Zeus wanted to reduce the human population, so he arranged for the birth of the two characters who would make the Trojan War inevitable: Achilles and Helen, representing “seductive female beauty and destructive male strength”. They have in common an extraordinary self-awareness and concern for their future reputations in myth and legend. Both were half-human, half-divine, Achilles being the son of the mortal Peleus by the sea-goddess Thetis, and Helen the daughter of Zeus in the form of a swan and of the Spartan queen Leda.

Owing to this parentage, she hatched from an egg – the first mark of her unusual, not-quite-human status. Helen is the only female child of Zeus by a mortal woman, an exceptional woman in this as in every other respect. Other versions of the myth suggest that she was the daughter of Nemesis, or “Destruction”.

From a young age, Helen was prone to getting abducted. When she was seven years old, the Athenian hero Theseus swiped her, but she was retrieved by her brothers, Castor and Pollux.

Years later, suitors from all over Greece began to court her, and took an oath that they would all fight together for her eventual husband Menelaus, whose main claim to fame was his wealth, won Helen as his wife.

Soon after, the Trojan prince named Paris was appointed to judge between three goddesses, Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite. He chose Aphrodite, goddess of love, and gave her the Golden Apple which was labeled “To the Fairest”. But, as Helen was already married, Paris (Menelaus´s brother), Agamemnon commanded the united Greek armed forces in the ensuing Trojan WarIn the ensuing Trojan War, Hera and Athena were implacable enemies of Troy while Aphrodite was loyal to Paris and the Trojans.

The Greek texts seem constantly to return to the issue of Helen’s responsibility for her actions. Homer depicts her as a wistful, even a sorrowful, figure, coming to regret her choice and wishing to reunite with Menelaus. But Sappho argues that Helen willingly left behind Menelaus to be with Paris. 

⇒♦ Conclusion:

Ancient Greece had periods of intense patriarchy. 

Greek mythology started out as being more feminine, particularly during the Minoan Age (2000-1400 BC). But, with the spread of the Indo-European groups become more masculine

During the Classic period (500-336 BC), Athena was the most important goddess.

This could be understood to be in accordance with a Patriarchal Society. As a matter of fact, Athena was born solely of her father, Zeus. As Georgia Platts says in her post “When Gods were Mothers”: “In Greek mythology Zeus planted his seed in the goddess Metis. But he feared a prophecy warning that his children would become more powerful than he. So he swallowed Metis. Which created an enormous headache. Only a double-headed ax implanted in his skull could relieve the pain. And out leapt Athena, fully grown and armed”.

And, as a Warrior Goddess, Athena mostly identifies with men. In Aeschylus’s “Eumenides”; Athena says, “There is no mother anywhere who gave me birth, and, but for marriage, I am always for the male with all my heart, and strongly on my father’s side”.

This association with males being the creative force of society is not accidental, as males were considered the civilizing and productive force of society. 

In this same line, Pandora and Helen of Troy are part of a social and political system that tended to identify the world’s evils and destruction with women. These legitimizing discourses concurrently provided men with certain “criteria for entitlement”, meaning  a strong, natural right of their primacy above women. 

During the Hellenistic period (336-146 BC), and, as the culture shifts, Aphrodite replaces Athena. Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Beauty, was born from the white foam produced by the severed genitals of Uranus (Heaven), after his son Cronus threw them into the sea. Although she was also born of male alone, she was worshipped  as one of the most important goddesses of the time and was depicted in many art works as the ideal woman, nude for the first time in history. She presided over sexuality and reproduction, necessary for the continuation of the community. Maybe that´s why Aphrodite was majorly worshipped by young women about to be married. And even courtesans and prostitutes. The close bond that the Greek felt to exist between fertility and the fruitfulness of the land lies behind Aphrodite´s connections with vegetation and the earth in general. By this time, love and partnership were seen as more important than containing or controlling women.

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► “After the Evil Spirits are Unleashed”, by Carolee Croft:

Pandora didn’t know what happened when she opened the box, but suddenly everything seemed different. There were footsteps in the hallway, and soon a young handmaiden burst into her luxurious chamber.

“The evil spirits are upon us!” her handmaiden cried, then fled from the room in a frenzy.

Pandora sensed the danger, but at the same time a strange feeling of satisfaction came over her. At least she had done something.

The gods had blessed her with many gifts: beauty, a quick and clever mind, the skill of weaving and sewing. This was all well and good, but she could only occupy so much of her time with crafts. A mind like hers needed stimulation, and there was no stimulation to be had when she had about as much freedom as a footstool. She was not allowed to hunt, nor to sit on the councils, not even to leave the palace grounds without her husband’s permission and an entourage of ladies.  

Was it curiosity that had made her open the lid of the box or just boredom?.

Either way, the spirits were unleashed, and now screams of panic reached even her secluded boudoir.

She always had to wait in her chamber until her husband, Epimetheus, would deign to visit. Now, he would probably blame her for this disaster. He was going to kill her!

The panic around her was contagious. She ran to secure the back door, then the front. At least for the moment, she would be safe.

Pandora collapsed onto the floor and sat huddled against the wall with her head in her heads, her eyes closed to block out the world. She knew it was useless to lock herself in. Soon the curse of the gods would be upon her too, not to mention the rage of the entire human race. 

Then she heard a soft rustle and looked up to find another handmaiden in her chamber. 

“How did you?… I locked all the doors”.

Then she realized, this handmaiden was amazingly tall and beautiful, and she had never seen her before around the palace. The scent of ambrosia radiated from her powerful looking figure. 

One of the gods was in her chamber. 

“Pandora, do not fear. It is I, Athena”. 

“Why do you come here?” Pandora asked, not quite believing she was safe from the gods’ wrath. 

“I came to give you good news. The box was always meant to be opened. Why do you think Zeus entrusted it to you? This is all part of a grudge he bears mortals.”

“How is that good?”

“Come over here,” the goddess picked up the box and beckoned her over to sit beside her on the pillows of the kline

Pandora obeyed, wiping away tears of despair.

“With the curse, comes a blessing. Zeus wanted to punish humanity by creating you, the first woman, and by giving you that box filled with curses such as illness, war, and poverty. But if you look inside the box, one thing remains. It is hope. Now, close your eyes, and you will see what I mean.”

Pandora closed her eyes, and suddenly a flurry of visions exploded in her mind. Endless generations of women, of which she was the first. Some lived in strife, but others found peace and even happiness with the men in their lives. Marriage was not always an oppressive duty. Many women would also be free of men’s oppression, but even the ones who were not completely free seemed to find ways to influence their husbands and sometimes get their own way. It was a sort of game, she realized.

She saw women using their wits to persuade men to do their bidding. She saw women raising their children and passing down knowledge. She saw women ruling nations. She saw women saving lives. These women were never powerless.

She opened her eyes. The goddess was gone, and now she understood what Athena wanted to tell her. 

Then she heard a loud knocking on the door. 

“What is the meaning of this?” her husband’s voice pronounced. “Come out here at once, woman!”.

No longer afraid, she went to the mirror and checked that her hair was absolutely perfect, then unlocked the door and opened it. 

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“Pandora”, by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. 20th century.

About Carolee Croft:

Carolee Dixit: Enchanted by romance on page and screen, I have always tried to write my own versions of the perfect fairytale. As for real life, I believe I may have already found the man of my dreams, but I still haven’t found the dog of my dreams. I’m obsessed with Italian greyhounds. I can usually be found enjoying the outdoors or relaxing with a good book on the West Coast of Canada.

🌟💫Connect with Carolee: Blog, Amazon Author Page, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

Carolee Croft..

Carolee Croft on WordPress: https://caroleecroft.wordpress.com/

An excerpt from Carolee Croft´s latest book, “Ariella´s Escape”:

Set in a medieval fantasy world, this is the story of Ariella, a lady warrior who is entertained by a male slave while on a dangerous mission.

(Note: The excerpt is the slideshare below, divided in three parts. Press Pause ⏸️ to get to read each part, starting with 1; and then click on ▶️ to move on).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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⇒Links Post: 
https://goo.gl/E6Y3udh
http://www2.ivcc.edu/gen2002/greek_and_roman_women.htm
https://broadblogs.com/2015/05/07/when-gods-were-mothers/
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1984/10/25/platos-women/
https://www.classicsnetwork.com/essays/the-nature-of-women-in-plato-and/786

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►La Poesía no Muerde. Two Poems:

I am very happy to tell you that my poems “Vértigo” (“Vertigo”) and “El Espacio de tu Ausencia” (“The Space of your Absence”) were featured at “La Poesía no Muerde”.

“La Poesía no Muerde” is a blog hosted by Hélène LaurentIt  is a collective blog in Spanish which Poetry prompts are usually triggered by images that might lead to poems or poems that wait to be illustrated with images. In the case of the “magazines”, audio/videos are included. The videos are created by  Hélène Laurent and, usually, each member reads his own poems. You can check out my two poems (In Spanish) in this post and over here. I am adding below the two poems, translated to English and the audio/video for “El Espacio de Tu Ausencia”, in Spanish. 

Make sure to follow La Poesía no Muerde. If you want to submit a poem, contact me in the Welcome page or leave a comment so I can provide a translation to Spanish, as it is the main language for the blog. I´ll gladly do so!. 🙂

🌟💫Blog: La Poesía no Muerde. Facebook. Twitter. ///  Hélène LaurentBlog (Desenredo)Facebook. Twitter

“Vertigo” and “The Space of your Absence”:

(Click on the screenshots for bigger, full resolution)

 

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I was delighted to be over at Esmé´s blog “The Recipe Hunter” to share a tasty recipe. This is such a great blog for all Food Lovers!. You can find many easy, delicious and healthy dishes. Here is my post: “Spanish Paella (Rice with Seafood)”.

🌟💫 Make sure to check out Esme´s blog and follow her there and on Social Media: Blog: The Recipe Hunter. Twitter. Facebook. Instagram.

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“Two Special Shout-Outs”:

I would like to thank Debi Riley and Jason Youngman for these special posts on their blogs.

Jason´s post: “Be Grateful – Not Hateful. Canticle of the Sun”.- (Thank you, Jason for the note you sent me as to the Canticle and for sharing your amazing reading of Eliot´s “Four Quartets”).

Debi´s post: “Palette Knife Acrylic Abstract… Scorched Wings of Icarus”.- (thank you Debi for the shout-out and for sharing such sublime Artwork. Brilliant!)

Both are very talented, prolific and talented artists. Please make sure to check out their blogs and follow them!.🌟💫

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Last post of the year!. Thank you to all my readers.

Wishing you Merry Christmas & all the best for 2018! 😀

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► “Metis in Ancient Greece”:

“Collaboration with José Cervera”💫:

Statue of the Greek philosopher Plato (c. 428 B.C.-348 B.C.). Behind him, the Goddess of Wisdom, Athena. Modern Academy of Athens.

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Summary:

This article is divided into three sections.

The First section presents Metis as a character, a Titan Goddess.

Being swallowed by Zeus (his cousin and husband), Metis would succumb to the same fate that Cronus´children, as indicated in the Second section.

The Third section will categorize different types of Knowledge, in Ancient Greece; Metis, among them. In that same section, the post will highlight how the word Metis acquired different meaning, changing from the name of the Goddess (Metis, the  Oceanid Titaness & Zeus´cousin and wife) to refer to a type of Intelligence (Practical wisdom). Thus, Metis was considered to cover all cognitive processes that were necessary for man in order to face adverse or confrontational situations against powerful adversaries, often in unstable and complex environments. Three examples from Greek Mythology will be provided. Finally, some final thoughts in the conclusion.

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I. ►Metis, The Titan Goddess:

Metis was a mythological character belonging to the Titan generation. Like several primordial figures, she was an Oceanid. She was born of Oceanus and his sister Tethys, of an earlier age than Zeus and his siblings.

Metis was the first spouse of Zeus, and also her cousin.

Zeus lay with Metis but immediately feared the consequences. It had been prophesied that Metis would bear extremely powerful children: the first, Athena and the second, a son more powerful than Zeus himself, who would eventually overthrow Zeus.

In order to forestall these dire consequences, Zeus tricked her into turning herself into a fly and promptly swallowed her. He was too late: Metis had already conceived a child.

As Zeus had swallowed Metis, Athena leaped from Zeus’s head. She was fully grown, armed, and armoured. 

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II. ►A (side) note on Zeus and Cronus´Cannibal behaviours:

The similarities between Zeus swallowing Metis; and Cronus, swallowing his children, have been noted by several scholars.

Cronus was the Titan god of time and the ages. He envied the power of his father, the ruler of the universe, Uranus.

Cronus attacked him with the sickle, castrating him and casting his testicles into the sea.

From the blood that spilled out from Uranus and fell upon the earth, the Gigantes, and the Erinyes  were produced. The testicles produced a white foam from which the goddess Aphrodite emerged.

 

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Once Cronus had castrated Uranus, he and his wife Rhea took the throne. Under their power a time of harmony and prosperity began, which became known as the “Golden Age”; a time when it was said that people lived without greed or violence, and without toil or the need for laws. But not all was well for Cronus, as he had learned from Gaia and Uranus that he was destined to be overcome by his own sons, just as he had overthrown his father. As a result, although he sired the gods Demeter, Hestia, Hera, Hades and Poseidon by Rhea, he devoured them all as soon as they were born to prevent the prophecy.

 

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When the sixth child, Zeus, was born Rhea sought Gaia to devise a plan to save them and to eventually get retribution on Cronus for his acts against his father and children. 

Rhea secretly gave birth to Zeus in Crete, and handed Cronus a stone wrapped in clothes, which he promptly swallowed, thinking that it was his son.

Once he had grown up, Zeus used an emetic given to him by Gaia to force Cronus to disgorge the contents of his stomach in reverse order: first the stone, which was set under the glens of Mount Parnassus, and then his two brothers and three sisters. 

This would lead the Olympians in a ten-year war against the Titans, before driving them defeated into the pit of Tartaros. Many years later, Zeus released Kronos and his brothers from this prison, and made the old Titan king of the Elysian Islands, in the Underworld

As to Zeus´s story, relevant to us here, José Cervera accurately notes that the Ruler of Gods might have swallowed Metis (also) because he was to a certain extent aware of the fact that he was lacking something. Meaning: The Practical Wisdom that Metis represented. By swallowing Metis, however, Zeus had gained wisdom as part of his intrinsic nature. This would be a case of Incorporation which reminds us (despite the differences) to the biblical account, according to which Eve was molded by God from Adam´s rib.

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III. A ►Different Types of Knowledge: Episteme, Techne, Metis and Phronesis:

For the Greeks and particularly for Plato, Episteme and Techne represented knowledge of an order completely different from Metis.

Episteme means “science”, “understanding” or “knowledge”, with the implication that the understanding was rationally founded, in contrast to mere opinion or hearsay. Noesis, or dialectic reason, is the method used by Episteme.  

Techne entails “technical skills”.  It could be expressed precisely and comprehensively in the form of hard-and-fast rules, principles, and propositions. Techne is based on logical deduction from self-evident first principles.

Nous is the closest word to “intelligence” but it is more correctly translated as “mind”, and “mental activity”. For Plato and Aristotle it is the part of the soul which perceives abstract truths. 

Phronesis means “practical wisdom”, “good judgement” or what we might call “common sense”. 

Metis, in what concerns us is another form of practical wisdom, what we would call “cunning”. It is similar to Phronesis in that it entails knowledge of how humans behave, but it is manipulative and deceitful rather than seeking the common good. Cunning intelligence would later be defined as Phronesis.

III. B ►Metis, Magical Cunning and Practical Wisdom. Examples of Metis in “The Odyssey”:

By the era of Greek philosophy in the 5th century BC, Metis had become the mother of wisdom and deep thought, but her name originally connoted “magical cunning”.

Metis represented a wide array of practical skills and acquired intelligence in responding to a constantly changing natural and human environment.

Hence the word Metis began to be used to denote a particular form of practical wisdom, 

The classic case of Metis is Odysseus, as he often used his cleverness to deceive and defeat his enemies. This is found many times in Homer´s epic poem.

•1. One example of Metis as magical cunning  appears in Book XII. We are referring to the episode in which Odysseus plugged his crew’s ears with earwax, while binding himself and his crew to the mast of the ship to avoid the Siren´s song

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•2. When it comes to Metis (magical cunning), the episode of Polyphemus, from Homer´s “Odyssey” (Book IX) is also worth mentioning.

The Cyclops Polyphemus is portrayed as a cruel monster who had devoured a few of Odysseus’ men. The hero  wanted to beat him and take revenge so he offered Polyphemus some wine. The cyclops easily got drunk, but before falling asleep, he asked Odysseus his name, Odysseus told him his name was “Οὖτις”, which means “nobody”. While the monster was sleeping, Odysseus used a stake to blind him. When Polyphemus shouted for help from his fellow giants, saying that “Nobody” had hurt him, they just ignored him as they just took his words literally (“Nobody had hurt him”). In the morning, the blind Cyclops let the sheep out to graze. But Odysseus and his men had tied themselves to the undersides of the animals and that was how they managed to finally get away. 

•3. Finally, the Trojan Horse. Wasn´t it a great example of Metis or Cunning, as well?. Using trickery rather than violence, Odysseus disguised warriors as a gift, men as (a wooden image of) an animal, a symbol of the Greeks’ future victory as an image of their defeat, and ultimately, a clever trap. Once inside the city walls, the transformation was reversed and the act of Metis revealed for what it was.

“Building of the Trojan Horse” by Giandomenico Tiepolo (1774).-

 

In these examples of Metis, taken from “The Odyssey”, the emphasis is both on Odysseus’s ability to adapt successfully to a constantly shifting and challenging situation and on his capacity to understand, and hence outwit, his human and divine adversaries. 

It is not a minor detail, either, that Odysseus is traditionally aided by Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom. 

Athena- as mentioned before- was born from Zeus’ head, after the latter had swallowed her mother, the goddess Metis, because, as it had been predicted to him that his children by her would overthrow him.

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►Conclusion:

Metis, understood as a type of  practical wisdom, is commonly found in Greek Myths and Literature. In all its facets and faces of the same phenomenon lies a peculiar kind of behavior. More specifically: the extreme attention, observation, flexibility and creativity to sort out things, under certain “special” circumstances.

However, despite its relevance, Metis as type of Intelligent ability has been also relegated, criticized and even despised.

Plato intentionally ignored it, keeping it aside in his Gnoseological Theory. In turn, he enthroned the discursive Episteme, clearly much more acceptable to him, as he considered that Episteme was related to the highest degree of Knowledge.

Plato´s ideal of knowledge was sternly rational and hence: Apollonian. He made sure to suppress any “intuitive” shade that might somehow darken the diaphanous light of Reason and Episteme. Indeed, as pointed out before, Plato despised practical knowledge basically because it did not depend on Dialectical Reason (Noesis) and it seemed to be linked to the body and senses, therefore to the so-called “Dionysiac” forms.

Suffice it to recall that for Nietzsche, the Apollonian-Dionysian Dichotomy, (“The Birth of Tragedy”. 1872) represented the opposition between structured, geometric forces; and fluctuating, creative, irregular forms; respectively. Nietzsche contrasted the cerebral Apollo with his half-brother, the hedonistic Dionysus. Apollo, as the sun-god, represents light, clarity, and form, whereas Dionysus, as the wine-god, represents drunkenness and ecstasy.

However, back to Plato, it is worth noting that certain Dionysiac forces still seem to be present in his dialogues. Most times in the forms of myths or allegories. 

We could conclude that Episteme and Metis are different types of intelligences.Episteme is rigid, dialectic and Apollonian, while Metis might be quite unpredictable in its reasonings and linked to Dionysus. But despite this, they complement each other. We´d rather say the ideal entails not a dichotomy but, instead, a conjunction of abilities. 

Apollo (on The Left) & Dionysus (on The Right), representing the duality of Arts… And Intelligence. Apollo=Episteme. Dionysus=Metis.-


♠About José Cerbera:

José is a Spanish philosopher and blogger. In his own words: “I am a restless and curious being who believes in the religion of books and their healing power. But without forgetting that the mystery of existence isn´t contained in any book. I have studied Philosophy and that led me to distrust everything. Later on, I believed in me. Soon after, in the World Itself and what goes beyond it because it just boundless”. Please check out José´s blog: “El Ritual de las Palabras”. Thank you, José! ⭐️💫.

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José Ignacio Cervera. Click to visit José´s blog.-

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♠Links Post:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metis_(mythology)
http://www.theoi.com/Titan/TitanisMetis.html
https://ritualdelaspalabras.wordpress.com/2017/04/09/las-artimanas-de-la-inteligencia/
https://socialecologies.wordpress.com/2016/02/23/metis-cunning-intelligence-in-greek-thought/
http://eprints.maynoothuniversity.ie/2255/1/e_bracke_thesis.pdf
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/episteme-techne/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyphemus
https://locvsamoenvs.wordpress.com/2014/12/26/homers-odyssey-12181-201-siren-song/
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“Greek Myths and Graffiti Murals”: “Collaboration With Resa McConaghy”⭐:

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⇒About This Post. Abstract:

The following article is composed of two sections, each one of them including murals from Argentina and Canada, respectively. This post aims to analyze with a with a free, but still judiciously, well-founded criteria how certain mythological greek themes and characters might be recurrent, despite time and even against it.

As Resa and I found some graffitis which seemed to have mythological and even philosophical equivalents we decided we wanted to try to show those connections. Resa´s mural is from the University of Toronto (Toronto, Canada) whilst mine are from The Planetarium (Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina). With that being said, we just wanted to say that, after finding many similarities, we are quite pleased with the outcome. Both of, Resa and I believe the convergences are striking. And being so, they broaden and deepen the value of the immortal Ancient Greek Legacy.

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⇒Section I. Murals: The Planetarium:🇦🇷

The Galileo Galilei planetarium, commonly known as Planetario, is located in Parque Tres de Febrero in the Palermo district of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The building was officially opened to the public on April 5, 1968. It consists of a cylindrical framework with independent projectors for the Moon, the Sun and the visible planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) and two spheres in the extremes that project 8,900 stars, constellations and nebulas.
Nowadays the Planetarium is surrounded by a thin sheet metal with many murals on it. We´ll present here some of them, aiming to find mythological  and philosophical corollaries.
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⇒Eros and Psyche… And the Planetarium above them!:

 
This graffiti is quite the finding. It is based on an original painting “The abduction of Psyche” by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1894). 
The artist included a Planetarium above the couple.
 
According to the greek myth Aphrodite was jealous due to men’s admiration for Psyche, so she asked her son, Eros, to poison men’ souls in order to kill off their desire for Psyche. But Eros fell in love with Psyche. Thus, against his mother´s wishes, he asked the west wind, Zephyr, to waft her to his palace.
They consummated their love that same night. But for that Eros had to make Psyche believe that he was an ugly beast, as the Oracle had told her parents that Psyche would marry an ugly beast whose face she would never be able to see. And apparently she firmly believed so!…
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⇒The Horned goat with human hands:

 
This mural with goat head and human hands might remind us of the constellation Capricornus .
Its name is Latin for “horned goat” or “goat horn” or “having horns like a goat’s”.
This constellation protected by Hestia, represents Pan, the god of the wild and shepherds. The myth tells us that, in order to escape Typhon, Pan cast himself into the river, making the lower part of his body look like a fish, and the rest a goat: Zeus, admiring his shrewdness, put this shape among the constellations .
However, in this mural, we lack of the sea elements… But the resemblance between hands and fins couldn´t go unnoticed, either way.
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⇒The Bull Surrounded by Snakes:


This mural seem to evoke the Great Greek Bull. It could be linked to the Minotaur.
 
According to the respective myth, after Pasiphae (the daughter of Helios, the Sun, by the eldest of the Oceanids Perse) become impregnated by a white bull, she gave birth to a sort of hybrid child, the bull-headed Minotaur.
 
Angered with his wife, Minos imprisoned the minotaur in the labyrinth of Crete in Knossos. Presumably, Minos was one of the three sons from the union of Europa and Zeus; when Zeus was in the form of a bull.

As to snakes, let´s remember the rod of Asclepius, God of Medicine and Apollo´s son. It symbolizes the healing arts by combining the serpent, which in shedding its skin is a symbol of rebirth and fertility. The Asclepius Wand, often confused with the Caduceus wand of Hermes, is the symbol of the medical profession.

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⇒Tiempo- Time:

 
The words on this mural mean: Time.
But what is exactly time. St Augustine of Hippo says in his “Confessions”: “What then is time? If no one asks me, I know what it is. If I wish to explain it to him who asks, I do not know”… Time is such an elusive concept, indeed!.
In Greek mythology, Chronos was the personification of time, not to be confused with Cronus, the Titan and father of Zeus.
The Greeks had two different words for time: Chronos refers to numeric or chronological time, while another word kairos refers to the more qualitative concept of the right or opportune moment. The figure of Chronos was typically portrayed as a wise old man with a long grey beard: Father Time.
Furthermore, the Horae or Hours were the goddesses of the seasons and the natural flow of time, generally portrayed as personifications of nature in its different seasonal aspects, and with the cycle of the seasons themselves symbolically described as the dance of the Horae.
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⇒Number 8. Toward Infinity… and beyond!:

This mural is certainly esoteric. The eyes, placed in circular shape, surround the central number eight (8).

Eight (8) is the Number of the perfection, the infinity. In mathematics the symbol of the infinity is represented by a 8 laid down.

The Pythagoreans believed that number 8 was the symbol of love and friendship, prudence and rational thinking. . It was the Pythagoreans who held that there are in man eight organs of knowledge; sense, fantasy, art, opinion, prudence, science, wisdom, and mind.

The person who actually introduced the infinity symbol was John Wallis, in 1655. This symbol is sometimes called the Lemniscate. It presumably evolved from the Etruscan numeral for 1000, which looked like this: CIƆ. There is another theory that he actually derived the infinity symbol from omega (ω), the last letter of the Greek alphabet. 

Ouroboros.

The ouroboros symbol, showing a a snake twisted into a horizontal figure eight (8) and biting its own tail, is also said to be a most plausible basis for the infinity symbol because it is a fitting depiction of endlessness.

As to the eyes in this mural, we could think of the Eye of Providence Symbol (which appears in the USA dollar bill). It represents the eye of God, the singular divine power that has created the entire universe. The eye is most times enclosed in a triangle. At times, the Eye is also depicted as surrounded by clouds or bursts of light. Both of these images are representative of holiness and divine glory and so, here too, the symbol signifies that the Almighty is keeping a watchful eye on His creation.

The Eye of Providence Symbol.

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⇒Section II. Murals: University of Toronto: 🇨🇦

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The University of Toronto is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on the grounds that surround Queen’s Park. It was founded by royal charter in 1827 as King’s College. It comprises twelve colleges, each with substantial autonomy on financial and institutional affairs.
The mural in question is in an underpass that runs from Hart House Circle under Queen’s Park Crescent West to Wellesley Street. Resa came across this mural as she walked under Queen’s Park Crescent. She went by Hart House and exited using the King’s Park Circle. In the slide show below you can see some photographs of the location and buildings. The mural comes soon after!. 
About Resa Mc Conaghy:
Resa is a canadian artist, costume designer and author. 
She hosts two blogs: Graffiti Lux and Murals and Art Gowns.
You can find her version of this post here. Furthermore, Resa has written a book, “Nine Black Lives, available on Amazon. Find Resa on Twitter, too!.
(Disclaimer: All murals photographs and photographs from University of Toronto were taken by Resa and featured on her blog Graffiti Lux and Murals. © Resa McConaghy. 2017). Please check out Resa´s post regarding this collaboration here.
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⇒Damarchus / Lycanthropeis or Werewolf Man-Wolf:

This graffiti could be linked to the Werewolf Man-wolf, or Lycanthropeis. Meaning, a mythological human with the ability to shapeshift into a wolf, either purposely or after being placed under a curse or affliction.
A few references to men changing into wolves are found in Ancient Greek literature and mythology.
For instance, Herodotus, wrote that the Neuri, a tribe he places to the north-east of Scythia, were all transformed into wolves once every year for several days, and then changed back to their human shape. 
Furthermore, we have the story of Damarchus. He was a victorious Olympic boxer from Parrhasia (Arcadia) who is said to have changed his shape into that of a wolf at the festival of Lycaea, only to become a man again after ten years. The festival of Lycaea involved human sacrifice to Zeus. A young boy was killed and then consumed by one of the participants, in this case by Damarchus, and as a result Zeus would transform the cannibal into a wolf.
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On the Left: A man wearing a wolf-skin. Attic red-figure vase, c. 460 BC. On the Right: Zeus turning Lycaon into a wolf, engraving by Hendrik Goltzius. 16th century.

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⇒The Woman With an Extra Hand:

Following the hindu mythology pattern, according to which goddesses have many hands, we could conclude that having more than two hands is a mark of Divinity. Humans have two arms, so someone with multiple becomes special and out of the league. More hands at times also represents more strength.The multiplicity of hands also emphasizes the power and ability to perform several acts at the same time. 

As to number three, it represents the Holy Trinity. From a philosophical perspective, number  three is symbolic of the reconciliation of opposites, as with Hegel‘s dialectic: “thesis + antithesis = synthesis”.
Besides, it is both a lunar and a solar number.
The moon has three major phases – the two crescents and the full moon, while the sun has three primary points in its existence: the low winter solstice; the high summer solstice, and the two equinoxes of March and September.

⇒The Kholkikos Drakon or Colchian Dragon:


 
The Kholkikos Drakon or (Colchian Dragon) was the ever awake serpent that guarded the Golden Fleece in a grove sacred to Ares in Kolkhis. When the Argonauts came to aquire the Fleece, they had to get past it. There are two theories as towards how they past the Drakon, either Medea put the monster to sleep so Jason could grab the fleece while it slumbered or Jason slew it. There is also a belief that the monster swallowed Jason and then regurgitated him thanks to the power of Medea, so that Jason could then slay the beast. Different cultural traditions have portrayed dragons with reptilian or serpentine traits so that it may seem to resemble cobras, crocodiles or lizards. The word ‘dragon’ traces its origin in the Greek word ‘drakon’ that means a huge serpent or a giant sea fish.
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⇒Apollo (AKA previously Helios) and his Chariot:

Before Artemis became goddess of the moon, the Titaness Selene owned the Moon chariot, which she drove across the sky at night. Soon after, Artemis was the legatee of the carriage. In the same way, Apollo received the Chariot of the Sun, once Helios became identified with him.
Helios (Apollo), the Sun god, drives his chariot across the sky each day while Selene (Artemis) is also said to drive across the heavens. And, while the sun chariot has four horses, Selene´s (Artemis´) usually has two, described as “snow-white” by Ovid. 

As to the horse symbolism, it is often known as a solar symbol. Sometimes, horses are related to the sun, moon, and water. It acts as the mediator between Earth and Heaven. Horse symbolizes power, grace, beauty, nobility, strength, and freedom.

The woman looking at Apollo (former Helios) could be his twin sister, Artemis (Former Selene). Artemis was the Goddess of Hunting and of  Goddess of the Moon. In classical times, Selene was often identified with Artemis, much as her brother, Helios, was identified with Apollo. Both Selene and Artemis were also associated with Hecate, and all three were regarded as Lunar Goddesses, although only Selene was considered a personification of the moon itself.

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►Links Post:
https://goo.gl/9M3yb1
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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.

 •~~~•~~~ •~~~•~~~•~~~•~~~•

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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metamorphoses-ovid

flowers-and-plants-in-greek-myths2

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"The Tree of Forgiveness." by Edward Burne-Jones. 19th century.

“The Tree of Forgiveness.” by Edward Burne-Jones. 19th century.

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⇒“Metamorphoses” by Ovid:

"Metamorphoses" by Ovid. Illustration by George Sandys. 1632.

“Metamorphoses” by Ovid. Illustration by George Sandys. 1632.

In my previous post, I have mentioned Ovid´s book “Metamorphoses” as a key source of Greek Mythology. 

“Metamorphoses” is a narrative poem in fifteen books by the Roman poet Ovid, completed in 8 CE.

It is a “mock-epic” poem, written in dactylic hexameter, the form of the great epic poems of the ancient tradition, such as “The Iliad” and  “The Odyssey.

This poem describes the creation and history of the world, incorporating many classical myths.

Love and hubris are main topics in Ovid´s “Metamorphoses”. 
Unlike the predominantly romantic notions of Love, Ovid considered love more as a dangerous, destabilizing force.
However, there is an explanation for this attitude: during the reign of Augustus, the Roman emperor during Ovid’s time, major attempts were made to regulate morality by creating legal and illegal forms of love, by encouraging marriage and legitimate heirs, and by punishing adultery with exile from Rome.
As to hubris, (overly prideful behaviour) Ovid emphasizes that it entails a fatal flaw which inevitably leads to a character’s downfall. Hubris always attracts the punishment of the gods, as human beings might attempt to compare themselves to divinity.
As a side note, I think the best example of hubris in a Greek Myth is the one featuring Icarus, whose father built two pairs of wings out of wax and feathers for them to escape from the Labyrinth for King Minos in which they had been imprisoned, and which had a fearsome Minotaur as guardian. Daedalus (Icarus´father) tried his wings first, but before taking off from the island, warned his son not to fly too close to the sun, nor too close to the sea, but to follow his path of flight. But soon later, Icarus was so overcome by the incredible feeling of flight, that he tried to fly higher and higher, trying to reach the sun; until, inevitably his wax wings melted, he fell from the sky into the Sea, and died.

Besides, in my last post, I introduced the subject of metamorphoses as it appears in Greek Myths, stating that it is generally defined as the origin of one or more transformations which most times occur as a result of death (tribute), but also as a way exoneration; or punishment.

Ovid. Publius Ovidius Naso. ( 43 B.C/ 17 A.D).

Ovid. Publius Ovidius Naso. ( 43 B.C/ 17 A.D).

Transformation is a common theme in Greek mythology. The gods had the power to change themselves into animals, birds, or humans and often used this power to trick goddesses or women.
In this same sense, I have previously mentioned the case of Zeus, the Ruler of Gods, who took different appearances as a way of courting potential lovers. Furthermore, sometimes the gods and goddesses transformed “others”, either to save them or to punish them.
Daphne, for example, was changed into a laurel tree; whilst Narcissus and Hyacinthus became the flowers that bear their names. 
The metamorphoses I have previously considered involved exclusively flowers, plants and trees and this post intends to present a few more examples of this sort.
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  ⇒“Flowers and Plants in some Greek Myths II”:

►Minthe: A naiad, fond of Hades/ Mint Plant:

Minthe was a naiad or water nymph associated with the Underworld river Cocytus. This river (also known as the River of Wailing) was one of the five rivers that encircled the realm of Hades, alongside rivers Phlegethon, Acheron, Lethe and Styx- .

Minthe fell in love with Hades, but Persephone, Hades’ wife became enraged with jealousy, turning Minthe into a crawling plant so Persephone could crush her.

Hades could not reverse the spell so he made Minthe smell good when she walked on, making it so Minthe would always be noticed and never be taken for granted. 

The story also makes sense in a Greco-Roman context as mint was used in funerary rites to disguise the scent of decay. Besides, in Greece, the herb was also a main ingredient in the fermented barley drink called kykeon, which seemingly was the principal potable associated with the Eleusinian mysteries. It seems like this beverage included some really strange psychoactive ingredients, mint among them.

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On the Left: Nymph Minthe by W. Szczepanska. 21st century. On the Right: Mint Plant.

On the Left: Nymph Minthe by W. Szczepanska. 21st century. On the Right: Mint Plant.

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►Crocus, friend of Hermes/Crocus Plant:

Crocus was a friend of Hermes, the messenger of the Gods and god of travellers, liars, thieves, all who cross boundaries.

One day, while they were throwing the disc to each other, Hermes hit Crocus on the head and wounded him fatally.

As the young man collapsed and was dying, three drops from his blood fell on the centre of a flower thus becoming the three stigmata of the flower named after him.

Etymologically, the word crocus has its origin from the Greek “kroki” which means weft, the thread used for weaving on a loom. 

As a medicinal and dyeing substance, crocus has been known in ancient Greece for its aroma, vibrant colour and aphrodisiac properties, thus making it one of the most desired and expensive spices.

Another use in ancient Greece was that of perfumery also using it to perfume the water while bathing. Frescoes in the palaces of Knossos (16th century b.C.) clearly depict a young girl gathering crocus flowers as well as in the archeological site of Akrotiri, in Santorini and Homer, in his writings calls dawn “a crocus veil”.

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On the Left: "Mercury (Hermes)” Statue at the Museum Pio Clementino, Vatican. On the Right: Crocus Flower.

On the Left: “Mercury (Hermes)” Statue at the Museum Pio Clementino, Vatican. On the Right: Crocus Flower.

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►Paean, Asclepius´pupil/ Peony, Plant of Healing:

Peony was named after Paean, who was the physician of the gods who healed, among others, Hades’ and Ares’ wounds.

The flower myth related, says that Paean was a student of Asclepius, the god of medicine and healing

Asclepius excelled as a doctor, partly because serpents helped him to discover the healing properties of certain herbs.

Unfortunately, Asclepius became so skilled that he was able to revive the dead. Angry that the son of Apollo had interfered with nature and human mortality, Zeus hurled a thunderbolt at Asclepius, killing him. However, while they understood that interfering with natural death was wrong, humans continued to worship Asclepius as the founder of medicine.

Back to Asclepius´pupil, Paean, he was once instructed by Leto (Apollo‘s mother and goddess of fertility) to obtain a magical root growing on Mount Olympus that would soothe the pain of women in childbirth.

Asclepius became jealous and threatened to kill his pupil. Zeus saved Paean from the wrath of Asclepius by turning him into the peony flower. 

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On the Left: Statuette of Paeon . 2nd century. On the Right: Peony, flower.

On the Left: Statuette of Paean . 2nd century. On the Right: Peony, flower.

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►Cyparissus/ Cypress tree:

Cyparissus was a handsome young man from the island of Kea, the son of Telefus and grand son of Hercules.

He was god Apollo‘s protege as well as of god Zephiros (god of the wind). He asked the heavens for a favour; that his tears would roll down eternally. The favorite companion of Cyparissus was a tamed stag, which he accidentally killed with his hunting javelin as it lay sleeping in the woods. The gods turned him into a cypress tree, whose sap forms droplets like tears on the trunk. Therefore, the cypress tree became the tree of sorrow, and a classical symbol of mourning.

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On the Left: "Cyparissus" (mourning his deer) by Jacopo Vignali. 1670. On the Right: Bald Cypress Leaves.

On the Left: “Cyparissus” (mourning his deer) by Jacopo Vignali. 1670. On the Right: Bald Cypress Leaves.

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►Phyllis, Demophon´s wife/Almond Tree:

Phyllis was a daughter of a Thracian king.

She married Demophon, King of Athens and son of Theseus, while he stopped in Thrace on his journey home from the Trojan War.

Demophon, duty bound to Greece, returns home to help his father, leaving Phyllis behind. She sends him away with a casket, telling him that it contained a sacrament of Rhea and asking him to open it only if he has given up hope of returning to her. From here, the story diverges. In one version, Phyllis realizes that he will not return and commits suicide by hanging herself from a tree. Where she is buried, an almond tree grows, which blossoms when Demophon returns to he

A daughter of king Sithon, in Thrace, fell in love with Demophon on his return from Troy to Greece. Demophon promised her, by a certain day, to come back from Athens and marry her, and as he was prevented from keeping his word, Phyllis hung herself, but was metamorphosed into an almond-tree, which is a symbol of hope and rebirth.

In my previous post, I also made reference to another myth featuring an almond tree, which I will summarize here again.

This myth involved Cybele, his son Agdistis and his grandson Attis.

Medallion depicting Cybele and the sun god in the sky looking on as she rides in her chariot. 2nd century BC

Medallion depicting Cybele and Helios, the sun god in the sky looking from above as she rides in her chariot. 2nd century BC

Cybele (the so called “Great Mother”) gave birth to the hermaphroditic demon Agdistis.

Afraid of such creature, Cybele cut off his male sexual organ and from its blood sprang an almond tree.

When its fruit was ripe, Nana, who was a daughter of the river-god Sangarius, picked an almond and laid it in her bosom.

The almond disappeared, and she became pregnant.

Soon after the baby (named Attis) was born, Nana abandoned him, but a couple took care of him. 

When he was a young man, the foster parents of Attis sent him to Pessinos, where he was to wed the king’s daughter. 

Just as the marriage had started, Cybele appeared in her transcendent power, as she was jealous because she had fallen in love with Attis (his grandson).

Attis went mad, cut off his genitals and died. From Attis’ blood sprang the first violets.

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On the Left: "Phyllis and Demophoön" by John William Waterhouse. 19th century. On the Right: Almond Trees.

On the Left: “Phyllis and Demophon” by John William Waterhouse. 19th century. On the Right: Almond Trees.

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►The Nymph Pitys/The Fir tree:
Pan, the god of the wild and shepherds, was in love with the nymph Pitys. The god of the North wind was also attracted to Pity, but the nymph chose Pan over him.
The North Wind wanted to take revenge so he blew her over a gorge and killed her.
Pan found her lifeless body laying in the gorge and turned her into sacred tree, the Fir-tree.
Ever since, every time the North wind blows, Pitys cries. Her tears are the pitch droplets that leak out of the fir-cones in autumn.
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On the Left: "Pan and Pitys" by Edward Calvert. 1850. On the Right: Fir Trees.

On the Left: “Pan and Pitys” by Edward Calvert. 1850. On the Right: Fir Trees.

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►Rose, created by the goddess of flowers, Chloris, from a dead Nymph:

"Flora and Zephy" by Bouguereau. 1875.

“Flora and Zephy” by Bouguereau. 1875.

In Greek mythology, the rose was created by the goddess of flowers, Chloris (Roman equivalent: Flora).

One day, Chloris found the lifeless body of a nymph in the forest and she turned her into a flower.

She called Aphrodite, goddess of love, and Dionysus, the god of wine.

Aphrodite gave the flower beauty as her gift and Dionysus added nectar to give it a sweet fragrance. Zephiros, god of the West Wind, blew the clouds away so Apollo, the sun-god, could shine and make the flower bloom. That is how the rose was created and rightfully crowned “Queen of Flowers”.

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On the Left: Chloris. Detail "Primavera" by Sandro Botticelli.1478. On the Right: Rose Flower.

On the Left: Chloris. Detail “Primavera” by Sandro Botticelli.1478. On the Right: Rose Flower.

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►Orchis (son of a nymph and a satyr)/Orchid Plant:

In Greek mythology, Orchis was the son of a nymph (a female nature deity typically associated with a particular location or landform) and a satyr (a rustic fertility spirits of the countryside and wilds).

During a celebratory feast for Dionysus, Orchis committed the sacrilege of attempting to rape a priestess.

His punishment was to being torn apart by wild beasts. From his death arose Orchids which are a testament to the male reproductive organs (the testis). Today, the orchid means refinement as well as beauty. The origin of the plant name comes from the word orkhis, a word to describe part of the male genitalia, because of the shape of the bulbous roots. 

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On the Left: Fight between Nymph and Satyr. Naples National Archaeological Museum. On the Right: Orchid Plant and flowers.

On the Left: Fight between Nymph and Satyr. Naples National Archaeological Museum. On the Right: Orchid Plant and flowers.

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Flowers and Plants

Flowers and Plants: Peony, Rose, Orchid, Cypress (Leaves), Crocus, Mint (Leaves), Almond Tree (Flowers), Fir Tree (Branch).

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►Links Post:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crocus_(mythology)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyparissus
http://amphipolis.gr/en/fyllis/
http://www.valentine.gr/mythology5_en.php
http://www.theoi.com/Ouranios/Paion.html
http://www.mythindex.com/greek-mythology/P/Phyllis.html
http://www.ancient-literature.com/rome_ovid_metamorphoses.html
https://tropicalfloweringzone.wordpress.com/2014/05/07/dendrobiums-orchids/
http://www.dominiquehackettchc.com/mint-wonderful-go-to-herb/
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