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

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

Hera, you have cast me from the mount.

Shattering the sphere, salt lime stings my 

skin where I am abandoned to the sea as

less than weeds. 

My cries are the waves  that

flow from  seashell eyes into the

arms of Oceanus.

Aphrodite plucks me up,  a heron

biting my body  and harpooned legs

that break against the sea wall.

I have loosed the crown of  Athena,

split with my ax the fearsome bird of prey.

Impaled, his eyes are those of a  startled deer.

Seized by  fate  I have gathered my medium and

with my broken hands and feet I mold precious metals

into  creations for Gods.

Goblets for Dionysus,

for Aphrodite, the unfaithful,   a copper belt.

A chariot of human form for broken Hephaestus

that I might roam the world unfettered.

For Hera, a golden throne,

where she is bound to dwell forever.

©Holly Rene Hunter. 2017 .-

Holly Rene Hunter.

About Holly Rene Hunter. 

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

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

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

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Flowers and Plants in Greek Myths

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"Flora" (Goddess of Flowers) by Evelyn De Morgan. 1894.

“Flora” (Goddess of Flowers) by Evelyn De Morgan. 1894.

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►Metamorphosis, Life-cycles and Seasons:

One of the most important sources when it comes to Greek Mythology is Ovid´s “Metamorphoses”. According to this account, many times the passage from life to death entails a “metamorphosis”. Characters whether gods/goddesses or humans are transformed into “something else”.

Plants (usually flowers or trees) could be examples of this transformation. The same applies to stars, as many characters are converted to stars and placed among stellar constellations . This mostly happens after their death, as tribute,  but even as a sort of exoneration; or even as punishment. The main God in charge to do so is, of course, Zeus, the Ruler of Gods.

Metamorphosis is a key element in Greek mythology. Zeus had probably the most changes in Greek mythology, and he used different appearances as a way of courting potential lovers. Zeus often took the form of animals aiming to sleep with his future lovers. For example, Zeus consorted with Mnemosyne in the form of a shepherd. Leda was seduced by Zeus in the form of swan. He even fell for a young man called Ganymede, who was abducted and taken to Olympus by Zeus in the form of an eagle to be his lover and the cupbearer of the gods. But there were cases in which Zeus took other forms. For example, Callisto (a nymph who was in love with Artemis) was deceived by Zeus disguised as Artemis, the goddess of hunting. And in the case of Danae, Zeus turned himself into golden rain, made his way into her chamber, and impregnated her.

Back to flowers and plants, it is worth noting that they go through different stages in their life cycle. Growth is where photosynthesis begins as the leaves collect sunlight and turn it into food for the growing flower. The root system stretches out and develops, and the flower bud begins to form during the growth stage. Within the protection of the bud, a small, complete flower forms. When the plant matures and is ready to reproduce, it develops flowers. All plants begin life as a seed but flowers are unique in their ability to attract pollinating creatures and spread their seeds. Flowers are the special structures involved in pollination and fertilisation, processes which lead to the formation of new seeds. 

Seeds, leaves and flowers are basic and indispensable components of the same structures: plants.

Plants and flowers might go through different stages, depending on the season of the year. In Spring, tree buds burst into leaves and flowers blossom. In Summer, trees are in full leaf. During autumn, tree leaves turn yellow, red or brown and fall to the ground, trees start to reproduce and spread their seeds (which lay dormant on the ground throughout winter and start budding around spring). In Winter, trees are bare and fallen leaves begin to decay. 

Interestingly enough, as a consequence of what has been described above, a mythological character who had been metamorphosed to a plant would eventually go through many other changes as well. Furthermore, when it comes to life-cycles, seasons and stages of life (birth, childhood, adulthood, old age) have much in common: distinctive characteristics such as development, reproduction, vitality, lethargy could be expressions of both annual phases and periods of a lifetime.

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►Myhrra: Myrrh Tree /Adonis: Anemone:

Adonis’s mother was Myrrha, the beautiful daughter of king Cinyras

Myrrha’s mother would say that she was even more beautiful than Aphrodite which angered the goddess who cursed Myrrha to fall in love and lust after her father.

She tricked him into sleeping with her and she became pregnant. When her father found out he had been tricked he was so angry that he tried to kill her but the gods took pity on her and turned her into a myrrh tree.

Even so, the goddess finally gave birth to her son. Aphrodite found the baby by a myrrh tree and she gave him to Persephone, the wife of Hades, who was the God of the Underworld. 

When the child grew he became a very beautiful young man: Adonis.

Persephone was also taken by Adonis’ beauty and refused to give him back to Aphrodite.

The dispute between the two goddesses was settled by Zeus, the king of the gods: Adonis was to spend one-third of every year with each goddess and the last third wherever he chose. He chose to spend two-thirds of the year with Aphrodite.

Ares, the god of war, grew jealous because Aphrodite spent so much time with Adonis that she had forgotten about him. As a result, Ares turned into a gigantic wild boar and attacked Adonis. Adonis, having forgotten Aphrodite’s warning, attacked the boar but soon found himself being chased by it. 

The boar caught Adonis and castrated him. Adonis died in Aphrodite’s arms, and she sprinkled his blood with nectar from the anemone. It is supposedly Adonis’ blood that turns the Adonis River red, each spring. 

The Greek myths lend the Anemone flower dual meanings of the arrival of spring breezes and the loss of a loved one to death, it also represents forsaken and undying love.

Christians later adopted the symbolism of the anemone. For them its red represented the blood shed by Jesus Christ on the cross. Anemones sometimes appear in paintings of the Crucifixion.

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On the Left: “Myhrra assisted by Lucina, the Goddess of Birth” by Jean de Court (1560).. On the Right: Myrrh tree.

On the Left: “Myhrra assisted by Lucina, the Goddess of Birth” by Jean de Court (1560).. On the Right: Myrrh tree.

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On the Left: “Adonis” by Benjamin West (1800). On the Right: An anemone

On the Left: “Adonis” by Benjamin West (1800). On the Right: An anemone

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"The Awakening of Adonis” by John William Waterhouse. (1900) / On the right: Details: Anemones.

“The Awakening of Adonis” by John William Waterhouse. (1900) / On the right: Details: Anemones.

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►Daphne: Laurel Tree:

Daphne was a nymph,. Her mother was Gaia and her father, the river god Peneus.

Daphne was also a follower of Artemis, the goddess of Hunting, and a divinity never conquered by love. The priestesses devoted to her service were bound to live pure and chaste, and transgressions of their vows of chastity were severely punished. 

Apollo was a very great archer and he loves to praise himself. One day Apollo met Eros, who was a very great archer like Apollo.

Apollo made fun about Eros‘s archery. As the latter got angry and wanted revenge, he made two arrows. One arrow was submerged in golden water. This arrow awakened love and passion if stuck into human flesh,whilst the other arrow removed passion and love, under the same circumstances.

The arrow of love reached Apollo’s heart and he desperately loved Daphne. But unfortunately the other arrow into Daphne’s heart. As a result, Daphne always ran away from Apollo, who never stopped chasing her. Finally Apollo captured her. Being in this situation, Daphne asked help from his father, Peneus. As all gods of water posses the ability of transformation, Peneus transformed his daughter into a laurel tree. Since Apollo could no longer take her as his wife, he vowed to tend her as his tree, to raid away all tempted beasts and creatures of the earth, that intended to do her harm, and promised that her leaves would decorate the heads of leaders as crowns. Laurel leaves surrounded the temple of Apollo to cleanse the soul before entering, being related to ambition and success. It’s associated with purification and considered a plant with powers of immortality. Laurel supposedly awakens awareness and past life memories.

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On the Left: “Apollo and Daphne” by Antonio del Pollaiolo (1470/1480).- On the Right: Laurel Bay Leaves.

On the Left: “Apollo and Daphne” by Antonio del Pollaiolo (1470/1480).- On the Right: Laurel Bay Leaves.

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►Lotis: Lotus Tree:

According to Ovid´s “Fasti”, the nymph Lotis fell into a drunken slumber at a feast, and Priapus (the son of Aphrodite and Dionysus, who was usually frustrated by his sexual impotence), seized this opportunity to advance upon her. With stealth he approached, and just before he could embrace her, a donkey alerted the party with “raucous braying”. Lotis awoke and pushed Priapus away, but her only true escape would result in being transformed into a lotus tree.  The symbolic, broader meaning of lotus flowers is of spiritual purity and chastity. Its meaning also entails eloquence and rebirth.

Furthermore, Lotus-Eater was also one of a tribe encountered by the Greek hero Odysseus during his return from Troy, after a north wind had driven him and his men from Cape Malea (Homer, “Odyssey”, Book IX). The local inhabitants, whose distinctive practice is indicated by their name, invited Odysseus’ scouts to eat of the mysterious plant. Those who did so were overcome by a blissful forgetfulness; they had to be dragged back to the ship and chained to the rowing-benches, or they would never have returned to their duties.

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On the Left: "The Feast of the Gods" by Giovanni Bellini and Titian. 1514–1529 Painting and Detail "Priapus and Lotis", respectively. On the Right: Lotus tree (flowers)

On the Left: “The Feast of the Gods” by Giovanni Bellini and Titian. 1514–1529
Painting and Detail “Priapus and Lotis”, respectively. On the Right: Lotus tree (flowers).

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►Agdistis: Almond Tree/ Cybele: Violet:

The story tells that when Cybele, the great mother goddess, Cybele rejected Zeus, he spilled his seed on her. In due course, Cybele gave birth to Agdistis, a hermaphroditic demon so strong and wild the other gods feared him. In their terror they cut off his male sexual organ. From its blood sprang an almond tree. The almond tree represents the promise and the beauty, and it is a symbol of resurrection.

The river Sangarius had a daughter named Nana, who ate the fruit of this almond tree. As a result of having eaten this fruit Nana delivered a boy child nine months later. His name was Attis and, as time went by, he became a young handsome man… So  handsome his grandmother, Cybele fell in love with him. In time, Attis saw the king of Pessinus’ beautiful daughter, fell in love, and wished to marry her. The goddess Cybele became insanely jealous and drove Attis mad for revenge. Running crazy through the mountains, Attis killed himself. From Attis’ blood sprang the first violets.

The Greeks believed that violets were sacred to the god Ares and to Io, one of the many human lovers of Zeus. Violet flowers symbolized delicate love, affection, modesty, faith, nobility, intuition and dignity.  Later, in Christian symbolism, the violet stood for the virtue of humility, or modesty, and several legends tell of violets springing up on the graves of virgins and saints. European folktales associate violets with death and morning. Besides, almonds trees are mentioned in the Bible in Genesis 30:37, Genesis 43:11, and in Exodus 25:33.

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On the Left: Phrygian statue of Agdistis from the mid-6th century BCE. On the Right: An almond tree.

On the Left: Phrygian statue of Agdistis from the mid-6th century BCE. On the Right: An almond tree.

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Cybele, Roman statue (marble), 1st century AD, (Getty Museum, Malibu).

Cybele, Roman statue (marble), 1st century AD, (Getty Museum, Malibu).

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►Clythie: Sunflower:

Clytie and her sister, Leucothea, were water nymphs. Early every morning they used to come up from the depths of their river, with other nymphs from neighboring streams and fountains, and dance among the water-plants on its shores. But with the first rays of the rising sun, all the dancers plunged back into the water and disappeared; for that was the law among water-nymphs.
One morning Clytie and Leucothea broke this law. When the sun began to show above the hills, and all the other nymphs rushed back to their streams, these two sat on the bank of their river, and watched for the coming of the sun-god. Then as Apollo drove his horses across the sky, they sat and watched him all day long. When they returned home, Clytie told King Oceanus how Leucothea had broken the law of the water-nymphs, but she did not say that she herself had broken it also. King Oceanus was very angry, and shut Leucothea up in a cave. Clytie felt there was no more competition, as she clearly didn´t want to share her love towards Apollo with her sister. The following day, she remained on the shore all day to watch Apollo, the God of the Sun. For a time the god returned her love, but then he got tired of her. The forlorn Clytie sat, day after day, slowly turning her head to watch Apollo move across the sky in his solar chariot. Eventually, the gods took pity on her and turned her into a flower. In some versions of the myth, she became a heliotrope or a marigold, but most accounts say that Clytie became a sunflower

Spiritually, sunflowers represent God’s love and humankind seeking unity and connection with a higher power, being linked to lofty thoughts, faith, hope and unity.

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On the Left: “Clytie: Sorrow and Sunflowelite” by Frederic Leighton (1895). On the Right: “Clytie” by Evelyn De Morgan (1887).

On the Left: “Clytie: Sorrow and Sunflowelite” by Frederic Leighton (1895). On the Right: “Clytie” by Evelyn De Morgan (1887).

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On the Left: "Clytie" by Élisabeth Sonrel (20th century). On The Right: A Sunflower.

On the Left: “Clytie” by Élisabeth Sonrel (20th century). On The Right: A Sunflower.

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►Hyacinth: Homonym Flower:

Hyacinth was a beautiful youth and lover of the god Apollo, though he was also admired by the West Wind, Zephyrus. Apollo´s beauty caused a feud between the two gods. Jealous that Hyacinth preferred the god Apollo, Zephyrus blew Apollo’s discus off course, so as to injure and kill Hyacinth.

When he died, Apollo did not allow Hades, the God of the Underworld, to claim him; rather, he made a flower, the hyacinth– which represents the virtue of  constancy sprang from his blood. According to a local Spartan version of the myth, Hyacinth and his sister Polyboea were taken to Elysium by Aphrodite, Athena and Artemis.

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On the left: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, "The death of Hyacinth". 18 th century. Painting and detail, respectively. On the right: A Hyacinth.

On the left: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, “The death of Hyacinth”. 18 th century. Painting and detail, respectively. On the right: A Hyacinth.

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►Narcissus: Homonym Flower:

Echo was a beautiful nymph, fond of the woods, where she devoted herself to woodland sports. She was a favorite of Artemis, and attended her in the chase. But Echo had one failing; she was fond of talking, and whether in chat or argument, would have the last word.

One day, Hera was seeking her husband, who, she had reason to fear, was amusing himself among the nymphs. Echo by her talk contrived to detain the goddess until the nymphs managed to escape. When Hera discovered it, she passed sentence upon Echo in these words: “You shall forfeit the use of that tongue with which you have cheated me, except for that one purpose you are so fond of—reply. You shall still have the last word, but no power to speak first”.

This nymph saw Narcissus, a beautiful youth, as he pursued the chase upon the mountains. She liked him and followed his footsteps, but her attempts to talk to Narcissus were vain. e left her, and she went to hide her blushes in the recesses of the woods.

Narcissus came upon a clear spring, Narcissus stooped down to drink, and saw his own image in the water; he thought it was some beautiful water-spirit living in the fountain. The spell of Artemis had totally mesmerized him, and for hours he sprawled by the spring, until at last he recognized himself. Unable to stand the  inability of consummating love, Narcissus plunged a dagger in his heart and died.

When Narcissus died, wasting away before his own reflection, consumed by a love that could not be, Echo mourned over his body. As he was looking one last time into the pool uttered, “Oh marvellous boy, I loved you in vain, farewell”, Echo too chorused, “Farewell.”

The myth tells that where his blood soaked the earth sprung up the white narcissus flower with its red corollary, forever growing at the water’s edge, its head inclined towards the water. No wonder why Narcissus flowers Symbolize love, rebirth and new beginnings.

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On the Left: "Echo and Narcissus". Pier Francesco Mola. 1633-41. Painting and detail, respectively. On the Right: Narcissus.

On the Left: “Echo and Narcissus”. Pier Francesco Mola. 1633-41. Painting and detail, respectively. On the Right: Narcissus.

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►Poppies, Symbols of Demeter (and also of Hypnos, Thanatos and Morpheus):

The Greeks associated poppies with  Hypnos, god of sleep, his twin brother, Thanatos, god of death, and Morpheus, god of dreams. This was because a type of poppy native to the Mediterranean region yields a substance called opium, a drug that was used in the ancient world to ease pain and bring on sleep.

In Greek mythology, Demeter was the goddess of agriculture who presented humankind with the secrets to grain-farming (a craft which she first revealed to the demi-god Triptolemus). Her emblem was the red poppy growing among the barley. The myth says that Demeter created the poppy so she could sleep, whilst wandering about in search of her daughter for nine days. This was after the loss of her daughter, Persephone, who had been abducted by Hades and taken to the Underworld. As a result of her daughter´s abduction, a grief-stricken and wrathful Demeter commanded the earth to become infertile until her daughter was returned to her (this would, in turn, induce autumn, and then winter). Upon seeing the starvation of the mortals due to Demeter’s curse on the earth, Zeus was forced to order Hades to return Persephone to her mother. Hades complied with his brother’s wish, but before Persephone was taken back up by Hermes (the only god who can go freely to the Underworld), Hades gave her a pomegranate, and persuaded her to eat six seeds. Hence, Persephone has to stay within the Underworld for six months out of the year. The theme of sleep is carried through the myth as Persephone’s cyclical excursions to the underworld were timed with the seasons. She would leave her mother Demeter in the winter to join her husband, Hades. Her absence marked the winter, her submersion in the underworld signifies a kind of “closing the shutters” and slumber in the cycle of life. 

By and large, poppies have long been used as a symbol of sleep, peace, and death: Sleep because the opium extracted from them is a sedative, and death because of the common blood-red color of the red poppy in particular. In Greek and Roman myths, poppies were used as offerings to the dead. Poppies used as emblems on tombstones symbolize eternal sleep. 

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On the Left: Demeter Relief, 18Th Century. Versailles. On the right: A Poppy.

On the Left: Demeter Relief, 18Th Century. Versailles. On the right: A Poppy.

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Rememberance-Day-Poppies

During World War I, poppies florished naturally in conditions of disturbed earth throughout Western Europe. Once the conflict was over the poppy was one of the only plants to grow on the otherwise barren battlefields. The armistice which ended World War I took place on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. In the years after the war, veterans and fallen from the Allied forces were honored by the wearing of real or artificial poppies on Armistice Day.

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Worth reading!. 

♠Poetry: Robert Frost´s “Nothing Gold Can Stay”.

Analysis at Poetic Parfait with Christy Birmingham:

This section of the post is mostly a recommendation, consisting of an analysis of Robert Frost´s poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay”, posted by Christy Birmingham

To sum up how it all started, Christy has mentioned it as one of her favorite poems in an interview. So I was curious about it and told her that I would read it and tell her my thoughts. Soon after the first approaches, we concluded that such great poem should be analyzed in depth. 

Personally, I loved this poem  and I was thrilled by Frost´s poetic proficiency. The poem is brief (it only has six lines) and yet, it is so deep, and its ideas and metaphors are remarkably well intertwined, mainly given the “cyclical nature” of the poem… As a result of the discussion, Christy wrote an excellent post on her blog, which you can´t miss… So, without further ado, please take a closer look at “Nothing Gold Can Stay” on Poetic Parfait.

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Analysis of the Poem ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay’ by Robert Frost (Excerpt From Poetic Parfait): 

In a recent author interview, I explained that one of my favorite poems is “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost. Shortly after the interview published, my friend and fellow blogger Aquileana of La Audacia de Aquiles commented to me that she had not heard of this particular poem… As we I chatted about the poem, it became clear that there was a lot to discuss, from the imagery within the brilliant lines to Robert Frost’s use of rhyme and meter. Below is our collaborative analysis of “Nothing Gold Can Stay”… Read More.

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Click above to read the analysis of the Poem ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay’ by Robert Frost on Poetic Parfit.

Click above to read the analysis of the Poem ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay’ by Robert Frost on Poetic Parfait.

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►🌟About Christy Birmingham🌟:

cb1Christy is a Canadian freelance writer, poet and author. She is the author of two books. The poetry collection “Pathways to Illumination” (2013). And another poetry book,  “Versions of the Self” (2015).  Besides, she hosts two blogs: Poetic Parfait and When Women Inspire. You can also connect with Christy on Twitter

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►Links Post:
http://www.paleothea.com/Myths/Attis.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poppy
http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/ZeusLoves3.html
https://www.britannica.com/topic/Lotus-Eater
http://riordan.wikia.com/wiki/Demeter
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_symbolism
https://ferrebeekeeper.wordpress.com/tag/demeter/
http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/weekly/aa113099a.htm
http://www.talesbeyondbelief.com/myth-stories/clytie.htm
http://sciencelearn.org.nz/Contexts/Pollination/Looking-Closer/Flowering-plant-life-cycles
http://www.bustle.com/articles/94692-8-weirdest-sex-things-that-went-down-in-greek-mythology

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“The Abduction of Ganymede” by Eustache Le Sueur (1650).

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Ganymede pouring Zeus a libation. 480 BC.

Ganymede pouring Zeus a libation. 480 BC.

Ganymede was a Trojan prince in Greek mythology, known for his beauty. He was the son of the king Tros of Dardania, after whom Troy took its name, and Callirrhoe.

According to the myth, Zeus spotted Ganymede while the latter was attending to his father’s flocks and he became enchanted with his looks. Therefore, he took the form of turned into an eagle (Source: A Wing and A Day) and abducted Ganymede, bringing him to Mount Olympus.

In Olympus, Zeus granted him eternal youth and immortality and the office of cupbearer to the gods. From then on, Ganymede became water bearer to the Gods.

To compensate his father, Zeus  offered him the best horses possible, and told him that his son would now be immortal and serve as a cupbearer for the gods, as well as a lover for him:

“Ganymedes now, mixing the nectar, waits in heaven above, though Juno [Hera] frowns, and hands the cup to Jove [Zeus]”. (Ovid, Metamorphoses 10. 152).~

Almost all gods were content with Ganymede, except for Hera, who felt jealousy.

The idea of Ganymede being the cupbearer of Zeus subsequently gave rise to his identification with the divinity who was believed to preside over the sources of the Nile, and of his being placed by astronomers among the stars under the name of Aquarius, which is associated with that of the Eagle.

Aquarius constellation is symbolized by the water carrier or the water bearer. The sun passes through this constellation from mid February to mid March.

There is another constellation also related to this greek myth, and it is called Aquila, which is the latin word for “eagle”. Needless to say that Aquila was the eagle that in Greek mythology actually bore Ganymede (Aquarius) up to Mt. Olympus. The eagle was also the thunderbolt carrier for Zeus.

Besides, Ganymede is the largest moon of Jupiter and in the Solar System. Still an extra fact is that according to observations made with the Hubble Space Telescope, scientists have recently found that the largest moon in the Solar System is hiding an ocean under its surface.

“[Constellation] Aquila (Eagle). This is the eagle which is said to have snatched Ganymede up and given him to his lover, Jove [Zeus]. And so it seems to fly above Aquarius, who, as many imagine, is Ganymede”. (Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica, 2. 16).~

Ganymede was frequently represented as the god of homosexual love, and as such appears as a playmate of the love-gods Eros (Love) and Himeros (Desire)”.

Ganymedes was sometimes describes as the “Eros” of homosexual love and desire. Plato calls him Himeros (Sexual Desire).

“And when his feeling continues and he is nearer to him and embraces him, in gymnastic exercises and at other times of meeting, then the fountain of that stream, which Zeus when he was in love with Ganymede named Himeros (Desire), overflows upon the lover, and some enters into his soul, and some when he is filled flows out again”. (Plato, Phaedrus 255).~

Plato also mentions this myth in his dialogue “Laws”, in which he relates it to homosexuality:

“One certainly should not fail to observe that when male unites with female for procreation the pleasure experienced is held to be due to nature, but contrary to nature, when male mates with male or female with female, and that those first guilty of such enormities were impelled by their slavery to pleasure. And we all accuse the Kretans of concocting the story about Ganymedes. Because it was the belief that they derived their laws from Zeus, they added on this story about Zeus in order that they might be following his example in enjoying this pleasure as well”. (Plato, Laws, 636c).~

On the other hand, the myth was a model for the Greek social custom of Paiderastia, the socially acceptable erotic relationship between a man and a younger man.

Ganymede was depicted in Greek vase painting as a handsome boy. In the abduction scene his attributes were usually a rooster (a lover’s gift), a hoop (a boy’s toy), or a lyre. When portrayed as the cup-bearer of the gods he is shown pouring nectar from a jug.

In poetry, Ganymede became a symbol for the beautiful young male who attracted homosexual desire and love.

In Baldassare Peruzzi´s panel of The Rape of Ganymede” (*see painting below) in a ceiling at the Villa Farnesina, Rome, Ganymede’s long blond hair and girlish pose make him identifiable at first glance, though he grasps the eagle’s wing without resistance.

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(*) “The Rape of Ganymede” by Baldassare Peruzzi. Ceiling at the Villa Farnesina, Rome, (1514).

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“The Kidnapping of Ganymede” by Peter Paul Rubens (17th century).

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Zeus and Ganymede . Progressions of Two paitings. 1) Painting with  Zeus as an eagle

Zeus and Ganymede . Progressions of Two paitings. 1) Painting with Zeus as an eagle “Abduction of Ganymede” by Rembrandt (17th century). 2) Painting with Little Ganymede kissing Zeus: “Jupiter and Ganymede” by Nicolaes de Helt Stockade (17th century).

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Links Post:
http://www.theoi.com/Ouranios/Ganymedes.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganymede_%28mythology%29
http://users.belgacom.net/bn061744/mgganymede.htm
https://awingandaway.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/ancient-flights-of-the-eternal-2/
https://www.nasa.gov/press/2015/march/nasa-s-hubble-observations-suggest-underground-ocean-on-jupiters-largest-moon/
https://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/07/jeremy-andenberg/15-constellations-every-man-should-know/

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I have been nominated for three awards. 

The One Lovely Blog Award,  from Inside the Life of Moi, the Creative Blogger Award, from Poetry and Chocolate and Books and the Very Inspiring Blogger Award, from Angelo’s Universe.

I want to thank these three bloggers and suggest you to please make sure to check out their blogs and follow them.thank you1

Note: For the three awards, I will nominate blogs I have recently came across and like, recent followers and/or plussers. Also, I am changing the logos so that way I can include new awards among mine… And, finally, I will follow the nomination process without answering questions or mentioning facts about me… 

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I am saying: “Awards… Wow, awesome!”.~

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►Rules for these Three Awards:

♠ Thank the person who nominated you for the award. 

♠ Add the logo to your post.

♠Nominate ten (10) bloggers you admire and inform them of the nomination. 

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►I) Nominees~One Lovely Blog Award~

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1. Crissy Dean 2.Short Stories Diary 3. Italian Home Kitchen Blog 4. Robynchristi 5. Charlotte Bang Bang 6. Before Sundown 7. 100 Ways to Write 8. Yamarella 9. Poetic Darkness 10. From Midnight to Dawnlight.

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►II) Nominees~Creative Blogger Award (Pencils Version)~

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1. Angelo’s Universe 2. Dorlanavann 3. Poems thrown in a shoebox 4. BlondiesBearista 5. Sesquiotica 6.Filling Spaces 7. Zen Scribbles 8. Comig East 9. Sinister Bend 10. Serenity in the City.

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►III) Nominees~Very Inspiring Blogger Award (Soft Version)~

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1.Inside the Life of Moi 2. The Keys 3. Poetry and Chocolate and Books 4. The Writes of Woman 5. Ginger’s Grocery 6. Just Jen 7. Haiku Odyssey 8. Imagery of Light 9. A Little Blog of Books 10. A Writer’s Path.

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►Silvina Garré: “Palmas Azules Para Mí”:

~To Verónica Boletta, from the great Poetry Blog “En Humor Arte”~

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 ►Greek Mythology: “The Horae”:

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“Apollo and the Hours” by Georg Friedrich Kersting (1822).

“Apollo and the Hours” by Georg Friedrich Kersting (1822).

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The Horae were the goddesses of the seasons and the natural portions of time. 

They were originally the personifications of nature in its different seasonal aspects, but in later times they were regarded as goddesses of order in general and natural justice.

Pursuant to Homer, who neither mentions their parents nor their number, they are the Olympian divinities of the weather and the ministers of Zeus; and in this capacity they guard the doors of Olympus, and promote the fertility of the earth, by the various kinds of weather they send down. Thy were also the ones who discovered Aphrodite soon after her sea-foam birth and saved her.

The Horae are mentioned in two senses in Hesiod’s “Theogony” and the Homeric Hymns.

First Triad: In one variant emphasizing their fruitful aspect, Thallo (Spring or new shoots), Auxo or Auxesia (Spring Growth, which equals to Summer), and Carpo (Autumn). 

These three Horae, (Thallo, Auxo and Carpo) were the daughters of Zeus and Themis. Thus they were also sisters of the Three Fates (or Moirai)

They were the goddesses of the three seasons the Greeks recognized: Spring (Thallo), Summer (Auxo) and Autumn (Carpo).

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Detail of an attic vase, depicting the Three Horae (Seasons). Period: Late Archaic (500 BC).

Detail of an attic vase, depicting the Three Horae (Seasons). Period: Late Archaic (500 BC).

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As the Horae were conceived to promote the prosperity of every thing that grows, they appear also as the protectresses of youth.

Jane Ellen Harrison asserts the existence of female trinities, discusses the Horae as chronological symbols representing the phases of the Moon and goes on to equate the Horae with the Seasons, the Graces and the Fates and the three seasons of the ancient Greek year.

The Hora of Spring, Thallo, accompanied Persephone every year on her ascent from Hades’ Underworld to meet his mother DemeterAccording to one of the Homeric Hymns, the attributes of spring-flowers, fragrance, and graceful freshness are accordingly transferred to the Horae; thus they adorned Aphrodite as she rose from the sea, made a garland of flowers for Pandora, and even inanimate things are described as deriving peculiar charms from the Horae. 

Second Triad: In this variant, emphasising the “right order” aspect of the Horae. They were three Goddesses called Dike, Eunomia, and Eirene.

These three Horae were law-and-order goddesses that maintained the stability of society and were worshipped primarily in the cities of Athens, Argos and Olympia.

Eunomia was the goddess of law and legislation. The same or a different goddess may have been a daughter of  Hermes and Aphrodite.

Dike was he goddess of moral justice: she ruled over human justice, as her mother Themis ruled over divine justice. According to myths,  Zeus placed her on earth to keep mankind just, he quickly learned this was impossible and placed her next to him on Olympus, as the Greek constellation called The Maiden.

Eirene was the personification of peace and wealth.

•Note regarding the number of Horae: The number of the Horae differs according to the sources, though the most ancient number seems to have been two (Thallo and Carpo)But afterwards their common number was three. 

Quintus Smyrnaeus makes Helios and Selene (the Sun and Moon) the parents of the Horae, goddesses of the seasons.

In this account of Helios’ myth, the Horae were the four handmaidens of Hera (Zeus’ wife). According to this version, their names were: Eiar (Spring), Theros (Summer), Phthinoporon (Autumn), and Cheimon (Winter).

Hyginus (Fab. 183) is in great confusion respecting the number and names of the Horae, as he mixes up the original names with surnames, and the designations of separate seasons or hours. In this manner he first makes out a list of ten Horae (Titanis, Auxo, Eunomia, Pherusa, Carpo, Dice, Euporia, Eirene, Orthosia, and Thallo), and a second of eleven (Auge, Anatole, Musia, Gymnasia, Nymphes, Mesembria, Sponde, Telete, Acme, Cypridos, Dysis)

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►Villa Dar Buc Ammera (Rome): Mosaic depicting the Seasons:

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►In another different variant the Horae were not related with seasons but to the portions of time of the Day, twelve hours for the Ancient Greeks.

The ancient Greeks divided the hours of daylight into twelve portions, identified by the position of the sun in the sky. 

In this sense, the Twelve Horae were Goddesses of the hours of the day and perhaps also of the twelve months of the year.

These Horae oversaw the path of the Sun-God Helios as he travelled across the sky, dividing the day into its portions.

The Twelve Horae were not always clearly distinguishable from the Horae of the Seasons, who were also described as overseeing the path of the sun.

Their names were:

Auge, first light.

Anatole, sunrise.

Mousika, the morning hour of music and study.

Gymnastika, the morning hour of gymnastics/exercise.

Nymph, the morning hour of ablutions (bathing, washing).

Mesembria, noon.

Sponde, libations poured after lunch.

Elete, prayer, the first of the afternoon work hours.

Akte, eating and pleasure, the second of the afternoon work hours.

Hesperis, evening.

Dysis, sunset.

Arktos, night sky, constellation.

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"Apollo and the Continents. Details of Frescoes in the Würzburg Residenz (1751-53) by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1752-53 ). Description: Apollo has left his palace and is floating slowly downward, accompanied by two of the Horae, while the rising sun shines out behind him. This is a mythological representation of the sun rising over the Earth, which is symbolized by the surrounding Continents. The sun appears as a life-giving force which determines the course of the days, months and years.

“Apollo and the Continents. Details of Frescoes in the Würzburg Residenz (1751-53)
by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1752-53 ). Description: Apollo (Helios) has left his palace and is floating slowly downward, accompanied by two of the Horae, while the rising sun shines out behind him. Sun rising over the Earth, symbolized by the surrounding Continents. The sun appears as a life-giving force which determines the course of the days, months and years.

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►Two Paintings by Sandro Botticelli (1444/1510), featuring the Seasons (Greek Horae):

1)”The Birth of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli (1486):

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"The Birt of Venus" by Sandro Botticelli (1486).

“The Birth of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli (1486).

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“The Birth of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli (1486). Detail. On the Right: One of the Greek Horae waits for Aphrodite with a flower covered robe .

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Description: The wind gods Boreas and Zephyrus waft the Goddess of Love to shore. There, one of the Horae, probably Thallo, who represented Spring, waits to receive Aphrodite (Venus) as she spreads out a flower covered robe in readiness for the Love Goddess’ arrival.

The picture hung in the country villa of the Medici along with “Primavera” (see painting below), indicating that the work was commissioned by the Medici family.

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2) “Primavera”, by Sandro Botticelli (1482):

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"Primavera" by  Sandro Botticelli (1482).

“Primavera” by Sandro Botticelli (1482).

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primavDescription: This painting depicts a tale from the fifth book of Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” in which the wood nymph Chloris‘ charms attracted the first wind of Spring, Zephyr.

Zephyr pursued her and as she was ravished, flowers sprang from her mouth and she became transformed into Flora, goddess of flowers.

Aphrodite presides over the garden – an orange grove (a Medici symbol). She stands in front of the dark leaves of a myrtle, which was a sacred plant to her.  

According to Botticelli, the woman in the flowered dress is Primavera (a personification of Spring thus probably link to Thallo) whose companion is Flora.

The Three Graces accompanying her are being targeted by Eros (Cupid in Roman Mythology).

In Greek Mythology, the Three Graces represent beauty, joy and plenty.

They are usually shown holding hands, smiling at each other or dancing, forming a close-knit group.

Hermes, the Greek god of herds and herald of the gods, keeps the garden safe from threatening clouds. 

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"Primavera" by Sandro Botticelli (1482). Details. On the Left: Mercury (Hermes). On the Right: Chloris and Zephyrus.

“Primavera” by Sandro Botticelli (1482). Details. On the Left: Mercury (Hermes). On the Right: Chloris and Zephyrus.

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"Primavera" by Sandro Botticelli (1482). Details. On The Left: Flora, the goddess of flowers. In the Middle: Venus (Aphrodite) standing in her arch. On the Right: The Three Graces.

“Primavera” by Sandro Botticelli (1482). Details. On The Left: Flora, the goddess of flowers. In the Middle: Venus (Aphrodite) standing in her arch. And according to Botticelli, The Goddess of Spring, which in Greek Mythology was one of the Horae: Thallo. On the Right: The Three Graces.

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►Links Post:
http://www.theoi.com/Titan/Horai.html 
http://www.theoi.com/Ouranios/Horai.html 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horae 
http://www.greek-gods.info/ancient-greek-gods/horae/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primavera_(Painting)
http://www.italian-renaissance-art.com/Birth-of-Venus.html
http://noellevignola.com/2014/11/02/horae/ (Thoughts on the Horae By Noelle)
http://toritto.wordpress.com/2014/03/04/channeling-botticelli-2/  (A poem By Toritto)
http://www.livius.org/vi-vr/villa/villa_dar_bur_ammera_seasons.html

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►Worth Reading:

“A Great Post on Malala Yousafzai at When Women Inspire“:

I want to thank Christy Birmingham for letting me be part of her very special tribute to Malala Yousafzai… A girl who is an example of resistance and overcoming, who fights against extremism and inequality and who has recently become the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. 

Please make sure to check out the post here: Spotlight on Women’s Rights Activist Malala Yousafzai

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►Last but not Least: Challenge Workplace Blog Hop:

I have been invited for this Blog Hop by Kevin from Kev’s Blog and by Inese from Inesemjphotography.

The main idea here is to spot the place where you usually blog. It aims to give other bloggers a general overview on your blogger workspace (just to satisfy their curious minds)… 

So, with that purpose, I took some photos and attached them below. 

Finally I’d like to invite the following five bloggers to join the challenge. Of course, as all the blog challenges, this one is not compulsory either… 

1) Verónica from “En Humor Arte” 2) Irina from “Irina’s Poetry Corner” 3) Dulcinea from “Hodgepodge4thesoul” 4) Angie From “Family Life is More” 5) Francis from “Qhapaq”.

The rules are basically to spot your personal blogging space through a few photos, to link back to the blogger who invited you and to invite a bunch of bloggers to join you. Enjoy it!, Aquileana 😀

 

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►Greek Mythology: “Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Ares and her Other Lovers”:

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"Mars and Venus Surprised by Vulcan" by Joachim Wtewael. (1601).

“Mars and Venus Surprised by Vulcan” by Joachim Wtewael. (1601).

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Hephaestus (Roman equivalent: Vulcan), the smith and craftsman of the gods, was married to Aphrodite (Roman equivalent: Venus), the goddess of love and beauty.

It was not a good  marriage because Aphrodite was as an unfaithful wife.

But Hephaestus also cheated her, for example with Athena, the Greek goddess of reason, intelligent activity, arts and literature.

Aphrodite most notable lovers were the gods Ares (God of War. Roman equivalent: Mars), Dionysius, Greek God of Wine and Fertility,  Hermes, (Greek God of herds and herald of the gods. Roman equivalent: Mercury), Zeus (King of Gods. Roman equivalent: Jupiter), Nerites (A young Sea-God who was the very first love of Aphrodite). Poseidon (Greek God of the Sea. Roman equivalent: Neptune), and the mortal, Adonis, who was Myhrra’son.

Except for a few occasions when he was overwhelmed with jealousy or resentment, Hephaestus seemed to accept this arrangement.

Aphrodite had a long love affair with Ares (Roman equivalent), the god of war and strife. Eros, god of Love, would become their son.

Ares was the great Olympian God of War, Battlelust and Manly Courage.

In Greek art he was depicted as either a mature, bearded warrior dressed in battle arms, or a nude beardless youth with helm and spear. 

Some of the more famous myths featuring the god include his adulterous affair with Aphrodite whislt she was married to Hephaestus and the slaying of Adonis, his rival for the love of Aphrodite, in the guise of a boar.

helius1Helius, the Sun God 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 Helius witnessed Aphrodite taking her lover in her bed, while Hephaestus was absent. Helius 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 immediately 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 love. Ares immediately fled to Thrace, while Aphrodite went to Paphos at the island of Cyprus.

According to the roman poet Ovid, Aphrodite made sure to punish the informer, the sun god Helius.

As Helius loved a nymph, named Clytie. Aphrodite made him  fall in love with another young woman, named Leucothoe, who was daughter of Orchamus (king of Persia).

Clytie became jealous of her rival, so she spread a rumour saying that she was seduced by a mortal lover. Leucothoe’s father, King Orchamus buried her alive. 

Thus, finally, Helius abandoned Clytie, and flew through the sky, driving his chariot  for nine days.

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Aphrodite and her Lovers (Source http://www.theoi.com)

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Amphora;s details. On the Left: Ares casts a spear at a Gigante from his chariot, driven by the goddess Aphrodite, while Eros aims his bow. On the Right: Aphrodite with doves  and her lover Ares. Period: Late Classic (400/350 BC).

Amphora. Details. On the Left: Ares casts a spear at a Gigante from his chariot, driven by the goddess Aphrodite, while Eros aims his bow. On the Right: Aphrodite with doves and her lover Ares. Period: Late Classic (400/350 BC).

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“Mars and Venus” by Sandro Botticelli (1483).

"Mars and Venus" by Sandro Botticelli (1483).

“Mars and Venus” by Sandro Botticelli (1483).

►Description: In the painting Venus watches Mars sleeps while two infant satyrs play carrying his armor as another rests under his arm. A fourth blows a small conch shell in his ear in an effort to wake him. Mars is sleeping the ‘little death’ which comes after making love, and not even a trumpet in his ear will wake him. The little satyrs have stolen his lance – a joke to show that he is now disarmed. The scene is set in a haunted forest, and the sense of perspective and horizon extremely tight and compact.  In the foreground, a swarm of wasps hovers around Mars’ head, possibly as a symbol that love is often accompanied by pain.

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►Aphrodite (Venus), her husband Hephaetus (Vulcan) and her lover Ares (Mars):

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►Aphrodite (Venus) and her other Lovers:

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►Links Post:
http://www.godandgoddess.com/the-goddess-aphrodite.html
http://smart-pustaka.blogspot.com.ar/2011/02/dewi-aphrodite.html 
http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/AphroditeLoves.html
http://www.timelessmyths.com/classical/lovers.html
 http://www.timelessmyths.com/classical/lovers.html
http://www.maicar.com/GML/Aphrodite.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_and_Venus_(Botticelli)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hephaestus 
http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/HephaistosLoves.html 
http://www.greek-gods.org/olympian-gods/aphrodite.php
http://www.mythindex.com/greek-mythology/A/Ares.html

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►Art / Mythology: “The Loggia of Psyche” at The Villa Farnesina

(Frescoes Based on the Myth Of Eros and Psyche):

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“The Loggia of Psyche” (Villa Farnesina, Rome. 16th Century).

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The Villa Farnesina is placed in the Trastevere area of Rome on the Via della Lungara along the river Tiber.

It was designed by Baldassare Perluzzi between 1508 and 1512 for the banker, Agostino Chigi who was in love with his mistress Francesca Ordeaschi to whom he finally married in 1519.

After Chigi, the villa was purchased by the Farnese family and connected by a bridge across the Tiber to the huge Palazzo Farnese on the opposite bank.

The walls related to the Loggia of Phsyche were frescoed by several noted artists, most importantly Raphael, but it’s the ceiling that illustrates Psyche and Eros’ story.  

Scholars suggest that the story cycle alludes to Chigi’s own life, and his recent marriage.

Although the preparatory drawings and the general conception of the stories are by Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (also known as Raphael (1483/1520), the bulk of the painting was carried out by his pupils, notably Giovanni da Udine (who painted the rich plant festoons of the frame) with the collaboration of Giulio Romano, Raffaellino del Colle and Gianfrancesco Penni. 

Two frescoes on the ceiling depict incidents in the story of Eros and Psyche which took place in heaven.

Eros (Roman equivalent: Cupid) fell in love with Psyche and he abducted her.

Then, they had sexual relationships in total darkness because Eros had forbidden her to look at him.

As Aphrodite (Roman equivalent: Venus) was jealous of Psyche’s Beauty, she imprisoned his son, Eros, in her palace and forbade her to see him. At the end, Aphrodite accepted a deal, telling Psyche that she had to accomplish four tasks in order to see her beloved again.

After Psyche had undergone many difficult trials, Zeus made her immortal, and allowed her to marry Eros.

The Eros and Psyche myth corpus might be considered an  allegory for the ascent of the soul to immortality through love (especially love of beauty), based on Plato’s dialogue “Symposium” through Diotima’s “Ladder of Love”. 

By going through it, one will ascend from loving particular kinds of beauty to loving Beauty itself, from which all beautiful things derive their nature.

According to this analogy, Beauty is related to Love. Besides, Beauty itself is a Form or Idea, which  always exists, not coming into being or ceasing to be, nor increasing nor diminishing. Thus, Beauty will not appear in certain bodies in particular: it will appear in itself and by itself, independent of everything else. 

 

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►”Loggia di Psyche” (Sequential Gallery):

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Venus and Cupid

“Venus and Cupid” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

•In this fresco, Aphrodite (Roman equivalent: Venus) shows her son Eros (Roman equivalent Cupid) who is the young woman who was defying her own Beauty. According to the original version of the myth, Aphrodite, The Goddess of Beauty, asked Eros to poison men’ souls in order to kill off their desire for Psyche.

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"Cupid and the Three Graces" by Giulio Romano (1517-18).

“Cupid and the Three Graces” by Raphael’s collaborator Giulio Romano (1517-18).

•Here we can The Three Graces on the clouds listening as young Eros relates the story of Psyche and his mother Aphrodite’s initial opposition – jealous of Psyche’s beauty – to mortal Psyche as his lover and eventual wife, as Apuleius originally tells in “The Golden Ass”.

The Three Graces were also known in Greek Mythology as Charites and they were goddesses related to charm, beauty, and creativity.

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Venus (Aphrodite), Ceres (Demeter) and Juno (Hera) by Raphael with Giovanni da Udine's collaboration.

Venus (Aphrodite), Ceres (Demeter) and Juno (Hera) by Raphael with Giovanni da Udine’s collaboration. (1517-18).

•This detail from the vault of the Loggia shows Venus (Greek equivalent: Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Beauty), Ceres,(Greek equivalent: Demeter, Goddess of the Harvest) and Juno (Greek equivalent: Hera, Zeus’ wife and sister and Goddess of Marriage and Childbirth ).

In this spandrel the group of three goddesses is divided.

Venus has learned of the secret affair and, driven by wrath, is seeking support from her female friends. But they both show little sympathy for her wrath and laments.

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Venus on the Chariot Pulled by Doves

“Venus on the Chariot Pulled by Doves” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

•In this spandrel we can see Goddess Aphrodite (Roman equivalent: Venus), on a chariot and pulled by Doves. The chariot might be related with the allegory of ascendant Beauty, whilst the doves were specific attributes of the Goddess.

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Psyche Brings a Vessel up to Venus/Aphrodite by Giulio Romano (1517-18).

“Psyche Brings a Vessel up to Venus/Aphrodite” by Giulio Romano (1517-18).

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“Venus and Psyche” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

“Venus and Psyche” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

•This two frescoes are linked to the fourth task ordered to Psyche by Aphrodite.

As the narrative relates of her ordeals commanded by Aphrodite, Psyche is taken to Aphrodite carrying the vessel she thinks holds Persephone’s beauty but actually holds deadly “Sleep of the Innermost Darkness, the night of Styx”.

Psyche opens the box desiring to be beautiful for Eros and restored to him. In doing so, disobeying Aphrodite, she swoons toward death, needing to be revived by Eros.

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Cupid and Jupiter (on the left). Psyche and Jupiter (on the right).

Cupid and Jupiter (on the left). Psyche and Jupiter (on the right). By Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

•In these frescoes we can see Zeus, the ruler of the Olympian gods (Roman equivalent: Jupiter) with Eros (Roman equivalent: Cupid) on the left and Psyche on the right.

The Father of Gods advises them. His attitude seems to be more wrathful towards Eros, as he is holding his chin while he is staring at him. By contrast, he looks at Psyche with an indulgent and affable gesture.

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Mercury

“Mercury” (Hermes) by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

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"Mercury Brings Psyche up to Olympus" by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

“Mercury Brings Psyche up to Olympus” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

•In these two frescoes we can see Hermes (Roman equivalent: Mercury) who was the messenger of the gods and guide of dead souls to the Underworld. Hermes was also well known for performing duties for Father of Gods.

As a matter of fact, Zeus appreciated Hermes’ wits highly and always asked for Hermes’ assistance throughout his decisions. 

In Apuleius’ Eros and Psyche story, Hermes even carries Psyche to heaven and the marriage banquet, just as seen in the first frescoe below.

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Wedding Banquet of Cupid and Psyche

“Wedding Banquet of Cupid and Psyche” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

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“The Council of Gods” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

“The Council of Gods” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

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“Wedding Banquet of Cupid and Psyche” and “The Council of the Gods” (Detail). By Rapahel and collaborators (1517-18).

“Wedding Banquet of Cupid and Psyche” and “The Council of the Gods” (Detail). By Rapahel and collaborators (1517-18).

•The conclusion of the Psyche and Eros story takes place in two broad format paintings in the vault panel.

Raphael depicts the council of the gods in which Zeus (Roman equivalent: Jupiter) decides to accept Psyche and Hermes (Roman equivalent: Mercury) gives her the elixir of immortality.

Then the wedding is celebrated. The groupings of figures spread out in a lively way. The communal life of the gods is unfolded in a characterization of their all human, too human feelings.-

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►Paul Hindemith, “Amor und Psyche”, Villa Farnesina, Raphael:

[Note: The first fresco appearing in the video is not part of the ceiling frescoes composing “The Loggia of Psyche”. Its name is “The Triumph of Galatea” and it was completed about 1514 by Raphael for the Villa Farnesina].

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►Links Post:
http://www.wga.hu/html_m/r/raphael/5roma/4a/
http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/~mjoseph/CP/ICP.html
http://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/farnesina/farnesina.html
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Loggia_of_Psyche_(Villa_Farnesina,_Rome)
http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/~mjoseph/CP/loggia.html
http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/symposium/section11.rhtml
http://www.electrummagazine.com/2012/06/the-villa-farnesina-jewel-of-renaissance-rome/

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►Greek Mythology: “Eros and Psyche”:

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“The abduction of Psyche” by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1894).

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The myth of Eros and Psyche was originally a story by Apuleius, written in the 2nd century BC.

The Greek name for “Butterfly” is “Psyche”, which also means “Soul”. 

Hence Psyche represented the soul, being as she was an extremely beautiful Princess from Sicily.

Being jealous due to men’s admiration for Psyche, Goddess Aphrodite asked her son, Eros, to poison men’ souls in order to kill off their desire for Psyche.

But when he intended in vain to do that, Eros also fell in love with Psyche.

As Psyche was single, her parents became so desperate because of their daughter’s destiny and had no choice but to ask for an oracle, hoping that they would manage to solve the mystery and give a husband to their daughter.

The oracle said that Psyche would marry an ugly beast whose face she would never be able to see, and he would wait for her at the top of the mountain.

Up on the rock, it turned out that the God Eros, invisible in that case, was waiting for Psyche in order to avenge his mother. But instead of punishing Psyche, he unavoidably fell in love with her.  

So he asked the west wind, Zephyr, to waft her to his palace.

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“Psyche Honoured by the People” by Luca Giordano. Series of twelve scenes (1692–1702).

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“Psyche Lifted Up by Zephyrs” by Pierre-Paul Prud’hon (1800).

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Thus Psyche was abducted (1) and, once in the palace, the servants told her that new husband, will come to visit her that evening. 

Eros and Psyche consummated their love that night, though in total darkness because Eros has forbidden her to look at him.  

Hence, Psyche’ sisters persuaded her that her lover was an ugly beast (2) who would try to kill her, so she might have to do the first movement.

With the oil lamp and knife in her hands, Psyche one night was ready for murder, but when she enlightened the face of her beast-husband, she saw the beautiful God Eros. Caught by surprise, she spilled the oil on his face.

Eros woke up and flew away telling Psyche that she had betrayed him and that they would never be together again.

Psyche started searching for her lost love, and finally was suggested to beg Eros’ mother, Aphrodite to see him because she had previously imprisoned his son in her palace. Even though, she accepted Psyche’s request, telling her that she had to accomplish some tasks in order to achieve her goal.

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Cupid and Psyche

“Cupid and Psyche” by Jacques-Louis David (1817).

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Psyche's Wedding

“Psyche’s Wedding” by Edward Burne-Jones (1895).

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“Amor (Eros) and Psyche” by Jacopo Zucchi (1589).

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The first task was a matter of sorting a huge pile of mixed grains into separate piles.

Eros had secretly arranged for an army of ants to separate the piles.  So she could finally do it. Aphrodite, returning the following morning, accused Psyche of having had help, as indeed she had.

The next task involved getting a snippet of Golden Fleece (3) from each one of a special herd of sheep that lived across a nearby river.  The Gods of River or Potamoi (4) advised Psyche to wait until the sheep sought shade from the midday sun.  As the animals were sleeping, they didn’t attack her. And Psyche could fulfill Aphrodite’s second task. But, Aphrodite, once again, accused her of having had help.

For Psyche’s third task, she was given a crystal vessel in which she had to collect the black water spewed by the source of the rivers of the Underworld Styx and Cocytus (5). During her attempt to accomplish the task, she was daunted by the foreboding air of the place and dragons slithering through the rocks. Fortunately, Zeus took pity on her, and sent an eagle to battle the dragons and bring the water for her.

After accomplishing these three tasks, Psyche had to face the last and most difficult one. This fourth task was to go to the Hades (Underworld) and bring the box with The Elixir of Beauty (6) to Aphrodite, who ordered her not to open the box.

She got the elixir from hands of Persephone, Hades’ wife and Demeter’s daughter.

But Psyche was curious and opened the box (7)Morpheus (the god of sleep and dreams) had introduced a spell on it, and because of that reason, she fell completely asleep (8). 

As Eros missed his lover Psyche, he asked Zeus to help him again. And so did the ruler of the Olympian gods, who woke up Psyche from her everlasting sleep, making her immortal. 

Finally, Psyche and Eros were reunited, and even Aphrodite acknowledged Psyche’s victory.

The God of Love and the Goddesses of the Soul lived happily together and even had a daughter, whose name was Hedone (Goddess of Pleasure).

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“Psyché aux enfers” by Eugène Ernest Hillemacher (1865).

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Psyche Obtaining the Elixir of Beauty from Proserpine by Charles-Joseph Natoire (France, Nîmes and Castel Gandolfo, 1700-1777) France, circa 1735

“Psyche Obtaining the Elixir of Beauty from Proserpine” by Charles-Joseph Natoire (1735).

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“Psyche” by John Reinhard Weguelin (1890).

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“Cupid and Psyche” by Anthony van Dyck (1639).

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“Cupid and Psyche” by Jean-Pierre Saint-Ours (1843).

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•References (Corresponding to Numbers in Blue above):

(1) Psyche’s abduction by Eros remind us of Persephone’s abduction by Hades.

(2) In this sense, this myth might have similarities with the tale “The Beauty and the Beast”.

(3) In Greek mythology, the Golden Fleece is the fleece of the gold-hair winged ram. The fleece is a symbol of authority and kingship.

(4) The Greek Gods of river were known as Potamoi. They are the fathers of Naiads and the brothers of the Oceanids, and as such, the sons of Oceanus and Tethys

(5) The rivers Styx, Cocytus, Phlegethon, Acheron, Lethe all converge at the center of the underworld on a great marsh, which is also sometimes called the Styx.

(6) The Elixir of Beauty was potion that Persephone, The Queen of The Underworld owned.

(7) In this sense, this myth reminds us of the famous Pandora’s box. Zeus had given Pandora a box after she married Epimetheus. As Pandora couldn’t avoid her curiosity, she disobeyed and opened a box. As she did, she unleashed all the evils known to mankind.

(8) These facts made me think of “Sleeping Beauty”.

• For an overall, description of the Gods/Goddesses appearing on this myth, click here.

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►Links Post:
http://www.greekmyths-greekmythology.com/psyche-and-eros-myth/
http://greece.mrdonn.org/greekgods/erosandpsyche.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Styx
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Fleece
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potamoi
http://ancienthistory.about.com/cs/grecoromanmyth1/a/mythslegends_4.htm
http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/cupideros/tp/010811-Cupid-And-Psyche.htm
http://www.madelinemiller.com/myth-of-the-week-psyche-and-eros/
http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/beautybeast/other.html

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►Last but not Least: Five Awards: 

►Here are the Award Rules, which are the same for all the awards:

1) The nominee shall display the respective logo on her/his blog.

•Note: To get the logo just click on the one which corresponds among the ones appearing in the Gallery below.

2) The nominee shall nominate ten (10)  bloggers she/he admires, by linking to their blogs and informing them about it.

►Aquí están las reglas comunes a todos los Premios:

1) Ubicar el logo del Premio que le corresponda en su blog. par

2) Nominar a otros quince (15) bloggers, enlazando a sus respectivos blogs e informándolos de la nominación.

•Nota: Para obtener el logo, hacer click en la imagen que corresponda al mismo, de entre todas las que aparecen debajo.

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I) One Lovely Blogger Award: My blog has been nominated for this award by Inese from Inesemj photography, a mesmerizing blog with wonderful photos, mainly from UK’s landscapes, and mostly from beautiful Ireland.

Also a blogger friend, Non Smoking Lady Bug, from The Happy Quitter nominated me for the same award. Her blog is cool. Some of the categories she writes about are Ex Smoker Humour, Life in General and Quit Smoking… (Which, by the way reminds me I need to put aside the nicotine)….

•This Award requires to point out seven facts about you (nominee). Thus, I will very briefly add them here just to respect the bureaucratic procedure. But  if your blog was nominated you may consider yourself dismissed without prejudice 🙂

1. My full name is María Pedemonte Velázquez. 2. I live in Buenos Aires Argentina. 3. In a town called San Fernando. 4. My argentine ID has eight numbers. 5. Four of those eight numbers are number six. 6. Two of those numbers are number two. 7. Two of those numbers are nine… (Now guess my ID!) 😀

►My nominees for the One Lovely Blogger Award are:

1. The Tropical Flowering Zone 2. Uncle’s Tree House 3. T Ibara Photo 4. John Poet Flanagan 5. Stuff Jeff Reads 6. LaVagabonde 7. Graffiti Lux and Murals 8. Emociones Encadenadas 9. Sue Slaght 10. Avian101.

II) Black Wolf Blogger Award: I have received this award from José Cervera, who hosts a blog in spanish called Ritual de las Palabras (Ritual of Words). Take a peak using the translator. He often posts great reviews of books.

►My nominees for the Black Wolf Blogger Award are:

1. Author Miranda Stone 2. JeriWB Author and Editor 3. A Solas con Caronte 4. Field of Thorns 5.Shehanne Moore 6. Poetic Parfait 7. En Humor Arte 8.Inesemj photography 9. Kev’s Blog 10. Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary

III) Premio Dardos: He sido nominada para este Premio desde Jag, A Solas con Caronte, Emociones Encadenadas y El Beso en el EspejoLos cuatro excelentes blogs, claro, en castellano.  

Jag es un blog con geniales relatos breves, cuya lectura recomiendo.

En A solas con Caronte me he encontrado con muy buenos relatos breves y otras misceláneas que conviene no perderse.

Gema, desde Emociones Encadenadas nos ofrece grandes posts. El nombre del blog es elocuente, pues las palabras en este caso acarrean sentimientos y siempre es un gusto detenerse a leer este blog.

El Beso en el Espejo, por su parte, es un  muy buen blog, con primacía literaria. Sus contenidos incluyen once capítulos de una novela intempestiva, citas y poemas.

►Mis nominados para el Premio Dardos son:

1.Chesterton Blog 2. Palabras Sosegadas 3. Alex Kiaw 4. Leire’s Room 5. Rey de Reyes 6. Jarafuel 7. Ser un Ser de Luz 8. Alpuymuz 9. Rotze Mardini 10. La Cosa Gris.

IV & V) Liebster Award & Versatile Blogger Award: Estos premios me fueron otorgados, nuevamente, desde el blog amigo A Solas con Caronte, espacio virtual que recomiendo para echar una vistazo primero y luego, definitivamente, atreverse a explorar.

I have received these two Awards from the blog  A Solas con Caronte (Alone with Charon). I recommend this blog to take a peak, firstly and then definitely, to dare to explore it. The blog is, of course in spanish, but… who is impeding you to use the translator, anyways?.

►Mis nominados para el Liebster Award son / My nominees for the Liebster Award are:

1. The Happy Quitter 2. Inesemj photography 3. A Suffolk Lane 4. El rincón de los Noctambulos 5. Ritual de las Palabras 6.El Beso en el Espejo 7. Words in the Light 8. Pambrittain 9. Talker Blogger 10. The Muscleheaded Blog

►Mis nominados para el Versatile Blogger Award son / My nominees for the Versatile Blogger Award are:

1. Cindy Knoke 2. Cindy Bruchman 3. Being Better 4. The Muscleheaded Blog 5. Jag 6. I lost my Lens Cap 7. Isaspi 8. Living with my Ancestors 9. Bluebutterfliesandme 10. Priorhouse

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►Amy Mac Donald: “Spark”:

(A song by this great scottish singer. Check out Lyrics here)

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Thank you very much for dropping by. Best wishes!, Aquileana 🙂

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