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Posts Tagged ‘Heracles’

►Greek Mythology: “Hephaestus”  /

“Collaboration with Holly Rene Hunter”:

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

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

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

Hephaestus. Attic Red Figure. 430 – 420 BC.

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

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

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

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

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

Hephaestus Thetis at Kylix, Attica vase figure

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

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

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

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

Vulcan. Roman archaic relief from Herculaneum.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hera, you have cast me from the mount.

Shattering the sphere, salt lime stings my 

skin where I am abandoned to the sea as

less than weeds. 

My cries are the waves  that

flow from  seashell eyes into the

arms of Oceanus.

Aphrodite plucks me up,  a heron

biting my body  and harpooned legs

that break against the sea wall.

I have loosed the crown of  Athena,

split with my ax the fearsome bird of prey.

Impaled, his eyes are those of a  startled deer.

Seized by  fate  I have gathered my medium and

with my broken hands and feet I mold precious metals

into  creations for Gods.

Goblets for Dionysus,

for Aphrodite, the unfaithful,   a copper belt.

A chariot of human form for broken Hephaestus

that I might roam the world unfettered.

For Hera, a golden throne,

where she is bound to dwell forever.

©Holly Rene Hunter. 2017 .-

Holly Rene Hunter.

About Holly Rene Hunter. 

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

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

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

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atlas

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“Atlas holding up a celestial map”. Sculpture by Artus Quellinus. (17th century). Royal Palace in Amsterdam.

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Atlas (which means ‘very enduring’), was one of the Titans. He was son of  Iapetus (a Titan, son of Uranus and Gaia), and the Oceanid Clymene.

Atlas´ brothers were Prometheus (meaning ‘forethought’, the Titan who gave the human race the gift of fire and the skill of metalwork), Epimetheus (meaning ‘afterthought’. He was Pandora´s husband) and Menoetius (meaning “doomed might”).

Atlas was married to his sister, Phoebe (Titan and Goddess of Prophecy). 

He had numerous children, including  the Pleiades (the stars that announced good spring weather), the Hesperides (the maidens who guarded a tree bearing golden apples), the Hyades, (the stars that announced the rainy season), Hyas (Brother of the Hyades, and spirit of seasonal rains), the nymph Calypso, Dione (Goddess of the Oak and the personification of a more ancient Mother Goddess, and presumably, Aphrodite´s mother) and Maera

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During the Titanomachy, the War between the Titans and  the Olympian gods for control of the heavens, Atlas and his brother Menoetius sided with the Titans, while Prometheus and Epimetheus helped the Olympian gods.

Atlas was the leader in the batttle; however, being on the losing side, Zeus condemned him to eternally stand on the western side of Gaia (the earth) holding Uranus (the sky) on his shoulders.

Homer describes Atlas in his “Odyssey” as ‘deadly-minded’ and as holding the pillars which hold the heavens and earth apart.

Hesiod  in his “Theogony” also describes Atlas as holding up the heavens and locates him in the land of the Hesperides (female deities famed for their singing), which was far to the west, at the edge of the world.

Later tradition, including Herodotus, associates the god with the Atlas Mountains where the Titan was transformed from a shepherd into a huge rock mountain by Perseus (who had behead Medusa)using the head of the Gorgon Medusa with her deadly stare. (Note: the Gorgon Medusa was one of three ugly monsters who had snakes for hair, staring eyes, and huge wings).

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On the Left:

On the Left: “Medusa”, by Carvaggio (1595). On the Right: Statue of Perseus, holding Medusa´s head. Piazza della Signoria, Florence. Italy.

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Both sides of The Titan. NYC, St. Patrick’s Cathedral/Rockefeller Center.

Both sides of The Titan. NYC, St. Patrick’s Cathedral/Rockefeller Center.

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Atlas was considered a source of great wisdom and founder of astronomy, and, according to Plato, in his dialogue “Critias”, he was the original king of Atlantis.

Atlas had been required to fetch the golden apples from the fabled gardens of the Hesperides which were sacred to Zeus´wife, Hera, and guarded by the fearsome hundred-headed dragon Ladon.  

Following the advice of Prometheus, Heracles (the grandson of Perseus) asked Atlas to get him the apples because he was the father of the Hesperides, who guarded the Golden Apples´Garden…

He was also requested to take the world onto his shoulders for a while, with the help of Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom.

But, Hercules tricked Atlas into taking the load back by asking Atlas to hold it while he shifted the load.

Hercules then took the apples and Atlas again shouldered the weight of the heavens.

Because the place where Atlas stood to perform his task was the westernmost end of the world known to the ancient Greeks, the ocean near him was called the Atlantic, meaning the “Sea of Atlas” in his honor.

Atlas’ best-known cultural association is in cartography / maps. The first publisher to associate the Titan Atlas with a group of maps was Antonio Lafreri, on an engraved title-page in 1572. However, he did not use the word “atlas” in the title of his work. The mapmaker Gerardus Mercator was the first to put a picture of Atlas holding up the world – not the heavens – on the title page of his book.

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On the Left: Atlas bears the world and the cosmos on his shoulders - from a 16th century English woodcut. on The Right: Drawing by Danckerts, Justus. Atlas hold up the world on his back.

On the Left: Atlas bears the world and the cosmos on his shoulders – from a 16th century English woodcut. On The Right: Atlas holding up the world on his back. Drawing by Danckerts, Justus.

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“Atlas turned to stone” (The Perseus´Series), by Edward Burne Jones (1878).

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►Gallery: Atlas:

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►Links Post
http://atlascider.com/atlasmythology.html
http://www.greekmythology.com/Titans/Atlas/atlas.html
https://mitologiahelenica.wordpress.com/2015/05/07/perseu-e-atlas/
http://www.mapforum.com/03/lafrscho.htm
http://www.ancient.eu/Atlas/

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atlaspoem

I want to be your Atlas, so I can
chisel away at “alas,” and grant you
relief from worries of the past.

I want to create a globe out
of those woes
to carry on my shoulders—
just for a moment.

Just so you can exhale the words:

“At last”.

© 2015 – Eva PoeteX

Originally published on Eva PoeteX.-

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About Eva Xanthopoulos: She is a Greco-American Artist and Mystic Poet. She is also a  Supporter of various causes and Promoter of artists worldwide.

Learn More about Eva here 

Check out her Poetry blog!. Also make sure to follow Eva on Twitter and  Facebook.

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Eva Poetex.

Eva Xanthopoulos AKA Eva Poetex.

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HERA

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"The Peacock complaining to Juno", by Gustave Moreau (1881).

“The Peacock complaining to Juno”, by Gustave Moreau (1881).

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Hera (Roman equivalent: Juno) was Zeus’ wife and sister, and was raised by the Titans Oceanus and Tethys. She was the supreme goddess, patron of marriage, family and childbirth, having a special interest in protecting married women. 

Hera, like her siblings, was swallowed by her father Cronos (Rhea‘s husband) as soon as she was born.

Zeus with the help of Metis later tricked Cronos into a swallowing a potion that forced him to disgorge his offspring.

The legitimate offspring of her union with Zeus are Ares (the god of war), Hebe (the goddess of youth), Eris (the goddess of discord) and Eileithvia (goddess of childbirth).  

Johann Jakob Bachofen (“An Investigation of the Religious and Juridical Character of Matriarchy in the Ancient [1861]), considered that Hera, was originally the goddess of a matriarchal people, presumably inhabiting Greece before the Hellenes. According to this author, her activity as goddess of marriage established the patriarchal bond of her own subordination.

Her sacred animals were the cow, the lion and the peacock, and she favoured the city of  Argos.

She is usually portrayed enthroned, and crowned with the polos (a sort of crown worn by several of the Goddesses.

 ►Three Myths featuring Hera.

•The Judgement of Paris:

Hera, Aphrodite and Athena were the three goddesses who all claimed to deserved the Golden Apple of Discord, introduced by  Eris in Peleus and Thetis‘ wedding. This golden apple was labeled “For the fairest one”). Zeus chose Prince Paris of Troy to decide who was the fairest. Still, Paris could not decide, as all three were ideally beautiful, so they resorted to bribes. Hera offered Paris control over all Asia and Europe, while Athena offered wisdom, fame, and glory in battle, and Aphrodite offered the most beautiful mortal woman in the world as a wife, and he accordingly chose her. This woman was Helen of Troy, who was already married to King Menelaus of Sparta. Paris abducted Helen and her abduction would lead to the Trojan War.

Hephaestus, the son that Hera produced alone: 

Hera was jealous of Zeus’ giving birth to Athena, without recourse to her (actually with with Metis), so she gave birth to Hephaestus without him, though in some stories, he is the son of her and Zeus. Hera was then disgusted with Hephaestus’ ugliness and threw him from Mount Olympus. Hephaestus gained revenge against Hera for rejecting him by making her a magical throne which, when she sat on, did not allow her to leave. The other gods begged Hephaestus to return to Olympus to let her go, but he repeatedly refused. Dionysus got him drunk and took him back to Olympus on the back of a mule. Hephaestus released Hera after being given Aphrodite as his wife.

Heracles, disowned by Hera and… the Milky Way: 

Hera hated Heracles, being the scapegoat of the illegitimate offspring sired by Zeus. Heracles was the son of the affair Zeus had with the mortal woman Alcmene.

Thus, Heracles’ existence proved at least one of Zeus’ many illicit affairs, and Hera usually conspired against him, as a revenge for her husband’s infidelities.

Fear of Hera’s revenge led Alcmene to expose the infant Heracles, but he was taken up and brought to Hera by his half-sister Athena, who played an important role as protectress of heroes.Hera did not recognize Heracles and nursed him out of pity. Heracles suckled so strongly that he caused Hera pain, and she pushed him away. Her milk sprayed across the heavens and there formed the Milky Way. But with divine milk, Heracles had acquired supernatural powers. Athena brought the infant back to his mother, and he was subsequently raised by his parents, who had originally named him Alcides, being Heracles a derivated name.

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“Juno Borrowing the Girdle of Venus” by Guy Head (1771).

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“Hera in the House of Hephaistos William” by Blake Richmond (1902),

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 ►Gallery: “Hera, Zeus’ Wife”:

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Links Post:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hera
http://www.greekmythology.com/Olympians/Hera/hera.html

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

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→On May 12th I had the honor to be part of a poetic challenge at La Poesía No Muerde, a great community blog of Poetry, hosted by Hélène LaurentPlease, make sure to also read the poems by Verónica, from En Humor Arte; José from Viajes al Fondo del ALSA and Johan from Johan Cladheart.

Later on, that same week a second poem written by me was also posted at La Poesía No Muerde. (May 15th).
You can check out the poems, in Spanish and translated to English, below… 
 
→ Se adjuntan dos participaciones poéticas, del 12 y 15 de Mayo, respectivamente, publicadas inicialmente en La Poesía no Muerde.
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 ►La Poesía No Muerde: “The Walking Chair” (Imagen encontró Poemas):
~“Auf Wiedersehen, Liebling”… (“Hasta pronto, querido”).~
 
Llevo mi silla a cuestas,
como la conciencia del amo en el esclavo
Mas la carga es semántica, 
por eso… el oprobio. 
 ~~~
Y las contradicciones, son ideológicas, 
cada tarde esperándome, 
se arremolinan en pantallas
Ovejas de otro rebaño.
 ~~~
Mis ventanas las abro de noche
para que las esperanzas florezcan de día.
Procuro que los ideales clavados en el cielo ideal
estallen contra las estructuras materiales.
~~~ 
Mas sólo en términos dialécticos
Mi silla potencial es sólo un bloque de madera
Qué importa el futuro si todos los días
se clavan en un cetro onmímodo.
 ~~~
Auf wiedersehen, Liebling...
Hilos de títere en sus vetas inertes, 
tejen implacables
oleajes de río… 
  ~~~
 ©2015 Amalia Pedemonte.-
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auf wiedersehen

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 ►La Poesía No Muerde: “Imagen encontró (¡Otro!) Poema”.

~”Fragmento de un Final”.~

Corola tallada de pétalos sin flor.
una hoja con ápice impermeable.
Eterna y seca primavera,
rivera incipiente, sutilmente verde.

Una furtiva mirada azul
sobre un camino oscilante,
surcos muertos, árboles vacíos de hojas.
Bajo el sol inagotable del mediodía interminable.

~~~ 

Réplicas de galerías.
Redundantes sonidos.
Las palabras que no dijimos
te hacen una reverencia.

~~~ 

Tus fantasmas esculpen mis recuerdos.
Soy todo lo que fui en tu cautiverio,
persistes, con codicia te acumulas.
A cada nombre me retiro, te invoco y te devuelvo.

~~~

Te conjuro, brisa efímera .
Nunca volverás a ser mi aire.
Escúrrete por la puerta de las sombras y el olvido
Deja de asediarme…

 ~~~ 
 ©2015 Amalia Pedemonte.-
 
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Originalmente publicado en:

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 ► Last but not Least: Special thanks to Lisardo Sobrino Fernández for his poem Aquiles, on his blog, Tiempo de Letras.

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©2015. Lisardo Sobrino Fernández. Click Here: http://www.tiempodeletras.blogspot.com.es/2015/05/aquiles.html

©2015. Lisardo Sobrino Fernández. Click on the image.

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