Greek Mythology/Hera/Mythology Interpretation

Those Insightful Greeks 4
    Greek mythology is very practically oriented.
Instead of glorifying the gods as others have done,
Greek deities were deliberately portrayed imperfect so
that humans would be able to learn from them. High and
mighty the gods may be, with great powers and beauty,
but they have challenges to overcome as much as the
rest of us, and as many times as not, they fail in
those.
The Power to Express
    Hera, the Queen of the gods is also one of the
most unfortunate among the Olympians. Coaxed by the
cunning thunder god Zeus into marrying her, she is
later subjected to a series of betrayals by her
husband. Moreover, she is never allowed to express her
disgruntlement properly. Each time she would try, the
mightiest of all gods would punish her. Forced to
suppress her pain of betrayal Hera resorts to
violence.
    She is perceived by the Greeks as the most
bothersome and cruel goddess of all. The heroes who
win her favor usually regret it later; the prophets
endowed with her gift of prophecy always preach doom
and gloom. Since the emotion of hurt is not able to
come out the right way, the goddess brings it into all
of her dealings. However well she means, she spreads
her pain around, sometimes even unconsciously. Her
case teaches us another important lesson. Many people
hold the erroneous belief that if they cannot fix the
situation that bothers them, there is no point in
expressing their feeling of upset.
    They should ask themselves then if there is a
point in keeping quiet, if that helps to resolve
anything. Sometimes, aside from false considerations of comfort,
the answer would be ‘no.’ As for
expressing the emotions, there is a very clear purpose
to it. Expressing them in the right manner lets those
feelings go. It vacates that space within which they
occupy, gives the freedom to think and concentrate on
the solution to the problem.
Proper expression makes
sure that wherever the person goes, he doesn’t
unintentionally carry the pain around. The great
goddess failed to learn that lesson, how about you?

Greek Mythology 3/Self Help

 

Gomez was previously published in the Messenger but his series of articles, Those Insightful Greeks does not appear to open any longer.

If you’d like to see the previous article in the series, it is available here:

https://batwebgothicreviews.wordpress.com/2017/06/11/those-insightful-greeksself-help-mythology/

 

Balerion the Dragon

There are several possibilities to tie to the most powerful dragon of old In GRR Martin’s world of Ice and Fire.

The Greek, or perhaps Persian hero Bellerophon reinterpreted by the Greeks has the prefix Bel that has been related to destruction in some theories.

Celtic god Belenus related to light, sunlight in particular, possibly its adverse affects in some variations and the slain god Balder also appear to share some of the consonants with each other as well as the Light attributes.

It is just as likely that the name Balerion could be related to the English word “baleful” based on his reputation but even the later word does not in any way contradict the more destructive elements of Sunlight.

Especially since both Apollo, equated with Belenus and his cognate Semitic God Reshef both appear to carry arrows, perhaps reminding of the destructive potential of sunlight equal to its healing powers.

Equally telling is the mention of Balerion naming related to an ancient god of Valyria.
As a conclusion, I would suggest that the name Balerion might be loosely translated as “glaring sunlight.”

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If you didn’t hate my little GoT theory, you may find my previous article related to Game of Thrones equally entertaining.

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/56348115/posts/1507220250

The Unrecognized Power Couple of the Gods

Co-Written by Gomez and Morticia

To understand the origins of this power couple, one must reexamine the Medusa Poseidon myth with a less human perspective. Generally mankind sees something that occurs in their lives of an unwanted and unexpected nature to be a bad thing. Many would even go so far as to call it a curse. Often a desire can be granted in an unexpected way that is not always seen for the granted wish it actually is. Ever gotten unfairly fired from a job only to find a far better one that you like much more? Looking back that firing doesn’t seem so unfair does it?

Consider what Athena did to her priestess when said priestess and the goddess’s uncle fell in love. Medusa was ‘cursed’ to turn everyone she set eyes upon to stone. She was given a head full of snakes to tangle with her beautiful lustrous hair, and they would be a part of her forever. She was banished to live alone in the middle of the ocean as a result. To the unobservant eye it would appear she was dealt a rather hard lot while Poseidon was left basically unscathed. Is this just another example of it always being the woman’s fault, and the man never taking responsibility? Once again, this appears to be a very human perspective.

Instead consider these new attributes Athena granted to Medusa in a clearer and more flattering light. Medusa was granted by her goddess like power of her own in the ability to turn anyone to stone. This power can easily be used to aid her love, Poseidon, in protecting the sea and defending it from anyone who would cause it harm. Her new home being right in the middle of said sea, so always close to her lover also seems more convenient than a punishment. In such a light, what Athena bestowed on Medusa would appear to be a blessing rather than a curse.

There is more interesting supporting evidence to the mostly unsung love between Medusa and Poseidon in that they share many connecting attributes. Poseidon himself always dwells in water while Medusa is described herself as living on an island, thus close to the sea.

Aside from their geographical proximity, Poseidon having the ability to calm waters is perhaps not very different from Medusa’s ability to turn a person into a stone, which like the calm waters, can be symbolically said to represent the still emotions.

Medusa’s ability was widely used on Athena’s aegis as means of protection. Likewise Perseus the slayer utilizes her gift against the rampaging guests of Acrisius turning them into stone. Even though Medusa was supposed to be a frightening monster, many myths still mention her ability producing positive results when properly wielded.

Equally true is that Poseidon was frequently invoked by fishermen for help and ancient healing sanctuaries
might have been dedicated to him even before the spreading popularity of the cult of Apollo.

Additional connections can be made to indicate children they had together as well. The less known Krysaor becomes the king of Iberia while his brother, the famous Pegasos is associated with the Muses as well as the Spring of Inspiration itself.

In Greek mythology it is commonplace for marriages having being cursed by the gods to produce destructive, horrifying offspring or an entirely cured family line as in the case of Kadmos of Thebes. Clearly that is not the case with Poseidon and Medusa whose offspring perform valuable social functions instead of the debilitating ones that could be accepted from an unsanctioned act of coupling.

While it is true that Medusa gift is awe striking as is her appearance, such descriptions merely relegate her to the status of a recognized Other by humans, which according to several ancient civilizations, from Greeks to followers of Lao Tze, could signify a superhuman entity, a monster but with equal frequency, even a god.

In modern terms, the most famous of Gorgons may have difficulties integrating into society, but human rejection of her notwithstanding, Athena’s curse might contain in equal measure elements of perhaps unwanted and yet useful gift that ensures her status as much as it does her power, making her a worthy partner to one of the most interesting Olympians.

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We are fans of mythology, as could be witnessed from our articles. If you’d like to see some mythology related videos we posted on youtube, here are two dedicated to Medusa and her child:
Morticia also has a large Medusa ring you might be interested to watch in this video:
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxgPjSdf_mc

Vampires in Mythology and Folklore

Vampires in folklore appear to have strong connections with snakes, that may not be as clearly stated as those with bats but are outlined well enough to be implied. There is the similarity of the fangs, the idea of immortality associated with snakes in ancient lore as well as the arcane abilities that were said once to be the purview of snakes and their higher developed relatives, dragons.

When we think of mind control or perception altered by vampires in modern fiction and cinema, a similar ability comes to mind when we regard snakes. For instance, Mowgli’s python benefactor has the talent of hypnosis he chooses to exercise on the monkeys, freezing them in their tracks.

At one time I had to wonder if modern lore of this kind originated with the more ancient one of Greek mythology. Both Hermes and Athena exhibit certain ability to freeze people as well, most often by turning them into rocks. Now I tend to believe that the opposite is true. After all, Hermes through his kerkaion/caduceus and Athena with the famous aegis that ties her to Medusa’s serpentine connections, have something to do with snakes.

Similarly, Apollo of Delphi, which appears to be a somewhat different creature in cult worship than the slightly more marine Apollo of Delos, despite being an archer (in symbolic terms reaching the goals) is also known often for his attempts to stop famous heroes like Herakles or Achilles from reaching their goals that could lead to their destruction.

Thus, of the Olympians most frequently mentioned for their affiliation with snakes, those three also happen to the ones most frequently displaying the freezing ability.

But if snakes share that lesser ability with vampires, what about the even better known property of feeding on blood? Well, there doesn’t seem to be as much direct evidence that any connection was made mythologically in that regard between snakes and vampires. But some tenuous hints suggest that a possibility of a connection does exist. After all, there is Lamia who feeds on bloods and is occasionally portrayed with serpentine characteristics. There is also the prophet Tiresias who was associated with snakes to some extent as a legend of his involvement with two serpents indicates, and then is shown in the Odyssey to feed on the blood of a sacrifice offered by Odysseus and co.

More importantly, blood as a generating source of life was listed in several Greek legends, one of the earlier ones perhaps being connected to the birth of Aphrodite. Equally important for this theory might be the idea that Medusa’s blood gave rise to various serpents, reaffirming association between serpents, blood and life in a way corresponding to that of vampires. .

Why is it that vampires would be connected through their mystical properties to vampires? I don’t have a precise answer to that question. Perhaps to some of us, the snake represents the ferocity of the lizard brain associated with the vampiric aggression as well.

Interestingly enough, most mythological entities associated with the dead coming back to life in ancient mythology, similar to vampires of modern lore, were always somehow intense or outright brutal. Orpheus who returned from the Underworld, Dionysus who was reborn, and even more so Sisyphus who sought to cheat Death, are never described to have much gentleness in their lives, whether because of their own actions or because of their tragic ending.

Although the said heroes of Greek myths do not necessarily display any obviously vampiric connotations, they nonetheless provide us with a certain imaginary template of what it could be like for the Dead to come back to life.

Heroes, demi gods and Chtonic deities rising from the Underworld usually acquire greater powers than they previously possessed while, in a kind of a balancing act, losing some of their human morality in the process.

Perhaps the Living Dead of modern lore, serving as the mythological counterpart of such legendary characters also undergo a transformation necessary for their adaptation to new conditions while at the same time exacting too great of a toll to retain completely the previous characteristics of their human existence.

From a biological standpoint, it might be interesting to note at this point that snakes might experience more pain during the process of shedding their skin[ making them more aggressive until the soreness retreats] which largely gives rise to the ancient belief in their immortality in the first place. Thus the snake can be said symbolically to follow the pattern established by the mythological heroes in that they may grow more while losing something else they used to have.

With Underworld serving a similar transformative function for ancient heroes and the act of dying similarly contributing to the evolution of a vampire, it begins to make more sense for the vampire and a serpent to be symbolically linked, not only through their unexpected behavioral changes but even through their supernatural properties.

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If you share my interest in vampires, you may also consider the following vampire themed videos to be of interest because they are dedicated to vampires, bats and bat jewelry.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQlBB9XGhfg&t=27s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyL9qKvDII8&t=26s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tI-yZH5KybA&t=41s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcusHRB6mvw&t=19s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKrilitLb_M&t=69s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpdBdTUfgNE&t=48s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwgY9DsGo_w&t=18s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDrrBu9c6jM&t=72s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7SdTcRwpOc&t=26s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75iRKuJ7cl4&t=93s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3honQIoDeow&t=23s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_DzncAlG3o&t=22s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBTn56NMJxU&t=30s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slNbmqWFCtE&t=402s

Greek Mythology/Self Help

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When thinking of Hephaestus, I always associate him, along with Hiemdall, with the rune Wynn/Wunjo. If like me, you extend your love of mythology from Greek to Norse mythology, you might enjoy my cursory introduction to the Nordic runes, the Elder Furthark.

Those Insightful Greeks/Self Help Mythology

Those Insightful Greeks
    The Greek mythology has many facets. It
entertains us with its picturesque details. It
inspires our poets and story tellers. It explains the
mysteries of the universe through the beautiful
stories. But most importantly, the Greek myths give us
an insight into our own nature. They teach us how to
act, and not to act, in order to be happy. The
following series of articles purports to analyze, from
an unconventional, and at times humorous, standing
point, several Greek ideas which are still relevant in
the modern times.
Breaking the Patterns
    Uranus, Zeus’ grandfather was a very bad parent.
He put his personal happiness above that of his family
and incarcerated all of his children in his body. He
was afraid to allow them any autonomy, so that he
wouldn’t be deposed from his lofty position of a
ruler.
    Chronos, which many sources mention as Zeus’
father, and Uranus’ offspring, became a tyrant in his
own right. He, who suffered from parental abuse and
should have known better, repeated the mistake of his
sire.  Worried about his continuing leadership he
chose to meticulously control his own children. He ate
all of his sons, and was planning to keep them inside
for all eternity.
    Zeus, a son of an abusive father, and a
grandchild of a tyrant, broke the chain. A few
unflattering comments can be made about his character,
but one thing was clear. Among the uncountable numbers
of children he had, he loved everyone. Not once has it
crossed his mind to limit their freedom out of fear
for his own leadership. Even though his male side of
the family trained him in the tradition of abuse, Zeus
found inside the courage to rise above the
circumstances. He judged his children according to
their behavior, rather than the perceived threat. His
relationship with the two godly children sufficiently
illustrates this assertion. The ruler of gods disliked
his son Ares for his militant character, and favored
his daughter Athena, even though she objectively posed
a greater threat to Zeus’ own dominion aided by her
unfathomable wisdom.
    From a numerological point of view then, Zeus’
primary number is 6. He in many ways represents the
ideal parent, who gives his children exactly what they
need, rather than what they want. Ares, the god of
aggressiveness, always demanded some kind of war from
his father. Most parents would be too worried to
refuse the requests of their beloved offspring. To
them, denial of the child’s desire might indicate
their failure in the parental duty. The case is
different for those who have a 6 in their number. They
wisely conclude that sometimes temperance is the best
method of education. Zeus came to this conclusion
during the Trojan War, when his blood thirsty son
required more and more casualties to satisfy his
enormous hunger for pain. The elder god knew that
total freedom would ruin Ares, encouraging him in the
unhealthy appetite until it was too late to turn back,
and so he refused his request. Even while concerned
about the tension between himself and Ares, the
greatest of gods still made the right choice, as the
‘6’ archetype of parent often does.
    In his actions, Zeus hence exemplifies the most
balanced approach to breaking the patterns. He went
away from the automatically negative attitude towards
his children, but he equally rejected the temptation
of overindulgence. Many a parent, raised in strict
families themselves, will compensate for it by extreme
lenience towards their children. Not so the master of
the gods. He escaped the tyranny in himself, and the
possible weakness. He didn’t have any role models
among the elder gods, and yet, managed to develop a
well rounded and utterly balanced personality.
    None of us, regular mortals, can ever hope to
match the divine entity with its numerous powers. But
his most significant, emotional strength is in our
hands. If we choose to use it. This is indeed the
crucial factor. While we yearn for the freedom of
choice and are willing to fight for it, we are often
afraid to make the really important choices, if they
differ from the familiar.
    The choice doesn’t have to imply any physical
action. It might be just an inward decision to change.
A simple resolution to act differently would do, if it
is likely to improve the situation. It is an
incredibly great feeling to believe that we can change
our own position. Why wouldn’t we do then just about
anything to bring an improvement?
    Possibly, because the deviation from the standard
is emotionally uncomfortable. That is the reason we
would rather perpetuate the bad habits and pass them
from generation to generation, than stop and
objectively consider them. In fact, many of us use our
upbringing as an excuse to keep making the mistakes.
We are only humans, so it is understandable, we claim
to our inner critic and to others. We are right too,
on both accounts. But wouldn’t it be better, in spite
of our mortality, to embrace the greatest power of an
immortal god, and change ourselves for the better?
After all, our greatest right is not provided on a
golden platter by our heavenly or earthly father, our
government, or the United Nations. It is the right to
be happy. We have this right from birth,
unconditionally, no matter who we are, and only we
ourselves can exercise that greatest of rights.
    In the long run, Zeus’ emotional discomfort at
getting away from the tradition was only momentary.
His happy relationship with his children lasted
forever and it was the direct result of his actions.
He made sure, all by himself, to satisfy the strongest
of his needs. His greatness, therefore, didn’t depend
on any supernatural, undeserved powers. Essentially,
he is as strong as we are, or as weak as we are, for
he represents the human ideal. And if he broke away
from the negative patterns, so can we.
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Our fascination with mythology inspired, in part, an extensive acquisition of mythological items, if interested, you could share our passion for mythology with the following mythological haul:
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tn3ueMyDFWA&t=558s