Archive for mythology

Pandora’s box…

Posted in Esoteric with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2012 by Mj Rains

everyone’s got secrets…

What’s in yours?

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An apple a day…

Posted in Esoteric with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2012 by Mj Rains

appleIt is ultimately strange to me how Eve’s fruit, which is a symbol of life, a beautiful red apple, has the biblical connotation of death…death through knowledge, and banishment from paradise upon consumption. The fruit of knowledge is the Goddess’s sacred heart of immortal life and was known as the apples of immortality. The Celts called the western paradise Avalon, or “Apple-land,” a country ruled by Morgan, the queen of the dead. Kings received the magic apples of Avalon and went to live in immortality under the sunset of Morgan’s land, King Arthur among them.

Greeks have a historic tradition about Mother Hera who kept a magic garden in the west where the Tree of Life was guarded by her sacred serpent. The whole story of Eve, Adam, and the serpent in the tree was purposely changed from icons showing the Great Goddess offering life to her worshipper, in the form of an apple, with the tree and the serpent in the background.

Eve

Romans gave the apple mother the name of Pomona. She symbolized all fruition. A Roman banquet = ab ova usque mala, from eggs to apples – the beginning or the symbol of creation and ending with the symbol of completion. It was recorded that King Herod finished every meal in the Roman style, with an apple.

apple

Click images for artist links.

Source: Women’s Book of Myths and Secrets

Lycaon

Posted in Esoteric with tags , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2010 by Mj Rains

Lycaon was an Arcadian sacred king, and considered the ancestor of all “lycanthropes” or werewolves. His totemic form, of course, was the wolf. He was formerly worshipped in the Lyceum or “wolf-temple” where Aristotle taught.

Lycaon seems to have been an earthly incarnation of several elder gods able to assume the form of a wolf, such as Apollo Lycaeus and Zeus Lycaeus.

Source: Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets

Of Mirrors and myth…

Posted in Esoteric, The Deep with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2010 by Mj Rains

“The ancients attributed mystic powers to any reflective surface, solid or liquid, because the reflection was considered part of the soul.”  It was taboo to disturb waters on which a person’s reflection was present.  Shattering their image was considered damaging to the soul.  Thus, our breaking a mirror equals seven years of bad luck, a creepy notion I believed in as a child but since have put aside.

Narcissus, the fabled self-love obsessed nymph, has been misinterpreted to be a dude who could not get enough of his own reflection, and so pined away and died (or did he fall in and drown?).  Echo was the Goddess of death-by-water, who lay in wait to seize one’s reflection-soul, a belief among the Africans and Melanesians.

It is also believed that a soul can become trapped in a mirror.  The tale of Dionysus repeated by gypsy legend tells the story of how he became trapped in a mirror by a witch named Mara, the same as the Hindu death-spirit Mara.  Among the Slavic gypsies, Mara or Mora was a destroying Fate-Goddess who rode the night winds and “drank the blood of men.”

Which leads us to vampirism.  “Mirrors were connected with death in many Christian superstitions.  Demons, werewolves, vampires, and such “soulless” creatures show no reflection in a mirror.  Many people still turn mirrors to the wall after a death in the house, in the belief that mirrors trap the souls of the living or detain the souls of the dead on their journey.  Some say one who looks in a mirror in a house of death will see not his own face but the face of the deceased.  Pope John xxII had an inordinate fear of mirrors; he claimed wizards sent devils to attack him through mirrors.”

The esoteric meaning of the mirror was explained long ago by Plotinus:  “Matter serves as a mirror upon which the Universal Soul projects the images or reflections of its creations, and thus gives rise to the phenomena of the sensible universe.”

Buddist aphorism:  “All existence is like a reflection in a mirror, without substance, only a phantom of the mind. When the finite mind acts, then all kinds of things cease.”   (In other words:  the world exists for only those who live and perceive it.)

Mmmmm….does that mean that if no intelligent beings perceived it, the universe would not exist at all?

I may have to reflect on this for a while…

Peace…

Text source: Book of Myths and Mystery

The Story of Demeter and Persephone

Posted in Tales with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2010 by Mj Rains

The maiden, Persephone, daughter of the Earth Goddess, Demeter, is out picking flowers in a meadow when the earth opens up and out charges Hades, God of the Underworld.  He scoops Persephone up, and the Lord of the Dead (not the devil or Satan mind you) plunges back down into the Underworld.  When Persephone is late, Demeter goes out searching but can find her lovely daughter nowhere.  Demeter, the great Goddess of grain, harvest, and fertility lights a torch and scours the earth into the night. After nine futile days of searching, she comes across an old lady, the quintessential Hecate, a crone of great knowledge of the earth and its going-ons (the harbinger of bad news and good) and the Goddess of the dark moon, the crossroads of life.  She explains to Demeter that Persephone has been abducted.

Demeter grows full of rage and gives up her divine earthly duties, allowing the crops to dry up and wither, the earth to become a cold wasteland.  She disguises herself as and old woman and travels to the town of Eleusis where she wallows in despair.  Zeus, the great God, notices this and tries to talk some sense into Demeter.  Hades will make a nice son-in-law, he says.  She needs to lighten up and let the crops grow.  Demeter will not budge.

The earth becomes so desolate and wasted Zeus has no choice but to consult with his dark brother of the underworld and orders Hades to give up Persephone.  Persephone prepares to leave, but Hades loves her and does not want to give her up completely. They have one last meal together, and the Lord of the Dead slips some enchanted pomegranate seeds into Persephone’s food.  She swallows the seeds, which ensures her return to Hades domain for a third of each year.

Persephone and her mother are reunited on the first day of Spring.  Demeter can sense some changes in her young daughter.  Demeter is not happy when she learns about the pomegranate seeds, but Persephone insists she did not know and that she does not mind in any case to go back to see Hades.  Demeter stops her mourning and allows the earth to flourish again. After all, her daughter is back. Not the same innocent girl who picked flowers without a care in the world, but a woman transfigured by her experience.

This is my favorite mythological story about a mother and daughter reunion, about a daughter’s growth and change, about the seasons of the earth as they were formed by the mythic gods.

Story is inspired by an excerpt of Traveling with Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd

Images:
Persephone by Blackeri
Hades and Persephone by Sandara

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