mermaidcamp

mermaidcamp

Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water

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Pandora, What is in That Box?

August 11, 2016 1 Comment

Pandora and box

Pandora and box

The myth of Pandora is a Greek creation story.  Zeus ordered Hephaestus (blacksmith of the gods) to make the first woman.  He did this using water and earth.  Her name means all gifted because various gods gifted her with talents.  She was married to Epimethius as a major prank.  She was designed to punish disobedient  humans.  She was irresistible.   She arrived with a box which was not to be opened.  We know the part of the story in which she does open the box and evil and suffering escapes.  In fact, evil runs rampant on earth as a result of Pandora’s weakness of curiosity.  She has something in common with Eve, the first woman who just had to try the forbidden fruit in the garden.

When Pandora sees that she has released illness and evil on the earth she attempts to close the box quickly.  In the original story she came with a jar (pithos).  Later translations from the Greek changed the jar to a box.  Either way, she managed to close the container with hope trapped inside.  I feel this myth is pertinent to our world situation today.  The evil, the misery, the illness has been released into our atmosphere. It is swirling all around us everywhere.  Hope is often obscured, as if it is enclosed in some secret vessel.

Pandora and box

Pandora and box

Veritas, Goddess of Truth

May 8, 2016 1 Comment

Harvard motto

Harvard motto

In ancient Rome the goddess Veritas ruled truth and sincerity. In Greece she was known as Altheia, and is mentioned in Aesops Fables:

Aesop, Fables 531 (from Babrius 126) (trans. Gibbs) (Greek fable C6th B.C.) :
“A man was journeying in the wilderness and he found Veritas [Aletheia, Truth] standing there all alone. He said to her, ‘Ancient lady, why do you dwell here in the wilderness, leaving the city behind?’ From the great depths of her wisdom, Veritas (Truth) replied, ‘Among the people of old, lies were found among only a few, but now they have spread throughout all of human society!’”
[N.B. This fable is preserved only in a Latin text. Aesop’s Aletheia (Truth personified) becomes Veritas in the Latin.]

Her father is Saturn in Rome and Zeus in Greece.  One creation story found in Aesop’s Fables tells us how she was created by Prometheus along with her arch enemy Mendacium.  She is the mother of virtue.  Her name is often included in mottos.  Harvard’s motto is simply Veritas.  The pursuit of truth was considered to be an essential part of Roman citizens’ duty.  To discern and tell the truth is a full time job.   Forgery and subterfuge are everywhere and always will be.  The difference between Veritas and Mendacium is feet.  Mendacity literally has not feet on which to stand.  Veracity walks away with conviction.

Aesop, Fables 530 (from Phaedrus Appendix 5) :
“Prometheus, that potter who gave shape to our new generation, decided one day to sculpt the form of Veritas [Aletheia, Truth], using all his skill so that she would be able to regulate people’s behaviour. As he was working, an unexpected summons from mighty Jupiter [Zeus] called him away. Prometheus left cunning Dolus (Trickery) in charge of his workshop, Dolus had recently become one of the god’s apprentices. Fired by ambition, Dolus (Trickery) used the time at his disposal to fashion with his sly fingers a figure of the same size and appearance as Veritas [Aletheia, Truth] with identical features. When he had almost completed the piece, which was truly remarkable, he ran out of clay to use for her feet. The master returned, so Dolus (Trickery) quickly sat down in his seat, quaking with fear. Prometheus was amazed at the similarity of the two statues and wanted it to seem as if all the credit were due to his own skill. Therefore, he put both statues in the kiln and when they had been thoroughly baked, he infused them both with life: sacred Veritas (Truth) walked with measured steps, while her unfinished twin stood stuck in her tracks. That forgery, that product of subterfuge, thus acquired the name of Mendacium [Pseudologos, Falsehood], and I readily agree with people who say that she has no feet: every once in a while something that is false can start off successfully, but with time Veritas (Truth) is sure to prevail.”
[N.B. This fable is preserved only in a Latin text. Aesop’s Aletheia (Truth personified) becomes Veritas in the Latin.]

These fables are useful to us during the campaign season during which a large part of our job is to distinguish truth from rhetorical and cultural beliefs.  It has never been more important for us to verify what we believe.

Saturday is for Saturn

January 16, 2016 3 Comments

Saturn

Saturn

The Roman god of agriculture, Saturn, rules Saturday.  This is the only day that retains the original Latin  in the English name today.  For many it is a day of rest, and for some it has religious context. The golden age on earth which is celebrated at Saturnalia was a time when Cronos, the Greek Titan, escaped and ruled from Rome for a time.  Cronos ate his own children, and was eventually defeated and expelled from Olympus by his son Zeus.  Saturn and Cronos represent the same energy, and modern father time is symbolic of both of them. He frequently has a sickle in his left hand and wheat in his right to show his mastery of planting and harvest.  He is said to have brought a golden age to Italy by showing the previously wild population how to grow food.

The holiday Saturnalia began 17 December and lasted for a week.  All businesses were closed and slaves were served by the masters during this symbolic restoration of the Alchemy of Consciousness, the golden age.  Good will and gifting, banquets and gatherings, all resembled the December festivities of now.  Saturn is the judge as well as the treasurer.  Saturn bestows wealth and has the ability to dissolve social hierarchy.  His powers pertain to limitations.  Time is a seriously limiting force, and Saturn reminds us of that fact.  When Saturday rolls around every week we are another week older, and accounting is in order for all of us.  What have we grown this week?  What will be the harvest?

  • kindness
  • abundance
  • organization
  • investments in infrastructure
  • upgrades to our home environment
  • stability

Saturn wants us to build on success with full awareness of all of our limitations.

father time

father time

 

 

Tethys, Mother of the Sea

May 5, 2015 5 Comments

Tethys is a Titan goddess, daughter of Gaia and Uranus. Her job title is mother of the sea.  She works together with Nyx and Gaia to form the Titan’s world.  She and her husband Oceanus have 3000 daughters called Oceanids.  Their 3000 sons are fresh water entities called Potamoi.  The earth’s constitution of 80% water is similar to that of our bodies’, 80-90%.  The tides and waves of deep and constant churning represent the emotions, the realm of feelings.  This goddess was mentioned in poetry, but was never worshiped by a cult.  Today one of Saturn’s moons is named for her.  Saturn III, as it is also known, has a low density because it is made of ice , with very little rock.

To ride the tides of outrageous fortune in life we must handle our own emotions and those of people around us.  There may be times the feelings of others threaten to drown us.  It can be difficult to distinguish the heart’s desire from the desires of our loved ones and associates.  The message Tethys brings us is to allow the energy of emotions to flow freely through us.  Stay true to your own heart, and remain open.  The open releasing state allows strong waves to flow through without causing damage.  Go with the current rather than struggle to defend or retain emotional stuff from others.  Your feelings move you to a calm destination when you let go and float on the surface.  There may be turmoil, but you can rise above it.

Celebrating the Muses

June 13, 2014 2 Comments

Apollo and the 9 muses

Apollo and the 9 muses

In Greek mythology the nine muses are daughters of Mnemosyne.  She was the muse of memory.  Zeus slept with her for 9 nights, resulting in the birth of the 9 muses.  They were raised by Apollo and a nymph in a secluded atmosphere. They became completely dedicated to the arts.  Each was in charge of a different aspect of culture:

  • Calliope-epic song
  • Clio-history
  • Euterpe-lyric song
  • Thalia-comedy
  • Melpomene-tragedy
  • Terpsichore-dance
  • Erato-erotic poetry
  • Polyhymnia-sacred hymns
  • Urania-astronomy

June 14 is celebrated as the birthday of the muses. Have you ever tried to invite a muse for a visit in your creative world?  I have wanted to be more poetic since I discovered my Pilgrim poet ancestor, Mistress Bradstreet.  I made some effort in April to write a poem each day, but I think the missing piece is the muse.  I have trudged away at the poems without inviting a spark or a mystic inspiration to reach into the creative process.  I have assigned myself the job of poet, but have not consulted with the poetic energy that inspires and makes art possible.  Words themselves need a creative current or tradition on which to flow, or the audience will be left flat.  I love comedy the best, although Mistress Bradstreet was more about sacred hymns.  Next time I go out into the world I will ask Thalia to accompany me to find the humor in what I experience.  Which is your favorite muse?  Could you call on them to enhance your creativity more often? I know I could.

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