Tag Archives: Greek mythology

Stone Series: Amethyst


image of amethyst

Amethyst (Image from Google search)

Rarity: Common
Color: light violet to dark purple

Associations
Birthstone: February
Zodiac sign(s): Capricorn, Virgo, Pisces, Aquarius, Sagittarius
Chakra(s): Third Eye, Crown
Planet(s): Jupiter
Element(s): Air

About Amethyst
Amethyst is a fairly common and easily-accessible stone, and is popular for jewellery.  The most common color is a variety of purple, ranging from a light purple that may appear tinged with pink, to a deep purple.  Amethyst is actually a variety of quartz.  Scientists think that the purple color comes from iron in the stone.  The abundance of iron is what associates amethyst with blood and its uses in regulating blood flow and blood purity.

This stone is associated with the gods Bacchus and Dionysus and is associated with sobriety rather than drunkenness.  Diana and Artemis are linked to amethyst as well.  These four deities are linked with amethyst because of a myth.  According to Greek legend, Dionysus was angry one day and decided he would take out his anger on the next mortal to pass by. He created several tigers, gave them a mission to attack the next mortal, and left. A young girl named Amethyst was the next mortal to come by on her way to pay homage to Artemis. The tigers attacked and Amethyst, in her fear and panic, called to the goddess. Artemis changed the girl into a statue of clear quartz before the tigers could attack. When Dionysus returned, he saw the statue and was overcome with remorse.  In one version, he wept tears of purple wine, which then covered the statue and stained it permanently.  In another version, Dionysus, in his remorse, poured a libation of wine over the statue, which stained it purple.

This stone is also linked with Archangel Zadkiel because of its color and properties.  Amethyst’s color and properties also link it to spirituality, and often this stone is associated with spiritual wisdom and enlightenment.

The chakras related to amethyst are the third eye and crown chakras.  Not only does this association come from amethyst’s color, which matches the colors of the chakras, but this stone also relates to some of these chakras’ main functions.  The third eye chakra is the chakra most connected to psychic development and clarity, and amethyst is an excellent stone for promoting psychic gifts and clarity.  The crown chakra is the chakra of consciousness, connectivity, and clarity, as well as the pineal and pituitary glands, which deal with secretion of hormones.  Both the stone and the chakra are connected to the hormones.

Amethyst geode

Amethyst geode (Image from Google search)

Uses
This is a strong and powerful stone.  It can have a lot of beneficial effects on the mind and body.  This is the kind of stone that is very versatile and can be used for many different things.  It is also one that, if you have to choose only one stone to carry around, I would recommend carrying because of its protective properties and its versatility.

Something about the color purple is good for restful sleep.  Like the herb lavender, amethyst can be used to promote peaceful, restful sleep.  Because of its associations with sleep, it is also useful in remembering, interpreting, and guarding dreams.  It is a very good stone for aiding relaxation, and thus is great for aid in meditation.  Amethyst is a natural tranquilizer that can also bring peace and clarity, and is good for aiding development of intuition and psychic gifts.

Physically, amethyst can regulate hormones, calm nerves, cleanse the blood, regulate blood pressure, protect the heart, and reduce swelling or bruising.  Because of these associations and the stone’s ability to help relax the body and mind, it tends to be a good stone for healers and for working with healing blood issues, stress-induced maladies, and nervousness or anxiety.

Other Resources:
Charms of Light: http://www.charmsoflight.com/amethyst-healing-properties.html
Emily Gems: http://www.crystal-cure.com/crystal-amethyst-points.html
Sunny Ray: http://www.sunnyray.org/Amethyst.htm

Weekly Deity: Calliope


Image of the goddess CalliopeCalliope is the Greek goddess of epic poetry and one of the nine Muses.  Her name is pronounced “kha-lie-oh-pee” and in Greek: καλλιοπε.  She is considered to be the Muse of Homer when he wrote the Odyssey and the Iliad.

Attributes

This goddess is typical shown as a young, beautiful woman.  She is fully-clothed in robes.  Often she carries a writing tablet and may be shown with a scroll or book in hand instead.  Sometimes she wears a golden tiara.

Usually the nine Muses are shown together, but one or two are important enough for are prominent enough in various myths that at times they are shown on an individual basis.  Calliope is one of those who may be shown without her sisters because of her prominence in numerous myths.

Mythology

Calliope is the eldest of the nine Muses, and while the Muses are nonuplets (nine siblings at once), they aren’t generally said to look alike.  Her sisters are: Clio, Erato, Urania, Euterpe, Terpsichore, Melpomene, Thalia, and Polyhymnia.  Their parents are said to be Zeus and Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory.

Calliope is perhaps the most active of the Muses in terms of mythology without her sisters.  She was a lover of Ares and bore him four sons: Biston, Mygdon, Odomantus, and Edonus.  All four grew up to become the founders of Thracian tribes that bore their names.  Later, she bore two more sons, Orpheus and Linus, to either Apollo (more likely) or the Thracian king Oeagrus.  Calliope does eventually marry Oeagrus, but her sons are more likely sons of Apollo given their talents with music.  Linus is known in mythology to be a great musician and he taught Orpheus and Heracles music.  Orpheus learned poetry from his mother and combined what he learned from her with the music he learned from Linus and became a great singer–so great that he moved Hades and Persephone to tears with his song when he went into the realm of Hades to fetch his wife back to the living.

Calliope is also said to mediate an argument over Adonis between Persephone and Aphrodite.  The two goddesses were so taken with Adonis’ beauty that they fought over who would be able to keep him.  So Calliope mediated on Zeus’ behalf and decided that Adonis should spend one-third of the year with each goddess and the remainder of the year in any place he chose.

Light and Dark Sides

The Muses are gentle, wise, and benevolent mistresses of their respective domains, and Calliope is no exception.  She is considered the wisest and most assertive of the Muses.

Calliope would be good to call on for aid in papers or projects, especially those projects that deal with writing, books, or poetry in some form.  Basically any task that requires patience, planning, and time could fall under her purview.  Epic poetry isn’t written in a day, which makes her a goddess of perseverance and patience as well as creativity and imagination.  She is particularly good for authors and musicians to call upon.

On her Dark side, she is perhaps a little too entrenched in her work.  It’s possible that she could be so involved in the project that other tasks get pushed aside to the point of neglect.  This is pure speculation, of course, since there are no myths about her actual work, only her relationships–but it’s not much of a stretch to imagine that this is a possibility.

Overall, Calliope, like her sisters, is a benevolent goddess who is willing to give aid when called upon for help with certain projects.

For more about the Muses as a whole, see my earlier post on the ladies.

Weekly Deity: Ganymede


Ganymede and Zeus

Zeus (left) and Ganymede (right)

Ganymede is a Greek mortal-turned-deity.  He is the cupbearer to the gods and is associated with water, rain, life, and youth.  He is also the constellation Aquarius.

Attributes

Ganymede has often been portrayed as a young, attractive male, either shirtless or nude, and holding a pitcher.  Sometimes Ganymede is shown with the eagle that abducted him, and so he is associated with eagles.

Mythology

While out herding sheep for his father, Ganymede is abducted by a giant eagle who bears him away to Olympus.  There he is granted eternal youth and immortality and the job as cupbearer to the gods.  This position had once been filled by Hebe.  All the gods enjoyed Ganymede’s company and felt joy upon him taking his office as cupbearer; all except Hera, who disliked him not only for his place in Zeus’ affections, but also for supplanting her daughter, Hebe.  Being the cupbearer to the gods is a very important and distinguished role as the cupbearer brings the gods their life-giving nectar (or just purified and divine water in some stories).  By some stories, Hera became so enraged that Zeus eventually placed Ganymede’s image among the stars as the constellation Aquarius, which is also connected to an Egyptian god of the Nile and of water.

Ganymede doesn’t do very much in the myths.  He shows up in his own myth, of course, about his abduction.  It is unclear whether the eagle that stole him away was sent by Zeus or was Zeus in disguise.  Both are equally plausible.  It is clear that Ganymede was held in very high regard, not only by Zeus but also by other gods, except Hera.  He does appear in one story with Eros, in which Eros cheated him at a game of knucklebones and Ganymede became rather enraged.

Ganymede is never said to have mated or married, and so has no children.  His father is Tros, from Troy (other accounts say his father is Laomedon, a treacherous king of Troy).  His mother is never named.

Because of the affection (myths vary whether it was strictly affection or a sexual affair) between Ganymede and Zeus, Ganymede is often seen as a figure associated with homosexuality or a deity of homosexuality.

Light and Dark Sides

Ganymede is a figure that begins as a humble mortal but gains immortality.  However, he can’t be said to follow the “divine hero” path, as he was not granted immortality for being a hero–in fact, he never did anything heroic.  He was granted immortality for his handsome looks and for his mind.  Despite his mortal origins, he was granted immortality and raised to the status of a minor god.  His domains include libation, water, rain, life, youth, and homosexuality.

Water is almost always connected to the subconscious mind, the emotions, the soul, and psychic ability, whether in dreams or myths.  Ganymede is a giver of water to both gods and men.  It is not a stretch to say that on his Light side, Ganymede has influence over the subconscious and emotions and such because of this connection to water.  This deity is interesting because he is a minor god, yet he fulfills such an important role to the gods.  The water brings life and sustains life, among the gods and among men, and Ganymede carries the water and pours it out.  In a sense, he rations the water to each recipient, which mean he defines how much life is given at a time.

Water is a changeable element, and Ganymede is deeply connected with water.  He also displays the instability in his myth with Eros in which he becomes enraged at being cheated.  It would be easier to get a better sense of Ganymede’s personality if there were more stories about him; sadly, there are so few to go on that it’s hard to say if he was very changeable or if he mostly stuck to the easy-going nature that he seems to have, and also hard to say what constitutes his Dark side.

When working with Ganymede, I suggest keeping in mind his connection to the psyche, the emotions, etc.  He is largely a Light deity; his Dark side may consist of the potential to withhold water, and thus life.  It also may include a changeable or unstable nature, which may require some caution.  Overall, however, he seems to be more Light than Dark, so I would place him on the Light side of the deity spectrum.

Question of the Week: Artemis vs Athena


Time for a new deity battle!  This time the two are in the same pantheon.

Athena is the goddess of wisdom, war, and crafts.  Her favored weapon is a spear and she carries a shield and the Aegis, Zeus’ chest shield.  She wears a helmet when going to battle and is said to ride in a chariot as well.  Her favored animals are the owl and snake.  Athena could be a tough opponent in any battle not only for her physical prowess but for her wisdom and cunning.

Artemis, technically a half-sister of Athena because their father is Zeus, is the goddess of the hunt, wilderness, childbirth, and virginity, and she is associated with the moon.  She carries golden arrows and favors the bow in a fight.  Her animals are hunting dogs and deer, though as goddess of wild animals she can call on any wild beast.  Artemis also drives a chariot.  Artemis would also be formidable in a fight, as she is young and strong and known for her skill with the bow.

If Artemis and Athena were locked in battle against each other (for whatever reason–if it helps, make up a scenario), who would be most likely to win?

Put your answer in the comments below!

Weekly Deity: Hemera


Hemera is the Greek goddess and personification of day.

Attributes

Like many other sky deities, Hemera rode in a chariot when she brought the day.  She would have appeared as a young woman in artistic renditions, probably with golden hair and fair skin, though descriptions of her are scarce.  She appears in few surviving vases or reliefs from ancient days.

Mythology

Hemera does not have myths of her own, though she may appear as a side character in the stories of her more famous cousins.  Hemera is the daughter of Erebus and Nyx, or darkness and night, and is thus the granddaughter of Chaos.  This makes her a primordial deity rather than an Olympian deity.  It’s said that as Nyx leaves the realm of Tartarus to bring in the night, Hemera returns to Tartarus to draw the day to a close.  The goddess of day has one child, Thalassa, the sea, fathered by Hemera’s brother Aether.

The role of Hemera is almost entirely taken over in later mythology by Eos, goddess of the dawn.

Light and Dark Sides

Seeing as how there are no myths to tell us of Hemera’s personality, I can’t really say anything about what she might or might not do in situations.  However, it would probably be safe to say that Hemera could be seen as a goddess of new beginnings, as well as a goddess of light and warmth.  Mostly she seems very positive, and would be unlikely to have any tricks or traps up her sleeves like some other deities.  When honoring Hemera, I would say to offer her foods that are reminiscent of the sun, such as yellow, orange, or red foods, or flowers (though stay away from those that bloom in moonlight) such as those that open only in the dawn.  The flower Tribulus cistoides would be good, as it opens at dawn, follows the sun as it moves across the sky, and closes up at dusk.