Olympian Goddesses and Gods: Consequence
Available in ebook or print version
We are the makers of our own destiny is what many of us now believe. Long ago, our ancestors believed the old Gods were responsible, as they are depicted in Homer’s classic epic stories Iliad and Odyssey; the Gods of the ancient world walked among us, sometimes even wore our bodies in order to stir up conflict among us; some claimed they married and had children with us; and when we died, we journeyed to the Underworld where we lived as frightened ghosts.
Since they were outlawed two thousand years ago, the old Gods have been fixed in this image; dismissed as elements of a mythic Age; sometimes resurrected as Hollywood film stories to remind us of our primitive pagan past and to restore our faith in the spirituality of the present.
But the old Gods play a big part in our spirituality. They always have, and always will.
Featured Goddesses & Gods:
Hera; Athena; Aphrodite; Hephaestus; Ares; Apollo; Iris & Dione; Enyo; Hebe & Ganymede; Zeus; Eris; The Keres & Thanatos; Nemesis; Hades; Hecate; Erinyes, Furies & Eumenides; Persephone; Harmonia; The Fates.
Available in ebook and print version:
epub urn: uuid:3bfbb45f-1081-4ee3-b7e1-3704f4aa0240. ISBN: 978-0-9576051-1-4
Print version: ISBN 978-0-9576051-8-3
From the Beginning…
Queen of Heaven was Hera’s title in ancient times. In Hesiod’s listing she is the eldest daughter of the Titan god Cronus and goddess Rhea. Hera’s ruthless retribution was literally the bitter source of legend and with trepidation I awaited her arrival in the temple.
We had raised an altar, constructed of stone; it stood three feet high. A flagstone was placed on the top and another created a face for the front. The altar stones were painted white except for the flagstone top, left natural. The altar face was decorated with shells from a beach and an arrangement of semi-precious stones: some agates, a pearl, a crystal and a natural ruby. The temple was illuminated by two candle sticks standing either side of the altar, each on an iron holder of equal height; and perfumed by an incense burner upon the altar.
Day and night the temple was busy with activity and light; the pink lushness that arrived with Apollo’s sweet promise of Paradise; the terrifying red-radiance when Athena came to recruit for her fight; Ares’ firelight that heralded the test of war; the blinding flash of Zeus’ that signalled start of the lightning run; and the sinister damp decay-ridden chasm that opened in the floor when Hades answered the call.
Hera arrived in the temple. A glowing orb of pink light appeared and exploded, fragmenting through the room; wisps of light zipped in every direction then gathered into a female figure. Some of the light embroidered into a pale blue robe; silvered wisps swirled over the floor weaving into silver sandals.
‘I thought I had sunk into oblivion in the minds of mortals, yet here are two who remember me,’ she said. ‘I accept the honour paid me. Thank you for your welcome.’ Some of the light had remained as a tiny wisp of veil that concealed her face, though I could see her hair was dark red brown, and worn “taken up”. Her robe was long to the wrist; its design draped at neckline and waist. Hera had the full figure of a mature female. I sensed great power, authority in her presence. It was in her voice, soft though it was, and in her presence. She leaned forward, and first me and then Nick, she kissed us both on the lips. ‘You have had much to learn in so short a time. I will return again when invited.‘ And then she vanished.
Sometimes first encounters were as brief as that.
The epic stories of poets Homer and Hesiod featured the old Gods, listed who they were and what they looked like, and what they did. Homer’s famous Iliad and Odyssey written sometime around 700 BC related the Olympian Gods as an extended divine family who lived on Mount Olympus: Zeus, his wife Hera, and their children: Ares, Hephaestus, Apollo and Athena. The Iliad told the story of the Greek – or Achaean – war mission to Troy city, some five hundred years or so even before Homer’s life-time; it claimed the city’s destruction was insisted on by Hera. Reluctantly Zeus agreed her request to Troy’s fall even though he favoured and respected its king and people.
King Menelaus arrived at Troy with a thousand ships filled with warriors on a mission to retrieve his abducted wife, Helen. The story told of how a truce between the armies was agreed while a single-combat duel was fought between Helen’s new lover, Trojan prince Paris and Menelaus, to resolve the grievance. Homer told of how the Gods gathered on the golden floor of Olympus drinking nectar from golden cups, to watch the fight.
Hera’s second visit to the temple occurred two weeks later. Second visits generally were much less friendly. This was terrifying, but so very beautiful at first. Tiny silver stars rained down on the altar; their light intermingling, then whirled around the room to the accompaniment of a ssshhissing sound, though only for a few moments before golden beams of light burst from each corner of the ceiling.
‘You see my essence, priestess.’ I couldn’t see her but felt Hera take hold of my hand, she pulled. ‘If you will come, I shall take you as far as you can go.’