►Tarot: “Minor Arcana” 🦎:

The Four Aces of the Minor Arcana. Tarot deck: Rider,Waite & Smith.


►Major and Minor Arcana: 

As we have seen in the first post of this series (Tarot: “Most Relevant Generalities / Major Arcana”), a Tarot deck has 78 cards, consisting of two types of cards: Major and Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana (analysed in-depth here), consists of 22 cards, without suits. The Minor Arcana are the remaining 56 suit cards. In this post we´ll analyze the Minor Arcana cards, using the classic Rider-Waite deck.

When used for divination the Major Arcana are traditionally more significant, but the Minor Arcana are what allow Tarot readers to understand the subtleties and details that surround the major events and signifiers in a Tarot spread; in general, the Major Arcana represent large turning points and the Minor Arcana represent the day-to-day insights.

The Minor Arcana comprise four suits with 14 cards each. The four suits are: Wands🥖, Cups, Swords⚔ and Pentacles 🔱.
Each Minor Arcana card in a suit is numbered One (Ace) to Ten, except for the court cards : Page, Knight, Queen, and King.


Minor Arcana: The Four Suits (Wands, Swords, Cups and Pentacles):

♠🥖Wands represent the element Fire🔥, associated with the Zodiac astrological signs of: Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.

♣⚔Swords are connected to the element Air💨, hence linked to the astrological signs of: Gemini, Libra and Aquarius.

♣🍸Cups are related to the element Water💦. The Astrological signs for water are: Cancer, Scorpio and Piscis.

♣🔱 Pentacles represent the element Earth🌎. Thus, are associated with the Zodiac astrological signs of: Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn.

At the same time each suit has equivalents in terms of and class and faculty. Concretely: 

♣🥖Wands: ∼Class: Peasantry. ∼Faculty: Creativity.

♣⚔Swords: ∼Class: Nobility and military. ∼Faculty: Reason.

♣🍸Cups: ∼Class: Clergy. ∼Faculty: Emotions and love.

♣🔱Pentacles: ∼Class: Merchants. ∼Faculty: Material body or possessions.

•In the gallery below ⇓, we can see card Two (II) for each one of the Four Suits: Wands, Swords, Cups and Pentacles, respectively:


3. ►General way to interpret Minor Arcana cards: 

3.1. Pip Cards (Numbers 1 to 10 from all four suits):

A good way to have a general meaning of the Minor Arcana would be to associate the card for all suits with its respective number.
These numbers  represent an evolutionary process that begins with the number 1 and ends with the number 10, pretty much like the Fool´s Journey (see last section of the post on Major Arcana).
For the Pip Cards in the Minor Arcana (meaning those cards from Ace to 10 in each of the four Suits), this is relatively straight-forward.
Aces equal 1, and then each card is numbered 2 to 10. For the tens, you can either treat it as a 10 or as a 1 (1+0).
Court Cards do not typically have a numerological association.
For the Major Arcana, If you want to create the appropriate numerological association, you may need to add the single digits together. For example, the Wheel of Fortune is labelled 10. To find its associations you would add 1+0=1. Hence its number is 1.
With that being said, let´s see what the numbers 1 to 10 mean.
∼Meaning of Numbers:
1 – Newness. 
2 – Balance. Also: a crossroad or choice. 
3 – Integration. Initial achievement of goals. 
4 – Stability. But, depending on the card, also: stagnation. 
5 – Changes. Instability. 
6 – Responsibility. Communication.
7 – Patience. Also: Reflection and assessment. 
8 – Ambition, regeneration, change. 
9 – Choices.
10–  Completion, end of a cycle and renewal. 10 can also become 1 (1+0 = 1) and therefore the tens represent the same things as the Aces (New beginnings), but on a higher level.
Now let´s move on to The Court Cards…

3. ►General Way to interpret Minor Arcana cards: 

3.2. Court Cards (Page, Knight; Queen and King from all four Suits):


As people, Pages often represent young, energetic people who are at the very beginning of their personal journey. On a physical level, Pages can represent young children through to young adults. As events, Pages are often seen as messengers and come to you with a new opportunity or an invitation.

As people, Knights are highly action-oriented. Knights are also slightly more mature than a Page. They have enough experience under their belt to know what they’re doing, but  they could be quite extremists. 
On a physical level, Knights can represent adults aged between 20 and 35 (more or less).
As events, Knights reflect change, movement and action.
As people, Queens  tap into the feminine energy of nurturing and caring for others. Queens typically represent women, but can also highlight the more feminine qualities of a man. On a physical level, Queens often represent people aged between 30 and 50. As events, Queens represent creativity and ideas coming to fruition.
As people, Kings have full control over the feelings, thoughts and actions. As such, they are stable and solid. On a physical level, Kings often represent older males aged 40 and above. As an event, Kings signify the growth and maturity of an idea or concept right through until reaches completion.


4. ►Minor Arcana: Meaning of All Cards:

The Four Suits (in Depth):

The Four Suits, as mentioned before, are: Wands. Swords. Cups and Pentacles. Each one has 14 cards, Ten Pip Cards (from Ace or 1 to 10) and Four Court Cards (Page, Knight, Queen and King. 

Just a quick note: Keep in mind that when the cards are shuffled, they can show up in two positions: Upright or Reversed.The Upright position represents certain Idea or Situation. But, what happens when the card shows up in a reversed or inverted position?. According to the predominant criteria, when the card  appears as “reversed”, the meaning is almost always considered the opposite of the one the card in the upright position might reveal . (See previous post, section 1.3 ⇒♦ Positions of the Cards: Upright or Reversed). 


4.1 ⇒🥖WANDS:

•General Meaning of all Wands:
∼Element and respective Astrological Signs: Fire: Aries, Leo and  Sagittarius.
∼Class: Peasantry. 
The Suit of Wands Tarot card meanings are linked to primal energy, spirituality, inspiration, determination, strength, intuition, creativity, ambition and expansion. 
The negative aspects of the Suit of Wands (i.e. when the Wands cards appear reversed) include illusion, egotistical behaviour, impulsiveness, a lack of direction or purpose, or feeling meaningless.
🥖I ⇒Ace (1) of Wands: 


•Upright: Huge potential. Spiritual opportunity or offering being made.  A ‘breakthrough moment’.
•Reversed: Lack of direction. Delays. Being weighed down by existing responsibilities and commitments.

🥖II ⇒Two of Wands


•Upright: Future planning, progress, decisions, discovery.
•Reversed: Fear of unknown, lack of planning.

🥖III ⇒Three of Wands


•Upright: Preparation, foresight, enterprise, expansion.
•Reversed: Lack of foresight, delays, obstacles to long-term goals.

🥖IV ⇒Four of Wands


•Upright: Celebration, harmony, marriage, home, community.
•Reversed: Breakdown in communication, lack of commitment,. Period of transition where there is little stability and security.

🥖V ⇒Five of Wands:


•Upright: Disagreement, competition, strife, tension, conflict.
•Reversed: Conflict avoidance, increased focus on goals. Relief after conflict and struggle. 

🥖VI⇒Six of Wands:


•Upright: Public recognition, victory, progress, self-confidence.
•Reversed:  Egotism, lack of confidence. Trying to achieve too many things at once and failing.

🥖VII ⇒Seven of Wands:


•Upright: Challenge, competition, perseverance.
•Reversed: Giving up, overwhelmed, overly protective. Feeling that you are constantly being judged or criticised.

🥖VIII ⇒Eight of Wands:

•Upright: Speed, action, travel, movement, swift change.
•Reversed:  Delays, frustration, holding off.

🥖IX⇒Nine of Wands:

•Upright: Courage, persistence, test of faith, resilience.
•Reversed: Defensive, hesitant. Lack of support. 

🥖X⇒Ten of Wands:

•Upright: Burden, responsibility, hard work, stress, achievement.
•Reversed: Taking on too much, unnecessarily holding on to a burden.

🥖A⇒Page of Wands:

•Upright: Enthusiasm, exploration, discovery, free spirit.
•Reversed: Setbacks to new ideas, pessimism, lack of direction.

🥖B⇒Knight of Wands:

•Upright: Energy, passion, lust, action, adventure, impulsiveness.
•Reversed: Haste, scattered energy, delays, frustration.

🥖C⇒Queen of Wands:

•Upright:  Exuberance, warmth, vibrancy, determination.
•Reversed: Being aggressive, too demanding.

🥖D⇒King of Wands:

•Upright: Leadership, vision, entrepreneur, honour.
•Reversed: Impulsiveness, haste, ruthless, high expectations.


4.2 ⇒⚔SWORDS:

•General Meaning of all Swords:
∼Element and respective Astrological Signs: Air: Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. 
∼Class: Nobility and military.
The Suit of Swords Tarot card meanings are related to  action, change, force, power, oppression, ambition, courage and conflict. The negative aspects of the Suit of Swords (i.e. when the Swords cards appear reversed) include anger, guilt, harsh judgement, a lack of compassion and verbal and mental abuse.
⚔I⇒Ace (1) of  Swords:

•Upright: Raw power, victory, break-through, mental clarity.
•Reversed: Confusion, chaos, lack of clarity.

⚔II⇒Two of  Swords:

•Upright: Indecision, choices, truce, stalemate, blocked emotions.
•Reversed: Confusion, information overload.

⚔III⇒Three of Swords:

•Upright: Sorrow heartbreak, grief, rejection.
•Reversed: Releasing pain, optimism.

⚔IV⇒Four of  Swords:

•Upright: Contemplation, recuperation, passivity, relaxation, rest.

•Reversed: Restlessness, burn-out, lack of progress.

V⇒Five of Swords:

•Upright: Conflict, tension, loss, defeat, win at all costs, betrayal.
•Reversed: Open to change, past resentment.

VI⇒Six of Swords:

•Upright: Regretful but necessary transition, rite of passage.
•Reversed: Cannot move on, carrying baggage.

VII⇒Seven of Swords:

•Upright: Betrayal, deception, getting away with something.

•Reversed Mental challenges, breaking free.

VIII⇒Eight of Swords:

•Upright: Isolation, self-imposed restriction, imprisonment.
•Reversed: Open to new perspectives, release.

IX⇒Nine of Swords:

•Upright: Depression, anxiety.

•Reversed: Hopelessness, severe depression, torment.

⚔X⇒Ten of Swords:

•Upright: Back-stabbed, defeat, crisis, betrayal, endings, loss.
•Reversed: Recovery, regeneration, fear of ruin.

⚔A⇒Page of Swords:


•Upright: Curious, mentally restless, energetic.
•Reversed: Haste, undelivered promises.

⚔B⇒Knight of Swords:


•Upright: Action-oriented, communicative.
•Reversed: Scattered thought, disregard for consequences.

⚔C⇒Queen of Swords;


•Upright: Quick thinker, organised, perceptive, independent.
•Reversed: Overly emotional, cold-hearted.

⚔D⇒King of Swords:


•Upright: Clear thinking, intellectual power, authority, truth.

•Reversed: Manipulative, tyrannical, abusive.


4.3. ⇒🍸CUPS:

•General Meaning of all Cups:
∼Element and respective Astrological Signs: Water: Cancer, Scorpio and Piscis.
∼Class: Clergy.

Cups are about displays of emotion, expression of feelings and the role of emotions in relation to others.

The negative aspects of the Suit of Cups (i.e. when the Cups cards appear reversed) include being overly emotional or completely disengaged and dispassionate, having unrealistic expectations.
🍸I⇒Ace (1) of Cups:

•Upright: Love, compassion, creativity, overwhelming emotion.
•Reversed: Blocked or repressed emotions.

🍸II⇒Two of Cups:

•Upright: Partnership, attraction, relationships.
•Reversed: Break-up, imbalance in a relationship, lack of harmony.

🍸III⇒Three of Cups:

•Upright: Celebration, friendship, creativity, community.
•Reversed: An affair, “three’s a crowd”.

🍸IV⇒Four of Cups:

•Upright: Meditation, apathy, contemplation.

•Reversed: Boredom, missed opportunity, being aloof.
🍸V⇒Five of Cups:

•Upright: Loss, regret, disappointment, despair, bereavement.
•Reversed: Moving on, acceptance, forgiveness.

🍸VI⇒Six of Cups:

•Upright: Reunion, nostalgia, childhood memories, innocence.
•Reversed: Stuck in the past, naïvety, unrealistic.

🍸VII⇒Seven of Cups:

•Upright: Fantasy, illusion, wishful thinking, choices, imagination.
•Reversed: Temptation, illusion.

🍸VIII⇒Eight of Cups:

•Upright: Disappointment, abandonment, withdrawal.
•Reversed: Hopelessness, walking away.

🍸IX⇒Nine of Cups:

•Upright: Wishes fulfilled, comfort, happiness, satisfaction.
•Reversed: Greed, dissatisfaction, materialism.

🍸X⇒Ten of Cups:

•Upright: Harmony, marriage, happiness, alignment.
•Reversed: Misalignment of values, broken home or marriage.

🍸A⇒Page of Cups:

•Upright: A messenger, creative beginnings, synchronicity.
•Reversed: Emotional immaturity, creative block.

🍸B⇒Knight of Cups:

•Upright: Romance, charm, imagination.
•Reversed: Unrealistic, jealousy, moodiness.

🍸C⇒Queen of Cups:

•Upright: Emotional security, calm, intuitive, compassionate.
•Reversed: Emotional insecurity, codependency.

🍸D⇒King of Cups:

•Upright: Emotional balance and control, generosity.

•Reversed: Manipulation, moodiness, volatility.




•General Meaning of all Pentacles:

∼Element and respective Astrological Signs. Earth: Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn.
∼Class: Merchants.
The Suit of Pentacles Tarot card meanings cover material aspects of life including work, business, trade, property, money and other material possessions. The positive aspects of the Suit of Pentacles include manifestation, realisation, proof and prosperity. The negative aspects of the Suit of Pentacles (i.e. when the Pentacles cards appear reversed) include being possessive, greedy and overly materialistic.
🔱 I⇒Ace (1) of Pentacles:

•Upright: Manifestation, new financial opportunity, prosperity.
•Reversed: Lost opportunity, lack of planning and foresight.

🔱 II⇒Two of Pentacles:

•Upright: Balance, adaptability, time management.
•Reversed: Disorganisation, financial disarray.

🔱 III⇒Three of Pentacles:

•Upright: Teamwork, initial fulfilment, collaboration, learning.
•Reversed: Lack of teamwork, disregard for skills.

🔱 IV⇒Four of Pentacles:

•Upright: Control, stability, security.

•Reversed: Greed, materialism, self-protection.

🔱 V⇒Five of Pentacles:

•Upright: Isolation, insecurity, worry, financial loss.

•Reversed: Recovery from financial loss, spiritual poverty.

🔱 VI⇒Six of Pentacles: 

•Upright: Generosity, charity, giving, prosperity, sharing wealth.

•Reversed: Debt, selfishness.

 🔱 VII⇒Seven of Pentacles:


•Upright: Vision, perseverance, profit, reward, investment.
•Reversed: Lack of long-term vision, limited success or reward.

🔱 VIII⇒Eight of Pentacles:

•Upright: Apprenticeship, education, quality, engagement.
•Reversed: Perfectionism, lacking ambition or focus.

🔱 IX⇒Nine of Pentacles:


•Upright: Gratitude, luxury, self-sufficiency, culmination.
•Reversed: Over-investment in work, financial setbacks.

🔱 X⇒Ten of Pentacles:

•Upright: Wealth, inheritance, family, establishment, retirement.
•Reversed: Financial failure, loneliness, loss.

🔱 A⇒Page of Pentacles: 

•Upright: Manifestation, financial opportunity, new job.
•Reversed: Lack of progress and planning, short-term focus.

🔱 B⇒Knight of  Pentacles:


•Upright: Efficiency, routine, conservatism, methodical .
•Reversed: Laziness, boredom, feeling ‘stuck’.

🔱 C⇒Queen of Pentacles:
•Upright:  Practical, motherly, down-to-earth, security.

•Reversed: Imbalance in work/ family commitments.

🔱 D⇒King of Pentacles:

•Upright: Security, control, power, discipline, abundance.
•Reversed: Authoritative, controlling.

Recap Sheet: Minor Arcana.

Check out this Playlist by Jason Youngman:

“Minor Arcana: The Four Suits”:


5. ► Some Final Thoughts on Minor Arcana (and the Whole Deck)

& Tips for Reading Tarot Cards:

The Major Arcana charts the Fool´s Journey. This includes the archetypal themes that we all encounter in order to spiritually evolve. Thus the Major Arcana can be associated to the element of Spirit. Whereas the Minor Arcana tend to depict events that relate to our daily lives. They are composed of the four lesser elements, namely fire, cups, water and air. These elements are also associated with the four suits of the Minor Arcana, that being wands, cups, swords, and pentacles. Hence wands as fire, cups as water, swords as air, and pentacles as earth. In turn each suit/element represents various characteristics and qualities.

For instance: Pentacles (earth) represent the material domain, which deals with possession and highlights the importance of being grounded. Wands (fire) are linked to the flame of creativity, to fiery ambition and expansion. Cups (water) constitute our feelings and emotions, as they tend to flow from our hearts. Finally, Swords (air) stand for action, power and friction.

The Court Cards are another subsection within the Minor Arcana and are also divided into the four suits/elements. They aren’t numbered like the other minor cards and are often said to represent people. However the ancient courts were typically used for political ends. These cards make up a hierarchy of governing power beginning with the Page, followed with the Knight, then the Queen, and finally the King ranked as the highest in the order, respectively.

The Major Arcana cards may have a more “transcendent” meaning, but I have noticed that many Minor Arcana cards could play a similar role when compared. Allow me to demonstrate in part. To proceed let´s keep to the general upright meaning of the cards.

Example 1⇒Major Arcana: The World (XXI): Meaning: Wholeness and Balance. Minor Arcana: Ten of Cups (X): Meaning: Harmony, Alignment.

Example 2⇒Major Arcana: The Devil (XV)Meaning: Being obsessed and unaware. Allowing yourself to be controlled. Minor Arcana: Eight of Swords (VIII): Meaning: Isolation, self-imposed restriction, imprisonment

Example 3⇒Major Arcana: The Chariot (VII). Meaning: Victory, reaching goals. Being determined and focussed. Feeling self-confident. Mastering emotions. Self control, discipline. Minor Arcana: Six of Wands (VI). Meaning: Public recognition, victory, progress, self-confidence.

So, as you could see,  even if there are crucial differences between Major and Minor Arcana, certain cards could have similar meanings, regardless of the category they fit into.

I would like to stress that in order to better understand the Minor Arcana cards we should pay attention to its number, the suit and its respective element (fire, air, water and earth) and the astrological sign associated with the card. No matter the core meaning of each card, these other features can help us to figure out and identify what a card intends to communicate. The details of the illustrations, figures, landscapes and colors can also help us locate further meaning. 

Keep in mind the position of the card (according to the Spread you´ve chosen). Also remember that a Tarot reading is not about the individual cards, It is important to notice how the cards in the reading relate to each other.

 A group of cards taken together as a whole can reveal further insight. The individual cards are like individual words in a story.  Try to see how the cards relate to the questions and how they relate to one another in order to weave the “story”. 

In addition, we can use our intuition to assist us in the interpretation, regardless of the concrete meaning of the card. For instance, tension may appear in a certain part of our body as we contemplate a card or an object in the picture may remind us of something else altogether. An intuitive hit may be olfactory, such as a fragrance that puts us in mind of a past event. A strong emotion may erupt or a forgotten dream may rise up into conscious awareness, which may help to put the tarot reading into perspective.


Rider- Waite Tarot Deck: “Major & Minor Arcana”:

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⇒Links Post:


“Special Shout-Outs”:

I would like to thank Jason Youngman from “Methaphysical Reflections” for letting me include his great videos on Arcana Minor (see Playlist above). 🐯 😘

Also special thanks to Resa McConaghy for the gorgeous sketches on her awesome blog Art Gowns (I will feature them in a future post, but wanted to mention this before here as well). (February 28th).🐬😘

And, I want to thank these bloggers for the mentions on their blogs… 


Ken Judd AKA Bear from Bear Tales for mentioning me on his cool & funny blog. (January 20th). 🐻😘

Amira Amenta for the mention on her great blog & post “Caja de Pandora – #MeToo”. A thought- provoking, recommended reading. (January 26th). 🦋😘

Christy Birmingham  from the great blog “When Women Inspire” for the mention on this post. (February 9th). 🐰😘

∼Daniel Julian from “Word Florilegium” for the shout-out on his great blog. (February 1st). 🐱😘




“Most Relevant Generalities / Major Arcana” 🗝:

The twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana. Tarot deck: Rider,Waite & Smith.

Introduction and Sketch of this Post:

This is the first post of  the series on “Tarot”. 

Firstly, in section 1), I´ll present an overview of the story of Tarot, its use for divination purposes, tarot spreads, cards´positions (upright or reversed), total number of cards, division into two categories: Major and Minor Arcana.

In the second section (2) of this post, I´ll assess in-depth the Major Arcana. 

For that purpose, I´ll use the classic Rider-Waite deck, illustrated by Pamela Colman-Smith, which has been continually printed since 1909. Hence, it is easy to find in Bookstores or online nowadays.

Let´s keep in mind that the Major Arcana cards are somehow related to Carl Jung’s archetypes. They are “patterns”, inherent part of the Collective Unconscious. These cards symbolise the process we go through in our lives, aiming to become a balanced and integrated person. 

With that being said, I´ll offer the meanings of the respective 22 cards comprising this group.

In both, the upright and reversed position. Worth noting that, when you shuffle the tarot cards, they often end up facing in different directions. So basically, each card can show up in an “upright” or a reversed” position.

To end, in the third (3) section, I´ll dig into the so-called “Fool´s Journey”. The Fool card is numbered zero, and if you look closely at the cards, in sequential order, starting with the Fool, you´ll notice that them seem to tell us a story. The story of our own evolution as persons, going through different stages, with their respective struggles and victories. Along this journey, we encounter challenges, face adversity, perform labours, meet people, make hard decisions and fight opposing forces. Each step of the way brings us closer to embrace the Wholeness of Ourselves and of the World. This “journey” is, in fact a cycle. And one could go through the same cycle many times in a lifetime. Or one could just fail to reach the end of the cycle. There is of course, an implied recurring element associated with Karma here. Maybe the “Fool´s Journey” could reach its finish line in another, next life. Or did so in a past life and now he is facing a new, different challenge.

►1) Tarot. Generalities:

Story and Purpose. Rider-Waite Deck: Spreads. Positions. Major and Minor Arcana:

I own this deck!: Tarot Rider Waite boxed-deck.

1.1.⇒♦ What is Tarot and how does a Tarot Reading work?: 

The Tarot is a pack of playing cards, used from the mid-15th century in various parts of Europe to play games such as Italian Tarocchini and French Tarot. In the late 18th century, it began to be used for divination.

In  this last sense, Tarot cards are commonly used to measure potential outcomes and evaluate influences surrounding a person, an event, or both. The technical term for tarot reading is Taromancy (divination through the use of tarot cards), which is a subsection of Cartomancy (divination through cards in general).

Tarot reading is not about predictions, but more about possible outcomes as well as examining influences related to the issue at hand. These could be influences which the subject might not even be aware of before the reading.A spread is the arrangement of cards dealt in a reading.

1.2 ⇒♦Spreads:

There are many types of spreads. Usually, the querent (receiver of the reading) asks a general question, or could just picture a situation in his mind. He can keep them to himself. You (person doing the reading) can then pull six cards, representing different aspects of your past, present and future situation. You can pull three cards, instead, where the first represents the past, the second represents the present, and the third represents the future. The three card spread is called The Three Fates. Also, we have the so-called Celtic- Spread Reading, which consists of ten cards representing a variety of things including any past and future influences, personal hopes, and conflicting influences. You can check out other spreads here

1.3 ⇒♦ Positions of the Cards: Upright or Reversed:

Cards can show up in two positions: Upright or Reversed.

The Upright position represents certain Idea or Situation.

But, what happens when the card shows up in a reversed or inverted position?.

a) If the card is reversed, the meaning is almost always considered to be the opposite of the one the card might reveal when it is upright.

Although this is the predominant criteria (and, hence, the one, I´ll stick to), there are still other ways of interpreting reversals.

b) One of them could be to say that they refer to the previous card (For example: If we have an inverted Strength card (8), it might actually be referring to The Chariot (7)).

c) Other way of interpreting reversals is to say that they represent blocked energies or resistance towards what the card represents. 

d) Finally, another way of doing reversals would be to say that it indicates an unconscious influence and, hence, that the querent is not aware of it. For example: If we pulled an inverted Sun, we might say that the querent lacks awareness towards this bright, joyful influence. Maybe because it is hidden, or perhaps because it has not fully developed yet. 

e) Another point to keep in mind: some people like to switch “gender” in those cards in which a female or male figure shows up. So, If we pulled Justice (with a Female figure) in an inverted position, we could assume that the characteristics of that card might be related to a Man in the querent´s life.

As I said above, I will provide the meaning of reversed cards as the opposite to which the card reveals in its upright position. But, when doing a reading you can include other interpretation criteria, too. 

1.4 ⇒♦ The Tarot Deck. Major and Minor Arcana:

A Tarot deck has 78 cards, consisting of two types of cards: Major and Minor Arcana.

The “Trump cards” (numbered 1 to 21) and the Fool (numbered 0) are called the Major Arcana, while the ten pip and four court cards in each suit are known as Minor Arcana.

•The Minor Arcana (Lesser Secrets) Consists of 56 cards, divided into four suits (Swords, Cups, Wands and Pentacles). Each suit has 14 cards: ten numbered cards and four court cards. The court cards are the King, Queen, Knight and Page/Jack, in each of the four tarot suits.

•The Major Arcana (Greater Secrets), consists of 22 cards, without suits: The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor, The Hierophant, The Lovers, The Chariot, Strength, The Hermit, Wheel of Fortune, Justice, The Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, The Devil, The Tower, The Star, The Moon, The Sun, Judgement, The World, and The Fool. Cards from The Magician to The World are numbered in Roman numerals from I to XXI, while The Fool is the only unnumbered card, often placed at the beginning of the deck as 0.

I finally wanted to stress that when one lays out a spread or performs a reading and sees mostly Major Arcana cards,one can assume that the matter in question, and/or the querent’s life, is more profound in comparison to Minor Arcana cards. The Major Arcana are signposts to things, events, and people, that are meant to be taken more seriously and looked at more closely, in general, than the Minor Arcana cards will generally represent.

2) Major Arcana Cards (Rider-Waite Deck):

These are 22 cards of the Major Arcana and their respective meanings, in both the upright and reversed position.

⇒♦ 0. The Fool:

The Fool is shown at the beginning of his journey with unlimited potential. He has a bag holding off his staff and a bright sun rising up behind him.

The white rose in his left hand represents purity and innocence. He has a guardian in the little white dog warning him of danger as he approaches the edge of the cliff. The fool is unaware, as he is looking up.

The card represents beginnings, overly optimistic approaches and spontaneity. It also reminds us that, even if we are enjoying ourselves, there are always consequences facing our actions. 

•Upright: Living in the moment, feeling carefree or spontaneous, entering a new phase.
•Reversed: Being blocked, restricted.

⇒♦ I. The Magician:

When the Magician appears in a spread, it points to the talents, capabilities and resources at the querent’s disposal. It represents possibilities and the card shows that the querent has all the elements, as the four suits of the Minor Arcana (Swords, Wands, Pentacles and Cups) show up in the card. The magician is the creator of ideas and thoughts.


•Upright: Acting consciously, acknowledging your motivations. Feeling centered and committed. Being creative and energized.
•Reversed: Inability to act or react. Feeling drained. Losing focus or commitment.

⇒♦ II. The High Priestess:

The High Priestess card shows her seated between two pillars marked B and J, which stand for Boaz  and Jachin respectively (You can find these names in the First Books of Kings). Furthermore, these letters are inscribed upon the pillars of the Salomon Temple, associated with Wisdom. There is a cloth behind her depicting pomegranates, a symbol of death and the afterlife in Greek Mythology. The High Priestess is the keeper of secret knowledge, as the crystal ball on her head shows. There is a crescent moon beneath her feet, which might represent that the opportunities could increase. She is holding a book, the Tora, the Jewish sacred book. 

•Upright: Withdrawing. Being passive or calm. Seeking guidance from within. Understanding the potential and possibilities. Looking beyond the obvious.
•Reversed: Inability to find your inner voice or to look beyond.

⇒♦ III. The Empress:

The Empress depicts a woman seating in a field. She represents fertility, being a sort of Mother figure. She is surrounded by flowers and plants. There is also a heart-shaped rock with a Venus symbol on it. As we know, this symbol stands for Women.

•Upright: Nourishing life. Nurturing and caring for others. Abundance. Experiencing the senses (pleasure, beauty, etc). Feeling connected to Nature.
•Reversed: Focusing on oneself without caring for other people. Scarcity. Inhibition. Closure.

⇒♦ IV. The Emperor:

The figure in this card depicts stability, structure, power and protection. He is related to Aries, in the Horoscope. 

•Upright: Father figure. Setting directions, laws rules or boundaries. Applying reason. Creating order. Exerting control.
•Reversed: Chaos. Lack of control and order.

⇒♦ V. The Hierophant:

He is a  High Priest. He sits upon his throne as to other men kneel before him. He is a man who shares rituals, he is a leader of a flock/group, not of individuals. He represents alliances, goodness, comfort and traditional values. The Hierophant is associated with Taurus, in the Zodiac.

•Upright: Education, becoming informed. Having a belief system. Following the rules, staying within conventional bounds.
•Reversed: Being heterodox, rebel. Not sticking to traditional values. Acting crazily.

⇒♦ VI. The Lovers:

This card shows temptation, represented by the snake on the tree. We can also see two human beings, male and female,  and a spirit with open hands above them, a brilliant sun. The card is not about two people however as it is about one: the person who experiences love. It refers to falling in love with someone or … Something. This card is associated with Gemini, in the Zodiac.

•Upright: Love. Marriage or partnership. Establishing bonds. Staying true to yourself. Determining values. Facing a moral choice.
•Reversed: Loneliness. Loss in relationships. Rejection. Sticking to others´opinions or values.

⇒♦ VII. The Chariot:

It represents labour and power. There are two sphinxes. Their colors are reversed, pretty much like a Yin-Yang symbol. The driver has a Sun on his head. We can see rising and falling moons close to his neck. The complementary nature of these two opposite natures tend to echo the sphinxes pointing out to Balance.  The Chariot is related to Cancer, in the Horoscope.

•Upright: Victory, reaching goals. Being determined and focussed. Feeling self-confident. Mastering emotions. Self control, discipline.
•Reversed: Putting other´s first. Resignation. Lack of determination or focus. Low self-esteem. Defeat. Confusion.

⇒♦ VIII. Strength: 

The card shows a maiden taming a lion, not with physical strength, but with strenght of character: understanding, compassion. This is symbolic of resourcefulness, of softening the power we have to control others. The card shows that harmony has been achieved as the lion seems to be happy as the woman caresses him and his tail is tucked between his legs, in a submissive attitude.  The woman has a symbol of infinite, as it appears in the card of the Magician. This represents endless possibilities. The card stresses that our strengths are much more than our physical abilities. This card is related to Leo, in the Horoscope.

•Upright: Strenght and power. Refusing to get angry, maintaining composure. Caring about others, compassion. Forgiveness. Persuasion, being able to influence.
•Reversed: Hard Control. Weariness. 

⇒♦ IX. The Hermit:

The card depicts an old man, alone, leading his way through the darkness by a light, which, is actually a little shining star. The Hermit represents knowledge, inner peace and understanding of his life. The card represents solitude, withdrawal, careful thought, ruminations.

The Hermit could represent a need to be alone in order to sort out things… Or a person in the querent´s life. The Hermit is associated to Virgo, in the Horoscope.

•Upright: Being introspective, looking for answers within. Withdrawing from the world. Loneliness.
•Reversed: Involvement with the world. Being with others.

⇒♦ X. Wheel of Fortune: 

We can see the letters T, A , R and O which stand for Tarot, as it its spelt. This represents endless circles. In the inner, little circle, we can see the signs for the four key elements in Alchemy: Mercury, Salt, Sulfur and Water. The Egyptian God Anubis, (painted in red) is holding the Wheel on his back. Anubis looked like a dog and was a Psychopomp and Ruler of the Underworld. Upon the wheel we can see a Sphinx, keeping the balance of the wheel itself.  There is a snake on the left of the card. Some say this snake is Typhon, a monster from Greek Mythology, representing Earth. On the four corners of the card yellow, winged creatures are reading books. This could reference the Book of Revelations. The creatures resemble a lion, a calf,  a human being and an eagle. The wheel is a circle, but carrying with it the past experiences. It represents completion, also Fate, sudden good luck, transitions and changes.

•Upright: Feeling a sense of destiny. Uncovering patterns and cycles. Turning point: altering the present course. Speed. Change.
•Reversed: Slow pace. Blocked change, no movement.

⇒♦ XI. Justice: 

The card depicts a King seated between two pillars. He has a sword in one hand and a scales of Justice in the other. It represents balance, a middle ground. This card could also be literal suggesting a Court proceeding, a conflict or the involvement of Authority to resolve a dispute. Justice is associated with Libra in the Horoscope. 

•Upright: Fairness, justice. Honesty. Responsibility. Acknowledging the truth. Accepting the consequences of your actions.
•Reversed: Avoiding the truth, disavowing your role. Shirking responsibility.

⇒♦ XII. The Hanged Man:

The card depicts a man suspended by his legs upside down from a tree. His leg is bent and his face is peaceful. There is no indication of suffering. A corona is around his head indicating wisdom. The hanged man indicates a change of perspective, swaying between different possibilities, an inability to make a decision. It is a time of internal focus , introspection and self-discovery. 

Being hung by one leg was traditionally a punishment for traitors. In that sense, what the hanged man sees as right is upside down to those who have passed judgement upon him. 


Upright: Waiting. Letting go. Accepting what is. Overturning priorities. 
•Reversed: Inability to let go. Control. Self-assertion. Struggle.

⇒♦ XIII. Death:

The Death card depicts a skeleton in dark armor,  a grim reaper upon horseback. Before him, a Priest offers prayers, a man lays dead, a young looks on with curiosity as an older child turns away in fear. Overall, we can see the range of emotions that people experience. In the Reaper´s hand there is a black flag. This card is a symbol of change, part of the cycle of death and rebirth. This card is associated with Scorpio, in the Zodiac.

•Upright: Endings. Putting the past behind you. Change or transition. Accepting the inevitable. Cutting out what isn’t necessary.
•Reversed: Beginnings. Fresh start.

⇒♦ XIV. Temperance:

The card depicts an archangel at the edge of a riverbank. One foot on land, the other in water.  He pours water from one cup into another. The card is about balance. It suggest finding compromise or agreement as well as reminder to maintain moderation. This card is associated with Sagittarius, in the Horoscope.

•Upright: Showing moderation. Mitigating a harsh position. Harmony. Fostering cooperation and synthesis. Healing and flourishing.
•Reversed: Excesses. Disagreement, competition. Discord, lack of harmony.

⇒♦ XV. The Devil: 

The Devil in this card has horns, goat legs and  wings of a bat. He holds a torch in his left hand. Chained to his pedestal are a man and a woman, also with characteristics of the devil: horns and a tail, but interestingly, their chains are loose around their neck. They are capable of slipping them off. However, they choose to remain chained. The card represents addiction, vice or obsession, things to which we might choose to remain beholden. In relationships, this card could represent a  control and temptation. This card is related to Capricorn in the Zodiac.

•Upright: Being obsessed and unaware. Allowing yourself to be controlled. Being addicted. Overindulgence. Feeling hopeless.
•Reversed: Independence. Clarity. Hope and optimism. Release, freedom.

⇒♦ XVI. The Tower:

The Tower shows a tall tower pitched atop a mountain. Lightning strikes and flames burst from the building’s windows. People are leaping from the tower in desperation, wanting to flee such destruction and turmoil. 

The Tower signifies darkness and destruction on a physical scale. The Tower itself represents ambitions built on false premises. The card is associated with sudden, disruptive, rude awakening and destructive change.

•Upright: Sudden change, defeat, destruction. Erupting in anger. Letting everything go. Exposing what was hidden. Toppling from the heights
•Reversed: Victory, control. Staying together. Serenity. Calm.

⇒♦ XVII. The Star:

The card depicts a maiden  kneeling at the edge of a small pool. The woman holds two containers of water. She pours the water out to nourish the earth and to continue the cycle of fertility, 
The other container pours the water onto dry land in five rivulets, representing the five senses. The woman has one foot on the ground, representing her common sense, and the other foot in the water, representing her intuition. Behind her, shines one large star and seven smaller stars. All the stars have eight points, and eight represents Strength. 
The card entails illumination, guidance and renewal. It suggests nourishment and hope. The astrological sign of the Star is Aquarius.
•Upright: Regaining hope. Realizing an inner strength or truth. Wisdom. Being generous. Free-flowing love. Peace of mind. Calm.
•Reversed: Hopelessness, lack of faith, pessimism. Upheaval, Chaos.

⇒♦ XVIII. The Moon:

This card depicts two wolves howling at a Full Moon with a Crescent Moon inside.
The pool at the base of the card represents the subconscious mind and the crayfish that crawls out of the pool symbolises the early stages of consciousness unfolding.
The card suggests illusion, fear, anxiety. This might be a time of an emotional or mental trial and that the querent might not think clearly or could make questionable decisions as those inspired by the Lunacy of the Full Moon. The astrological sign of the Moon is Pisces.


Upright: Feeling fear. Deceiving yourself. Losing direction and purpose. 

Reversed: Being serene, untroubled, at peace. Enlightenment. 

⇒♦ XIX. The Sun: 

This is a joyful card.  The bright Sun is an image of optimism and fulfilment. The child in the card is happy. He is naked and this represents innocence and purity. The white horse upon which the child rides represents strength and purity of spirit. The horse is without a saddle and is controlled without the use of the hands.  The sunflowers in the background represent the fruitfulness of the spirit under the nourishment of the Sun.

•Upright: Understanding. Enlightenment. Believing in your worth. Greatness, shining brilliantly. Joy and enthusiasm.
•Reversed: Being tired or sad. Weariness, confusion.

⇒♦ XX. Judgement:

The Judgement card shows a number of naked men, women and children rising up from their graves, responding to the trumpet call of the Archangel Gabriel, a psychopomp, who hovers high above them.
The card represents absolution and rebirth. The card could suggest that this is a time of resurrection, of bringing back the Past, revisiting things and making peace with past situations that were long ago thought be to put to rest, in order to finally move forward. 

•Upright: Making a judgment. Making hard choices. Knowing what you must do. Making a fresh start. Releasing guilt. Forgiving yourself and others. Absolution.
•Reversed: Endings, feeling regretful and guilty.

⇒♦ XXI. The World:

The card depicts a woman surrounded by a wreath (symbol of Victory), holding two wands.

The figures in each of the four corners of the World card are the same figures that appear on the Wheel of Fortune. Interestingly, the World card is very much associated with the Wheel of Fortune, reflecting the cyclical progression of time and the human experience. 

The woman has one leg crossed over the other, just like the Hanged man. She is, in a sense, his opposite (i.e. the Hanged Man upright). As the Hanged Man looks inward, the woman in the World card looks outward. This card is a symbol of a completion and accomplishment. 

•Upright: experiencing wholeness and balance. Synthesis. Accomplishing your goals. Becoming involved. Feeling fulfilled.
•Reversed: Isolation, apathy, withdrawal. Lack of integration.

⇒♦Astrological Signs & Planets:

Which are their Equivalents in the Arcana Major?:

Here we have the Zodiac Signs and their respective cards in the Major Arcana:

💦Water Signs: Cancer: The Chariot Scorpio: DeathPiscis: The Moon.

🔥Fire Signs: Aries: The Emperor. Leo: StrengthSagittarius: Temperance.

💨Air Signs: Gemini: The LoversLibra: JusticeAquarius: The Star.

🌎Earth Signs: Taurus: The HierophantVirgo: The HermitCapricorn: The Devil.

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►3) The Fool´s Journey… Or the Fool´s Lifecycle:

The Fool (0) has no idea what will happen to him and sets out on his journey with only his hopes. At the start of his trip, the Fool is fresh, open and spontaneous. But he is also unaware of the hardships he will face as he travels this world.

On setting out, the Fool immediately encounters the Magician (I) and the High Priestess (II).
The Magician takes advantage of the opportunities the Fool has in himself and provides him with what he might find useful during his journey. The High Priestess provides the fertile ground in which creative events occur.

As he grows, he meets with the Empress (III). The Fool becomes more and more aware of his surroundings. Hence he comes to know Mother Earth, experiencing an awakening of his senses. The Emperor (IV) represents for the Fool a Father Figure and through him he learns about the importance of laws and rules.

III. The Empress. IV. The Emperor.

The Hierophant (V) teaches the Fool to acknowledge the value of the beliefs and traditions of his culture. The Fool learns to identify with a group and discovers a sense of belonging.

Eventually, the Fool experiences Love (VI). He wants to reach out and become half of a loving partnership. In the meantime, he also feels he need to decide upon his own beliefs.

The Fool becomes an adult, he has a strong identity and a certain mastery over himself. Through discipline and will-power, he has developed an inner control, which are characteristics of the Chariot (VII).

Over time, life presents the Fool with many challenges, some that cause them sorrow and disappointment. But he is resilient and strong. He develops Patience, Compassion and Tolerance, which are all attributes of Strength (VIII).

Sometime during his journey, the Fool begins to look inward, trying to understand his feelings and motivations. He seeks moments of solitude to find his own direction, in accordance with the Hermit card (IX).

After much soul-searching, the Fool begins to see how everything connects. The Cycles he and Nature go through remind him of a Wheel of Fortune (X). He believes in both the power of his freedom to choose and Fate. He faces changes, recognizing his destiny in the sequence of events that led him to certain turning points.

The Fool wonders about Justice (XI). He starts with himself and looks back over his life to trace his actions. He takes responsibility for his past actions so he can make amends and ensure a more honest course for the future.

Sooner or later, he faces an experience that seems too difficult to endure. This overwhelming challenge humbles him until he has no choice but to give up and let go. He feels his world has been turned upside-down. So he pauses free of pressures, like the Hanged Man (XII).

The Fool cuts out what no longer serves him, or what makes him feel bad about himself. Death (XIII) .. . and Rebirth. After al the changes, he is ready to start over.

The Fool realizes the balancing stability of Temperance (XIV) and its powerful effects. By experiencing the extremes, he has come to appreciate moderation.

But moderation doesn´t last forever and vices and excesses could prevail. The Fool confronts the Devil (XV) within himself, in the form of obsessions and addictions.

The Fool may only find release through the sudden change represented by the Tower (XVI). Sometimes only a monumental crisis can generate enough power to smash the walls of the Tower. Only the destruction of the tower will set him free.

After going through a harsh time, the Fool find serenity and calm. He looks up and sees his own Star (XVII), a reflection of his own inner Self, which replaces the negative energies of the Devil.

Woefully, he is still vulnerable to the illusions of the Moon (XVIII). The Fool’s joy is a feeling state. His positive emotions are not yet subject to mental clarity. In his dreamy condition, the Fool is susceptible to fantasy, distortion and a false picture of the truth.

However, the Sun (XIX) shines. It dispels the clouds of confusion and fear. It enlightens, so the Fool both feels and understands the goodness of the world.

The Fool´s false, ego-self has been shed and his true Self manifests. The Fool makes a deeper Judgement (XX) about his life. He forgives himself and others. He feels cleansed and absolved.

The Fool reenters the World (XXI), but this time with a more complete understanding. He has integrated all the disparate parts of himself and achieved wholeness and fulfillment.

XX. Judgement. XXI. The World.

Last, but not Least: Tarot, “Deepening Knowledge”:

🗣Before waving Goodbye, I wanted to leave you a few recommendations, as to this topic. Check them out:

•Learn the meanings of all cards and other issues. (Playlist): Reading Tarot Cards by Goodie.

Free Tarot Readings on YouTube, according to your astrological sign. I´ll recommend you my favorite Tarotist over there, who (as such!) often uses the classic Rider Waite Tarot (Or variations of it). Keep in mind that we haven´t still  gotten into the Minor Arcana. But, we have already studied the Major Arcana. Look for your Zodiac sign, over here: Carol´s Universe. (Long, in-depth monthly reading & great knowledge of the cards).

•Poetry of the Tarot:  Deborah Gregory´s poems based on Tarot Cards are excellent!.

Thanks for reading!. My next post will focus on Minor Arcana. Stay Tuned if you want to learn more about Tarot. See you!. Aquileana💕. 

►Links Post:


►Greek Mythology: Pandora and Helen of Troy, Misogynistic Stereotypes” /

“Collaboration with Carolee Croft”🍎:

“Pandora” by John William Waterhouse. 1896.


“With the curse, comes a blessing. Zeus wanted to punish humanity by creating you, the first woman, and by giving you that box filled with curses such as illness, war, and poverty. But if you look inside the box, one thing remains. It is hope”… (“After the Evil Spirits are Unleashed”. Carolee Croft).-

⇒♦ Introduction and Sketch of this post:

Greece is widely known as the birthplace of democracy, freedom of speech and thought, and egalitarian life. But in ancient Greece, women had no political or social rights. In Ancient Greece, males hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, political and social privileges and authority. This, in practice came along with prejudices against women, belittling of women, and their exclusion, and Misogyny in many ways. 

In ancient Greek mythology, two of the female characters who fit (and fed) this patriarchal model are Pandora and Helen of Troy

Both, the myths of Helen of Troy and Pandora spring from cultural anxieties about female beauty and female sexuality, centered on the figure of the Parthenos – the girl at marriageable age, a figure who must cross from the world of childhood in her father’s house to the house of her husband. Both women cause tremendous damage, even to people beyond their immediate surroundings.

Pandora is the giver of all gifts craved for by Mankind. When Prometheus decides to steal the secret of fire from the gods, Zeus becomes infuriated and decides to punish humankind with an “evil thing for their delight”. This “evil thing” is Pandora, the first woman and Epimetheus´wife. Pandora carried a jar (or box) which she was told to never open. Pandora cannot resist peeking into the jar, and by opening it she unleashes into the world all evil.
Carolee Croft, in the second section of this post, wrote a brief story starring Pandora: “After the Evil Spirits are Unleashed”. Carolee presents here an all-encompassing perspective, as her story delves into what might have happened right after Pandora opened the mischievous box. 
Pandora could remind us of  Eve, who tempted Adam to eat an apple, taken from the forbidden Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Curiously enough (or not so much) Helen of Troy´s conflicting participation in the chain of events that led up to the Trojan War, starts with an apple, too. More specifically, a Golden of Apple, sometimes called The Apple of Discord. The so-called “Judgement of Paris” was a contest between the three most beautiful goddesses of Olympus: AphroditeHera and Athena, for the prize of a golden apple addressed “To the Fairest”. Paris chose Aphrodite, swayed by her promise to bestow upon him Helen, the most beautiful woman, for wife. The subsequent abduction of Helen led directly to the Trojan War and the fall of the city.
Pandora´s curse was her curiosity and disobedience, while Helen´s was her extreme beauty. These characteristics, under certain circumstances  could have once caused ominous effects. A clearly patriarchal society might have stressed these features, creating a quite negative perception and reception of these figures.

 1. ⇒♦ Women, according to Hesiod, Aristotle and Plato:

Hesiod described the first created woman simply as “the beautiful-evil thing”. She was evil because she was beautiful, and beautiful because she was evil. Being a good-looking man was fundamentally good news. 
Aristotle had no doubts that women were intellectually incapable of making important decisions for themselves. In “Politics” (1254b13–14), he states that: “As regards the sexes, the male is by nature superior and the female inferior, the male ruler and the female subject”. Thomas Martin says that Aristotle´s view of the inferiority of women was based on faulty notions of biology. He wrongly believed, for example, that in procreation the male with his semen actively gave the fetus its form, while the female had only the passive role of providing its matter. 
According to Plato women are physically inferior, bear instead of beget children, and are generally weaker than men. But, in “The Republic”, he argues that women should be able to take on the same social roles equally with men in his ideal state. His ideas are based upon the view that women and men have the same nature in respect to acting as guardians of the state, except that the one is weaker while the other is stronger .
However, in a later dialogue “Laws”, Plato returns to the traditional view of women. He states the relative differences – which he had previously made out to be equal – would prevent women being in any way equal to men. He states that women  have an inferior virtue than men and warns about the dangers of freeing women from their confined, domestic role without giving them an alternative function, because this could lead to “sex indulge in luxury and expense and disorderly ways of life”.

 2. ⇒♦ Women in Ancient Greece:

Young women were expected to marry  (at the typical age of fourteen) as a virgin, and marriage was usually organised by their father, who chose the husband and accepted from him a dowry. 
Married women were, at least in the eyes of the law, under the complete authority of their husbands.
In the family home, women had to rear children and manage the daily requirements of the household. They had the help of slaves if the husband could afford them. Contact with non-family males was discouraged and women largely occupied their time with indoor activities such as wool-work and weaving. They could go out and visit the homes of friends and were able to participate in public religious ceremonies and festivals. Whether women could attend theatre performances or not is still disputed amongst scholars. More clear is that women could not attend public assemblies, vote, or hold public office. If a woman’s father died, she usually inherited nothing if she had any brothers. If she were a single child, then either her guardian or husband, when married, took control of the inheritance. In some cases when a single female inherited her father’s estate, she was obliged to marry her nearest male relative, typically an uncle.

3. ⇒♦ Pandora:

Pandora was the first female sent by Zeus to punish humans. In Greek mythology, the creation of Pandora is branded as the root of all evil. Zeus was angry at Prometheus for three things: being tricked by the sacrifices, stealing fire for man, and refusing to tell Zeus which of  his children would dethrone him. 

As punishment for these rebellious acts, Zeus sent him a woman made of clay named Pandora. Zeus gave her a box (or jar) and forbade her from opening it. Then he sent her down to earth, where her curiosity led her to open the lid. When she did,  all other misfortunes fled out. 

But, the patriarchal interpretation of these myths can be erased to show a different picture. Pandora, who is gifted in every way, entered a society where women play an unproductive role in society, dependent on men for all needs. Hence anxiousness,curiosity, and ignorance consume her. Pandora is also symbolic of the subconscious. She represents the human subconscious which is the deep seat of all emotion, fear and feeling. 

4. ⇒♦ Helen of Troy:

Helen of Troy, also known as “the Face that Launched a Thousand Ships”, was the stunningly beautiful mortal, daughter of Zeus and Leda. She came out of the same egg as her mortal sister Clytemnestra and she also had two brothers, the twins Castor and Pollux.

Helen’s name, which sounds similar to the word for Greece (Hellas), but also to a verb “to destroy”. This was exploited particularly by Aeschylus, who sees Helen as the “ship-destroyer, man-destroyer, city-destroyer”.

Back to Helen, it seems that Zeus wanted to reduce the human population, so he arranged for the birth of the two characters who would make the Trojan War inevitable: Achilles and Helen, representing “seductive female beauty and destructive male strength”. They have in common an extraordinary self-awareness and concern for their future reputations in myth and legend. Both were half-human, half-divine, Achilles being the son of the mortal Peleus by the sea-goddess Thetis, and Helen the daughter of Zeus in the form of a swan and of the Spartan queen Leda.

Owing to this parentage, she hatched from an egg – the first mark of her unusual, not-quite-human status. Helen is the only female child of Zeus by a mortal woman, an exceptional woman in this as in every other respect. Other versions of the myth suggest that she was the daughter of Nemesis, or “Destruction”.

From a young age, Helen was prone to getting abducted. When she was seven years old, the Athenian hero Theseus swiped her, but she was retrieved by her brothers, Castor and Pollux.

Years later, suitors from all over Greece began to court her, and took an oath that they would all fight together for her eventual husband Menelaus, whose main claim to fame was his wealth, won Helen as his wife.

Soon after, the Trojan prince named Paris was appointed to judge between three goddesses, Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite. He chose Aphrodite, goddess of love, and gave her the Golden Apple which was labeled “To the Fairest”. But, as Helen was already married, Paris (Menelaus´s brother), Agamemnon commanded the united Greek armed forces in the ensuing Trojan WarIn the ensuing Trojan War, Hera and Athena were implacable enemies of Troy while Aphrodite was loyal to Paris and the Trojans.

The Greek texts seem constantly to return to the issue of Helen’s responsibility for her actions. Homer depicts her as a wistful, even a sorrowful, figure, coming to regret her choice and wishing to reunite with Menelaus. But Sappho argues that Helen willingly left behind Menelaus to be with Paris. 

⇒♦ Conclusion:

Ancient Greece had periods of intense patriarchy. 

Greek mythology started out as being more feminine, particularly during the Minoan Age (2000-1400 BC). But, with the spread of the Indo-European groups become more masculine

During the Classic period (500-336 BC), Athena was the most important goddess.

This could be understood to be in accordance with a Patriarchal Society. As a matter of fact, Athena was born solely of her father, Zeus. As Georgia Platts says in her post “When Gods were Mothers”: “In Greek mythology Zeus planted his seed in the goddess Metis. But he feared a prophecy warning that his children would become more powerful than he. So he swallowed Metis. Which created an enormous headache. Only a double-headed ax implanted in his skull could relieve the pain. And out leapt Athena, fully grown and armed”.

And, as a Warrior Goddess, Athena mostly identifies with men. In Aeschylus’s “Eumenides”; Athena says, “There is no mother anywhere who gave me birth, and, but for marriage, I am always for the male with all my heart, and strongly on my father’s side”.

This association with males being the creative force of society is not accidental, as males were considered the civilizing and productive force of society. 

In this same line, Pandora and Helen of Troy are part of a social and political system that tended to identify the world’s evils and destruction with women. These legitimizing discourses concurrently provided men with certain “criteria for entitlement”, meaning  a strong, natural right of their primacy above women. 

During the Hellenistic period (336-146 BC), and, as the culture shifts, Aphrodite replaces Athena. Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Beauty, was born from the white foam produced by the severed genitals of Uranus (Heaven), after his son Cronus threw them into the sea. Although she was also born of male alone, she was worshipped  as one of the most important goddesses of the time and was depicted in many art works as the ideal woman, nude for the first time in history. She presided over sexuality and reproduction, necessary for the continuation of the community. Maybe that´s why Aphrodite was majorly worshipped by young women about to be married. And even courtesans and prostitutes. The close bond that the Greek felt to exist between fertility and the fruitfulness of the land lies behind Aphrodite´s connections with vegetation and the earth in general. By this time, love and partnership were seen as more important than containing or controlling women.


► “After the Evil Spirits are Unleashed”, by Carolee Croft:

Pandora didn’t know what happened when she opened the box, but suddenly everything seemed different. There were footsteps in the hallway, and soon a young handmaiden burst into her luxurious chamber.

“The evil spirits are upon us!” her handmaiden cried, then fled from the room in a frenzy.

Pandora sensed the danger, but at the same time a strange feeling of satisfaction came over her. At least she had done something.

The gods had blessed her with many gifts: beauty, a quick and clever mind, the skill of weaving and sewing. This was all well and good, but she could only occupy so much of her time with crafts. A mind like hers needed stimulation, and there was no stimulation to be had when she had about as much freedom as a footstool. She was not allowed to hunt, nor to sit on the councils, not even to leave the palace grounds without her husband’s permission and an entourage of ladies.  

Was it curiosity that had made her open the lid of the box or just boredom?.

Either way, the spirits were unleashed, and now screams of panic reached even her secluded boudoir.

She always had to wait in her chamber until her husband, Epimetheus, would deign to visit. Now, he would probably blame her for this disaster. He was going to kill her!

The panic around her was contagious. She ran to secure the back door, then the front. At least for the moment, she would be safe.

Pandora collapsed onto the floor and sat huddled against the wall with her head in her heads, her eyes closed to block out the world. She knew it was useless to lock herself in. Soon the curse of the gods would be upon her too, not to mention the rage of the entire human race. 

Then she heard a soft rustle and looked up to find another handmaiden in her chamber. 

“How did you?… I locked all the doors”.

Then she realized, this handmaiden was amazingly tall and beautiful, and she had never seen her before around the palace. The scent of ambrosia radiated from her powerful looking figure. 

One of the gods was in her chamber. 

“Pandora, do not fear. It is I, Athena”. 

“Why do you come here?” Pandora asked, not quite believing she was safe from the gods’ wrath. 

“I came to give you good news. The box was always meant to be opened. Why do you think Zeus entrusted it to you? This is all part of a grudge he bears mortals.”

“How is that good?”

“Come over here,” the goddess picked up the box and beckoned her over to sit beside her on the pillows of the kline

Pandora obeyed, wiping away tears of despair.

“With the curse, comes a blessing. Zeus wanted to punish humanity by creating you, the first woman, and by giving you that box filled with curses such as illness, war, and poverty. But if you look inside the box, one thing remains. It is hope. Now, close your eyes, and you will see what I mean.”

Pandora closed her eyes, and suddenly a flurry of visions exploded in her mind. Endless generations of women, of which she was the first. Some lived in strife, but others found peace and even happiness with the men in their lives. Marriage was not always an oppressive duty. Many women would also be free of men’s oppression, but even the ones who were not completely free seemed to find ways to influence their husbands and sometimes get their own way. It was a sort of game, she realized.

She saw women using their wits to persuade men to do their bidding. She saw women raising their children and passing down knowledge. She saw women ruling nations. She saw women saving lives. These women were never powerless.

She opened her eyes. The goddess was gone, and now she understood what Athena wanted to tell her. 

Then she heard a loud knocking on the door. 

“What is the meaning of this?” her husband’s voice pronounced. “Come out here at once, woman!”.

No longer afraid, she went to the mirror and checked that her hair was absolutely perfect, then unlocked the door and opened it. 

 •~~~•~~~ •~~~•~~~•~~~•~~~•

“Pandora”, by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. 20th century.

About Carolee Croft:

Carolee Dixit: Enchanted by romance on page and screen, I have always tried to write my own versions of the perfect fairytale. As for real life, I believe I may have already found the man of my dreams, but I still haven’t found the dog of my dreams. I’m obsessed with Italian greyhounds. I can usually be found enjoying the outdoors or relaxing with a good book on the West Coast of Canada.

🌟💫Connect with Carolee: Blog, Amazon Author Page, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

Carolee Croft..

Carolee Croft on WordPress: https://caroleecroft.wordpress.com/

An excerpt from Carolee Croft´s latest book, “Ariella´s Escape”:

Set in a medieval fantasy world, this is the story of Ariella, a lady warrior who is entertained by a male slave while on a dangerous mission.

(Note: The excerpt is the slideshare below, divided in three parts. Press Pause ⏸️ to get to read each part, starting with 1; and then click on ▶️ to move on).

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⇒Links Post: 


►La Poesía no Muerde. Two Poems:

I am very happy to tell you that my poems “Vértigo” (“Vertigo”) and “El Espacio de tu Ausencia” (“The Space of your Absence”) were featured at “La Poesía no Muerde”.

“La Poesía no Muerde” is a blog hosted by Hélène LaurentIt  is a collective blog in Spanish which Poetry prompts are usually triggered by images that might lead to poems or poems that wait to be illustrated with images. In the case of the “magazines”, audio/videos are included. The videos are created by  Hélène Laurent and, usually, each member reads his own poems. You can check out my two poems (In Spanish) in this post and over here. I am adding below the two poems, translated to English and the audio/video for “El Espacio de Tu Ausencia”, in Spanish. 

Make sure to follow La Poesía no Muerde. If you want to submit a poem, contact me in the Welcome page or leave a comment so I can provide a translation to Spanish, as it is the main language for the blog. I´ll gladly do so!. 🙂

🌟💫Blog: La Poesía no Muerde. Facebook. Twitter. ///  Hélène LaurentBlog (Desenredo)Facebook. Twitter

“Vertigo” and “The Space of your Absence”:

(Click on the screenshots for bigger, full resolution)



I was delighted to be over at Esmé´s blog “The Recipe Hunter” to share a tasty recipe. This is such a great blog for all Food Lovers!. You can find many easy, delicious and healthy dishes. Here is my post: “Spanish Paella (Rice with Seafood)”.

🌟💫 Make sure to check out Esme´s blog and follow her there and on Social Media: Blog: The Recipe Hunter. Twitter. Facebook. Instagram.


“Two Special Shout-Outs”:

I would like to thank Debi Riley and Jason Youngman for these special posts on their blogs.

Jason´s post: “Be Grateful – Not Hateful. Canticle of the Sun”.- (Thank you, Jason for the note you sent me as to the Canticle and for sharing your amazing reading of Eliot´s “Four Quartets”).

Debi´s post: “Palette Knife Acrylic Abstract… Scorched Wings of Icarus”.- (thank you Debi for the shout-out and for sharing such sublime Artwork. Brilliant!)

Both are very talented, prolific and talented artists. Please make sure to check out their blogs and follow them!.🌟💫


Last post of the year!. Thank you to all my readers.

Wishing you Merry Christmas & all the best for 2018! 😀


►Mythology: “Psychopomps, Border Crossers and Guiders of Souls”🌟:

“Souls on the Banks of the Acheron”, by Adolf Hirémy-Hirschl. 1898


⇒♦ Introduction. Definition of Psychopomp and Sketch of this post:

A Psychopomp is a god, spirit, or demon who is responsible for guiding the spirits of the dead on their journey to the underworld. His role is not to judge the deceased, but simply to provide safe passage. The word comes from the Greek   ψυχοπομπός, which means “conductor of souls.” Psycho– (ψυχο) originally meant “of, or relating to the soul,” while pomps (πομπός) meant “guide” or “conductor.”

Classical examples of a Psychopomp are the ancient Egyptian god Anubis, the Greek ferryman CharonHermes and Hecate, the Roman god Mercury (equivalent: Hermes in Greek Mythology) and Archangel Gabriel in the Catholic religion, to name the most important ones.

Firstly, in the first section (I), let´s look at some examples of Psychopomps in Mythology.

By the ending of the post (section II), I´ll outline with Carl Jung´s ideas concerning “Psychopomp”. I´ll say here in advance that, according to Jung, the figure of the Psychopomp acts not only as a bridge between Life and Death,  It is also an intermediary between Conscious and the Unconscious, necessarily but not exclusively fostered thanks to the perfect Integration of Anima (each man´s feminine nature) and Animus (each woman´s male principle) in the form of the “Self”. 

I.⇒♦Some Examples of Psychopomps in Mythology:


Egyptian God Anubis.

He was originally an egyptian god of the Underworld, but became associated specifically with the embalming process and funeral rites. 

He was usually depicted as a canine or a man with a canine head. He was often presented in black, a color that symbolized both rebirth and the discoloration of the corpse after embalming.

One of his most important roles was as a god who ushered souls into the afterlife. He was tasked with guiding souls to Duat, the Egyptian underworld, where they would be judged according to their lives. Under Anubis’ supervision, their hearts were weighed against a feather representing truth.

If their hearts were lighter than the feather, they were allowed to continue on. If their hearts were “too heavy with sins”, Anubis would give it to Ammit, a demon known as the “Devourer of the Dead”, who would consume it.

In the Ptolemaic period (350–30 BC), when Egypt became a Hellenistic kingdom ruled by Greek pharaohs, Anubis was merged with the Greek god Hermes, becoming Hermanubis. The two gods were considered similar because they both guided souls to the afterlife.


In ancient Egypt,  Thoth created script. Besides, he was connected with the Moon and thus considered the Ruler of the Night.

Hermes Trismegistus may be a representation of the syncretic combination of the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth, egyptian God of Knowledge. Hence, the two gods were worshipped as one in what had been the Temple of Thoth in Khemnu, which the Greeks called Hermopolis.


Among Ancient Greeks, God Hermes had many attributes and represented many things. Hermes was the Olympian god of herds and flocks, travellers and hospitality, roads and trade, thievery and cunning, heralds and diplomacy, astronomy and astrology. He was also a god of science and wisdom, art, speech, eloquence. And, most importantly: “the God of Writing”

Furthermore, he was the herald and personal messenger of Zeus, and also the guide of the dead who led souls down into the underworld. This last job required the fleet-footed Hermes to be able to traverse between worlds with ease, which probably explains why he’s also the god of border crossings. It was also his job to lead the souls of the dead to the entrance of Hades, where they waited for Charon to pick them up. Hermes was the only Olympian god able to visit Heaven, Earth, and Hades, a fact he enjoyed bragging about to the other gods. 


Charon was the ferryman of the dead, an underworld daimon (spirit) in the service of Hades. He received the shades of the dead from Hermes,  who gathered them from the upper world and guided them to the shores of  River Acheron.

Unlike many other Psychopomps, Charon did not do this for free; he required a donation to be given to him.

The fee for his service was a single obol, a coin  a silver coin worth a sixth of a drachma, which was placed in the mouth of a corpse at burial (It was known as Charon´s obol).

People who are unable to pay the fee were doomed to wander the shores of the river for a hundred years.

Since most Greeks, understandably, did not want to wander in the mists and marshes, they buried their dead with coins to pay the ferryman; this tradition is still retained in many parts of Greece.


Hecate was the Greek Goddess of  Crossroads, Magic, Witchcraft, The Night, Ghosts and Necromancy. 

She was sometimes portrayed as wearing a glowing headdress of stars, while in other legends she was described as a “Phosphorescent Angel” of the Underworld.

Hecate’s magic was that of death and the underworld, but also of oracles, of herbs and poisons, protection and guidance. 

Her torches provided light in the darkness, much like the Moon and Stars do at night, taking the seeker on a journey of initiation, guiding them as the psychopomp, like she guided Persephone on her yearly journey to and from Hades

Hecate’s retinue included the souls of those who died before their time, particularly children, or who were killed by force.

As she was the goddess of purifications and expiations, she was usually accompanied by Stygian dogs, from Hades’ domains. Dogs were closely associated with Hecate in the Classical world. In art and in literature Hecate is constantly represented as dog-shaped or as accompanied by a dog. Besides, her approach was heralded by the howling of a dog.


Thanatos was the Ancient Greek personification of Death. He was a minor figure, usually depicted as a winged youth, carrying a sword. Besides, he was is almost universally shown with his brother, Hypnos, the God of Sleep.

Thanatos was regarded as merciless and indiscriminate, hated by – and hateful towards — mortals and gods alike.

According to Sigmund Freud, humans have a Life/Love instinct—which he named “Eros“—and a Death drive, which is commonly called  “Thanatos”. This postulated “Thanatos instinct” or “Death Drive” allegedly compels humans to engage in risky and self-destructive acts that could lead to their own death.

II.⇒♦Carl Jung´s Concept of “Psychopomp”: 

The Perfect Integration between Anima (Eros) and Animus (Logos):

In Jungian psychology, the Psychopomp is a mediator between the Unconscious and Conscious realms. 

Carl Jung used the word to refer to a psychic factor that mediated between the conscious and the unconscious. This might be personified in dreams and myths as a God/Goddesses, or even as an animal. The raven, for example, is seen in Celtic folklore to be a Psychopomp, and is a role that peeps out in Edgar Allan Poe´s poem “The Raven”. One specific mythological character is The Morrigan, a female figure from Irish mythology. She was associated with sovereignty, prophecy, war, and death on the battlefield. And, she often appeared in the form of a crow, flying above the warriors.

Back to the word “Psychopomp”, Jung didn´t alter the meaning of the original Greek word.

Anima and Animus.

But, he instead added the concepts of Anima and Animus, as  the ultimate connectors between the individual soul and purpose. 

Anima is a man´s feminine nature representing Eros or Love. Whilst Animus is a woman´s male image, representing Logos or Spirit.

Jung clarifies that he uses  Eros and Logos merely as conceptual aids to describe the fact that woman´s consciousness is characterized more by the connective quality of Eros than  by the discrimination and cognition associated with Logos. While, in men, Eros (the function of relationship) is usually less developed than Logos. 

The Anima-Animus complex reminds us of the Yin Yang symbol, which basically describes how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent.

Jung says: “When Yang had reached its greatest strength, the dark power of Yin is born within its depths, for night begins at midday when Yang breaks up and begins to change into Yin”. (Carl Yung, CW 13. Alchemical Studies. P. 13)

The union of Anima and Animus, for Jung, is the Self; and, in symbolic terms: the Psychopomp as mediator between the Conscious and the Unconscious.

The perfect integration of Anima and Animus, in the elevated role of Psychopomp, represents, somehow a gate to the Unconscious, which somehow reminds us of Plato´s Perfect Ideal of Love, as per his dialogue “Symposium”.

According to Jung, the Anima and Animus are the guardians of the threshold, because they are the bridge to the Unconscious. Through understanding projection, the opposites in the Anima/Animus complex can be united, ultimately releasing these forces to act as mediators between the Conscious and Unconscious standpoints.

This integration or union of opposites is symbolized by the Psychopomp, the main archetype of the Self.

The Self is defined by Jung as: “The totality of the Conscious and Unconscious Psyche”. (Carl Jung, CW 12, P. 247). Jung describes the Self as a perfect circumference: “The Self is not only the centre, but also the whole circumference which embraces both Conscious and Unconscious; it is the centre of this totality, just as the ego is the Centre of Consciousness. (Carl Jung. “Memories, dreams and reflections”, Page 398).

As to the Psychopomp, Carl Jung says: 

“For the Animus (Logos) when on his way, on his quest, is really a Psychopomps, leading the soul to the stars whence it came…  On the way back out of the existence in the flesh, the Psychopomp develops such a cosmic aspect, he wanders among the constellations, he leads the soul over the rainbow bridge into the blossoming fields of the stars”. (Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 1229).


♦Links Post:



This is a special section in which I will display all the awards I have received during 2017. To simplify, I will follow the same rules for all the awards as otherwise I wouldn´t be able to do it … 😉 Meaning: 1. Thank the blogger who have nominated you. 2. Display the logo on your blog. 3. Nominate at least 7 bloggers for each award and tell them about the nomination. As I often do, I will nominate bloggers who have previously nominated me for other awards, favorite bloggers, new followers and bloggers who have recently liked my posts. Please, know these choices are quite random, I am sorry I couldn´t include everyone! 😇 … As to my nominees, I will link back to one of their newest posts as an easier way to inform them about the nomination. If you have been nominated and want to follow along the nomination process, you´ll find your respective award in the gallery below, as the slideshare goes, click on it and save it (see award, per number). If you are a Free Award Blog, all is fine: just take this mention as a shout-out. 😀

1♦Thank you very much Baattyaboutbooks for bestowing me with the Blogger Recognition Award.

My Nominees for this award are: 1. Tea by Leaf 2. Sentinel of Phantasm 3. Inese 4. 3cstyle 5. Maria KethyProfumo  6. Aweni 7. Urbanbiharan. 🌟💫🌟

2♦Thank you very much Inese, from Making Memories for The Black Cat Blue Sea Award.

My Nominees for this award are: 1. Leggypeggy 2. Le dessous des mots 3. Wordsmusicandstories 4. Michaelstephenwills 5. Radhikasreflection 6. Queenyasaaawrites 7. Umacearenseescreveu. 🌟💫🌟

3♦Thank you very much Maria KethuProfumo for the Liebster Award. 

My Nominees for this award are: 1. Baattyaboutbooks  2. LifeBlog 3. Ijeoma 4. Shivangi Mishra 5. Undomestic Writer 6. Annika Perry 7. Ladyfromhamburg. 🌟💫🌟

4♦Thanks so much Ijeoma for thinking of me and bestowing me with the Mystery Blogger Award.

My Nominees for this award are: 1. Shehanne Moore 2. Tuesdays with Laurie 3. A Russian Affair 4. The Chicago Files 5. English language thoughts 6. Broad Blogs 7. Moody Here

5♦Thanks so much 3cstyle and LifeBlog for the Unique Blogger Award.

My Nominees for this award are: 1. Jeri Walker 2. Graffitiluxandmurals 3. Chasingart 4. Forgotten Meadows 5. I lost my Lens Cap 6. TravelTalesofLife 7. Leonivo. 🌟💫🌟

6♦Thank you very much Shivangi Mishra for bestowing me with the One Lovely Blog Award.

My Nominees for this award are: 1. Arohii 2. D.G.Kaye 3. Scvincent 4. Luciana Cavallaro 5. Brenda Davis Harsham 6. Mabel Kwong 7. Gildaspoems. 🌟💫🌟

7♦Thank you very much Undomestic Writer and Aweni for the Versatile Blogger Award.

My Nominees for this award are: 1. Colleen Chesebro 2. Kathleen Vail 3. Linnea Tanner 4. Sally G Cronin 5. Balroop Singh 6. Jeanleesworld 7. Impact Words.  🌟💫🌟

8♦Thanks so much (again) to Shehanne Moore for bestowing me with the Miranda Sings Award.

My Nominees for this award are: 1. Found In France 2. Luce 3. Incredible Poetry 4. Jazzizzin 5. Artibookreviews 6. Muddling through my middle age 7. Maryjdresselbooks. 🌟💫🌟

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9♦ Last, but not least: Thanks so much Shehanne Moore for  thinking of me for the “Music that Means Something Challenge”. In this case, you have to choose five (5) special songs and add the respective videos if you wish. 

My Nominees for this musical challenge are: 1. Charlotte Hoather 2. Sylvester L.Anderson 3. It starts with a coffee 4. Wanderer haiku 5 Lifesfinewhine 6. Yadadarcyyada 7. Nishthaexploringlife.🌟💫🌟

My choices for Shehanne´s  “Music that Means Something, Challenge” (9♦) will be exclusively Lana del Rey´s songs. Lana is great. She often tells us a story, and to a certain extent we can all relate to her “characters”. Her songs often refer to summer memories, art, detachment, loneliness, random lovers, Love as an Ideal; self discovery and freedom…  😌 

These are my five (5) chosen videos by Lana del Rey: 1. Ride  2. Love 3. Change 4. Terrence Loves you 5. Carmen.

And… as a Bonustrack, I will also add five (5) more songs by Lana. In this case, “unreleased songs”. Here they go: 1. Because of You 2. Every Man Gets his Wish 3. Break my Fall 4. Cherry Blossom 5. Queen of Disaster

Check out the playlists for all the songs below. 💛⭐️💛

~~~•~~~•~~~ •~~~•~~~•~~~•~~~•~~~•~~~ •~~~•~~~•~~~•~~~•~~~

🎼🎹►Five Official Songs by Lana Del Rey: 

🎼🎹►Five Unreleased Songs by Lana Del Rey: 


► “Metis in Ancient Greece”:

“Collaboration with José Cervera”💫:

Statue of the Greek philosopher Plato (c. 428 B.C.-348 B.C.). Behind him, the Goddess of Wisdom, Athena. Modern Academy of Athens.



This article is divided into three sections.

The First section presents Metis as a character, a Titan Goddess.

Being swallowed by Zeus (his cousin and husband), Metis would succumb to the same fate that Cronus´children, as indicated in the Second section.

The Third section will categorize different types of Knowledge, in Ancient Greece; Metis, among them. In that same section, the post will highlight how the word Metis acquired different meaning, changing from the name of the Goddess (Metis, the  Oceanid Titaness & Zeus´cousin and wife) to refer to a type of Intelligence (Practical wisdom). Thus, Metis was considered to cover all cognitive processes that were necessary for man in order to face adverse or confrontational situations against powerful adversaries, often in unstable and complex environments. Three examples from Greek Mythology will be provided. Finally, some final thoughts in the conclusion.

 •~~~•~~~ •~~~•~~~•~~~•~~~•

I. ►Metis, The Titan Goddess:

Metis was a mythological character belonging to the Titan generation. Like several primordial figures, she was an Oceanid. She was born of Oceanus and his sister Tethys, of an earlier age than Zeus and his siblings.

Metis was the first spouse of Zeus, and also her cousin.

Zeus lay with Metis but immediately feared the consequences. It had been prophesied that Metis would bear extremely powerful children: the first, Athena and the second, a son more powerful than Zeus himself, who would eventually overthrow Zeus.

In order to forestall these dire consequences, Zeus tricked her into turning herself into a fly and promptly swallowed her. He was too late: Metis had already conceived a child.

As Zeus had swallowed Metis, Athena leaped from Zeus’s head. She was fully grown, armed, and armoured. 

 •~~~•~~~ •~~~•~~~•~~~•~~~•

II. ►A (side) note on Zeus and Cronus´Cannibal behaviours:

The similarities between Zeus swallowing Metis; and Cronus, swallowing his children, have been noted by several scholars.

Cronus was the Titan god of time and the ages. He envied the power of his father, the ruler of the universe, Uranus.

Cronus attacked him with the sickle, castrating him and casting his testicles into the sea.

From the blood that spilled out from Uranus and fell upon the earth, the Gigantes, and the Erinyes  were produced. The testicles produced a white foam from which the goddess Aphrodite emerged.


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Once Cronus had castrated Uranus, he and his wife Rhea took the throne. Under their power a time of harmony and prosperity began, which became known as the “Golden Age”; a time when it was said that people lived without greed or violence, and without toil or the need for laws. But not all was well for Cronus, as he had learned from Gaia and Uranus that he was destined to be overcome by his own sons, just as he had overthrown his father. As a result, although he sired the gods Demeter, Hestia, Hera, Hades and Poseidon by Rhea, he devoured them all as soon as they were born to prevent the prophecy.


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When the sixth child, Zeus, was born Rhea sought Gaia to devise a plan to save them and to eventually get retribution on Cronus for his acts against his father and children. 

Rhea secretly gave birth to Zeus in Crete, and handed Cronus a stone wrapped in clothes, which he promptly swallowed, thinking that it was his son.

Once he had grown up, Zeus used an emetic given to him by Gaia to force Cronus to disgorge the contents of his stomach in reverse order: first the stone, which was set under the glens of Mount Parnassus, and then his two brothers and three sisters. 

This would lead the Olympians in a ten-year war against the Titans, before driving them defeated into the pit of Tartaros. Many years later, Zeus released Kronos and his brothers from this prison, and made the old Titan king of the Elysian Islands, in the Underworld

As to Zeus´s story, relevant to us here, José Cervera accurately notes that the Ruler of Gods might have swallowed Metis (also) because he was to a certain extent aware of the fact that he was lacking something. Meaning: The Practical Wisdom that Metis represented. By swallowing Metis, however, Zeus had gained wisdom as part of his intrinsic nature. This would be a case of Incorporation which reminds us (despite the differences) to the biblical account, according to which Eve was molded by God from Adam´s rib.

 •~~~•~~~ •~~~•~~~•~~~•~~~•

III. A ►Different Types of Knowledge: Episteme, Techne, Metis and Phronesis:

For the Greeks and particularly for Plato, Episteme and Techne represented knowledge of an order completely different from Metis.

Episteme means “science”, “understanding” or “knowledge”, with the implication that the understanding was rationally founded, in contrast to mere opinion or hearsay. Noesis, or dialectic reason, is the method used by Episteme.  

Techne entails “technical skills”.  It could be expressed precisely and comprehensively in the form of hard-and-fast rules, principles, and propositions. Techne is based on logical deduction from self-evident first principles.

Nous is the closest word to “intelligence” but it is more correctly translated as “mind”, and “mental activity”. For Plato and Aristotle it is the part of the soul which perceives abstract truths. 

Phronesis means “practical wisdom”, “good judgement” or what we might call “common sense”. 

Metis, in what concerns us is another form of practical wisdom, what we would call “cunning”. It is similar to Phronesis in that it entails knowledge of how humans behave, but it is manipulative and deceitful rather than seeking the common good. Cunning intelligence would later be defined as Phronesis.

III. B ►Metis, Magical Cunning and Practical Wisdom. Examples of Metis in “The Odyssey”:

By the era of Greek philosophy in the 5th century BC, Metis had become the mother of wisdom and deep thought, but her name originally connoted “magical cunning”.

Metis represented a wide array of practical skills and acquired intelligence in responding to a constantly changing natural and human environment.

Hence the word Metis began to be used to denote a particular form of practical wisdom, 

The classic case of Metis is Odysseus, as he often used his cleverness to deceive and defeat his enemies. This is found many times in Homer´s epic poem.

•1. One example of Metis as magical cunning  appears in Book XII. We are referring to the episode in which Odysseus plugged his crew’s ears with earwax, while binding himself and his crew to the mast of the ship to avoid the Siren´s song

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•2. When it comes to Metis (magical cunning), the episode of Polyphemus, from Homer´s “Odyssey” (Book IX) is also worth mentioning.

The Cyclops Polyphemus is portrayed as a cruel monster who had devoured a few of Odysseus’ men. The hero  wanted to beat him and take revenge so he offered Polyphemus some wine. The cyclops easily got drunk, but before falling asleep, he asked Odysseus his name, Odysseus told him his name was “Οὖτις”, which means “nobody”. While the monster was sleeping, Odysseus used a stake to blind him. When Polyphemus shouted for help from his fellow giants, saying that “Nobody” had hurt him, they just ignored him as they just took his words literally (“Nobody had hurt him”). In the morning, the blind Cyclops let the sheep out to graze. But Odysseus and his men had tied themselves to the undersides of the animals and that was how they managed to finally get away. 

•3. Finally, the Trojan Horse. Wasn´t it a great example of Metis or Cunning, as well?. Using trickery rather than violence, Odysseus disguised warriors as a gift, men as (a wooden image of) an animal, a symbol of the Greeks’ future victory as an image of their defeat, and ultimately, a clever trap. Once inside the city walls, the transformation was reversed and the act of Metis revealed for what it was.

“Building of the Trojan Horse” by Giandomenico Tiepolo (1774).-


In these examples of Metis, taken from “The Odyssey”, the emphasis is both on Odysseus’s ability to adapt successfully to a constantly shifting and challenging situation and on his capacity to understand, and hence outwit, his human and divine adversaries. 

It is not a minor detail, either, that Odysseus is traditionally aided by Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom. 

Athena- as mentioned before- was born from Zeus’ head, after the latter had swallowed her mother, the goddess Metis, because, as it had been predicted to him that his children by her would overthrow him.

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Metis, understood as a type of  practical wisdom, is commonly found in Greek Myths and Literature. In all its facets and faces of the same phenomenon lies a peculiar kind of behavior. More specifically: the extreme attention, observation, flexibility and creativity to sort out things, under certain “special” circumstances.

However, despite its relevance, Metis as type of Intelligent ability has been also relegated, criticized and even despised.

Plato intentionally ignored it, keeping it aside in his Gnoseological Theory. In turn, he enthroned the discursive Episteme, clearly much more acceptable to him, as he considered that Episteme was related to the highest degree of Knowledge.

Plato´s ideal of knowledge was sternly rational and hence: Apollonian. He made sure to suppress any “intuitive” shade that might somehow darken the diaphanous light of Reason and Episteme. Indeed, as pointed out before, Plato despised practical knowledge basically because it did not depend on Dialectical Reason (Noesis) and it seemed to be linked to the body and senses, therefore to the so-called “Dionysiac” forms.

Suffice it to recall that for Nietzsche, the Apollonian-Dionysian Dichotomy, (“The Birth of Tragedy”. 1872) represented the opposition between structured, geometric forces; and fluctuating, creative, irregular forms; respectively. Nietzsche contrasted the cerebral Apollo with his half-brother, the hedonistic Dionysus. Apollo, as the sun-god, represents light, clarity, and form, whereas Dionysus, as the wine-god, represents drunkenness and ecstasy.

However, back to Plato, it is worth noting that certain Dionysiac forces still seem to be present in his dialogues. Most times in the forms of myths or allegories. 

We could conclude that Episteme and Metis are different types of intelligences.Episteme is rigid, dialectic and Apollonian, while Metis might be quite unpredictable in its reasonings and linked to Dionysus. But despite this, they complement each other. We´d rather say the ideal entails not a dichotomy but, instead, a conjunction of abilities. 

Apollo (on The Left) & Dionysus (on The Right), representing the duality of Arts… And Intelligence. Apollo=Episteme. Dionysus=Metis.-

♠About José Cerbera:

José is a Spanish philosopher and blogger. In his own words: “I am a restless and curious being who believes in the religion of books and their healing power. But without forgetting that the mystery of existence isn´t contained in any book. I have studied Philosophy and that led me to distrust everything. Later on, I believed in me. Soon after, in the World Itself and what goes beyond it because it just boundless”. Please check out José´s blog: “El Ritual de las Palabras”. Thank you, José! ⭐️💫.

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José Ignacio Cervera. Click to visit José´s blog.-


♠Links Post:

Mythology: “Dogs in Several Myths”🐕:

“Collaboration with Brenda Davis Harsham💫”

Artemis & Dog. Roman copy of the 1st cent. CE after a Greek original, 4th cent. BCE. Rome, Vatican Museums.



The dog is the first domesticated animal, and is symbolically associated with loyalty and vigilance, often acting as guardian and protector. Dogs are portrayed as guides and companions, hence the notion of “man’s best friend.”

Dogs almost always appear in a positive light. Native American legends generally portray the dog as the symbol of friendship and loyalty. The Joshua Athapascans believe that dogs were the first beings made by their creator-figure, Xowala’ci. The Jicarilla Apache, on the other hand, tell the story of God Black Hactcin, who first created a dog and then made man as a companion for the dog.  

In Irish Mythology, dogs were the traditional guardian animals of roads and crossways and are believed to protect and guide lost souls in the Underworld. Irish seers chewed the meat of a dog in a ritual to gain prophetic vision. To be called “hound” was an honorable nickname for a courageous warrior; the name of the god Cuchulain is literally “Hound of Culann” or “Hound of Ulster”.

Cuchulain was named Sétanta when he was born. Sétanta  killed a blacksmith’s Celtic hound in self-defense. When Culann, the blacksmith asked who would now guard his shop the young Sétanta offered to take the dog’s place thus gaining himself the title of Cuchulain, ‘The hound of Culann’. The offer was turned down and “Cuchulainn” (former Sétanta) went on to become one of the greatest warrior legends of that era, and the nickname stuck.

Cartonnage Anubis mask.

In Ancient Egypt, the dog was linked to the dog-jackal god, Anubis, who guided the soul of the deceased to the Hall of Truth where the soul would be judged by the great god Osiris. Anubis was associated with Wepwawet (also called Upuaut), another Egyptian god portrayed with a dog’s head or in canine form, but with grey or white fur. Historians assume that the two figures were eventually combined.

One of the centers of the cult of Anubis was Cynopolis, or the city of dogs. The Greeks and Romans associated Anubis with Sirius in the sky and with Cerberus in Hades.

Dogs in general were highly valued in Egypt as part of the family and, when a dog would die, the family, if they could afford to, would have the dog mummified with as much care as they would pay for a human member of the family.

A crouching or “recumbent” statue of Anubis as a black-coated wolf (from the Tomb of Tutankhamun)

In Greek and Roman mythology, dogs often acted as guardians; the three-headed dog Cerberus, for example, guarded the entrance to the underworld. Many cultures associated dogs with death as well as with protection.
The Ancient Greeks and Romans often chose dogs as pets. They were often seen on Greek and Roman reliefs and ceramics as symbols of fidelity. Cats were not favoured over dogs, on the contrary Ancient Greeks and Romans didn’t keep cats as pets. However, occasionally, dogs appear in negative roles, such as the fighting dogs belonging to Hecate. 
Dogs are also featured in Plato‘s dialogue, “Republic“. In Book II, Socrates claims that the dog is a true philosopher because dogs “distinguish the face of a friend and of an enemy only by the criterion of knowing and not knowing” and concludes that dogs must love learning, because they determine what they like and what they do not based upon knowledge of the truth.
Dogs In Greek Mythology:
Cerberus watched the Underworld.
Cerberus is reminiscent of a serpent, called a “great worm” in Dante’s “Inferno” and often said to have a mane of serpents, the tail of a serpent, and the claws of a lion. The three heads of the dog look at once into the past, the present, and the future. 
Cerberus was the son of Typhon and Echidna, and fulfilled his duty as “Hound of Hades” as faithfully as possible.
This dog allowed many people to enter, he didn’t let anyone leave.
However, some were able to escape from the Underworld. Orpheus lulled Cerberus to sleep by playing soothing music; Hermes did the same but used water from the river Lethe. The most famous of all, however, was Heracles, who did not use such subtle methods. Driven mad by Hera, Hercules slew his son, daughter, and his wife. Hence he was given Twelve Labors as penance for his acts. The last of these was to capture Cerberus and bring him to the land of the living. Heracles was able to do this by wrestling the dog into submission and dragging him away from Hades.

Artemis´ and Hecate´s dogs: 
Goddesses Artemis and Hecate, both kept dogs.
The Greeks offered black dogs (and lambs) to her in sacrifice, just as they did to Artemis, for whom they are also sacred.
The myths tells that Pan gave the virgin-huntress Artemis seven dogs “which pulled down very lions when they clutched their throats and haled them still living to the fold” (Callimachus, “Hymn to Artemis”).
Hecate presided over the crossroads, and was protector of entrance ways, households and thresholds. She was always accompanied by Stygian dogs, and her approach was announced by the howling of dogs. (“Then the earth began to bellow, trees to dance, and howling dogs in glimmering light advance, ere Hecate came” Fairclough, H. R. trans. 1916. Virgil, “Aeneid”. Book 6. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Press).
The triple-figured maiden goddess had three heads: that of a horse, a dog, and a lion. Myths tells us that the Trojan Queen Hecuba leapt into the sea after the fall of Troy and that Hecate took pity on her and transformed her into a black female dog. 
Laelaps, Zeus´Gift to Europa:
When Zeus was a baby, a dog, known only as the “golden hound” was charged with protecting the future King of Gods. This may have been the same dog Zeus later gave to Europa. Zeus had fallen deeply in love with the beautiful Europa, and, when given the chance, stole her away to the island of Crete. There he tried to seduce her by giving her three gifts: Talos, a giant bronze creature; a javelin that never missed, and Laelaps, a dog that never failed to capture its prey. Europa eventually gave the dog to Minos, King of Crete. After being cured by Procris of a terrible disease, Minos gave her the great dog Laelaps. The dog was soon sent to capture the Teumessian fox, a giant fox that could never be caught. This created a paradox, for the dog always caught its prey, and the fox could not be caught. The chase went on unto Zeus grew weary and confused of the dilemma and simply turned both into stone, frozen forever in the chase and cast them into the stars as the constellations Canis Major (Laelaps) and Canis Minor (the Teumessian fox).
The Constellation of the Greater Dog (Alpha Canis Major):
Sirius is is the brightest star in the night sky, with 22 times the luminosity of the sun. It is located in the constellation Alpha Canis Majoris or Greater Dog. Sirius has a smaller companion white dwarf star known as The Pup or Sirius B.
Canis Major is usually seen as one of the two hunting dogs of the great hunter Orion (Sirius). The other dog is of course Canis Minor, the Lesser Dog.
One version, previously mentioned above,  says that Zeus turned the Laelaps and Teumessian Fox to stone and cast them into the stars as the constellations Canis Major and Canis Minor, respectively.
According the other version, after Orion´s death, Artemis placed Orion faithful’s dog (Sirius) in the sky, at his heel.
Argos, Odysseus’ faithful dog:
One of the most moving stories involving dogs in the one concerning Argos, the loyal friend of King Odysseus  from Book 17 of Homer’s “Odyssey” (c. 800 BCE). Odysseus comes home after being away for twenty years and, thanks to help from the goddess Athena, is not recognized by the hostile suitors who are trying to win Odysseus’s wife, Penelope’s hand in marriage. Argos, however, recognizes his master and rises up from where he has been faithfully waiting, wagging his tail in greeting. Odysseus, in disguise, cannot acknowledge the greeting for fear of giving away his true identity in front of the suitors and so ignores his old friend; and shortly after, Argos lays back down and dies.

Argos and Odysseus

►Other legendary dogs in ancient stories and myths:
Bau: This Sumerian goddess of fertility and healing, patron deity of the ancient Babylonian city of Lagash, is often depicted with the head of a dog.
Fenrir: In  Norse mythology, Fenrir is a monstrous wolf, a son of the god Loki, determined to kill the god Odin.

Set: He (Osiris´brother) is yet another ancient Egyptian canine deity, usually depicted as a broad-shouldered man with an animal’s head.

Xolotl: Often depicted as a man with the head of a dog, but sometimes as a skeleton, Xolotl was the Aztec god of lightning and fire.

Cerbura and SurmaSimilarly to Cerberus, Cerbura is the three-headed infernal dog of the Krishna legend. Surma is a terrible beast from Finnish mythology. This huge dog with the tail of a snake, guards the gates of Tuonela, the realm of Death.

Sarama, The Mother of all Dogs & Yama´s dogs: In Hindu Mythology, Sarama is a female canine, who is referred as mother of all the dogs, and who helped God Indra to recover  his stolen divine cows. Yama, the Hindu god of death has four dogs with four eyes guarding his abode.

Fionn’s hounds, Bran and  Sceolán: There are many stories of the Irish Wolfhounds in Mythology. The most famous hounds are, without doubt, Fionn’s two favourites, Bran and Sceolán. They were brother and sister, of human descent, their poor mother, Tuirrean, (Fionn’s aunt) having been turned into a hound whilst she was pregnant by jealous Uchtdealb, woman of the Sidhe, and lover of Tuirrean’s husband. They were said to have been so tall, that their heads reached chest height to a man.


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► Links Post:



Detail showing Canis Major. Published in Alexander Jamieson´s “Celestial Atlas”, 1822


💫“Laelaps, Hound of Magic”💫:

Sun-lit fur, storm-wind swift,

star-bright eyes, she

adores the olden air

of Mount Olympus,

dwelling of gods.

She finds scents at Zeus’s hand,

pounding clouds, chasing prey,

She never misses.


Yet Zeus sends her away,

tail drooping, eyes sad,

to serve Europa,

hunting kri-kri,

dodging their wild-goat horns,

nosing out badgers, martens,

hedgehogs and hare, circling Crete

on fleet feet. But dreaming everlong

of Olympus, cast out, cast down.


She’s bewildered,

passed on, passed over,

given next to King Minos,

then to cross-dressing Procris

and on to Kephalos, the errant husband.

The long-lived hound hunts, chases,

drinks deep, finds new hands and

new scents, until the very last.


The monstrous Teumessian fox

mocks a hundred hounds,

slips the nets of a hundred men,

devours a hundred boys.



The dog

always catches her prey.

The fox

cannot be caught.


Storm-wind hound hurls herself

into the chase, pants,

outpaces Kephalos,

fleeter than a spear,

fleeter than an arrow,

fleet as time itself.

But they never near Olympus.

Always, the hound needs the red-earth

scent of fox in her nose.

Always, the fox slips away.

Lungs burns. Feet bleed, but

never a whisker nearer that bushy tail.

Children grow gray and stooped,

watching them pass.

Hillsides wear away

from their pounding feet.


bones like rock,

hills aflame,

snapping, howling.

Bound to chase,

but never to catch.


Until blood-scent reaches

Olympus. Zeus watches,

remembers the velvet nose,

the twilight hunts, the sun-lit fur,

the starry eyes. His tears

fall on them both.

The salty splash

turns dog and fox to

sun-shot marble, mid-pounce.


Young boys in awe;

young girls in tears.

Never-resting, frozen in

not-escaping, not-capturing,

not-eating, not-drinking, not-sleeping.


Zeus tosses them

into the stars.

Canis Major.

Canis Minor.

Lighting Olympus,

turning the heavens

with the wind of their pursuit.


©Copyright 2017 Brenda Davis Harsham.

►About Brenda Davis Harsham:

Brenda is a wonderful writer and poet, who lives with her family in New England, USA. 

Her poetry and prose were published at the places listed here. Fine art prints by Brenda are available to purchase here
Brenda regularly blogs at Friendly Fairy Tales. A blog I highly recommend!. 💌🔺
Make sure to check out her blog and follow her!. You can also find her on Twitter.


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Click on the logo to visit Brenda´s blog. Thank you Brenda for your great poem!.

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PS: ►Special Features & Mentions from other Bloggers:

Thanks to dear bloggers from “The Shield of Achilles”, “Graffiti Lux and Murals and “924 Collective” for the special posts!. I am adding them as they were chronologically posted by the authors; and/or discovered by me…  😁 I am adding a brief description and pics for each one of these post at the end. Please check them out!.- 
Kathleen´s blog, “The Shield of Achilles” is great. She blogs about Greek Mythology, from a historical, sociological and, above all, scholarship perspective. She also has excellent posts about Homer´s Iliad, Analyzing different subjects, such as the Death of AchillesThis is the Guest post on Hephaestus, featured on Kathleen´s blog.✍️.-
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Please check out Resa McConaghy´s post on her excellent blog Graffiti Lux and MuralsIt is a tribute to Argentina, as we celebrate its 201st independence anniversary. The post includes graffitis from Toronto, Canada and from Caminito, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Resa´s blog is an open invitation to discover Street Art and its contemporary artistic importance. The complete post in Resa´s blog is this one: “Argentina – Independence Day”.🇦🇷 .-
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Thanks to 924Collective for the beautiful Tribute. This is a very nice blog, and I recommend it to my readers as it distills Art and Creativity. I am adding one of the images included over there. This is the post I am making reference to: “Aquileana of Argentina”.-🏛️⭐️

► “Hermes & Writing in Ancient Greece”: “Collaboration with Alan Severs”✍️:

Statue of Hermes/Mercury. Roman copy. 200 AD.


“Hermes”, by W. B. Richmond. From “The magazine of art” vol. 9, 1886.

♠Divided into three sections, this article revolves around three main themes: Hermes, as The Greek God of Writing and his equivalents in other cultures; Plato´s derogatory ideas of writing, amidst the prevailing Oral Tradition; and how this eventually would change, as writing became a most accepted form, when the Greeks adopted the Phoenician Alphabet.

Greek God Hermes was the equivalent of the egyptian God Thoth, and from both of them resulted a Hybrid God: Hermes Trismegistus.

Hermes´roman counterpart was Mercury

In Norse Mythology, his Homologous figure was Odin.

Hermes and his associated figures are described in the first section.

♠The second section refers to Plato´s dialogue “Phaedrus”, emphasizing Socrates´quite negative statements concerning writing in that dialogue.

In “Phaedrus”Plato denies the legitimacy of the written word in favour of the oral tradition. With that purpose, Socrates tells us a myth, featuring Thoth (also known as Theuth and Hermes´egyptian equivalent).

Greece’s transition to literacy, was slow, and it augmented and transformed the traditions of oral culture which had for centuries been instrumental in the handing down of certain forms of cultural knowledge.

Before the advent of writing, Greek citizens’ knowledge of their history, the ways of their gods, and the attitudes, mores, and taboos of their society were orally transmitted. This occurred not only through parent-to-child communication and transmission within a community, but also through the poetry of the bards, most notably Homer and Hesiod.

The third section  delves into this issue, taking into account how writing effectively evolved in Ancient Greece.

As a matter of fact, Writing went through different phases, summed up as follows:

>Linear A Script: It was the written language of the Minoans of Crete, remains undecipherable.

>Linear B Script: It consists of the Mycenaean Civilization and the only partially decipherable Linear B script of Crete. 

>Phoenician Alphabet: It was the alphabet of ancient Phoenicia, which first came to Greece sometime before the 8th century BCE, from whence it spread.

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Section I. Hermes, Thoth, Hermes Trismegistus, Mercury and Odin:

Hermes was son of Zeus and one of the Pleiades, Maia

Hermes, Greek God. 540 BC

The name Hermes appears to have originated in the word for “stone heap.”

Probably since prehistoric times there existed in Crete and in other Greek regions a custom or erecting a herma, consisting of an upright stone surrounded at its base by a heap of smaller stones. Such monuments were used to serve as boundaries or as landmarks for wayfarers. A connection existed between these simple monuments and the deity named Hermes.

Hermes had many attributes and represented many things. Hermes was the Olympian god of herds and flocks, travellers and hospitality, roads and trade, thievery and cunning, heralds and diplomacy, astronomy and astrology. Besides, he was the herald and personal messenger of Zeus, and also the guide of the dead who led souls down into the underworld. 

He was also a god of science and wisdom, art, speech, eloquence. And, most importantly: “the God of Writing”. 

The Greek God Hermes, as God of Writing, finds his analogue in Egypt as the ancient Wisdom God Thoth (sometimes spelled Thouth, Theuth or Tahuti). 

Thoth, Egyptian God of Writing.

Thoth was important in many myths of Pharaonic Egypt: he played a role in the creation myth, he was recorder of the gods, and the principal pleader for the soul at the judgment of the dead. It was he who invented writing. According to relevant sources, he wrote all the ancient texts, including the most esoteric ones, including “The Book of Breathings”, which taught humans how to become gods.

In ancient Egypt,  Thoth created script. Besides, he was connected with the moon and thus considered the ruler of the night.

Furthermore, Thoth acted as an emissary between the contending armies of Horus (Egyptian God of the sky and kingship) and Seth (god of the desert, storms, disorder and violence in ancient Egyptian). Thoth eventually came to negotiate the peace treaty between these two gods. His role as a mediator between the opposites is thus made evident, perhaps prefiguring the role of the alchemical Mercury as the “medium of the conjunction.”

Both Hermes and Thoth were gods of writing and of magic in their respective cultures.

Hermes, the Greek god of interpretive communication, was combined with Thoth, the Egyptian god of wisdom, to become the patron of astrology and alchemy. In addition, both gods were psychopomps, guiding souls to the afterlife. Hermes Trismegistus may be a representation of the syncretic combination of the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth.

As Alan Severs says in his post “The Grammar of Magic”:

“Writing and magic have always been closely associated. The Egyptian God Thoth was thought to be  the inventor of writing and the patron of every magical art. The considerable cultural contact and resulting overlap over the centuries because of conquest and trade between Egypt, Greece and Rome led to the deities Hermes and Mercury who shared many of the same attributes as Thoth before they all further blended together, creating the composite figure that was to later an immeasurable influence in the history of ideas, Hermes Trismegistus”.

Last, but not least: there is still another Egyptian parallel. Specifically, in the figure of Anubis. In classical mythology, Hermanubis was a god who combined Hermes with Anubis (given that they were both conductors of souls).

Hermes Trismegistus, floor mosaic in the Cathedral of Siena. 1480s.

Hermes´roman equivalent, Mercury had essentially the same aspects as Hermes. He also wore winged shoes and a winged hat, and carried the caduceus, a herald’s staff with two entwined snakes that was Apollo‘s gift to Hermes. He was often accompanied by a cockerel, herald of the new day, a ram or goat, symbolizing fertility, and a tortoise, referring to Mercury’s legendary invention of the lyre from a tortoise-shell.

Like Hermes, he was also a god of messages, eloquence and of trade, particularly of the grain trade. He was also, like Hermes, the Romans’ psychopomp, whose ability was to lead the newly deceased souls to the afterlife.

Thoth. Hermes Trismegistus and Mercury.

Another related God, given his attributes, is Odin.

Odin is a prominently mentioned god throughout the recorded history of the Germanic people, from the Roman occupation of regions of Germania through the tribal expansions of the Migration Period and the Viking Age. In the major mythological Old Norse texts, the Poetic and Prose Eddas, Odin is depicted as one-eyed and long-bearded, frequently wielding a spear named Gungnir, and wearing a cloak and a broad hat. He is often accompanied by his animal companions: two wolves and two ravens named Huginn and Muninn (Thought and Memory). As well as being the Germanic equivalent of Hermes, Odin appears to have marked shamanistic tendencies as he frequently has ecstatic visions in other realms after undergoing various trials and ordeals.

In Norse Mythology he was associated with healing, death, royalty, the gallows, knowledge, battle, sorcery, poetry and the runic alphabet. In the long Eddic, gnomic poem Havamal (The Words of Odin the High One) Odin sacrifices himself to himself by hanging from a tree (presumably Yggdrasil, the World Tree) for nine days and nine nights in order to obtain knowledge of the runes, which is suggested throughout Norse mythology as being a symbolic alphabet used for magical purposes. 

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►Section II. Plato´s dialogue “Phaedrus”, in which Socrates pronounced himself in favour of the prevailing Oral Tradition and, thus, against writing:

In his dialogue “Phaedrus”; Plato denies the legitimacy of the written word as capable of conveying knowledge in any truly significant way.

In this dialogue, Socrates puts the case against writing into the mouth of  Thamus, the Egyptian equivalent of Zeus.

When Thamus is presented by the god Theuth (Thoth) with the invention of writing, Thoth claims it “will make the Egyptians wiser and will improve their memories, for it is an elixir of memory and wisdom that I have discovered”. But Thamus replies:

‘Most ingenious Theuth, one man has the ability to beget arts, but the ability to judge of their usefulness or harmfulness to their users belongs to another; and now you who are the father of letters, have been led by your affection to ascribe to them a power the opposite of that which they really possess. For this invention will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not practice their memory. Their trust in writing, produced by external characters which are no part of themselves, will discourage the use of their own memory within them. You have invented an elixir not of memory, but of reminding; and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom, for they will read many things without instruction and will therefore seem to know many things, when they are for the most part ignorant and hard to get along with, since they are not wise, but only appear wise’. (Plato´s “Phaedrus”. Line 140 and following).
Socrates adds his own conviction that written words are inhuman, unresponsive to questioning, and indiscriminate as to whom they address themselves. At best, they can only “remind him who knows the matter about which they are written” (Plato´s “Phaedrus”. Line 278).

Walter Ong points out in his book “Orality and Literacy” [*Click here to read book] that these denunciations can by the modern reader as the same ones levelled by many against computers. This analogy is instructive because it allows us to understand in some small way the nature of the enormous change that was taking place in early Greek culture at the time of Socrates and Plato: the transition from a dominantly oral mode of transmitting knowledge to a slowly emerging literate one.

The Egyptian god Thoth, or Tehuti, in the form of an ibis. With him is his associate, the ape, proferring the Eye of Horus.

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►Section III. Towards a Literate Society: Writing in Ancient Greece:

1) >Linear A and Linear B Scripts:

Linear A (1700 BC)  was the written language of the Minoans of Crete. It consists of 60 phonetic symbols representing syllables and 60 symbols representing sounds and concrete objects or abstract ideas. There is no consensus on how to translate the Linear A symbols

Linear B (1450 BC) was first studied by Sir Arthur Evans, but it was not until 1952 that it was deciphered by Michael Ventris.

Linear B  is generally seen as a more simplified and less pictorial version of the earlier scripts . It is also far more cursive in its shape. The script consists of about 87 symbols, which each represent a syllable, as well as some ideograms which represent an entire word or idea. It seems that the Myceneans used writing not to keep historical records but strictly as a device to register the flow of goods and produce into the palaces from a complex, highly centralized economy featuring regional networks of collection and distribution. [To see examples of  decipherments of Linear A and Linear B Minoans tablets, please visit this guest post at “The Shield of Achilles”].

2) >The Phoenician Alphabet in Greece:

The alphabet of most modern languages was originated in ancient Phoenicia (11oo BC) and first came to Greece sometime before the 8th century BC, from whence it spread. Homer’s “Illiad” and “Odyssey”, written around 800 BC, are early examples of the Greek use of the Phoenician alphabet, as are the classics “Theogony” and “Works and Days”, by Hesiod.  Homer’s poems appear to have been recorded shortly after the script’s invention: an inscription from Ischia in the Bay of Naples, dated 740 BC, appears to refer to a text of the “Iliad”; and illustrations inspired by the Polyphemus episode in the “Odyssey” were found in Mykonos in 715 BC.

Herodotus claimed that the Phoenician alphabet was brought by Cadmus to Boeotia where he founded the city of Thebes.

The early Greek alphabet, based on the alphabet of the Phoenicians, was different from the linear and hieroglyphic scripts preceding it in that each symbol represents a single consonant as opposed to a syllable.

The Phoenician alphabet consisted of 22 characters with vowel sounds built into the symbols. The Greeks modified the Phoenician alphabet by changing some of the symbols as well as creating separate vowels.  They also made their alphabet more phonetically correct.

By using individual symbols to represent vowels and consonants, the Greeks created a writing system that could, for the first time, represent speech in an unambiguous manner. Furthermore, while Linear B seems to have only been used for inventories and lists, the Greek alphabet was used for literary purposes. Writing became not simply a means of recording events, but also an art form in itself.

⇒Writing from right to left. Bidirectional writing. Writing from left to right:

In the earliest versions of the alphabet, the Greeks complied with the Phoenician practice of writing from right to left and the letters had a left-facing orientation.

A good example of writing from right to left is shown in the inscription on the so-called Nestor’s Cup, a clay drinking vessel of the 8th century BC, which bears a famous inscription.

The text of the inscription runs:

Nestor’s cup, good to drink from.
Whoever drinks from this cup, him straightaway
the desire of beautiful-crowned Aphrodite will seize.

The so-called Nestor’s cup from Pithekoussai, Ischia and its inscription.

This was followed by a period of bidirectional writing, which means that the direction of the writing was in one direction on one line but in the opposite direction on the next, a practice known as boustrophedon.

During the 5th century BCE, however, the direction of Greek writing was standardized as left to right, and all the letters adopted a fixed right-facing orientation. 


So far, we have seen that there are clear and effective similarities, when it comes to certain Gods.

Gods Hermes, Thoth (and the hybrid resulting of both: Hermes Trismegistus); as well as Mercury and Odin, they all represent similar ideas.

They all seem to be fused in an eclectic space of cultural juxtaposition, despite the cultural differences.

This could prove Carl Jung´s thesis of the Collective Unconscious. According to him, the human collective unconscious is populated by archetypes and universal symbols, shared among beings of the same species.

Worth noting that Hermes and his equivalents were mainly considered here keeping in mind their specific roles as “Gods of Writing”.

Plato was a keen defender of Oral tradition, against writing. This is evident particularly in his dialogue “Phaedrus”, in which Socrates (by retelling an Egyptian myth), states that Writing will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not practice their memory.

Pisistratus (6th century BC/ 527 BC) was tyrant of Athens whose unification of Attica and consolidation and rapid improvement of the city’s prosperity helped to make possible it’s later preeminence in Greece.

Pisistratus clearly supported Oral tradition. And he did so, by specifically encouraging Dramatic Arts and TheatreIndeed, theatre was a key technological factor of specialization in Greek culture. The choral poetry offered a fissure through which the choir was first sung until the actors took over in order to visually stage the oral poetry.

Probably, this was the most evident symptom of the transition from an Oral culture to a hybrid, semi-oral or audiovisual Culture, which dominated the fifth century BC and classicism. At last, by the end of the century, Writing prevailed.

When introducing writing, (Linear A, Linear B, and especially alphabetic writing), the Ancient Greeks privileged the visual sense against other senses such as seeing or hearing. Alongside this change, their conception of space and time was also altered, going from discontinuous to a linear, homogeneous conception. Hence, the chronological narrative and History itself arose as new types of discourses.

By objectifying words and making meaning accessible to a much longer and more intense meaning of what is orally possible, writing fostered private thought and increased awareness of individual differences.

Thus, Writing led to free initiative and creativity of the Ancient Greek society as a plural “whole”, while preserving the value of the individual forms. Such a tendency could be also considered a “call for democracy”, as a political correlate of literacy, expressivity, abstraction and individualization.

♠About Alan Severs: Alan defines himself as an occasional writer of fiction, poetry; and essays on modernism, mysticism, mythology, magic and mystery. His blog, Cakeordeathsite covers many of these and other interesting subjects. Please check it out hereThank you, Alan! 🐬

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