Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Earth Shaker

In ancient times, the ideas about how the world was formed, how it takes shape, what land was in relation to the sea, etc., were all far more fanciful than any we might believe today. From lands that grew out of the sea at the behest of a goddess in need of a place to birth her children to lands that floated on the seas.

That conception of the relation between the sea and the earth gives fair mythological basis for another of Poseidon’s well known aspects, that of “Shaker of the Earth.”

The Gods is said to sing an entire city state, a nation, into the sea in Odyssey when the God became angry that the people had willfully aided the mortal he had decided to punish for his crimes against the God. This is an aspect of the god as Earth-Shaker.

The idea that the Sea God is also the Earthquake God is not that odd when one considers the notion that the land floats upon the ocean or that the Sea encircles the earth as if in an embrace, and that the god can cause the earth to tremble by his motion or by his squeezing the earth.

Strangely enough, however, Poseidon was not, mythologically, married to an Earth Goddess, but to a Sea Goddess. Might this embrace of the earth be something a kin to a mother/son relationship? A child throwing a tantrum at his mother’s knee? Perhaps such an idea is “sacrilegious” or disrespectful, but on a mythological level it is worth pondering, for in many ways, Poseidon was often shown to be a petulant being. One who was a wee bit fickle and a tad bipolar.

In pondering Poseidon, I think I must use him as a means to understand that inner child that is petulant, turbulent, and often unwilling to accept the actions of others as theirs to own and therefore wanting to lash out at them in order to release the anger within myself.

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