Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Zeus, overthrower

As the myth goes, Zeus, the Sky Father, was born to Rhea, fathered by Kronos, who had before this fathered other children with the Titan Goddess, but his thirst for power and his fear of losing it made him do something horrific, and he swallowed his children whole just after their births.

First came Hestia, Hera, and Demeter, then Hades and Poseidon, all swallowed by their father, a great evil, for a father should care for his children, not consume them. But Rhea would not stand to lose yet another child and she travelled down to the Earth, to a place where she could be hidden, and there gave birth to her youngest child and named him Zeus.

To aid her, she brought forth a nymph named Amalthea, who some say is a goat, or that she had a goat, and with its milk he was fed. She brought forth too spirits, fierce and joyful, who did a dance about the place, clanging sword upon shield to drown out the cries of the infant God. To her husband, however, she returned, as was her place in these Titanic times, and presented to him a stone wrapped in swaddling cloths, hoping that in his haste he would not notice. Notice he did not, and in his eagerness to protect his own power, he swallowed the stone down.

The child Zeus would grow quickly, gaining strength, hearing of his mother's sacrifice to save him, plotting against his father, the King of All Things. When he was well grown, a beauteous youth, he presented himself to the Titanic Court, and there was made the cup bearer of the king.

Into his drink the young Zeus put a potion, and as the Titans, the Gods of the time, feasted, it did its work. Kronos rose from his seat, a pain in his stomach, and in due course vomited forth the children he had in so dastardly a fashion, consumed.

Forth came Poseidon and Hades, Hera and Demeter, and finally Hestia, born anew into the world, once the eldest, now the youngest, and with the, Zeus absconded to the Earth below, where in due course they would plot their revenge.

Zeus would lead them into war against their parents, and with them might the mighty Hekatoncheires, children of Ge, and defeat the rule of Kronos and the Titans, who are then imprisoned in the deepest parts of the underworld, a realm known as Tartarus.

With the end of this war dawns the age of the Olympian Gods, and Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon draw lots to divide the universe, with the Seas going to Poseidon, the Underworld to Hades, and the skies falling to Zeus, who takes the throne of heaven held by his father.


In this myth, Zeus becomes a catalyst. The world has been settled into an order, and by his actions, that order is thrown into chaos and then reordered. He is a God of changes, and an overthrower of kings.

Zeus is Lord of Hosts, King of Kings, and as such, he is also the God that will overthrow regimes and even destroy civilizations that show themselves to be unworthy, or that break the sacred laws of hospitality and good governance.

On a personal level, what does that mean?

To me, it has come to mean that as sovereign over my own life, I am the king, and therefore I must seek to live in accordance to rules of hospitality and good rule, and I do struggle in this, because I do tend to be fairly awkward socially, and a bit anti-social all together, and these are antithetical to a good life, and as King of my own life, I owe myself a good one.

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