The Downfall of Narcissus

This version is told by the Roman poet Ovid in Metamorphoses, even though Narcissus and other characters are Greek. Narcissus is known for his beauty that many fell in love with and left many women and some men broken hearted. He was born in Thespiae in Boeotia, the son of Cephissus and the nymph Liriope. Liriope, asks Tiresias (a prophet) if Narcissus will live to old age. Tiresias answers, “Yes, if he never knows himself.” Echo is a mountain nymph who falls in love with 16 year old Narcissus when spotting him hunting deer in the forest. Echo was unable to speak to Narcissus due to her curse that was cast by Hera.

As you may know Zeus has always been out engaging with other females which makes Hera revengeful in regards to whoever female is involved with Zeus.

One day Zeus was flirting with the nymphs while Echo is put in charge to be the look out and stall Hera (Zeus wife), so that Zeus can escape. Hera realizes Echo’s intention and punishes Echo by taking away her voice to only repeat what ever she hears. So, when Echo fell hopelessly in love with Narcissus all she did was follow him in hoping he will speak to her (stalker much). One day, Narcissus is out with his hunting friends. Narcissus yells to call out to his friends are. Echo excitedly yells back (remember she can only repeat what she hears) and meets up with Narcissus. Narcissus is not thrill to see Echo and tells her to go away.

He mades a rude comment around the lines saying he will rather die then be with her.

Echo runs aways crying into a cave and grief from her broken heart. Her love for Narcissus did not fade and eventually starve to death leaving only her voice, which is a reason why you hear echos in caves.

In the mean while, Narcissus continues to break hearts until Nemesis, goddess of vengeance, overheard the story and decided to punish Narcissus by having Narcissus sees himself in the pond and be fascinated by his own reflection. He tries to convince his reflection (Narcissus thought his reflection was another person, weirdly) to love him as he has many people that wants him. Narcissus eventually gets hungry, but can not leave the pond and then dies which is similar to what happened Echo’s obsession with Narcissus. In some other versions, Narcissus stabs himself or drown. Apparently, no one could find Narcissus body except for the Narcissus flower aka the daffodil.

The Narcissus Flower aka the daffodil

Therefore, this myth teaches us karma in the way how Narcissus treated Echo was the same result that happened to him. Also, narcissistic behavior like how prideful Narcissus was lead to his downfall once he “know himself” (<- prophecy that foretold what will lead to his downfall) . Another version is with Narcissus and Ameinias.

The Story of Hades ☠️ and Persephone🌱 (The Birth of the Seasons)🍁❄️🌷☀️

Welcome back! The love 💕 story of Hades and Persephone is one of the most famous stories in Greek mythology. Well, it is not the most romantic as Persephone was abduct against her will. However, Hades treat Persephone as a queen (literally she became the Queen of the Underworld) which is romantic in that sense because let be real they were a whole lot of incest, killings, and revenge. Romance in any kind is hard to come by in the Greek gods/goddess world.

Before Persephone was the goddess of the Underworld (aka the beautiful maiden), she was the goddess of spring who was the daughter of Zeus (king of gods and sky) and Demeter (goddess of harvest,  agriculture and fertility of the earth).

By the way, Zeus and Demeter are brothers and sisters, and Zeus and Hades are brothers; therefore, Zeus and Hades is Persephone’s uncle 🤢.

One day, Persephone was gathering flowers with her flora nymphs,  Hades saw the beauty of Persephone and fell in love with her 😍. Hades then abduct Persephone and brought her to the Underworld to make her his wife 💍. Once Demeter found out Persephone was missing she asked the nymphs what has happen. No one knew and this made Demeter angry 😡and refused to grow crops which lead to famine. She cursed 🤬all the nymphs into sirens. Then, she asked Helios (the god of the sun) what has happened and she was told that Hades has kidnapped her. Zeus commanded that Hades release Persephone. Persephone did not know the ramifications of eating or drinking anything from the underworld. Hades agrees to his brother wish but, wants to keep Persephone. Persephone soon develop feelings for Hades and start to fall in love with Hades as he treated her with compassion and treated her as an adult. Not to mention how fast he made her his wife and queen.

At the same time she did miss her mother. Hades tricked Persephone into eating 6 pomegranate seeds from the underworld before she could leave. This means each seed she ate translated to one month she has to stay in the Underworld with Hades. This explains the seasons as Persephone spends six months (3 months (Fall) and 3 month (Winter)) with Hades in which Demeter is sadden that her daughter is leaving. This is why the season Fall is the time of harvest and the time where the plants and crops die because this is the time Persephone is leaving earth to go to the Underworld. However, when Persephone reunited with her mother this is the time of Spring, where plants start to flourish because of Demeter happiness to be with her daughter again. This is the the other 6 months of the year which is Spring and Summer. This is how the seasons came to be.

I think this is one of my favorite because of the attraction of opposites and that is a story at first of unrequited love . Persephone (the goddess of spring) has an innocence beauty who is lighthearted and tender, attracts the dark Hades who rules death. Unlike the other gods, Hades treated her like his equal, and not as a property. He was saddened when she did not reciprocate the same feeling he had for her at first, but he was also patient. I will say I did enjoy the ending as I think it was fair that Demeter and Hades share the equal amount of time with Persephone and I can say I relate to Persephone of having a protective mother. Also, to relate to my other section of my website about astrology, Hades in astrology speaking is connected to Scorpio which is the sign of death, rebirth and the unseen (like the Underworld). My dominant sign is actually Scorpio and it appear multiple times in birth as it is my sun, ascendent/rising sign and venus sign in western astrology, which could be why Hades is one of my favorite gods. Just to note there are different version of this story as of all other myths. For example, some say that Hades trick Persephone eating that seeds while other say she willingly ate the seeds without the help of Hades, but the fact remain that she has ate the seeds. Hope you enjoy the story and my stay tune for the next story about Narcissus and Echo !

Introduction to Greek Mythology

The creation of the universe started with Chaos (emptiness, shapeless, full with dark energy) which somehow started to give birth to 5 deities which are:

  • Gaia The Earth
  • Tartarus Deity & one of the realms within the Underworld
  • Eros God of passionate sexual desire AKA Cupid in Roman mythology) *( in later sources, Eros is the son of Aphrodite and Ares)
  • Erebus Darkness that cover the underworld
  • Night Darkness that cover the Earth

Erebus and Night gave birth to Aether (the air of the gods in which they breathe). Gaia produced Uranus (the sky, the son and husband of Gaia) by herself. First, Gaia and Uranus first offsprings were monsters including hecatoncheires (Cottus, Briareos and Gyges) and  cyclopes (Brontes, Steropes and Arges) Then, Gaia and Uranus produced the first generation of titians which were:

  • Oceanus God of all the salt water on earth (husband/brother to Tethys)
  • Tethys Goddess of all the fresh water on earth (wife/sister of Oceanus)
  • Hyperion God of the light (husband/brother to Theia)
  • Theia Goddess of shining (wife/sister to Hyperion)
  • Themis Goddess of divine law and order (Zeus second wife)
  • Rhea Goddess fertility and motherhood (wife/sister to Cronus)
  • Mnemosyne Goddess of Memory and remembrance (affair with Zeus lead to birthing 9 Muses)
  • Iapetus God of mortal life (husband/ uncle to Clymene (one of the Oceanides and is a daughter of Tethys and Oceanus)
  • Coeus God of intelligence and farsight (husband/brother to Phoebe)
  • Phoebe Goddess of prophetic radiance (wife/sister to Coeus)
  • Crius God of heavenly constellations
  • Cronos God of time and the ages (King of the Titians, husband/brother to Rhea)

The History and Relevance of Greek Mythology

Myths were not just a series of stories passed down through generations but served as a purpose to explain things humans could not comprehend, such as natural disasters, weather, death, and other natural events. Myths were also used to teach a lesson and use to justify customs/traditions, such as sacrifice rituals. Greek mythology influenced modern culture in buildings, architectural design, companies, books, tv shows, movies, games, city names, sports teams, etc. Popular brands use greek mythology to symbolize their companies like Versace (Medusa’s head), Nike (swoosh logo is the wing of the Greek goddess of victory named Nike), Starbucks (siren), etc. There is no specific source indicating when Greek myths started as it was originally transmitted orally. Eventually, early Greek poets like Hesiod and Homer began to record Greek myths. The first written of greek mythology is Hesiod’s poem “Theogony” (“Birth of the Gods”), which was around 700 BC. Each storyteller told their story in their way, which is why there are many versions, but the central concept remains the same. Greek mythology consists of gods/goddesses, heroes, monsters/creatures.