Thursday, May 8, 2008


Rhea giving Kronos the rock

Engjoy the first installment of the mythos corner.

Sing me O Muse, of how the world came to be. Lend me your voices, graceful daughters of Zeus, so that I might recall the events of long, long ago. For in the beginning there was only Chaos, the dark, spinning void; and out of this void stepped Gaia, the Earth, the All-Mother. With her came Eros, divine love; gloomy Erebus and Night and from them, Aether. Gaia’s fertility knew no bounds and without the aid of love, she brought forth all nature; the mountains and oceans, trees and flowers. She also bore Starry Ouranos, god of the heavens. The sky spread himself over the earth and their love produced both gods and monsters. The immortal Titans were twelve in number: Coeus, Crius Oceanus, Hyperion, Iapetus, Tethys, Theia, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, Rhea, and finally, the wily Kronos. The monsters were great and terrifying: The Hecatonchires were the hundred-handers: Briareus, Gyges, and Cottus. Their brothers were the Orb-eyed, the Cyclopes: Brontes the thunder, Steropes the lightning, and Arges the bright.
Ouranos feared for his power and so he imprisoned all of his children deep inside the earth. Gaia groaned in pain and grieved for her children. In desperation, she thought of a plan to free them and overthrow her terrible husband. Quickly she crafted a great sickle of adamantium and went to her children with her plan. All cowered in fear at the thought of dethroning their great and powerful father. Only the young and wily Kronos, who hated his abominable father agreed to help his mother. Great Gaia bestowed her son with the sickle and hid him in ambush for terrible Ouranos. When night came on, Starry Heaven came to his wife and spread himself over the fertile Earth. But Kronos, hidden away, reached out with the sharp sickle and cut off the genitals of his father and flung them into the sea, where they mingled and created divine foam, from which arose the golden Aphrodite, goddess of love. The wound of the sky god bled onto the waiting earth and so Gaia bore the Erinyes and the race of monsters called Giants.
Having castrated and thus effectively stripped Ouranos of his power, Kronos became the new lord of the heavens. He released his brother and sister Titans from their confinement in the earth, and took to wife his sister, Rhea, as his queen. Wily Kronos then freed the Cyclopes, but kept the Hecatonchires imprisoned, to secure his rule.
The new sky god and his sister wife were just as fertile as their parents before them. They bore Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon. Great Kronos had been told by his mother and father that one of his progeny would rise up against him and take his power just as he had done to his father, Ouranos. Kronos would not let this happen, so the powerful god swallowed up each of his children as they were born. Rhea was devastated and flew to Gaia for council when she learned she was carrying another child. They fled to Crete where Rhea bore Zeus in secret. The infant Zeus was taken to Dicte and hidden safely away in a cave at the base of Mt. Aegeum. The young god was nursed by the nymphs and the goat Amalthea in place of his immortal mother. Rhea sent her servants, the Curetes, to watch over her son. They banged their spears against their shields so that the infant’s wailing could not be heard by the Sky god. Rhea went further in deceiving her husband and presented him with a stone wrapped in swaddling in place of the new baby. Kronos did not hesitate in swallowing the stone, and so Zeus grew up undiscovered and safe. When Zeus reached maturity, he was made cupbearer to the great Kronos. Unknowing that his son was alive and well, and in his presence, Kronos took the poison that his cupbearer son offered. Swiftly the poison ran its course and the sky god disgorged his swallowed children. The siblings of Zeus immediately looked to their brother to lead them against their terrible father. War broke out between the old and the new order. The Titans fought on the side of Kronos, with the very important exception of Themis and her son, crafty Prometheus, who chose to aid Zeus and his siblings. Zeus also enlisted the help of his monster ancestors. He freed both the Hecatonchires and the Cyclopes on the advice of Gaia. The Cyclopes gave Zeus the use of thunder and lightning, which he mastered as his weapon of choice. They also bestowed upon Hades the helmet of invisibility, and to Poseidon they granted the trident. The Hundred-handers were invaluable in the fighting. They flung hundreds of rocks at a time, pelting the Titans into submission. The immortals fell for nine days and nights, down, down from the heavens to Tartarus, the darkest depths of the Underworld, where Zeus imprisoned them. He saved a greater punishment, however, for Atlas, brother of Prometheus. For being one of the Titan generals, Atlas was sentenced to hold up the heavens for all eternity. For ten years the war raged, Zeus fighting from high atop Mt. Olympus and Kronos from the peak of Mt. Orthys. The whole world blazed in the conflagration from the combat. Finally Zeus was able to overpower his terrible father. The defeated Kronos was banished and Zeus began to set up his new order. First he set out to eliminate any remaining threats and so he imprisoned the Hecatonchires despite the help they provided.
Zeus was still not secure in his new role as supreme lord. The giants were outraged at the imprisonment of all their siblings, and so rebelled against the new regime. Zeus and his brothers quickly suppressed the uprising, banishing the giants under the earth. There they remain, trapped, their anger making the mountains volcanic. Gaia was furious at the whole outrage. How dare her son disrespect her other children! In her rage she bore Typhon, the last of the monsters. Dragon-like with a hundred flame-breathing heads, Typhon stormed up to Mt. Olympus. In terror, the other gods fled to Egypt, but Zeus remained strong. He had the power of thunder and lightning, and thus quickly did he smite the abomination, casting down Typhon under Mt. Aetna.
It was at this point in the early history of the universe that Zeus became secure in his power. The new sky god and his brothers drew lots to determine who would rule what: Poseidon was granted control over the seas, Hades became lord of the underworld, and Father Zeus retained the power over the heavens and earth. He took his sister, Hera, to wife and they ruled over the world and the mortals that would soon inhabit it.

Happy 100 DWTS

Dancing with the Stars celebrated it's 100th episode on Tuesday. Many former contestants came back to reminisce, and some even performed. The best however, was Julianne and Apolo reunited! Out of all the winners, I think Apolo is by far the most talented. He looks like he could be a professional dancer, and the way he was spinning and flinging Julianne around, you would have thought he had been dancing his whole life. And they are so adorable together! Enjoy their dance to Rascal Flatts "Everyday."