Archive for the ‘Mythology and Symbolism’ Category

Phaethon – The Mythology   5 comments

(Image Credit: CoolCLIPS_vc051539)

Phaethon in Greek mythology was the son of Helios, the sun god, and a woman/nymph who was known among different sources as Clymene, Prote, or Rhode.

Friends of Phaethon challenged him to prove he was not illegitimate and that his father really was Helios the sun god. His mother assured him this was true and suggested he also gain confirmation from his father Helios. Phaethon decided to request from his father proof of his affiliation with the sun. Helios was happy to consent to give his son anything he wanted, but when Phaethon demanded that he should be allowed to have a whole day to drive his father’s sun chariot Helios strongly advised him not to, pointing out that even Zeus did not have the strength to handle the steeds. However, a promise was a promise and despite his misgivings Helios

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allowed him to take charge of the chariot. As he predicted Phaethon lost control of the horses. Initially the horses climbed too high causing the Earth to freeze over. The out of control steeds then careered so close to the Earth that the chariot burned and charred the Earth. Seeing the imminent disaster and in a bid to prevent that occurrence Zeus elected to bring the chariot down with a bolt of thunder. The unfortunate consequence for Phaethon being that he plummeted down to earth and was killed at the mouth of the river Eridanus, which was later recognized as the Po.

Phaethon’s close friend or even lover, Cycnus (king of Liguria) deeply grieved his demise and so the gods transformed him into a swan. Phaethon also had seven sisters, who were known as the Heliades. They too grieved deeply for him and kept watch in the place that their brother Phaethon careered to Earth and died. This wake continued until the time when the gods transformed the sisters into Poplar trees. Their tears of grief the gods transformed into amber.

The name “Phaethon” – Greek for “Shining/Radiant One”, was given also to:

  • Phaethon (Son of Eos)
  • One of the horses of Eos (the Dawn)
  • The Sun

 

 

 

 

  • The constellation Auriga
  • The planet Jupiter (Some versions refer to the planet Saturn rather than Jupiter)
  • Used as a descriptive word to describe the sun and the moon

 

Today it is the name given to rare blue asteroid “3200 Phaethon” which orbits very close to the sun and is named after the Phaethon of Greek mythology.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phaethon

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Phaethon-Greek-mythology

 

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Lunar Eclipse Fire Wolves–Eclipse Mythology Of The World   34 comments

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“Eclipses are a chance to see the universe working. It’s the solar system doing its thing right before your eyes and it’s a deep and personal pleasure.”

– E.C Krupp director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California

clip_image006clip_image008Blood moon eclipses – the moon is bathed in a red orange hue of refracted (bent) light coming from around the Earth. This April 4, 2015 blood moon eclipse, is part of the series of 4 consecutive Lunar Eclipses known as a “tetrad.” These are set approximately 6 months apart. April 15, 2014 – October 8, 2014 – our most recent one on April 4, 2015 and the shortest Total Lunar Eclipse of the 21st Century and the final one on September 28, 2015. The longest Total Lunar Eclipse this century will last 1 hour 24 minutes and will take place on July 27, 2018. Both Lunar and Solar Eclipses habitually occur in 18 year-long cycles known as Saros Cycles. Eclipses separated by a Saros Cycle are incorporated into a Saros Series. The recent Lunar Eclipse is part of Saros Series 132 which includes 71 Lunar Eclipses – the last one being on June 26, 2754.

“It’s an amazing experience, even though you know it’s just the moon moving in front of the sun. That’s why there are so many eclipse chasers”

Eclipse Fire Wolves

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Lunar Eclipse Myths from around the World

The Chinese word for “eclipse” is shih or chi meaning “to eat.” In many cultures people were of the firm belief that demons or animals were swallowing the sun or the moon at the times of eclipse. As a result of this belief they went to great pains to drive them away, commonly banging pots and pans or playing drums to this end.

clip_image012The Vikings view was that two “sky wolves” were chasing the Sun or the Moon and lunar or solar eclipses occurred whenever the wolves caught one of them. Similarly in Korea’s eclipse myths eclipses occurred when “fire dogs,” acting on orders of the king try catch and steal the Sun or the Moon. Although they only ever manage to bite their prey of “fire or ice” their actions spark an eclipse.The_Hunt_resized

Vietnam have slightly different ideas in so far as they believe it is a frog/toad that consumes the Sun or the Moon and on the West Canadian coast the Kwakiuti tribe is convinced that during the occurrence of an eclipse the “mouth of heaven” eats the Sun or the Moon.

– E.C Krupp director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California

In the minds of The Inca lunar eclipses were a result of a Jaguar attacking and eating the Moon. This bloodshed explained the red-brown hue of the “Blood Moon” commonly seen during a total lunar eclipse such as seen recently (4th April 2015) The Inca would fiercely shake their spears at The Moon and make as much noise as possible, often “beating their dogs to make them bark and howl” in the hope of scaring the Jaguar away, afraid that it would fall to Earth and eat the Inca people too!

– David Dearborn, a researcher at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California

clip_image015Chinese mythology states the Dragon, a “masculine solar energy” causes lunar eclipses when he tries to eat the Moon. The Chinese too would make much noise to chase it away and as late as 19th century cannons were fired by the Chinese navy to this end.

The ancient Mesopotamians whose culture stated that their king also symbolised the land believed that the seven demons they considered to be attacking the Moon at the time of lunar eclipse were also attacking their king. Therefore at such times they would substitute a temporary king – who if he survived the demons attack would probably be killed off later when the real king was reinstated!

Healing Lunar Eclipse Myths

clip_image017In contrast to the more aggressive lunar eclipse myths, The Luisno tribe – Southern California, would sing and chant and say prayers to restore the Moon back to good health and well-being, believing that an eclipse indicated that the Moon was very sick and feeling thoroughly under the weather!

Lunar eclipses are seen as a time of reconciliation by the people of Togo and Benim in Africa – The Batammaliba. In their culture, during an eclipse the Sun and the Moon are in battle with one another. The people work hard to discourage the discord between the two heavenly bodies and it is seen as a time when families and friends get together, and old arguments and disputes are resolved.

– Jarita Holbrook, cultural astronomer at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa.

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Eclipses are considered to be simply another natural part of the balance of the universe’s cosmic order, by The Navago. It is considered a special time and a time to take a break and reflect on the cosmic order. In order to stay in balance with the universe avoid looking at, sleeping during or eating and drinking for its duration of the eclipse. Instead the time can be spent safely indoors singing special songs and enjoying time with family.

– Nancy Maryboy, President on San Juan Island, Washington working with NASA to bring indigenous astronomy into mainstream awareness

The Hupa were of the mind that 20 wives and an array of pets (Mountain Lions and snakes) were an important part of the Moon’s life. The Moon was required to supply food for them all and when he fell short on his duty he was attacked by the Mountain cats and the snakes. This of course led to blood-letting for the Moon – Blood Moon Eclipses – But luckily for the Moon his 20 wives would come to his aid, protecting him and dutifully collecting his blood so as to restore him to his former glory and good health. This was believed to bring an end to the lunar eclipse.

– E.C Krupp director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California.

clip_image004In astrology many believe wars and conflicts, political events and acts of nature such as earthquakes can occur as a result of eclipses. Tibetan Buddhists say that during a lunar eclipse regardless of whether they are good or bad our actions increase by a thousand fold! So if you were naughty during the eclipse look out!!!

Sources:

lifeasmyth.com

Wikipedia

NASA

National Geographic

Mewling The Blues To The Ancient Mythological Cat Goddesses   53 comments

Mewling the Blues To The Ancient Cat Goddesses

Russian Blue Cats, Mythological Cat Goddesses 

Russian Blue3

The Russian Blue is considered one of the most chic and ancient breeds in the cat world. Well-known as a one-person cat with a distinctive personality which identifies it as a breed apart from other cats, it is very much a timid and reserved creature although it is also gentle and affectionate, with an interesting and entertaining nature. It is also referred to as the Archangel Blue, Maltese Blue, and the Spanish Blue.

Russian Blue14Little is known about the history of the Russian Blue but the title Archangel may have come from the Archangel Isles in northern Russia or also the Russian White Sea Port by this name. It is thought most likely that nineteenth century Russian sailors brought these silvery-grey cats with them with the intention to sell them in UK. Their rich blue and silver-highlighted fur colouring is sometimes likened to that of a seal, and may also account for their timidness; it is claimed that they used to be hunted for their unusual coats.

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It is said that the Russian Blue is a descendant of the Royal Cat of the Russian Czars and also that it was the favourite pet of Queen Victoria. In Russia, it is considered to be lucky hence couples make sure a cat moves into their new home with them. The breed almost disappeared during World War II, but was later revived by the introduction of Siamese blood. One outstanding characteristic of all Russian Blues is the smiling expression they wear– and who doesn’t like to be greeted with a smile!

Russian Blue12Russian Blues always have startlingly vivid green eyes, and to those who gaze into the eyes of such cats, their intensity of those eyes is mesmerizing; the gaze of the cat was first observed by the Egyptians. They associated the cat with the hawk-headed god Horus, who was the son of Isis. In Ancient Egypt, cats “captured the glow of the setting sun in their eyes and kept it safe until morning.”

Russian Blue9There are a great many cultures who consider cats to be mystical creatures who in reality were in fact fairies or goblins who cunningly disguised themselves as cats. Amongst these cultures they believe that staring intensely into cats eyes will reveal visions of the fairy sphere snooping inquisitively back at the human realm through the cat’s eyes. By contrast the Japanese believe that vampires can masquerade in the form of cats but that they give themselves away by the manifestation of two tails!

Russian Blue18One of the most well-known folklore myths regarding the Russian Blue is the narrative about a cat spirit that appears in time of need to help someone in trouble. Once it has gained the trust of that person, the cat’s spirit one way or another reveals rewards that can be physical and/or spiritual treasures.


Cat Mythology

Freyja’s Cat-Driven Chariot

Thor_google2The Norse goddess Freyja, deity of love, beauty, fertility, war, wealth, divination, and magic, was worshipped by the Vikings, who prayed to her for rain and the granting of good crop yields; to this end jugs of milk for the cats were left out in Scandinavian countries. She rode in the heavens in a chariot pulled by two giant, blue-grey cats, (said to be Norwegian Forest cats). These cats are the children of the magic cat, Bauyn, that were a gift from Thor the god of Thunder.

BAST (Ancient Egyptian Lower Kingdom)

Bast_Egyptian goddess2_pinterestBast-cat goddess3_googleThe Egyptian goddess Bast (also known as Bastet, Ubasti, Pasht or Pakhet) was the benevolent and protective goddess of pet and household cats. But like all Egyptian cat goddesses she was also portrayed as a war-like goddess (“Bast” means “devourer”).

Lioness-Cub-by-Rahul-Matthan2Cheetah_google2Lynx_pinterest2She was often illustrated as a fierce lioness but was also symbolized in cheetah or lynx form. However Bast was the only ancient Egyptian cat goddess to also be depicted as a domestic cat, personifying both the strength and ferocity of a combative lioness, and the frisky, elegant, friendly, and wily nature of a cat.

Sun god-Ra2Known originally as “the protector goddess of Lower Egypt” she was the fierce shield and defender of the pharaoh. Bast was also the guard and protector of the sun-god Ra, and was consequently known as the “Lady of Flame” and the “Eye of Ra.”

Russian Blue 16tsIllustrations of her frequently depict her clasping the” ankh” which was designed to signify “the breath of life” or a papyrus wand which was intended to signify Lower Egypt. She occasionally bears a war-sceptre (signifying strength) and is often accompanied by a litter of kittens

She is also seen as the goddess of fertility and the protector of cats, women and children, to harm one was considered to be a crime against her and so very unlucky. Her priests kept sacred cats in her temple, which were considered to be incarnations of the goddess.

Bast_Shadowness2hellenic_mythology___artemis__goddess_of_the_hunt_by_emanuellakozas-d6p4l9n3Bast was originally the goddess of the sunrise, with the ability and command at her disposal to rouse a solar eclipse. but because the Greeks because linked her with Artemis – the lunar goddess, and the brother of Apollo (hence she became the daughter of Isis and Osiris) transformed her into a lunar goddess; the Moon and the cat’s nocturnal nature certainly sit well together!

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Some other ancient Egyptian Cat Goddesses.

Pakhet, "She Who Scratches", was a big cat goddess, presumably with big scratchy claws! She defended from evil the living and the dead.

Mafdet, the first of the cat goddesses, was a protective war goddess who spat fire at cobras and who also took a variety of feline forms – the ancient Egyptian lynx, the cheetah or the lion. Known as the “Runner” she was the cat goddess who killed the colossal snake Apep who was the enemy of Ra the sun-god.

Sources:

landofpyramids.org/cat-goddesses

Wikipedia

Sedna – Goddess of Sea and Marine Animals (Inuit Mythology)   53 comments

 

Sedna – Goddess of Sea and Marine Animals (Inuit Mythology)

 

 

sedna2Inuit mythology tells of Sedna the goddess of the sea and marine animals, Sedna known also as the “Mother/ Mistress of the Sea,” is the star of what is essentially creation mythology, and the tale of the events that led to her becoming the mighty ruler of the Inuit underworld – Adlivun.

The mythology of Sedna exists in several different forms but they all contain common factors.

Sedna the daughter of Anguta, a creation god, takes the form of a giant, who under the influence of an insatiable hunger attack her parents in a misguided attempt to assuage her raging appetite.

An alternative version alleges that she was so frustrated and unhappy with her father’s choice of men for her to potentially marry that she chooses instead to marry a dog!

783224_5f90_625x1000Still more versions of Sedna mythology portray her as a beautiful young woman living in a village of hunters, and whom despite receiving many eager proposals of marriage from the village’s male hunters, rejects them all. Consequently her disillusioned father hands her over to a new and previously unknown hunter as his wife in exchange for a plentiful supply of fresh fish. Unfortunately for Sedna her newly betrothed hunter-husband proves in reality, to be a mighty bird spirit who resides in a large cliff top nest. He is filled with a great wrath which ultimately leads to his vengeful stirring up of a huge storm designed to destroy both Sedna and her father when Sedna’s remorse-ridden father tries his best to rescue her from the plight he has unwittingly plunged her into.

In another version again, Sedna is the abducted and imprisoned on a floating ice island by a different bird like being. In its absence her father sails valiantly to her rescue in a kayak. Consumed by furious outrage at her escape the bird being, calls up a great sea spirit to assist him in wreaking terrible revenge on Sedna and her father, seeking to drown them both in mighty and violent waves of the like that had never before been seen.

Although the exact nature of the assortment of myths regarding Sedna are many and varied, they all have in common three important points:

1.  Her father tossing her out of the kayak and into the ocean waves.

2. Her father chopping off her fingers when she fights to climb back into it, so that she sinks to the ocean depths, down to the sea bed itself.

20029144_4f3f_625x1000As she does so, what had been her fingers undergo a miraculous transformation into the sea animals that the Inuit regularly hunt – Walruses, Seals and Whales. She is sometimes said to have had her head chopped off or to have grown a tail before her descent to the sea bed.

3. She becomes a mighty sea goddess who commands every mammal of the sea.

Sedna considered a vengeful goddess, is the “Mistress of Life and Death” to the Inuit people because she is their provider. Consequently she is worshiped and prayed to by the hunters who seek to please her so that she will liberate the sea and marine life they rely on for their food supply.

She does so happily if she is treated with due respect and concern. But she also expects that one person be willing to undertake the dangerous journey to her home to relieve the torturous pain she experiences in her hands when she is not respected. If this does not happen, and as a result of her pain and suffering, she in turn punishes the people with a combination of storms, starvation and sickness.


There are many great riches to be found if we are but willing to take a risk and venture deep into the dark, cold places each one of us harbours, and that we fear the most. No matter what illnesses and disabilities we may have the misfortune to experience, or the stupid and thoughtless mistakes we may make in life, we are still worthy of love and respect and have every right to expect, and even demand, that others treat us well.

Sources:

goddessgift.com

wikipedia.org

The Wolf and the Firebird Fairy Tale   27 comments

There are a vast number of different versions of this tale of the Russian Firebird. Of the ones I have viewed I have chosen “The Wolf and the Firebird Fairy Tale”  as this was the one I enjoyed the most. I hope you will also enjoy this French version of the Russian Fairy tale, ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

So! Are you sitting comfortably? Then we shall begin!! …. 

The Wolf and The Firebird Fairy Tale

Wiki Mythical Firebird

Once upon a time there was a tsar who was the proud owner of an orchard of golden apples. One day he discovered a mysterious thieffirebird Russian Art was sneaking in under the cover of darkness and stealing his golden apples! He was so distressed that he lost his appetite and he tasked his three sons to take it in turns to stand guard in his orchard and catch the thief. Two sons were lazy, worthless men who made no effort to stay awake and simply slept all night. But the third son, Prince Ivan, being a conscientious son, allowed himself no such luxuries. Consequently it was he who saw the orchard light up with an ever-brightening, glowing light which revealed a beautiful golden firebird pecking happily at the golden apples. Prince Ivan made a valiant attempt to capture the firebird but to no avail and it flew away leaving only a single tail feather in his hand.

The following morning the Prince explained everything to his father, Tsar Berendey, showing him the tail feather to prove his story. Determined to catch this golden firebird the tsar sent all three of his sons out on horseback in three different directions to track it down and bring it to him.

 

TheKnightAtTheCrossroadsPrince Ivan eventually arrived at a “crossroads” in a field containing a pillar with an inscription on it offering him three options: : "Whosoever goes from this pillar on the road straight before him will be cold and hungry. "Whosoever goes to the right side will be safe and sound, but his horse will be killed. And whosoever goes to the left side will be killed himself, but his horse will be safe and sound." Prince Ivan opted to go right on the basis he could always get another horse and continue on his quest.

But to his horror a huge magical gray wolf appeared in his path, attacking and killing his horse before running away. However riddled with guilt and seeing the Prince was very sad the wolf returned and said to him "Why, you could have ridden even on your good horse for three years and never found the Firebird for only I know where it lives. I ate your horse, so now I will serve you faithfully and well. Get on my back and hold on tight."

On reaching a fortress the grey wolf said to the Prince, "Listen to me, and remember what I say. Climb over the wall and do not be afraid; all the guards are asleep. In the attic you will see a small window; in the window hangs a golden cage, and in that cage is the Firebird. Take the bird and hide it under your coat; but be sure not to touch the cage."

Prince Ivan did as the wolf had told him but on seeing the cage forgot the wolf’s warning. As soon as he touched the cage he set off alarms all around the fortress and he was unceremoniously hauled up in front of a furious Tsar Afron.You should have come to me and asked me for the Firebird and I would have given it to you out of respect for your father. But now I shall see to it that all the world knows of your behaviour! And in order to earn my forgiveness you will have to enter my service. A certain Tsar Kusman has a horse with a golden mane. Bring that horse to me, and I will give you the Firebird and the cage."

Angry though the wolf was that he had been disobeyed he forgave the Prince and took him to his destination, issuing another warning on their arrival. "Climb over the wall; do not be afraid, the guards are asleep. Go to the stable and bring out the horse. But be sure not to touch the bridle you will see hanging there."

But once again Prince Ivan could not resist temptation and the whole scenario repeated itself, this time with Tsar Kusman. "To attempt to steal a horse shows little wisdom! Even a peasant would not try to do that. But I will let you off, Prince Ivan, if you agree to enter my service. A certain tsar named Dalmat has a daughter, the beautiful Helen. Carry her off and bring her to me, and then I will give you the golden-maned horse and the golden bridle."

Firebird and WolfOnce again, albeit reluctantly, the wolf forgave Prince Ivan and took him on his back to the fortress of Tsar Dalmat. However this time he insisted that he, himself would carry out the task and ordered the Prince to head back to Tsar Afron assuring him he would catch him up. Having seized the Princess the wolf paused only to tell Prince Ivan also to jump on his back so he could carry them both, and in due time they returned back to Tsar Kusman’s fortress.

However Prince Ivan was very sad, not wishing to part with either the horse with the golden mane or the Princess. So the wolf said to him, "I will see to it that you are not parted from her. We will hide her somewhere, then I will turn myself into the beautiful Princess Helen, and you can lead me to the tsar."

The tsar was over the moon with his new wife and gave the Prince the horse with the golden mane and the bridle, not realising that he was going to collect the real princess and ride away with her on the golden maned horse. The realisation hit the tsar full on when he lay down on the marital bed and discovered a huge grey wolf lying next to him!!

In the meantime the Prince and Princess had arrived at the fortress of tsar Afron and once again Prince Ivan was sad not wishing to lose the golden maned horse in exchange for the firebird. So once more the magical wolf took charge and turned himself into the horse with the golden mane. Tsar Afron was over the moon and Prince Ivan, the Princess Helen and the caged firebird rode away to Ivan’s homeland astride the horse with the golden mane. Tsar Afron was not so lucky discovering the trickery only when his golden maned horse turned into a huge grey wolf as he tried to mount it! Terrified he fell from its back and the wolf made good his escape.

On seeing the wolf again Prince Ivan bowed low to it three times in great respect and in thanks for all it had done in making his dreams come true. However the wolf warned him cryptically, "Do not bid goodbye forever to me. I shall yet be of service to you."

As Ivan and Helen and the horse with the golden mane were sleeping, not far from Ivan’s home, his two brothers chanced upon them and filled with jealousy at his success and their failure plotted to kill him and claim the fruits of his success for themselves, and to win favour with their father. As Ivan lay dead the grey wolf appeared alongside him healing his wounds with still water and bringing him back to life with sparkling water.

"I have had such a deep sleep," he yawned.

"Yes, you were sleeping very soundly," the grey wolf said. "But for me you would never have awakened. Your own brothers killed you and carried off all you had gained. Now get on my back, quick!"

On catching up with the brothers the magical grey wolf killed them both and one last time Prince Ivan thanked him again and bowed respectfully three times to him, before saying good bye forever, and returning home to his father Tsar Berendey with the firebird, the princess and the golden maned horse and its bridle. He told everything to his father who was delighted to see them and although he naturally mourned for his two lost sons he gained great comfort from the wedding to Princess Helen of his remaining son Prince Ivan….and they all lived happily ever after!

prince_ivan_and_the_firebord_by_ookamikasumi-d3jcxj9

The (Sochi)Firebird Olympic Torch   34 comments

The (Sochi)Firebird Olympic Torch

Olympic 2014 Flame lighting for XXII Olympic Winter Games in Russia.

 

firebird-russian-fairy-tales-character-20302774Firebird (1)The Sochi 2014 torch is designed to resemble a feather from the magical golden Firebird – the Russian version of the legendary Phoenix, a creature as mysterious as the mythology it is steeped in. Holding a sacred place throughout Russian myth and folklore, it symbolises many things and in Russian fairy tales the firebird’s feather is used to “light the way.”

The Firebird has also inspired many artists, including Russian composer Igor Stravinsky, who consequently wrote a ballet entitled “The Firebird” in 1910, effectively immortalising the legend of the Firebird.

Olympic-Torch_Sochi-201413_01_17_Szocsi-paralimpiai-fáklyaThe Olympic Torch – the “feather,” will be coloured a dramatic fiery red in respect to the traditional sporting colour of Russia. The Paralympic Torch, as with the Olympic Torch will be created out of cast aluminium alloy, and with a view to symbolising the power and the spirit invoked in the Olympic movement will be sky blue in colour.

Flame Lighting Ceremony – Greece lights the world

On its travels throughout the games host country the Sacred Flame burns for the duration of the Olympic Games, acting as a bright and powerful symbol, reminding the people of their birth land.

greece-olympics-sochi-flamearticle-2437233-185EF94600000578-894_634x426The ritual of “The Lighting” is simple yet mysterious in nature. Following the procession of robed priestesses who proceed from the Temple of Hera, which fronts the goddess’s temple, they then surround the altar. Arrayed in white robes the High Priestess, calls firstly upon the god Apollo, then lights the torch by the rays of the sun, and the assistance of a mirror that is concave in shape. Once lit and carefully protected, and contained throughout in a small ceramic pot, the flame is then transported via another procession to the location of the Athens’ Panathenaic Stadium, where the very 1st Greek Olympic Games in 1896 were held. During the course of the procession a branch is cut from the Olive tree. This is seen as a symbol of peace and is an evocative echo of the prize given to the winner in the early times of the Olympic Games. On its arrival at the Stadium, escorted by the priestesses, the first Olympic relay runner’s torch is lit by the High Priestess marking the beginning of the torch relay. The Olympic flame travels to many places and becomes the connecting bond among people sending the message of hope; a trait also associated with the Firebird that the design of the torch is linked to.

firebirdAccording to the Myth of Promytheus the fire is the symbol of life, rationalism and freedom as well as inventiveness and so had been the ageless flame that used to burn on the Altar of Prytaneion in Ancient Olympia.

c9effd98e00d99ac6be076fde41891792612c526The Russian city of Sochi will host the 2014 Winter Olympics opening on Feb 7 2014. They will draw to a close on Feb 23 2014. For the first time the Russian Federation will be hosting the Olympics. In 1980 the Soviet Union hosted the Summer games in Moscow.

Torch Relay

cq5dam.web.1280.1280The torch was carried through Greece until 6 October then flown to Moscow from where it will spend 123 day travelling to the host city of Sochi, covering 40,000 miles+ / 65,000 km+. It involves 14,000 torchbearers and is the longest relay in the history of the Games, spanning 83 different regions throughout Russia, capital cities, 9 time zones and 2,900 communities included. It will travel by foot, car, train and plane. Its journey will also include trips on a toika, reindeer and dog sleighs, snow mobiles and even a balloon.

231504307oly2the-Sochi-2014-Winter-Olympic-torch-MAIN-2685819

Highlights : Since departing Russia in October the Torch has voyaged to N Pole on nuclear-powered icebreaker “50 years of Victory” and in November visited (unlit) the ISS under escort of two Russian cosmonauts. It will have visited the highest mountain in Russia, Mount Elbrus in the Caucaus, UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Sand Dunes of the Curonian Spit, and Kizhi, an old island settlement, voyaging finally, to the bottom of Lake Baikal before being used for the opening ceremony on 7 February 2014. firebird_by_svet_svet-d3bm04m

2014 Winter Olympics–Coming Soon to a Crater Near You!!   46 comments

Valhalla Basin Galactic Winter Olympics 2014

 

2014 Winter Olympics – Chelyabinsk Meteor Anniversary

2014-winter-olympics-logoThe 2014 Winter Olympics, officially the XXII Olympic Winter Games (22nd Winter Olympic Games), are set to take place from 7 to 23 February 2014, in Sochi, Russia.                 clip_image001clip_image001[1]

Chelyabinsk meteor Chelyabinsk meteor 2The Chelyabinsk meteor was a Near-Earth asteroid that entered Earth’s atmosphere over Russia on 15 February 2013 exploding in an air burst about 40 km above Korkino, south of central Chelyabinsk Oblast. The explosion created a bright flash, churning out a sizeable quantity of small meteorite fragments and a formidable shock wave.

Lake Chebarkul The meteorite fragments fell in and near to Lake Chebarkul with the largest extracted from the bed of the lake on 16 October 2013. Despite its 654 kg (1,442 lbs.) mass tipping and breaking the scales it was weighed on, it proved very fragile and shattered into three distinct pieces. In the aftermath of the Chelyabinsk meteor event an unofficial market swiftly arose for meteorite fragments.

The anniversary of the Chelyabinsk meteor event will be in Sochi, Russia on 15 February 2014. A total of seven gold medals are available to be won during the anniversary day’s medal events and each will contain fragments of the Chelyabinsk meteorite.

2014 Winter Olympic Medals with meteorite fragmentsFragments of the Chelyabinsk meteorite

 

Callisto (2014 Valhalla Basin Galactic Winter Olympics)

callisto2In a very interesting to note lol that by some strange cosmic coincidence the 2014 Valhalla Basin Galactic Winter Olympics will be held on Jupiter’s extremely ancient Galilean moon Callisto, the most heavily cratered moon in the Solar System.

Callisto’s impact-battered surface features multi-ring structures, variously shaped impact craters, and chains of craters (catenae). Probably due to the icy nature of its surface Callisto lacks any large mountains. The water that has spread over the surface forming bright rays and rings around the crater is a result of the meteorite impacts puncturing holes in Callisto’s crust.

It is now believed that beneath Callisto’s crust may lie a salty, subsurface ocean of liquid water around 50–200 km deep indicated by studies of the magnetic fields around Jupiter and its moons. This leaves open the option that there could be extra-terrestrial microbial life on Callisto, though conditions are thought to be less conducive to life than on neighbouring Jovian moon Europa.

Callisto in Olympian Mythology

Mount-olympusZeus and CallistoZeus-greek-mythology-god-of-the-godsCallisto is named after one of Zeus – god of the Olympics and Supreme Ruler of Mt Olympus’s many lovers, in Greek mythology. It is said that Callisto herself was a nymph who was associated with the goddess of the hunt, Artemis.

Zeus was held in exceptionally high esteem and power by the Ancient Greeks and once every four years the Olympians held a festival including games to honour their god. Today nations still meet for the Olympic Games but not to honour Zeus, rather the ability of the athletes themselves are considered and rewarded.

 

Valhalla Basin (2014 Galactic Winter Olympics)

Valhalla Basin_Credit_WikipediaValhalla Basin_Credit NASA_JPLIn another wildly unlikely cosmic coincidence, the main venue of the Galactic Winter Olympics, Valhalla Basin, is also a crater produced by an impacting meteor. (Not the same one as Russia’s! Don’t be silly!) Furthermore it is not only the largest multi-ring impact crater on Callisto but also in the Solar System.

Discovered by the Voyager probes in 1979–80 it is located slightly to the north of the equator on Callisto’s Jupiter-facing hemisphere. Part of an extensive system in the

Valhalla region Valhalla’s bright-floored central basin stretches across a diameter spanning 360 km. It is surrounded by at least eight concentric mountainous ridges, which resemble frozen rings of ‘ghostlike ripples’ extending as far as 1,500 km from the basin’s central point.

Valhalla in Mythology

ValhallaOdinThis huge impact crater is named after Valhalla, Odin’s great hall in Norse mythology.  

                                                                         

Valhalla_was_in_Asgard_Home_of_the_fallen_VikingsValhalla, Hall of the Slain, in Norse mythology is the most beautiful of Asgard’s many great halls. It was here with Odin that the W Door Valhalla Guarded by a Wolfheroes who had been slain in battle – the Einherjar, feasted nightly on the meat of the boar Schrimnir and from the goat Heldrun, mead, whilst preparing for the up and coming battle of Ragnarok. Eight hundred warriors marching shoulder to shoulder will emerge from each one of Valhalla’s five hundred and forty doors when this time comes.

Vast and daunting Valhalla was said to have spears for rafters and golden shields providing roofing thatch, along with a fine array of breast plates, scattered around the Hall.

The western door of Valhalla is guarded by a wolf and hovering high above the door an eagle. Outside the front of the hall is Glasir, a golden tree and on the roof of Valhalla, the green leaves of another tree known as Læraðr – happily munched through by the goat Heldrun and the stag Eikþyrnir.

Asgard Crater Region– Callisto

To the west of Valhalla is another large multi-ring basin—Asgard Crater; the second largest multi-ring structure (impact crater) on Jupiter’s moon Callisto. The crater is named after Asgard, the realm of the gods in Norse mythology,

Asgard in Norse Mythology – Olympic Links

Bifrost and ValhallaThe Norse equivalent to Mount Olympus in Greek mythology, Asgard was the home and stronghold of the Norse gods. Set in the skies the only way to reach it was to cross Bifrost – the rainbow bridge.

Valhalla, the dwelling of Odin was the grandest and most magnificent of the many gold and silver halls to be found in Asgard. Norse mythology stated that Asgard would be destroyed at Ragnarok -"Doom of the powers (gods)," also known as “Gotterdammerung” which in Norse mythology means “the end of the cosmos.” A huge final battle would be fought and the world enveloped in flames; the gods defeated by giants and demons. But a number of the gods will survive, or will be reborn and out of the sea a green and fertile world will emerge.

2014 Valhalla Basin Galactic Winter Olympics!

Coming soon to a Crater Near You!!

Valhalla Basin_Credit NASA_JPL

Sources:

Viking Mythology : http://www.missgien.net

http://www.wikipedia

Related blogs on this site.

Zeus god of the Olympics and Supreme Ruler of Mt Olympus – https://europasicewolf.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/zeusgod-of-the-olympics-and-supreme-ruler-of-mt-olympus/

Russian Fireball Explodes over Chelyabinsk–And it’s all the US’s Fault!!!! https://europasicewolf.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/russian-fireball-explodes-over-chelyabinskand-its-all-the-uss-fault/

Galactic Olympics – Mars 2012 https://europasicewolf.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/2012-gale-crater-galactic-olympics/