Archive for the ‘Thunder’ Tag

Pan Galactic Space Goat   71 comments

 

Capricornus – The Celestial Sea Goat

Capricornus - The Goat -The Constellation

CAPRICORNUS – its correct astronomical title, is a very faint constellation also known as the zodiac sign Capricorn by astrologers. It shares a part of the night sky with fishes, whales, rivers, and water carriers. Despite being depicted as a sea goat it bears closer resemblance to a triangle or if you’re a Halloween fan, witches pointed hat.

Originating with the ancient Sumerians and Babylonians, the constellation Capricornus was known as SUHUR-MASH-HA, THE GOAT FISH.

Pan - Half Goat_Half Fish

Pan The God Of The Countryside

The Greeks, however called it AEGOCEROS (GOAT-HORNED). The name of the well-known Italian island – “CAPRI” means “THE ISLAND OF GOATS” but the star atlas’s of old indicate that ancient Greeks associated the constellation Capricornus with the god of the countryside known as Pan. Pan was said to have had the head, horns and forelegs of a goat and a fish’s tail.

Pan, A Playful And Mischievous God

PAN was a very mischievous and naughty god who spent as much time as he possibly could chasing goddesses and female sea nymphs. These activities were punctuated with periods of sleep and relaxation aiming to aid a speedy recovery from his exertions and to renew his strength for his next session of very naughty behaviour.

Pan Pipes (Syrinx)

Syrinx The Nymph

Not all his seductive godly ways turned out as planned – THE NYMPH “SYRINX” was so un-entranced by his godly charms that she transformed herself into a bunch of reeds to avoid his attentions. Ever hopeful, Pan grabbed hold of them and was surprised when they created an un-expectedly beautiful musical sound as the wind blew gently through them.

Inspired and greatly pleased by this discovery Pan waxed together several of varying lengths so forming today’s PAN PIPES (SYRINX)

Pan seduces the nymphs and goddesses

So it comes as no great surprise that Pan, on being fortunate enough to come across a wild and wicked field party hosted by naughty sea nymphs and goddesses was only too happy to gate crash it and indulge in all kinds of untold fun and mischief.

Typhon The Terrible

Pan’s indulgences were however rudely interrupted by the approach of the huge and ferocious Typhon – a monster sent by Gaia – Mother Earth to attack the gods. After booming a deafening warning to the gods (being something of a loud mouth) Pan’s suggested each god transformed themselves into a different kind of animal and fled to a place of safety in order to escape the terrible Typhon.

                             TyphonZeusPan as the goat fish

To the amusement of the passing god ZEUS THE GOD OF THUNDER, Pan in great alarm, (hence the term panic) dived into the nearest river intending to transform fully into goat-form. Things did not go quite to plan and the lower part of his body changed into that of a fish!

The Mighty Battle of Zeus

Zeus fought a mighty battle with Typhon eventually overcoming him with thunderbolts, after which SICILY’S MOUNT ETNA became the monster’s final resting place. Refusing to rest even in death Typon’s breath was said to be responsible for the fiery, volcanic eruptions produced by Mt Etna.

 Mt Etna eruptingMt Etna erupting2

During this battle Zeus was badly injured and was left unable to run or fight. Pan with the help of Hermes repaired the damage done to him and he was able to continue with the battle and onto victory.

Artistic image of constellation Capriconus (The Goat)

 

By way of thanks Zeus placed an image of Pan – the sea goat Capricornus, in the night sky.

Zeus–god of the Olympics and Supreme Ruler of Mt Olympus   48 comments

Zeus – Supreme god and ruler – Mount Olympus

Zeus - Supreme god

zeus

Zeus was all-powerful, magnificent, awe-inspiring and knowledgeable – the sovereign god and ruler of the gods on Mt Olympus in Thessaly. His image was a common sight on Greek coins and he was known by many titles: Lord of the Sky, the Cloud- gatherer, the Rain-god and Zeus the Thunderer, These titles expressed very clearly how high in esteem and power Zeus was held the Ancient Greeks;

Rain, a rarity in a climate as hot and dry as that of Greece was considered to be the most important force of nature in the Ancient World. A life-giving force. This in sharp contrast to the more usual all-powerful sun-gods of other mythologies.

 

Zeus and wife Hera and Eagle Zeus did however, as regarded his love life, i.e. his affairs, display a surprising lack of common sense and ability to stay out of trouble and proved this whilst indulging in his unfaithfulness to his wife.

 

Zeus was also the ‘guardian of political order and peace.’ His breastplate, bearing the head of a Gorgon – so glorious and at the same time awful to behold that no human could see Zeus in all his magnificence and survive. His weapon, the thunderbolt which had been designed by three Cyclopes, he could hurl with deadly intent and accuracy. The Eagle was his bird and his oracle, Dodona. The Oak was his tree and his priests were made aware of his will by the rustling of its leaves.

        Zeus_god of thunder    zeus-eagles

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. The ability of the athletes themselves are considered and rewarded.

Olympics – Ancient Greece to London 2012

The Olympics, held every four years during the midsummer full moon- an intentional choice of timing allowing the games to continue through the night, began as a festival to honour Zeus in Ancient Greece. They were designed to encourage "the development of body, mind, and spirit."

Olympic Rings Now, more than 2,700 years after the original Ancient Olympics, London, which did not even exist at that time, and now the capital city of around 8 million people, is in the ultimate point of preparing to host the 2012 Olympic Games. On 27 July, in the traditional opening ceremony athletes from around the world will march into the newly built London Olympic Stadium and the lighting of the Olympic flame will occur, to burn for the duration of the Games.

The Olympic Flame was first introduced at the 1928 Olympic Games, the torch relay at the Berlin Olympics in 1936.

2012 torch lighting at site of anc olym Today the most iconic of the Olympic symbols – the Olympic Flame, which is lit from a flame from the sun during a ceremony in Athens, is then carried in a torch relay to the host city in time for the main opening ceremony. On arriving at the main stadium arena the Olympic torch is then used to light the flame. Athletes parade behind their national flags, the releasing of doves symbolise peace.

The Olympic Oath

The first official ceremony of the Ancient Olympic Games was the taking of the oaths at the opening of the Games. It was conducted in front of a statue of Zeus of the Oaths (Zeus Horkios) and accompanied by a sacrifice. The athletes and trainers had to swear that they had studiously trained for 10 months and that they were willing to obey the Games rules.

At today’s Olympic opening ceremony one Olympic athlete from the host country, holds one corner of the Olympic flag, taking, on behalf of every athlete competing, the Olympic oath:

Olympics-2012-Stadium-Design"In the name of all the competitors, I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honour of our teams."

The original oath was taken for the first time in Belgium at the Antwerp Games in 1920. The reference to drugs was an additional inclusion in 2000.

The Olympic Creed

Judges and officials in Ancient Greek Olympics – The Hellanodikes, also took an oath to judge fairly and in a fashion that was not biased. Today a host country judge formally repeats the Olympic creed, from the scoreboard display during the Opening Ceremony. First used for the Olympic Athletes at a 1908 London Games service, this creed was introduced at Munich’s Olympic Games in 1972:

"The most important thing in the Olympic games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph, but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered, but to have fought well."

The Olympics have survived terrorism, embargoes and an increase in drug use yet nations continue despite all the problems that have occurred, to bid for the honour of acting as ‘host to the world.’