Saturday, August 20, 2016

A Grace & Fury Assortment

Kicking off with bit of a re-do from years past; then a couple of related cartoons, poems, and vintage "representative" photographs from husband's collection:

Famous 15th century Italian artist Raphael painted The Three Graces (right). The three graces in mythology were goddesses, daughters of Zeus and Eurynome, said to rule beauty and charm in nature and humanity. Other artists and sculptors have depicted the three sisters too. A related damaged sculpture (above left) now in The Louvre, Paris dates from around two centuries before Christ.

The graceful sisters: Aglaia, who represented radiance or splendor. Euphrosyne - joy. Thalia represented fruitfulness or good cheer. If the sisters were to be represented astrologically, I guess the Sun would be obvious to represent radiance and splendor; Venus for joy, and Jupiter for fruitfulness or good cheer - the three graces in planetary form?

Another, contrasting set of three exists in mythology: The Three Furies. This painting is by W. Bouguereau "Orestes and the Furies". The Greeks knew them as Erinyes, daughters of Gaia (Earth) sprung from the blood of Uranus. They were Tisiphone (avenger of blood), Alecto (the implacable), and Megaera (the jealous one). Said to be merciless goddesses of vengeance whose punishments continued after death.

Which planets might carry the attributes of these three lovelies? Mars, Saturn for the first two; but how about "the jealous one"? Moon, perhaps? I tend to give the Moon positive interpretation, but in tarot The Moon card isn't one of the true "goodies". The Moon is changeable, temperamental, could easily become jealous. The Moon might represent "the jealous one".

So then, each planet, except Mercury, would have a Grace or a Fury to its name. Mercury has the job of bouncing around between them all.

Graces and Furies - we all have them all within us, somewhere !

Hauled into the 20th/21st centuries:

Clarifying caption:  Any man who loves and reveres his mother and his country should idolize, if he worship at all, the three graces,  Suffrage, Preparedness and Americanism.

 From a version of Dante's Divine Comedy

A HYMN TO THE GRACES by Robert Herrick

When I love, as some have told
Love I shall, when I am old,
O ye Graces! make me fit
For the welcoming of it!
Clean my rooms, as temples be,
To entertain that deity;
Give me words wherewith to woo,
Suppling and successful too;
Winning postures; and withal,
Manners each way musical;
Sweetness to allay my sour
And unsmooth behaviour:
For I know you have the skill
Vines to prune, though not to kill;
And of any wood ye see,
You can make a Mercury.


SONG OF THE FURIES (from "The Eumenides")
by Aeschylus (translated by Henry Hart Milman.)

3 verses - full poem is HERE

Up and lead the dance of Fate!
Lift the song that mortals hate!
Tell what rights are ours on earth,
Over all of human birth.
Swift of foot to avenge are we!
He whose hands are clean and pure,
Naught our wrath to dread hath he;
Calm his cloudless days endure.
But the man that seeks to hide
Like him, his gore-bedewèd hands,
Witnesses to them that died,
The blood avengers at his side,
The Furies' troop forever stands.

For light our footsteps are,
And perfect is our might,
Awful remembrances of guilt and crime,
Implacable to mortal prayer,
Far from the gods, unhonored, and heaven's light,
We hold our voiceless dwellings dread,
All unapproached by living or by dead.

What mortal feels not awe,
Nor trembles at our name,
Hearing our fate-appointed power sublime,
Fixed by the eternal law.
For old our office, and our fame,
Might never yet of its due honors fail,
Though 'neath the earth our realm in unsunned regions pale.

Three women at the park
The Graces?

 I'm tagging this trio as The Furies! though we don't have enough to contend with via Graces and Furies, The Fates and The Sirens are determined not to be forgotten!


mike said...

The Graces and Furies are usually viewed as separate from the gods and are of their own, exclusive lineage. Gaia plays a role, so it's as if the Graces-Furies are of the Earth and are concerned purely with human affairs. I see the Graces as attributes of Venus and the Furies of Saturn. Interesting to note that the Furies, though horrid, were considered just and fair in their judgement and retribution, and only pursued the guilty mortals.

The Fates are perplexing forebears of the Graces and Fates...even the gods were supplicant to the Fates, though Jupiter-Zeus may have been independent of the Fates. As the Fates ruled birth and death, they seem fitting of Pluto's metaphorical regeneration, though Pluto is often associated with Hades-Hell. Gaia (Earth) raised Zeus and Gaia's mythology has her holding sway over the gods and is the center of the universe. It seems to me that Gaia and the Fates may be synonymous.

Most of what I said above falls apart when viewing the lineage, as Gaia is the start, and the Fates, Graces, and Furies being in the "great grandchild" descent.
Note that there are numerous chart views described at the top of the flow-charts.

Anonymous said...

I realize some around these here parts are asteroid-averse ;P but there are asteroids for most, if not all - I haven't checked the addenda - of the Graces and Furies at

Twilight said...

mike ~ Thanks, as always, for your interesting input. :-)

I suppose all of these myths were the equivalent, in those very early days, of our fairy tales - or even soap operas, concocted by poets and philosophers. Poets would stir the imaginations of the populous; philosophers would try to provide analogies and explanations for things that go on in human life. Maybe, just maybe, there is, somewhere within the tales, a kernel (well covered with moss) of very interesting truth that was handed down by word of mouth from many generations earlier. But I'd be getting into the realms of sci-fi to pursue that thought.

Hesiod's family tree can be nothing more than a work of fiction. It reminds me of the kind of family tree sometimes encountered in the fly pages of an historic novel of epic proportion...or maybe the genealogical bits of the Old Testament.

Twilight said...

Sabina ~ LOL...I, for one, can't cope with asteroid lore in astrology; there's so much other stuff to play with. If we could discover what astrology actually is, and find evidence that asteroid movement might be involved in it, then I'd make an effort. :-)

mike (again) said...

Did you see "Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth", a mini-series that first aired on PBS here in the USA about 28 years ago? Snips are available on youtube...Campbell's "Timeless Tale of the Hero's Journey" is available in full-length (perfect for Roku's youtube channel):

Here's a very short video of Moyers and Campbell discussing how our modern SciFi, particularly "Star Wars", is a continuance of mythology:

Sabina - No asteroids by the name of Clinton, Trump, or Donald, but there are Hillary and Donald Duck.

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ No, I'm pretty sure I haven't seen the TV series. Something keeps knocking on my memory door, though, about a book by him in our High School library, back in the mid 1950s. But I don't recall its content, just that I was interested. I do recall, as far back as junior school (up to age 11) we had a book to study called "Heroes and Legends", that was our introduction to mythology. It wouldn't have been by Campbell though.

Anyway - thanks for the links. I've watched the first 15 mins of the second one via YouTube, then saved it for later. I think I'd probably enjoy reading one of his books more than video-style though. I'm thinking about one of his earlier ones - not keen on the idea of the later self-help flavoured ones! My last nerve would be in! "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" looks to be my best pick. I shall put it at the top of my "to buy" list.

I somehow, while listening to the video and scrolling, noticed this recent article:

"What Would Joseph Campbell Say About Donald Trump?"

Hmm - maybe "Don't vote him in as president!"? lol! It'd be an unfair question though. Mr Campbell hasn't lived through the interval from 1987 when he died to 2016.
He wouldn't have the necessary information and experience to identify DT with a mythological character. We know he's no hero, but, in my opinion, neither is he a 24 carat villain. :-/

mike (again) said...

Good essay by Joan Konner...thanks. I agree that Trump is not a villain. I would categorize him as a sociopath, but there may not be much difference in reality. I think of evil associated with villain, and narcissistic manipulation with sociopaths. As is said about corruptible power combined with narcissism and plentiful minions, he could easily transmogrify to a very malignant life-form, particularly with a running mate similar to Dick Cheney to pull the strings.

"10 signs for spotting a sociopath
#1) Sociopaths are charming.
#2) Sociopaths are more spontaneous and intense than other people.
#3) Sociopaths are incapable of feeling shame, guilt or remorse.
#4) Sociopaths invent outrageous lies about their experiences.
#5) Sociopaths seek to dominate others and 'win' at all costs.
#6) Sociopaths tend to be highly intelligent, but they use their brainpower to deceive others rather than empower them.
#7) Sociopaths are incapable of love and are entirely self-serving.
#8) Sociopaths speak poetically.
#9) Sociopaths never apologize.
#10) Sociopaths are delusional and literally believe that what they say becomes truth merely because they say it!"

Hillary must not be a sociopath based on #1 alone...LOL.

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Well, re Hillary...but 9 out of 10 ain't bad! Agreed about DT though, apart from "speak poetically" - again 9 out of 10!