Mythology and Metaphor – Greek mythology can be a little rough, what with the heroes slicing and dicing (and competition paying the price-ing, to invoke LL Cool J.) Looking deeper, we can start to see metaphors – things the stories could be telling us.
The springtime sky features thrilling stories of the Twelve Labors of Hercules, with applications to the everyday. Hercules the Hero was sent to kill the fierce Nemean Lion. No warrior could defeat it, and the lion’s hide was tougher than any weapon. Hercules went into its lair, and strangled it with his bare hands. The lion became the constellation Leo.
Now, that seems barbaric, unlikely, and mean to lions, right? But remember, the lion is just a story. It could be a symbol of a big problem – something that only you can fix. It could be taking care of that moldy Tupperware in the back of the fridge. It’s smelly, and it’s only getting worse. It would be nice if your parents could take care of it, or you could use a robot, but that won’t work. It’s up to you to handle it. It’s more exciting to hear of a strongman fighting a lion, but anytime we face a problem, we’re acting like a young Hercules (or the hero of any story.)
How about the Hydra, the fearsome nine-headed snake Hercules had to beat? Each time he cut one head off, two more grew back. We all have days like this – little things turn into big things. Eventually, Hercules’ nephew, fighting alongside his uncle, figured out using a torch to seal off the sword wounds would defeat the monster.
What on earth could that mean for us? How about doing our homework right the first time, and not procrastinating? What are your thoughts?
The sky becomes a giant motivational poster! Hey, check out your local library for some more on these fascinating tales of old. How do they relate to your day?