Ancient Greece

Dolphins and their mystical importance

Susanna Galanis
 

 

DOLPHINS AND THEIR MYSTICAL IMPORTANCE 

 

 

         …these references seem to point to a deeper association with the processes of life, death and rebirth, perhaps linked to the dolphin’s ability to pass between the air-breathing, living world of humans and the suffocating, terrifying world beneath the waves, which for the Greek sailors could easily be identified with the kingdom of the dead…

 

 

b7901Dolphins teache us that when we live in tune with the patterns and rhythm of nature, we learn how to truly be in touch with, resonate and communicate with All That IS and how to share this sagacity with anyone interested. There are those that believe Dolphins are more intelligent than humans. Especially when it comes to love. They have large brains, superior intelligence and are often associated in mythical lore with higher forms of consciousness. Some believe they are far more evolved than we are, especially on a spiritual level.Two dolphins. Mosaic (2nd BCE) from the "House of Dolphins".Dolphins are connected with the power of breath and with emotional release, which are also both deeply connected. One of the most important factors in spiritual growth is to give ourselves the freedom of full experiencing our feelings and emotions. Often negative emotions are suppressed as we don’t want to be a part of them, so we try to stay apart from them. Some of these emotions are,  sadness, pain, anger, grief — we need to stop doing this, as this only lays the foundation for disagreeable outcomes. We need to feel our feelings, by suppressing these feelings, of course they DO NOT go away. They are still there, subconsciously, manifesting blocked energy with-in, and if these blocks aren’t removed, this can go on to physical imbalances, with-out. On top of this, by blocking these so called negative feelings, this can result in losing the quality of being able to feel at all, losing much of life’s joy. Becoming dead to the world.

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Simply stated breathing is conversing with the outside world. When people feel that the outside world is a source of pain, they learn, very frequently at a young age, to constrict their breathing. The diaphragm is built to assist us in breathing and to feel deeply, but it becomes suppressed. When we learn to breathe deeply we can learn to feel deeply, in turn letting go of stifled feelings. One way of doing this is to copy the dolphins pattern of breathing, a superb tension reliever!. Dolphisn breathe deeply, hold their breath underwater, then breathe out forcefully. Living in water is an important characteristic of Dolphins, as in many belief systems, including astrology, water is related to feeling and emotion.

If a dolphin swims into your life, he/she is asking you to relish water both physically and mentally, swimming freely and going along with your natural feelings. He/she is showing you how to enter the waters of life and then with breath and sound call forth what you most need or desire. Dolphins use a variety of whistles, grunts, clicks, and body postures to communicate. They have unique, personal whistles they give out. If they want to get the attention of another Dolphin, they give out their personal whistle. Sound is the creative life force and a big part of dolphins life, therefore this needs to be a part of your life. Communicate. With those around you and All That Is. Creating inner sounds creates outer manifestations.

If a Dolphin is your power animal, you may do well using your voice for healing or communicating, whether incorporating this into a job or just as a hobby or in day to day life with those nearest and dearest to you.

Dolphins have a wise, innocent, purity of being which reaches out to our inner nature. Follow their lead and open yourself to the energy of love, harmony and balance. Express your inner truth, be true to yourself. follow your inner joy. Dolphin is asking you to go back to your roots, to the depths of your being and rediscover the Love that you truly are.

Dolphins spend most of their day playing. Their life is lived in joyful harmony with each other and their world. Apparently they have learned the lesson that love is the most important factor in life. If dolphin is your power animal he may be there to teach you how to love yourself and your world more. A big part of Dolphins medicine is living in balanced, harmonious communities. They live in big groups of up to 100. Females will give birth to a single offspring, with several dolphins around her, helping with the birth, pulling the newborn out by its tail. They then protect him or her from any imminent danger. If a dolphin is hurt or ill, other dolphins will tend to them, lifting them to the surface to breathe.

Dolphins mystical symbolism includes: knowledge of the sea, change, patron of sailors, harmony, wisdom, balance, communication skills, freedom, trust, understanding the power of rhythm in your life, use of breath to release intense emotions, water element magic, unselfishness. Dolphin reminds us to get out, play and most importantly, to breathe.

DOLPHINS IN ANCIENT GREECE

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Like the people in ancient greece, people who spend their lives at sea are superstitious. The sea itself tempts seafarers to become irrational. Before the days of the compass and the shipping forecast, the sea was indeed wildly unpredictable and dangerous. It is still terrifying and awesomely powerful, even with today’s satellite positioning and sonar. To frightened, suggestible sailors, an inquisitive dolphin frolicking in the bow-wave must have seemed like a messenger from the gods. It is those seafarers, whose families never knew whether they would return alive, who gave us the first myths about the creatures.The Greeks were among the first great seafaring nations, and the wealth of their civilization was built largely on their forays across the Mediterranean. It is not surprising, then, that dolphins appear frequently in Classical mythology – they are depicted, for example, on frescoes on the bathroom wall in the Palace of Knossos in Crete, which dates to 1600 BC– but it is through the writings of the Greek poets that most of the myths about dolphins are known to us today.

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One of the earliest dolphin stories is Homer’s ‘Hymn to Apollo’, which describes how the God Apollo founded the temple at Delphi after a journey which took him all over Greece in search of a suitable site. Eventually he chose a lonely cave nestling at the foot of Mount Parnassos, which was guarded by the dragoness Python, whom he slew with an arrow from his silver bow.

After killing the dragoness, Apollo set off to hijack a Cretan merchant ship, leaping aboard the boat in the guise of a dolphin. Terrified, the crew huddled below deck while the dolphin Apollo directed the winds to blow the ship right around the Greek coast and into the harbour below Delphi. Then, according to Homer’s poem, the sun god instructed his hostages to live in the new temple and serve him as priests:

And whereas I first, in the misty sea, sprung aboard the swift ship in the guise of a dolphin, therefore pray to me as Apollo Delphinus.

Like most myths, this is a story told in code. It is about the invasion of one culture by another; the replacement of the indigenous earth goddess Python, or Delphys, by the sun god Apollo; the overthrow of the mysterious, complex, female spirit of night by the bright, clear, logical, and preeminently masculine spirit of the sun

The appearance of dolphins in earlier works of irt it Knossos and elsewhere suggests that the dolphin already had a place in Cretan oral mythology, although the works of later writers and poets do not make it clear exactly what this was. The dolphin continued to feature in art and sculpture wherever the Greeks had influence, from Palestine and Mesopotamia in the east to Rome in the west, and later throughout the Roman Empire. Even in the rock city of Petra, miles from the sea and hidden in a cleft in the Jordanian desert, there is a carving of a dolphin.

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Without a detailed written record it is difficult to know exactly what significance dolphins held for the Greeks. The sculptures, the mosaics, the beautifully engraved and painted pottery tell us that they were important, but not why. There are, however, some clues.

In many sculptures from the East, the dolphin is associated with Atargatis, the mother goddess, goddess of vegetation, nourisher of life and receiver of the dead who would be born again. In later myths, particularly in Roman literature, and again in art and statuary, it is the dolphin that carries souls to the ‘Islands of the Blest’, and around the Black Sea images of dolphins have been found in the hands of the dead, presumably to ensure their safe passage to the afterlife. Taken together these references seem to point to a deeper association with the processes of life, death and rebirth, perhaps linked to the dolphin’s ability to pass between the air-breathing, living world of humans and the suffocating, terrifying world beneath the waves, which for the Greek sailors could easily be identified with the kingdom of the dead. Whatever the exact symbolism, it is clear that the dolphin is intimately involved with the fundamentals of human existence.

If the dolphin is implicated in some way in the transition between this world and the next it is no surprise to find that it is also associated with God Dionysos, who himself dies and is reborn again each year in his role as the God of vegetation, and who was also worshipped at Delphi. Although most Greek writers refer to Delphi simply as the temple of Apollo, Plutarch is at pains to point out that the worship of Dionysos was equally important at the site. He should know – he was one of the priests of Apollo at Delphi for many years.

The surviving story that links Dionysos with dolphins gives barely a hint of their mystical importance, though it does once again involve them in the transition between life and death. Dionysos is travelling in disguise on board a pirate ship when the sailors decide that instead of delivering their passenger safely home they will sell him into slavery in another town. Dionysos retaliates by driving the crew mad with hallucinations, at which they jump into the sea. They are saved from drowning only because they repent of their evil plan, at which Dionysos relents and turns them into dolphins.

This myth is often cited as the reason why, for many Greeks, killing a dolphin was an appalling crime. Dolphins were once human, and they retain human characteristics such as care for their young and sociability.

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AGE OF GODS Athena Collection by Susanna Galanis, Ancient Greece, Ancient Greek history, Greek Gods, Susanna Galanis, Susanna Galanis Classical Education, Susanna Galanis History & Glamour, Susanna Galanis Inspired by History, Susanna Galanis Jewelry, Zeus

Father Zeus

KING OF THE GODS

“It is not possible either to trick or escape the mind of Zeus.”

Hesiod

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According to my divine ancestors, the ancient Greeks, Zeus was the “Father of Gods” who ruled the
Olympians of Mount Olympus. He was the god of sky and thunder.

As He still is today, ZEUS was the king of the gods, the god of sky and weather, law, order and fate. He was depicted as a regal man, mature with sturdy figure and dark beard. His usual attributes were a lightning bolt, royal sceptre and eagle.

Some of the more famous myths featuring the god include:

  • His birth and upbringing in the Diktaion cave, where he was nursed by Amaltheia and guarded by the shield-clashing Kouretes;
  • The Titan War in which he overthrew the Titanes and imprisoned them in Tartaros;
  • His battle with Typhoeus, a hundred headed, monstrous giant who attempted to capture heaven;
  • The War of the Giants who attempted to storm Olympos but were slain by Zeus and the gods;
  • The Great Deluge in which he flooded the earth to destroy mankind and begin the world anew;
  • His conflict with Prometheus over the theft of benefactions for mankind;
  • The punishment of Salmoneus, Tantalos and Ixion, men who offended the god with their impiety;
  • The birth and life of Herakles, his favoured son, who he had transferred to Olympos at death;
  • His extramarital affairs with women such as Leda, seduced in the form of a swan; Europa, as a bull; Danae, as a golden shower; Kallisto, as Artemis; and Antiope as a satyr;
  • The Trojan War which he orchestrated from start to end, including the casting of the golden apple of discord.

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Zeus was the child of Cronus and Rhea, and the youngest of their siblings. In most traditions he was married to
Hera, although, at the oracle of Dodona, his consort was Dione. According to the Iliad, he was the father of
Aphrodite by Dione. He was also known for his erotic escapades which resulted in many godly and heroic
offspring including Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Hermes, Persephone (by Demeter), Dionysus, Perseus,
Heracles, Helen of Troy, Minos, and the Muses (by Mnemosyne); by Hera, he was said to have
fathered Ares, Hebe and Hephaestus.
Even the gods who were not his natural children addressed him as Father Zeus. For the Greeks, he was the King
of the Gods, who ruled the universe. As Pausanias observed, “That Zeus is king in heaven.” In Hesiod’s
Theogony Zeus assigned the various gods their roles. In the Homeric Hymns he was referred to as the chieftain
of the gods. His symbols are the thunderbolt, eagle, bull, and oak. Zeus is frequently depicted by Greek
artists in one of two poses: standing, striding forward, with a thunderbolt leveled in his raised right hand, or
seated in majesty.

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BIRTH

Cronus, the Titan God, sired several children by Rhea: Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon, but
swallowed them all as soon as they were born, since he had learned from Gaia and Uranus that he was
destined to be overcome by his own son as he had overthrown his own father—an oracle that Rhea was to
hear and avert.
When Zeus was about to be born, Rhea sought Gaia to devise a plan to save him, so that Cronus would get
his retribution for his acts against Uranus and his own children. Rhea gave birth to Zeus in Crete, handing
Cronus a rock wrapped in swaddling clothes, which he promptly swallowed.

INFANCY

Rhea hid Zeus in a cave on Mount Ida in Crete. According to varying versions of the story:
-He was then raised by Gaia.
-He was raised by a nymph named Adamanthea. Since Cronus ruled over the Earth, the heavens and the
sea, she hid him by dangling him on a rope from a tree so he was suspended between earth, sea and sky
and thus, invisible to his father.
-He was raised by a nymph named Cynosura. In gratitude, Zeus placed her among the stars.
-He was raised by Melissa, who nursed him with goat’s milk
and honey.
-He was raised by a shepherd family under the promise that their sheep would be saved from wolves.

KING OF THE GODS

After reaching manhood, Zeus forced Cronus to disgorge first the stone (which was set down at Pytho under
the glens of Parnassus to be a sign to mortal men, the Omphalos) then his siblings in reverse order of swallowing. In some versions, Metis gave Cronus an emetic to force him to disgorge the babies, or Zeus cut Cronus’ stomach open. Then Zeus released the brothers of Cronus, the Gigantes, the Hecatonchires and the Cyclopes, from their dungeon in Tartarus, killing their guard, Campe.

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As a token of their appreciation, the Cyclopes gave him thunder and the thunderbolt, or lightning, which had previously been hidden by Gaia. Together, Zeus and his brothers and sisters, along with the Gigantes, Hecatonchires and Cyclopes overthrew Cronus and the other Titans, in the combat called the Titanomachy. The defeated Titans were then cast into a shadowy underworld region known as Tartarus. Atlas, one of the titans that fought against Zeus, was punished by having to hold up the sky.

(Zeus in Titanomachy below)

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After the battle with the Titans, Zeus shared the world with his elder brothers, Poseidon and Hades, by drawing lots: Zeus got the sky and air, Poseidon the waters, and Hades the world of the dead (the underworld). The ancient Earth, Gaia, could not be claimed; she was left to all three, each according to their capabilities, which explains why Poseidon was the “earth-shaker” (the god of earthquakes) and Hades claimed the humans that died.

ZEUS AND HERA

Zeus was brother and consort of Hera. By Hera, Zeus sired Ares, Hebe and Hephaestus.  Some also include Eileithyia and Eris as their daughters. The conquests of Zeus among nymphs and the mythic mortal progenitors of Hellenic dynasties are famous. Olympian mythography even credits him with unions with Leto, Demeter, Dione and Maia. Among mortals were Semele, Io, Europa and Leda and with the young Ganymede. Many myths render Hera as jealous of his amorous conquests and a consistent enemy of Zeus’ mistresses and their children by him. For a time, a nymph named Echo had the job of distracting Hera from his affairs by talking incessantly,  and when Hera discovered the deception, she cursed Echo to repeat the words of others. According to legend, Metis, the goddess of prudence, was the first love of Zeus. At first she tried in vain to escape his advances, but in the end succumbed to his endeavor, and from their union Athena was conceived. Gaia warned Zeus that Metis would bear a daughter, whose son would overthrow him. On hearing this Zeus swallowed Metis, the reason for this was to continue to carry the child through to the birth himself. Hera was outraged and very jealous of her husband’s affair, also of his ability to give birth without female participation. To spite Zeus she gave birth to Hephaestus parthenogenetically  and it was Hephaestus who, when the time came, split open the head of Zeus, from which Athena emerged fully armed.

Zeus: Oh for shame, how the mortals put the blame on us gods, for they say evils come from us, but it is they, rather, who by their own recklessness win sorrow beyond what is given. 

And now you know the story of  the King of the Gods, according to the myths and the legends of my divine ancestors the ancient Greeks.

xoxoSusanna

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Fresh to Daphne

With today’s weather being a fabulous mid 70 degrees everyone in the showroom has been craving a fresh salad from the nearby cafe. As lunch time came and passed it seemed intern after intern came back with a bowl of greens sprinkled with added pops of color in the form of fruit and veggies. Why not incorporate this healthy lifestyle choice into your everyday summer wardrobe? These gorgeous greens got us thinking how my newest Daphne collection adds pops of color to the most basic and fresh summer style. Why not change it up and wear a fantastic outfit of white and throw on a gorgeous green necklace to add some flavor to the mix? Stand out in the most simple of ways this week with a fresh twist on a summer trend. Continue below to see how were thinking fresh today in the showroom as well as one of my favorite salad recipe for a lovely summertime meal.

 

xoxo,

Susanna

White spinach salad with caramelized shallots: http://www.marthastewart.com/971965/spring-salad-recipes/@center/276955/seasonal-produce-recipe-guide#316919

For more information on how you can purchase the pieces shown in today’s blog as well as other pieces from my collections please visit my website http://www.susannagalanis.com/main_collection.asp or call 212.759.9142 to set up a meeting in the showroom.

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Dripping in Daphne

With the recent weather shifting from sun dress hot to rain jacket down poor, everyone in the showroom has been discussing ways to stay busy indoors while still enjoying the outdoor elements. The MoMA of course has our answer! The Rain Room exhibit created by Random International located at the MoMA PS1, allows viewers to control the rain themselves by simply walking around the room.  Perfect for a scorching hot day in the New York sun! This new exhibit got us thinking, how else can we incorporate this months unexpected downpours into our summer wardrobe? Continue below to see how these recent rainy days are inspiring us to incorporate rain boots with my newest collection Daphne. Don’t be left out to dry this summer! Stay dripping in green-gold chains and gems!

xoxo,

Susanna

Follow this link to view a short video on the Rain Room http://youtu.be/EkvazIZx-F0

To view more of my collection or to purchase the pieces displayed in todays blog please view my website http://www.susannagalanis.com/main_collection.asp or call  212.759.9142 to set up an appointment in the showroom.

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Love Goes Green

My new collection was inspired from the ancient Grecian story of the God Apollo’s love for the nymph Daphne (For more information on the story follow this link:https://susannagalanis1.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/apollo-and-daphne/). With pieces made of green-gold and accentuated with green detailing, my new pieces are sure to brighten your summer style. Continue below to see how were seeing green this summer and to discover ways you can work this cool jewel tone into your wardrobe during these hot summer months.

 

xoxo,

Susanna

For information on how to purchase my pieces please visit my website http://www.susannagalanis.com/main_collection.asp or call 212.759.9142 to set up an appointment at the showroom.

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Ancient Greece, Gaia, History of Gaia

GAIA – Oh mother!

GIA – A POSTCARD

Ancient Greek Goddess Gaia was the fist being (according to the myths and the legends0 who appeared out of the chaos together with Tartaros (underworld), Nyx (night), Erebos (darkness) and Eros (love). Without the help of a man she created her sons Uranos (heaven) and Pontos (ocean). She fused with her son

47330_301925439908431_1866453788_nUranos and bore the titans, Kronos Rhea, Okeanos and Tethis, gods of the great stream, which is winding around the earth. The Kyklops and the Giants were also her offsprings. Her man Uranos hated these creatures so much that he pushed them back into the womb before they were born, which caused Gaia harm. Angry about her tyrannical man Gaia gave a sickle made from firestone to her son Kronos and ordered him to unman his father the next opportunity which was given. Kronos did what his mother had told him and throw detached genitals far along the sea. Out of the falling blood drops appeared the Erinnyias (furies), the giants, and also the Meliai (nymphs of the ashen). The phallus prowled on the sea and finally arrived at the island Kythera/Lakonia. Out of the foam which was formed on the phallus the love-goddess Aphrodite came to
being.

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The Muses at the Vatican Museum -The Muses, the personification of knowledge and the arts, especially literature, dance and music, are the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (memory personified). Hesiod’s account and description of the Muses was the one generally followed by the writers of antiquity. It was not until Roman times that the following functions were assigned to them, and even then there was some variation in both their names and their attributes: Calliope – epic poetry Clio – history Euterpe – flutes and lyric poetry Thalia – comedy and pastoral poetry Melpomene – tragedy Terpsichore – dance Erato – love poetry Polyhymnia – sacred poetry Urania – astronomy. The Vatican Museums (Italian: Musei Vaticani), located inside the Vatican City State, are among the greatest museums in the world, since they display works from the immense collection built up by the Roman Catholic Church throughout the centuries including some of the most renowned classical sculptures and most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world.

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