Ancient Greece: Gods and Goddesses!

Hello again dear reader,

Many of us from time to time have had a chance to take some form of quiz, related to variable topics. A couple of days ago, whilst on facebook I came across a quiz “Who is your Greek God Parent?” This was by chance, but a strange occurrence since that day I had been talking about the Greeks and their Gods. The meaning of this quiz is basically which God/Goddess are you most alike to?

You can take the quiz yourself here: http://www.playbuzz.com/audreyrecker10/who-is-your-greek-god-parent (Try not to take it too seriously, ‘ey?)

The reasoning of this discussion about Greek Gods and Goddesses was because I feel quite intrigued by the fact there were so many of them. You could argue (if you are that way inclined) that there are so many Gods and Goddesses because they were then able to make sense of the world around them. For instance they are the compensator’s as to why things happened, so it made sense to have different beings/entities for different jobs e.g. ruling the weather or ruling war and disease… Completely different jobs correct?

Therefore I did a bit of research about the roles of these Gods and Goddesses in Ancient Greece to remind myself all about them,

Here are some facts for you:

  • The main Gods of Ancient Greece were called the Olympian Gods.
  • They overthrew the Titans (their ancestors/parents).
  • They lived on Mount Olympus, which was the highest mountain in Ancient Greece.
  • Their Leader was called Zeus. (Sure you’ve heard of him, right?)
  • They were by all accounts imperfect. Meaning they had human flaws.
  • There said to be no more than twelve Olympian Gods at a time.

This type of religion is called Polytheistic religion (more than one God). They had a hierarchy of Gods and Goddesses much like mankind and animals. They made it so the Gods and Goddesses were not too high above them, which in turn made it so the Gods were not “all knowing and all powerful” so that they could have potential flaws like them. Which I feel made the Ancient Greeks feel closer to their Gods. (Although apparently sometimes this led to having babies with each other. Which I think you would agree is just weird.)

…I could go on further about afterlife and rituals but for now let’s stick to Gods and Goddesses!

Moving on, here a few facts of my favourite Gods/Godesses starting at number five!

5) ZEUS!

  •  “leader of the pack”
  •  King and ruler of the cosmos (world)
  •  Last child of the Titans and took the place of his own Father.
  •  Respected and loved by all.
  •  Had a large number of children.
  •  The Lord of Justice  – Punishing the liars and those who went back on their word.
  •  He was fair and kept the balance of the world (even though he had love affairs, causing his wife to be jealous.)
  •  Responsible for the weather (don’t make him angry)
  •  Limitation to power  – like all the others he couldn’t intervene with the “Fates.”
  •  Symbols: Sceptre, throne and Thunderbolt.
  •  His Tree: Oak Tree
  •  Sacred Animals: Eagle

4) HERA!

  • Her husband was Zeus. (Also unfortunately her brother. Ugh.)
  • The Goddess of marriage, relationships and protecting married women.
  • A fair Goddess but her troubled relationship with her husband meant she would become jealous often.
  • Hera didn’t trouble herself much with people.
  • She was powerful but her flaws were jealousy and being vain due to her beauty.
  • Symbols: Diadem (type of crown), Sceptre and the Pomegranate. 
  • Her flower: The lily
  • Sacred animals: Peacock and Crow

3) POSEIDON!

  • Brother of Zeus and Hades.
  • God of the Sea, Earthquakes and Horses!
  • Famous Child  – Triton (I always think “the little mermaid” when I hear that name, don’t you?)
  • Responsible for supernatural and natural occurrences surrounding the oceans.
  • His Trident could “shake the Earth” causing massive Earthquakes.
  • He could make the Earth drown in water and crumble but could also stop it just as quickly.
  • Poseidon liked to stay in the depths of the ocean with his wife Amphitrite. Even though he could go to Mount Olympus at any time.
  • Symbol: Trident
  • Sacred animals: Dolphin and the Horse.

2) ARTEMIS!

  • Goddess of the Hunt, Moon and protector of pregnant women and the young.
  • She asked her father Zeus to be a virgin forever.
  • Very independent and kept to herself.
  • Had complete authority over nature and gave fertility to places that worshipped her.
  • Loved to hunt with bow and arrows (usually the arrows would be dipped in poison.)
  • Responsible for the movement of the moon, across the night sky.
  • Has some healing powers like her twin brother Apollo.
  • Symbols: Bow and Pike
  • Tree: Cedar tree
  • Sacred animals: Snake, the Bear and the Deer.

1) APOLLO!  (Has to be my top favourite)

  • God of Music, Art, Prophecy and the Light.
  • Invented the Lute – a stringed instrument. However he became popular for his gift in playing the Lyre instrument. (Which looks a bit like a small harp…)
  • He often plays a Golden Lyre
  • Doesn’t lie.
  • Responsible for moving the sun across the Sky.
  • Owns the gift of Prophecy given to him by his father – Zeus.
  • Symbols: The Lyre, Laurel Tree, Tripod and the Navel Stone.
  • Plants: Laurel and the Myrtle
  • Sacred animals: The Wolf, Raven and Lizard. 

And just because it’s Valentines day…

APHRODITE!

  • Greek Goddess of Love, Beauty and Eternal Youth.
  • Her husband was Hephaestus God of Iron. But her heart belonged to Ares – God of War. Which she had a love affair with.
  • Famous children: According to mythology Aphrodite gave birth to our winged cherub – Cupid. Or Eros. He has two famous portrayals – one of an adult male, and the other perhaps more famously as the baby.
  • Connected to the life/death/re-birth of all things.
  • Symbols: Girdle, Seashell and the Mirror.
  • Sacred animal: The Dove.

There you have it, my top five plus a bonus treat. I hope you enjoyed reading? Who would your favourite Greek God be? There are so many to choose from!

Thanks for reading,

Until next time~

Photo: Found here; http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20091207054419/disney/images/b/b4/OlympusGates.jpg. Picture edited by me.

History: What Era?

Hello reader,

There are times, if you are into history where you think “I could have lived in that era.” Whether it’s from longing or the feeling that reincarnation might be true. Whatever the case, I feel my era could have been… The Victorian Era. Well that’s what always comes to mind… I mean – proper toilets, people sanitize your life.

However after much deliberation I have decided perhaps the Georgian Era is better suited to me. Here’s why:

It covers –  1714 – 1830 (sometimes extended to cover William IV reign, up until 1837 – depends on preference I suppose)

Not only is the main picture from my home town, and illustrated to portray this era but also this one: http://friarn.co.uk/Chubb/Chubbimages/quay.jpg – When you think – so much has changed and what would it be like to have been there? It’s quite interesting – well, if you are into history like myself.

They were big on making homes look fancy: I’m quite creative and love the prospect of having a well decorated home when I move out. The idea of “Harmony” and “Symmetry” in homes sounds beautiful. Having lots of space, good old-fashioned family homes. To oriental rugs, decent furniture and fireplaces.

– Of Gentlemen and Ladies: It’s hard to come across a proper old-fashioned gent’ these days. Or ladies for that matter. I’m not posh at all, and to prove it I will admit I am typing this with a onesie on and a blanket wrapped over me for good measure. I also haven’t brushed my hair yet today what? Anyways… It’s always nice to see proper manners. I am English, sure we get the whole “So polite” reputation. I am polite, yes. But not overly, get in my face and be warned. Bitches. So… Maybe this isn’t the best to go for since ladies were seen and not heard. Plus we were seen as fragile creatures needing the protection of men… but I don’t mind the idea of being a house wife. As silly as that sounds, I guess it’s the idea of having time to make pies. Cherry pie, is my favourite.

– Fashion: I don’t tend to like fashion now. It’s a bit rubbish if I’m honest I like to pick and choose what I wear. Free will and all that. But in the Georgian Era, the women got to wear nice simple dresses. Especially the “countryside” style ones towards the 1780’s. A lot better than the crazy big dresses that were made in the Victorian era (ain’t got time for that.) I don’t wear dresses often, but if I had to, those would be a good style to go for. – https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/55/87/f5/5587f5e1bc769f4ca1439708e4e4fcd0.jpg

– Food : In the Georgian Era things were picking up a little with food. Better cooking equipment and other things that contributed to being able to cook better foods. Most people started to get a better more adequate diet. I wouldn’t like to be a servant though, having to get up really early to do a big breakfast that wasn’t served until later on. Ugh. And because of this there was no regular lunch either. Food however started to look a bit more “modern” with roast and vegetables. Also, potatoes and tomatoes are being eaten now, so we are seeing a more balanced diet. People are becoming healthier. Except for the whole water situation. Try to stick to tea.. maybe, if I could afford it. Also people were starting to write cook books such as: Hannah Glasse – “Mother of the Modern Dinner Party.” A lot of things were becoming available and everything is on the up. http://www.advantour.com/img/georgia/georgian-cuisine/georgian-cuisine.jpg

I also like the kind of transportation: http://www.bridgwatertowncouncil.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/065-Bridgwater-and-Kilve-Royal-Mail.jpg

Although considering all the ins and outs of the Georgian Era, I would hope to be someone with wealth or had a good business. Because otherwise there was a good chance I’d die of poverty. Or go into surgery and never return. That being said, I do like the more modern era, as it’s more liberated, it is however very interesting to think “What if I lived in _____ era?”

What era would you have lived in, do you think?

Thanks for reading,

Until the next time ~

Picture from: http://friarn.co.uk/Chubb/index.htm

Fire and Ice

Hello again reader,

It’s that time of year again, where it gets frosty outside and the winter chill is creeping in. As we speak I have immersed myself into the depths of my blankets making me feel comfortable, safe and warm. I’d like to talk to you about the fires we make when it’s cold. Though it is to no surprise we prefer the warmth of a bed or the heat of a fire, I often wonder why many open fires in homes cease to exist anymore when we create them outside still.

Apart from the obvious dangers, open fires are a great source of warmth and though coal isn’t the cheapest material, there is lots of wood to go around. I stress that I do not condone the murder of tall mighty trees, and prefer that if you are going to use a tree as a living source you should replace that said tree. Or leave some so it may grow anew. I just wondered why we no longer take comfort in an open flame.

My home I would say is a traditional 1900’s building, built around the time of the war. It’s spacious enough for my family – as being the youngest sibling of six – it was very much welcomed. But what disappoints me the most in this house, is that the open fires have all been boarded up. There was a fireplace in each bedroom. In my room there’s still a remnant of the raised board underneath the carpet … which makes things a bit lopsided if you try to put anything there…And a constant reminder due to the internal chimney breast.

Though some houses still have the open fire it is rarely used. Other people opt. for the “look-alike” open fires, the electric ones. I personally don’t like them very much. Though I suppose it reduces the risk of house fires. Moreover I’ve noticed the culprit of the loss of open fires – central heating. Have you ever realised they never put open fireplaces in any new homes? New homes suck. But that’s another story. As much as it is heavenly to wake up toasty in the morning, in my family we rarely use the heating. Why? Cost. I much prefer to wrap up in cosy, snug blankets anyway.

I feel my first thoughts came to me a year or so ago and I only started to think about it again when I re-visited this place a week ago. This building stands tall in the humble countryside of Cannington. The open fire warmed my spirit, like nothing else has ever done before. I’m a sucker for tradition and an old soul at heart.

Later, my thoughts became harder to ignore as yesterday Bonfire Night came around. I spoke to my father about bonfires and he told me how he used to make his own out in the garden using anything he could find. (Things that no-one wanted anymore I should add.) Saying “Penny for the Guy” out in the street, of course this was to make a “Guy Fawkes” to burn later on that day. Simpler times.

It lead me to imagine myself making my own bonfire, I find beauty in the smaller things and could picture myself one day out in the garden with a bonfire going. On a clear starry night with the moon high above me, as if guarding or watching me in it’s celestial grace…

What you may or may not know about bonfire night is how it is supposed to commemorate Guy Fawkes’ failure on blowing up the houses of parliament. For others it’s slightly different that perhaps involves the battle of Boyne in 1690. However I’m focusing my attentions to Guy Fawkes for the time being. The history around Guy Fawkes is that he was arrested after planting explosives under the House of Lords in 1605. The people celebrated King James I survival by lighting bonfires around London. Later on in 1606 the Act of November 5th was put in place, where we would give thanks to the traitors failure. A little weird… But I guess everyone likes a party.

You may recall the famous poem written around 1870:

Remember, remember!
The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!

The poem goes onto say about what happened which you can read here: http://www.potw.org/archive/potw405.html. This is said to make sure new generations do not forget the treason that happened all those years ago, so they may carry on the tradition of Bonfire Night. Although I wouldn’t want to burn a “Guy Fawkes” myself… Just seems wrong to me. I would, however fully appreciate a nice warm bonfire to take away the midnight chill.

To conclude, fires are a great source of warmth at this time of year. So if you are planning to make any sort of fire; be it a campfire, bonfire or burning wood/coal in an open fireplace… Please stay safe when making these fires and with setting off fireworks.

Added note:  I’d like to take a minute to remember those people who have been injured or have had fatal injuries. For instance, the two people who have been killed in a firework incident this month in Stafford, UK… Rest in Peace.

Until the next time.