This is a picture from my book
The ancient Pharaoh called Seti I worshipped the Apis bull, which they also linked to the constellations in the deep blue heavens. There are many cows and bulls in ancient Egypt, which were worshipped for each their reason.
The Heavenly Cow
The Apis bull is linked to the Egyptian god Ptah, and the bull had a special place in Ptah’s temple, just south from his temple.
It was said that the Apis bull was born of a virgin cow that had been impregnated by the god Ptah.
At the beginning of Egyptian mythology we find the Apis bulls as being a son of Ptah, but up towards the Greek invasions this changed to, the Apis bull being a representation of Ptah himself.
In ancient Egypt the Apis bull had a unique look; It was black with a triangular spot of white on its forehead, and various markings on its body.
According to the pyramid texts and the book of the dead, the beautiful and divine bull was worshipped at Sais and Athribis in the Delta, among other places. The bull was also viewed as an important oracle.
The Old writer Herodotus wrote;
that when the bull reached the age of 25, it was scarified (killed) with a great ceremony. It was then embalmed and buried in a great granite sarcophagus, where some weighed up to 70 tons.
-Now it should be understood that the Apis bull does not symbolize the constellation in itself, it is a much deeper level of history and mythology linked together, which make up all these extra characters.
Greek: In some old Greek myths, this constellation was seen as Zeus in a Bulls disguise. One old myth, Zeus is said to fall in love with the beautiful Europe (she was the daughter of the Phoenician king Agenor). One day when Europe was visiting a water stream, she took notice of a beautiful white bull – it was Zeus in disguise.
Painted by Gustave Moreau around 1869
Hesperides Atlas' Daughters - The Pleiades:- Updated 3 June 2007
The seven sisters located inside Taurus’ shoulder (as the image above shows) are actually Atlas’ daughters, also called the Hesperides. The Hesperides are seen as virgin Nymphs which tended to a beautiful garden located near the Atlas Mountains in Libya. Their names are Aegle ("dazzling light"), Arethusa, Erytheia (or Erytheis), Hesperia (alternatively Hespereia, Hespere, Hespera, Hesperusa, or Hesperethoosa). Lipara, Asterope and Chrysothemis.
According to the Sicilian Greek poet Stesichorus, in his poem the "Song of Geryon", and the Greek geographer Strabo, in his book Geographika (volume III), the Hesperides are in Tartessos, a location placed in the south of Iberia (Spain). The Euboean Greek poet Hesiod said that the ancient name of Cádiz was Erytheia, another name for the Hesperides. Others situate the gardens of Hesperides in the region located between Tangier (formerly Tinjis) and Larache in Morocco. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The Garden of the Hesperides by
Frederick, Lord Leighton, 1892
Back in the oldest of the Greeks days, Zeus was getting married to Hera, and all the gods gathered to celebrate their marriage and give them gifts.
The Earth goddess called Gaia gave Hera the most beautiful tree on Earth filled with golden apples. It was the tree of the immortals and thus the owner would be immortal. But the tree stood in a country fare away, where it was guarded by 4 (or three) virgins called the Hesperides and a dragon with hundreds of heads.
Because Hercules was a slave worker but also a mighty hero, he was chosen to retrieve the golden apples.
[Some extra information: Zeus and Hera are Olympian gods, and they are not able to do things, in the terms that we know it. So they have the Titans, whom are the Olympians slaves. The Titans live in the real world, and can affect humans with their mere presences, but in turn they posses no ‘Will’, which is why we refer to them as slaves. Let me parallel it to the Christians (and other) beliefs systems (I truly hope that I offend none of my fellow human beings.): We foremost have the supreme Essen’s, which in this case is then attributed to ’God’. He is all powerful and all perfect, he is creation and he is destruction, he is in everything created. Yet here comes the paradox; Even thou ‘God’ is all powerful and perfect in every religion, he apparently only created himself by himself. - In Christianity he has the four arch angles (there might have been 7 or 8 angels in total, but the four first are closer to ‘God’ hereby they automatically contain more power.) ‘God’ the almighty also needed mankind to create his story (or said with the old words; to write his words down). The angels have no ‘will’ (this is exactly what Lucifer the fallen angel realized and hereby he automatically became powerless and fell to Earth. His own realization cost his position as an angel). The sole reason for the angels existents is to perform ‘Gods’ ‘Will’, hereby making the angels a sort of slave for ‘God’ (-Now I very well understand how some people might read this, and no I am not Pagan (if anyone really is..?) or something like that. This is only an observation (and I can defiantly be wrong in such). But this was to show you the paradox, which ‘Gods’ Live in or an angel lives in - And in the case of the Olympian Gods and the Titans existents. Ergo a Paradox - Like life in itself. -
This was only to explain ‘why’ Hercules was the one to retrieve the golden apples, - Hercules is half man and half God which made him capable of being functional in the real world, unlike the Gods.
From the Book that I have Dating from 1888
This is from the old German manuscripts, that I mentioned in the last post, were translated into Danish, published in 1888;
In this version Zeus and Hera are married, and like above Gaia gives Hera the tree with the golden Apples. So Hercules is summand to retrieve them, but unfortunately Hercules doesn’t know where the Hesperides lived. But he knew that Atlas was the father of the Hesperides, and that he might help him, so he went to Libyan where Atlas lived.
Atlas, whom had the hard burden of carrying the Earth on his shoulders, would not give Hercules the information about his daughters.But Atlas suggested that he him self could retrieve the golden apples, if Hercules in return would carry the Earth meanwhile. Hercules agreed, and took the burden of the world upon his shoulders.
Atlas went to the fare away country where the gardens were, there he made the dragon fall asleep and killed it. Atlas then returned with the golden apples, but being free of the burdens, he rejected to take them back.
Hercules could not let the Earth fall, and he defiantly could not fight Atlas, so he was left to using his wit.
Hercules said to Atlas; “I shall do as you please, but my neck and my back is not use to carrying burdens, I shall let the Earth press my head in, and quickly raise my head again, so I might be able to hold the Earth”. Atlas believed Hercules’ words, and took the Burdens back upon his shoulders. Hercules then took the golden apples and returned.
- End of version nr. 1
This is a relief of Hercules holding the Earth, behind him stands Athene,and Atlas is giving the apples to Hercules. Dating from around 460 B.C
It was Hercules last work assignment to retrieve the golden apples. In this version it is Hercules himself that goes to the fare away country, there he slays the dragon, and thereafter he returns with the apples. The picture above from 1888 is an illustration of this version. - Like other people have noted, these two versions does not exclude each other.
Their name means ‘The Rainy Ones’ and they are a sisterhood of nymphs, that brought all shorts of rain (they disappear from mythology when the Romans took over, who changed things out of order).
The different kinds of rainy weather in the world were linked with the sisterhood's tears, and their weeping.
Hyas was their brother, one thing seems very sure in this story, and that is that Hyas dies – but there are many different versions as to how he dies. He is also seen as their father sometimes, but he has no other affect in the old mythology.
I found it quit interesting searching for Hyas’ sisters, and see how they were linked together. And I must admit this part was a little bit confusing, merely because of old authors small mistakes, like; One book I found the writer states that Hercules had a young lover when he sailed on the magical ship Argo. But this it itself cannot be true, because Hercules has died when Argo takes on his journeys, and other myth clearly states that Jason was the young man whom traveled with Argo. So this writer is making his own version which seems based only on his own thoughts, and not the common view (which is perfectly alright, but it can mislead).
When Jason leaves with the ship called Argo, Hercules had long been gone from the real life stories, but his spirit had been raised by Zeus to the levels of the Olympian gods.
[It is at this point that some authors say that Hercules and his young favorite are lovers, which is absurd if Hercules is among the Olympian gods. I personally believe that such a thought must come from the poets mind, because they usually describe through imagery letters and words – especially the very old ones. But logically they could not be lovers, because Hercules is an Olympian Spirit.]
But the ship Argo was a magical ship with all the hero’s, and Hercules was one of these great Hero’s.
From the book dated to 1888 it states;
That when the ship Argo at one point rested by shore, Hyas and the others went out for drinking water. Everyone returned except for Hyas, which made Hercules very worried.
Hercules then goes to look for him, and in this version the ship leaves without him. Hyas had found a water stream, where he began filling a bucket.
The streams nymphs goddess quickly fell in love with the young boys beauty, so they took him to be with them forever.
This myth have very different ‘plots’, where again one does not exclude the other.
Hyas is supposedly ‘lost’ on the first island that the ship docks at. In other versions, this island is filled with women only, because they had killed all the men (sounds much like the old amazons).
They are said to have rested for one year on this island, before they traveled onwards.
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