Today, on the occasion of the launch of the Andromeda collection, I am going to talk about myths, which ironically, although it is the great inspiration of the collections, we have not analyzed one by one. And the truth is that they continue to guide our culture, which drinks so much of this now considered “literature”, and at the same time is sadly unknown by most people.
Although you surely understand the phrase “better not open Pandora’s box”, it is not so common to know the stories behind the names of constellations, galaxies or stars.
Andromeda was a princess of Ethiopia, daughter of Ephesus and Cassiopeia.
We begin the story with the “typical” jealousy between women. Just so you can see that the discourse that women are bad with women comes from afar. How tairing…
That if Cassiopeia was very pretty, and the deities were not amused by that, that Poseidon was easily irritable and the Nereids had him to the scales talking about the queen. That if I am the master and I have powers, then I flood the earth and I send you a monster that eats cattle and whom it catches confused or slow.
Yes, in ancient times, when a nation suffered a natural disaster, the most logical idea was that a goddess was jealous of the beauty of the queen and that there was a monster on the loose, overwhelming logic part 1.
As in any story of kings and princesses, there is an oracle. He tells Andromeda‘s father that the best way to appease the monster and Poseidon is to sacrifice his own daughter. So one good day (well, not for her), they chain her up for the monster to eat her. Because that she was so good that that the monster will be happy with the feast. Overwhelming logic part 2.
There are other versions of the myth, such as it was Cassiopeia who boasted of the beauty of her daughter Andromeda. And that is why misery hung over the daughter. It would be something more logical, within these overwhelming logics.
Perseus was flying around with his winged horse, Pegasus, and the head of poor Medusa – a raped and condemned woman who ends up being the “bad one”. I’ll tell you about her in another post.- He sees Andromeda and say to hirself: “How beautiful, what a waste if the monster eats her”
So Perseus looks for the kings and there he goes to talk to them. He explains to them who he is, that he is a hero, that he has a horse with wings and the head of a gorgon and that if they promise to keep Andromeda‘s hand to him, he will take care of the monster.
Yes, this story is about a poor girl who is about to being eaten and meanwhile “her hero” and her parents are bargaining. And they have told it to us as a love story and described Perseus as a majestic hero.
Seen like this, he is not such a hero, first conditions, in case of he kills the monster for nothing.
Let’s see, it was clear that the idea of sacrificing the girl and hoping that the oracle was right, it was not a safe bet. Let a warrior with a proven resume and a winged horse take charge, as the issue had more chances to be resolved positively for the kingdom. For Andromeda, well, better a hero with a flying horse included, than to be eaten. So the kings say yes, of course.
Perseus, who did not have a hair as a fool, was smart, turned the monster into stone with the head of Medusa. For those who are not very focused on mythology, looking into Medusa’s eyes turned you into stone, not because of she was ugly, as it is misunderstood in the collective imagination, but because she had a curse on her. With the head of the bewitched woman killed by himself, he saves Andromeda in exchange for taking her with him. But it wasn’t that easy, because Cassiopeia had already promised Andromeda to her uncle Phineus. Another killed with the head of Medusa. I have already said that Perseus was very clever and we leave the honorable fights to other heroes. This one was more of advanced mystical technologies, horses equipped with wings, etc.
Perseus takes Andromeda to the Argos region and we hope they will end up falling deeply in love, because they had a daughter and six sons, who were nicknamed the Perseids. This is how they have told us the story, because it seems that Andromeda was the one who asked the goddess Athena to place her with her husband, Perseus, upon her death. And so they are together on the celestial map.
You see, in this story we have the names of four constellations: Pegasus, Perseus, Cassiopeia and Andromeda. And a phenomenon that occurs every summer, the meteor shower known as the Perseids.
And now I suppose you’re wondering, why has she chosen such a sexist story to inspire this collection? First of all, what myth of our culture is not sexist, at least a little bit? Well, precisely because of that, because few people have reviewed these stories with a female perspective and because the Andromeda story has always seemed important to me, fascinating from a sociological point of view. The story of the maiden in distress, that she must fall in love with her savior yes or yes. The story that perhaps gives rise to the “caker”. Because of course, (ironic mode on) if a man helps you, you have to give yourself in return, because as a passive and amorous being, well, how can you not be like Andromeda? Overwhelming logic part 3.
The danger of stories is this, that sometimes they have no moral of a fable, or each one understands the teaching that best suits to their interest.
It is precisely in the review of these myths, where I find a way to pay an tribute to ourselves.
This is a story engraved in our collective imagination, in our Mediterranean culture that spreads to the entire Western world. So when working with the first beach pebble prints, I thought that this is one of the myths that we have most unconsciously recorded.
There are stories in heaven, handed down a long time ago, perhaps too long.
I hope you liked the post and that at least you had a laugh in this sea of wild routine. Let’s laugh a lot and keep telling stories. You can share this one if you found it interesting.
You know what? I would be very happy if you can tell me a story yourself, so don’t be shy and comment whatever you want!
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