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Hera's "shrewish" depiction

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Hera's "shrewish" depiction

Post  cypris on Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:33 pm

I've been trying to foster a better connection with Hera, but apart from the Argonauts, I'm having trouble finding ancient sources that depict her in a positive light. I also don't know what to do with all the myths that depict her as shrewish and cruel. Should I just chalk them all up to misogynistic Greek men using Hera to slag off their wives? It's frustrating that they're probably aren't any surviving perspectives on her from women for balance.

Any thoughts?

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Re: Hera's "shrewish" depiction

Post  Erodius on Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:10 pm

cypris wrote:I've been trying to foster a better connection with Hera, but apart from the Argonauts, I'm having trouble finding ancient sources that depict her in a positive light. I also don't know what to do with all the myths that depict her as shrewish and cruel. Should I just chalk them all up to misogynistic Greek men using Hera to slag off their wives? It's frustrating that they're probably aren't any surviving perspectives on her from women for balance.

Any thoughts?

One needs only take a step back to look at the broader picture – consider the end results of the goddess' 'torments': the feats and deification of Heracles, the testing of Aeneas and founding of Rome, the pacification of the Titans in Orphism, the wanderings of Io to give rise to the Cadmean line, et al.

To speak from the perspective of Orphism:
"Hēra is often depicted in the mythology as an angry wife, defending her marriage against what is described as Zeus' infidelity. She pursues and torments the objects of her husband's advances, including the resulting offspring, most famously Heracles. While the mythology constructs a negative impression of the goddess, her majesty and greatness of soul are ineffably prodigious. Do not be fooled by the superficial story, for hidden within the mythology is a deeper meaning. When Hēra pursues and torments various figures and heroes, she is pushing them to greatness and their souls to glory, for her ability in this regard is abundant."

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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