10 July, 2011

The Goddess And The Crows

crow eating
This morning we were walking by the river in Truro, Cornwall when we came across lots of crows living in the tall trees by the water. That's one of the Truro crows above. I snapped a photo of him as he was taking a snack.

A man was walking along the river bank picking up black feathers which the crows had lost. He had dozens of them. You may have read in past posts that I don't like black feathers as sometimes I think they indicate bad luck. In this case, however, I didn't think there was any meaning to the crows because their nests were in the trees and this was their home turf. They and their feathers were in the rightful place.

There is, however, in Greek mythology a reason given as to why crows are black. According to the legend they were originally white. This is the story:

The god Hephaistos must have had human like qualities because he lusted after the goddess Athena. To try and have his evil way with her, he tricked her into being alone with him. He then, to put it politely, was full of desire for Athena.

Unfortunately for him his act of passion wasn't completed and his seed fell to the ground. Athena kept her virtue but Mother Earth conceived Hephaistos's child.

When born the poor child was very ugly with a serpent's tail instead of legs. He looked half boy and half snake. The baby was given to King Kekrop's daughters to bring up, but they had instructions never to look at him - which must have made child care a little difficult.

King's daughters being what they are, they decided to take a peek at the baby. The sight of the child drove them mad. So much so they felt compelled to hurl themselves off the summit of the Acropolis.

No I haven't forgotten the crows!

A crow, who just happened to be Athena's favourite bird in all the world, told her about the bad news of the King's daughters. Athena was actually still building the Acropolis at the time. She was so shocked by the story that she dropped a huge boulder she happened to be holding. The stone can still be seen today as Mount Lykabettos.

Athena was all shook up about the news and also for dropping the boulder. She decided to take action against the crow and crows in general.

Athena banned all crows from the Acropolis forever and she turned their feathers black.

Never make a goddess drop anything as you never know what the outcome might be.

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6 comments:

  1. nice photo. crows look v.scary with the big beaks. haven't heard that story about crows being black before so interesting

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  2. Wow, this crow's beak looks long! Love the story about why these guys are black - and your moral to the tale!

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  3. This chap is a rook :)

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  4. Mike, I have always loved these stories......this one is no exception. Wonderful read..

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  5. wonderful story of athena - and actually one that i just recently re-read - particularly interesting to me in light of my own also recent experience with 3 crows - and in answer again to your indecision as to my individual goddess status, aside from the true snippet/comment over at synchronicity, just yesterday, my 5 year old grandson, in answer to my having said thank you to him for a little something he had done, responded to me, "oh, you're welcome, your highness" - now, let me tell you that i have absolutely no clue whatsoever as to how or why he responded in that way - but, i can tell you that no one will stand near when i have even a pebble in my hand - just sayin'........

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  6. I gotta say I loved the story and the picture.

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