Blogging Mortality

Unfortunately my blog is not immortal.

It has an ending, and yes, that ending has come. I do have to say that it has been a pleasure and  a challenge learning about Greek mythology the last few months. I certainly feel like I am ready to take on any middle school Greek God quiz you could throw my way. However please don’t. I am about to graduate from college. I’m not taking another quiz for a long long time… except maybe a Buzzfeed Quiz or two. I can’t help it.

From the very beginning I said that Dionysus was my favorite god. I am still standing by that choice. He’s pretty awesome.

But now I know that there are a lot of amazing myths out there. If I have any advice for people who enjoy Greek mythology… it would be this. Do not believe everything that you see in the movies. Mythology can be twisted and altered in order to make good cinema. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but before you jump to conclusions about any myth, take a second to do some research. You may be surprised as to what you’ll find.

For those of you who have been paying attention to my blog, thank you. For all of you who haven’t been reading… have fun with Hades.

And don’t forget…

 herc

 

Stay strong people.

XOXO,

Tiff

“I Have No Idea”

A few weeks ago I wrote a post on the teaching of Greek Mythology in middle schools. In the end I came to the conclusion that it is a cool subject to learn, and students can take a lot from it if taught correctly.

However, this got me thinking.

Before writing this blog I’m not sure how many of these myths I would have remembered from my middle school years. So let’s find out how much my roommates remember. If they don’t remember a lot then does this mean that the subject went to waste in middle school? Maybe… maybe not, but before we jump to conclusions here is the interview.

Name as many of the 12 Olympian gods as you can.

Ashley: Zeus, um uh Athena, Aphrodite, Hades… no maybe, Atlas wait was that the guy who held the world in his hand? Hermes, Poseidon. Pandora. Apollo.

Stef: Zeus, Athena, Hercules, I don’t know.

Gina: Zeus, Hermes, Hercules, Aphrodite, Poseidon…

  • Answer: Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Hephaestus, Hermes, Hestia, Dionysus

What is Athena known for?

Ashley: Athena…. Athens? Was it love slash… No that was Aphrodite. I have no idea.

Stef: Mom, is she the mom? Sexual?

Gina: She’s known for war.

  • Answer: Goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, just warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill.

Who is the wife of Zeus?

Ashley: I know this one. Hera.

Stef: Isn’t it like his sister?

Gina: Aphrodite…

  • Answer: Hera

Who is the messenger god?

Ashley: Um hmm

Stef: What the heck these questions are so hard. I don’t know.

Gina: Oh um… Hermes.

  • Answer: Hermes

Which god is known for her beauty?

Ashley: Athena

Stef: …

Gina: It’s Aphrodite… wait no Athena. It’s Athena.

  • Answer: Aphrodite

What was your favorite part about learning about Greek Mythology?

Ashley: We learned about that in middle school?

Stef: I thought it was outrageous. Shit’s not real.

Gina: Greek mythology was tied in with the olympics and I thought that was cool. Also the food. We had a Greek food day.

So I’m not exactly sure what these results say about the middle school teachings of Greek Mythology, but it does say that my roommates have terrible memory’s. They all insisted that Hercules was an Olympian God. I think Disney has really punched that myth into their heads.

I was surprised that they struggled with some of these. I thought that Hermes as the messenger god was going to be a no-brainer, but they had a hard time with it! Two out of the three seemed to have enjoyed this subject, but like a lot of things you learn in middle school… the facts just didn’t stick.

 

The 5 Greek Gods You’ll Meet In College

Greek Gods are everywhere! You just have to look around. See? Right over there… it’s Apollo… Smoking a hookah and playing a ukelele under that tree.

1. Aphrodite – That girl who always looks better than you

Make Up

Make Up (Photo credit: re_)

You can’t miss an Aphrodite. Mainly because she leaves a plume of perfume behind as she walks by you. Aphrodite can be found in your dorm bathroom. She’s staring at herself, but don’t get her confused with Narcissus. Aphrodite is just making sure her makeup is perfect, and that her curls are falling just right. She’s also probably applying a self tanner, and making sure that there is absolutely no room for you to wash your hands. Aphrodite has her makeup bags spread out across the entire bathroom. However, don’t hate her, you’ll need something from her closet this weekend.

2. Ares – The aggressive drunk guy

Saturday night's all right for fighting

Saturday night’s all right for fighting (Photo credit: badjonni)

If you’re out at the bar, watch out for Ares. He’s had way too many, and he will definitely end up fighting someone in the bathroom. Ares likes conflict, and he’s oddly good at pissing people off. If you’re a guy and you don’t know an Ares… then you’re probably him. The bouncers hate him, and the women fear his drunken wrath. Ares, here’s a message from the rest of us- figure out your limit and stop beating up our boyfriends.

3. Athena – The perfect girl in class

smart girlOh Athena, how we all loathe having class with you. Athena shows up in workout gear… looking perfectly in shape of course, and she knows all the answers. How can someone be so athletic and smart at the same time? Athena probably just went on a 6 mile sprint, but you would never know it. She’s ready for class, and she probably already read the whole book. If you have a class with Athena do not, I repeat do not try to outsmart this girl. This is her class now.

4. Hermes – The gossip

Chuck Bass

Chuck Bass (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Need some advice, but don’t care about all of your secrets being revealed to everyone? Go to Hermes. Hermes knows it all and he’s involved in everyone’s life. He’s wickedly popular because even though no one wants to admit it, we love gossiping and he’s the perfect person to do it with. Truthfully you’ve probably hated this person at one point in your college career because he told Stacy what you said about her outfit yesterday, but all your anger disappears when he dishes to you what went down that weekend you were out of town. Hermes… we hate to love you.

5. Zeus – The guy you need to know

popular guyWhat would your university be without Zeus? Hopefully he’s your best friend. If he’s not then you probably wish he was. Zeus lives off campus, but still manages to run the show back at school. He throws the best parties even though you don’t remember most of them. Now, there is not necessarily just one Zeus on campus. Every group has a Zeus and needs a Zeus. Where else would you party?!

And you probably think that you’re Hercules or Hera, but let’s be real. You’re probably Hestia… the most boring God of all.

bored

To find out more people you’ll meet in college, check this out!

https://twitter.com/TiffMurr21/status/459037730673262592

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Gettin’ Jiggy with the Gods

Symbolism shows up a lot in music so it comes as no surprise to me that Greek mythology is often utilized in lyrical writing. Do I necessarily love this trend? Not exactly, but it is interesting to read these lyrics after all of the time that I have spent lately getting to know these characters of Greece.

So, let’s take a look at a few of these songs.

First up we have “Hercules” by Sara Bareilles. I had never heard of this song. I’m going to go and listen to it right now.

Ok I’m back. Interesting. I am not a huge fan of the song, but her ties to Greek mythology are pretty cool. The song sounds very Bareilles-ee. If you have ever heard any of her music then you will know what I mean by this. In an interview with VH1 Sara says that when she was writing this song she wanted to think of something that was strong, and she ended up with Hercules.

I guess she could not get stronger than that!

“Cause I have sent for a warrior
From on my knees, make me a Hercules
I was meant to be a warrior please
Make me a Hercules”

These lyrics make me think that she is talking about a time when she is really down, or feeling weak. And she is just hoping and praying to become stronger, and that’s why she says, “Make me a Hercules.” Hercules is considered the divine hero so I think she chose correctly. I do however think that the song is a bit boring. I’m going to say that Hercules deserves a more exciting song. He would not approve.

Next up we have one of my favorite songs. “She’s So High,” by Tal Bachman. I don’t need to go and listen to that song… but I am definitely going to.

This song does not exactly scream “Greek Mythology” like Hercules does, but it does make a slight reference in the chorus.

“Cause she’s so high… 
High above me, she’s so lovely 
She’s so high… 
Like Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, or Aphrodite 
She’s so high… 
High above me”

In this lovely one hit wonder Bachman is talking about a girl who he is very interested in, but it sounds like she in on another level than he is. She is wealthy, beautiful, and it does not seem like Bachman feels like he stands a real chance. He compares her to Aphrodite, which I had never noticed before I started this blog. It seems like Greek-everything is standing out to me now!

In Aphrodite’s myth… she is the Goddess of love and war. I guess the love part is why Bachman made the reference. However, something could be said about the fact that she is also believed to have started the Trojan War. Bachman’s love interest must have been quite the lady.

One article on the Goddess says, “Aphrodite involved herself on several noteworthy occasions with the affairs of mortal heroes. Could it be that Bachman is comparing himself to a mortal? If that is the case then he is also hoping that “Aphrodite” will give him a chance.

Come on Aphrodite! Give him a chance!

Moving forward now. I have found that Greek mythology has done more than just affect the songs we listen to. It has even played a part in where we listen to music. In an article online I found that Greek mythology can be found in a lot of the language we use today. For example, the Apollo Theater.

“According to the online article, ‘Mythology In Modern Business,’ the god of music, light, and male beauty is the namesake for the popular New York City Music Hall, the Apollo Theater.”

I never even thought about the name of that theater, but it is completely appropriate for it to have been named after Apollo. If you remember an earlier post of mine I talked about the relationship between Apollo and Hermes (brothers). Apollo ends up trading Hermes all of his cattle for a few instruments. This is a God who really likes to get his groove on!

Do any of you have a favorite song related to the toga wearers? Or do you have a Greek reference you’d like to share? If you don’t… here are 100 references to get you thinking.

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Oh Hera

Hey there,

I’m Sam, writer of Action Jackson and Marveled Mommy. I’m here as a guest writer on Tossing The Greek Salad. Today I want to talk about the great Goddess Hera.

“Oh Hera, Hera, Hera.”

I feel like she is one of the most strong and unique goddesses ever… probably because of the fact that she resembles everything single-mommy-hood is all about in all its glory.

Hera has managed to keep her godly good looks and be a mother of three strong, powerful gods that all look to her when in need.

In Greek mythology, Hera was the reigning female goddess of Olympus because she was Zeus’s wife. But her worship is actually far older than that of her husband. It goes back to a time when the creative force we call “God” was conceived of as a woman. The goddess took many forms, among them, that of a bird.

This chick knew how to throw down and did it in style even before it was considered cool.

Hera was worshipped throughout Greece, and the oldest and most important temples were in honor of her. Her subjugation to Zeus and depiction as a jealous shrew are mythological reflections of one of the most profound changes ever in human spirituality.

This is a god after my own heart. She is far older then her husband Zeus, and even at some point in time she was considered to be far more powerful as well.

Hera was so hot in her day that Zeus actually had to trick her into marrying him. He transformed himself into a wounded bird, and Hera, feeling sorry for the creature took pity on it and held the bird up to her breast. Zeus then transformed back into himself and raped her. Concealing her guilt and shame she married Zeus to cover up the embarrassment.

Now, I don’t agree with rape whatsoever, but Hera certainly turned this negative into a positive… she’s now married to the most powerful god. This Goddess has proved time an time again that she was in charge for a reason and she did well to make sure everyone remembered that.

Image

Man’s Best Friend

English: Pegasus on roof of Poznań Opera House

English: Pegasus on roof of Poznań Opera House (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the Gods a dog just won’t do. They need something much more magical. In this case it’s Pegasus. The flying winged horse. I’ve always heard about this guy, but I had no idea that he had a backstory, or should I say back-myth.

Let me tell you about it. Pegasus is not just a horse… he is actually a son. This is what may surprise you. He is the son of Medusa and Poseidon. There is a lot more to their myth (that’s for another day), but apparently Perseus, the son of Poseidon, killed Medusa by chopping off her head. It was in that blood from her head where Pegasus was made.

As you may have come to realize, there are a lot of versions of these myths. In another version Zeus made the foam from the sea join with the blood from Medusa to make Pegasus. Either way, his birth is very interesting considering neither Poseidon nor Medusa are horses.

Weird.

So after his birth he was raised on Mount Helicon by the Muses… one of them being Urania. It would seem as though she really cared about Pegasus. She saw that he was going to do great things.

However, one day he was taken from them by Bellerophontes. So mean if you ask me! I am really seeing Pegasus as some sort of pet dog, I can’t help it. So to see that someone would steal him from his “owners” is absolutely terrible! Don’t you think? I will have to look up more about  Bellerophontes because she sounds terrible.

In the end though Pegasus wound up on Mount Olympus with the man, the myth, the legend… Zeus. And he stayed on the mountain with Zeus and with the Muses until the very end of his life.

Of course… he is one with the Gods so there can’t be a real “end” to his life. Zeus must have really cared about Pegasus. So he gave him immortality in the form of a constellation. Pegasus is now a group of stars in the sky.

I had no idea that Pegasus was not immortal, but I’m happy that Zeus gave him a certain kind of immortality. Stars.

It’s very fitting.

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Zero to Hero

As a college senior there are plenty of times when I feel down in the dumps. I don’t want to graduate, life is scary, don’t make me grow up. You get the picture. My roommates are dealing with the same feelings. It’s nice to live around people who you can relate to. They are also my best friends.

Well, we have finally found a way to cheer ourselves up whenever we need it, and of course it has a little something to do with Greek Mythology.

Hercules.

I may have bashed that movie a tiny bit in an earlier post of mine, but I can’t deny that I’m a fan. Sometimes all you need is a good Disney movie to sing along to. For us… Hercules is the perfect option.

The gospel music alone is enough to bring anybody’s spirits up. But my favorite is “Go the Distance.” Wow I actually just looked up that song and I see that Michael Bolton sings it. I had no idea! Anyways, my roommate Gina is a big fan of “Zero to Hero.”

“He was a nothin’
A zero, zero
Now he’s a honcho
He’s a hero”

Hearing her sing along is absolutely hilarious. I love it. I guess the reason why this movie is such a mood changer is because of this song. It kind of encompasses the entire film. Hercules starts off as a regular mortal, and he works hard to become a hero! That could relate to us in so many different ways. We may only be college students right now, but soon enough we will have to get careers and in those careers we will hopefully make a difference.

I think that anybody who goes off to have a career that benefits society can be considered a hero… just like Hercules.

Easter, or should I say Eostra?

English: Easter eggs Deutsch: Osterreier im ge...

English: Easter eggs Deutsch: Osterreier im gepflochtenen Osterkorb mit Osterglocke (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As many of you probably know, Christianity is known as the hub religion for Easter. However, there is of course, more to this holiday than meets the eye. This is a very similar holiday situation to my post on Cupid for Valentines Day.

Let’s begin with Easter eggs. These actually got their start with the Greeks. They used to dye their eggs different colors and then eat them as part of their springtime feasts. This is a tad different from what we do today with our eggs, but it’s funny to see the similarities. Today we tend to drain the eggs so there is no yolk inside, but we certainly still do color them!

Now let’s get even more Greeky. The name Easter. Where did it come from? Well, as one blogger explains, the word Easter came from the Greek Goddess of fertility, Eostra.

“The worship of this goddess was so ingrained in the Greek culture (along with the two days of feasting and celebration that occurred every spring) that the Roman Catholic church decided to adopt some of its customs, give it a little name change and associate it with the resurrection of Christ. Your “mind brakes” might be screeching about now, but think about it: the word “Easter” isn’t anywhere in the Bible. It had to come from somewhere!”

I would have had no idea! I may not be a very religious person, but to hear that such a Christian holiday has such an unusual background is pretty shocking.

But it gets more shocking. She goes on to say that the reason little girls wear white dresses during this holiday is because of a cult! Apparently there was a cult that worshipped Eostra and they wore white dresses as a symbol of fertility, and it has made its way to us in present day. So weird.

Also while we are on the topic of cults… you have to watch “The Following.” It’s amazing, and it gives me anxiety, but I don’t even care because it’s that good.

Anyways, yes it’s clear to me that this is another holiday with a Greek background. I have to ask though, what do you guys think of this? Does it surprise you anymore to find out that this holiday comes from a Greek Goddess?

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How the stars align

I wish I looked at the stars in the same way that the Greeks did. Don’t get me wrong, I see their beauty, but I also see them through the eyes of a scientist (I am not a scientist). To me they are balls of fire, too far away for me to reach, and that frustrates me.

The Greeks, on the other hand, see them as so much more than a pretty picture.

Another WordPress blogger explains how Greeks view the stars.

“The Greeks viewed the five known planets as representations of gods, and the sky itself was said to be a giant dome resting on the shoulders of the great Titan Atlas. The stars represented objects, and later stories, until finally they were viewed as the actual spiritual representations of heroes and gods, fusing astronomy and religion together.”

I think that’s pretty awesome. They already have these amazing myths so why not match them up with the stars in the sky? It’s pretty incredible to think that they were even able to map out the stars in general. I struggle to find the big and little dipper on a nightly basis so to read about their stories in the sky blows my mind.

Stars. Constellations. Planets. I guess when you are living without iPhone technology… the only thing left to do is make the night sky your entertainment.