Showing posts with label Atalanta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Atalanta. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Artemis Still Sends Bears To Protect Children (True Stories)

As many of us know, stories about children being saved by bears goes all the way back to the ancient Greek tale of the renowned Heroine Atalanta. To briefly recall, She was abandoned in the woods as an infant because Her father wanted a boy. But Artemis sent a mother bear to care for and raise the baby, who grew into the amazing Huntress we know of today in our myths and prayers. In some versions, it says hunters, also servants of Artemis, were the ones who found Atalanta, but the tale of the bear stands strong and unique among modern readers. However, what many people don't know is that Artemis has continued to send these powerful and deadly creatures to guard, protect and save the weakest and most vulnerable in Her forests. Such goes against the nature of these animals, obviously, but the Gods are, in part, the consciousness of the universe and can do, change or modify anything. Over the years. I have had the privilege of coming across many wonderful tales that occurred well into the Common Era.

Sarah Whitcher (June 1783)
Sarah was a four year old from Warren, New Hampshire who became separated from her family and lost in the woods one day while her parents were away. Search groups eventually came across her tracks at a place called Berry Brook, but also the tracks of a large bear directly behind her. They feared her dead because of this discovery. However, after four days, she was located alive and well, and on into adulthood, told the story of how a bear had come and protected her while she was lost. A book was later written about it called History of Warren: A Mountain Hamlet Located Along The White Hills of New Hampshire.

Ida Mae Curtis (1955)
Ida went missing in the Kootenai National Forest, Montana, when she was two years old. For two days she was lost in the woodlands under severe weather conditions. When she was found alive and well, she said a bear had guarded and cared for her the entire time.

Casey Hathaway (2019)
Casey was three years old when he went missing in the woods of North Carolina near his grandmother's house. Even the US Marines joined the search. After he was found alive and well days later, he told the story of a friendly bear who accompanied him while he was lost in the wilderness.

Even the strongest of skeptics cannot deny how unlikely it is for three children from different time periods to become lost in three different woodlands and describe the same survival story. My own son's life of miracles, as many know, doesn't involve being lost in the woods. Rather, he was in a NICU bed for over one hundred days, but I still have the picture of Artemis (among others of Apollon and Athena) that I placed on the windows of his incubator so many years ago, invoking Artemis and Her immense love and care for infant humans. With each day he grew stronger and defied the grim predictions of his doctors. I know I am forever in the debt of the Gods. Not even the sacrifice of a thousand bulls would be enough to repay them for all the wonders they have done for my family and myself.

I firmly believe there are many times when the Gods intervene in human life for a greater good or purpose. There are so many questions out there that I will never know the answer to. Sometimes people come up to me and say, "Well what about this, or what about that?" I probably ultimately don't know. But as I tell people, there is one thing of which I am certain: The Gods are real.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
I'll see you at the next Herm down the road,
Chris Aldridge. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Challenge To Champion ~ When Gods Knock Us Down

I find myself intrigued when the Gods send Heroism disguised as disaster. Last night, I was reading the myth of Meleager and the Kalydonian Boar. The basic idea of the story was that Artemis became upset with the fact that Her worship was being neglected in Kalydon, a City in the Greek region of Aetolia, and so She sent a powerful, gigantic boar to ravage the land and prevent people from carrying on their daily lives. At least, this is the beast's origin that this particular myth provides. Meleager and some other local hunters including the woman Atalanta, took up the job of tracking down and killing the beast once and for all, which they successfully did at the hands of Atalanta and Meleager who led the party and delivered the final blow. 

Meleager became a venerated Hero after His death, not just because of killing the boar, but because of his unusual termination. At the time of His birth, the Fate Atropos connected His life with the wood that was burning on the hearth, presumably in His home, and said that His life would end once the wood was burned up. His mother preserved the wood for as long as She could, but after the Kalydonian Boar hunt, She realized that her two brothers, who had also joined the hunt, had been killed by Meleager. He originally wanted to give the victory of the hunt to Atalanta because She first struck the beast, thus weakening it, but the brothers violently contested on the basis of gender, forcing Meleager to take their lives in defense. Nevertheless, His mother wasn't having it. She burned up the last of the wood, bringing His life to an end. Overcome with grief after realizing what she had done, she committed suicide, which is another moral common in Greek myth; don't be hasty or act out of emotion.

But what I got to thinking about last night was not the Heroic status of Meleager itself, or the hunt for the boar generally. My philosophies were on the intentions of Artemis during this time. She sent the boar, knowing that men and women would assemble to save their people and region from it. She knew they would come together to do something great or beyond everyday human feats. Artemis didn't have to let them kill the creature, but She did provided that they could. In fact, She could have struck down all the hunters, and for that matter, all of the civilization with a single shot from Her bow. There's no real contest between Gods and men. Yet, She allowed the boar and the people it impacted to do battle with one another, knowing that the humans would come out on top and realize that they had reached yet another great achievement in their existence. 

Perhaps sometimes the curses that the Gods send, aren't curses at all, but opportunities. Or maybe there are times when we have to face being challenged, disfavored, or thrown to the bottom of the totem before we find the humility and motivation inside of us to pull ourselves back up to the Gods and human greatness again. It is possible that all of us, at some point, will have our own Kalydonian Boar in our lives, for many different reasons. The only choice is: slay or pay? We're not meant to sit at home and grow old, having nothing in our wake. We're destined to do all that we are capable of, to be as great as we can. And sometimes, the Gods move us off our butts so that it can happen.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Learning From The Greek Heroes: Atalanta

Atalanta (Atalante in Greek), is the Heroine Huntress of Arcadia (Arkadia). From the time of Her birth, She was faced with hardship. Her father, wanting a boy or simply not wanting Her at all, threw Atalanta into the wilderness to die; he just left Her in the middle of nowhere. Artemis, being the Protectress of infants and children (namely young girls), found and cared for the baby. In some versions, Artemis sent a mother bear to save Atalanta's life. Others say hunters found and nursed Her into health. Either way, She escaped death by the blessing of the Gods, and because of this graceful act, She was Divinely favored. Growing into a powerful Huntress and servant of Artemis, She at first shunned men all together. In reality, why wouldn't She? The man who was supposed to have loved Her the most, threw Her away. Nevertheless, She later in life entered a foot-racing contest against potential suitors, all of which failed but one. He beat Her by throwing down golden apples, or in other words, Atalanta simply could not resist Her attraction to him, and to this man She eventually married and gave up Her chastity.

What is there to learn from Atalanta? For starters, sometimes I pray to Her against the "ruthlessness that has always plagued mankind." This ruthlessness I refer to in prayer is what happened to Her as a child. Still today, parents kill or abandon their unwanted children. It's something that has sadly always been with humanity, and if Atalanta teaches us anything it's that the Gods expect us to care for our children; it's our duty as decent human beings, and I pray that Atalanta, by the mighty power of Artemis, shows us the way.

Being a Huntress and a lover of the wild, Atalanta obviously had tremendous love and respect for nature; it was Her home. If anyone ever understood that humans are part of and dependent on nature and not separate from it, it was Atalanta. Without the wilderness, She would have known no place of being. She teaches us that, without nature, there is no us, and we need to always care for, protect and preserve it. 

Lastly, Atalanta, throughout most of Her life, was very much Her own independent person. She relied on Herself in many ways. Sometimes, that's what we have to do as well. We have to understand and harness our own inner strengths and abilities to get through life or to achieve our goals. We can't always expect others to be there, or things to be done for us.

In the Goodness of the Gods,

Atalanta's Patronage
* Infants and children.
* Young girls.
* Orphans.
* Hunting.
* Wildlife.
* Forests.
* Foresters.
* Environmentalism.
* Exercise.