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Greek Gods and Goddess: Bellerophon

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Bellerophon was a type of Herakles, (Heracles- Hercules), like the Biblical Samson, or the Celtic Ogmois (ogmu-Ogmion). Bellerophon was son of Eurynome, or Eurymede, a mortal woman, she was the daughter of the king of Megara, Nisus-Nisos [brightness] and she was greatly favoured by Athena, either by Glaucus [grey green] or by the sea god Poseidon. Glaucus was the son of the tyrant Sisyphus, who had seriously upset the gods, causing amongst other things, Zeus to swear that none of Sisyphus’ offspring would have children; but it seems Athena had something else in mind.

Setting the scene.

It would help you understand this story much better if you realise from the outset that we are not dealing with real people, that is to say none of them existed in human form. Eurynome was highly honoured by Pallas Athena (Athena the maiden), because she was a personification of herself, Eurynome represented the visibly face of the moon, she was not taught handicrafts, sowing, and the like by Athena, she knew them instinctively. Eurynome’s father Nisus, is reported to have been an Egyptian, but in the myth concerning him it is claimed one of his daughters Scylla [she who rips-rends] cut off a lock of his hair which gave him his strength and protected him, or maybe she shaved his whole head, this would suggest that like Samson he was a sun god. Nisus may also be a corruption of Nilus, thus the Nile river, he apparently had purple hair, which if he was Egyptian may have been a wig, for Pharaohs- Egyptian kings, were also, Head- High Priests; indeed, most Egyptians, and certainly priests were normally completely shaven. There are two reasons for this, firstly their most important gods Osiris and Horus, were vegetation gods, especially personified as sheaths of wheat, which are hairless, secondly, it was purely functional, to stop hair-lice infestation. Eurymede and Eurynome are both names of the moon, both stem from wide-far, wandering, after all the moon is the only object that wanders over the face of the earth.

Tyrian Purple

His purple hair, may be a Greek or earlier addition because Purple was and still is associated with Kingship, magic, piety, and mystery, especially as the dye came from sea snails, (spiny dye-murex.) Purple was used since Neolithic times, although produced by other means, when they went into the deepest caves to paint pictures of their needs, wants, hopes to the womb of mother earth, dating is difficult but it likely that the earliest date from the first age of Aquarius, around 25000years ago. The later very famous Tyrian purple is produced in such a way, one can only wonder how it was discovered, but what happens during the process of production can leave one in little doubt of why it was so revered. The whole process is long, expensive and mind blowing. First you have to collect incredible numbers of these small snails, remove the snail and discard the shell, then soak them, presumably in fresh water, this done a tiny gland is removed, and the juices of this gland are placed in a basin, which is then placed in sunlight; then the magic really begins: firstly the liquid turns white, like an egg white as it heats up, then it changes to a yellow-green, as a plant springing forth from the ground, first white, then a sort of yellow, which starts to go greenish, then it turns full green, then to violet, then to reddish, and turns darker and darker, varying from a crimson red to dark purple, the process has to be stopped as soon as the juice reaches the required colour.


Exodus 25-3 to 5. ‘And this is the offering which though shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats hair, and rams skins dyed red and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood.’ Exodus 26. ‘Moreover, thou shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet.’ Exodus 28-4, 5. ‘And they shall make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, and his sons, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office. And they shall take gold, and blue and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen. And they shall make the ephod of gold, and blue, and of purple, of scarlet, and twined linen, with cunning work.’


How anybody figured that out, is surely as mind blowing as the building of the Great Pyramid? Of course, there is a logical explanation, as there is a logical explanation for all those things we now view as impossible for mere human beings.

Mankind, whether we see ourselves evolving from ape like creatures or not, which is crazy, as all life came from one celled creatures, all living things are born through mother nature, all born to play our part in the cyclic nature of existence.

We were all hunter gatherers, those who lived by or near the sea lived by the great sea god provided, let us reason as men, we love to eat or use of everything the sea god gives us, thus it came about that just as my grand father loved it, when we collected Cockles and brought them home, he would boil them, and happily use a pin to prise those tiny sea snails out and devour them. It was no miracle that mankind learned how to produce Tyrian Purple, it was simply observation, in the first place, then having noticed that something in the snails could produce colour changes, it was probably down to experimenting to find out which part was crucial. Anyway, as we continue with the story of Bellerophon, we will discover just how inhuman the characters are.

Bellerophon the Early Days

For some unstated reason Bellerophon slew a man named Bellerus, and also his own brother, named Deliades, or other sources name him Alcimenes, or Piren or Peiron, (I think poetic license got the better of the authors, for Merope, was the mother Glaucus via Sisyphus, and she was one of Pleiades, the only one to marry an apparent mortal, but it is said she hid herself, either out of shame, or that she went to hell with her husband Sisyphus, she was often referred to as the lost Pleiad, because the ancient Astronomers, did not place her in their star charts, thus it seems her son Delaides, is but a play on Pleiades


P L E I A D E S?

furthermore, it is reported that Orion, was in love with the Pleiades and pursued them relentlessly, and as the Pleiades were both protectors of wild animals and hunters, Artemis was powerless to intervene, and foolishly asked Zeus to protect them; he did so by turning them into doves, and placing them in the heavens (as the Pleiades, often commonly called the Hen and her chicks, they had been the Sow and piglets in other myths). Artemis was truly upset at losing her companions, and asked her brother Apollo to send a Scorpion to kill Orion, but Zeus then turned Orion into a constellation, and the Scorpion also, you may think that Orion the Hunter, and the Scorpion are far apart, but in reality, Herakles, and Orion are twins, Herakles who hangs upside down in the zodiac sign of Scorpio, is also Orion, who stands or kneels stretching upwards in the zodiac sign of Taurus, this is because Herakles- Hercules never goes below the horizon, at any point in the year, to fully understand this see my book on Herakles-Heracles, the birth and other myths. Thus, we must reconsider the name Bellerophon, Robert Graves, translates it as ‘Bearer of Darts’, this is too simplistic, when Jesus considers the Disciples James and John, he calls them Boanerges, the sons of thunder, Zeus himself was a god of thunder, and Scorpio was the son of Sagittarius as Winter was acknowledged before Autumn, as Canaan was the son of Ham, in the story of Noah. I suspect then that the Bellerus that Bellerophon killed was a form of Bel, the sun god, and that Bellerophon, signifies, Serpent slayer. But the sun as a dual serpent, represents the year, each year devours the previous, but never dies.

The slaying of the serpent Chimaera.

After slaying Bellerus and Delaides, Bellerophon flees Corinth and goes to the kingdom of the Tiryns, ruled by Proetus, who purifies him of his sins, but unfortunately Proetus’ wife Anteia [precedence], or Stheneboea [strong cattle] fell in love with him at first sight. Bellerophon refused her advances, but we all know a woman scorned, is the devil’s daughter, and she goes to her husband and accuses him of trying to seduce her. Proetus believes her and is outraged by his guest’s behaviour, but he is afraid to act against the law, which forbids the killing of a guest, so he sends Bellerophon with a sealed letter to give to Stheneboea’s father Iobates [who goes or belongs to the moon] who is the king of Lycia [of the wolves]. Thus, he is quite literally thrown to the wolves, or as we would more likely state, ‘thrown into the lion’s den.’ The letter asks Iobates to kill Bellerophon, for violating his daughter. But he too is afraid to act against his royal guest, in case the Furies should take revenge on him, for all guests came under the protection of Zeus Xenia; so, he asks Bellerophon to do him a great favour, and kill the Chimaera, a fire breathing monster that his enemy the king of Caria is keeping as a palace pet, and which he kept letting it loose to ravage the countryside around Lycia; Bellerophon agrees to do it, but before setting out on such a dangerous enterprise he consults Polyeidus the shape shifting Seer. Polyeidus advises him to first catch Pegasus the winged horse and tame it, and to discover its whereabouts he sleep in the temple of Athena. While he slept he dreamed that Athena came to him and laid a golden bridle beside him, saying ‘do thou sleep, prince of the house of Aeolus? Come, take this charm for steed and show it to thy father, the Tamer of horses, as you sacrifice a white bull to him.’ And when Bellerophon awoke the bridle was there beside him. The winged horse could usually be found on Mount Helicon, where Pegasus had created a spring, or well by stamping his hoof on the slopes for the Muses, to drink from, called Hippocrene [horse fountain]. But Pegasus was not there when he arrived, but he later found him drinking at the well of Peirene, or Pirene, at the Corinthian Acropolis, which Pegasus had also created. Approaching Pegasus as he drank he was able to place the golden bridle on him, and it was instantly tamed. Bellerophon mounted him and flew off back to Lycia, but the monster was truly terrifying and as flew above it, hailing arrows down on it, too little effect, he could feel the heat from its fiery breath. Suddenly he had an idea, and fixed a lump of lead to the end of his spear, he then swept down and as the monster opened it mouth to blast him with fire he thrust the lead between it jaws, the lead quickly melted and flowed into its throat and burning its inners, and suffocating the beast, which soon fell lifeless to the ground. Bellerophon returned in triumph to Iobates, but the king refused to acknowledge his success, and instead contrived to think up more dangerous tasks.

Explanation and analysis of the 1st Labour.

The law of Xenia gave godly protection to strangers especially foreigners, it worked much the same way as the laws which protect ambassadors from other lands do today. Bellerophon’s father, the Tamer of Horses, is Poseidon, for horses were always linked to the Sea gods, however Pegasus ability to cause Springs to burst forth, or make wells is down to the marks mad by horses’ hooves which are said to resemble the moon, and the moon was considered the provider of all water, it may also be remembered that Pegasus was born from the neck of the decapitated Medusa, whose head turned men to stone, thus she represents the fiery breath of the Chimaera. The Chimaera was one of offspring of Echidne, but was not monster but the personification of the three-season year, which is depicted as having a Lion’s head, thus Leo and Summer, a goat’s body, thus Spring, and a serpent’s tail, Autumn and Winter combined, the fiery breath of the lion, recalls the heat which causes the crops to die (Medusa), and brings about harvest, ‘Iamais grain ne fructisie si premeir ne se mortisie.’ Seed never comes to fruit until it first hath motified, {died]. Chimaera also plays a small role in the blinding of Daphnis [laurel], a son of Hermes, who wed a nymph called Nomia, who made him swear an oath of fidelity, which if he broke, she said she would blind him. Chimaera got him drunk and seduced him; and Nomia [grazer] duly blinded him, Daphnis did not lament his loss for long as Hermes turned him to stone. Daphnis in fact was a stone Phallus, if you have read my Egyptian myth, the Mort (death) of Osiris, you will know that Isis was a virgin, until after harvest, when Seth got her drunk and raped her, it was impossible for her to become pregnant until, her Husband the sacred sun king had been killed. At this point we should begin to see that Bellerophon is indeed, a type of Herakles, or Hercules. The Egyptians only recognised three seasons, and Moses in the story of Noah goes to great lengths to point this out. So, we conclude that by killing off the seasons Bellerophon had signalled the end of the year, but has he?

The 2nd labour.

Having defeated the Chimaera, Iobates next sends Bellerophon against the warlike Solymians and their allies, the Amazons. This task he achieves by flying high above them and simply dropping huge boulders on them.

Explanation of the 2nd Labour.

The Solymians, Soliman, as Solomon, Solyma, Selin, were titles of the sun god of the Spring Equinox, they were warlike because Springtime is the traditional time for starting war campaigns, and the Amazons, traditionally thought of female warriors who hated men, stem from the ancient rites of female Queens, who originally killed their husband, the sacred king at the end of Summer. In ancient beliefs all true power belonged to the queen, and the bloodline ran through the queen, we see this most obviously in the Egyptian traditions, when Pharaohs wishing to keep their own bloodline alive married their sisters and even their daughters, this was done not just to keep their bloodline alive, but also to avoid being killed and replaced by another. In the change over period, from one belief regime to another, a boy child was often sacrificed in place of the existing king. I will deal with in greater detail in the appropriate story. But we must not forget that the Amazon queen, also wore the sacred golden girdle of chastity, for greater explanation of this see Herakles, the birth and other myths, and the Mort de Osiris in my Egyptian myth book. So, at this point the growing part of the year has been ended, and Harvest is in full swing.  

The 3rd Labour

The next labour set for Bellerophon by Iobates, seems odd indeed, he is sent to rid the kingdom of a band of marauding sea pirates, led by a man called Cheimarrhus [torrent], from Caria. Cheimarrhus’ ship had a Lion’s figurehead and a serpent’s stern, he was reported to be a fierce and boastful warrior. He apparently encountered the pirates on the plain of the Xanthos river, but no details of worth are given. But it seems to me, that it was a setup, reading between the lines of the narrative given, it would appear the pirates tried unsuccessfully to ambush Bellerophon, who killed his would-be assassins; Bellerophon at this point dismounted from Pegasus, then started to march towards the city of Xanthus, praying to his father Poseidon to flood the Xanthus plain behind him as he walked. Poseidon hearing his son sent waves to follow him closely, it is quite clear that Bellerophon was heading to Iobates palace, and no doubt intended to kill him, and destroy the city. But no man could put him off, and in desperation the women of Xanthus, hoisted up their skirts and headed towards Bellerophon on mass, offering themselves for his pleasure. Bellerophon’s modesty at such a sight sent him fleeing and the waters retreated before him. Iobates was by now convinced that Proetus was wrong in accusing Bellerophon of trying to violate his daughter, and sent him a letter demanding a full and factual account of what happened. Proetus who now knew his wife, the daughter of Iobates had lied, replied truthfully and Iobates pleaded forgiveness from Bellerophon and offered him his daughter Philonoe [kind hearted, or good of mind] in marriage, and named him heir to his thrown. Iobates also lavished praise on the women of Xanthos and decreed that from then on, all Xanthians should reckon their bloodline from the mother, not the father.

Analysis of the 3rd labour.

Cheimarrhus ship, with it lions head and serpents tail, relates to the fact that at one, or certain points in time, only two seasons were recognised, one when things grew and one when they did not, in those times, mankind worshipped the mother goddess earth, and then mankind were primarily hunters gatherers, thus Iobates employment of the old beliefs, to ambush the knew beliefs of Bellerophon, who in reality, by slaying the Chimaera, which represented the three-season year, brought in the four season year, begins to make sense. The problem is not a problem, in any real sense, astrology and farming became known to mankind at different times, depending where you were on the planet. For instance, the Mayans and Aztecs did not emerge from their hunter gatherer time until between six and nine hundred AD. far behind the rest of the world. We have a complicated story so far, Pegasus the white winged horse was born of Medusa, who was slain by Perseus, thus, the story of Bellerophon must come after that of Perseus, but must by common sense proceed that of Herakles- Hercules, yet all three of them seem to be doing the same thing, in the sense that they concern the changing of the seasons, all three of them are heavily connected to the constellations of the zodiac, yet old habits are hard to change, so even in the old known world, old practices and superstitions were hard, or slow to change, people in general hate change, one cannot easily teach an old dog new tricks. But in the story of Bellerophon something seems to occur in the wrong time frame. Primarily that Iobates decree that the heir, or bloodline should go through the mother, not the father, is on the face of it a step backwards. But it is in real terms a simple example of how hard it is to change old beliefs, no matter how ignorant and dis-functional they are; for example, ancient Egyptian religion forbids the burial of pharaohs in a pyramid, that is why they spent literal millions having tombs carved in the valley of the kings, yet so many people in apparent high positions still insist, pyramids were built to house the bodies of Pharaohs, yet they have not found a single one in any of them, that is how pathetic human logic can be. Iobates reward to the woman of Xanthus, in effect was to allow them to continue in their old ways, in which the king was sacrificed at the end of each growing year and his blood was used to regenerate the land, the women of his tribe would hoist up their skirts, but he was forbidden to touch them and could only turn away and run, once caught they would dismember him, hoping that his spurting blood would fertilise their wombs. This happens in essence during the ritual slaughter of Osiris, his moon queen Isis is not killed, his body is dismembered and is used to regenerate the land, and a new king, Horus is the result.

The Death of Bellerophon

After his seemingly endless successes, Bellerophon began to think he deserved a seat amongst the gods, and he mounted Pegasus and flew towards Olympus, but the all-seeing Zeus outraged at his presumption of immortality, sent a gadfly to intercept him, the gadfly stung Pegasus under the tail, the horse reared and Bellerophon fell helpless towards the ground, falling into a thorn bush which blinded and lamed him, now alone and cursed, he avoided mankind and wandered aimlessly till death released him. As for Pegasus, Zeus used him as a beast of burden, to carry his thunderbolts.


There can be little doubt that Bellerophon was a personification of the sun king of the sacred year, who perhaps replaced the sacred king of the previous year when he killed Bellerus, he was at first called Bellerphontes, which was then shortened to Bellerophon, which ought to have read Bel-ler-ophion. Opion was the serpent who in the Greek myths of creation, as Eurynome danced naked upon the sea, she stirred the south wind, and caught the fertilising north wind between her hands and Ophion appeared, and was soon aroused by the dancing naked beauty before him, and he entwined himself in lustful embrace about her limbs. She conceived and turned herself into a dove and brought forth the universal egg, and commanded Ophion to coil seven times around the egg till it cracked and all creation came forth from it. That is why Eurynome is made the mother of Bellerophon, and as it was the fertilising north wind that caused her to become fertile, and the egg floated on the sea (Poseidon) and Boreas, the north wind came across the sea from the north, Poseidon was said to be the father, of the son of Ophion, called Bellerophon, and the fertilizing powers of the sun last seven lunar months, then it dies and becomes the blind and lame sun of winter, which being the sun cannot die, Zeus sends the gadfly, which usually arrive in March.

The Summing Up and Final Conclusion

And so, in reality Bellerophon at the end of summer, ritually died when the women of Xanthus came after him, he then marries the moon goddess, in this case named Philonoe, he then becomes the blind, lame-powerless sun of Autumn and winter, which is why it is pretended that he avoided, and shunned the places of men, till he died in march just as the new growing year spring arrived, and would then instantly be renewed as the New Year sun, with a different name.

Now I stated the growing sun, last seven lunar months so one might think there should be seven labours, and technically there were.

The 1st labour. He did not kill his real brother, but the previous Sacred king who was called Bellerus-os, who died when the constellation of Pleiades set, renamed Deliades for poetic license.

The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th labour, was to slay the chimaera, who was representative of the three seasons of the previous year, Spring, Summer, and Winter.

The 5th and 6th labour, were the defeating of the Solymians and the Amazons.

The 7th labour, was to slay the pirates, whose ship represented the Lion, and the roaring sun of late summer that causes the wheat to die, and drags it serpents tail winter directly behind it; and at the end of this task, his labours finished he is ritually murdered. His ritual marriage to the moon, is a marriage to the harvest moon goddess, is to signify the seed is ready for the threshing floor.

Last Word

So, we should realise that not a single character in this story was ever a living person, it is but a myth about the changing seasons and the year.