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Greek Gods and Goddess: Galanthis

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Introduction to Galanthis

The ancient Greek Gods and Goddess contain a wealth of stories and legends, wrapped in Myths which typically provide a story with a morale code designed to influence the reader into behaviour as fitting Greek culture of the era.

In this article, we look at Galanthis and the myths and legends surrounding Galanthis, Galanthis relationship to and with other Greek Gods and Goddess and key events and stories which relate to ancient astrology and the changing seasons.

About Galanthis

Was the servant or hand maiden of Alcmena, and was present during the birth of Heracles and Iphicles; having noticed that while her mistress was having difficulty giving birth, due to the size of the infant who would later be called Heracles, she noticed that Eileithyia, the very goddess that was supposed to help with childbirth was seated, legs crossed and hands clasped tightly together, thus, preventing the birth. She then realised that Eileithyia was acting under the orders of Hera, and delaying the birth. So, she told the goddess that Alcmena had given birth; Eileithyia startled by the news, uncrossed her legs and unclasped her hands in shock. Thus, Alcmena who was very near to dying, trying to give birth, was finally able to give birth. Galanthis mocked Eileithyia for being so easily fooled, but was transformed into a cat, or weasel, but she continued to live with Alcmena, thus initiating the practice of keeping cats or weasels as household pets. Although this also relates to the Egyptian practice of keeping Mongoose, called Pharaoh's cat, who were kept as protectors against snakes, all over ancient Egypt. And as she remained with Alcmena, she was no doubt present when Hera sent the snakes to kill Heracles and his brother Iphicles and warned Heracles of their approach.

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