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Greek Gods and Goddess: Asteria

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Introduction to Asteria

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 Asteria and the myths and legends surrounding Asteria, Asteria relationship to and with other Greek Gods and Goddess and key events and stories which relate to ancient astrology and the changing seasons.

About Asteria

Goddess of the falling stars, daughter of Phoebe and Coeus, sister of Leto, and husband of Perses, (the destroyer) with whom she had one daughter, Hecate, hailed by Zeus as the goddess of the wilderness, magic, witchcraft and Childbirth. Asteria lived at Olympus along with her sister Leto, thus, they caught the ever-lusting eye of Zeus. Zeus always weary of his jealous and vindictive wife Hera, transformed himself into an eagle and set out in pursuit of Asteria, who wanted nothing to do with him. In order to evade him she changed herself into a quail, and flung herself into the Aegean Sea. It was there that rather than drowning she emerged as the island Asteria, associated with the island of Delos, although, Herodotus finds that the Egyptians considered it to be Khemmis-Chemmis in the Nile delta. Where ever it was, the Island was considered be separated from mother earth, thus the perfect and only place that her sister Leto, could give birth to Apollo, after Hera had commanded Gaia, mother earth to refuse to let her give birth on land. (the Greek poet Nonnus, (ought to signify 'know nothing?) writing around the end of the 4th century, early 5th AD, has Poseidon taking up the pursuit of Asteria, after she plunged into the sea, and that (the yet unborn) Apollo helped her change into a floating island. Knowledge should grow with time, not decrease? In the rare account where Asteria was said to be the mother of Heracles by Zeus, it is reported that the Phoenicians sacrificed quails to the hero because when he went into Libya and was killed by Typhon, Iolaus brought a quail to him, and placed it beside him, and smelling its sweet aroma came to life again. One has to wonder of all the birds Asteria could have transformed into why she would choose a quail? One would have thought that a quail pursued by an eagle was, dead in the water for sure. See SV, file on Asteria, for more insight and information

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