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Theseus

Theseus

Prince Androgeus, the son of King Minos of Crete was killed by Athenians out of envy having been Invictus in all the athletic events.

King Minos demanded seven youths and seven beautiful maidens to be sent to Crete every nine years as a sacrifice for the Minotaur as punishment in return.

The Minotaur was a creature that was half man and half bull.

Neither human, neither animal, neither god.

But was child of the union of Queen Pasiphae wife of Minos and the sacred bull from the sea of Poseidon.

This unusual creature Minos decided to banish into the Labyrinth into darkness in the basement of Knossos.

It comes to no surprise how and why the Minotaur grew dark in nature and dangerous in such isolation.

On the third cycle of the 9 years prince Theseus convinced his father Aegeus, legendary king of Athens, to be one of the youths sent as sacrifice too, but that he would put an end to this tribute.

Upon arrival to Crete, the youths and maidens were presented before King Minos, his wife Pasiphae, their daughter and high priestess Ariadne.

Ariadne fell in love with Theseus and decided to help him by giving him a sword and a ball of thread.

Theseus entered the labyrinth, unraveled the thread as he descended deeper into the depths of the maze.

He killed the Minotaur with his sword and then used the thread of Ariadne to find his way out from the labyrinth.

The labyrinth was, after all, built by the master craftsman Daedalus, and, without help, it was impossible to escape from it!

Theseus did take Ariadne with him, as promised. However he left her on Naxos or Dia.

On his departure from Athens, Theseus promised his father to replace his ship’s black sails with white sails, if his mission was successful. But Theseus, forgot his promise.

When his father, Aegeus, saw the ship returning with black sails, he jumped into the sea ending his life and giving his name to the Aegean Sea.

In Greek Mythology Theseus is the one that establishes Democracy first in Ancient Athens!

Theseus was no stranger to heroism but in order to reach such high principles and bring forward such changes in the cosmos he inhabited he had to have the courage and ability and strengths to descent into the underworld and return having succeeding.

The descent into the Labyrinth with the thread of Ariadne like an umbilical cord guides him and ultimately released him after confronting monstrous darkness and battles.

At its most basic level the labyrinth is a metaphor for the journey to the center of our deepest self and back out into the world with a broadened understanding of who we really are!

This self-confrontation is successfully accomplished by proceeding carefully yet courageously along one’s own Ariadnean thread. Metaphorically we each have been given this thread to follow and lead us to our destiny.

But only if we are brave enough to do so we can accomplish it!

By Joanna Kalypso Glypti