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How Much Do You Really Know About Greek Mythology?
The world as we know it is built on a rich history of legends, folklore and myth. Ancient tales of mythical creatures, boundless heroism and impossible magic have long been the foundations on which we built the stories that we tell today.
If you know of mythology in any way, you will probably know that one of the most notable countries from which myths and folklore came is Ancient Greece. Greek mythology is robust and well-known throughout the world, but there are still elements that are not quite as renowned. For example, we all know that creatures like the Cyclops, Centaurs and Griffins come from Greek mythology, but how much do you know about the connection between the Zodiac signs and Greek myths?
The 12 Zodiac signs as we know them in the Western world were built upon in the Roman period, but the initial constructs were created by Greek and Babylonian astronomers many centuries beforehand. Even if you have little to no astrological know-how, you are probably familiar with the Zodiac signs. Let’s delve into the connections that the Zodiac has to Greek mythology.
The most prominent link between Greek mythology and the Zodiac signs are the accompanying stories that each of the 12 Western star signs has. Every single one has a background rooted in Greek myth and folklore, and as previously mentioned, these stories likely aren’t as well-known as the stories surrounding Greek myths such as Medusa or Cerberus. Let’s take a quick look at some of these Zodiac stories and see if it can give us a formal grasp on the lesser-known aspects of Greek Mythology.
Aquarius - The Water Bearer
In the story of The Water Bearer, Zeus - the King of the Greek Gods - instructs an eagle to bring him a beautiful young man named Ganymede, who is considered one of the most heavenly beauties of all mortal men. Zeus decided to send an eagle to bring Ganymede to him. Ganymede then became a cupbearer to the Gods and was rewarded for his work with a constellation, thus becoming the Water Bearer.
Pisces - The Fish
Pisces is linked to Eros and his mother, the goddess Aphrodite. When the monster Typhon began to attack the Grecian deities, Aphrodite and Eros borrowed the forms of two fish to escape. In order to show their gratitude, the fish were granted the honor of becoming constellations.
Gemini - The Twins
The Twins refers to twin brothers Pollux and Castor in Greek mythology. The two were inseparable, though one was mortal and one celestial. When Castor, the mortal, was killed in battle, Pollux asked Zeus to give him the freedom of death to be with his twin once again. Moved by this gesture, Zeus granted his wish and put their image in the stars so that they would be together forever.
Cancer - The Crab
The Crab sign has a rather pitiful story. When Zeus’s Queen Hera became jealous of Hercules, she sent forth a giant crab to distract him from his battle with the Hydra. The crab did little to sway Hercules as he simply crushed the giant crustacean with a swift stomp. Yikes. At least Hera gave the crab some credit by putting it in the stars as a constellation.
Leo - The Lion
When Hercules was tasked with the impossible feat of defeating the legendary Nemean Lion, he succeeded. The lion was not forgotten in the process. The image of the Nemean Lion became a zodiac symbol to represent its spirit and strength despite its defeat.
Virgo - The Maiden
In Greek mythology, Astrea is the virgin goddess of purity, innocence and justice who wanted to flee from the wicked ways of mankind. Zeus placed her in the stars to grant her wish to escape.
These are just a few of the Zodiac signs stories, but it certainly shows that there is a rich history of Greek mythology strongly connected to the Zodiac signs of the western world. Here’s hoping that you learned something new about Greek mythology today and how the Zodiac signs are related.
If you like to show off your personal Zodiac sign, you can do so in style with Powsym’s Zodiac-related shirts. You can search via your own star sign to find one that’s right for you - such as this pink and black “Pink Leo T-shirt”, which would suit any Leo perfectly.