Nymph Echo  

Posted by Stella Clark

Nymph Echo Image
"ECHO "WAS A NYMPH AND PERHAPS SHE WAS THE MOST FAMOUS OF THEM ALL. SHE WAS YOUNG, VERY BEAUTIFUL AND HAD THE MOST MUSICAL OF VOICES. HOWEVER, SHE WAS ALSO VERY TALKATIVE...SO MUCH SO THAT THE CHIEF GOD, ZEUS, WHO WAS KNOWN FOR HIS MANY ILLICIT LOVE AFFAIRS WITH BOTH MORTALS AND GODS, TOOK FULL ADVANTAGE OF THE NAIVE YOUNG NYMPH. HENCE, WHILE HE WAS OUT PURSUING HIS ILLICIT AFFAIRS, THE LOVELY ECHO WOULD KEEP HIS WIFE,HERA, BUSY BY CHATTING INCESSANTLY TO HER...THUS, TAKING HERA'S MIND OFF HER CHEATING HUSBAND.

SADLY FOR ECHO, THE DAY ARRIVED THAT HERA GREW WISE TO THE RUSE, AND AS PUNISHMENT, SHE MADE ECHO ALWAYS REPEAT THE VOICE OF ANOTHER...AND FROM THAT MOMENT ON, THE TALKATIVE ECHO COULD ONLY REPEAT THE LAST SYLLABLE OF THE LAST PERSON WHO SPOKE...AN ECHO. EVENTUALLY, SHE GREW SO LONELY BECAUSE SHE COULD NO LONGER TALK TO THE OTHER NYMPHS THAT SHE WENT OFF AND SECLUDED HERSELF DEEP WITHIN THE FOREST.

ONE DAY, A VERY HANDSOME YOUNG MAN APPEARED; HIS NAME WAS NARCISSUS. ECHO FELL IN LOVE WITH HIM AND WANTED SO BADLY TO CRY OUT HER LOVE, BUT HER VOICE HAD BEEN FROZEN IN HER THROAT BY HERA'S CURSE...AND NARCISSUS WANDERED DEEPER INTO THE FOREST. THIRSTY, HE BENT OVER FOR A DRINK, BUT WHEN HE SAW HIS REFLECTION IN THE WATER, HE WAS SO TAKEN BY HIS BEAUTY THAT HE COULDN'T TAKE HIS EYES OFF OF HIMSELF. "I LOVE YOU," HE TOLD HIS REFLECTION. ECHO, STANDING NEARBY HEARD THIS AND RESPONDED..."LOVE YOU....", BUT IT WAS ALREADY TOO LATE. THE YOUNG MAN WAS ALSO TOO ENGROSSED IN HIS OWN IMAGE TO NOTICE THE BEAUTIFUL YOUNG NYMPH.

HIS LOVE FOR HIMSELF WAS HIS OBSESSION, AND HE WOULD NOT LEAVE THE STREAM TO EAT NOR DRINK. EVENTUALLY, HE DIED OF HUNGER AND THIRST...AND HIS OWN UNREQUITED LOVE. AND WHERE HE HAD LAIN, A FLOWER GREW--THE NARCISSUS...AND FROM THAT DAY ON, POOR ECHO PINED AWAY AND DIED FOR THE SAME THINGS. BUT, WHEN SHE DIED, NOT EVEN HER BONES REMAINED; SOME SAY THEY HAD BEEN TURNED TO STONE. BUT GAIA PRESERVED HER VOICE, THE ONE THING SHE HAD BEEN DENIED IN LIFE, AND TO THIS DAY, HER VOICE SOUNDS EVERYWHERE. HER NAME AND HER VOICE LIVE ON TO THIS DAY.

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Goddess Uttu  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Uttu Image
"UTTU "IS THE SUMARIAN SPIDER GODDESS OF THE DOMESTIC ARTS; SHE RULES THE HOUSEHOLD AND THE ART OF WEAVING AND CLOTH. THE SIGN FOR HER NAME WAS ALSO USED FOR THE WORD 'SPIDER' WHICH MOST LIKELY ENTAILS A CONNECTION TO HER TUTELAGE OF THE WEAVING ARTS. IN PRODUCING CLOTH, SHE SHARED WITH HUMAN WIVES THEIR CREATIVE FUNCTION. UTTU WAS BELIEVED TO BE THE MODEL OF A PERFECT SUMARIAN WIFE. IN FACT, IN ONE OF THE LATER MYTHS, ENKI GIVES UTTU CHARGE OF EVERYTHING THAT RELATES TO WOMEN. SHE ALSO AIDS IN DIFFICULT CHILDBIRTH AND IS SKILLED IN HERBAL MEDICATIONS.

SHE WAS PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT TO BE THE GODDESS OF PLANTS AND VEGETATION. FOR EXAMPLE, IN ONE TALE, WE FIND UTTU AS THE DAUGHTER OF ENKI AND HIS GRANDDAUGHTER, NINDURA. (QUITE A LOT OF INCEST IN THESE EARLY MYTHS). WHEN ENKI MADE ADVANCES ON HER, SHE DEMANDED CUCUMBERS, APPLES, AND GRAPES AS A GIFT. AND AFTER SHE WAS SHOWERED BY GIFTS, HE RAPED HER, AND AS A RESULT OF THEIR UNION, EIGHT NEW PLANTS SPRANG FORTH...SEVEN NEW CHILD/TREES AND THE EIGHTH AS THE "TREE OF LIFE".

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