Neither gods nor men have any control over their destinies. All serve a dark and hidden purpose, or perhaps no purpose. The remorseless juggernaut of time crushes out their lives like grapes. Wide-shining Pasiphae, semi-divine daughter of the Sun God Helios; Queen of Crete; wife of King Minos; became mother to Ariadne, Phaedra, and the terrible bull-fathered half-man, the flesh-eating Minotaur Asterion. Conceived in a mad passion inflicted by Aphrodite in punishment of her husband's transgressions, Pasiphae suckled the Minotaur next to her heart, loved him, nurtured him, sang him lullabies, soothed his terrors. At last, the monstrous child grown beyond her control, the Minotaur was shut away in Daedalus' Labyrinth, there to rave and wander in loneliness and despair, hated and feared by men; betrayed by his sister Ariadne; slaughtered by Theseus the Athenian. Amid the rejoicing, Pasiphae gathered her son's flower-bedecked skull to her breast and wept.

(January 10, 2013)


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