I’ve gathered a few tales on my travels. Some happier than others. This one has a nice ending…
I started researching healing ideas for this post and I was immediately drawn to this quote by William Wordsworth:
I wrote and re-wrote several posts but nothing felt right. So in my frustration I took to google and after a few wasted clicks around, I came across an article on gods of healing. Inspired I put pen to page (in reality fingers to keyboard) and started to pen a story about the Asclepius but in reality, the legend itself is really rather interesting so I thought I would share it instead.
The story of Asclepius
The ancient Greek god of healing and a son of Apollo, Asclepius is till today, still widely associated with medical assistance.
His staff is the de facto symbol of modern paramedic forces. Historically, many temples of Asclepius were also located throughout Ancient Greece. The most famous of these at Epidaurus is today, one of the most visited and important archeological sites in Greece.
Within Greek mythology, Asclepius was born in Epidaurus, the child of Apollo and a Thessalian princess named Coronis. Taught the art of medicine by the legendary Centaur Chiron, Asclepius eventually became so skilled with healing, he could even resurrect the dead.
Regrettably, doing so infuriated Hades, the Lord of the Greek Underworld, and on Hades’ complaint, Zeus struck Asclepius dead with a lightning bolt. The deceased physician was then placed among the stars as the constellation Ophiuchus by Zeus. Later, Zeus also resurrected Asclepius and made him one of the Greek gods of healing.
INTERESTING FACT – THE WRONG STAFF
Many paramedic establishments use the “wrong” staff as a representation of medical assistance. In Greek myths, any staff with two serpents is that of Hermes, the Messenger God. Asclepius’ staff has only one serpent.
I have another story brewing in my head around the wrong staff ^ but it’s not coming to flesh either. I need my muse to pull her socks up and land on an idea, but in the meantime I hope you enjoy the quote and a bit of greek mythology.
Originally written in response to Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge (WQWWC – Healing). I used to take part in this wonderful prompt many years ago when it was run by Colleen and Ronovan, so I was pretty pleased to have recently come across it again now hosted by Marsha Ingrao at Always Right.
*Source Information on Asclepius: https://owlcation.com/humanities/gods-of-healing
Happy St. George’s Day everyone! Are you doing anything to celebrate it?
As a Scot, my family love St Andrew’s Day, yummy food, sometimes questionable music – haha, and most importantly time spent with family and friends. My English friends don’t seem to do much for St. George’s day, hence I thought I would extend the question out there. I’m thinking cream tea or fish and chips should become the St. George’s Day dish (unless there already is one I am unaware of).
Do you have a patron saint or equivalent, with a special day for celebrating? Does your family do anything special, or even do you eat something specific to celebrate?
I think it’s sad St. George’s day and the flag has become somewhat synonymous with right-wing groups and football hooliganism and ruined it as a day just to celebrate with family and friends. I am very sympathetic to those who would like some form of celebration but feel they can’t. Some of my family are Irish and the thought of not celebrating St. Patrick’s day is practically sacrilege – lol.
A bit about the legend of St. George:
St George is most widely known for slaying a dragon. According to legend, the only well in the town of Silene was guarded by a dragon. In order to get water, the inhabitants of the town had to offer a human sacrifice every day to the dragon. The person to be sacrificed was chosen by lots. On the day that St George was visiting, a princess had been selected to be sacrificed. However, inevitably he killed the dragon, saved the princess and gave the people of Silene access to water. In gratitude, they converted to Christianity.
It is thought that the dragon represents a certain type of pagan belief that included the sacrifice of human beings. Possibly Drivel but who can really tell.
Whatever you chose to do, I hope you all have a great weekend.
She had left the house, tears streaming down her face once again. But she allowed no noise to escape. She would not feel weak, not feel helpless, allowing the noise to escape would be admitting defeat. She had held it all together, been holding it all together for months as business had got quieter and quieter. Who could blame the visitors, there had been nothing here for years. Sure it was a beautiful drive, and when the weather was hot you couldn’t help but want to be near the cool blue water of the loch.
Science. She could blame science. People no longer wanted to believe in magic, the supernatural, the unknown. When she was a child she had listened in wonder at the stories the grown-ups told, kids these days scoffed and headed to their phones to the internet, they forgot to enjoy the present. That magic could lift your heart just a little even if it wasn’t true. These days it seemed to be gone.
She lifted her legs heavily climbing up the hillside away from the loch. Away from her sleeping, snoring, drunken husband. She blamed him too. Once their little bar had been the busiest on the loch, people loved to stop in for a drink and a chat. She had loved it too, but as things grew quieter her husband’s patience had grown thin and when she could no longer offer him comfort he turned to the bottle. She’d never admit it, but that hurt her too.
She found the quiet place she was looking for and sat down, watching the slow moving fog above the loch. The sun was barely visible. What time was sunrise? She couldn’t remember, yet the darkness wasn’t carrying its usual weight, it felt fresh. The crisp cold air made her salty wet tears sting a little on her face, but she liked it. Reminded her to feel. As her eyes followed the lazy movement of the cloud a lump formed in the middle. She rubbed her eyes, certain the tears and tiredness had got to her, but when a second hump appeared she knew what she was seeing. What she always longed to see. Nessie.
She reached in her pocket and pulled out her mobile phone, her gaze never leaving the shadowed form amongst the fog. Lifting the phone high in front of her she swiped the little screen and the light of the camera came on. Drat! She knew having the flash on wouldn’t work so she pulled the little screen towards her to fumble with the setting, her heart now beating fast that the sight before her would disappear. Cautiously she clicked. Just to be certain she clicked again. Then before her very eyes, the two lumps disappeared, back down into the fog, back down into the loch, back to the legend.
She stood up and raced down the hillside, it was a sign, she knew it. A sign her struggle had been worth it. When people saw her photo they couldn’t not believe. What else could it be? Nessie.
My response to Sue’s wonderful photo prompt. Sorry Sue, couldn’t resist with this photo, definitely something mysterious about it! I loved it. 🙂
If you want to give the prompt a go too, head over to Sue’s Page Thursday Photo Prompt – Twilight #writephoto and join in the prompt. KL ❤
Jim crawled away from the tunnel slowly, tunnel was maybe too strong a word, it was more a small opening in the network of the mines. Jim knew what was really there, it was the trail the knockers had left as they worked their own lodes in the darkness.
The team Jim worked with scoffed at his superstitious beliefs but Jim’s father and grandfather had mined these caves for many years. Each surviving when many others had fallen foul. It was down to the knockers and the tricks they would play on those that were undeserving, his grandfather and father used to whisper over a drink into the night as they recalled the stories. Other men had never learned.
The knockers needed to be treated with respect, whistling could offend them and making the sign of the cross. Jim knew. And he knew if he treated them well they would lead him to the richest of lodes. Today Jim had left a food offering in the small opening. He knew when he returned tomorrow it would be gone. He would repeat the task for a week, then he would start to open the small trail. He smiled as he imagined the small wealth hidden in the stone, protected by the knockers.
As he left the mines entrance he heard the distant knocking start. They had found his feast and were happy with the offering. ‘Enjoy, I’ll be back soon’, Jim whispered into the darkness.
Originally written in response to Sue Vincent’s #Writephoto Challenge. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to add in a bit of folklore to my entry. Hope you enjoyed. KL ❤
Magical post by Sue on the myths of the lands and the stories they tell. Her parting paragraph is truly beautiful “the best way to read them is as a child would read, with an openness to wonder and wondering, without analysing too much or dwelling on apparent inconsistencies and impossibilities that the adult may reject but which the child accepts without a blink.”
Happy St George’s Day WordPressers!
My Inspiration for today, St George and the stories surrounding him (everyone loves a good story), might even be inspired to do a few doodles or tales of my own later today, but for now…
The cultural image of Saint George slaying a dragon comes from Medieval legends of his past (initially invented by a French bishop), when tales of knights became a storytelling mainstay.
This better-known myth, The Golden Legend, involves Saint George coming across marshland in Libya, where a city was continually menaced by a dragon.
The townspeople fed the dragon sheep to keep it placated, and when that no longer worked, they started to elect human sacrifices.
For one of these sacrifices, the king’s daughter was selected, but Saint George arrived in the nick of time to intervene.
He faced down the dragon on horseback and managed to mortally wound the beast, but instead of landing the final blow, he decided to tame it, and delivered his prize back to the city.
He wasn’t English at all.
George, a Christian, is believed to have been born in Cappadocia, an area which is now in Turkey in the 3rd century AD.
He then went on to live in Palestine and became a soldier in the Roman army.
He later protested against Rome’s persecution of Christians and was imprisoned and tortured, but stayed true to his faith.
His life ended when he was beheaded at Lydda in Palestine.
My favourite version of St George’s Day:
In the book, Dracula by Bram Stoker, evil things are said to occur on St George’s Day, beginning at midnight. The date of St George’s Day presented in the book, 5 May (on the Western, Gregorian Calendar), is St George’s Day as observed by the Eastern Orthodox churches of that era.
(Excerpt from Dracula, 1897) “Do you know what day it is?” I answered that it was the fourth of May. She shook her head as she said again: “Oh, yes! I know that, I know that! but do you know what day it is?” On my saying that I did not understand, she went on: “It is the eve of St. George’s Day. Do you not know that tonight, when the clock strikes midnight, all the evil things in the world will have full sway?”