Do archetypes come out of pipes
constructed out of mindsmoke.
Are they real or do you feel
they aren’t some little Jungjoke?
Are they a meme that swims upstream
against media-built paradigms?
Do they reflect what we select,
or do they make up our minds?
The archetypes within your nation,
do they need identification?
Is it Uncle Sam or the Buddha Man
that your country will identify with?
Is it a jealous God or Arianrhod
who fills your country’s sky myth?
Does our genotyping have them griping
that they are changed by time and place
or do they evolve
to help us solve
the problems of our race?
Whoever they are,
where they come from,
one thing is still uncertain.
Are they us, or are they jus’
the man behind the curtain?
HERMES: Messenger of the Gods. He’s also the God of Merchants and Commerce, Athletics and Travel, Public Speaking, Shepherds and Thieves. Quite a mixed bag.
The son of ZEUS and MAIA, he was barely a day old before he was stealing sheep, bartering goods and contemplating the small print of manufacturers’ warranties.
Born in a cave and finding his mum asleep, HERMES toddled off to see what was what. What he found was a herd of cattle, and innocently decided to take them home to play with. He didn’t know they belonged to APOLLO but, instinctively realising that adults can be a bit funny, covered their tracks anyway.
APOLLO went ballistic when he found 50 cattle missing and no clues. He offered a reward for information. Eventually someone mentioned they had heard music from a cave in the district. APOLLO investigated and found two cow hides stretched to dry at the entrance. Inside was a sleeping woman with a baby.
MAIA, when roused, was incredulous. “My little HERMES? He’s only two days old!” But the little cherub was quite non-plussed. “Yes, I took them,” he admitted. “There’s only two missing. I killed ‘em as a sacrifice to the Twelve Gods of Olympus.”
“Twelve Gods?” queried APOLLO. “Who is the Twelth?”
“Er, your servant, I think it is going be me. Did you know ZEUS is my dad..?”
“Aww, isn’t he a cheeky little chap?” said ZEUS as HERMES faced judgment. “A chip off the old block indeed. Well APOLLO, there’s no harm done if he returns your cattle and promises not to do it again. Take him back and sort it out.”
APOLLO sullenly agreed and whisked HERMES back to the cave, where the baby Godlet attempted to placate him. “The herd is round the corner, here are the two cow skins… Oh, and I also used some cow gut to make this.”
HERMES produced a small lyre made from a tortoise shell, and played a few amazing chords using a plectrum (another HERMES copyright). As a musician, APOLLO was very impressed indeed. He just had to have these two musical items. So he offered the cattle in exchange.
HERMES agreed and, as they started talking music, cut some reeds into pan pipes so they could have what may have been the world’s first jam session. APOLLO was enthralled and had to have the pipes as well. He offered his golden cattle-herding staff in exchange.
“I dunno,” said HERMES, scratching his head, “you seem to get the best of all these bargains. An old staff for a precision instrument like this? Still, you can really blow, man. How can I deny such a groovy musician as you?”
So they became music buddies, and APOLLO took HERMES back to Olympus where all was happily resolved and HERMES successfully pursued his claim for Godly status.
His gift of the gab made him the perfect choice for messenger duties.ZEUS made him a Herald and kitted him out with a winged hat and sandals. Powered by these he can zoom all over the place delivering news that’s worse than it sounds. The staff he used may be the one he traded with APOLLO. HERMES then made a vow to ZEUS: “I will never tell lies — although I cannot promise always to tell the whole truth.”
Despite wheeling and dealing by the seat of his pants, HERMESalways manages to leave his customers perfectly satisfied. Mostly due to his incredibly cunning sales talk. He’s such a persuasive salesman he could sell pyramids to the Egyptians. (Wait! He already has!)
Those sandals make him fleet of foot and an expert runner, which is why he’s also the God of Racing and Athletics. Perfect for chasing after new clients. Or running away from old ones.
His dodgy dealing tactics were also passed down to his son AUTOLYCUS. Under the Romans he changed his name to MERCURY and floated himself on the stock market.
JUPITER: Supreme Top God of the Roman Pantheon, Ruler of Heaven and Earth and the Father of the Gods.
Like most of the really big Roman Gods, JUPITER started out as a primeval nature deity. A Sky God, he was in charge of the fundamental forces of nature and ruled the weather with an iron grip and a big stick.
When Greek culture began to influence Roman thought, JUPITER took on the attributes of ZEUS — with added Latin. With his forceful personality, he became King of the Gods and the special protector of Rome.
The Romans were always keen to get the Gods on their side and JUPITER was definitely a force to be reckoned with — especially with his thunderbolt-hurling propensities. They awarded him many flattering titles and put him in charge of their entire legal and political system.
Worshipped as Optimus Maximus, the all-powerful good guy, JUPITER kept order and brought prosperity to the nation. As Jupiter Victor he led the Roman army to victory in wars and conquests time and time again. In fact he was probably the Roman Empire’s greatest asset after plumbing.
Of course it all went terribly wrong in the end and the Empire fell. Perhaps JUPITER was offended by the deification of human emperors, particularly the later ones who were a bit rubbishy. Or maybe the new-fangled Christianity craze was the final insult. Either way, JUPITER withdrew his support and sloped off, leaving the Romans to fend for themselves.
Where is he now? Enjoying a well-earned grouchy retirement? Still hurling thunderbolts? Communing with the eagles? All sightings gratefully received. You can’t miss him, he has a Godly beard, holds a thunderbolt and is stark naked.
RAGNAROK: The End of the World and Doom of the Gods. (Literally ‘Destruction of the Powers’).
After three terrible winters of bitterness and conflict, SKOLL will eat the sun and his brother HATI will scoff the moon. Three cocks will crow (or is that three crows will cock?) and HEIMDALL will finally blow his awesome horn, bringing the Gods to the final battle.
All hell will be let loose. The Earth will tremble, FENRIR’s bonds will be shaken loose, and JORMUNGAND will emerge causing awful devastation with every twist of his serpent body. Everybody who’s anybody will be beating the living daylights out of their enemies in a final glorious slaughter of Gods, Giants, Monsters and Dwarfs. Even the dead will join in with LOKI as their captain.
And nobody will win. The Gods will defeat their enemies but be defeated themselves, and everyone and everything will perish utterly.
Only two people will survive. LIF and LIFTHRASIR, two humans hiding in a secret forest, will awaken to find a lush and empty new world waiting for them…
ZEUS: Top God of the Earth and Ruler of Mount Olympus, the lofty cloudland where the Greek Gods live and look down upon mankind.
He is a real high-flyer, an Olympic champion, battling with the giant TITANS, casting thunderbolts and engaged in all manner of gut-busting glorious Godly pursuits.
His father CRONUS was so terrified of the newborn baby ZEUS’s awesome power that he swallowed him up. And lived to regret it. It was left to AMALTHEA (and her goat) to protect the budding SuperGod while he learned to walk, talk, and rule the Universe. Since then he’s never looked back.
ZEUS is married to the long-suffering HERA, but spends most of his time lusting after Goddesses, mortals, animals, and indeed anything that will keep still long enough.
It’s tough at the top being the most fantastic hunky irresistible God of all time and having constantly to prove it. And never a quiet night in with slippers and a mug of cocoa because he has to keep his long-suffering wife HERA happy too. Their trials and tribulations form the basis of half the Greek entries in our database.
ZEUS has had so many mistresses and fathered so many children that there’s no point in giving a list here. Just take our word for it. See also CRONUS, RHEA, HEPHAESTUS, ATHENA… and in fact most of the other Greek Gods.
Moving on to more Godly matters, ZEUS was also known to the ancient Greeks as Epiphanes, the Magnificent One, whenever a certain star appeared in the east. This was celebrated with piph-ups known as epiphanies.
When he’s not running around after nubile Goddesses in the form of a lusty animal, ZEUS looks after Law, upholds Justice, and casts thunderbolts on those deserving it.
In Norse mythology, Valhalla (from Old Norse Valhöll “hall of the slain”) is a majestic, enormous hall located in Asgard, ruled over by the godOdin. Chosen by Odin, half of those that die in combat travel to Valhalla upon death, led by valkyries, while the other half go to the goddessFreyja’s field Fólkvangr. In Valhalla, the dead join the masses of those who have died in combat known as Einherjar, as well as various legendaryGermanic heroes and kings, as they prepare to aid Odin during the events of Ragnarök. Before the hall stands the golden tree Glasir, and the hall’s ceiling is thatched with golden shields. Various creatures live around Valhalla, such as the stag Eikþyrnir and the goat Heiðrún, both described as standing atop Valhalla and consuming the foliage of the tree Læraðr.