Myth In Life Pt. 2, “Wine”ing About Mythology

I didn’t expect to have a theme by the second posting of Myth In Life, but while walking through the wine and spirit section of the grocery store I noticed that wine labels are like a magnet for myths. So armed with nothing but my cell phone camera, I went about capturing more proof that the myths have not all gone home.

FAUST

Faust was the first bottle that really caught my eye and inspired the theme for this installment. While you could make a valid argument that Faust is not a myth (It didn’t originate through oral tradition and it has a recognized author. I feel that Faust has become a cultural obsession and we have connotatively gravitated towards him as a newer archetype of a man willing to sell his soul to the devil.

PEGASUS

Pegasus was another one of those real obvious mythic figures. The winged horse seems to pop up quite a bit and I suspect that he’s get his own myth in life segment in the near future. Pegasus came into life when Perseus severed the head of Medusa. Pegasus sprang from a drop of her blood.

ARTEMIS & ACTEON

I saw a lot of bottles with deer on them and wanted to write a piece on Acteon, but none of the wines seemed specific enough. Then I found Artemis. Artemis/Diana, Goddess of the hunt was bathing with her attendants in the forrest. Young Acteon is out hunting with his hounds and comes across the nude Goddess and decides to take a risk and spy on her. What we have here is essentially the first version of the Porky’s shower scene.

Unfortunately for Acteon, he is caught, and believe it or not, our naked Goddess isn’t to happy about the situation. She punishes Acteon by turning him into a stag, who is then hunted down and killed by his own loyal dogs. Oh sweet irony…

CAMELOT & AVALON

I was never one who followed the whole Arthurian myth scene, but i’m starting to become a fan. It seems like an area where you can’t deny diffusion was a major role in evolution of the stories. So I had to include Camelot, the kingdom that Arthur created, home to the Table Round.

And while we’re on the subject ancient, medieval, mystical realm’s, there’s also Avalon. As I mentioned earlier, Arthurian legend is not my strong point, but I do recognize Avalon. In some versions, this island was the origin of the sword Excalibur, and the place that Arthur went to heal his wounds. I think there might be a future blog on the subject of mystical islands, so stay tuned for more Avalon.


RAVEN

This one’s a homage to back home. In Alaska, and other areas in the Pacific Northwest, Raven is a trickster deity. He stars in a number of tales, my favorite one “Raven steals the light.” In the story, a wizard steals the sun. Raven steps up to get it back and on the journey eats his own scabs, making hime eternally hungry, and switches genders…what a goofball. He is successful and steals the sun back, restoring light to the world.

SOPHIA

The idea of Gnosis is new to me, but a subject is growing more and more interesting. According to some Gnostic beliefs, the Angelic Deity Sophia leaves the presence of the Alien God and looks upon the Earth/Choas. She tries to create Life/Order and creates a terrible being known as the Demiurge. His form is a snake with a lion’s head. The curse of the demiurge is that this flawed being thinks he is the one true god, and according to Gnostic belief, we think he is too. Sophia is often compared to other feminine archetypes like eve, first eve, lilith, hecate…etc…

“ORIGINAL” SIN

“For the wages of Sin is Death” This is another one that gets me excited! Here we have a Motif with multiple meaning for different cultures and time periods. Of course most people associate Sin with the Christian concept of a bad deed. But Sin is also the name of the Mesopotamian moon god. The Ur knew him as Nanna, the god of wisdom. He was the head of the pantheon. He also had a beard made of Lapis Lazuli, thats pretty awesome.

BACCHUS

And it wouldn’t be right to do a blog on myth and wine without this guy. Bacchus’s Secret Cellar is a wine bar not far from my house. Bacchus/Dionysus is the God of Wine. The followers of his cult really shook up Greek and Roman culture to the point were worshipping him was banned at times. Supposedly, it was common practice to rip apart a living virgin at his festivals. They later switched over to a living lamb; maybe they ran out of virgins. Bacchus is a great example of mythic resurrection. His mother burst into flames after demanding to see the true form of Zeus. Zeus sowed the unborn child into his leg for the remainder of his development. The Titans also tried to eat poor Bacchus and cut him into pieces and ate him. Zeus rescued him before they could eat his heart, using it to resurrect the boy. This is the second time Bacchus has made it into Myth in Life. In part one, he was attributed to giving King Midas the ears of an ass.

Great news! Mythblogogy has a shiny new email account. If you have any pictures you think might be interesting for an installment of Myth in Life, send them in. The more places they come from, the better. Send them to Mythblogogy@gmail.com.

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2 Comments

  1. Now that’s a really good blog piece. You should turn it
    into an article.

  2. Haha and here I thought the story of Dionysus was the only mythological tale that one could associate with wine . Well done! Well done indeed.


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