Fun Stuff/ Research

Knock on Wood (Weird Phrases & Their Origins)

How many times have I said the day was going well and then felt the urge to knock on wood?

Everyone knows what this means…. but where did it come from?

I mean, what goofball stood around while his wife was in labor, nervous, hoping everything would go right, and decided to slam knuckles against a wooden banister, as if this would help?

o_0

 

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Meaning: Knocking on wood (or touching wood, in Britain) is a superstition where people knock on a piece of wood to ward off bad luck or to hopefully gain good fortune.

 

Origin: This phrase has been around since the 19th century, yet no one can decide on an exact origin. The idea with the largest following centers on the pagan belief that spirits lived inside trees. Following this logic, knocking on the tree trunks could have done one of four things.

1 – chase evil spirits away,

2 – wake up good spirits in the hope they’d lend some luck,

3 – thank the spirits for good luck already given, or

4 – prevent the spirits from listening in and reversing what goodness had already taken place.

 

Some Christians linked touching or knocking on wood to the crucifixion of Christ on the cross.

 

Yet another theory was put forth by a British author, Steve Roud in his book, The Lore of the Playground. Roud argues that the phrase came from a children’s game of tag where kids were safe from being tagged if they touched a piece of wood.

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I rather like the idea of creepy creatures running around inside the trees.

What about you?  When was the last time you said, “knock on wood”?

Fun Stuff/ Research

Get Your Ducks in a Row (Weird Phrases & Their Origins)

Speaking of the Coronavirus…

Just kidding. This isn’t a coronavirus post. (Even though I feel like a lot of people need to get their heads straight right now. Stop buying up all the toilet paper, people! I’m a broke cracker! I don’t have the money to go buy eight years supply of toilet paper – I live paycheck to paycheck. So now I roam every store and stare at all the empty toilet paper shelves, wondering why I have morals that stop me from punching people who stuff their cart full of every roll that exists.)

But I digress.

 

Ducks in a Row – what does it mean?

Its basically getting your act together. To get organized, get your facts straight, or take care of your responsibilities.

– when did it first appear?

This is a tricky one. The first recorded mention of little duckies in a row was in The Wilmington Messenger, a newspaper article from July 28, 1889. The article in question talks of how a supposed burglar breaks into someone’s house but escapes when she is interrupted. The writer talks of how the would-be burglar had her “ducks in a row”.

There are a few main theories on where this term came from. One of the most popular refers to the duck shaped targets at shooting galleries. The lesser accepted but possible origin comes from a popular bowling game in the 1700s. Duck pins would be used and would be lined up in a row before being bowled over.

-If you ask me, the most likely source of the phrase is how baby ducklings will follow their mother duck. A cute little row of ducklings waddling along to follow their momma duck, all in perfect and organized order.

 

Do you have all your ducks in a row?

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Fun Stuff/ Research

Weird Phrases & Their Origins: Walked Over My Grave

I love this phrase. Ever since I was a munchkin, I’ve been obsessed with certain words and phrases. I guess it’s a writer thing. 

Maybe its just a weirdo thing. 😉

Either way, I figured I’d share some info on it with you.

 

What it means: When a person says they feel like someone just walked over their grave, they mean they felt a sudden burst of chills run up or down their spine. It’s an involuntary random shiver of sorts that happens due to absolutely nothing. It gives you a case of the heebie-jeebies and yet you can’t quite figure out where they came from or why.

 

Origin: The freaky phrase was first mentioned in A Complete Collection of Genteel and Ingenious Conversation by Jonathan Swift, published in 1738.
You can find the book in the link below if you want to read it for yourself.

Skip ahead to 1853 when sir E. Bulwer Lytton published his novel Zanoni. Lytton not only gave mention to the phrase but described it perfectly. One can’t help but remember a time they felt someone walk over their grave, when reading along. Here’s what Lytton’s character had to say on the matter:

“I think I understand what you mean,” said he; “and perhaps,” he added, with a grave smile, “I could explain it better than yourself.” Here, turning to the others, he added, “You must often have felt, gentlemen each and all of you, especially when sitting alone at night, a strange and unaccountable sensation of coldness and awe creep over you; your blood curdles, and the heart stands still; the limbs shiver, the hair bristles; you are afraid to look up, to turn your eyes to the darker corners of the room; you have a horrible fancy that something unearthly is at hand; presently, the whole spell, if I may so call it, passes away, and you are ready to laugh at your own weakness.

So I can’t tell you how the phrase really came to be or sparked inside someone’s head, we can certainly trace it’s literary footprints.

I have to wonder if people used it before then though and just never wrote it into any literature of any kind. I really wish I could get into the head of whoever first thought it up.

 

When was the first time you heard this phrase?
Have you ever felt someone walk over your grave?

 

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Sources

https://books.google.com/books/about/A_Complete_Collection_of_Genteel_and_Ing.html?id=3lMJAAAAQAAJ (page 84)

https://books.google.com/books?id=_xwGAAAAQAAJ&source=gbs_navlinks_s (page 41)

Fun Stuff/ Research

A Surplus of Tricksters: Pan

This is Trickster #2 in a series of trickster posts. No clue how many I’ll write because the freaky dudes and dudettes keep popping up out of the woodwork. There’s a cache of tricksters awaiting us, an assortment, quite a batch, an assemblage, a cluster, a regular caboodle, a glorious assortment. Absolutely tricksters galore, a lavish abundance, overflowing and concealed. We have tricksters plentiful to pick from, soak in, and learn from.
Strap in crazies, we’re in for a strange, sometimes odd, but always fun ride. It’ll be entertaining at worst. At best, you might meet a beastie you like.

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Greek and Roman
In Greek mythology, his name is Pan. In Roman, he’s Faunus (sometimes Inuus). These two tricksters do differ in the two separate mythologies a bit. At the end I’ll throw in a few tidbits about Faunus where he’s different than Pan.

 
Strange and Dual Beginnings
Son of Hermes (also a trickster) and a nymph (why isn’t she named, you misogynistic myth writers?).

There’s also some talk of Pan being the offspring of other gods, leading to him being the grandson of Cronus. In this version of the tale, he popped out fully formed with horns and goat feet, which freaked out his mum, who hightailed it, abandoning him. Hermes found him and carried him to Olympus, where he lived with nymphs. I don’t think he minded. In fact, in most versions, Pan very much appreciated being surrounded by gorgeous nymphs aplenty.
In some versions of how Pan came to be, he is said to be the offspring of Uranus and Gaea. (Gaea being the personification of the earth we live on.)
Whatever the details, Pan was always a heavy hitter.
He’s human-looking except for the goat legs and horns. He isn’t, however, a satyr. He’s Pan. In some Greek art, he is shown as being fully goat though. I guess the Greeks couldn’t make up their minds where he was concerned.

Dualistic Nature
Pan is a confusing dude but balances out well, as he is upbeat and playful, then dark and terrifying. I suppose this goes along with his being half divine, half animal. One foot in a playful, fun world, the other in a riotous, tricky one. He’s also known to be prophetic now and again.

Plato even calls Pan “the double-natured son of Hermes”.
A man of strangely unrelated pastimes, Pan enjoyed chasing nymphs and creating musical instruments.
Interesting little tidbit, he was god of flocks, which included bees.

Yep. He guarded bees. Does anyone else have a great mental image of a goat-man deity fanning bees out of hunters’ paths?
No? Just me?

As A Trickster
Pan was a mischievous creature. He was lustful, playful, loud, and wild through and through. He was known for playing tricks on humans in the forests. So much so that humans feared running into him when traveling through his homelands.

He was often seen kicking it with Dionysus, the god who can be summed up as follows: wild, riotous, frenzied, madness.
When not hanging out with crazy gods, he was running after nymphs, literally. Pan was an extremely lustful trickster. Most often the desire of his heart thought him ugly and refused his advances. Depending on where you look, some sources say that Pan tricked nymphs into having sex with him, while another claims he had a broad torn apart by shepherds when she refused him.
From what I can find from actual texts, Pan is simply alone and rejected by all the women he wants. In one example, Pan was after the nymph Syrinkx but she didn’t want anything to do with him. In order to escape Pan, she transformed into river-reeds, which Pan then used to create his pipes.

Panic
Pan was also considered the god of panic, hedging him further into trickster territory.

A run in with this trickster is dreaded by travelers, for fear seems to be something Pan frequently created. Makes sense, considering he was said to have such a terrifying voice that he scared the Titans themselves.
The word panic is said to be derived from Pan. He liked to create noises in the forest at night which would freak people out. He is also said to cause irrational, sudden fear when someone is alone in the forest (or alone at all). He could cause panic that would spread across soldiers in an ongoing battle as well. Useful.
As to why he would cause such feelings, no one knows. But if you’re ever alone at night and feel the hairs raise on the back of your neck, blame this dude.

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Roman Faunus
Here, the Pan character was known as the Italian Faunus.

He began as a fruitful god over crops and flocks and became a woodland trickster. Faunus eventually became a universal god of sorts.
I do like how it was mentioned that the sound of the forest was Faunus’s voice. Random but totally cool.
In February in Rome, the Italians would run around during a fertility celebration in goat skins and swing around strips of goatskin. Because yeah, Faunus was basically about fun parties and ladies. He always remained an agricultural god but also became connected with hunters.
Faunus was mentioned specifically as a creature who was the “author of spectral appearances and terrifying sounds”. It sounds like he was a bit more mystical than Pan.

On the Fence
When it comes to this trickster, I’m not too certain I like him. He’d make a good villain to terrify the hapless traveler in the woods. But that’s about it. If I wrote a story with this character as a good guy, I’d probably change him around a bit, capitalize on the panic and fear inducing properties. I’d definitely strip him of the rapey vibe.
This woman obsessed, riotous trickster needs therapy and a hobby that doesn’t include following other people around. Just saying.
However, in others’ opinions, Pan is simply noisy, playful, and happily bouncing about in all the wild places of the world.
As always with tricksters, it’s up to us. Or perhaps, up to whichever lesson we need to learn.

 

Sources

http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/HermesFamily.html

https://www.greek-gods.org/greek-deities/rustic-deities.php

http://www.mythweb.com/encyc/entries/pan.html

https://pantheon.org/articles/p/pan.html

http://www.classicsunveiled.com/mythnet/html/lessgods2.html#Pan

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Pan-Greek-god

http://www.theoi.com/Georgikos/Pan.html

https://www.ancient.eu/Pan/

https://pantheon.org/articles/i/inuus.html

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Echo-Greek-mythology#ref29086

http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Pan_(mythology)

http://www.theoi.com/Nymphe/NympheSyrinx.html

https://pantheon.org/articles/f/faunus.html

“Mythology Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes” by Edith Hamilton, Grand Central Publishing, 1942.

Fun Stuff/ Research

Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl – Love and Loyalty

The city I live in has more Mexican restaurants than graves. There’s this fantastic one that I am in love with. Just thinking about it makes me want to swoon on over and order something. If only I had money, transportation, or a gut that likes human food.

*slams head into wall*

*sobs*

*why can’t my gut love Mexican food like I do*

*wails*

 

Anywho.

In every single restaurant, I noticed the same painting. Which got me curious. The myth lover in me knew there had to be a good story behind it.

I looked it up.

There’s a good story behind it.

 

The painting is of Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl.

They are the names of two volcanoes visible in Mexico City, which are more than 17,000 feet high. They’re the second and third highest mountains in Mexico.

Iztaccihuatl means “White Woman” because the mountains are always snow capped. The mountain, which has four peaks, looks like the silhouette of a lady lying on her back. Hence the name. Though, people typically refer to it as “Sleeping Woman”.

Popocatepetl means “Smoking Mountain” and is still an active volcano.

The two are connected by a mountain pass named Paso de Cortes.

But that’s not what’s interesting.

 

At first, my only thoughts were that Popo and Izta have quite the tragic love story. I thought it was less love story and more tragedy. But a few days later, after having mulled it over, I realized I really like this story. And I do think it’s a tragedy. But I think it is certainly a love story.

Oh, and I’m going to shorten their names to Izta and Popo because so far I have failed at typing their names correctly. I gave up and copy and pasted their names. No laughing.

 


Izta was the princess; daughter of the ruler. Her lover, Popo, wasn’t allowed to marry her until he went into battle and defeated his enemy.

So off went Popo to fight and Izta awaited his triumphant return.

Popo was victorious, killing their enemies. (Yay!)

But someone told Izta that Popo had not only failed but had died. (not yay)

Some versions of the story say this devious someone was a rival of Popo’s. Others state it as a jealous man who wanted Izta for himself. Regardless, the effect was the same.

Izta fell sick and died from a broken heart. And then Popo popped in to find the love of his life dead because of a lie.

He carries her body to the mountains and builds a pyre for the both of them. He kneels in front of her and dies.

In some versions, Popo remained there to watch over her in her sleep for so long that the snow covered them both and they became volcanoes. In others, the gods were so moved by the love the two shared and the tragedy of their deaths, that they turned Popo and Izta into mountains so they would be together forever.

Regardless, Popo now kneels, facing Izta who lies sleeping, for as long as this earth stands.


 

What I like about this story is – love wins. It may be a bit out of the box. But this story is different than most. They’re together. Forever.

Popo didn’t come home and go on a crazy rampage, killing and maiming out of rage. He focused on his lady. I found that quite interesting. Especially since Popo was a warrior.

I love that he was done. As if his life was over now that she was gone. I wish we had more love like that these days. Love that shows and isn’t all about flashy and hollow gestures.

(I don’t recommend anyone jumps off a bridge or offs themselves when their lover dies. I’m simply commenting on this as a story.)

I really enjoy that this popular legend surrounds love surviving all – even death. It’s all over Mexican restaurants. I love that there’s a celebration of a love story all over the city I live in, in the details.

 

Also, why do all old legends and myths surround everyone that’s in love, dying??? Can we answer that question please?

 

Anywho. Here are some photos of the two volcanoes.

 

Popocatepetl

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Iztaccihuatl

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Sources

http://www.mexonline.com/history-popo.htm

https://www.inside-mexico.com/the-legend-of-popocatepetl-iztaccihuatl/

Fun Stuff/ Research

A Surplus of Tricksters: Eris (or Discordia) Part 2 of 2

This is part two of Trickster #1 in a series of trickster posts. No clue how many I’ll write because the freaky dudes and dudettes keep popping up out of the woodwork. There’s a cache of tricksters awaiting us, an assortment, quite a batch, an assemblage, a cluster, a regular caboodle, a glorious assortment. Absolutely tricksters galore, a lavish abundance, overflowing and concealed. We have tricksters plentiful to pick from, soak in, and learn from.
Strap in crazies, we’re in for a strange, sometimes odd, but always fun ride. It’ll be entertaining at worst. At best, you might meet a beastie you like.




(Reminder: I use the names Eris and Discordia interchangeably, as they’re the same goddess with two different names.)

Children
Eris is credited with mothering multiple horrid children who caused destruction and pain for humans worldwide.


Strife, her son, who tags along when she accompanies Ares into the battlefield during wartime.
A daughter, Dysnomia, the personification of lawlessness. She’s called a demon in some versions.


Eris has a third child, a daughter, named Ate, or Folly. This child is the one I find interesting and the most telling. Ate is seen in two differing lights.
One, as a creature who leads others to make very bad decisions. When she did this to Zeus, he banned her from living among the gods.
Two, Ate was seen as an avenger of evil deeds. She justly punished the bad guys. So let’s recap here. Ate or Folly, known as a dual being. Cruel and just. Sounds kinda sorta like a trickster, no?


Which leads me to the possibility that Eris isn’t so bad after all. Rather, trapped in a mythos that was always going to see her as a villain, because she was a female.

 

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Feminist Possibilities
Yep. It’s true.
I’m one of “those people”.
You know, the ones who think men and women are different but of equal value?
Now don’t get your panties in a bunch, this isn’t going to be an anti-male rant. Which has nothing to do with feminism or equal rights, as it is. But let’s not get into that. I might resort to throwing gold apples at people’s heads.
I wonder, as I often find when peering deeper into myths, if some of the women of mythology were painted in a bad light compared to their male counterparts, on purpose.

(Don’t get me started on the Medusa myth. We might be here for a while.)


Going back to the etymology from part one, you’ll notice one of the root meanings is “strife”.
As one author pulling apart Eris’ intricacies pointed out, use another tense of “strife”, and you have “striving”. He goes on to further add that during change, a person strives to improve their life, their situation, or their atmosphere, community, etc.

When a man is a good leader, he’s called a good leader. For a woman, however, they’re being “aggressive”, “bossy”, “bratty”, or a handful of cuss words.
My bet?
That’s a good way to describe a lot of strong females in mythology. Not that there aren’t nasty women. But when they all crop up either nasty or helpless or raped…. Well, I’ll stick with my bet on the subject matter.

Eris is no exception. She’s seen as a goddess who causes issues.
When women want to compete with men, they’re seen as aggressive or just plain stupid.
Discordia causes strife, discord, war.  She threw a golden apple into the mix, which started a competition which then led to a war.
I wonder if she was depicted this way not because she wanted to cause bloodshed and misery, but because she wanted to compete and was thrown to the dogs for it.

Then again, I could totally be reading into what isn’t there, as there are plenty of chicks who are goddesses of war in mythology.
*shrug*
Totally up to you. *cue Reading Rainbow theme song*

Eris and Disney’s Maleficent
Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty is rumored to be fashioned after Eris of Greek mythology.
Seeing the similarities?

During the Apple of Discord incident (also called the Judgment of Paris), Eris wasn’t invited to a wedding and thusly created conflict, which led to war.
In the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent wasn’t invited to the King’s daughter’s christening and was thusly offended. She then cursed the daughter, which ended up creating an unconscious kingdom.

Maleficent is now a movie wherein she’s the hero. Wronged and wrongly accused, hated and demonized, she is in truth, an enraged victim who eventually finds her way back to who she always was, and rules her kingdom with justice and love. Becoming Sleeping Beauty’s true protector.
Maleficent, or Eris, is demonized in typical fashion for characters of myth and folklore. And yet, in the current cultural shifts, we’re allowing strong women to appear as something other than evil or bloodthirsty. Showing them rather as another human being who has the potential to lead and/or create a situation where people can strive to become better.

I wonder. If Eris/Discordia was created today, would she be Maleficent in the newest telling of the story?

Tricky to Pigeonhole
Then again, Ares, the god of war, was hated, even more so than Eris. So perhaps I’m looking for something that isn’t there.
When it comes to tricksters, it’s completely up to you. To each of us.

They are whatever we need them to be. They are the outer limits of the box, walking the fence, they are exactly what we don’t know we need, but often do. There’s typically a lesson within each of them, even if it’s only a cautionary tale of where we ought not go, what we needn’t do, what decisions we’re better off not making.

That’s what’s so exciting about tricksters.
Like Pocahontas suggested, you don’t know what you don’t know.
Tricksters are always ever so willing to point out to us what we’re lacking and where we have room to grow as individuals, families, and societies.

 

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Eris as a Trickster
In a sentence, Eris was known as the cause of violent woe and bloody destruction.
This trickster begins insignificant, certainly not a major player. Eventually, however, Eris becomes quite the foe to tackle. Pretty soon she craves bloodshed and war and is constantly causing issues among humans, so she can realize her desires.
She’s known as a scourge on humankind and none of the other Greek deities want her around, except Ares, god of war, and occasionally, Zeus, when he can use her destruction.

But perhaps the best part of this tale is left to a few lines, tucked away in “Works and Days”, the Greek epic by Hesiod.
Perhaps you only make it to the best part of this trickster if you stick around and keep your ear to the ground, waiting, watching, believing there is something a little more to be gleamed.
Some consider Eris the daughter of Nyx (or Night). Others consider her the child of Zeus and Hera. This is where things get really interesting. According to Hesiod, there are two forms of Eris.

Did you bloody hear that?! Two forms! Two sides to strife, discord. Two forms of Eris.
The only form of Eris we ever hear about is the evil one, the woman who creates pain and bloody deaths for her amusement.

The second form of Eris is more competition than bloodlust. This is what the author I was talking about touched on when he referenced to striving. To strive for betterment, more, an increase of good things in life.
This form of Eris, when she is (rarely) spoken of, brings joy and hope to humans. She inspires within them to become the best versions of themselves.

To be honest, Discordia is offering two sides of a coin. People typically pick the negative, the drama, the bloodlust. So they can hate, jeer against, and throw all their problems on someone else. Eris might very well be the result of supply and demand. Story consumers want conflict, pain, nastiness, people to hate. Story creators create what their audience will buy, absorb.

That’s a pretty simplistic view of course. But it begs the question; what are we demanding of our stories? What do we want to see in the world, in our world?
After all, the best stories hold a mirror up to the person reading them.
What do you see when you look at, and really see, absorb, understand, Discordia, the trickster with a hidden dual nature?

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Sources

https://nameberry.com/babyname/Eris

https://www.etymonline.com/word/eris

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/discordia

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/discord

https://www.etymonline.com/word/discord

https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/dwarf-planets/eris/in-depth/

https://www.space.com/28379-eris-dwarf-planet.html

https://www.nga.gov/features/joachim-wtewael—a-closer-look/the-wedding-of-peleus-and-thetis.html

https://public.wsu.edu/~hughesc/stories.html

https://pantheon.org/articles/a/ate.html

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/apple-of-discord

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/judgment-of-paris

http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/JudgementParis.html

https://pantheon.org/articles/p/paris.html

https://pantheon.org/articles/e/eris.html

https://pantheon.org/articles/d/discordia.html

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Eris-Greek-and-Roman-mythology

http://www.classicsunveiled.com/mythnet/html/lessgods1.html#Eris

http://www.theoi.com/Daimon/Eris.html

https://pantheon.org/articles/d/dysnomia.html

https://genius.com/Walt-disney-records-colors-of-the-wind-lyrics

https://www.theoi.com/Daimon/Eris.html

Fun Stuff/ Research

A Surplus of Tricksters: Eris (or Discordia) Part 1 of 2

This is part one of Trickster #1 in a series of trickster posts. No clue how many I’ll write because the freaky dudes and dudettes keep popping up out of the woodwork. There’s a cache of tricksters awaiting us, an assortment, quite a batch, an assemblage, a cluster, a regular caboodle, a glorious assortment. Absolutely tricksters galore, a lavish abundance, overflowing and concealed. We have tricksters plentiful to pick from, soak in, and learn from.
Strap in crazies, we’re in for a strange, sometimes odd, but always fun ride. It’ll be entertaining at worst. At best, you might meet a beastie you like.

 

Greek and Roman
We all know Greek and Roman myths mirror each other. In Greek, this trickster goes by the name Eris. In Roman lore, she’s Discordia.
I prefer Discordia. Sounds cooler to me.

 

Etymology
Eris comes from the Greek ‘eris’ meaning ‘strife, discord’.
Discordia comes from a bunch of Latin, French, and Middle English words and word roots. Translating to, basically, a bunch of differing ways of saying strife, not friendly, disagree, and discord.
See that connection there? Totally not transparent.
FYI, I use Discordia and Eris interchangeably from here on out.

The whole point to storytelling, to myths and fairy tales, is how we connect them to ourselves, our lives. And if we never manage to peer into the whole jar of affairs, if we never see anything but what’s at the top, we miss the truths lying dormant at the very bottom.

We begin with a story. Once we get to the end of the second part to Eris – she is unveiled as not exactly who we were told to believe her to be. Which opens up the chance for you to decide who Discordia truly is.
Without any further ado, I give you the trickster Eris.

 

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Apple of Discord
Thetis, a sea nymph, and Peleus, a Greek hero, were to be married. These are the parents of Achilles, by the way. Zeus apparently dug himself some trouble when he got these two together. Isn’t he always getting himself in trouble? I mean, the dude is supposed to be a divine deity and he’s more prideful, petty, and entitled than a fourteen year old boy living off of mommy and daddy, no consequences in sight for any of his actions. But I digress.

This wedding was busting with all the Greek deities.
Everyone was invited, except for Eris.
Nothing like snubbing the unpopular chick.
Obviously, Eris was displeased. To put it mildly.
She shows up regardless but is turned away.

You’d think common sense would dictate not to spurn her any further. It’s not like these people didn’t know what would happen if they turned her away. Okay, they didn’t know exactly what she’d do, but they had to know she’d at the very least attempt to boil them alive or something equally distasteful.
But no-oo, these intelligence-challenged “divine beings” went and kicked the goddess of strife and discord to the curb.
(I wonder if Eris stood back for a moment and wondered to herself how many times she’d have to teach them not to insult her before they got the message?)

Discordia was now fitfully and frightfully furious. In her rage, she grabbed a golden apple and threw it amongst the wedding guests.
Just wondering. Does this chick carry around golden apples all day? That sounds inconvenient. Or did the Olympians have golden apples falling off their trees? The latter sounds a wee bit gawdy. Plus, I bet it’d hurt to have one of those suckers fall on your head while out for a leisurely stroll amongst trees. And who eats golden apples?! They’re made of gold…
Anywho.

On the apple Eris inscribed the words, “For the Fairest”.
Hilariously, this caused problems immediately. If you’ve ever read anything about Greek mythological gods and goddesses, you know they can be a bunch of vain, backstabbing, raping, murdering, thieving, jerks. To put it nicely. Which is probably why I have no sympathy for their not inviting her, then kicking her out, then going ape over a golden apple meant for the fairest.
Among the crowd were three goddesses who fought over the apple, each thinking themselves the fairest. Aphrodite (Venus), Hera (Juno), and Athena (Minerva).
As the story plays out, one was chosen and two were angered.
And this is how the Trojan War started.
*head desk*

 

Planet
Eris is a dual being disguised as an evil trickster, a destroyer of weddings, enjoys causing wars, and is often seen bebopping around town with Ares, god of war, who is also her brother.
Guess what else?
She’s got a planet named after her!

Okay, it’s a dwarf planet, but it’s still a planet. Eris is actually one of the largest dwarf planets in our solar system. How cool is that?! Scientists in NASA like Eris to the point that they named a planet after her. I must say, applause to the scientists. I like.

Because Eris, the planet, is so far away from the sun, it’s actual atmosphere freezes and falls to the surface of the planet as snow. Freaky, right? When it gets closer to the sun, it thaws and then starts the whole process over again.

According to NASA, Eris has a moon named Dysnomia, after Eris’ mythological daughter, which is apparently the goddess of lawlessness.

 

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Chaos
We mustn’t forget that Eris was created in a time when people were seeking to understand the world around them. Why did things happen? Like war, for example.

Well, gee, maybe it was a crazy contentious goddess that did it. Totally out of mere mortals’ hands. The gods and goddesses forever jerking humans around. Ri-ight. Humans have no control over war, whatsoever. *wink* *wink* It is good to keep in mind that the Trojan War didn’t actually happen and that Eris is a literary device.

Eris can be seen as the reason for war, suffering, daily strife, and misery, wrapped up in a neat, out-of-humans’-control, bow. Often times we find that myths and lore are patsies for what we didn’t understand yet.

Or, you know Eris can simply be a fun character or myth. A trickster can be many different things.

 

Tricksters as Change
The myth of Eris has fractioned into two possibilities. One sees her as evil, the other as an engine of change.

If you’re a fan of any tricksters, you know they often don’t see things in the same light as the culture they live within. This causes some major clashes and eventually, changes. The case of Eris is particularly striking to me because it is only now that Eris is becoming seen in a new light. And perhaps that is because the world we live in no longer thinks of women as inherently evil or less than. A culture that is striving to see women as capable and worthy of being leaders and creators.
Don’t hold your breath, but definitely keep an eye out for the second installment on Eris…

While you’re at it, keep both eyes open for it, and in general. Running into trees, buildings, and walls is a thing. Not a fun thing. Please utilize both eyes.
As a teeny tiny teaser for the concluding installment on Discordia, I pose this question. Does she sound at all familiar to the villain in a Disney movie?

 


Sources

https://nameberry.com/babyname/Eris

https://www.etymonline.com/word/eris

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/discordia

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/discord

https://www.etymonline.com/word/discord

https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/dwarf-planets/eris/in-depth/

https://www.space.com/28379-eris-dwarf-planet.html

https://www.nga.gov/features/joachim-wtewael—a-closer-look/the-wedding-of-peleus-and-thetis.html

https://public.wsu.edu/~hughesc/stories.html

https://pantheon.org/articles/a/ate.html

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/apple-of-discord

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/judgment-of-paris

http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/JudgementParis.html

https://pantheon.org/articles/p/paris.html

https://pantheon.org/articles/e/eris.html

https://pantheon.org/articles/d/discordia.html

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Eris-Greek-and-Roman-mythology

http://www.classicsunveiled.com/mythnet/html/lessgods1.html#Eris

http://www.theoi.com/Daimon/Eris.html

https://pantheon.org/articles/d/dysnomia.html

https://genius.com/Walt-disney-records-colors-of-the-wind-lyrics

Fun Stuff/ Research

3 Old Wives Tales That Are Wrong

Old wives tales are superstitions passed down through time. They’re beliefs that aren’t backed up by facts.

While some of them are actually true, some are dangerously false. How are a couple of old wives tales dangerous, you ask? Dangerous like killing an infant with alcohol by accident. Just saying…
Here are three old wives tales that have been proven to be incorrect. As well as the facts to back them up so argumentative relatives can’t catch you with your opinion pants down around your ankles. 

You know what I’m talking about. We all have those relatives who enjoy arguing more than breathing.

 

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ONE
The tale: Rub some whiskey on your infant’s gums to stop teething pain.

The truth: Alcohol can kill the wee just born mini humans.

The facts: According to Dr. Jennifer Shu, a pediatrician, no amount of alcohol is safe for infants. Makes sense to me!
Let’s look at it this way. When adults take a shot, they drink about one ounce of alcohol, according to Jaclyn Stewart. A baby is getting 0.01 of that amount when a parent rubs whiskey on their gums.

But infants are tiny little sacks of flesh wrapped around tinier bones! They’re itty bitty and can easily be harmed. Stewart continues to plead our case as she goes on to describe what alcohol does to a tiny baby’s body. In a few words? It slows them down.

Sounds like not such a big deal? Think again.
Babies are constantly growing and slowing their freshly baked bodies down can cause developmental issues.

There’s enough challenge in this world for us humans, please don’t add any more for your child before they’re old enough to even understand the difference between chocolate and vanilla.

What to do instead? Dr. Shu saves our bums again. She suggests massaging your baby’s gums with a warm washcloth, allowing them to chew on cool baby rings made of the appropriate materials, or using an over the counter pain reliever in the appropriate dose for your wee one.
Seriously though, don’t give alcohol to babies. It’s not funny.

 

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TWO

Old wives tale: Cracking your knuckles causes arthritis.

The truth: Nope. It hasn’t been proven to cause arthritis. Though, you might not want to make a habit of it, regardless.

The facts: There are multiple theories as to why our knuckles make a cracking sound. The most popular one is that bubbles are bursting in our synovial fluid when we crack them. Synovial fluid, by the way, is fluid that lubricates your joints. Muy importante.

Everywhere we turn, there is one thing people agree on. Cracking your knuckles on a consistent basis is noisy and annoying. Knock it off.

It certainly isn’t on the top of my annoying noises list.

(Anyone here chew with their mouth open and smack louder than a dog with peanut butter? You’re at the top of my list. Stop or die. Grrrr!!!)

But apparently cracking your knuckles drives some people up the wall and back down again. Pick a new habit. And in case that isn’t enough to get you to quit, it’s also been suggested that cracking your knuckles gives you problem with grip strength. Not something I’d give up without a fight.

So while the old wives were wrong about cracking knuckles causing arthritis, it’s still not advisable.

 

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THREE

Old wives tale: Starve a fever, feed a cold. (I’ve also heard people turn that around.)

The truth: No! No! And, uh? No!
Please hold while I slam my head into this desk.

The facts: Starving is rarely, if ever, good for improving anything. Except maybe your appreciation for life once you’re rescued from that island you were shipwrecked on, after you nicknamed the local seagulls and began wondering how good tree bark tastes.

Regardless of which way you’ve heard this old wives tale said, it doesn’t matter. They’re both wrong. We need to feed both a fever and a cold.

When fighting off being sick, our bodies need energy. Nutrient-rich food is what our bodies use to create that energy. Ta-da.
(You definitely don’t want to overeat though.)
When you have a fever, it’s your body trying to fight off the illness. According to Mark Fischetti over at Scientific America, fevers increase our metabolism, meaning we need enough food for our bodies to burn in the pursuit of getting healthy.

Whether we have a fever or a cold, we need to eat healthy food and stay hydrated. Our bodies need the nutrients. Antioxidants, protein, glutathione, phytochemicals, and bioflavonoids are especially good for your health and can often prevent a person from getting sick too often.

If you’re sick and hear someone tell you to fast? Roll your eyes and cram the veggies and water down your gullet. When stuffy nose and fever attacks, fight back with healthy food, giving this old wives tale no nevermind.

 

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The next time you hear an old wives tale, maybe consider whether or not it’s true on your own.

 

Did your parents put alcohol on your gums? 

Does anyone else remember those teething rings from the fridge that were in the shape of the number eight and had little bumps all over them? (I used to love those things as a wee one.)

What are your favorite old wives tales? Are there any you wonder whether or not are accurate?

 

Sources

https://www.babymed.com/blogs/jaclyn-stewart/whiskey-risky

http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/expert.q.a/12/01/baby.teething.gums/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fact-or-fiction-feed-a-cold/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/does-knuckle-cracking-cause-arthritis

https://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/joint-cracking-osteoarthritis