Η Γέννηση της Κόρης
“My mother was my first country,
the first place I ever lived.”
Loud cries of pain could be heard all across the wheat meadow, disturbing the otherwise peaceful fields this beautiful evening. A light breeze shook their long delicate branches, which were gleaming golden under the light of the setting sun. It was time for the mighty Titan Helios to leave his place in the vast sky for the Goddess Selene to breathe.
The animals were nurturing their young as they remained in the safety of their homes. They were waiting for the painful screams to finally come to an end. Usually, the Goddess of Harvest would walk among her fields during these hours, making sure that everything was perfectly intact before she could finally rest for the day. However, today she was nowhere to be seen.
The piercing screams of agony never ceased. They were ringing louder and louder in the silent fields as the time passed by. They came from a humble wooden hut that was cozier than what it actually looked from the outside. It was built right in the center of the golden meadow and black smoke was pouring out from its chimney, indicated that the small cabin was full of life. In this specific little hut, which didn’t necessarily fill someone’s eye, was turned all of the attention of the Gods and Goddesses of Olympus.
The Greek Pantheon’s main deities had gathered to their King’s magnificent palace which was placed on the highest peak of the highest mountain in Greece, Olympus. They made themselves comfortable in their elegant thrones in Zeus’ circular throne room, having arrived just in time to observe closely the events unfolding at this very moment in the middle of the wheat meadow.
Their attention was turned to the refined pond of water in front of them, which was placed in the center of the room for everyone to have a clear view from their throne. Its waters came from Castalia –the sacred fountain of the Oracle of Delphi, turning the pond into a mirror able to show the past, present, and future. The divines could only look with admiration and excitement into the Mirror of Castalia, waiting patiently for the events to unfold.
“The time has finally come!“, exclaimed Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love and Beauty, as her blue eyes filled with the enthusiasm she could no longer hide.
“Almost”, said Athena, Goddess of Wisdom and Militarily Victory, rolling her eyes at her sister’s overrating excitement.
“The stars have almost aligned...the moon is rising on the sky”, pointed out Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt and Moon, as she watched the last rays of the bright sun disappear in the sky.
The others nodded in agreement, admiring the changing sky above them as it turned from faint pink to darkness. The throne room had no ceiling, only a few marble columns here and there for decoration. This of course was made on purpose, for the stars hide secrets that only those who know where to seek them can find them. And the deities knew to read the omens and the destiny in them better than anyone else.
“Looks like we are going to have a new member added to our family very soon!” Hermes, God of Trade, Travel, and Luck, thought loudly. A wide smile was decorating his face, and his almond orbs were never wavering away from the mirror.
The rest of the Olympians were also thrilled at this joyful news and did absolutely nothing to hide it. Why would they hide their happiness anyway? Their family would grow larger by a God or a Goddess and they could not wait to meet them. A new deity would walk through these very halls and join them for the rest of their eternal lives. They always were delighted to have a new brother or sister joining them, no matter the circumstances of their birth.
“An illegitimate member.”
The cold voice sent chills down everyone’s spine as it dripped with hate and fury. It caused their wide smiles to freeze on their immortal faces. Everyone stopped whatever they were doing and looked hesitantly towards their angry Queen as she took a big sip of ambrosia out of her golden cup.
Jealousy was clear in every feature of her otherwise flawless face, indicating she was definitely not pleased with the situation at hand. She glanced despitefully towards her husband and mighty King of the Gods, wishing for him to feel the daggers that her gaze threw. He swiftly turned towards his raging wife, his sky blue orbs shining with fury.
“That’s enough!“, his booming voice bounced around the throne room, making everyone unable to look him straight in the eye.
Zeus, God of Thunder and Lightning, was not a person to be messed with. He hadn’t earned his title as Ruler of the Skies and King of both Gods and Mortals for no reason -the other deities were well aware of this fact. He was one of the three most powerful Gods of the Greek Pantheon and he had existed long before any of these lesser Gods had. Most of them were his descendants and loved and feared him as a child does his father.
He was a loving and caring father, who would look out for all his creations -divine and humans both. However, he could be downright terrifying, when his anger clouded his thoughts. He became absolutely livid and the punishments he delivered were cruel and painful. Prometheus and Hephaestus had learned not to defy him when it was already too late. They had paid the horrible price for it.
His huge glowing form walked towards his wife slowly, his blood-red tunic swirling behind him and touching the marble floor as he did so. A loud booming sound was heard around the room as black clouds suddenly appeared in the clear blue sky out of nowhere. Electricity was created in them as jags of lightning started to appear from inside of them.
“You may be my wife, but I forbid you from talking ill of my child and its mother”, he commanded her with a strict tone as he pointed an accusing finger to her celestial form.
“The child is innocent –It didn’t do anything wrong”, his blue eyes were hard and unforgiving as he gazed down at her calm and petite figure, “If you have to blame someone, blame me.”
“She is a reminder of your affair with her mother”, she answered back at him as she stood from her throne and looked at him in defiance.
“She is a reminder of you cheating on me!“, she shouted as her emotions overwhelmed her. The injustice that was done to her was too much for her to forget and move on.
“She is not the first”, he stared down at her like an eagle observing his prey with his sharp eyes. He finally reached her throne.
“And she won’t be the last,” he warned her as the thunder sounds continued, indicated that he was not happy at all by her behavior.
Hera gave him a poisonous glare with as much hate as she could muster. The other deities flinched, not daring to look at her in her hazel eyes. They were sure that if Zeus was a mortal, he would have surely been walking through Hades’ halls waiting for his time of judgment by now.
The Goddess of Marriage and Queen of the Gods took her blue tunic in her shaking hands and left the throne room in a haste, giving one last nasty look over her shoulder. Her hate for the mother and her child grew bigger inside of her as she left the other Gods to celebrate.
One day she would make sure that they would pay for Zeus’ betrayal. She would take her revenge -they would all feel her terrible wrath. She would make sure of it. Then, Zeus would pay the price of his mistakes and her honor will be finally restored.
The room was deathly quiet after she ran away that if a pin fell down, it would be heard clearly. Zeus was a well-known womanizer and it was very usual of him to seduce women and impregnate them -mortals and divine both. His antics never changed, no matter how many years passed by. They had a lot of brothers and sisters that were conceived like this, so it didn’t make them wonder and question him anymore. Besides, their King of a father always wanted to get on his wife’s nerves and this was the best way to achieve it.
The Gods and Goddesses knowing their father’s anger issues and not wanting to face his infamous wrath, tried to not get Zeus angrier than he already was. They remained silent as they sat on their magnificent thrones with their heads hanging low as a sign of respect. Only a mad man would go against Zeus, especially when he was seething and walking back and forth trembling from anger.
“Well,” concluded Ares, the God of War, “that escalated quickly.”
The others watched him with bewilderment after his words, holding their breathes as they waited for Zeus’ reaction. Hestia, Goddess of Home and Family, was ready to answer back to her idiot of a nephew when the loud cries of pain were heard again even stronger than before. Realizing the reason they had all gathered in Olympus in the first place, they returned their attention solely to what was happening inside of the wooden hut.
A woman appeared in the Mirror of Castalia as she lay on a big bed with white sheets. Her long brunette hair was sticking on her sweaty forehead and sun-kissed skin as she breathed heavily. Her silky locks were spread on her comfortable pillow as if they were a dark crown made out of mahogany wood. Numerous shiny droplets of sweat were decorating her face, slowly gliding down her soft skin and disappearing on the curve of her neck. Around her, her fellow followers, the Nymphs were running frantically around, making sure that everything was perfect for when the time was right.
A painful spasm rocked her weak glowing form as she was getting closer to giving birth to her child. The pain clouded her mind, making her back arch up at the horrible sensation. Her loud scream made everyone around her jump out of panic and act quickly. She held tightly onto the hand of Carya, her most trusted servant and closest friend. The Nymph placed a wet clothe on her forehead to soothe her.
“Shhh,” she whispered into her ear with her sweet voice.
“Everything is going to be alright, my Lady.”
Another forceful spasm forced her to squeal painfully and cry out again. Tears of pain began to fall from her honey-colored eyes. She thought that being immortal meant that she would feel no pain or sorrow in her life. That she would be protected from human nature and its sins, but apparently, she couldn’t have been more wrong.
Immortals were not immune to feelings, only death. However, there are always worse things than death, which make eternal life seem more like a curse rather than a blessing. She clenched Carya’s hand tightly as the pain rocked her whole being, not wanting to think of such things at this special moment. The comforting words that her friend whispered in her ears were doing little to calm her down, but she didn’t dare complain.
“My Lady”, Euadne greeted her as she looked between her tights checking her expansion.
“The time has come,” she confirmed as she looked back at her with worried eyes.
Demeter took in a deep breath in order to calm herself down as the other Nymphs surrounded her. They tried to comfort her and whispered sweet nothings to her ears, but the Goddess of Harvest didn’t hear them through her painful contractions. However, she felt so grateful for them to be there for her and their presence gave her the courage to continue.
“You need to push, my Lady”, She heard a voice advising her.
She held tightly on the silky bedsheets as she began to push her baby out. The pain she was feeling was unimaginable -it could not fit into words. How could someone experience so much hurt and not faint? How could the women who experience childbirth be so strong? Was it the strength of a woman that kept them going or the love for their child? Both, she decided.
“You’re doing amazing, my Lady!“, someone from her right praised her, encouraging her to continue.
She screamed and cried and ripped the sheets, but she never ceased her tries. Carya whispered words of admiration and comfort to her as she exhausted herself completely. She felt like her body would split into two different pieces before the baby came out of her womb.
“It’s all going to be worth it in the end”, the Nymph smiled down at her as tears fell from her eyes and onto her rosy cheeks, “Trust me, my Goddess.”
Blinded with pain, she screamed one more time and used all her remaining strength to give a mighty last push. That’s when she heard it -a sound so majestic that she would never forget. Hearing her baby’s cries as it desperately tried to take its first breaths was truly the best sound she had ever heard in her entire immortal life.
She fell back onto the bedsheets, tired from all her efforts, and with labored breathing. She closed her tearful eyes as the wonderful cries filled the whole house as if they were the calmest of music. Her heart was beating rapidly inside her chest and her body was sweaty and in pain. However, she didn’t allow Morpheus to take her into the world of dreams, no matter how much she wanted to do so.
“My Lady, Demeter, your daughter.”
She took the little buddle carefully in her arms, watching it with amazement and love as it moved its small hands around. She watched the small baby girl open those mesmerizing emerald eyes of hers as her mother touched softly her chubby pale cheek. Demeter gasped in surprise at their vibrant color as it reminded her of the green leaves of the forest’s trees as the sun rays fell down on them.
“My beautiful flower”, she whispered to her as the small baby held onto her pointy finger. Her small palm was not able to close completely around her finger.
She felt a love so deep and pure for her daughter, something she had never felt before for anyone else. A love that only a mother would possibly understand and feel.
After her affair with Zeus was over, she swore that she would never let another man rule her life again and use her as he had. She would never again be blinded by Eros’s arrows and wouldn’t let herself become a pawn in the hands of a man. The King of Gods had done a great job in humiliating her in front of the other Gods and Goddesses, making her seem like a complete fool.
For a long period of time, he had made her feel ashamed to even walk the halls of his palace as the whispers and laughter were too much for her to handle. She understood then that he never truly loved her as she did him. For her, he was the one, but for him... she was just another conquest. With her heart shuttered and her honor stained, she swore to stay as far away from him as possible.
When she came to know that she was pregnant, she was absolutely livid. She wanted no strings attached to that traitor. She wanted to abort his spawn, destroy it like every other clue that this affair had ever existed. She wanted to become free from this nightmare that she now had to call reality. Truth be told, she didn’t want to have a single reminder of him and the embarrassment he had made her seem among the Greek Pantheon.
However, the seed that was growing inside of her was as much part of her as it was part of him. She couldn’t bring herself to harm her own child, no matter how much hate she had for Zeus. And then was when she finally understood; there is nothing as powerful as a mother’s love and as healing as a child’s soul.
She made the decision that from now on this child would be her only source of happiness -her only joy in her immortal life. She would dedicate herself to keep it innocent, loved, and protected from anyone and everything that could possibly harm it. She would keep it to herself, away from all the cruelty of this world and the deceiving ways of the Gods. It would be her only family -the only person she would love and cherish, and she would treasure it like the precious gem it was. Looking at the emerald eyes of her newborn daughter, she couldn’t help but finalize her decision.
“What should your name be, my beloved daughter?“, she thought as she kissed her forehead.
The young girl would surely follow in her mother’s footsteps. Demeter was the Goddess of Harvest and Agriculture and she, being her child, would have similar powers to hers. She would be connected to the earth and mother Gaea -her power source coming from the foundations of the Earth. She should have a name that would fit her personality and celestial powers, but Demeter couldn’t come up with anything fit for her.
“Hmm”, she murmured kissing her little button nose making the baby giggle in her arms.
“How about Kore?“, she finally decided after a lot of thought.
The Gods and Goddesses cheered among themselves in Olympus, raising their golden cups that were filled to the brim with ambrosia. They had just received a new member to their already large family, a beautiful sister, and they were ecstatic and thrilled at the news of her birth. They congratulated Zeus for his new daughter, patting his broad back and giving him big smiles filled with happiness as he couldn’t stop watching the small baby in her mother’s warm hug.
“To my beloved daughter!” Zeus made a toast.
A bright smile that reached his ears appeared on his face as his cup raised high.
“The Goddess of Spring!”
End of chapter 1!!
Title Translation: “The Birth of Kore”
1) Kore in Greek means daughter
2)Morpheus is the God of Dreams
3)Gaea is a Titaness and a universal mother. She is considered as Mother Earth.
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Until next time!!