Welcome to Mythic Deviant.
I am Sea Gabriel and tonight: Atalanta and it’s nice to see you.
Atalanta’s father really wants a boy.
Atlanta, however, was not a boy.
So her father gives her to a servant to take to be exposed.
So she’s left on the top of a mountain to die.
However, right about that time, a mother bear is coming along.
Her cubs have just been killed by a hunter and she’s so sad and when she sees this baby, she takes it as her own and she raises Atalanta.
Atalanta grows up running through the forest, being cared for by this bear and by Artemis, the goddess of the hunt.
And she grows to be beautiful and swift and a supreme huntress.
She’s taught to hunt with a bow and arrow and she can protect herself, much better than most women of the day.
Eventually, she’s even picked up by Jason and the Argonauts to go on their adventures.
And when one of the Kings offends Artemis, Artemis sets loose, the Calydonian Boar, and Atalanta goes with the Argonauts to hunt it.
Atalanta, being the swiftest, actually fires the first shot that draws blood from the boar.
The boar, then wounded, goes on and is hunted by the group as a pack.
They surround the boar and many people injure the board further until Meleager
actually kills the boar, finally.
He is in love with Atalanta.
He thinks that she is the most beautiful, fabulous creature on the planet and so he gives her the pelt of this boar, but then his uncles get very angry.
They say “no you can’t give that to a woman that pelt is
much more valuable than a woman.”
And upon hearing this, Meleager kills them.
Sadly, upon hearing that his mother kills him.
She’s been holding on to a piece of wood, his whole life, that the gods told her that when this wood burned away, so would his life and she tosses it into the fire as revenge for her brothers.
Hearing all this, Atlanta’s father takes her back.
She’s not so bad.
She was kind of like a boy, but he wants to marry her off.
She only agrees to be married off because she’s heard it would be a bad deal for her if the person who marries her is faster than she is in a foot race.
And if not, the contestants will be put to death.
Many people are killed, many people attempt to outrun her, but they cannot do it.
One man, Hippomenes, sees her and falls madly in love at first sight.
He must, he must marry her, but he doesn’t know if he can outrun her.
She’s looking pretty swift.
Lots of people who’ve died.
So he goes to Aphrodite and says, “Aphrodite, I’m completely in love with this woman. Please help me.”
And Aphrodite gives him three golden apples.
So when he enters the race, and he does, he throws off an apple and he watches her run to grab the apple and then he can overtake her for a while.
And then he throws another apple.
And eventually, he comes in just before her having thrown down the apples.
The truth is she kind of liked him too.
However, he forgets to thank Aphrodite.
And so they are set up to fall madly in love in such a way that they seduce one another within a temple.
Whose temple it is, is debatable and which God punishes them is also debatable, but they are punished by a god.
They’re turned into lions.
Now, some people say that they are turned into lions because, at that time, the Greeks thought that lions could only meet with leopards.
And so that way they couldn’t mate with each other.
Other people say that’s not true at all.
That actually the gods thought that the two of them were so animal-like in their own, right, that they would be better off withdrawing from humanity and going off to live on their own.
But for me, the story really calls the idea of ‘who are we born and then who do we become?’
How does our reception in this world dictate who we will be later?
Atalanta was born a little girl, but then she really became quite masculine and that would not have happened had her father not rejected her.
So, what are the true essences of who you are and how have they been received?
Is there anything that it would be good to bring back?
Is there anything it would be good to let go of?
How can you best move forward?
And of course, one of the biggest lessons of this particular story is don’t forget to say thank you.
You can avoid boars.
You can avoid being turned into a lion.
If you only remember to say thank you, gratitude is everything.
And thank you!
You have a great week.