Pluto, The Moon and the Devouring Mother Archetype

SunW

Well-known member
I want to ask all the people who have any major aspect between Pluto and the Moon even if it is a "positive" aspect. In her book "Aspects in Astrology" Sue Tompkins says that those who have such an aspect are often obsessed by their mother (and sometimes by the thought of being a mother) and the mother will also be obsessed by her child. Typically the mother is too protective, controlling and is can't let her children leave home. The love of the mother who have with such an aspect might be devouring and manipulative but often this is hidden. But sometimes the devouring mother might really turn into an evil witch or a vampire, a mother that drains the life out of her child. The mother that is too "caring" by constantly invading the personal space of her child and not letting him/her have any secrets and a place where the child can stay alone.
Sometimes the figure of the parent is the grandfather or the grandmother. Often there is a strong matriarchal lineage.

What do you think about that? I have a sextile between Pluto and the Moon and I have realized the truth very late. And one of my grandmothers is a Scorpio and she is a very manipulative person. I have noticed that in my family - the lineage that comes from the mother and the lineage that comes from the father (I have a Sun in the 8th house), there is a story that deals with something like a curse of a bad wish that has been said by the mother to her child at the moment when the child wants to leave her in order to live in another city. For instance, my grandmother says such a thing to my father when he leaves for another town leaving his mother and the chance to meet her very often.

In the family of my mother, the mother of my grandmother also says a bad thing to her, disappointed that her daughter is going to leave her in order to live in a city far away from her home.

How about those of you who have an aspect between Pluto and the Moon?
 

Prisma

Well-known member
-Yup, plutonian-lunatic themes in the family: check.

Mother-daughter relationships among it had for the most part presented a rejection-rebellion patterns. I can say about my mother that she and her mother are in no-speaking terms, they also kind of obsess about each other, blame , criticize each other, etc, but are too proud to settle the bygones and share the little time they may have left.

I kind of fear the relationship I may have with my own daughter. I love her, but if astrology and family history is to be taken into account and ^those aspect mentioned, well, maybe I am expecting quite a ride. So maybe I should also research how to put a positive spin to the challenging aspects. Maybe we'll headbutt in a couple of issues and as a mother-daughter, maybe we also ackowledge that we love each other fiercely and, after time has passed, maybe she'll realized, as I tried with my own mother, that she also tried to do her best with what she had and was given.

-Found this article: I think it kind of resonates with the dark motherhood theme.

http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/mother-declares-her-children-biggest-regret-her-life-153000908.html
 

kimbermoon

Well-known member
I have the Moon/Pluto opposition and can definitely attest to the suggestion of it being a 'devouring mother.' It does seem to be a familial theme, as one of my daughters also has it highlighted in her chart. I would offer that Pluto often relates to repressed fears, transferred down genetically. My grandmother had her life cut short by suffering domestic abuse contributing to heart problems. My own mother was only 14 when her mother died. As such my mother was very domineering and controlling of me growing up...she always seemed angry to me, and very obsessive; little did I know that her parenting was largely fear-based which accelerated her need to keep me innocent and protected, as I was the first born daughter. In turn I vowed not to be that way with my own daughters...but I guess in a way I failed at that, because I too feared all the potential threats against young girls...I felt that I was not being controlling, by responding in a different way than my mother, but I was still highly protective. My own mother seemed to be angry at me for nearly everything I did, but I did not translate this as being protective...In turn she also died young, as a result of heart problems. It took me many years to understand her actions towards me. Childhood traumas tend to make the child promise to be a 'better mother' herself, yet we often find ourselves repeating the themes that have been passed down to us, even when we try to act differently so as not to alienate our own children. My daughter is grown now, and I also have two granddaughters. I witnessed her also undergoing domestic abuse, despite having been quite independent and reckless in her own youth. Her relationship now with her teenage daughter is currently at the transitional point, also related to Pluto. she has always had a troubled relationship with the daughter, and I do think she was quite unprepared for sudden parenthood...she proved to be quite neglectful of her daughter as a child, during a time when the parents were using drugs; she has also been non-affectionate by nature, thus the daughter yearns for that physical contact. Now, as I have recently posted a thread on this...the two are in fact separated by distance in an attempt to heal the relationship. It is important to consider with this aspect that Pluto also represents deep psychological fears; it is not always about overt power and dominance, but rather an excessive need for control over the child because of fear. The things of Pluto also get buried deeply within the psyche, during the first part of the life. Pluto is also considered sinister in nature; it can produce abusive trends, physically, sexually and emotionally. Still is not truly fair to consider us as devouring our children...we are just misguided in our understanding of providing protection. It is not necessarily a matter of dominating them for personal reasons, but rather being intense in terms of being their protector and saviour. Pluto also invites the concept of 'reincarnational themes', or familial genetic themes being carried over from one generation to the next, opening up a whole new kettle of fish.
 
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surrealsuburb123

Well-known member
With my Moon in Scorpio in conjunction with Pluto, I can also identify with this theme. My mother is very suffocating, and very obsessive. I'm still a teen and I understand the duties of a parent to keep their child safe and all, but she takes it to extremes. And she is a very moody person. Sometimes she screams at me and tells me she hates me, and other times she's hugging me to death. I guess that pluto-moon archetype definitely describes her and my relationship with her.

I'm close to her, and I really love her, but she terrifies me. :pouty:
 

SunW

Well-known member
These stories remind me of the myth of Demeter and Persephone which is a very Plutonian story. Demeter has her daughter from Zeus but she doesn't really want to make love with him. As a result, when her daughter is allready a woman, Demeter still tries very hard to protect her from men. The goddess of love Aphrodite gets very angry because Demeter deprives her daughter from the possibility of being in a relationship with a man, experiencing love and becoming a woman. Aphrodite makes the god of the Underworld Hades fall in love with Persephone. As a result, he abducts her and she becomes the queen of the Underworld. Her mothers cries a lot for her daughter. As you probably know, Persephone spends part of the year with her mother, and the other part of the year, in the Underworld.
 

oriel

Well-known member
I want to ask all the people who have any major aspect between Pluto and the Moon even if it is a "positive" aspect. In her book "Aspects in Astrology" Sue Tompkins says that those who have such an aspect are often obsessed by their mother (and sometimes by the thought of being a mother) and the mother will also be obsessed by her child. Typically the mother is too protective, controlling and is can't let her children leave home. The love of the mother who have with such an aspect might be devouring and manipulative but often this is hidden. But sometimes the devouring mother might really turn into an evil witch or a vampire, a mother that drains the life out of her child. The mother that is too "caring" by constantly invading the personal space of her child and not letting him/her have any secrets and a place where the child can stay alone.
Sometimes the figure of the parent is the grandfather or the grandmother. Often there is a strong matriarchal lineage.

What do you think about that? I have a sextile between Pluto and the Moon and I have realized the truth very late. And one of my grandmothers is a Scorpio and she is a very manipulative person. I have noticed that in my family - the lineage that comes from the mother and the lineage that comes from the father (I have a Sun in the 8th house), there is a story that deals with something like a curse of a bad wish that has been said by the mother to her child at the moment when the child wants to leave her in order to live in another city. For instance, my grandmother says such a thing to my father when he leaves for another town leaving his mother and the chance to meet her very often.

In the family of my mother, the mother of my grandmother also says a bad thing to her, disappointed that her daughter is going to leave her in order to live in a city far away from her home.

How about those of you who have an aspect between Pluto and the Moon?


I have a moon trine pluto..My moon is in pisces and pluto is in scorpio..when I was younger I remember we always have arguments or when things don't go her way but just petty things,I get yelled almost everyday.I always ended up crying in silence.
 

antonarnia

Member
My ex-boyfriend is Scorpio Sun with Pluto in Scorpio. His mother is also a Scorpio. I don't know her natal chart though. I find that he always has some sort of guilt when it comes to his mother. As in, if things don't go her way, she discretely becomes manipulative and controls him. My ex's parents were divorced when he was 16 [i met him 10 years later] He decided it would be best to live with his father. Ever since then she's held a grudge, and he feels so bad. I know he cares, and he doesn't deserve to beat himself up about it at times. I hope this scenario helps.
 

SunW

Well-known member
My ex-boyfriend is Scorpio Sun with Pluto in Scorpio. His mother is also a Scorpio. I don't know her natal chart though. I find that he always has some sort of guilt when it comes to his mother. As in, if things don't go her way, she discretely becomes manipulative and controls him. My ex's parents were divorced when he was 16 [i met him 10 years later] He decided it would be best to live with his father. Ever since then she's held a grudge, and he feels so bad. I know he cares, and he doesn't deserve to beat himself up about it at times. I hope this scenario helps.

Does he have any major aspect between his Moon and Pluto?
 

antonarnia

Member
I'm not quite sure. I'm fairly new to all of this Astology. Once I start to think I know a lot, I realize that there's more and more, and that I just need to sit down. Ha. Which is why I've joined this forum.
 

Lili87

Member
Yes and yes! My Moon (in 4th house Aquarius) squares my Pluto (in 12th house, Scorpio)... and my relationship with my mother has been extremely draining on an emotional level, since as long as I can remember. Neither of us even know why, and I wouldn't be surprise if karma had something to do with it (if you believe in it).
I think the term "devouring mother" is really appropriate here.
She is extremely passionate, stubborn and controlling (she's a Scorpio with Scorpio rising!) and I am quite fleeting (I left home aged 17 -and I'm Scorpio rising too). But I still regard her as the most important person in my life, in terms of influence and the intensity of our relationship -which is definitely a love/hate one... I so envy women who have an uncomplicated relationship with their mother, you know -the ones who see their mother as a friend to whom they can say everything once they reach adulthood.
Now my biggest fear is to recreate this 'consuming' relationship with my own child (when I have one)... I know I will have to make a big, conscious effort not to.
 

greybeard

Well-known member
A good example chart for study of Moon-Pluto is the chess-great Bobby Fischer (9 March 1943, 1439, Chicago--Asc 00Leo34).

1. The character of the mother.
2. Ultimately, she abandons him and he in his turn repudiates everything she is and stands for.
3. His own consequent emotional/relational isolation and alienation.
 

waybread

Staff member
These stories remind me of the myth of Demeter and Persephone which is a very Plutonian story. Demeter has her daughter from Zeus but she doesn't really want to make love with him. As a result, when her daughter is allready a woman, Demeter still tries very hard to protect her from men. The goddess of love Aphrodite gets very angry because Demeter deprives her daughter from the possibility of being in a relationship with a man, experiencing love and becoming a woman. Aphrodite makes the god of the Underworld Hades fall in love with Persephone. As a result, he abducts her and she becomes the queen of the Underworld. Her mothers cries a lot for her daughter. As you probably know, Persephone spends part of the year with her mother, and the other part of the year, in the Underworld.

This is a misreading of the myth. If you get into some actual classical studies literature, you will find versions by Homer and Ovid, as well as a lot of artists' depictions.

A good introduction to the original sources is Robert Graves, The Greek Myths. Or see this classical studies site: http://www.theoi.com/Khthonios/Persephone.html

Zeus/Jupiter was married to Hera/Juno. The original Olympian deities engaged in a certain amount of incest, because "in the beginning," who else was there? Hera was extremely jealous, and Ceres herself did have a few other lovers, although she never married.

In the original Greek versions, Persephone's (Prosperpina's) nickname is Kore, which means "little girl." The real interpretation is that a pre-pubescent girl is abducted and raped by her uncle (Dis/Hades/Pluto.)

Aphrodite either does not appear in this myth at all, or only very tangentionally. In one version she has her son Eros (Cupid) hit Pluto with an arrow, not the young girl. (In the myth of Venus and Adonis, Venus actually competes with Persephone/Prosperpina for Adonis.) Aphrodite's beef, rather, is that she wants everyone under her sway, namely under the power of erotic love. She could care less about the well-being of Persephone.

I am writing this on the eve of the release of 3 young women plus a young daughter from a home in Cleveland where they were imprisioned for 10 years by 3 perverts. Moon-Pluto, indeed.

In the figure of Persephone we essentially have a child raped by her uncle and forced to live with him, as her mother, frantic with grief, searches for her. Persephone herself wages a hunger strike. Eventually Demeter (Ceres) does get her returned, but for only part of the year. Persephone was thus understood as a seasonal nature or agricultural deity, in keeping with Demeter as the goddess of the grain harvest.

The Eleusynian mysteries dedicated to Demeter and Persephone were among the most profound and longstanding religious practices in the Hellenistic world.

I think we need to be very, very careful about the old brand of psychology that blamed Mom for a lot of the adult child's problems.
 
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may28gemini

A good example chart for study of Moon-Pluto is the chess-great Bobby Fischer (9 March 1943, 1439, Chicago--Asc 00Leo34).

1. The character of the mother.
2. Ultimately, she abandons him and he in his turn repudiates everything she is and stands for.
3. His own consequent emotional/relational isolation and alienation.

His mother was a disgusting militant commie who was a paranoid schizo devoted to her "causes" of destruction rather than being a mother to him. She left him to fend for himself in the worst neighborhood in New York with the highest rate of homicide and she said he was probably better off that way. When he grew up, he spouted the same line of hatred for human life by siding with acts of terrorism (Osama Bin Laden), hating Jews in general (both his parents were Jews which makes him a Jew as well) and for "controlling the US," and renouncing his US citizenship. He was the finest chess player that graced the earth, but at the end of the day, he wound up being a self-loathing, life-hating monster like his own rotten mother.

Maybe that's the lesson of Moon-Pluto: you can't get away from your mother no matter how hard you try. I think the tough aspects makes it even more difficult to escape being like one's own mother in a vicious and nasty way...sorta like, the harder you struggle to get away from your mother, the more like her you'll be.
 
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Therese

Well-known member
hi,

maybe one of the catches of the pluto-moon aspect (i have a semi-square) is that we might end up seeing everything we feel, think and do as related to the mother. That she may sort of become a gravitational centre of our inner world because we have such strong needs in us that she could not meet, for one reason or another. And as she becomes an empty gravitational centre (as a symbol of our unmet needs), she sort of becomes a black hole, a devouring mother.

Everybody needs love, caring, to feel safe, etc. To cut our needy part off is tempting, but it would also cut off essential parts of ourselves. I think that in order to be able to live with this aspect in a constructive or not very destructive way, we have to acknowledge what we need and try to give it to ourselves or get it from somebody other than our mother. As long as we need her, we are not able to love her, because we cannot even see her, we can only see her in contrast to what we would need her to be like. Just the same way she is with us! One of us have to at least see and hopefully love the other first, so that the other has an experience of what it feels like to be truly seen and loved, and not needed.

I think we should not leave out from the myth that Persephone became the Queen of the underworld. "Homer describes her as the formidable, venerable majestic queen of the shades, who carries into effect the curses of men upon the souls of the dead." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persephone There are a lot of interpretations of the story, I don't think we should take the gory details literally and necessarily take her case as incest and child abuse. mythology is always full of nasty stuff like Saturn eating his kids, Odin taking out one of his own eyes, etc.

I think it is also interesting to play with whose perspective the story is told from. A contemporary Demeter might tell it like this:

"We were living happily with my little girl, I knew her perfectly. She was my little girl through and through. Then there came this punk with his tattoos and piercings and got into her head and forced himself on her, and she became like a different person, this is not my little girl anymore! She developed a different taste in everything, she says she's found herself, but i know he must have done something to her, she must be under a spell, she will wake up one day and realize that she is in hell and come back to me. As for now, I only get to see her for christmas, easter, thanksgiving and the like... it breaks my heart!"

T.
 
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may28gemini

I think we should not leave out from the myth that Persephone became the Queen of the underworld. "Homer describes her as the formidable, venerable majestic queen of the shades, who carries into effect the curses of men upon the souls of the dead." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persephone There are a lot of interpretations of the story, I don't think we should take the gory details literally and necessarily take her case as incest and child abuse. mythology is always full of nasty stuff like Saturn eating his kids, Odin taking out one of his own eyes, etc.


Stories and even "fairy tales" have ALWAYS been really nasty and gruesome no matter what country of origin it's from. If you've read any original Grimm's fairy tales? Yikes, NIGHTMARES!! It's really thanks to Walt Disney for cleaning up and making every classic would-be "children's stories" like Sleeping Beauty to be magical and innocent. It's actually quite a recent notion (I believe it started in the 1920s?) that children are innocent and sweet and precious and should be "protected." Throughout the millions of years of human life, cultures were NOT gushy and mushy over children. At best they were a necessity because you needed free labor to work the land.

The problem with modern interpretations of super ancient stories is that we mistakenly view them through our current social lenses. Life was really harsh back then... that's why there were gloomy and yucky names given to various eras such as the "Dark Ages" and disease/plagues were rampant, and people wanted to drank their lives away... it was that YUCKY to live back then. The average life span was what? 30s and 40s? Those who lived long lived to be in their 60s but that was because they were extremely privileged and lucky. Reality of the harshness of life mirrored the harshness in the stories that got passed around.

To us, Persephone was abducted by her uncle and raped so she was "abused as a child." Back in Ancient Greece, and pretty much everywhere else around the world for a large period of human history, a girl of 12 or 13 is normally married off by that point. It was also not unusual or even considered customary in a lot of cultures, esp. for the Ancient Greeks, that a girl to be married off to her uncle or some close relative. Ancient Egypt had siblings and father-daughter marry each other. In medieval England, girls around 8 or 9 years old would be married off to old dudes who were in their 40s and 50s. I mean, yeah, it's totally disgusting to us now because it's not the norm to practice that but back then, "incest" and "rape" was pretty much part of "marriage."
 
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Therese

Well-known member
Actually, as far as I know, fairy tales were not meant for kids at all. They were more like folk mythology, sort of local versions of Demeter, Persephone and company. I think it was during the enlightenment and especially the romanticism that they became regarded as stories for children because by that time the collective consciousness was not sensitive to the mythologic content anymore, they only saw unrealistic, weird stories only kids could believe. Classical mythology did not suffer the same way because it was written in a highly civilised language and it was about gods and heros and other "upper class" stuff.

As for the dark middle ages, i take that with a pinch of salt. If you can put your hands on Terry Jones "Medieval Lives" and/or "Barbarians", they are a major revelation! (I think a lot of episodes are on youtube) and real fun. He is debunking history and showing us we've been had :) One of my personal favourites is "The Damsel":

"Monty Python star and medieval enthusiast, Terry Jones, takes us on a tour of the Middle Ages, destroying old myths and discovering extraordinary stories of real people. A look at the world of the medieval damsel; not the shy, demure creatures we imagine today but strong independent women who ran businesses, led armies and, when they felt like it, even abducted the lovers of their choice" http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0078p7z

As for children, people are people. However rigid or cold a society's rules are, i think that not many people find it humanly possible not to love their children. What is considered to be accepted forms of showing love and caring changes from culture to culture, from family to family, from person to person. As for cold, insensitive treatment, we have a culture that claims to value children and wants to protect and provide for them, but I don't see any decrease in child abuse...

T.
 
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may28gemini

Correct. I brought up the points pertaining to children in response to "Kore," to further illustrate that stories, whether they be tales, myths, children's stories, lore; all of them have been pretty gruesome and historically and culturally, children back then were not viewed the same way as we view children today.


Furthermore, to view Persephone's "rape" (that's what it's called- also meant "abduction") as the literal meaning of rape now would be futile and foolish. I was merely commenting and refuting previous posts saying that the myth of Persephone was about child abuse and incest. What's incest to us now was not incest to the Ancient Greeks back then (or even other cultures now). The stories that people passed around back then whether by oral or written tradition were generally of "spiritual" nature but mirrored the harshness of earthy life.

You're right, despite cultures now claiming how much they love children, child abuse hasn't stopped. I don't think anything in life really ever stops, no matter how imperfect or detrimental the actions are. We live in a very irrational time now (but I'm not going to get into it).

As for the YouTube videos, no I haven't seen them. I hardly go on YouTube as is. I hate Monty Python so anything remotely related to that even by 7 degrees of separation, I would not touch within a 100 mile radius.
 

waybread

Staff member
Therese, I agree that someone with moon conjunct Pluto might be hard-wired to see Mom as a "devouring mother"-- or worse. In which case-- suppose the actual Mom were actually an OK mother, or even a good mother. Would she even stand a chance being acceptable to a child with this configuration?? (BTW, neither of my children have this aspect. I have one if you count a very wide orb.)

The logic truly gets problematical if we consider a mother with several children. Each would probably have the moon in a different aspect pattern. Possibly the moon-Pluto child gets singled out or scape-goated in some way, but it is more likely that this child will construe ordinary discipline or adolescent rebellion as Mom's Big Problem-- not the child's undigested horoscope.

It makes much more sense to look at the mother's own chart and hear her side of the story to find out what sort of mother she was. Probably alongside the charts of the moon-Pluto native's siblings, if any.

Please trust me on the mythology-- or better yet, do your own research, possibly starting with the sources I cited above. The Demeter-Persephone myth was not a fairy tale for children. it was the basis of one of the major mystery cults of the ancient world, that lasted for over 1200 years. In Antiquity, people called Persephone's abduction "the rape of Persephone." This isn't my description. They further distinguished rape from other types of sexual relationships.

Two other books I recommend is Mary R. Lefkowitz, Women in Greek Myth, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, or the Oxford Classical Dictionary published by Oxford University Press. Classical studies scholars aren't making this stuff up.

In ancient Greece, women and girls generally did not go outside alone unchaperoned. They were considered fair game for sexual assault by men if they did. Demeter in fact questions Persephone after they are reunited about whether she might, indeed, have been out picking flowers on her own. The daughter insists that she went flower-picking with a group of girlfriends. Thus, she did not knowingly put herself in her abudctor's way.

In ancient Greece, girls pretty much were seen as their father's property-- or mother's if the father were absent. Sometimes in ancient Greece young girls were forced to marry against their will-- and sometimes to much older relatives.

One of Demeter's main complaints, seen in this light, was that Dis/Hades/Pluto never asked for her consent. To add insult to injury, Zeus, as king of the gods, had the power to force Pluto to give up the girl, but he didn't do so. Then Demeter resorts of the Greek mythological equivalent of street-fighting, in causing drought and withholding the harvest. Zeus doesn't particularly mind that humans are starving, and only when the failed harvest cuts into the offerings made to the gods, does he relent and order the girl released. Even then, Pluto tricks her into eating the pomegranite seed, further causing her to stay underground against her will.

Subsequently Persephone settles in as queen of the underworld, a position that gives her considerable authority. However, there is no sexuality in the sense of fertility and childbearing, the normal outcome of rape in classical mythology.

Myths become prominent and gripping precisely because they can be read on many levels. Astrologer Demetra George is one author who decided to turn the myth of Persephone on its head in order to promote her personal agenda on women's sexual liberation.

I could go on about the mythology of Saturn (and his castration of Uranus) which basically mirror the replacement of older gods and religions by newer ones, whose promoters had a serious political agenda in mind, in "emasculating" or discrediting the older gods.

In losing the sight of one of his literal eyes, Odin gains inner insight.

But hey, this is enough for one post.
 
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Therese

Well-known member
Hi Waybread,

I don't think that seeing the mother's chart and hearing her story contradicts what I say, I think we are actually talking about the same thing there: that a child (pluto-moon or not) one day has to grow up and see their mother as a fellow human being, like themselves, and not only through the lenses of what she could or could not give them. The rest of the story, whether mom was actually good or bad, well, I think most mothers (me included) are both. There are things we are better at, others we are worse at, there are times when we are more responsive, creative, joyous, and times when we are exhausted, stressed or sick, etc. Two different children will experience two different mothers, because they have different needs, and/or they are closer in temperament to mom, and an infinity of other factors. None of us can be everything to our children, just like our mother could not be everything to us, either. I think that apart from bad cases, it is usually nobody's fault. And maybe this realization is particularly important for somebody with a pluto-moon aspect. And again, I don't mean there are no truly bad or evil mothers, but I think they are in minority.

I did not say Persephone and Demeter was a fairy tale, I said that fairy tales served the same function as mythological stories, and that they were not for children. They began to be considered as stories for children when people did not understand their archetypal content anymore, and they became merely "strange stories".

Personally, I prefer Kerenyi to Graves. In any case, I was not arguing that this interpretation of the story is wrong, I was just suggesting that there are many possible interpretations. btw I don't think that this myth has anything to do with an actual mother and her actual daughter. Otherwise I would have to think that the Greeks truly believed that there was a big guy called Zeus sitting on top of Olympus, etc. I think that a culture with such a refined quest for knowledge deserves more than that, I believe they were quite aware of the allegorical nature of their mythology.

T.
 
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