modern myth

modern goddess: persephone, goddess of spring and queen of the underworld

Modern Greek Mythology

 Hestia comforts the children of broken homes, she appears to them as a school councilor that always has cookies. They cry in her arms, and she lets them stay with her for as long as she can. She stopped calling home, stopped making strongly worded comments to the parents. All there is left are broken homes and suffering children.

 Hera sits next to her sister, holds her hand and thinks about the broken marriages that lead to broken homes. She listens to the couples yelling at each other while she walks on the streets. She holds the crying women, she listens to the hopeless men. All of the power that a goddess of marriage possesses cannot help the people who were betrayed by their closest ones.

 After a long day, Demeter sits on the ground in her garden, holds a cup of tea in hands that have dirt all over them. She wishes that more people would remember what is under all of the concrete. She feels the dying of her world, and curses those who do not care for it.

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(i) aphrodite spends her nights stumbling out of bars the hands of unfamiliar men wrapped around her waist. she smells like hard liquor and cigarette smoke. when dusk turns to dawn she’s always the first to leave. always running. It’s better this way, safer this way.



 

(ii) artemis traded in her bow and arrow for a gun. she still hunts she just hunts a different kind of prey now. she goes out at dusk and comes back home at dawn. bruised and bloody. a few bullets missing from her gun. somewhere buried deep in the body of a man who wore cruelty as if it were a second skin. who did not take no for an answer.



(iii) persephone first saw hades in a club. He was the kind of boy her mother had warned her about. Boys like that her mother had said are nothing but trouble. but persephone had never minded trouble very much. she walked up to him her lips painting a shade of pomegranate and asked if she could buy him a drink.

—  modern goddesses part one 

i. Aphrodite has given up on love. She listens to boys yelling obscene things at innocent girls. She can be found serving drinks at the local bar to broken women and spitting poisonous words at the filthy gentlemen next to them.
ii. Apollo dreads the moment the sun rises. Because when the sun goes up, his local late night show ends and his hour of fame comes to a close. He can be found spending his days, sitting on a park bench asking for loose change and wishing his poetry was good enough.
iii. Ares doesn’t understand war anymore. All he sees is needless bloodshed and brutal homicide based upon abhorrent racial cleansing and childish disagreements. He can be found weeping over the destruction of schools and the murder of innocent children.
iv. Artemis doesn’t hunt game anymore. She carries a switchblade and mace, prepared to fight off any boy harassing a girl with intoxicated footsteps. She can be found holding back girl’s hair as they vomit up their insecurities while sobs wrack their body into the next morning.
v. Athena has stopped believing in reason. When there’s international conflict concerning who marries who and a nationwide crisis about the newest fashion, reason just doesn’t seem applicable anymore. She can be found protesting with college students about real problems.
vi. Dionysus can’t help the madness. When the frequency of mental illness - in children nonetheless, has become so high? What’s the point? He can be found at the same pub and same seat as always; drinking the same dry whisky wishing everything would be the same as it used to be.
vii. Hades can’t stand jewels anymore. Emeralds reflect the envy and greed of humanity while rubies reflect their sexual and blood lust. He can be found rolling his eyes at people begging for their lives in the allies while human demons hunt them down for materialistic ends.
viii. Hephaestus has developed a hatred of fire. It does nothing but steal. It steal oxygen from the air and steal people from their families. Fire does not give it takes. He can be found saving everything he can from fire’s wrath, but will later choke on the smoke of his cigarette.
ix. Hermes can’t stand traveling. His legs are weak and his eyes are strained. He’s carried too many messages to people about the death of loved ones and the love letters are scarce. He can be found stealing, not money, but of their hope and strength because he’s hasn’t any left.

The gods are among us and they can’t survive. Why should I?

—  “Modern Mythology” by Maggie McCloskey 
In the modern world, the goddesses don’t wait for men to fight their battles.
They take weapons and find battles.
Artemis has her hood up and goes hunting after dark. The city’s just another forest in need of a mistress to tip the scale between prey and predator and everyone always said her mouth looked better when it was painted blood red.

There’s too many tears in the streets. Aphrodite thinks it shouldn’t matter. That everyone should love who they want how they want, but it should all start with giving love to yourself. A couple of counseling degrees later and she’s started a movement. She’s glad they’re understanding the strength found in the heart.

Everyone is always at war, and Athena nurtures warriors. Ones that fight with their minds and ones who fight with their fists. Hera started a website and it nearly crashed in the first hour. There’s no room for weakness. Everyone is learning to be Queens.

Then there is one final lesson, the softness amongst the rough. They gather before her throne, and Persephone whispers softly into their ears that it’s ok to love fiercely and leave things behind. Hackles are still hackles no matter how pretty they are. Take your freedom and hope it makes the world burn.
—  There are no fair maidens here, there is only immortals with ichor and steel //L.H.Z

modern goddess: auxesia, goddess of growth

I know you think I’m lazy
But how do I say
I can’t
I remembered the heaviness of the stars

How do you say
I didn’t get out of bed
Because I was mourning for everyone
Who died thinking they were unloved

How do you say
I can’t go to work
There are children starving
And men crying
And souls dying

And we stopped dancing in the rain
We’re only drowning

How do you say
I can’t !
Today I have to be Atlas
And hold the universe upon my shoulders…

If Asgard could be fitted so neatly into the format of the superhero comic, it may be partly due to the fact that, since the advent of Superman, writers and artists had been working with such models consciously or half-consciously in mind. Without engaging in any exhaustive structural comparisons, it should be clear that the major pantheons of gods have certain features in common. The gods need somewhere to live— Asgard or Olympus— which is both remote and yet conveniently at hand, and comprehensible as a superlative form of the castles and palaces inhabited by earthly kings and queens. Odin’s palace in Asgard, Valhalla, may have 540 doors, each wide enough to admit 800 men marching abreast, but it is still the palace of a warrior king: an astonishing structure built from familiar materials. None of this is wholly different from— say— the Fantastic Four’s Baxter Building headquarters, or Wayne Mansion.
—  Richard Reynolds, “Deciphering The Myths,” from Super Heroes: A Modern Mythology (1992)

i.
athena dresses in cool, slick suits for office hours,
and then after she clocks out,
she beats her knuckles in on other people’s jawbones.

the fight clubs are her temples.

ii.
apollo shoots deer down with guns with his sister,
then plays in the local late-night rock band,
so that he can shoot up heroin after the show.

nobody ever specified what music meant to him.

iii.
artemis takes anti-depressants to live,
after actaeon raped her,
and if she didn’t then she’d never be able to hunt with her brother.

sometimes strong people don’t fight back.

iv.
zeus is a corporate ceo of human services,
making storms in other people’s lives,
and he’s fucking his assistant, ganymede, in the bathroom stalls.

the storm-master needs a little lightning of his own.

v.
hera marries zeus,
sipping cool red wine out of a long-stemmed glass,
that she throws on him when she finds out.

she stays because as a marriage counselor, you have to take your own advice.

vi.
aphrodite is a senior in high school,
the school slut,
with a thing for ares, who‘s four years older.

chain-smoking tastes like 50’s perfume if you try hard enough.

vii.
poseidon goes to trial for the rape of medusa,
committed in the back room of athena’s fight club,
demeter testifies against him, too.

the father of two burned out his secrets.

viii.
ares fights at athena’s ring,
beats up the douche who hits his girlfriend on the street,
a raging feminist ally who bluffs his way through immorality.

his motorcycle is the loudest noise in the city that never sleeps.

ix.
hades is a nice guy,
his fingers flash with jeweled rings when he waves them,
dealing drugs out of his pocket.

sweet girls with bloody teeth are his favorite dessert.

x.
persephone crunches diamonds between her teeth,
she sucks the rings off of hades’s finger,
and decorates his house with floral arrangements and nonconformity.

there’s only one queen of the underworld.

xi.
demeter rubs lotion over her dark skin at the flower shop,
she does her best to teach her daughter,
that laying down flat is for doormats.

queens raise queens.

xii.
dionysus spends his nights drinking jack and smoking weed,
long since dead to the concept of balance,
balance is for the weak.

who doesn’t want to live in extremes?

xiii.
hermes is a sweet-talker with great legs,
his affections fleeting and wild,
as he swings around the pole at the all-opportunities club.

his life is flashing lights and nights in jail for petty theft.

xiv.
hephaestus is dedicated to work as well as his wife,
let’s be honest,
algaea is as much work as the metal craft he does in their garage.

rough hands build things that endure.

xv.
hestia is a young girl,
a freshman in high school,
but her eyes are burning with fire as she protects what is hers.

she was taught young to strike first and you will always be safe.
in this world that kills beauty,
even gods cannot survive the fall.

modern gods were not made for this place.

—  modern gods; l.m.

all your gods are teenage girls: zeus, god of the sky