Poseidon - God of the Sea and other waters, of earthquakes, and horses
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Poseidon – God of the Sea and other waters, of earthquakes, and horses

Now that I have told you about Hera – Goddess of women, marriage, family, and childbirth, it is time to take a look at the ill-tempered and unpredictable Poseidon – God of the Sea and other waters, of earthquakes, and horses.

Poseidon, the god of the sea, is the son of Kronos and Rhea. He has a fierce temperament, and hurricanes and earthquakes are his punishment to those who do not obey him. He carries the nickname “earth-shaker”. Poseidon’s anger is terrible. Just think of the poor Odysseus, whose departure from the war in Troy would take 10 years – just because he had insulted Poseidon. Of course, it did not get any better when Odysseus blinded Poseidon’s one-eyed son, the Cyclops Polyphemus. 

The thing that connects all of the areas that Poseidon is the God of is how difficult they are to control – the storms of the sea and the earthquakes are the most destructible and uncontrollable forces known to man, and the horse is the strongest domestic animal man has – and perhaps the most independent.

Poseidon’s attribute is the trident, which is forged by the Cyclops, and he is often depicted with dolphins. Poseidon is the protector of sailors. Before embarking on a dangerous journey, they would sacrifice to Poseidon – sometimes by drowning a horse. Why is that? Well, Poseidon is also the god of the horse. In fact, he made the first horse. It happened in a competition with Athena about who was supposed to be the protector of the city of Athens. Anyone who could give the city the best gift would win. Poseidon conjured a horse, but Athena created the olive tree, and for Poseidon’s disappointment, Athens king chose the olive tree, which provides oil, food, and firewood, and Athena is named the winner.

For a period, Poseidon is one of the protectors of the oracle in Delphi. He is often portrayed in a chariot drawn across the sea by seahorses, accompanying him is his follower’s Nereids and Tritons. At the bottom of the sea, he has a palace, but his official domicile is at Mount Olympus.

Poseidon is married to Amphitrite the sea nymph with whom he has the son Triton. Like his brother Zeus, Poseidon also has many erotic adventures. Of other (outside of marriage) sons he has Antaios, Orion and Polyfemos. In the shape of a horse, Poseidon raped Medusa and bred Pegasus; it even happens on the floor of the Athena Temple (because of this, Medusa was punished by Athena and she was turned into the monster from the legends that we know, but more on this later). Legends say, that Pegasus jumps out of Medusa’s neck when the hero Perseus beheads her. 

At one point, Poseidon falls in love with the beautiful youngster Pelops, son of Tantalus. Poseidon takes Pelops up to Mount Olympus, where he becomes his lover. The other gods force Poseidon to let Pelops return to earth and Poseidon gives him many treasurable gifts.

Even his sister Demeter is not safe from his desire. To escape his advances, she turns into a mare and hides among a bunch of horses. However, Poseidon immediately turns into a stallion and rapes her. The result is the talking horse Arion.

Next time I will tell the tale of Hades, the God of the Underworld.

Thank you for reading this blog post. This a blog post in a series regarding greek mythology. If I have piqued your interest, and you want to read the next blog posts I do on the topic or on other subjects I write about; please remember to subscribe in the box on the right sidebar.

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Sincerely, Elena

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