At the outset of The Year-god’s Daughter, our Aridela is only ten years old. Yet, fired by divine insight, she enters the bullring, determined to win glory for herself. Because of this act, her life becomes inexorably linked to the lives of two men from Mycenae.
There are two, perhaps three meanings to her name: Utterly Clear, and One Visible from Afar. Robert Graves translates it as The Very Manifest One.
Four words I might use to describe her: “uncomfortable in her skin.”
I will add more about Aridela as books in the series become available.
From Dionysos (Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life), by Carl Kerényi:
“…we may assume that in one aspect of her being Ariadne was a dark goddess. Among the Greeks the epithet “utterly pure” was attached preeminently to Persephone, the queen of the underworld, although other goddesses also were termed hagne. What seems significant here is the intensive contained in the first part of the name. A similarly accented attribute completed Ariadne’s character and provided another aspect. The Cretans also called her “Aridela,” “the utterly clear.” just as they also called Koronis “Aigle.” She could appear “utterly clear” in the heavens. The lunar character of Ariadne can no more be doubted than that of the crow-virgin, mother of Asklepios, who was able to shine like light.”
“Ariadne is described as a girl “with beautiful braids of hair,” an ornamental epithet that Homer confers more often on goddesses than on common girls. According to the Odyssey, (XI 321-22), Ariadne was a daughter of the “evil-plotting Minos,”–an epithet that presupposes the labyrinth as a place of death. Ariadne, the king’s daughter, was mortal, since she was killed by Artemis. She committed the sin of following Theseus, the foreign prince. Homer knew the story of how the hero and his band of seven youths and seven maidens were rescued by means of the famous thread, which is held in the hand in executing the difficult dance figure. The thread was a gift of Ariadne, and it was she who saved Theseus from the labyrinth. Even in this story, which has become so human, Ariadne discloses a close relationship, such as only the Minoan “mistress of the labyrinth” could have had, to both aspects of the labyrinth: the home of the Minotaur and the scene of the winding and unwinding dance. In the legend the Great Goddess has become a king’s daughter, but there can be no doubt as to her identity. In the Greek period of the island she bore a name–although, as we shall soon see, she also had others–that is not a name at all but only an epithet and an indication of her nature. “Ariadne” is a Cretan-Greek form for “Arihagne,” the “utterly pure,” from the adjective adnon for hagnon.”
Carl Kerenyi also says: “Ariadne-Aridela, who had a cult period corresponding to each of her two names, was no doubt the Great Moon Goddess of the Aegean world, but her association with Dionysos shows how much more she was than the moon. The dimensions of the celestial phenomena cannot encompass such a goddess. Just as Dionysos is the archetypal reality of zoë, so Ariadne is the archetypal reality of the bestowal of soul, of what makes a living creature an individual.”
” In the union of two archetypal images, the divine pair Dionysos and Ariadne represent the eternal passage of zoë into and through the genesis of living creatures. This occurs over and over again and is always, uninterruptedly, present. Not only in the Greek religion, but also in the earlier Minoan religion and mythology, zoë takes the masculine form, while the genesis of souls takes the feminine form.”
From The Knossos Labyrinth, by Rodney Castleden:
“The princess Ariadne, at once Minos’s daughter and Theseus’s lover, is the mystic, mysterious, feminine heart of Minoan civilization. She is the dark and volatile beauty at the centre of the Labyrinth: princess, priestess, goddess, mistress. She flees from Knossos with Theseus, sailing away at night to meet an ambiguous fate. In some versions of the legend she is abandoned on another island in the Aegean. In some she marries the god Dionysos, in others she commits suicide. Whatever her later fate, she is that heart of Minoan civilization that was borrowed by the growing civilization of the Greek mainland and subsumed by it.”
And finally, Robert Graves says in The Greek Myths:
“‘Ariadne’, which the Greeks understood as ‘Ariagne” (‘very holy’), will have been a title of the Moon-goddess honoured in the dance, and in the bull ring: ‘the high, fruitful Barley-mother’, also called Aridela, ‘the very manifest one’.
Book Three: The exciting climax to the Bronze Age segment of the series.
There is a beast in the labyrinth… a monster. The people say he is both man and bull; they call him Asterion.
Of all Crete’s citizens, only two dare enter his lair. One bears his child. The other sees the Goddess in his eyes. Terrifying yet compelling, the beast offers Crete’s only hope for redemption.
Click HERE to read a sample at Amazon.
It has been difficult to get to this point, I admit. It’s an important book in the series, as it wraps up the Bronze Age segment, and kicks off the next group of books, set in Scotland.
In the Moon of Asterion was published digitally on April 10, 2013. It is available for Kindle, Nook, iTunes, and others. See the Links to Purchase tab.
The paperback is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the Book Depository.
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His name means He who defies his fate.
I will add more information about Menoetius as books in the series become available.
Menoetius is the king of Mycenae’s bastard son, elevated above his natural station by his father, who still carries a torch for Menoetius’s mother, though she disappeared after her son’s birth and has never been seen since.
Rumors have named her an accomplished priestess from Ys, a mysterious island far in the west off the coast of Brittany. The slave Alexiare claims he saw her once create lightning in the night sky. Consequently, secrets, mystery, and a hint of fear surround this youth.
Menoetius is seventeen at the beginning of The Year-god’s Daughter. He sails to Crete at his father’s command, charged with ferreting out weaknesses in this rich, powerful society.
His fate, or Athene, has other plans for him.
Four words to describe him: grave, sad, devout, intense. His hair is “dark like oak-wood,” his eyes a singular blue, like the heavens at the summit of Mount Ida. (what modern people would call “cobalt.”) The first time Aridela sees this man who will play such an important part in her life, she is very near death, bleeding from a gore wound. His eyes make her believe he is no mortal but the Goddess herself, come to fetch her daughter home.
Menoetius’s purpose as one point of Athene’s sacred triad is to protect Aridela. He has other obligations, however, which will be revealed as the series progresses.
Once I saw my first image of the “Divine Antinous,” I was struck by how much he resembled my interior idea of Menoetius. I’ve used Antinous’s image as the cover of In the Moon of Asterion, to portray this important character in the series.
Photo: “Antinous Pio-Clementino Inv256 n2” by Unknown – Jastrow (2006). Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Antinous_Pio-Clementino_Inv256_n2.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Antinous_Pio-Clementino_Inv256_n2.jpg
Book One, The Child of the Erinyes Series. Here begins the tale….
of Aridela, Goddess beloved, who will become a cornerstone to the future and a quest to the past….
of Chrysaleon, king and slayer of lions, who shifts from heretic to trickster….
of Menoetius, wounded renegade, who ascends from scapegoat to champion….
The Year-god’s Daughter is the recipient of the B.R.A.G. Medallion, was utilized as a university class study guide, and was shortlisted in the Chanticleer Historical Fiction awards (Ancient History category.)
You can purchase the ebook and/or paperback at Amazon US, Amazon UK, and all the other Amazon venues. The eBook and/or paperback versions are also available at Barnes and Noble and the Book Depository, and the digital version can be purchased at iTunes and Kobo: see the Links to Purchase tab for clickable links.
Click HERE to read a sample at Amazon.
One reader said: “Smart young princess. Macho hunky warriors. Exotic island paradise. Politics, natural disasters, and forbidden love. A big, satisfying epic story. What more is there?”
A place of magic, of mystery, where violence and sacrifice meet courage and hope.
Wrapped in legend, beloved of the people. An extraordinary woman who dances with bulls.
The north wind brings a swift ship and two brothers who plot Crete’s overthrow. Desire for this woman will propel their long rivalry into hatred so murderous it hurtles all three into an unimaginable future and sparks the immortal rage of the Erinyes.
A woman of keen instinct and unshakeable loyalty. A proud warrior prince and his wounded half-brother. Glory, passion, treachery and conspiracy on the grandest scale.
“What seems the end is only the beginning.”
I’d like to invite you to sign up for my email newsletter, which I use ONLY to announce new releases and to offer subscribers special offers. I will never spam, or clutter up your inbox with chatter, nor will I ever share your email address. It’s easy: just enter your email address, approve it, and, to be safe, add it to your approved addresses so it doesn’t disappear into a junk folder. Here is the link.