Deucalion…twice!!

I read a lot of mythology.  I mean…I always did, and I’ve always enjoyed it, but in the last couple of years, I’ve kind of returned to mythology with a vengeance.  And I haven’t just been revisiting the bodies of mythic lore I knew best in childhood (that would be Greek Mythology, followed by Norse Mythology) — I’ve also been delving into other bodies of myth during this phase, too: Egyptian, Aztec, Hindu, various Native American stories, tales of the Yoruban Orishas…  Needless to say, it tends to get crowded after a while here inside my head:

"Pancake Breakfast of the Gods," by Richard Hill
“Pancake Breakfast of the Gods,” by Richard Hill

So every once in a while, I’ll be doing something completely unrelated to these studies — shopping, doing fitness things, playing music, whatever — when some name from the periphery of my mythological studies will suddenly pop up in my mind, like a bubble rising up to the surface of a lake.  And most of the time when this happens, it’s a name I don’t really have much of a handle on, either.  I’ll recognize that it’s from some body of lore or other, and sometimes I’ll even be able to zero in on which one, but what the name actually represents, and what the specifics of the holder of that name might be, I usually don’t have a clue.  And then I have to go scurrying off to the interwebs to surf up some facts:

I couldn't determine who created this piece, but it pretty well captures my research process...
I couldn’t determine who created this piece, but it pretty well captures my research process…

The latest incident of this type involved the name “Deucalion” appearing unbidden in my mind.  For a brief instant, I wondered if it was some secondary character or other from Tolkien…but then I almost immediately knew that no, it was something out of Greek mythology…just not one of the main Greek myths with which I was more intimately familiar.  I couldn’t quite place it, though, couldn’t get my uncooperative mental storage facility to hand over more of the files on this “Deucalion.”  This was two days ago.

And then I got sidetracked, and didn’t have time right then to go look up this latest name-flash, and I ended up forgetting all about it by the time I was finally all freed up from other concerns.  So…in some parallel universe, I never followed through, and the incident, and the name/concept of “Deucalion” went untended forever after.

In this universe, though, as it so happened, the very next day — yesterday, as I write this — I was digging into one of my Astrology books, as that’s been a highly consuming passion of mine of late, and when reading up on the legends that inform each of the twelve Signs of the Zodiac, I got to the write-up for Aquarius…and there was that name again: Deucalion.

Aquarius, the Water-Bearer...bearing water -- artwork by H. P. Kolb
Aquarius, the Water-Bearer…bearing water — artwork by H. P. Kolb

How very odd,” I thought, “to stumble across that very same name only a day after it had appeared in my mind out of nowhere!  It must,” I continued to think, “mean something…”  I tend to think that things mean stuff.  So I strapped myself into my computer chair, and I started studying up on Deucalion…

And so as it turns out, Deucalion was kind of like a Greek version of the biblical Noah:

At the end of the Bronze Age, the King of the Olympian deities, Zeus, has grown so gravely disenchanted with the current iteration of humanity, that he decides to wash the slate clean with a great flood of epic proportions, and then start over.  Except he does allow that this one couple — Deucalion and his wife, Pyrrha — have always been very pious and of excellent moral and spiritual fiber, kind of the only exceptions proving the otherwise dire rule at work here (i.e., the “rule” = Zeus’ assessment of people as a species at this time).  Zeus permits Deucalion’s father, the suffering Titan, Prometheus, to warn his son about the imminent flood, thus equipping Deucalion and Pyrrha with the knowledge they’ll need to survive the cataclysm.

The pair take refuge in a great chest when the rains begin, and they ride out the floodwaters, eventually landing on Mount Parnassus…

"The Great Flood" -- artist unknown
“The Great Flood” — artist unknown

They’re of course happy to have survived the otherwise world-scouring event, but they also realize that someone might need to repopulate the Earth.  That’s something of a tall order, though, even in the best of circumstances, and despite their finest intentions, Deucalion and Pyrrha do happen to be an elderly couple in their eighties…  So as people have done since the dawn of people, they kick the question upstairs — in their case, they ask their Deities.  The answer comes back that in order to people the Earth anew, they’ll need to “Cover your head, and throw the bones of your mother behind your shoulder.”

Deucalion and Pyrrha are able to decipher this typically cryptic oracular directive, understanding that “your mother” refers to Gaia — Mother Earth, who is the mother of us all — and her “bones” would be your basic rocks or stones strewn about everywhere on the ground.  Deucalion and Pyrrha begin picking up rocks and tossing them back over their shoulders, and everywhere the rocks touch down, they transform into new people.  The rocks thrown by Pyrrha turn into women, and Deucalion’s missiles become men.  Thus is the human race reborn…

Deucalion and Pyrrha repopulate the Earth -- they didn't even need to put on a Barry White album!
Deucalion and Pyrrha repopulate the Earth — they didn’t even need to put on a Barry White album!

So but then what’s the significance to me?  Why did I a) experience the name “Deucalion” popping randomly into my head, and then b) find myself smacked in the eyeballs with it again the very next day while reading up on something ostensibly unrelated??

Before you panic, I don’t believe this was a sign of any impending Great Flood or other Apocalypse-variant.  Nothing so drastic.  In occult thought, water is often a signifier of things like dreams, the collective unconscious, illusions, and psychic phenomena.  So viewed that way, if I’m seeing that a Great Flood — and the surviving thereof, let’s not forget that aspect of this whole deal! — is being flagged for me, it could be that I’m receiving some synchronistic message about how I, or maybe all of us, will soon be experiencing a deluge of intense dreams or psychic phenomena…?

And then not so coincidentally, such things (dreams, psychic experiences) might reasonably be expected to attend a shift in great astrological “Ages,” right?  It’s no secret that many people believe our present days to be a transition from one such age into the next…or, as the famed lines from that ’60s musical had it: “This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.”  It could be that I was getting a smaller-scale, more personal message, or it could be that I was receiving confirmation of this sweeping change as we all move further out into the waters of this new Aquarian Information Age.  Maybe…”Water” or “Flood” here = “Information”…???

Either way, I’ll consider myself forewarned, and will be readying myself to ride the floodwaters of all this new awareness and data we find ourselves already swimming in here in the Cyber-Era, and I humbly suggest that you might consider doing the same!  Reports of any intense psychic experiences also to follow as applicable…

2 thoughts on “Deucalion…twice!!

  1. Pingback: Mythic Monday: Water Bearer | Flossie Benton Rogers

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