PEGASUS, WINGED GOD OF MYTHOLOGY

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The Winged Horse ~ Mary Hamilton Frye

INTRODUCTION TO GREEK MYTHOLOGY

The myths of powerful stallions bolting across the horizons with the speed of light under the command of ancient gods, were told throughout ancient times.

CHARIOTS OF THE GODS

Helios, a Titan, and four bridled, fiery winged solar steeds, mounted his gleaming chariot to carry the Sun across the sky each morning, and two winged horses lit the early morning sky guiding the chariot of the Olympian god, Apollo.

MYTH OF PEGASUS

Pegasus is one of the well-known mythological creatures in Greek myth, and assumes his share of fame and nobility beside the gods, and heroes of myth and legend.

In Greek mythology, Pegasus is a winged lightning creature fathered by Poseidon, god of the sea, and Medusa, a mortal, and priestess of Athena’s temple.  Poseidon was captivated by the great beauty of Medusa, and the couple foolishly consummated their love in the sacred Temple of Athena, the goddess of war, and strategy.

Athena was outraged that her shrine had been defiled, and cursed Medusa’s beauty by transforming her luxurious tresses into hissing serpents, and her beauty into a vile, hideous creature, cruel, and so merciless that any living person, or thing that glanced upon her piercing eyes was cast into stone.  Medusa was exiled to the island of Seriphos, and became one of the three Gorgons.

Under the guidance of Athena, and using a mirrored shield to look at the reflection of Medusa, the hero Perseus slays her with one blow, decapitating her, and the magnificent winged Pegasus sprang forth from the drops of blood, fully formed.  Afterwards, Pegasus galloped away to Mount Helicon, home of the nine Muses.  Pegasus was wise and created the fountain of inspiration, the Hippocrene on Mount Helicon, by stamping his hoof on the ground.

Pegasus was also a friend to the nine Muses, and was instructed by Zeus to transport lightning and thunder from Mount Olympus.

SYMBOLISM OF PEGASUS IN ACTION

The symbols of Pegasus varies throughout time.  This horse-god was associated with power, flight, speed, glory, loyalty, bravery, courage, wealth, wisdom, knowledge, poetry, creative sources that inspired writers, and poets, pottery, solar myths, and spiritual energy that allowed access to the realm of the gods on Mount Olympus.

The present century has not lost its passion for Zeus’ devoted white winged stallion. Pegasus, or its likeness has appeared in a vast medium of stories and art throughout history, such as, fantasy films, fiction, comics and graphic novels, plays, poetry, and also lives on the images of Greek coins, and company logos.

THE AGE OF HEROES

Pegasus was actively involved with the Greek gods, but also with the heroes of myth. Bellerophon tamed Pegasus with the help of Athena’s golden bridle, and slew the fire-breathing monster Chimaera while riding Pegasus.  Many attempted to tame Pegasus, but failed.

STARLORE OF PEGASUS

Pegasus’ story is full of mythology, and after many Olympian endeavors, and faithful service to the gods of Mount Olympus, and heroes, as a tribute, Zeus honored the immortal stallion, and set the winged steed in the sky as an eternal constellation.

The constellation of Pegasus is located in the Northern Hemisphere near Aquarius, and together with Andromeda.  So, the next time you hear the rumble of thunder or see a spark of lightning, imagine the fiery hooves of the great Pegasus carrying the thunderbolts and lightning rods of Zeus from Mount Olympus across the stormy sky. 

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