Story of the Minotaur in
as told by The Minotaur
King Minos of Crete is an arrogant poophead. First
he brags that he can get the Gods to do anything he wants -- smart that.
Then he sets up a sacrifice ritual to Poseidon, except that he doesn't
have a sacrifice at all. He just commands a bull to emerge from the
sea to be the sacrifice. Because Poseidon must have been in a very good
mood that day, the bull actually rises from the sea to be sacrificed.
But it's such a stunningly beautiful white bull that King Minos decides
he should keep it and give Poseidon a more ordinary bull from the royal
herds. Like I said -- a poophead.
Not surprisingly, this ends Poseidon's good mood. He decides that if
Minos is going to mess Him over, he'll return the favor. Poseidon causes
the king's wife, Pasiphae, to fall completely in lust with the white
bull. Pasiphae is clearly not the brightest crayon in the box either.
She decides, instead of just giving the bull a kiss and a hug, that
she has to have relations with it, forgetting that, in this case, size
So she gets the court inventor, Daedalus, to build a mechanical cow
for her that she can climb inside with the appropriate part of her hanging
out. Daedalus does this without Minos ever knowing any of this is going
on. So Daedalus is also a poopwit, yes?
The mechanical cow gets wheeled out and Pasiphae climbs in. Some of
the myth-tellings say she has great time. Most of them say that as soon
as the bull mounts her she falls out of Poseidon's lust spell and realizes
that this was not a good idea at all. Plus, it really hurts. The bull
finishes what he's doing and Pasiphae curses him and Poseidon.
Not too long after that Pasiphae starts feeling a little queasy in the
mornings. She manages to fool Minos into thinking the child is his --
heck, maybe she even fools herself into thinking that -- until the child
is born with a bull's head.
Understandably, Minos pitches a royal fit. Partly because he's been
cuckolded by a cow, but mostly because he's been shamed publicly. Pasiphae
also hates the baby and the white bull. Now remember that it's a baby
we're talking about here, for pitys sakes. At this point Im
just a cute little bull-headed baby that hasn't hurt anybody and just
wants his mommy.
Minos sends to the oracle at Delphi to find out how best to hide his
shame. The oracle (being pretty poopwitted itself in this instance)
says that the child should be presented as a monster and enclosed in
a giant maze called the Labyrinth. It should be shown to be a fierce
flesh-eater and be given human sacrifices.
Take a moment to consider that we cows do not eat flesh unless we are
absolutely starving. It's a terrible thing to force a cow or bull to
eat flesh. This makes the King and his wife really happy since they
have a serious hate on for my poor baby Minotaur self. (Force-feeding
meat to cows is, in modern times, how Mad Cow Disease is spreading.
It's just not a good idea or a nice thing to do.)
So they shut me up in the Labyrinth that Daedalus builds. (Aside: the
original Labyrinth is really what you today would call a maze, not a
labyrinth at all, since it has false turns you can get lost in.) They
starve me except for the human sacrifices I get periodically. Reasonably,
I don't grow up liking humans very much, other than as a snack. Except
-- and this is a big except -- that I speak to Theseus later before
Theseus kills me. So somebody had to teach me to speak, right? That
means a civil, talking relationship. And Ariadne, my younger half-sister,
knows her way to the center of the Labyrinth and befriends her poor,
sad, savage half-brother. So I did have some human contact that wasnt
about food. But life is still pretty awful for me -- being shut up in
the Labyrinth and fed nothing but meat.
Ariadne, her mother's daughter, not the sharpest needle in the haystack
and yet another poophead, falls for the hero Theseus who, disguised
as a sacrifice for the Minotaur, journeys to Crete for various other
mythological reasons. None of those reasons include finding a girlfriend,
but Ariadne doesn't twig to that. She shows Theseus that he could be
a big hero by slaying the "dreaded" Minotaur (her brother
and her friend) and she gives him a sword and a ball of twine so he
can find his way in, kill me, and find his way out again.
This he does. I tell Theseus his fate before he kills me (which he doesnt
believe) and, honestly, Im pretty glad to be killed. After a life
like that, wouldnt you be, too?
After killing the Minotaur and becoming a big hero, Theseus promptly
dumps Ariadne. Theseus is also a poophead.
Thus ends my life story. A tale of shame, child-abuse, and poopheadedness.
Note from Norma: So Who or What does this make the Minotaur?
To my (admittedly very postmodern) mind Hes a semi-divine abused
Outsider. From His creator Poseidon, to his mother, to his half-sister
-- everyone who should have cared about Him messed Him over. He's fierce
because He's starving and abused and imprisoned. He's gentle enough
to be taught to speak and to trust Ariadne.
What this tells me is that the Minotaur can probably be oracular when
He chooses to be and can probably be trusted to a certain extent if
you mean Him no harm. Sort of like some of the semi-friendly homeless
folks around New Brunswick or any other big city. If youre careful,
He could be a good ally and a good guide.
Dont look just to the light for your heroes and guides. Theres
plenty of beautiful Magick hidden in the dark corners of mythology,
even as there is hidden in the dark corners of life.