The purest form of love that exists is the “love of a mother”. It is the most supreme. It nurtures. It protects. It guides. It shields evil incantations. It is often senseless. It is divine. Sometimes, it is difficult to decipher its intensity. Because a mother’s heart beats more often for her child than for herself!
For many years, fiction writers have brilliantly captured the unbridled mother’s love. They describe it often as vast as the sky. As deep as the ocean.
A few days ago, I read a very cute book called “The Girl who Drank the Moon” by Kelly Barnhill. A story of a good witch Xan and her granddaughter Luna. Xan rescues Luna, while she was a baby from a forest. She accidentally feeds Luna Moonlight instead of Starlight and Luna is enmagicked. Little Luna had no clue about her magical powers. As days passed, her magic turned to be dangerous for her and everyone else. Xan knew exactly how to protect her granddaughter from every harm.
Mythology has a compelling story of a protective mother and her daughter. The Greek Myth of Demeter, the Corn Goddess, and her daughter Persephone. Persephone is abducted by Hades, the God of the Underworld.
It is a tale of grief, love, and passion. Hades is enticed by the beauty of Persephone. Demeter is distraught by the separation of her lovely daughter. While there was love on both sides, Zeus came up with a brilliant solution in the favour of both Hades and Demeter. Persephone later became the queen of the Underworld.
The myth of Demeter and Persephone
Myth of Oedipus
Joseph Campbell in his book “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” talks about the myth of Oedipus and his mother Jacosta. This tale is another example of desired but prohibited love between a mother and son.
Oedipus was born to King Laius and Queen Jacosta. There was a prophecy predicted by Oracle of Delphi that Laius would be killed by his son. Laius wished to thwart the prophecy. He attempted to kill the baby by hanging him upside down feet tied; hence the baby got swollen feet. A shepherd saw the little baby and took pity on him. He took the baby to King of Corinth. The king adopted the boy and named him “Oedipus”- ‘The one with swollen feet”.
Oedipus grew up as a crown prince of Corinth. One day he learned about the prophecy made by Oracle of Delphi that he was destined to kill his father. Hence, Oedipus journeyed far away from Corinth. On his way, he got into a brawl with an old man. In the argument, Oedipus accidentally killed the old man. The old man was none other than King Laius, his own father. Thus, the prophecy was fulfilled.
Oedipus was traveling to Thebes. Meanwhile, Jacosta’s brother was acting regent for Thebes after the death of Laius. Thebes was in trouble due to a notorious Sphinx. The king had promised the throne of Thebes to anyone who would defeat the Sphinx. Many heroes had faced the Sphinx but all were unable to solve the riddle uttered by the Sphinx.
However, Oedipus had an encounter with the Sphinx and solved the riddle. He was crowned King of Thebes and unknowingly married his mother Jacosta.