Number 7 in Mythology

Number 7 in Mythology

The 7 Pleiads 

Greek myth

The seven sisters were the daughters of the titan Atlas and the sea-nymph Pleione.

The seven sisters were also known as “The Pleiads”.

Their names were:

Maia Electra Taygate Alcyone Calaeno Sterope Merope

The hunter, Orion, was continually pursuing the sisters.

Atlas had been forced to support the celestial globe for all eternity and was therefore unable to defend his daughters.number 7 in mythology - 7 Pleiades

Zeus, the leader god, took pity on the seven sisters and transformed them into stars.

Orion was later also transformed into a constellation of stars and ended up not so far from the seven sisters.

It is said Orion continues his pursuit of the Pleiads.

“The Pleiads” painted by Elihu Veddar  – 1885

 

 

Dao Look Gai – Thai Mythology

In Thailand the Pleiads are known as “Dao Look Gai”, the chick stars.

There was an old couple who lived in the forest by the hill. They were very poor. There most precious possession was a hen and her seven chickens.

One day a monk came by. They invited him to stay the night. As monks do not eat from midday to until daybreak, they offered him nothing but water that evening. They knew the monk needed to eat in the morning.

The couple agreed they had to serve the monk the best meal they could afford. That meant killing the mother hen.

seven chicks Dao Look GaiThe mother hen heard the couple talking and gathered her chicks to inform them that she would soon be gone. She made them promise to look after each other and love each other.

The next morning the man killed the mother hen. The seven chicks watched as he was roasting their mother over an open fire.

The seven chicks were so devastated that they all jumped into the fire to be with their mother. The seven chicks were then reborn as stars and can be seen as the cluster of seven stars in the sky.

If a baby is born when the moon passes Dao Look Gai it is considered to be very auspicious. The child will have lots of good luck.

Number 7 in Mythology: The 7 Hesperides

In one version of Greek myth, Atlas was also the father of the Seven Hesperides (daughters of the Evening Star). 

They guarded the tree with the golden apples. Gaia had given the tree to Hera (the queen goddess) when she married Zeus (the chief god).

Atlas and the Hesperides 1925The garden with the tree of the golden apples was located close by the place where Atlas carried the celestial globe on his shoulders.

In the version of the myth proclaiming Atlas as the father, the seven are given the names:

Ægle
Arethusa
Erythea
Hestia
Hespera
Herperusa
Hespereia

In other versions there are only three Hesperides.

See number 3 in Greek mythology.

“Atlas and the Hesperides” Painter John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

Apollo and the Number 7 in Mythology

The number seven is the sacred number of Apollo. He was one of the most important Greek gods.

Apollo was the son of Zeus and Leto and the twin brother of Artemis (Diana in Roman myth). Apollo was known as the leader of the Nine Muses.

He was also the god who could spread plague with his arrows, but could also cure illness. Apollo was associated with prophecy and the Oracle of Delphi.

It is told he was born on the seventh day of the seventh month.

Odysseus and Calypso

The Greek hero, Odysseus had many encounters and adventures on his long journey home from Troy. Towards the end of his journey Odysseus is shipwrecked and also the sole survivor. He managed to cling on to some floating beams.

Odysseus and Calypso - Arnold Böcklin 1883Seven days later he drifted ashore onto the island of Ogygia.

The island of Ogygia was the home of the beautiful nymph named Calypso. She fell madly in love with Odysseus and promised him immortality and eternal youth if he promised to commit to her for life.

Calypso kept Odysseus hostage on the island for seven years.

Odysseus was feeling more and more desperate and only wanted to return home to his wife, Penelope.

The gods finally took pity on Odysseus and sent Hermes (the messenger god) to order Calypso to let Odysseus go.

Seven against Thebes

Seven against Thebes

Oedipus, king of Thebes was found guilty of incest and murder.

He was forced to step down from the throne.

When his two sons, Eteocles and Polynices turned against him, Oedipus put a curse on them.

The two brothers agreed to take turns ruling Thebes every other year. After the first year Eteocles refused to step down from the throne.

Polynices raised an army led by seven commanders to take Thebes by force.

These are the Seven against Thebes:  Amphiaraus –Eteoclus –  Capaneus –  Hippomedon – Parthenopeus – Tydeus – Polynices

Polynices was one of the seven commanders. After much fighting, it was decided that the two brothers should meet each other in a single combat.

In that last fight Polynices and Eteocles killed each other.

The curse of Oedipus was fulfilled

Isis and the Scorpions

– Egyptian Mythology

Isis was the sister and wife of Osiris. Their evil brother murdered Osiris.

Seth then gave Isis seven scorpions.Scorpion - Isis

These seven scorpions promised to protect Isis and her unborn son.

Isis came to a village and asked for shelter in a home belonging to a very wealthy woman. The woman did not recognize Isis and slammed the door in her face.

Isis then found a poor peasant woman who welcomed her into her home and gave her shelter.

The seven scorpions were furious at the wealthy woman and decided to take revenge.

One of the scorpions crept into the home of the rich woman and stung her son. The mother screamed for help as her boy was dying, but no one would help her. Isis took pity on the woman.

The goddess said a magic spell and neutralized the poison. The child immediately recovered.

The wealthy woman was extremely grateful. She donated all her belongings to Isis and the poor peasant woman.

 

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