Once Upon a Time Series: Greek Myths

By Kristin Manganello, Copy Cutie

credit: Cea. (Flickr)Long ago, way before television and film, humans entertained each other through the art of storytelling. These stories were much more than a way to pass the time — they communicated ideas, pondered the psyche of mankind and offered practical advice. Although these myths and folktales have long fallen out of fashion, what they reveal about people and their relationships is still relevant. Just as you can look to the past to learn about the present, you can also find hidden wisdom on romance in the tales of old. Here’s an eFlirt Expert series based on advice culled from those forgotten stories. 

Zeus and Semele.

The Myth: Semele was a beautiful mortal woman who was one of Zeus's many lovers. Unfortunately, Zeus’ wife Hera was as wickedly intelligent as she was jealous. Disguised as a fellow mortal, Hera carefully planted seeds of doubt in the young woman's mind and convinced her to push Zeus into revealing his true form, thus proving his divinity. Since he had promised Semele that he would do anything she asked, he was forced to give in. Upon revealing himself, the mortal was so overwhelmed by his splendor and power that she burst into flames on the spot.

The Moral: It's easy to automatically assume that someone is being dishonest if they're not as forthcoming as you think they should be. But sometimes there are things in a person's life that are sensitive in nature and difficult to talk about. Some things take time to be revealed in the right way. If you make a great connection with someone, it might seem romantic to learn about all of the skeletons in their closet, but it's much better for these secrets to be revealed organically. If not, you (or your lover) might get burned in the process. 

Perseus and Medusa.

The Myth: The monstrous Medusa is best known for her snake hair and ability to turn men to stone with her gaze. She lived alone in a cave where she hid from all people. Perseus, equipped with enchanted weapons, came after her on a mission to slay her. By watching her reflection in a shield rather than looking at her straight on, Perseus was able to cut her head off while avoiding her stony stare. And from her writhing body flew out the magnificent winged horse, Pegasus.

The Moral: You might not have snakes for hair or the curse of turning potential lovers to stone, but everyone has monsters within them, things that keep you from getting too close to others. Every now and again, you meet someone who finds a way to destroy your defenses and you're left forever changed, and possibly, broken down. While someone might leave you damaged, it's important to remember that destruction makes room for creation. The pain you feel after a harsh, life-changing breakup might be the lesson that puts you in the direction of who you're supposed to be — and who you're supposed to love. 

Know of a myth or folktale that you'd like to see explored in this series? Tell us about it in a comment below!