We’ve officially started!
Day Nine of the A-to-Z Challenge in April 2017. Let’s do this.
This year there’s no linky list or form to fill out to sign up. It might be too late to join at this point (unless you were double posting), but you can always cheer/comment on participants (and find awesome bloggers) at the A-to-Z’s official blog.
Now I should warn, that I didn’t stick to the common sense rule of writing short, pithy posts. Mine are long and bloated, but I’m having fun with it. And if you wanna skim, that’s absolutely cool with me!
Leave a comment down below with your blog so I can visit I’m thrilled to be making new friends. 🙂
As part of my Greek mythic figures, places, and things theme, my “I” post features two nymphs, one naughty and one unlucky.
Doomed Mistress #1:
We all know Io from Argus Panoptes‘s post – that’d be my Day One of the 2017 A-Z Challenge.
Io was the nymph-lover of Zeus. She was transformed into a white heifer by Zeus to keep Hera from figuring out his marital transgression. It’s an age-old story between these two gods, the supposed King and Queen of Mt. Olympus.
But before we get into the story, let’s go back a little bit.
Let’s get to know pre-heifer Io.
Who was Io before Zeus’s meddling?
Io was a princess and nymph of Argos. She was purportedly the daughter of Inachus, the river god, Argos, for which the area was named. Guess that’s why she’s both nymph and princess…
Anyways, she catches the attention of Zeus. They start getting freaky!
A crap-storm of drama brewing:
Of course Zeus is well aware of what might happen to him (and especially Io) if Hera finds out, so he uses his weather-godly magic and creates a thick fog/mist to cover his undercover loving of Io. And naturally the idiot doesn’t think that will raise suspicion.
Hera spies the mist shroud over the Earth and figures something is up.
Sensing Hera’s arrival, Zeus has enough time to transform Io into the white heifer.
Suspicious, Hera pretends to love the heifer. She asks her husband to give it to her as a present. Afraid to refuse her, and probably believing the ruse worked a bit too well, Zeus hands over Io.
Then handing Io to Argus Panoptes, the many-eyed giant shepherd, Hera has his him watch over her “precious” heifer. This way she knows Zeus won’t dare near the cow.
Zeus can’t have that. He wants to see Io still. Guess he hasn’t moved onto the next nymph.
Hiring Hermes, he sends the messenger god to rid him of Argus Panoptes. Hermes completes the task (spoiler: he kills Argus), but Hera wasn’t to be messed with: she decides to send gadfly – this bugger appeared in Bellerophon‘s story as well – to sting Io and drive her mad.
Magical White Cows Gone Wild:
She wandered the Earth trying to find peace. She wandered all Europe and Asia, crossing the Ionian Sea (which was named after her legend) and “swam the strait that was thereafter known as the Bosporus (meaning Ox-Ford)” (source).
She finally landed in Egypt, near the Nile, where her madness wore off and Zeus transformed her back into her “human” (nymph?) form. They had a son, Epaphus, who would go on to be a King of Egypt. Her descendants supposedly go on to rule Egypt for years, before returning to Greece.
Things ended pretty well for Io considering some of Zeus’s conquests didn’t get such happy ever afters (*ahem*Semele*ahem*).
I Put An “Iynx” On You:
Now onto Iynx, the second nymph starring in this A-Z post.
Iynx plays a part in the whole Zeus-Io tale.
Iynx isn’t well-known, because she doesn’t star in Greek mythology, except for this incident. One source says she might have been the daughter of Peitho, the goddess of persuasion, or Echo, the chatty, gossip-mongering nymph who was cursed by Hera to repeat the last few words of whatever she heard.
A master enchantress and inventor of powerful potions, Iynx herself endures the wrath of a god.
There are two versions of her tale.
She tried to make Zeus fall in love with her.
Not sure if it worked here…there’s not much source out there on whether Zeus fell heels over big head for Iynx.
She was aiding Io to seduce Zeus.
Both versions don’t end well; one of which we know.
We all know what Hera did to Io in the second version of this tale.
But Hera is pissed at Iynx too, and in both versions she gets her revenge against Iynx by changing her from nymph to a “wryneck bird” (source). Iynx means “wryneck”.
Supposedly Iynx lived on in Greek love potion, witchcraft culture. Greek enchanters would tie a wryneck bird to a wheel they would turn while the love enchantment was cast.
Also, Iynx’s name lives on in the English word “jinx”. Although the meaning of jinx isn’t specifically love-related; it does reference magic and witchcraft.
MORAL (for Io…and most nymphs): Run and hide. Make yourself look and smell unappealing – that should keep both Zeus and Hera far, FAR away.
MORAL (for Iynx): Choose your customers…and your battles.
My sources to help out with this post were:
Resourceful sites! Please do check them out!