Orpheus and the Flower Maidens

Bryan Mclean agreed to teach me how to play the guitar, at least some basic chords. After learning four of them, I told my friend that was enough.

“I don’t want to master this instrument. I want to find notes using my intuition.”

Bryan laughed, he alway entreated to the unexpected in my presence. I had bought the guitar two months earlier and would play it as I sat before a finished painting I had already written a poem for. I understood my poems and my paintings were coming to me from another dimension, a inexplicable source that did not want to be channeled through the confines of common learning. My Muse wanted to keep me wide open for things to come.

Yesterday, my sister, Victoria, freed me from Hell when she told me our brother Mark was furious when Christine Rosamond filed for Bankruptcy, because he had lent her $3,000 dollars. In discussing this, Vicki said $300,000 dollars, then quickly corrected herself – too quickly!

I had called her up to ask how come when it came to who would own the Gallery, the Biographies, the Publishing Company, the Movie, Stacey Pierrot raised her hand and was awarded these things – and not a family member. I then recalled that Jacci Belford told me a month after her best friend drowned, she was being “blackballed” not given any information. Mark designed computer systems for Machines of War, and had the same top secret clearance as our President. A demon that has persued me through several lifetimes, took over his body. He was once a innocent boy, kind and caring.

“By whom?” I asked.
“I’drather not say.”

My brother Mark came to mind, and pictures of hin lurking in the background when I went to our sister’s house. He came in, looked to see how things were going,and left, he not providing me the opportunity to talk to him.

I told Vicki how upset I was that Julie Lynch demonized my mother and I in two paragraphs. Vicki asked me if I read Tom Snyder’s biography where our aunt Lillian vilifies our mother throughout this lying piece of trash. Vicki said Lillian apologized on her death bed for doing this to her sister, because it would remain recorded in history – forever! You see, there was a long rivalry between the Lily and the Rose, these two Flower Maidens, the arguing forever about whom the actor Errol Flynn liked the most.

When I talked to the attorney who handed the Trust of my Uncle Vincent, I told him how angry I was at not being told Lillian was dying – and was dead. The same went for my mother. I said I was going to spend all of my windfall suing my kinfolk. I told this Lawyer that my brother was a Tax Dodger, and this is more then likely why her left his share ($24,000) to Vicki because there are taxes to pay. Mark is a millionaire. Why then would he go after Christine’s debt to him, before she died – and after – if he was so generous with Vicki?

When I was sixteen I had a fist fight with Mark, after he tried to convince me I was a parasite on my family. This was because I had no ambition to be somebody, a earner of money. When I told him I was going to be an artist, he said with a scowl;

“No one makes money on art. You are a leach!” he screamed, and got in my face!

When Marilyn told me about the head she did of me, how she honored, even worshipped it, I recalled the death-mask of me that Melinda worshipped. having been named after John the Baptist, I considered Salome, who did a seductive dance for John’s head. Then there is the head of Orpheus that was torn from his body by the Maenads in a drunken rage. Rosemary and Lilian were often in a drunken rage, as was Christine, whose funeral fell on her first sober birthday. Vicki told me she wanted to repair our relationship. I took Vicki to an AA meeting twenty two years ago, and she had not touched alcohol since. Do you think my brother wanted Christine and I to own the beautiful bond we once had, now that he demanded his money – and everything! Do you wonder like I do, that my Rose and my Lily called to me on their death beds, so that they could make peace with me before they go to……………………..?

Jesus has been depicted as Orpheus, it said he went down to Hades to free captured souls. I died, and I returned. I saw Hell, and then saw Heaven when I cried “All I ever wanted, was the truth!”

My brother kept all the Family Truths from me, because I was long his Target. With Christine dead, he knew if he put me in the dark, the darkness would destroy me. But, he only found out I played chess for two people lives, and overcame Death, when he read my blogs, that I believe he disappeared, destroyed when he ut a virus in it.

If any one of my readers want to drop a dime on Mark Presco, be my guest! This is a very evil man! He disowned me when I refused to apologise to Lilian after she told me she was giving her story to Tom Snyder, after she gave five hours of taped conversation. Mark demanded I sign that exclusive rights contract that would have forbid me of telling my story, imparting my HIS-TORY – for FREE!

I don;t have a price! My brother betrayed his family……for three thousand dollars! Here is my Judas, who Vicki says has vanished, he off to spend his millions until it is all gone, and then he is going to kill himself. Does he want for a tree and a piece of rope? His dance for my head on a platter – is over! No flower child is he!

Jon Presco

Copyright 2011

The first performance of the two-act, opéra bouffe version took place at the Théâtre des Bouffes Parisiens in Paris on 21 October 1858 and ran for an initial 228 performances. It then returned to the stage a few weeks later, after the cast had had a rest. For the Vienna production of 1860, Carl Binder provided an overture that became famous, beginning with its bristling fanfare, followed by a tender love song, a dramatic passage, a complex waltz, and, finally, the renowned Can-can music.[citation needed]
The piece then played in German at the Stadt Theatre, on Broadway, beginning in March, 1861. Next, it had a run of 76 performances at Her Majesty’s Theatre, in London, beginning on 26 December 1865, in an adaptation by J. R. Planché.[citation needed]
A four-act version, designated as an opéra féerie, was first performed at the Théâtre de la Gaîté on 7 February 1874.[4] (This has proved less popular over time than the original two act version.)
Sadler’s Wells opera presented an English version by Geoffrey Dunn beginning on 16 May 1960.[citation needed] In the 1980s, English National Opera staged the opera freely translated into English by Snoo Wilson with David Pountney. The production was notable for its satirical portrayal of the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as the character Public Opinion. The first performance was at the Coliseum Theatre in London on 5 September 1985.[5] The revived D’Oyly Carte Opera Company performed the work in the 1990s.[6]

Orpheus ( /ˈɔrfiːəs/ or /ˈɔrfjuːs/; Ancient Greek: Ὀρφεύς) was a legendary musician, poet, and prophet in ancient Greek religion and myth. The major stories about him are centered on his ability to charm all living things and even stones with his music; his attempt to retrieve his wifefrom the underworld; and his death at the hands of those who could not hear his divine music. As an archetype of the inspired singer, Orpheus is one of the most significant figures in the reception of classical mythology in Western culture, portrayed or alludedto in countless forms of art and popular culture including poetry, opera, and painting.[1]
To the Greeks, Orpheus was a founder and prophet of the so-called “Orphic” mysteries. He was credited with the composition of the Orphic Hymns, a collection of which survives. Shrines containing purported relics of Orpheus were regarded as oracles. Ancient Greek sources note Orpheus’s Thracian origins.[2][3] Archaeologists have interpreted finds within ancient Thraceas evidence of Orphic cult.[4

The earliest literary reference to Orpheus is a two-word fragment of the sixth-century BC lyric poet Ibycus: onomaklyton Orphēn(“Orpheus famous of name”). He is not mentioned in Homer or Hesiod.[6] Most ancient sources accept his historical existence; Aristotle is an exception.[7]
Pindarcalls Orpheus “the father of songs”[8]and identifies him as a son of the Thracian king Oeagrus[9]and the Muse Calliope:[10] but as Karl Kerenyiobserves, “in the popular mind he was more closely linked to the community of his disciples and adherents than with any particular race or family”.[11]
Greeks of the Classical agevenerated Orpheus as the greatest of all poets and musicians: it was said that while Hermeshad invented the lyre, Orpheus perfected it. Poets such as Simonides of Ceossaid that Orpheus’ music and singing could charm the birds, fish and wild beasts, coax the trees and rocks into dance,[12]and divert the course of rivers. He was one of the handful of Greek heroes[13]to visit the Underworld and return; his music and song even had power over Hades.
Some sources credit Orpheus with further gifts to mankind: medicine, which is more usually under the aegis of Aesculapius; writing,[14] which is usually credited to Cadmus and agriculture, where Orpheus assumes the Eleusinianrole of Triptolemus, giver of Demeter’s knowledge to mankind. Orpheus was an augur and seer; practiced magical arts and astrology, founded cults to Apollo and Dionysus[15]and prescribed the mystery rites preserved in Orphic texts. In addition, Pindar and Apollonius of Rhodes[16]place Orpheus as the harpist and companion of Jason and the Argonauts. Orpheus had a brother named Linus who went to Thebesand became a Theban.[17]
[edit] Mythology

Important sites in the life and travels of Orpheus
[edit] Early life
According to Apollodorus[18]and a fragment of Pindar,[19]Orpheus’s father was Oeagrus, a Thracianking; or, according to another version of the story, the god Apollo. His mother was the muse Calliope; or, a daughter of Pierus,[20]son of Makednos. His birthplace and place of residence was in Pimpleia,[21][22][23] Olympus. In Argonautica the location of Oeagrus and Calliope’s wedding is close to Pimpleia,[24] near Olympus.[25][26]While living with his mother and her eight beautiful sisters in Parnassus,[27] he met Apollo, who was courting the laughing muse Thalia. Apollo became fond of Orpheus and gave him a little golden lyreand taught him to play it. Orpheus’s mother taught him to make verses for singing. Strabo mentions that he lived in Pimpleia.[25] He is also said to have studied in Egypt.[28]
Orpheus is said to have established the worship of Hecate in Aegina.[29] In LaconiaOrpheus is said to have brought the worship of Demeter Chthonia[30]and that of the Kores Sōteiras (Greek,Κόρες Σωτείρας) savior maid.[clarification needed][31] Also in Taygetusa wooden image of Orpheus was said to have been kept by Pelasgiansin the sanctuary of the Eleusinian Demeter.[32]
[edit] Traveling as an Argonaut
Main article: Argonautica
The Argonautica (Greek: Ἀργοναυτικά) is a Greek epic poem written by Apollonius Rhodiusin the 3rd century BC. Orpheus took part in this adventure and used his skills to aid his companions. Chiron told Jason that without the aid of Orpheus, the Argonauts would never be able to pass the Sirens—the same Sirens encountered by Odysseus in Homer’s epic poem the Odyssey. The Sirens lived on three small, rocky islands called Sirenum scopuliand sang beautiful songs that enticed sailors to come to them, which resulted in the crashing of their ships into the islands. When Orpheus heard their voices, he drew his lyreand played music that was louder and more beautiful, drowning out the Sirens’ bewitching songs.
[edit] Death of Eurydice

Orpheus with the lyre and surrounded by beasts (Byzantine & Christian Museum, Athens)
See also: Descent to the underworld
The most famous story in which Orpheus figures is that of his wife Eurydice(sometimes referred to as Euridice and also known as Agricope). While walking among her people, the Cicones, in tall grass at her wedding, Eurydice was set upon by a satyr. In her efforts to escape the satyr, Eurydice fell into a nest of vipers and she suffered a fatal bite on her heel. Her body was discovered by Orpheus who, overcome with grief, played such sad and mournful songs that all the nymphsand gods wept. On their advice, Orpheus travelled to the underworldand by his music softened the hearts of Hades and Persephone(he was the only person ever to do so), who agreed to allow Eurydice to return with him to earth on one condition: he should walk in front of her and not look back until they both had reached the upper world. He set off with Eurydice following, and, in his anxiety, as soon as he reached the upper world, he turned to look at her, forgetting that both needed to be in the upper world, and she vanished for the second time, but now forever.
The story in this form belongs to the time of Virgil, who first introduces the name of Aristaeus(by the time of Virgil’s Georgics, the myth has Aristaeus chasing Eurydice when she was bitten by a serpent) and the tragic outcome.[33]Other ancient writers, however, speak of Orpheus’s visit to the underworld in a more negative light; according to Phaedrus in Plato’s Symposium,[34] the infernal gods only “presented an apparition” of Eurydice to him. Ovid says that Eurydice’s death was not caused by fleeing from Aristaeus but by dancing with naiadson her wedding day. In fact, Plato’s representation of Orpheus is that of a coward, as instead of choosing to die in order to be with the one he loved, he instead mocked the gods by trying to go to Hades and get her back alive. Since his love was not “true”—he did not want to die for love—he was actually punished by the gods, first by giving him only the apparition of his former wife in the underworld, and then by being killed by women.
The story of Eurydice may actually be a late addition to the Orpheus myths. In particular, the name Eurudike (“she whose justice extends widely”) recalls cult-titles attached to Persephone. The myth may have been derived from another Orpheus legend in which he travels to Tartarusand charms the goddess Hecate.[clarification needed][35]
This story also lead to the composition of the song Minuet and the Dance of the Blessed Spirits from Orfeo ed Euridice.
The descent to the Underworldof Orpheus is paralleled in other versions of a worldwide theme: the Japanese myth of Izanagi and Izanami, the Akkadian/Sumerianmyth of Inanna’s Descent to the Underworld, and Mayanmyth of Ix Chel and Itzamna. The Nez Percetell a story about the trickster figure, Coyote, that shares many similarities with the story of Orpheus and Eurydice.[36]This is but one theme present in a larger “North American Orpheus Tradition” in American Indian oral tradition.[37] The myth theme of not looking back, an essential precaution in Jason’s raising of chthonic Brimo Hekate under Medea’s guidance,[38]is reflected in the Biblical story of Lot’s wife when escaping from Sodom. The warning of not looking back is also found in the Grimms’ folk tale “Hansel and Gretel”.[39]More directly, the story of Orpheus is similar to the ancient Greek tales of Persephone captured by Hades and similar stories of Adoniscaptive in the underworld. However, the developed form of the Orpheus myth was entwined with the Orphic mystery cults and, later in Rome, with the development of Mithraismand the cult of Sol Invictus.
[edit] Death

Thracian Girl Carrying the Head of Orpheus on His Lyre by Gustave Moreau (1865)
According to a Late Antiquesummary of Aeschylus’s lost play Bassarids, Orpheus at the end of his life disdained the worship of all gods save the sun, whom he called Apollo. One early morning he went to the oracle of Dionysus at Mount Pangaion[40] to salute his god at dawn, but was ripped to pieces by Thracian Maenads for not honoring his previous patron (Dionysus) and buried in Pieria.[15]Here his death is analogous with the death of Pentheus. Pausaniaswrites that Orpheus was buried in Dion and that he met his death there.[41]He writes that the river Heliconsank underground when the w

omen that killed Orpheus tried to wash off their blood-stained hands in its waters.[42]
Ovidalso recounts that the Ciconian[43]women, Dionysus’ followers, spurned by Orpheus, who had forsworn the love of women after the death of Eurydice and had taken only youths as his lovers,[44]first threw sticks and stones at him as he played, but his music was so beautiful even the rocks and branches refused to hit him. Enraged, the women tore him to pieces during the frenzy of their Bacchic orgies.[45]Medieval folkore put additional spin on the story: in Albrecht Dürer’s drawing (illustration, right) the ribbon high in the tree is lettered Orfeus der erst puseran(“Orpheus, the first sodomite”) an interpretation of the passage in Ovid where Orpheus is said to have been “the first of the Thracian people to transfer his love to young boys.”[46]
The cave of Orpheus’ oracle in Antissa, Lesbos.
His head and lyre, still singing mournful songs, floated down the swift Hebrusto the Mediterranean shore. There, the winds and waves carried them on to the Lesbos[47]shore, where the inhabitants buried his head and a shrine was built in his honour near Antissa;[48] there his oracle prophesied, until it was silenced by Apollo.[49]
The lyrewas carried to heaven by the Muses, and was placed among the stars. The Muses also gathered up the fragments of his body and buried them at Leibethra[50] below Mount Olympus, where the nightingalessang over his grave. After the river Sys flooded[51]Leibethra, the Macedonians took his bones to Dion. His soul returned to the underworld, where he was reunited at last with his beloved Eurydice. Another legend places his tomb at Dion,[40] near Pydna in Macedon. In another version of the myth Orpheus travels to Aornum in Thesprotia, Epirusto an old oracle for the dead. In the end Orpheus commits suicide from his grief unable to find Eurydice.[52]Another account relates that he was struck with lightning by Zeusfor having revealed the mysteries of the gods to men.[53]
[edit] In Strabo
Strabo[54](64 BC – c. AD 24) surprisingly gives a more mundane telling of Orpheus’s life, presenting him as a mortal, though he mentions that he was a “wizard” who lived and died in a village close to Olympus. He writes that he practiced his skill for money but later gathered followers and power that in the end killed him. He uses the word agurteuonta (αγυρτεύοντα),[55] a term used by Sophocles in Oedipus Tyrannus to characterize Teiresiasas a trickster with an excessive desire for possessions. The word agurtēs(αγύρτης) most often meant charlatan[56] and always had a negative connotation.
Pausaniaswrote of an Egyptianwho also had the opinion that Orpheus was a magician, using the word mageuse (μάγευσε).[57]
A statue identified as Orpheus has been unearthed in Bulgaria, near a site archaeologists have proposed as the hero’s tomb.[58]

Though not nearly as common as the Good Shepherd motif, Christ also appears in early Christian art in the form of the Greek god Orpheus. This fresco of Christ as Orpheusis in the Catacombs of Peter and Marcellus in Rome, and dates from the 4th century. Another example of Christ as Orpheus is in the Catacomb of Domitilla.
In Greek mythology, Orpheus was the son of Apollo and a muse. He was a musician from Thrace who played the lyre and sang so beautifully that the wild animals were tamed and the rivers stopped to listen.
When Orpheus’ wife, Eurydice, was killed by the bite of a serpent, he went down to the underworld to bring her back. His songs were so beautiful that Hades finally agreed to allow Eurydice to return to the world of the living. Orpheus was attacked and killed by the Maenads (female followers of Dionysus), who tore him to pieces. His head floated down the river, still singing, and came to rest on the isle of Lesbos.
Orpheus’ ability to tame wild animals with his song, his heroic journey to the underworld, and his violent death all would have reminded early Christians of Jesus. Clement of Alexandria wrote that Christ, unlike Orpheus, tames even the wildest of beasts: the human being. And Umberto Utro, head of m

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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