Circe


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Related to Circe: Calypso

Circe

(sûr`sē), in Greek mythology, enchantress; daughter of Helios. She lived on an island, where she decoyed sailors and treacherously changed them into beasts. According to the Odyssey, she changed the companions of Odysseus into swine, but with the aid of Hermes, Odysseus forced her to break the spell. In post-Homeric legend she bore Odysseus a son, Telegonus, who unwillingly killed his father.

Circe

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Daughter of the Sun God Helios and Oceanid, the fair-haired Circe was famous for her magical arts. Her brother was Aeëtes, wizard king of Colchis and father of Medea. Circe was banished to the island of Aeaea for poisoning her husband. Because she lived on the west side of the island, it is claimed that she was a moon goddess. It seems more likely, however, that she was a goddess of love, albeit degrading love.

On the island it was Circe's custom to change into swine all men who landed there by having them drink a potion from her magic cup. She tried this with Odysseus and his companions but was unable to transform Odysseus, who had been given moly, a protective magical herb, by Hermes. He forced Circe to restore his men to their normal shape and then went on to spend a year with her. Circe later gave birth to Odysseus's son Telegonus. When Odysseus finally left the island, Circe's warnings of the dangers he would encounter enabled him to reach home safely.

Circe may be related to the ancient Mediterranean goddess known as the "Lady of the Beasts," whose likeness is depicted engraved on Minoan gems. She was finally slain by Telemachus, Odysseus's son by Penelope. She was also comparable to the Babylonian Ishtar, with the latter's treatment of Gilgamesh.

Circe

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Circe, asteroid 34 (the 34th asteroid to be discovered, on April 6, 1855), is approximately 112 kilometers in diameter and has an orbital period of 4.4 years. Circe was named after the Greek enchantress who detained Odysseus on her island. She was a sorceress known for her knowledge of magic and poisonous herbs. According to Martha Lang-Wescott, Circe represents where one facilitates and assists others, as well as where one seeks help. This asteroid’s key word is rescue. According to J. Lee Lehman, Circe has a magical and temptress side and indicates where one has the power to influence others, for good or for bad. Jacob Schwartz gives the astrological significance of this asteroid as “a heterosexual woman hating men but dependent on them sexually, but rescuing those in need of assistance.”

Sources:

Lang-Wescott, Martha. Asteroids-Mechanics: Ephemerides II. Conway, MA: Treehouse Mountain, 1990.
Lang-Wescott, Martha. Mechanics of the Future: Asteroids. Rev. ed. Conway, MA: Treehouse Mountain, 1991.
Lehman, J. Lee. The Ultimate Asteroid Book. West Chester, PA: Whitford, 1988.
Schwartz, Jacob. Asteroid Name Encyclopedia. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1995.

Circe

enchantress who changes Odysseus’s men into swine. [Gk. Lit.: Odyssey; Rom. Lit.: Aeneid]

Circe

purified Jason and Medea after their murder of Apsyrtus. [Gk. Myth.: Benét, 201]

Circe

enchantress who turned Odysseus’s men into swine; byword for irresistibly fascinating woman. [Gk. Lit.: Odyssey; Rom. Lit.: Aeneid]

Circe

seductive sorceress who turned Odysseus’ companions into swine. [Gk. Myth.: Benét, 201]

Circe

turns Odysseus’s men into animals. [Gk. Myth.: Odyssey]
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A popular allegorical figure in the lusty Renaissance (George Chapman's Homeric translation and commentary were echoed everywhere), Circe masqueraded in many different guises: Spenser's Acrasia and Milton's Eve are surely her echoes or doubles, no less than her son Comus.
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First published as Hypotheses sur l'Europe: Un essai de philosophie in 2000 by Editions Circe.