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#6) CHIONE : Greek Goddess of Snow

July 10, 2010

CHIONE   :   Greek Goddess of Snow


<  Original Post  :  01.20.10  >


C o m m e n t a r y  :


The inciting catalyst for this photographic odyssey into the photographic, symbolic, archetypal and energetic world of Winter was inspired by a near “Accident”:

Ice slicks – stubborn to leave my driveway and especially those walkways around my car .

Slipping in the twilight in my rush to leave the frigid outdoors for the warmth of my home I took pause after catching the car door handle on the way down, thus preventing a serious injury or at bare minimum some serious aches and pains.

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It was a reminder of the powers and forces inherent in the artifacts left by Mother Nature – designed, sometimes at least it seems, to humble the so-called mighty human spirit.

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Whenever I reflect on such a meeting of man against the forces I know I am “crossing over” into the world of the Archetypes – what the indigenous peoples of yore deemed “the gods.”  Those inscrutable inexorable indestructible timeless building-block forces of the Universe – and thereby the Patterns, Psychological States, and Analogues of Human Behavior and Response.

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The Ancient Greek Seers and Sages (and their brethren from all other cultures) attempted to codify their observations regarding patterned manifestations of Nature and the Human Experience.  The Greeks very colorfully and with deft almost boundless imagination invented an immense pantheon of gods, heros and other players to character-act the countless curious, often paradoxical, certainly ironic, tragic and comedic roles they witnessed unfolding and manifesting on the Outer World Stage and within the Inner World Sanctum of the human psyche. An amazing Mythology developed around these gods and their minions, a thinly veiled story book reflection on the manifold aspects of the terrible wonderful always dazzling Play of Consciousness.  (Life as we experience it as human being earthlings).

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I know a little something (but have barely scratched the most superficial surface) about the lineage and the genealogy of the Greek gods as I have made Greek Mythology a favored pastime and subject of study and ongoing inquiry ever since I immersed myself in the conscious study of my interior world – especially through the in-depth study of my dreams, guided by the approaches of Carl Jung and his many students who continue to expand the horizons of understanding the Journey of the Human Soul.

The ancient Greek gods provide a very accessible and sparkling mirror as they echo all traits, tendencies, proclivities both dark and light of the human psyche.  Additionally, Greek mythology and Greek roots and derivations at the foundation of our own English language are simply mind boggling:  names, places, terms that we use everyday at home and in business – so many have their etymological derivation from an Ancient Greek “root.”

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The forces of nature and circumstances surrounding their manifestation are no exception.  So it was quite natural for me to ask the question post ice-slick-slip:

“Who the heck is the Greek god of Ice?”

Like I said, my knowledge is rudimentary considering the vast expanse of that amazing Pantheon.

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Believe it or not:

Despite that fact that Mount Olympus is:

  • 9,570 feet in height
  • Commonly referred to as “snow-capped”

There is no Greek god of “Ice” – and I mean nada!

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This absolutely boggled my mind.  What happened here?  Were the ancient Greek sages and seers “asleep at the wheel?”

Or did those entrusted with garnering detailed meteorological information regarding the “iconic” and certainly “archetypal” conditions extant in and around the hallowed pantheonic seat of power somehow without leaving a trace skid off some unknown Olympic cliff as their vehicular cart transporting their findings “fish-tailed” spinning out of control in “perfect Pythagorean Golden Mean proportioned circles” after hitting a patch of “black ice” on the way down to their brethren sages and scholars, safely ensconced basking in the luxuriant rays of Helios cogitating the seen and unseen in one of Athens’s pre-golden-age tavernas — sipping their Ouzos or perhaps fire-water Rakis just run up from the port as the welcome merchant transport from the Kingdom of Minos (Crete) had just arrived.  That group of “Ernest Shakelton” precursors and their archetypal findings lost – frozen in ice – somewhere up there in the geologic annals of Olympus.

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Try telling me that:

  • No Greek philosopher
  • No playwright
  • No sculptor
  • No poet
  • No Archimedes;   Zeno;   Plato;   or Pythagorus
  • No Heraclitus – for god’s sake!

Slipped and fell, or injured his or her back.


At the very least (c’mon now!) imagined it?

What didn’t the Greek storyteller sages not spin from their imaginations?  ICE.  (Except, in passing – to sometimes render Boreas, the god of the North Wind, with ice formations in his hair.)

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Here’s my thinking:

Somewhere there is buried (akin to the Dead Sea Scrolls) something that might be deemed The Lost Ice Chronicles of Olympus.

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My imagination of course took off in high gear.  Thus began my serious inquiry (right around the Winter Solstice) into the world of Ice and Snow that has resulted in the current photographic outpouring, numbering nearly 40 worthy images as I type this.

Calling on my immediate homestead environment and the timeless archetypes that I know inhabit and manifest the visible and invisible dimensions of this existence I set out to record (no specific expectations, mind you), obsolete digicam in hand, whatever photographic images the gods might deem me worthy to receive.


T e c h n i c a l   N o t e  :

At 10:24 AM, EST, on December 21, 2009, the Winter Solstice (though one may debate the 22nd – see Wikipedia) Image DSC0031.JPG, “Weighing in”  at 544 Kilobytes took Birth on my “Memory Stick”


Sunbathing “in the nude” – how else? – this glorious and alluring nymphic goddess was “caught” unabashedly lying on her stomach, beside the frozen driveway, her torso and back “glistening” from a recently applied ample coat of “Coppertone” Ice.

Damn!  Someone had beat me to the punch in aiding the goddess in applying the protective sunscreen balm.  (Even the goddesses need to honor the searing power of the sun god Helios).  My guess is it was Pan, who some days later showed his wily “silhouette portrait” on the scene – just a few feet away.

Meet CHIONE:  Greek goddess of Snow and daughter of Boreas, god of the North Wind.

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Image Dedication:  For Bettina Covo:  Harpsichordist, Composer, Singer, Writer, Director / Producer, Aficionado of the gods and goddesses, Dear Friend.  And responsible for my first copy of Edith Hamiltion’s “Mythology:  Timeless Tales of Gods and Heros”

©  George J Nicholson  2010  :   Images and Words  |  All Rights Reserved*  The images contained within this blog are protected under copyright law.  Download, usage or any form of reproduction is strictly prohibited without written permission of the copyright holder.

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