In the past, women were revered in their own special way. This was because they were respected as the bearers of children who grew up to be great leaders. Women were held in great esteem and viewed as the back bone of homesteads. Females were recognized as care givers to the children in ancient times. This is evident by the fact that several tales are focused on the upbringing of the children by their mothers. Women were seen emotional and attached to their children.
Homer Hesoid and Hugh G Evelyn-White pointed out that “they would go to great lengths to protect their children” (109). In ancient Greece, the goddess known as Demeter went on a long search for her daughter, Persephone, who was taken by the son of Cronus, the dark God of the underground kingdom, Hades, unwillingly. Her screams were unheard throughout the land, and only one person heard her shrill.
The search of grieving Demeter for her daughter took a long time, and that is the thing that made the tale a legendary one. She traversed the lands looking for Persephone who she loved dearly. It may be interesting to note that although she was a goddess, she even went to the extent of disguising herself as a mortal so that she would be able to get close to mortals and care for a child as her own.
The goddess Demeter also wanted to rid of her duties. She planned to do this by disrupting the natural flow of events that would lead to the awful consequences. She stopped the seeds that mortals planted in the earth from sprouting. This was also accompanied by drought that led to deaths among the mortals. All these were because of her frustrations of not being able to find her daughter. It shows that women were ready to sacrifice anything including the lives of the others to save their own children.
The goddess wandered across the land with flames in her hands as she searched for her daughter signifying her wrath. She was ready to take on the person who had brought her misery by taking her daughter. Another fact that may be noted is that when she was summoned by Zeus, the King of the Gods, who nobody dared to disobey, she refused to come. This shows her determination. Since it was a severe break of the rules for a god not to sit at the council when required, Demeter was considered to be transgressing.
The fact that the king understood her woes and did not interfere in her search shows that women were respected even when they behaved in undignified manner. Such was the case with the Egyptian Goddess Isis who went to did everything possible to ensure that her husband Osiris was brought back to life. When the brother of her husband tricked and killed Osiris, she was very distraught because the killer went ahead and claimed all the property of the dead king for himself.
This included Isis who was resentful of the whole idea. She went to great lengths to ensure that her husband was resuscitated and even after Set found out that Osiris was about to be brought back to life. He tore up the body of Osiris and scattered it all over the world, but Isis still managed to gather the pieces together and assemble them till they were sewn together and formed the complete body of Osiris.
She did this although she was aware that once a person had died, he/she would not be able to live as a normal person, and this was the case with Osiris who went on to live in the land of the dead as their ruler. As Shah Alam stated “she also went to the extent of making sure that she conceived the child of Osiris and gave birth to a son sired by Osiris through a spell that she cast” (58).
The son that she gave birth to was taken to a land far away in order to grow up and avenge of the death of his father by confronting his uncle. Isis made sure that Set was not aware of the child and the location where the child was being raised because he would have ensured that the child would not have survived.
This was because of the natural fear of the vengeance that every child would most likely want to revenge for the death of his/her parent. Due to his mother, Horus grew up knowing that he was going to avenge of the death of his father and fight for his rightful place in the echelons of the society. When he was old enough to face his uncle, his mother stood by her word.
According to prophesies, her son won the battle against his uncle that had been lasting for several days. At that time, the feminine ideals of the societies stated that women were minders of the youngsters and as such, the men did not feature much in the matters of upbringing of the children except occasionally. The women were dedicated to the task of raising their children and would not let anyone to harm their kids. The goddesses in question were quite robust and able to face and manage any challenge when it concerned their children.
The story of Nin-Me-Sara, the lady of countless cosmic powers, firmly confirms that fact. In all these cases, the story line is the same since they all wanted to ensure that their off-spring were taken care of and had proper upbringing. The goddesses of Rome, Egypt, Greece and Mesopotamia who had youngsters all had interests in their upbringing. Sometimes, the goddesses would go against the feminine ideals passing beyond the limits.
These invisible boundaries were normally drawn by their unwritten laws that stated the position of the women in the society. Woman’s place was supposed to be the home though the goddesses were in charge of various aspects that affected the lives of the individuals. The goddesses were able to reflect the feminine ideals of the society through their commitment and their undying love for their children.
While they were ready to break the rules that were in place to save their children, they managed to show that their children meant everything to the, thus they showed that they were good mothers to their children. Elgin stated that “The feminine ideals of society were put in place to keep order in the society” (88). The goddesses were supernatural and maintained their status of ideal parents.
They managed to do this despite all the difficulties. Isis, for example, was not afraid of Set despite his immense powers and the fact that he had killed the great Osiris. Unlike all the others in the society, she was able to speak up to Set and defy his word. It was understandable that she went through a lot by losing her husband. The resentment that she had for Set was justified in its own way. She went against the norms of the society by following her dead husband’s body and attempting to bring him back to life.
Even when Set found out, there was nothing he could do about it since she was strong willed. She shows that a woman’s dedication to her family ought to be undying and absolute. This implies that nothing can come between a strong willed woman and her family. A woman who has been ill-treated by someone else still manages to persevere an asset to the community.
As the goddesses of the past showed us in the tales about their families, rules and norms that are set by society are meant to uphold a sense of order and not suppress us. If anyone tries to suppress another person, then the ideals of society can be bent to accommodate the emotional as well as personal vendettas that have been afflicted with individuals.
The goddesses show that sometimes transgressing the ideals of society in pursuit of justice is vindicated. These transgressions are justified as long as they are within certain boundaries. The goddesses know the powers, and the tales show that they did not over-transgressing the ideals set by society. The myths maintain that as much as the goddesses are mystical beings, they are still vulnerable to emotional aspects of life.
Alam, Shah. Basics of guidance and counseling. Delhi: Global Vision Publishing House, 2009. Print.
Elgin, Cathy. Egyptian Myths. California: Windmill Books, 2009. Print.
Hesoid, Homer and Hugh G Evelyn-White. Hesoid, the Homeric Hymns and Homerica. Kansas: Digireads Publishing, 2008. Print.