This article was posted by CrystalWind.ca.
Ariadne: Awaking to Freedom
Category: Lisa Iris
Ariadne is available as a print here:
Before us dreams Ariadne, a Minoan princess caressed by the sun and rhythms of "the wine-dark sea". Her myth began in the Bronze Age but it reads like a tabloid headline. "Love Boat Disaster: Runaway Princess Elopes! Dumped On Island! Lover Marries Her Sister!" Despite bad press and scandal, this Sleeping Beauty will make a dramatic comeback.
Ariadne was the Princess of Crete, the daughter of King Minos and half sister to the Minotaur: a half man, half bull monster. This creature was imprisoned in the Labyrinth, a deadly maze under the Palace of Knossos. Every nine years, Athens was compelled to send seven youths and seven maidens as sacrifices to the Minotaur. Theseus, the prince of Athens, volunteered for this fate and sailed to Crete, intending to slay the monster. Theseus presented himself to King Minos as a sacrifice and Ariadne fell madly in love. Aware of her passion (and an opportunity), Theseus told Ariadne his plan to slay the Minotaur and promised marriage if he succeeded. She provided a sword and ball of twine that would lead the way out, if unraveled in the Labyrinth. With Ariadne's help, Theseus slew the Minotaur and escaped the treacherous maze. The fugitive couple fled on a waiting ship.
Seized by passion, Princess Ariadne sacrificed everything for love: her family, royal status and country. At last she belonged to Theseus but her rapture was short lived. After stopping for one night on the Isle of Naxos, he set sail for Greece the next morning, abandoning Ariadne while she slept.
Wild with grief and rage, Ariadne watched her lover's ship disappear on the horizon. Her fury spent, she collapsed on the shore, surrendering to sleep's oblivion. After hours passed, the sound of panpipes and laughter descended on a breeze. Winding down the cypress covered hills, came a fantastic processional, drawing nearer to the beach. As the music grew louder, Ariadne awoke and rose to greet the spectacle with disbelieving eyes. Before her assembled a careening ballet of wood nymphs, ecstatic maenads, reveling satyrs and rollicking centaurs. Striding and leaping alongside them were lions, lynxes and leopards. Leading the fantastic entourage was a chariot bedecked with grapes, drawn by a panther and tiger. The most breathtaking sight of all was the youthful charioteer. He was beautiful and strange; his long hair was plaited with grape leaves and ivy, his golden body draped in a leopard skin. He was Dionysus, the god of wine, wilderness, festivity and epiphany. He leapt from his chariot, and with crazed eloquence, proclaimed his love, renamed Ariadne "Libera" and proposed marriage. Ariadne took his outstretched hand and became immortal.
Ariadne's ordeal was an initiation into the cult of Dionysus. The only god born of Zeus and a mortal mother, Dionysus began as an outcast, raised by the wood nymphs who rescued him. Though he would gain acceptance on Mount Olympus, Dionysus remained a god of the misbegotten and dispossessed, untying society's constraints and granting his devotees the gift of the grape and nature's freedom.
This god of divine madness saw in Ariadne's passion an intoxication equal to his own. Her template of perfection shattered by Theseus' betrayal, Ariadne wed the wisdom of excess and the glorious chaos of life. In high spirits, Dionysus hurled Aridane's bridal diadem into the heavens where it became the Corona constellation. This charming myth reminds us, that if you have ever loved and lost, the dazzling wine of life awaits. Weep no more and claim your starry crown.
You can see the amazing art of Lisa Iris at her online gallery: www.lisairis.ca.
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All Lisa Iris artwork and text is copyrighted by the artist and may not be reproduced by any means, electronic or otherwise, without first obtaining written permission from the artist's agent, Crystal Wind™. Agent can be contacted at
All Lisa Iris artwork is protected by copyright. Crystal Wind™ and Antonio DeLiberato holds the licensed, exclusive worldwide rights.
© 2012. All rights reserved.
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