One of the best-known mythological mistresses of mayhem is Circe, who appears in The Odyssey. According to the story, Odysseus and his Achaeans found themselves fleeing the land of the Laestrygonians. After a group of Odysseus’ scouts were captured and eaten by the Laestrygonian king, and nearly all of his ships sunk by large boulders, the Achaeans ended up on the shore of Aeaea, home to the witch-goddess Circe.
Circe was well known for her magical mojo, and had quite the reputation for her knowledge of plants and potions. According to some accounts, she may have been the daughter of Helios, the sun god, and one of the Oceanids, but she is sometimes referred to as a daughter of Hecate, the goddess of magic.
Circe turned Odysseus’ men into pigs, and so he set off to rescue them. Before he got there, he was visited by the messenger god, Hermes, who told him how to defeat the seductive Circe. Odysseus followed Hermes’ helpful hints, and overpowered Circe, who turned the men back into men… and she then became Odysseus’ lover. After a year or so of luxuriating in Circe’s bed, Odysseus finally figured out he should head back home to Ithaca, and his wife, Penelope. The lovely Circe, who may or may not have borne Odysseus a couple of sons, gave him directions that sent him all over the place, including on a side quest to the Underworld.
After Odysseus’ death, Circe used her magic potions to bring her late lover back to life.
Find out more about Circe by clicking here.
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