SOULTales - Character Strengths, Stories & Vocabulary

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Minthe in Mythology

The Herb Society of America has this to say about Mythology:

Mythology is the handmaid of literature, and literature promotes happiness. Myths were told or sung to people at least 5,000 years ago. They were told to explain dreams or reasoning for certain happenings or to understand their gods.

The website gives a brief outline of many herbs and also the myths/stories behind these herbs

But the story I find most fascinating and filled with Jungian interpretations is the story of Mint...

Minthe or Mentha was a beautiful naiadian (naiad), a water maiden who lived near the river Cocytus. The lord of the underworld Hades (otherwise known as Pluto), falls in love with her and seduces her easily, as she is completely mesmerized by the handsome God and his golden chariot. 

Hades has committed great folly; his wife is none other than the mighty Persephone. The spurned wife captures the hapless lover and has her crushed. Hades unable to stop his wife transforms the crushed soul into a plant which released a fragrant aroma with every step.

So that's how this weak herb received it's aroma.

Once again this story can be traced back to Ovid's Metamorphoses, the same book that gave us the story of Cupid and Psyche...

Can we see this Husband and his vice in a different context?

 So when his wife tries to destroy it, the repentant Husband converts his vice to one that gives pleasure to all!

Hmmm...very simple interpretation...but we can delve deeper...