Also known as:
Either Princess Myrrha or her father, king of Assyria or a Phoenician kingdom, aggravated Aphrodite. As punishment, she compelled Myrrha to conceive an incestuous passion for her father. Myrrha plied her father with liquor and seduced him. They had rapturous sex for twelve nights, at which point one of two things happened:
• Myrrha repented and ran off to hide in the forest, vowing to kill herself.
• Dad repented and chased Myrrha around with a knife, vowing to kill her.
Either way, Myrrha ended up transformed into a myrrh tree to preserve her life. Most versions have Aphrodite affecting the transformation. In the meantime, Myrrha had conceived Adonis.
In the original Semitic version of this myth, Adonis is the product of a virgin birth. The later story may have evolved after veneration of Adonis spread to Greece. The back story involving his scandalous conception suited the Greek cultural need to establish paternity. The shame of incest would explain why the story had previously been secret.
Myrrh trees weep resin, These are traditionally understood to be Myrrha’s tears.
Many scholars perceive the origins of Christianity in veneration of Adonis and his mother. Myrrha and Mary may be variants of the same name. Both are associated with virgin birth and resurrecting sons. Myrrha may be a suppressed great goddess. The myrrh is not just any tree, but is traditionally an emblem of primal womanhood, mercy, and fertility. Myrrh incense is associated with Isis and Hathor, the great goddesses of Egypt. There is no reason to assume that Myrrha is a lesser goddess. Myrrha may be accessed via the fragrance of myrrh incense.
Adonis; Aphrodite; Hathor; Isis
Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by : Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.