Circe by Madeline MillerIn the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.
Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.
But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.
Animal Transformations (Circe)
Circe the Beautiful Witch
Circe , in Greek legend , a sorceress, the daughter of Helios , the sun god , and of the ocean nymph Perse. She was able by means of drugs and incantations to change humans into wolves, lions, and swine. The Greek hero Odysseus visited her island, Aeaea, with his companions, whom she changed into swine. But Odysseus, protected by the herb moly a gift from Hermes , compelled her to restore them to their original shape. He stayed with her for one year before resuming his journey. Greco-Roman tradition placed her island near Italy or located her on Mount Circeo. Article Media.
Across the grey seas sailed Odysseus and his men, until they had left the Land of the Cyclopes far behind. Ere long they came to an island floating in the sea. Round about it was a wall of bronze, and its cliffs ran sheer up from the water.
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The Achaeans sail from the land of the Cyclopes to the home of Aeolus, ruler of the winds. Aeolus presents Odysseus with a bag containing all of the winds, and he stirs up a westerly wind to guide Odysseus and his crew home. The winds escape and stir up a storm that brings Odysseus and his men back to Aeolia. This time, however, Aeolus refuses to help them, certain that the gods hate Odysseus and wish to do him harm. Odysseus and his remaining men flee toward their ships, but the Laestrygonians pelt the ships with boulders and sink them as they sit in the harbor.
Ovid, Metamorphoses Formidable witch Circe was a powerful witch who, with the help of herbs, muttering incantations, or praying to her weird gods, could turn men into animals, or create unsubstantial images of beasts. She was able to darken the heavens by hiding the moon or the sun behind clouds, and destroy her enemies with poisonous juices, calling to her aid Nyx , Chaos , or Hecate. In her presence, and because of her enchantments, the woods could move, the ground rumble, and the trees around her turn white. But as witchcraft may make a victim also of him or her who practises it, the nights of Circe could be wasted in fear because of the uncontrolled visions that filled her house. And so, for example, the walls and chambers of her palace could seem to be bathing in blood, while fire could seem to devour her magic herbs. That is why it was a relief for her when daylight came, and she could bathe and clean her garments, forgetting the scaring nightly visions.