The myth of goddess Tyche (=luck)

The myth of goddess Tyche (=luck)

One night, drunk from the wine and his lust, Zeus lay with beautiful Themis, goddess of law and justice, that he wanted a lot.

From this “union” between the Lawless and what should be done, Tyche was born (Fortuna for the Romans).

A beautiful little girl who was enjoying the favor of her father (which is quite rare in the life of Zeus).

The legend says that sine Tyche was young, Zeus asked to bring her and he wanted her to be constantly near him. In order to amuse her, the almighty God ordered each inhabitant of Olympus to teach his beloved daughter a skill.

Mercury, specifically, was asked to teach her how to run faster than anyone else

Before she became eight years old, Tyche’s legs ran faster than Hermes’ winged ankles, and she won any god, man or animal on the road.

Dimitra was requested to teach her all about the crops and fruit.

Tyche knew to recognize, with speed and accuracy, every kind of cereals in Greece.

She knew where every tree grew, when each plant flourished and how to reap the crops.

By Hera, his legal wife, Zeus did not ask anything.

Due to her jealousy, the goddess of stability and family did not even want to see Tyche.

Indeed, when Tyche was fifteen years old, Hera decided to impose on Olympus a moral law: “no illegitimate child among the gods”. Children who did not come from a pure compound, had to live with people …

Of course, it was already too late to have a conflict with Zeus. The wily leader had concocted a plan according to which Tyche was required to stay with gods, and not only was she evicted, but she was protected and she was pampered more than anyone.

Since that day, nectar and ambrosia would not magically appear in a bottle in the basket of breakfast, but they would be collected each morning from the first fruits of the Earth’s trees. The first apples, the first peaches , the first strawberries of the day would contain in their flesh magical nutrients that would keep the inhabitants of Olympus young and healthy – immortal and therefore gods.

In order not to have people eat these powerful elixirs, Zeus put one condition: the first sunbeam that would shed light, fresh fruits would lose all of their precious liquid.

The plan was perfect. But who could recognize and gather the first fruits of the day, so skilfully and so quickly as not to be caught by the first rays of the sun?

Only Tyche.

So it happened. Before dawn, Tyche left in a hurry and ran throughout the Earth to gather the first fruits of every tree, before the sun spoil their divine content.

She gathered them in a basket and carried them up to Mount Olympus for the breakfast of the gods, who applauded and praised her ability.

One morning Tyche did not arrive on time, and the gods began to worry. It was not so terrible if one day they did not eat nectar, however, if it continued, they would die, would get sick and -the worst of it- they would grow old.

A delegation of gods went in search of Tyche in the streets of Greece. There they learned that a fisherman had caught her accidentally, as he was throwing his nets in the Aegean Sea. Fascinated and amazed by the beauty of his unexpected load, he did not want to let her go.

Gods appeared in front of the fisherman and asked him what he wanted in order release Tyche.

Whatever the fisherman requested was given to him and then Tyche was free again.

The reputation, however, began to circulate among the people. Anyone caught Tyche could ask the gods what they wanted, and they would have to give it in exchange for her freedom.

Once Tyche was informed about the risk, she began to get more and more precautions and asked the other gods to teach her some more things , for the good of all.

Artemis taught her how to hide and not be seen by anyone. She began to travel with great secrecy, without anyone noticing her presence.

From Venus she learned how to comb her long and beautiful hair. She pulled it and she sang in a great braid which, -instead to the sheds in the back as she did as then- began to bring forward, from the front to the chest.

From Heaven she learned to be elusive, and Ares taught her the strategy of war.

Because of what she learned and due to the fear of being trapped during her daily route, Tyche decided that her passage should not be predictable. To achieve this, she took a strange decision: her legs never have stepped on her own footsteps for a second time.

Bit of habit and most of weirdness, this decision became her obsession, and the goddess Tyche was too careful not to pass twice from the same place.

From Bacchus she learned the properties of wine in order to intoxicate those who were able to catch her and then she could run away, leaving them with nothing.

 

 

 

The myth of goddess Tyche

Jorge Bucay



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