Patterns of Oppression

Using the myths of classic Greece, Uranus, Cronus and Zeus, we can identify patterns of oppression within the archetypal field of patriarchy.

Within the continuing crisis in Missouri, all of these myths are at work. Starting October 22, 2014, I will expand on this topic across three weekly online seminars. Join us by registering at

Devouring Fathers

Late last year I was thinking a lot about the mythic symbolism associated with Uranus, Cronus and Zeus. Uranus who despised his children, the Titans, even pushed his youngest children back into Gaia’s womb (into the darkest part of the underworld) causing her great pain. Uranus was defeated when Gaia gave Cronus a weapon that could dispatch his father.

Cronus, because he feared being overthrown, swallowed his children that were sired with his sister Rhea. Rhea hid Zeus from Cronus, and when Zeus grew up he freed the underworld Titans to help him to defeat his father.

The mothers aided each of the conquering sons. In the myth associated with Demeter and Persephone, it is Zeus who allows his own daughter Kore to be adducted and taken to the underworld. And once again it is Kore’s mother, Demeter, who is critical in her escape.

The reason these myths began to resonate with me was because I started thinking of my relationship with my own father and his relationship with his grandfather. In each of these myths, the fathers cripple their children’s growth and development by sending them into various symbols for the unconscious – pushing them back into the womb, swallowing them and arranging an underworld abduction. And in each case, it is the mothers who arrange the circumstances that lead to their escape.

Why do these ancient fathers need their children to remain unconscious? In The case of Uranus and Cronus, they somehow knew that their children would challenge their rule. Classically the old king must die before the young/new king can emerge.

But I believe there is more to these myths than simply the usurping of the old in preference for the new. Collectively these myths articulate the origins of patriarchy and displays the patterns of oppression within its archetypal field.

Join us online starting October 22 from 8 to 9:30 pm Eastern.

Register at

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