Monday, April 14, 2014

Charon Artz

I was doing some research on death and burial rituals invloving coins for my Breakfast Letters when of course, Charon and the river Styx popped up. He winked at me and the chase was on. I had to know more.

Charon, is the ferryman from Hades who takes the shades or souls of the newly deceased across the river Styx from the world of the living to the world of the dead.

He is the son of Nyx, goddess of the night. She was at the creation, powerful and beautiful. She is glimpsed in shadow, from the corner of your eye. She lives in Tartarus, the deep dark abyss that is deeper than Hades, where the Titans were imprisoned.

His father is Erebus the brother of Nyx. He is the anciet diety Darkness. He is one of the first beings in existence and fathered by Chaos as is Nyx.

A coin is placed in the mouth of the deceased as a payment to Charon for passage across the Styx. His name, Charon translates to mean fiery or fierce gaze, associated with a grey or light blue in color. He was most often depicted on funery vases with a boat, or ushering the deceased. Sometimes he was depicted as gentle and kind and others created him to be rough and angry. Dante depicted him as an old man with a gruff countenance and as a winged demon. Today he is created as a cloaked skeleton similar to the Grim Reaper.

Charon, from La Divina Commedia by Dante Alighieri, illustrated by Gustave Doré.
This week we present Charon Artz.

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