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Back to Olympus: Spring Racing Carnival

October 25, 2010

Phar Lap

 

Pegasus

Identity: Immortal animal. Son of Poseidon and Medusa

Descripton: Winged horse.

Symbol: Golden bridle

The Greek Myth

When the gorgon Medusa was decapitated by Perseus, the two children she had been carrying, who had been fathered by Poseidon – Pegasus, the winged horse, and Chrysaor, the golden warrior – sprang fully grown from her body, whereupon the Hero promptly mounted Pegasus and made his escape.

Pegasus was a gentle and very beautiful creature. Although he appeared as a winged horse, he possessed many nole characteristics that could men to shame. The morgal, Bellerophon, son of Glaucus, was asked to destroy the Chimaera, a fire breathing monster. Before setting out on this mission, he consulted the seer, Polyeidus, who advised him that its success depended on his catching and taming the fabled Pegasus. Bellerophon sought the beast and found him drinking quietly from a crystal pool. Using a goden bridle that Athene had conveniently presented to him, he was able to catch Pegasus, mount him and set off on his quest. So successful was this team of man and winged horse that Bellerophon’s services as a hero were much sought after by mortals and immortals alike. One day, however, he overstepped the mark by presumptuously undertaking a flight to Olympus on the back of Pegasus. Zeus, being affronted by such conceit, sent a gadfly that stung Pegasus under the tail, causing him to rear and send his rider tumbling back to earth. Pegasus, on the other hand, completed the journey to Olympus, where he was made welcome by all the gods.

Image Credit: Marvin908

This story is a shrewd illustration of the folly of assuming that something or someone is subject to our will and cannot function successfully without us. When it comes to the crunch, the boot often turns out to be on the other foot. It is unwise, therefore to take any situation for granted as the ‘lesser’ person or beast may be the very one to teach us a much-needed lesson in humility!

Upright Meanings

A quest or mission. Escape. The ability to elude difficulties, or rise above problems.

Reversed Meanings

A lesson in humility. Being taken down a peg or two.

Psychological Comment

The Pegasus syndrome, as exemplified in the legends of Perseus and Bellerophon, is concerned with the innate ability possessed by some people to negotiate difficulties by rising above them, on the one hand, and the danger of overreaching themselves, on the other. Although an advantage at times, if overused this kind of detachment can misfire, as it does not always encourage the trust and confidence of less resilient types. One should therefore be careful to take into account the feelings of others and avoid falling into the trap of taking people or situations for granted.

Pegasus is also indicative of a specific mission in life which the enquirer will always find the time and energy to pursue, although the path to its fulfillment may be strewn with difficulties and limitations. This may be seen in those people who manage to carry out a long and protracted study or discipline in spite of impoverished circumstances, family commitments, or even physical disability. Such people are seldom ever really depressed; they appear to fly over the top of the situation, as it were.

Extract: Olympus: An experience in Self-discovery by Murry Hope, published 1991, The Aquarian Press

Winged Horse revetment, Cerveteri, 5th Century BC

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