Nine Deadly Sins with Coffee, part 47 – Mother and Child


Joan of Arc and child Roerich
Image source see below

Nine Deadly Sins with Coffee, part 47 – Mother and Child


“I’m not sure, but I think it centres around the child,” I said, as Rose brought our coffees.

John looked thoughtful–so thoughtful he sipped his coffee prematurely and burned his top lip.

“Ouch!” he grumbled, obviously hurt. “Sod it…” He bent to put the overly-full coffee cup down, but it slipped in his fingers at the last minute and some spilled onto the table. He looked, speechless, at the result. “Made a hash of that, then,” he muttered, mopping up the spillage with his napkin.

I stared at him and laughed. He was normally so controlled. “Unlike you, that!” I said.

“Go on,” he said, ignoring me, He licked his burnt lip and frowned. “I agree; the child is very significant… and Heracles, is he significant?”

I considered the question; how could the central character not be significant? “Well, he just makes a mess of the whole encounter with Hippolyta, doesn’t he?”

“Yes he does,” said John. “But, technically, he achieves his goal?”

“He does, but…” I responded, leaning forwards. “…and this seems to be at the heart of it–he treats it like a military mission and completely misses the most subtle parts of it, even though the Queen of the Amazons had already decided to help him, and all he had to do was accept the gift that was waiting–a gift he really needed!”

John nodded and blew on the top of his diminished coffee, taking no chances this time. “And he realises that he’s done it all wrong and that the doing of it was just as important as achieving the goal; he knows that he shut out so many benign possibilities in the way he acted…”

“But he redeems himself by saving Hesione and, eventually passes on to the next labour?” I asked.

“He does,” said John. “but with a heavy heart, as he had once before, remember?”

The image of the wild mares came back to me – the sad death of Abderis through Heracles’ neglect of his younger friend’s plight. “Are they connected?”

John looked at me over the surface of his, now shallower, steaming drink. “Very much so, I would say…”

“As though he is beginning a new stage of his spiritual training!” The image had flashed into my mind, un-thought, from somewhere deeper. The feeling startled me… and then I chuckled, with what felt like a tiny stream of joy. I blurted out, “Mission! It’s all wrong era-wise, but the word I used is the key–he’s completed his basic training as a disciple and now has to move on to something more fundamental, something deeper, something that really changes lives.”

“Like a fresh cup of coffee?” said John, his eyes twinkling with delight at my breakthrough and smiling at Rose when she offered. In times gone by I would have found the trivialising gesture irritating, but now I could see that it contained a lot of love, that he was using it to carry me to the next waypoint in my revelations.

“So, where does Heracles ‘go’ next?” he asked, then added, conspiratorially, “You’ve already said it…” He rolled his hands, urging me to keep up the momentum.

“The Child…” I whispered it, not sure of its full implications, but knowing it was right.

“The Child, yes,” repeated John. “And how do you make a child?”

“Well, apart from the first bit,” I smiled at my absurd reduction. “you have to be a woman!” The words were out before I realised their significance. “The Amazons–” I said. “They were all women, of course, specifically emphasised in the story; and their Queen could make the Child because she had the girdle; which bestowed love and triumph through adversity.”

John was grinning at me with something like glee in his eyes. Rose had placed the tin tray with our fresh coffees on the small table and was also smiling.

“Weren’t they warriors, too?” John asked. “Hence Ares – Mars?”

I was getting excited with the chase. “So, these warrior women are special in that they can undertake, through their Queen with her girdle of Venus, the generation of a special Child?”

“Yes,” said John. “But only the Queen comes out to meet him, by the side of that Great Sea. Not understanding, he kills her in the struggle for the magical girdle which was to be bestowed on him, anyway…”

“So what does he do now?” I asked, quietly, breathing over the new, hot coffee.

“Ah,” said John, doing the same. “It depends on who’s got the girdle doesn’t it?”

(Image – Joan of Arc Triptych, Nicholas Roerich, click here for origin)


Nine Deadly Sins with Coffee is usually published on Thursdays.

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