Transformation, Transmutation, Transfiguration, Metamorphosis
Transformation, Transmutation, Transfiguration, Metamorphosis
Change is happening right now; within ourselves, around us and everywhere in this world we are living in.
You can call it a transformation, or perhaps a transmutation, and in some rare cases, transfiguration [metamorphosis, conversion, etc]. Regardless what term you use to describe it, change is a fact of life and it is fascinating to say the least.
This change can be found in the myths and legends of ancient stories. But back then, these stories were more than just myths, they held a secret, a truth, that sad to say, is ignored by humanity today.
It has to do with life in this material, restless, and always changing world; inside of which we are held prisoners.
Let us start with the Bible. This is because today Christians do not view this story as a myth or legend but as a historical truth. The story is found in the book of Genesis in the Old Testament of the Bible and it begins like this:
19: And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; 19:15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. 19:17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed. 19:25 And [God] overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. 19:26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
[Genesis 19 King James Version (KJV)]
The story says that a woman who was told not to look back at the life that she had left behind, or perhaps, at some form of power [radiation] that was happening at Sodom, touched her: becoming a pillar of salt. But this was nothing new in the ancient world: there are stories similar to this where humans are turned into stones.
We read in the Iliad of Homer, for instance, of the proud and arrogant Niobe, provoking the mother goddess Leto and her sons to anger; this Niobe said that Leto had only two children, whereas she had twelve. And for this, Apollo and Diana, the children of Leto, killed all of Niobe's children. And Niobe wept and wept and wept until finally turning herself into a rugged rock, which Achilles says, that even till this day this same rock is bathed by its own tears.
“Achilles then went back into the tent and took his place on the richly inlaid seat from which he had risen, by the wall that was at right angles to the one against which Priam was sitting. ‘Sir,’ he said, ‘your son is now laid upon his bier and is ransomed according to desire; you shall look upon him when you take him away at daybreak; for the present let us prepare our supper. Even lovely Niobe had to think about eating, though her twelve children- six daughters and six lusty sons- had been all slain in her house. Apollo killed the sons with arrows from his silver bow, to punish Niobe, and Diana slew the daughters, because Niobe had vaunted herself against Leto; she said Leto had borne two children only, whereas she had herself borne many- whereon the two killed the many. Nine days did they lie weltering, and there was none to bury them, for the son of Saturn turned the people into stone; but on the tenth day the gods in heaven themselves buried them, and Niobe then took food, being worn out with weeping. They say that somewhere among the rocks on the mountain pastures of Sipylus, where the nymphs live that haunt the river Achelous, there, they say, she lives in stone and still nurses the sorrows sent upon her by the hand of heaven.’"
Taken from: The Iliad By Homer http://classics.mit.edu/Homer/iliad.24.xxiv.html
And there is the story of Medusa, whom it was said, by just her glance, turned men into stone, and the drops of her blood in the Red Sea turned the plants there into coral reefs.
“According to Ovid, in northwest Africa, Perseus flew past the Titan Atlas, who stood holding the sky aloft, and transformed him into stone when he tried to attack him. In a similar manner, the corals of the Red Sea were said to have been formed of Medusa's blood spilled onto seaweed when Perseus laid down the petrifying head beside the shore during his short stay in Ethiopia where he saved and wed his future wife, the lovely princess Andromeda. Furthermore, the poisonous vipers of the Sahara, in the Argonautica 4.1515, Ovid's Metamorphoses 4.770 and Lucan's Pharsalia 9.820, were said to have grown from spilt drops of her blood. The blood of Medusa also spawned the Amphisbaena (a horned dragon-like creature with a snake-headed tail).”
[Note, Aeschylus's “Prometheus Bound,” also mentions Medusa].
"In myth, Rhea was the wife of the Titan Kronos (Cronus) and Queen of Heaven. When her husband heard a prophecy that he would be deposed by one of his children, he took to swallowing each of them as soon as they were born. But Rhea bore her youngest, Zeus, in secret and hid him away in a cave in Krete (Crete) guarded by shield-clashing Kouretes (Curetes). In his stead she presented Kronos with a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes which he promptly devoured."
The story of Rhea giving Cronos a stone to swallow instead of Zeus, is found in “The Theogony of Hesiod” which reads thus:
"Earth and starry Heaven, to devise some plan with her that the birth of her dear child might be concealed, and that retribution might overtake great, crafty Cronos for his own father and also for the children whom he had swallowed down. And they readily heard and obeyed their dear daughter, and told her all that was destined to happen touching Cronos the king and his stout-hearted son. So they sent her to Lyetus, to the rich land of Crete, when she was ready to bear great Zeus, the youngest of her children. Him did vast Earth receive from Rhea in wide Crete to nourish and to bring up. Thither came Earth carrying him swiftly through the black night to Lyctus first, and took him in her arms and hid him in a remote cave beneath the secret places of the holy earth on thick-wooded Mount Aegeum; but to the mightily ruling son of Heaven, the earlier king of the gods, she gave a great stone wrapped in swaddling clothes. Then he took it in his hands and thrust it down into his belly: wretch! he knew not in his heart that in place of the stone his son was left behind, unconquered and untroubled, and that he was soon to overcome him by force and might and drive him from his honours, himself to reign over the deathless gods."
[Note, This stone that Cronos swallowed is known as the Omphalos Stone and it still exists today].
Here one understands that we consume that which we produce, this, of course, being our very own children. But at the end, it is our children who ends up consuming all of our Energies.
However, it also speaks of NATURE as the Mother Transmuter, turning the beautiful into the monstrous, and the monstrous into the beautiful, regardless of whether they are gods, plants, or men.
In The Metamorphoses of Antoninus Liberalis, [translated by Francis Celoria (Routledge 1992): https://topostext.org/work/216 ], you will find different stories and the reasons why gods turned humanity into stones. It is a book highly recommended.
Today we know for a fact that this earth has gone through tremendous changes. There have been found fossils of whales, for example, on top of mountains and ancient cities lay buried beneath the sea.
Everything goes through a change; this is because everything is alive. Everything is possessed by Spirit.
Wood can turn into a stone.
Shells can turn into a stone.
Bones can turn into a stone.
And corals, which are living plants, are sold as stones.
The Earth continues to revolve. Some animals and plants and rivers dry up and become extinct, and others evolve, and very few become transfigured.
However, nothing is ever lost but continually changing. Like a phosphorous match that when lighted becomes smog and ashes.
Everything in this awesome universe, from the largest sphere like the sun, to the smallest subatomic particle, is under the abiding influence of this law of change. Nothing escapes it.
Everything turns into its original form: the material returns to the material: “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” And the spiritual turns into its spiritual form: I shall dare say, into its original crystal form.