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Deities & Heros >> Greek
gift of prophecy, sexual pleasure, intellectual achievements, strange figure

Teiresias, the Blind Seer

Author: Mirjam

Brought to you by Archetypal Astrology

This may not at all sound as it could have something to do with Libra, but the story goes like this:

Teiresias one day happens into the sacred grove of Hera, where he comes upon two snakes coupling in the grass. The moment is ill chosen, for it shows that Hera and Zeus have been quarrelling about who has the greatest pleasure out of the sexual act, the man or the woman.

Teiresias shouldn't have stopped to watch those snakes, for later Hera shows herself to him and in her wrath turns him into a woman. He now has to live as a woman for seven years with all what that entails. Thereafter he returns to the grove to see the snakes once again coupling. Hera now transforms him back into a man and he is required to judge in hers and Zeus´ quarrel, as he now has the unusual experience of both man and woman.

Now, let's remember Teiresias is a Libra , so he feels he has to give a truthful answer and he says that it is the woman who has the greater sexual pleasure. Hera is enraged, as she has made Zeus believe that men get the greater pleasure. She strikes Teiresias blind, but Zeus takes pity on him and gives him the gift of prophecy.

It is also told that after Teiresias dies, he is the only mortal soul in the underworld that keeps his intellect intact.

The connection to Libra:

Teiresias is a strange figure and the connection to Libra is maybe both the fact that he has the experience of androgyny. Libra is the only sign in the zodiac that is not connected to man or animal. It's a "thing". It's ruled by the intellect - air - and often placements in Libra tells of intellectual achievements or interests.

In Libra balance in all things lie beneath most issues. Teiresias experiences a kind of balance between the female and the male, something that is often at play with Libras.

But this balance is not limited to male - female experiences. It has also to do with how one perceives the universe. Often Libras need an orderly structure where everything is meted out in a just way. The gods are supposed to be just and fair - but stop! Look at Teiresias. He said what he felt was most true and he got struck blind for doing that. The universe and the gods weren't good and just after all, he learned this the hard way. And because of that he also got the gift on inner vision (which is told elsewhere in myth too), and this inner vision enables him to stay conscious also in the underworld where everyone else succumbs.

What is that supposed to mean? Surely it doesn't mean a Libra is immortal? No, I don't think so, but the intellectual capabilities are a necessity to help us out of the difficulties we can encounter when the unconscious threatens to engulf us.

Someone showed a very good picture to me once: Imagine walking down a dwindling stair into the deep, bottomless abyss. In your hand you hold a bright light which you carry aloft. The stair leads down into the unconscious. The light in your hand is your intellect which will lead your way and which will help you see what goes on down there. It will also take you back up again.

Suggested Pdf Resources

Oedipus Rex
Teiresias – a blind seer In an effort to discover the murderer, Oedipus sends for the blind seer, Teiresias. Under protest, Teiresias names Oedipus the killer.
An excerpt from OEDI (from HA!) a comedy in one act by Rich Orloff
In this excerpt, OEDIPUS has just learned bad news from his trusted aides,. CREON and the blind seer TIRESIAS. But there's more bad news to come.
A Summary of Sophocles' Antigoneα
Teiresias—a blind prophet. PROLOGUE. Antigone has brought Ismene outside to avoid being heard (127).
Igor Stravinsky “Oedipus Rex,” Opera-oratorio after Sophocles by
Oedipus Rex
death of Laius. Oedipus sends for Tiresias, the blind prophet, to help with . Prophets or seers, like blind Tiresias, saw visions of things to come.

Suggested News Resources

New York Fringe Festival Report: 'Yeast Nation'
2011 Atlantic Fringe Festival line up
Tiresias and The Player King by Daniel Foley (London, UK) In this double bill, Tiresias returns to his home to recount his meetings with Oedipus, Antigone, Hercules, Pentheus and Odysseus.
Oedipus, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

Suggested Web Resources

Tiresias - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tiresias - The Classics Pages
Tiresias (or Teiresias if you prefer) is the aged blind prophet whose appearance turns the plot in all Greek tragedies set in Thebes.
Mar 3, 1997 Tiresias was the son of Everes and the nymph Chariclo; he was a blind prophet, the most famous soothsayer of ancient Greece.
Tiresias - Ovid's Metamorphoses on Tiresias
Tiresias, Blind Seer.
Blind Seer - Television Tropes & Idioms
Tiresias the blind prophet (pictured above) makes this Older Than Dirt.