Thursday 18 December 2014


                                In Greek mythology, Pasiphae was described as the immortal daughter of Helios, the sun, by the Perse (the eldest of the Oceanids). Pasiphae was given in marriage to king Minos of Crete. With Minos she was mother of Ariadne, Androgeus, Deucalion, Phaedra, Glaucus, Catreus, Acacallis and Xenodice. 
Pasiphae with her son Minotaur

                                         King Minos annually dedicate to Poseidon, the fairest bull born in his herds and sacrifice it to the god. One time there was born a bull of extraordinary beauty and Minos sacrificed another from among those which were inferior. Which made Poseidon angry at Minos causing his wife Pasiphae  filled with lust for bull. 

                                     According to other version, a dispute over the sovereignty of Crete led Minos to ask Poseidon for help. He asked the god to send an offering as sign of his true kingship. Sea god Poseidon sent a snow-white bull from the sea, with the expectation that Minos would sacrified it to him. This bull indeed certified that Minos was the right king of Crete. When Minos saw this snow-white bull, he refused to sacrifice it to Poseidon, send the bull to his herds, and sacrificed another.  Angered with Minos, Poseidon plotted to punish him for his arrogance. So Poseidon turned the bull wild and made Minos wife Pasiphae, fall madly in love with the snow-white bull. In some versions, Poseidon send goddess Aphrodite, who implanted desire in Pasiphae. 
Pasiphae getting inside the hollow cow built by Daedalus

                                 Pasiphae told about her unspeakable sickness ( the lust for a bull) to Daedalus, a craftsman and inventor. Daedalus built hollow wooden cow, wrapped in a real cow skin. Then hollow wooden cow was placed in a meadow where the bull normally grazed and Pasiphae get inside it.  The mighty bull came up and had intercourse with it as if with a real cow. Pasiphae have birth to Asterius, who was called Minotaur. He had the face of a bull, but otherwise human. Minos following certain oracle instruction kept Minotaur confined and under guard in the Lybyrinth (built by Daedalus). 
 Union Pasiphae share with bull 

                               Pasiphae did not blamed her husband for the union she shared with bull because she saw the incident as part of a divine plan. After defeating Athens in war, Minos forced the Athenians to send seven young man and  seven young woman at end of every Great year, to feed the Minotaur. Untill Theseus killed the monster with the aid of Pasiphae's daughter Ariadne.    
Pasiphae and king Minos

                           According to some versions, Pasiphae possessed the powers of witchcraft. When Pasiphae came to know about Minos extramarital sexual affairs, she cast a spell on him, whenever he went to bed with another woman, he would ejaculated wild creature, thus killing them. In some versions, she cast a spell on him which caused him to ejaculated poisoned creature and so killed his lovers. Pasiphae herself being an immoral, was alone immune.   Minos was latter cured by the Athenian girl Procris.         
                                  In rare version, Pasiphae was described as oracle goddess of Thalamae in Laconia, and was believed to be the daughter of Atlas. But it may be same Pasiphae the daughter of Helios. People used to sleep in her temple as the goddess reveals whatever they wish to learn in dream. 



  1. Line eleven, second to last paragraph change typo "immoral" to immortal.

  2. What about the version where Pasiphae thinks she's more beautiful than Aphrodite, and Aprhodite hears and sends the bull to punish her

  3. Fifth paragraph, line one. Change blamed to blame.