Monday, September 13, 2010

Titanesse Phoebe

When I dropped off Phoebe at the Kids Klub at the gym this morning, on the sign-in list above her name was the name Apollos. Not a typical name, but when in such proximity to the name Phoebe it takes on a whole new meaning.

The name Phoebe is an ancient Greek name and has a very interesting history in Greek mythology. I have a tween book brewing in my head based on my Phoebe with a slight involvement of the ancient Greeks.

I find this stuff interesting.

I might be alone in this thinking.

But in case you're interested in this mythology stuff, too, here's a super-quick recap of Phoebe, Apollo, and their significance in my proposed book:

Eons ago, out of the great "Nothing", arose two supreme beings: Uranus (Heaven) and Gaia (Earth). These two beings had twelve children together, The Titans, the males named Oceanus, Hyperion, Coeus, Crius, Iapetus, and Cronos. The female Titans were named: Mnemosyne, Tethys, Theia, Phoebe, Rhea, and Themis.

As it was customary to procreate with your siblings, the twelve Titans created a whole bunch of other Titan children to help rule over the world. Phoebe, the Titan of the moon and brilliance (as in light), created three Titans with her brother Coeus, the Titan of intelligence and order (as in celestial polarity).

Their three Titan daughters were Asteria, Leto, and Hecate.

Meanwhile, the Titans Cronus and Rhea had a bunch of little ones, too, beings that would later be called Gods, including Zeus who would one day overthrow all of the Titans and assume leadership over all Gods and humans.

Phoebe's daughter Leto, Goddess of Darkness as in the Unseen, and Zeus got busy and had two God children, the twins Artemis and Apollo.

Got that? The important piece to remember so far is that Phoebe is the grandmother of Apollo.

Back in the beginning of Titans and lasting throughout the age of the ancient Greeks, there was a place on the island of Delphi where an oracle, or prophetic virgin woman, was placed in order to receive insight into the future. Titans, Gods, heros, and humans alike sought out the Oracle at Delphi to help them know the future.

The power over the oracle first originated with Gaia, who then passed it on her daughter Themis, who then passed it to her sister Phoebe. Phoebe eventually passed it to her grandson, Apollo.

Apollo was one busy God. He was the God of truth and light, the sun, medicine, plague, music, art, and poetry. He is typically portrayed as the rider of the chariot that brings the sun up in the morning and takes it back down at night.

He is also an oracular God; prophetic and in charge of the Oracle of Delphi. He is often known as Phoebus Apollo to show his relationship with Phoebe and his prophetic powers.

OK. Right.

So what?

For years my sister and I have firmly believed that we are slightly prophetic. Not like we go into trances or can read your palms or charge you $9.99 a minute to tell you your future, but in little things like urges, subtle suggestions, and noticing repetitions that have consequences in the future.

Some may call it instinct, but those of us with overactive imaginations call it prophesy.

My Phoebe seems to have it, too.

She knows too much and freaks me out.

The day after I gave birth to Paige, a nurse asked if I would ever want to have any more children after going through the really hard labor and delivery I had. I instantly said, "Yes. I'm ready right now. And I will name my next girl Phoebe Elena."

Before that moment I had not thought of that name, had not imagined having another child, nor had that name ever come up while we were trying to come up with a name for Paige.

Where did it come from?

It was so weird, like someone had dropped that name into my mind. But who?

A little while after my Phoebe was born, my mom learned that my 6th great-grandmothers name was Phoebe. Did she put that name in my mind?

While talking with my sister one day about our prophetic natures (we're not freaks, I promise), I mentioned to her about my sudden urge to name my daughter Phoebe Elena. She was surprised, and even more so when I told her about our great-grandmother. And even more surprised when I told her what the name Phoebe means and her connection to prophesy.

Did I mention Elena means shining light, sun ray? And the Titan Phoebe is the goddess of enlightenment.

Weird, huh? I named her Light Light. Bright Light.

That's when I got the idea for my book. Three kids who have to save the world, each with their own job and purpose, all foretold by their birth names given to them by their prophetic mother, aka me. Phoebe's job will be prophesy, enlightening their way, illuminating their path.

So my Phoebe will be prophetic like I'm imagining her great-grandmother, like her namesake Greek Titan Phoebe.

Paige and Josh's names are interesting in how well they fit them,too, how well they will work in my book.

But that will have to wait until another day. I have an instinct that you are bored and think I'm crazy.

That's OK. I am.

(Oh, and before you thieves steal my book idea; good luck. All ideas on my blog are mine, mine, mine, and covered by intellectual property copyright laws. So there.)