Modern Hymns and Poetry for Pasiphae

To Pasiphaë
by Andrew S Bayless

Sing, O Muse of Pasiphaë, the beloved daughter of brilliant Helios who reigned as queen of Crete. Along with her shining eyes, the Goddess received the power of witchcraft from her father which she used to her advantage when the necessity arose. Such an occasion arose when Pasiphaë found that her husband, great Minos who would one day judge the dead in the gloomy world below, had been unfaithful to her. Minos had brought many girls to his bed and for this reason he earned his divine wife’s wrath. Calling upon unknown forces and mysterious spirits, bright-eyed Pasiphaë called down a curse upon Minos that his seed would turn into venomous creatures upon climax and destroy his lovers from the inside. Scorpions, snakes, and millipedes would bring death to any of Minos’ concubines but would do no harm to Pasiphaë’s immortal body. It would be many moons past and many lovers destroyed until Minos found a cure for his affliction but Pasiphaë had her just revenge in the end. But much like how she cursed her husband through his harem, the Gods too would curse Minos through the woman he loved. Many years before his reign, Minos claimed that the Gods wanted him to be king and that whatever he asked for would be sent to him as a holy omen of his right to rule. Kingly Minos prayed to Poseidon the Earth-Shaker for a magnificent bull to appear before him and that he would sacrifice this bull as a thanks to the mighty God of the Sea. His prayers were heard and a bull of pristine whiteness arose from the wine-dark sea. Desiring the bull for his herds, the beast was taken to the fields and another bull was sacrificed to Poseidon. But Poseidon would not be deceived and asked laughter-loving Aphrodite to put a curse on Minos’ wife, Pasiphaë of the sunlit eyes, that she may develop a lust in her loins for the bull. But to Pasiphaë, this was no curse. She had spied upon the loveliest creature on the earth. The bull’s marble-white fur and muscular neck and back stirred up desire in Pasiphaë and she wished to caress the beast’s glistening horns. Passion welled up within her. Her dreams were haunted by the creamy whiteness of her bovine beaux. Pasiphaë must have him! The Goddess with the sunlit eyes commissioned a bull costume from the famed inventor Daidalos and with his remarkable craftsmanship he crafted a wooden body on wheels cloaked in cow skin to finish the disguise. Nude and positioned in the compartment of her mock heifer, Pasiphaë allowed herself to be wheeled out to the green pasture where her love awaited. There she waited, yearning for the great bull to notice and take interest in her. Her fantasy was then realized when the mighty sea-sent bull discovered the wooden cow. Overcome with the desire to propagate, the bull mounted the contraption and his member entered between Pasiphaë’s beautiful legs. Beauty and beast had become united in passion and queenly Pasiphaë experienced great joy from sating her thirst for coveted bull. When nine moons had come and gone, Pasiphaë bore an unusual child that struck fear into all but her. To others, the babe was an inhuman abomination with the head of a bull and the body of a human. To Pasiphaë, it was her beautiful child whom she named Asterion and proudly suckled at her breast. The Minotaur, as the child would come to be called, might one day bring terror to Athenian youths imprisoned in the Labyrinth but Pasiphaë would always see her son as the babe who sat on her knee and who thought of nothing but warm bathwater and his mother’s milk. And so farewell to you, queenly Pasiphaë of Crete with sunlit eyes, I appease you in song but I shall call to mind both you and another song.