The Minotaur – Enchanted Symbol of the Corruption of Nature

This week I’m looking at some of the enchanted symbols that have heavily influenced the novel I’m writing.

Pasiphaë and the Minotaur. Tondo of an Attic r...
Pasiphaë and the Minotaur. Tondo of an Attic red-figure kylix, 340-320 BC. From Vulci. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s enchanted symbol is the Minotaur.  Most of us have read, seen or heard the Greek story of the Minotaur that was trapped in a labyrinth in Crete on the command of King Minos.

The Minotaur was said to have the head of a bull and the body of a man.  and in many ways represents the opposite type of enchanted symbol that we explored yesterday in the Green Man.

The Minotaur and other mythical creatures like it result from the unnatural breeding or intermingling of human with animal.  Creatures like the half human/half fly creature in the movie The Fly and even Ripley’s mostly Alien offspring are modern examples of the theme of the dangerous and tragic consequences of tampering with human nature.

In almost all myths and stories of this type, the mixed beast is not allowed to survive and is usually killed in some way.  I almost always find myself feeling compassion for the beast who was unnaturally created.  In my novel, the genetic modification of nature has both positive and negative consequences, and results in creatures who represent a Minotaur-like danger to society.

In terms of practical life, many of us are suspicious of genetically modified anything, especially food.  It’s my guess though that genetic modifications of humanity and nature are only beginning.

Most of us are wisely worried of the unintended consequences of altering the natural world, yet alterations of life are also naturally changing and evolving constantly. Can you see any places where tampering with nature is good?

In the next few posts, I’ll talk about some ideas where enchanted symbols might point the way towards areas where alterations to nature could have positive implications for not only humanity, but nature itself.

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