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Greek Word of the Day: Ichor: The blue blood of the Greek Gods


Blue-blooded Greek God
Blue-blooded Greek God

Here I am, early September, sat outside, under a canopy, enjoying the rain.
It hasn’t rained for what seems like months, after weeks of scorching Greek sun, what a welcome relief.

How peaceful it is, sat here, listening to the patter of rain on canvas, hearing the squish of tires on wet tarmac, watching rain drops, slowly making their way down the sharp, green leaves of a yucca, to drop onto the thirsty, parched earth below.


Enjoying the first September rain.
Enjoying the first September rain.

Above all though, the smell, a smell that takes me back to my childhood, wet, wooden garden fences, and the musty aroma of sodden, autumn leaves, damp concrete and the sweet smell of soaked earth.

Did you know that this unique smell has a name?

Petrichor, originally the word I was going to write about today.

Though not a true Greek word, as it was invented by two Australians in 1964, it is derived from two genuine Greek words;

These two words are “Petra’, meaning rock, and “Ichor”, the blood running through the veins of Greek Gods.


Petrichor The sweet smell of rain on parched earth.
Petrichor
The sweet smell of rain on parched earth.

This wonderful aroma, petrichor, produced by rain falling on parched earth, derives from “Ichor”, oil, produced by certain plants, which is absorbed by the earth.

As a Greek word, petrichor seems a bit of an imposter, so, I am going to tell you about “Ichor”, a truly ancient Greek word, and oh, so much more interesting!

Thousands of years ago, caves existed in Crete, which were created in such a way, as to catch the light of Sirius (Derived from the Ancient Greek Σείριος (Seirios), meaning "glowing" or "scorcher"), also known as the Dog Star, the brightest star in the night sky.

Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky . It shines in the constellation of Canis Major and is visible from most everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere during the winter months.
Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky.
 It shines in the constellation of Canis Major and is visible from most everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere during the winter months.

Dwelling in these caves were sacred honeybees, who, in the blue-white glare of Serius, created a mystical, golden honey, containing nectar and ambrosia, food of the Greek Gods, which is believed to promote longevity, and immortality, to whoever consumed it.

Honeybees Creating nectar and Ambrosia Food of the Greek Gods
Honeybees
Creating nectar and ambrosia
Food of the Greek Gods

 “Ichor”, the fluid running through the veins of Greek Gods, is said to contain this wondrous concoction of golden honey, nectar and ambrosia, said to be poisonous to mere mortals, killing them on the spot.


Nectar and Ambrosia
Nectar and Ambrosia

One of the most known myths, concerning “Ichor”, is of Talos, a Cretan God.

Talos Bronze, winged giant of Crete
Talos
Bronze, winged giant of Crete

Talos, a bronze, winged giant, created by Hephaestus, at the request of Zeus, to protect his daughter, Europa, (Some sources have Talos forged from bronze by the inventor Daedalus, father of Icarus and creator of the famous Cretan labyrinth, inhabited by the Minotaur), had “Ichor”, running through a single vein in his body.

This single vein, containing the “Ichor” in Talos’ body, was stoppered by a nail, to prevent this magical liquid from escaping.

All was going splendidly; Talos protected Europa, by hurling rocks at pirates and invaders, until one day, after the acquisition of The Golden Fleece, Jason and The Argonauts arrived on the scene.


Jason returns with the Golden Fleece,  shown on an Apulian red-figure calyx krater, ca. 340–330 BC
Jason returns with the Golden Fleece,
 shown on an Apulian red-figure calyx krater, ca. 340–330 BC

Battle ensued, in which Media, the sorceress wife of Jason, pulled out the nail in Talos’ back, releasing the “Ichor”, killing Talos instantly.

The death of Talos depicted on a 4th-century BC krater  now in the Jatta National Archaeological Museum in Ruvo di Puglia.
The death of Talos depicted on a 4th-century BC krater
 now in the Jatta National Archaeological Museum in Ruvo di Puglia.

I was going to finish with “Ichor” here, but then, things became really interesting!

Read on!

As you probably know, Greek Gods frequently cavorted with humans, any offspring resulting from these shenanigans, had a fifty fifty chance of inheriting their blood group from either the mother or the father, as is with humans today.

  Gods cavorting with mere mortals!
Gods cavorting with mere mortals!

We aren’t talking about any old blood here; we’re talking “Ichor”, if a child, resulting from an affair between a God and a human, was lucky enough to end up with “Ichor”, running through its veins, it was a very special child indeed, set apart from us ordinary humans, he was a king!

Set apart from humble humans
Set apart from humble humans

Now “Ichor” is blue in colour, you can find it mentioned as black, or green, but this is to be found in books, such as Dungeons and Dragons, or, Harry Potter.

The “Ichor” of the ancient Greeks is blue.

Blue Blood

Blue blood, the colour of the blood running in the veins of Greek Gods and of European royalty!

A large percentage of European royalty have the blood group rhesus O negative, only five percent of the world’s population, have this blood group.

The blood group, rhesus O negative, certainly has special properties, a person with this blood group, can receive blood, only from this group, but, can give their own blood, to absolutely anybody, regardless of blood type!

It has been said, people with rhesus O negative blood type, have rather a bluish hue about them!

Rhesus 0 negative maybe?
Rhesus 0 negative maybe?

Rhesus O negative, differs enormously from other blood groups, and, allegedly, scientists have no explanation for this difference.

It is even said, the CIA, have files, obtained through hospitals, birth registers and identity cards etc, on all rhesus O negative people, and are keeping a close eye on them, trying to discover, just what makes these special people tick!

Could European royalty have descended from Greek Gods?

Remember the bees in ancient Crete, creating “Ichor”?

The bee is a sacred symbol of many ancient and not so ancient royals.

The Minoan Bee was found in the Old Palace cemetery at Chrysolakkos,  outside the Palace of Malia, the 3rd largest Minoan Palace on the island of Crete (after Knossos and Pheastos)
The Minoan Bee was found in the Old Palace cemetery at Chrysolakkos,
 outside the Palace of Malia, the 3rd largest Minoan Palace on the island of Crete (after Knossos and Pheastos)

 Agamemnon, ancient Greek King of Mycenae, was buried in a “Beehive tomb”.

Treasury of Atreus Agamemnon's Tomb  An impressive tholo beehive shaped tomb on the Panagitsa Hill at Mycenae
Treasury of Atreus, Agamemnon's Tomb
 An impressive tholo "beehive shaped tomb" on the Panagitsa Hill at Mycenae

 Napoleon used the honey bee as one of the most important symbols of the power and prestige of his empire.

Napolean's bee emblem
Napolean's bee emblem

Sarah Ferguson, wife of Prince Andrew of Great Britain, former Duchess of York took the bee as her personal symbol and had the motive embroidered on her wedding gown.

Linda Cierach replica of the bridal gown worn by Sarah Ferguson, 1986,
Linda Cierach replica of the bridal gown worn by Sarah Ferguson,
 1986,

Could anyone with the rhesus O negative blood group be descended from Greek Gods?
Food for thought!

There is so much stuff concerning this subject, out there on the internet, I’ll give you a couple of the least “Sci-Fi” articles I came across. 

Read the articles here and here.

Make up your own minds!

Before I go, let me tell you something;



MGG My Greek God
MGG
My Greek God
I always knew MGG was a true Greek God, and my daughter, Nais, a true Greek Goddess.

They are both rhesus O negative!



MGG My Greek Godess My daughter, Nais
MGG
My Greek Goddess
My daughter, Nais
My son Johnny and I are mere mortals!

If this post whet your appetite for mysterious, Greek mythology, or gave you an urge to meet more glorious Greek Gods and Goddesses, have  look at this book;

Oh My Gods

An easy to read, straightforward book, covering anything you could wish to know, about Ancient Greece, her Myths and her gods.

Have a look at some more interesting Greek words:


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