For months now, I’ve been thinking about Eris and the way she drives things apart when discord is not honored on the way to consensus or mutual respect.¹ It’s part of why I wrote a devotional poem to her, wanting to push back against that — to find a space that honors her properly, that pivots within itself from strife to union. I’ve recited it every 5th, 15th, and 25th lunar day (☽) for a while now.
“What does the feast Eris is famous for disrupting look like in art?” is a question I have also had. Since it’s the ☽15th, let’s look at a few of them on the Wikimedia Commons. Two are of the feast itself; one is of the apple picking.
Hendrik de Clerck – The Nuptials of Thetis and Peleus. (2019, June 14). Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. Retrieved 03:20, November 12, 2019.
Golden Apple of Discord by Jacob Jordaens. (2019, November 8). Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. Retrieved 03:27, November 12, 2019.
Turner, Joseph Mallord William. The Goddess of Discord Choosing the Apple of Contention in the Garden of the Hesperides. (2019, October 6). Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. Retrieved 03:31, November 12, 2019.
(1) There was one point when I suggested that a bunch of us bloggers read Conflict Is Not Abuse by Sarah Schulman and talk about our reactions to it and what we think our polytheistic communities can take away from it, and to this day, nobody has taken me up on it. Since it seems that I will be alone, this sounds like a great thing to read in January.
2 thoughts on “Eris Disrupting the Feast”
I think that it is significant that Eris’ action takes place at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. Now, we could say that this is just because the Olympians are all there, or because it foreshadows the Trojan War in which Achilles will feature so prominently, but I think of it rather as significant because this event is only taking place because an alternate cosmos, in which Thetis would have given birth to another potential divine sovereign, has been averted. There will be a hero where there would have been a God, and somehow, to balance the equation, so to speak, Eris steps in.
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I thought this looked familiar, and it’s similar to one of the things you wrote in your “Aphrodite and Theology” essay at the end of Essays on Hellenic Theology (except I don’t think you mention Eris there). In other words, Eris’ discord enters when something falls out of balance and causes effects within a system until it comes back into (something like) harmonic resonance again?