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Copyright © Mary Makra 2013 Published in England by AKAKIA Publications, 2013

Mary Makra

THE SCHOOL IN THE FOREST ISBN: 978-1-909884-21-2 Copyright © Mary Makra 2013 Cover Illustration: Vicky Marouda Translation from Greek: Villy Paradelli

PUBLICATIONS St Peters Vicarage, Wightman Road, London N8 0LY, UK T. 0044 203 28 66 550 T. 0044 203 28 96 550 F. 0044 203 43 25 030 M. 0044 7411 40 6562 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, microfilming, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission in writing of the Author and the AKAKIA Publications, at the address above.

2013, London, UK



INTRODUCTION by the author I am a therapist and I dedicate this book to all the worn out people on Earth. I hope that every word be transformed into a therapeutic energy which will remedy the wounds that their soul and body carry with it. I hope they feel that they are not alone in this journey called “Struggle for Life”. As fellow travellers, they have many people that have lived in different ages, that they live in various countries, and that they will live in the future in order to convey from mouth to mouth, and from age to age, the truth that the myth of Hercules express, that is, that a man becomes a hero through his own personal efforts, and that toil provides him with power; that the difficulties he faces are his own accomplishments and labours; that his soul supports him at times that he believes everything is lost; and that life itself records his experience, so that all those who follow, will have it as a guiding light. I don’t know what made me transform the myth of Hercules into a fairy tale. It may have been my love for Mythology that, through the myths, it always whispered promises to my soul for a better life; not for me personally, but also for all the people, who, came to me asking for help from sources of the universe. - “You, as a channel of Reiki, can you answer me as to why is life so hard with me?”, they asked me one day, and I realized, with horror, that there was quite a number of those who were asking. - “I, as a channel of Reiki, the only thing I have to say is… God, help me! Help this Planet!” I said in such a slow voice that, I am sure, nobody could hear me. And then I remembered all those promises that my soul collected when I was studying our Mythology, when I was searching its depths, and, also, when setting aside the facts of the myths, I was discovering their symbolism and significance. “In the essence of each myth, Knowledge is recorded”, a strange voice sounded to my ears one day that, lost in time and fascinated as I was, I

was also sinking into the divine look of goddess Athena. It was in a mythology book with great pictures. I felt as if a lightning from Zeus hit me. And, as the myth goes, Athena jumped out of his forehead, but a terrible headache jumped out of mine. - “Do you think this is inspiration?” I asked myself in astonishment and … I forgot all about time. When I came around, I realized that during all this time that my head was buzzing, in fact, I was writing. And what I was writing, it was now in a pile of papers, all spread out in front of me. - “A fairy tale? You wrote a fairy tale presenting the myth of Hercules?” some one asked me. - “I don’t know if and to how much it presents it”, I answered. “I only know that what I wrote gave me a great pleasure. If the joy I felt can travel to the other side of the earth, then, maybe it will take me close to people, who will share with me the same feelings… when I was a little kid and I was looking at the stars, searching for answers to so many questions…”. It was August… the warm night was falling, and I was asking myself… “How can one possibly communicate with so many people on Earth, at the same time?” Maybe, some day, goddess Athena will give the answer, as a representative of wisdom. For the moment, only Hercules was able to answer me, as a representative of life and the great struggle. I invite you, therefore, to THE SCHOOL IN THE FOREST. You will find me there as I am still a student. Your fellow traveller, Mary Makra

FROM THE GREEK MYTHOLOGY The labours of Hercules Mythology is the memory of every race, and from the myths it is always the human-being emerging as well as his struggle for betterment. Thus, there is the “hero” everywhere, in every myth, in every country and age to remind us of the magnitude of human power. And when gods, the invisible powers and the elements of nature intervene in the myth to change the scenery of the hero’s life, then we can all live through the awe that is raising in our souls to remind us that “all people on planet Earth are fellow-travellers in a common Course: the Course of the Struggle that leads to Human Development!”. Hercules was always a beloved hero for the Greeks. Of course, like in every myth, behind the tale there is hidden Knowledge; original truths and Laws of Universal Stability that are used as a light-house for salvation and stability in our own life. Having the tremendous desire to share what I learned from the myths – very little in comparison with the rich Knowledge included in the Greek Mythology – I wrote the fairy tale “THE SCHOOL IN THE FOREST”, and with great respect to the Sources that fed my spirit, I start this book for the Labours of Hercules, as presented in our Mythology. ………………………………….. Once upon a time, in the very old times, a great hero was born in Greece. His name was Hercules. His father was Zeus, and resided in mount Olympus, and his mother was Alcmene, a very beautiful princess. Goddess Hera who also resided in Olympus, was very jealous of Alcmene, so, since Hercules was born, she was continually after him, making him go through various afflictions. Hera’s assistant and colleague, in her effort to harass Hercules, was the king of Mycenae, Eurystheas. He arranged in what order the afflictions

of the hero would take place; such afflictions were called labours, and they were twelve of them. First labour Eurystheas asked Hercules to slay the lion of Nemea because it was dangerous for the inhabitants. This lion lived in a cave with two openings (exits). Hercules waited till it entered the cave; then he blocked one opening, caught it, strangled it, and brought it to Eurystheas. Second labour Hercules had to kill the Hydra of Lerna, a monster with many heads that was hiding in the swamp of Lerna. From there it was attacking the surrounding areas and destroyed the flocks. Hercules forced it to come out of the swamp by aiming burning arrows at it. He caught it with his strong hands and started cutting its heads; but where one head was cut, two new ones appeared. Then, he asked his friend, Iolaos, for help. Together, they succeeded in defeating the monster as Iolaos burned the heads with a lighting torch while they were springing out and killed them for good. Third labour Eurystheas ordered Hercules to catch alive the stag known as “Arcadian (Kerenitis) Stag�. It had silver antlers and the copper hooves. It could run as fast as the wind and no one had ever been able to catch it. Its lair was up on the mountain of Kerenia. Hercules was after it for a year but finally he caught it. He carried it alive to Mycenae, and delivered it to Eurystheas. Fourth labour

Hercules had to slay a wild boar, which was ferocious and caused great damages in the area. The mountain where the wild boar lived was called Erymanthos, and this is why the beast is mentioned in mythology as the “Wild Boar of Erymanthos�. Hercules caught it and took it alive to Eurystheas. Fifth labour Eurystheas asks Hercules to clean the Augean stables. Augean was the king of Ilida and the owner of many animals. The animal dirt filled the stables for many years and it was difficult for anyone to clean them. Hercules accomplished it in one day. He tore down one wall of the stables and had the current of two close-by rivers, Pinios and Alfios, go through them, thus, making the running water take the dirt away. Sixth labour Near Stymphali, a town of Arcadia, there was a swamp, known as Stymphalia. There, deep in the bush, were the Stymphalian birds; huge birds damaging the entire area. Hercules, by making rattling noises, made them fly away from their hiding place and, thus, was able to hit them with his arrows and kill them. Seventh labour In Crete, a raging bull was causing great damages. Hercules was ordered by Eurystheas to catch him and bring it to him alive. The hero went to Crete, caught the bull with a net and brought it to Eurystheas, who let him free, thus allowing the bull to continue to cause damages again, running from place to place. Later, another hero, Theseus, killed it. Eighth labour

Hercules captured the wild mares of Diomedes, which had copper jaws. Diomedes, the king of Thrace, kept them in chains because they were ferocious man eaters. Hercules, with the help of friends, caught the wild mares and brought them to Eurystheas. The myth goes that Eurystheas sacrificed them to the gods. Ninth labour Hippolyte, queen of amazons, had a beautiful girdle, which was a present to her from Mars, the god of war. Eurystheas’ daughter wanted that girdle very much, so, Hercules was ordered to bring it to Mycenae. Hippolyte welcomed Hercules and was going to give him the girdle, but the amazons attacked Hercules because they thought he wanted to kidnap their queen. During the battle, Hippolyte was killed, so, Hercules took the girdle and brought to Eurystheas’ daughter. Tenth labout Far from Greece, in the deep ocean, there was an island, Erytheia. On this island, Geryon, a monster with three heads, used to live. Eurystheas ordered Hercules to fetch him Geryon’s flock of oxen. The hero travelled far, killed the three-headed monster, took the oxen and passing through many countries, brought them to Mycynae. Eurystheas sacrificed them to Hera. Eleventh labour Hercules grabbed the golden apples from the garden of Hesperides. Hesperides, daughters of Night, had undertaken the task to protect the rare fruits from those who wanted to grab them, because they were fruits for the gods. Hercules, with the help of Prometheus and the cooperation of Atlas, was able to cut them and bring them to Eurystheas; however, Eurystheas offered them back to him. The hero, in turn, offered them to goddess

Athena, who brought them to the garden of Hesperides again, as that was the only place that they should be. Twelfth labour The last labour of Hercules was to go down to Hades and bring the dog, Cerberus. This dog was the guardian of Hades, had three heads and the tail of a dragon. Up on his back there were also dragons’ heads. Hercules, wearing his breast-plate and his leonti (lion skin), met Cerberus at the gates of Acheron river (right where the gates of Hades were). He caught it from the neck, and so that it wouldn’t drown, Cerberus had to follow him. They both came up on the surface of earth and after he presented it to Eurystheas, he took it back to the lower world. ………………………………….. The death of Hercules The hero reached his end in glory but very tired. At the time of his death a cloud came down from heaven, covered Hercules, and through deafening thunders, took him to heaven. Since then, he lives in mount Olympus together with the gods. As far as Hera is concerned, she became his best friend.

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