83. Medea prepares a potion for old Aeson

Once upon a time, after collecting magical ingredients that could restore youth to an old person, Medea, in her Hecate-gifted chariot driven by dragons, reached home. But she did not enter and stayed in the field, shunning all contact with her husband Jason, son of Aeson. From the ever-living turf, she built two altars, the right dedicated to Hecate and the left to Hebe, the goddess of eternal youth.

After adorning these altars with boughs and flowers, she dug trenches. Then, she butchered a black ram, whose fresh blood she poured in the trenches, along with wine and warm milk. With such an offering, she added her sacred incantations, to satisfy the Deities of earth and Pluto, lord of the deathly shades, so that they may not in undue haste, deprive the life from the limbs of old Aeson while she performed her magic on him.

When she was certain that her long prayers were heard and approved by Pluto, she went near the palace and ordered the people, to bring the worn out body of her old father-in-law. She cast a spell on Aeson, who went into a deep sleep, so deep as if he were a dead man. Then she laid his body on a bed of herbs, commanded the servants and told Jason, to completely go away. She warned all, not to spy on her with irreverent eyes and obeying her, all left.

Taking a brazen cauldron, she boiled and mixed all the magical ingredients, which she had gathered from distant places. She put seeds, herbs, plants, grass, flowers, acerbic juices, elixirs, oriental stones of amazing virtue, sifted sands from the tides of oceans, white frost gathered under a full moon, flesh and unlucky wings of a screeching owl, the sloughed scaly skin of a water snake, the liver of a stag who had lived long, the beak and head of an ancient crow alive nine centuries ago, entrails of the bizarre animal who changed from wolf to man and then again, from man to wolf, and many other things. Thus, Medea prepared the magical, youth-imparting potion for old Aeson.

Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time-II: 150 Greek Mythology Stories” by Rajen Jani

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