85. Medea takes vengeance on Pelias

Once upon a time, Jason, the husband of Medea, had asked her to take vengeance on old King Pelias of Iolcus, for the murder of his father Aeson and his younger brother Promachus. Hence, Medea pretending that she had a quarrel with Jason and for her safety, fled to Pelias. Burdened with heavy age, Pelias was unable to greet her, but his daughters, the Peliades, received her with kindness.

In a very short time, the perceptive and shrewd Medea, with her fake display of friendliness, gained the confidence of the Peliades. She recounted her previous experiences and particularly dwelt upon, for a long time, on how she had rejuvenated her father-in-law, old Aeson, to his former youth. Medea subtly induced the Peliades, to desire that their old father Pelias, may also be likewise revitalized with youthful vigor. To flame their desire, Medea changed an old ram to a lamb. Thus tempted to wishful thinking, the Peliades begged Medea, to perform the feat, and make their old father Pelias, once again young.

They went to Pelias’ room, where with incantations, Medea made Pelias and all the guards, fall asleep. Then she set clear water to boil over blazing fire, added some herbs having no potency at all, and falsely demonstrated that she was preparing a magical elixir. Thereafter, Medea urged the Peliades to cut their father’s body with swords, so that the old blood may flow out, and his veins may be filled with the youth-granting magical elixir. The Peliades hesitated, but Medea went on urging them. So, with averted faces, the Peliades wildly struck at their father. Pelias was fatally wounded, but to finish him off with certainty, Medea swiftly slit his skinny throat. Thereafter, she threw his mangled body in the boiling water, while the hopeful Peliades expected their father to emerge as a youth.

Just at that moment, Medea’s chariot of dragons came and she escaped. Fearing punishment for murdering and boiling their own father, the Peliades also fled away.

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

84. Medea restores the youth of old Aeson

Once upon a time, Medea, the daughter of King Aeetes of Colchis, had prepared a magical potion, to restore the youth of old Aeson, the father of her husband Jason. The magical ingredients, collected from mysterious places, over nine days and nine nights, boiled in a cauldron. Meanwhile, with loosed unbound hair and flowing garments, Medea moved in wild abandon, like a Bacchanalian.

Three times, she paced the two blazing altars, the right devoted to Hecate and the left to Hebe. Thrice, she dipped the top-splintered ends of torches, into the dark mixture of blood, wine, and milk, which was poured in the trenches dug around the altars. Three times, she lit the dipped ends of the torches, with the fire of the burning altars. Thrice with flames, she purified old Aeson’s sleeping body, following it up three times each with sulphur and water.

Then, taking an old, withered olive branch, she stirred the seething mixture boiling in the cauldron. As the stirring progressed, the branch changed its color, new leaves began to sprout, and the entire branch was heavy with several juicy olives. The bubbling mixture created a sizzling froth, which rising above the cauldron’s edge, spilled over and fell on the ground. Where the mixture fell, immediately new plants, flowers and luxuriant grass, began to grow.

Seeing this miracle, Medea unsheathed her sharp knife and cut the old king’s throat, in such a manner that all the old blood from his body, drained out. Then, through the wound, she poured the hot fizzy mixture in his body. Aeson’s beard and hair changed from white to black. New youthful blood coursed through his veins, and his sallow old body became young. Aeson woke up astonished. His body was young but his mind was still old. His memory recollected that he was forty years younger from that day.

Bacchus witnessed this wonder from his celestial home. He earnestly appealed to Medea, to rejuvenate all his nurses, and the Colchian sorceress granted his request.

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

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

82. Medea collects magical ingredients

Once upon a time, the Argonauts returned to Thessaly, and they rejoiced with their respective families and friends. In gratitude for their safe return, they sacrificed a hallowed bull to Jove. They praised the gods with sacred fires, which were further made sacrosanct, by burning costly fragrant frankincense and offering consecrated gifts.

However, Aeson, the ailing father of Jason, was on his deathbed, and hence could not participate in the rejoicing. This grieved Jason, who with tears brimming in his eyes, requested his wife Medea, to use her magic and provide his father few more years to live, by taking those years from his own lifespan. But Medea loved Jason far too much, to deduct years from his lifespan, and thought of rejuvenating Aeson, solely with the power of her magic.

In the silent full moon night, Medea, robed in a flowing garment, her long hair unbound and unadorned, and with bare feet, went away from the palace to a solitary place in the woods. There, looking up at the glittering stars, thrice she paced around, and thrice sprayed her hair with water of crystal streams. Kneeling on the bare, cold ground, thrice she screamed, imploring the goddess Hecate, the three-faced queen of magical arts and all magicians, to witness her need of extraordinary herbs and elixirs, which can renew weakened old age with the strong bloom of youth. Hecate’s chariot driven by three flying dragons, came down from the sky. Medea mounted the chariot and flew away, to collect the required magical ingredients.

For nine days and nine nights, the swift wings of the dragons flew to distant places. With a moon-curved brass sickle, Medea cut weeds, grasses, herbs, and roots, from Ossa, Pelion, Othrys, Pindus, vast Olympus; from the banks of Apidanus, Amphrysus, Enipeus, Peneian, Spercheian, and Boebe. She plucked a secret grass from the fair Euboean fields, and also collected many other secret ingredients. Thereafter, the dragons took her home.

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

81. Jason takes the Golden Fleece

Once upon a time, Jason, the son of Aeson, with the help of magical herbs given by Medea, the daughter of King Aeetes of Colchis, was successful in taming and yoking fire-breathing bulls, to plow the field of Mars. Thereafter, from a brazen helmet, he took the teeth of a dragon and planted them, all over the first-time plowed field of Mars. From the sown dragon teeth, sprung up fully armed earth-born warriors. Jason threw a heavy stone in their midst, which distracted the warriors away from him, and they fought amongst themselves. Aided by Medea’s magical incantations, Jason survived the murderous warriors, who killed each other until no one remained.

Now, Jason had to take the Golden Fleece, which was guarded by a terrible dragon. The dragon had a magnificent crest, three flame throwing tongues, and fangs as sharp as a lance. The task was impossible while the dragon was awake and vigilant, and the only possible way, was to make the dragon go in deep slumber.

Jason sprinkled the Lethean juices of a magical herb given by Medea, on the stunning crest of the dragon. Then, he recited three times, such magical words that dull the senses, make the eyes heavy, and bring the deepest of the deep slumbers. The words were so potent that it could halt the flow and make still, the waters of the most hastily flowing river, or even calm the raging waves of a storm-tossed furious ocean.

The juices of the magical herb coupled with powerful magical words, took effect, and the watchful eyes of the dragon were burdened, with heavy slumber. While the dragon slept, Jason took advantage of this opportunity, and he quickly took away the Golden Fleece.

Thereafter, along with the Argonauts, Jason sailed away to Iolcus, his native port, victoriously carrying the Golden Fleece with him. Medea, the joyous and willing Colchian damsel, also sailed away along with Jason.

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

80. Jason sows the dragon’s teeth

Once upon a time, Jason, the son of Aeson, desired the Golden Fleece from King Aeetes of Colchis, who agreed on the condition that Jason completed three tasks. Medea, the daughter of Aeetes loved Jason and helped him with magical herbs. Jason had completed the first task of taming fire-breathing bulls to plow the field of Mars. Now, in that plowed field, he had to sow the teeth of a dragon.

From a barefaced helmet, Jason took the dragon’s teeth and sowed them all over the first-time plowed field. Drenched in potent poison and softened by the moist earth, the teeth began to swell, taking new shapes. The teeth did not come out of the earth, until fully formed as armed earth-born warriors. When all the earth-born warriors came out, in unison they aimed their sharp-pointed spears at Jason.

When the Minyans saw that Jason, their leader of the Argonauts, was surrounded by armed earth-born warriors, even the boldest Minyan, was fearfully unnerved with failing courage. Medea also was terrified, seeing so many raging enemies against her beloved Jason, who was alone. Her complexion turned ashen white, blood left her rosy cheeks, and chilling fear made her slump to the ground. Her terror-struck heart, frantically wished that the magic herbs given to him, would take effect. However, she started invoking mysterious incantations to protect him, in case the herbs failed to accomplish their purpose.

Meanwhile, Jason lifted a huge stone, hurled it in the midst of the warriors, who being distracted, turned away from him and started to fight among themselves. They fought with clashing arms and blood-curdling cries, until all were slaughtered in violent conflict. The Greeks declared Jason as the victor, and with open arms embraced him. At that time, the heart of Medea also yearned, to fold Jason in her loving arms, but modesty restrained her, and she silently rejoiced in her deep love for Jason.

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

79. Jason tames bulls to plow the field of Mars

Once upon a time, Jason, the son of Aeson, wanted the Golden Fleece from King Aeetes of Colchis, who gave him three tasks to complete. Medea, the daughter of Aeetes, fell in love with Jason, who promised to marry her. Medea helped Jason by providing magical herbs.

The first task was to plow the field of Mars, with fierce, untamed, and fire-breathing bulls. Hundreds of Colchians, expectantly stood on the hills, to witness Jason tame the bulls, yoke them, and plow the field. The Minyans were also gathered to see their leader Jason, emerge victorious. Aeetes, dressed in purple and holding his ivory scepter, sat high above on the hill, watching the field where the unruly bulls were roaming freely.

Jason arrived and faced the ferocious animals. The huge brazen-footed bulls, had sharp horns with tips of iron, and through their terrible nostrils, breathed out fire. Their hot sides and heated throats, demonstrated the contained fire within, just like the erupting flames of forges, show the intensity of the fire within.

The bulls turned their brutal faces towards Jason, bent their heads showing iron-tipped horns, pawed the dust of the earth with their brazen cloven feet, and filled the air with fearful bellowing, while the flames coming out of their adamantine nostrils, scorched the grass nearby. Fear gripped the hearts of the Colchians and the Minyans.

Aeetes anticipated Jason to flee, but under the powerful charm of the magic herbs given by Medea, Jason fearlessly walked up to the wild bulls. He stroked their down-hanging dewlaps, placed the yoke on their necks that had never been yoked, and made them pull the heavy plow. The field of Mars, which was never plowed, now felt the plow and was made fit for sowing. The Colchians were spellbound, Aeetes was amazed, but the Minyans cheered their hero, whose courage increased by their victorious shouts. Medea was happy and visualized marrying Jason.

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