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.

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

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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.

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