Pasiphae

Pasiphae

Pasiphae wife of King Minos of Crete

Pasiphae, according to Greek mythology, was the daughter of the Sun and the nymph Perses, the sister of Persia, Aetius and Circe and the wife of the king of Crete Minos. She had four sons and four daughters: Katreas, Androgeos, Glafkos, and Defkalion, and Xenodiki, Ariadne, Akalli and Phaedra.

PasiphaeWhen Minos asked Poseidon for a divine sign that he could become the king of Crete, a beautiful bull emerged from the sea to sacrifice him. The beauty of the bull, however, made Minos feel sorry for him and sacrifice another bull in his place. (Because the bull emerged from the sea, it is believed that it was Poseidon himself.

Another view says that it was Zeus himself, as the Cretans believed that the bull was the presence of the greatest of all the gods). Poseidon’s wrath for the mockery of Minos forced Pasiphae into an erotic rage so that he fell madly in love with the bull.

The latter ordered Daedalus to make a wooden dummy of a small cow hollow inside in order to provoke the bull. With the union of Pasiphae and the bull, the Minotaur (Asterios) was born, who had a human body and a bull’s head

Pasiphae was also credited with knowledge of ancient magic (as in Circe and Medea) with which he could kill any woman he suspected of being Minos’ mistress. He could transform them into snakes or anything else in order to make Minos barren. Pasiphae was worshiped mainly in Crete but also in Lacedaemon as a fortune teller and oracle. In the Chambers of Messinia, according to Pausanias, there was a statue in her honor that was in a sanctuary, adjacent to the Temple of the Sun