Paulina Peñafiel – Cancer – The Doe with the Golden Horns of Cerinia

*Article translated from spanish to english.

Cancer being the sign of the mother, it is interesting to mention that the one who gave rise to the labors of Hercules was Hera. The same the name of Hercules or Hera-cles: to the glory of Hera. Thus Hera, as the persecuting mother, is the true instigator of his great deeds.

Two of the works that Eurystheus entrusts to Hercules have been related to Cancer. In a previous article you will find the one in which Hercules had to face the Hydra of Lerna. On this occasion, the one related to the capture of the hind of Cerinia, belonging to Artemis, the Moon goddess, and that Hercules must bring alive to Mycenae, has been taken.

Euristeo thinks that since Hercules is skilled with the bow, he can hunt her down and bring her dead, which Artemis will not forgive and will condemn him to death to punish her sacrilege. Hercules in this work will have to listen to his heart and awaken his intuition. It is a seemingly simple test, but one that will demand your inner wisdom.

Cerinia’s hind was divine, since it had horns and, moreover, gold. Although she had bronze hooves, she was swift as a shooting star and was protected by Artemis. It was one of the five hinds that the goddess had tried to capture when she was a child, to hook them to her chariot, being the only one that had managed to escape.

Hercules was aware that if he spilled a single drop of blood from Cerinia’s hind, he would have to explain himself, with his consequent punishment. He had to chase her day and night without rest, for a year, until he reached the Ladon river.

The doe was skilled at flight and her pursuer could not overcome the desire to capture her. The danger lay in the pursuit, which led him beyond the regions known to the hunters, or the country from which no one had ever returned.

When, exhausted at last, the hind took refuge on Mount Artemisium and descended to the river Ladon, Hercules shot an arrow with which he held its forelegs, making it pass between bone and sinew without spilling blood. He tied the legs of his prey, swung it onto his back, and hurried back toward Mycenae.

On the return trip, when he was crossing Arcadia, he met the pair of divine brothers Apollo and Artemis. The Moon goddess accused him of killing her sacred animal, but Hercules excused himself by telling her that he had been forced and made her see that he was taking the hind alive to Mycenae. Artemis, with admiration, let him go, warning him that he must fulfill his promise to release her immediately after presenting her at Mycenae. Otherwise she would kill him.

Relationship of this task of Hercules with Cancer

– According to Siegfried’s law, he is suckled by a hind. The image of the deer is that of the virgin surviving in the mother and sometimes that of castrating female virginity.

– In Greek mythology, the deer is consecrated to Hera, as goddess of conjugal love, and is persecuted by Artemis, the virgin hunter, Moon goddess.

– The word “hind” comes from a Latin origin that means “the one that must be captured”, that is to say, that which is elusive and difficult to imprison. It is essentially a female symbol. You can play the role of “mater nutritia” in the care of innocent children.

– The deer is an animal with a fast and light race like an arrow. Travel through two worlds, a theme that also relates to Cancer and its ability to live on land, as well as in water. It is said that he is indefatigable, that his hooves do not wear out, since in this sense he has feet of bronze.

– The bronze-footed hind that Hercules wants to capture alive at the end of a long chase to the north, symbolizes wisdom, difficult to reach. Here the symbol of the sacred metal and that of the fugitive hind meet and reunite.

– The bronze feet, when attributed to sublimity, express the strength of the soul. The image also indicates that this sublime sensibility (hind) although opposed to violence, is endowed with a vigor devoid of any sentimental weakness (feet of bronze).

– In life, everything that is really important is presented in a simple way. In the execution of the task, the hero passes from relying on instinct, to intuition.

– Artemis, the Moon goddess also expresses the maternal protection inspired by something superior and divine.

SOURCE: “The Labors of Hercules”, Alice Bailey

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