Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Hesperides

The Garden of the Hesperides
by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833 - 98)

The Garden of the Hesperides is the Goddess Hera's orchard, in the distant western corner of the mythical world, where was said to grow a grove of immortality-giving golden apple trees, with golden leaves, golden branches, and golden apples. The apples had been planted from the fruited branches that the Great Earth Mother Gaia gave as a wedding gift to Hera and Zeus.

As the blissful garden is near Mt. Atlas, it is the three daughters of Atlas, also called "The Hesperides" who receive the task of tending to the primary tree in the blissful grove. As an additional safeguard, and perhaps to prevent the nymphs from plucking gold apples for themselves, Hera also placed in the garden a serpent-like dragon named Ladon who twines about the tree and never sleeps.

The beautiful Hesperides -- sometimes referred to as The Western Maidens, The Daughters of Evening, or The Daughters of Night -- also serve as the Goddesses of Evening and the Golden Light of Sunset.
The Garden of the Hesperides
by Lord Frederick Leighton (1830 - 96)

For more Golden Apples, see
my fortnightly literary blog
of connection and coincidence

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