2021 Greek mythological zodiac caleNdar
I combined my love for Greek mythology, astrology, and inspiring quotes for my 2021 calendar as I couldn’t decide on one theme. For each zodiac sign I came up with a quote that would reflect an aspect of the sign. Then chose a myth to go with the quote and provide the inspiration for the imagery.
Capricorn - I chose to reflect a few aspects of Capricorn in this illustration- the self-discipline, good management and the ability to know what is worth their time. I chose to depict Hera, goddess of women, sitting atop Mount Olympus on a throne, surveying the world below, making sure everything is in order.
Aquarius - Quality: deep philosophical thinking. That leant itself to one my favourite trains of thought - surrounding life, death and the big questions in relation to our tiny self-centred worlds. Despite it seeming morbid, thinking about our mortality can put things into perspective, make us question whether we are fulfilled in life and are we making the most of it?
When researching myths and figures the one that was a clear choice was the Moirai, the sisters of fate. They are in charge of weaving destinies. So here I was looking to achieve a puppet on a string image, as if the time of our death is already pre-decided by these three sisters.
Pisces - The trait of Pisces that stuck with me is how much they feel their emotions. There is power in that. We are told to suppress emotions, how many of us feel embarrassed when we cry, how many force a smile to be polite when inside we’re seething and how many of us just sit with our feelings, rather than push them down because we have no time for them?
This is an illustration of the myth of Niobe. Niobe was bragging that she was better than the Goddess Leto because she had 14 children whereas the Goddess only had 2, so Leto decided to punish her by sending her 2 children, Artemis and Apollo, to kill all of Niobe’s children. Niobe was then very sad because her children were dead. She pleaded with the Gods to end her pain so Zeus turned her into a rock. She still cried, even as a rock.
Aries - are often known for their fiery drive and energy. I wanted to capture this in the illustration and message.
I wanted the visual to be a powerful woman soaring and what better image than Icarus flying through the Sky. Of course that myth didn’t end too well, but neither did a lot of myths and I’m using artistic licence to twist this into a positive tale: a glorious woman creating her own wings and flying free.
Taurus - is an earth sign and they are known for staying grounded so immediately a tree came to mind. I came up with this phrase which was a slight play on words of trees and roots - and I enjoy the phrase because I think it’s an important one to keep with you and is definitely one I personally keep in mind when deciding which clients to collaborate with.
Once again the tale itself is a dark one. It is based on the myth of Daphne and Apollo, in the myth he pursues her and won’t stop so in order to avoid him she asks her father to turn her into a tree. Apollo then steals some of her branches, so the tale itself is not a nice one, with themes of harassment. However here I once again wanted to reference the tale but instead twist into a more positive message. So this is a symbol of how Daphne is now a fantastic, wise laurel tree living her best single lady tree life.
Gemini - they sometimes get a bad rap for being two faced, but what that actually is sometimes is changeability and adaptability and that is what I wanted to focus on here. This one ties nicely together because Gemini is also an air sign and my thinking was that this piece should be something related to air to reflect the changeability of the wind. I went with depicting two of the anemoi, who are the gods of wind.
Cancer - trustworthy and home-loving and in tune with themselves. And there were two myths I was toying between. Either the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice or Eros and Psyche. And here I feel it is important to give the first part of the story.
Once upon a time there lived a woman called Psyche, she was the most beautiful woman in the world but she couldn’t get a husband for some reason and her family left her on a hill for the gods to assign her a husband. She gets a husband (Eros) who is the most beautiful man and the rule is she’s not allowed to look at him. They’re both happy together. Her sisters come to visit and he warns her not to let them influence her.
Her sisters who are very jealous of her new life start making her doubt herself, saying he must be hiding something, he must be a snake etc. So when he was asleep Psyche goes to have a peek at him and sees he’s this beautiful man. Unfortunately he wakes up and is heartbroken and says ‘Love cannot live without trust’ - he then flies away. The part of that story I wanted to take was the not allowing outside forces to make you doubt yourself. That gut feeling usually turns out to be right in my experience and I wanted to enforce that.
Leos - can often be great at self love and self celebration, and I wanted to harness that quality in this illustration. Do you ever catch yourself saying really nasty things to yourself that you’d never dare say to anyone else? Why do we do this and why do we think it’s okay? It’s so destructive. It is in the interest of Capitalist societies to keep us insecure and self loathing so we’ll buy more products to make us better - whatever that is, so I do understand that self love is a difficult ask when our surroundings are not conducive to it. So instead of preaching self love I wanted to go for a softer message of reevaluating how we speak to ourselves. A small but crucial step.
So the myth for this is based on Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection. Narcissism and this myth have negative connotations, but really did prove for a beautiful image.
Virgo - All the Virgos in my life are immensely generous, so I wanted to depict the act of giving. This was one of the first quotes I came up with. I think about this a lot, when a small act of random kindness can really brighten my day. However small it may seem to you, it could be huge to someone else.
I wanted to find a myth that had something to do with kindness. And Prometheus giving fire to the poor humans was a huge act of kindness particularly as he risked his own life to do so. (For the purpose of the calendar we’re going to ignore the fact that Prometheus stole fire from Zeus. Hopefully by now you’ve realised I’m doing a lot of twisting the facts haha.)
Libra! - It’s me! One of Libra’s traits is an appreciation of beauty. I like to go for walks and look at pretty trees, the sunlight, crunchy leaves at the moment as it’s now Autumn. I go a bit deep sometimes in my head and start thinking about how everything was formed and created. But it gives an extra appreciation for the world in stressful times or times I’m in my head about long to do lists.
The image for this instantly came to me, I love Persephone and so that is who I wanted to draw first. As the Goddess of Spring, I imagined her gazing at the world, basking in it, with blossom swirling around her. I also wanted to show the ground, the sky and the stars above the sky, which was tricky but we got there. Enjoy and care for this beautiful planet.
Scorpio - I love the passionate nature of Scorpio and I had the idea for this quote in mind from the start so had to make it happen, even though I don’t like how many negative reviews Scorpio seems to receive, but the image, the quote, was so perfect I couldn’t not do this one. But just know I have a lot of Scorpio in me and have a lot of love for Scorpios. You’re fantastic.
I’m proud of how all of this links together - for the visuals the fiery reds, green with envy, the serpents, the symbolism of the apple, Medusa which is a story of jealousy. Yes, very happy. And also the quote, I think there’s a lot written about jealousy but it is a natural human emotion which I wanted to emphasise - you’re not a bad person for feeling jealous. This is just a warning that that jealousy is affecting you and your wellbeing over everyone else. Take care of yourself.
Sagittarius - the travellers, the curious. I was listening to a lot of Esther Perel at the time of creating this calendar, so I have to give a nod to her. She was talking about how we have these two conflicting needs that make relationships difficult: the need for novelty, fire, new, intriguing and the need for safe and secure. And I think that can also be translated more generally into life: as humans we need to explore, yet feel grounded. A constant yin-yang battle of the self. And my point here is to really just find that balance and nurture both needs.
And what better than to use the visual of Pandora’s box for this piece. I wanted the figure to be grounded in how she was sitting, yet looking up in awe and wonder at the planets. Instead of Pandora opening the box to reveal all the evils in the world, she is opening the box to reveal planets yet to be explored.