h e l e n
Helen of Sparta, fairest woman of the world, daughter of Zeus and Leda, "the face that launched a thousand ships" - she, or rather her defection, is credited as the cause of the Trojan War, which seems a bit unfair because who knows her story? Was she sorry to be taken from her home? Happy to escape an arranged marriage? Contrite to be the source of so much misery and death? Helpless before the interference of the gods and goddesses? Helen had already been abducted by the Greek Theseus when little more than a child and she may have given birth to a daughter before she was brought back to Sparta by her brothers, Castor and Pollux. Her mother, Leda, was married to the King of Sparta, and the King chose Helen's husband Menelaus. All was more or less well in Sparta until Aphrodite enticed Paris of Troy to select her (Aphrodite) as the fairest goddess of all by promising him the fairest woman in the land (Helen) would be his. So why wasn't Aphrodite credited with starting the war? Paris was no prize either. Paris went to Sparta as a guest and took Helen to Troy while Menelaus was away on family affairs in Crete; some seriously bad manners. After years of war and death and the sack of Troy, Aphrodite helps Helen return to Menelaus and they sail back to Greece, where apparently they live happily for a number of years. There isn't agreement on Helen's motives or desires; some say she was a willing partner with Paris, some say her years in Troy were filled with sorrow. Her great beauty made her a target for mortals and immortals alike, and perhaps her actions are those of a woman finding joy and happiness where she could, knowing that she was a pawn in a larger game. The Greeks honored the gemstone citrine for its ability to fill one's life with joy, and it's for this reason - finding joy - that I choose to remember Helen with this lovely faceted stone. Citrine, like amethyst, is quartz in composition though with trace amounts of hydrous iron oxide as the source of its color, and it's common to apply heat treatment to citrine to enhance the yellow to yellow orange color. The deep orange-yellow pendant is paired with a fluid thin sterling silver box chain. Cost: $60.00 USD
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