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Story by Brandon L. Parsons (2014)
Aeolus: Keeper of the WInds
When the wind blows cold and heavy in the winter or when the warm breezes of spring bring May showers, there's only one god who you can look to for blame or thanks; Aeolus, the God of the Winds!!! Aeolus controls the winds throughout the seasons with the help of his four sons...he has been known to help out adventurers in need of wind for their sails (such as Odysseus), but can also cause great damage when angry!
Aeolus was born the son of a mortal king and an immortal nymph. Born with his mothers gift of immortality, he was given the task of keeping the winds in his bronze-plated castle on the island of Aeolia.
When the Greek hero Odysseus came to his island searching for a way to get his crew home, Aeolus gave him a special magical bag which contained all of the winds except the one that would get Odysseus' sails pointed in the direction of Ithaca so he could get home safely. But after they left the island. curiosity and greed got the best of Odysseus' men, who wanted desperately to know just what the heck was inside that bag their leader had been given. One night while Odysseus was sleeping below-decks, the men opened the bag wide open and released the other winds back out into the ope. So much for a safe and calm trip home. The resulting storm blasted the ship way off course again, sending them back to the Aeolia. Ticked that Odysseus did not respect his gift enough to follow directions, Aeolus refused to help them again.
The King of the Winds...
Many times, Aeolus used his authority and his powers to close the winds inside a cave in order to bring peace on earth...and when upset or needing a change of pace (or just to throw his weight around a bit), he'd let them back out again. Aeolus lived peacefully with his wife, his six daughters and his six sons in a magnificent palace in Aeolia, nowadays known as the island of Stromboli in Italy.
The name "Aeolus" is still a widely used name in modern Greece. For instance, the Greeks have an expression that goes "the bags of Aeolus were opened" to indicate actions with consequences. Kind of like saying "once you start, there's no going back."
Aeolus didn't wrangle the winds all by his lonesome, however. He had a little help from his four sons in order to make sure the seasons came and went as they should...these often boisterous boys were called the ANEMOI, and each was given a cardinal direction to deal with as far as the winds were concerned. (Each also favored a different season!)
The Anemoi are:
BOREAS - The North Wind, bringer of cold winter air...
ZEPHYRUS - The west wind and bringer of light spring and early summer breezes...
NOTUS - The south wind and bringer of the storms of late summer and autumn...
EURUS - He was considered the "unlucky" east wind and was thought to bring warmth and rain...
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