2/25/09

Goddess of the Week: Fortuna

All hail Fortuna, the Roman goddess of good fortune and luck whose origins seem as uncertain as her gifts.  She may have evolved from a Greek goddess, or she could have been Etruscan.  She sometimes holds a cornucopia; sometimes she's blindfolded.  She often has a Vanna White style Wheel of Fortune, and I like to think that she looks just Vanna White.  One thing is for sure, she is fickle and you really cannot trust her to come through for you.  In fact, once you start trusting her you are really in trouble, at least so said one Roman philosopher, who warned that Fortuna "is ever most friendly and alluring to those whom she strives to deceive."

But then she doesn't seem like the kind of gal you'd want to piss off either.  Eeeny, meenie, miney, moe: whose job/house/retirement savings ought to go?  Is there rhyme?  Is there reason?  Or is it just Fortuna playing with her wheel?

Channel this goddess: Hmmmm...do you really want to take your chances?  Yes?  Well, then go to Las Vegas.  Head straight to the roulette table.  Put everything you own on red.  Cross your fingers.  Tell me how it works out.

14 comments:

barbra said...

I had better not show this to my husband. He is very easily persuaded to go to Vegas (although he doesn't play roulette - blackjack, craps, or poker).

Desiree said...

I love that the eerie music many epic/thriller movies use is Orff's Carmina Burana. The chorus is all about Fortuna, and how the wheel of fortune is about to come crashing down on your head.
Upbeat. Not dark at all.
Watch out!

Linda Dove said...

Nice new picture!

Palm Axis said...

I'm Playing Skippo with Pasadena Adjacent

I'm a fan of Etruscan art but it's one of those vague spots in history. The Mediterranean version of primordial mythic goo. Anyhow I'm struck by this sentence " Fortuna "is ever most friendly and alluring to those whom she strives to deceive". For me she appeals to my vanity. One day I'm going to kick that birtches ass (just as soon as I figure out a way to recognize her).

Petrea said...

I think her origins are vague because she is constantly remade.

Margaret said...

Desiree: Aren't you the smart one. Who knew that about Carmina Burana, but you can tell that chorus is leading us nowhere good.

Barbra: No. You should show this to your husband so that he can absorb the fact that she is one tough, capricious cookie.

PA: I think I want a tattoo that says "primordial mythic goo." Or even just "goo."

Petrea: I think you are probably right. I think those of us who value merit don't really want to acknowledge the role of luck in our lives, but the older I get the more I'm convinced that luck explains things as much as anything else.

altadenahiker said...

Desiree, so that's what they're saying. The tune is so obviously ominous, I thought it was something like "Hail to sa-tan. We sa-lute thee..." Well, close enough I guess.

Margaret said...

AH: You make me laugh. I adore you.

altadenahiker said...

No, as Linda pointed out, I adore you. I totally riffed off your raft.

Petrea said...

I'm listening to Carmina Burana as I type. Hiker's right, that's just what it sounds like. You guys slay me. I mean--well, don't.

Margaret, I value merit and I sometimes see luck happening to people who don't deserve it. Louis Pasteur's "chance favors the prepared mind" may be appropriate.

Margaret said...

Ok, Petrea, You've inspired me. I have my Carmina Burana on and I even have the lyrics out. The chorus goes:

O Fortune
Like the moon
you are changeable,
ever waxing
and waning;
hateful life
first oppresses
and then soothes
as fancy takes it;
poverty and power it melts them like ice.

Petrea said...

Oh, that Orff. What a card.

But really, it's like Desiree implied: dark, sad.

A song for our times, perhaps.

JCK said...

All my money on Fortuna? It might be in the cards...

And, YES, like the new picture!

J&D said...



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