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Marine Goddess Scylla's Warning to the Eastern Islands

Among the most dangerous of all the marine deities, goddess Scylla probably favours the southern hemisphere seas and oceans.
Text title Scylla

Post contains description of sinking vessel.

Summary of Contents: Scylla in Mythology | Arrival and Appearance | Monster on the Beach | Warning Way Too Late | Governments Probably Don't Believe in Sea Monsters | Food for Fish | Transformation

Festival Day - 5 September

Goddess Scylla in Mythology

An old saying about facing a difficult choice predates 'Between a rock and a hard place' or 'The Devil and the deep blue sea'. If you were trapped between Scylla and Charybdis you were in serious trouble.

Charybdis, so Homer told in Odyssey, was a whirlpool in a narrow channel close beside the lair of the monstrous six-headed Scylla.

So, navigating one deadly water hazard meant manoeuvring into the danger-zone of the other. Some old world captains claimed this duo dwelt in the Straits of Messina off the coast of Sicily.

Odysseus’ journey home after Circe’s island took him through this dangerous passage. The captain king told his men to aim for the whirlpool and so avoid Scylla’s six deadly heads.

But they didn’t.

Theoi Goddess Scylla

Scylla Mythological references

Goddesses, Gods and You

What kind of Heaven do you expect. Soft fluffy paradise of eternity, or oblivion of nothingness? Out-of-body survival expert Margo Williams discovered a surprisingly simple system of management and afterlife recycling.

There are many goddesses and gods in the community. Speaking their name aloud evidently sends a signal; creates a link to wherever they are at any given moment. If it works for you as it worked for Margo, and they respond, be respectful but be yourself. Honesty and thoughtfulness are appreciated.

Sacrifice nothing but your time. Most of them seemed approachable and appreciated being remembered.

The ancient temples that still can be found in some places, although mostly broken, are huge monumental structures; impressive sacred spaces, their scale designed to impress, to be worthy of divine visitation.

However, it is not the size and splendour of any sacred space but the sincerity of the person seeking contact.

Photo image of Margo Williams in Africa
Margo Williams in Africa
"What is the difference between a monster and a God?" Nick Hammond asked out-of-body survivalist Margo Williams.

Scylla Arrival and Appearance

"I don't know, in terms of what they can and cannot do by way of ability. Maybe there isn't much difference other than appearance and ferocity.

Most of them seemed to have the choice to appear like a regular god or goddess, and sometimes did but it was not their preferred state of being.

I can only guess why a God prefers non-human form. Generally these deities don't like humankind, so presumably don't want to look like us. That may be a reason why. All of them clearly enjoyed monstrosity and ferociousness.

The 'monsters' didn’t seem to mind reference to them so. They seemed pleased by that title, and it is an accurate description even though - to be fair - they said they were being gentle with me.

Poet Ovid related a legend of how Scylla was once a nymph loved by ocean god Glaucus until her ferocious form was permanently fixed by goddess Circe. But none of them ever confirmed to me any such relationship.

Scylla arrived in a stench-wave of rotting marine debris.

A grey-blue scaled face formed, 15 feet wide, cold black expressionless fish eyes. Mouth wide open baring enormous teeth, sharpest deadliest set I ever saw, and that includes the Devourer.

"This is unusual," she said. "You honour me, Scylla. You are brave mortal to invite me here. And yet I deserve homage paid to me."

Scylla’s sinister-looking face was part animal and equal part fish, but mouth leonine in likeness. Teeth bared, snarling the whole time she spoke.

Very very threatening.

I was snatched away to a beach lashed by heavy waves. Roar of breakers loud, wind whipped sand through the air.

Monster on the Beach

Scylla stood waiting. Enormous body, bulked and bloated, grey blue and scaled. No fins to be seen but muscular arms, claws for hands.

A forked pincer-tail whipped fast, grabbed tight around my waist. Held in its fork, I couldn’t move. She lifted me off the ground, level with her face and raised a claw-point to my throat.

"A mortal to play with," she said, head tilted in interested inspection. She listed what horrible things she could do to me, each too monstrous to relate here. Then conceded. "But that would be no good. You would be useless. You are of more use alive."

Tail twitched, swished sudden and violent. Thrashed from side to side, banged me against rocks. I fainted.

Awoke to a very unpleasant sensation.

Scylla was licking me, cat-like; her tongue like a thousand k....s removed layers.

I tried not to scream, struggled to get up but there was no opportunity to scramble clear. She seized me in a claw around my right ankle and yanked me up, claw to b..e. I fainted again.

Vile rotting stench woke me, this time.

A stinking yellow steam vaped from Scylla’s mouth. Her eyes bulged as she breathed over the sand-crusted rawness of my body.

She stopped for a moment, again tilted her head inspecting me, teeth bared as always. "You pay homage to me. Very wise. Very brave."

The icy wind whipped cold on my stinking skin. I wanted to clean in the ocean.

"I shall not be too rough," she said as a long dark metallic-looking rod appeared in her other claw. She touched it to my chest then both ears, mouth then navel. Only a light touch with the rod but heck it hurt.

She held it away for a moment and offered an explanation.

"This is a rod of power. You have much to do, you need power to do it," she said then repeated the whole thing again.

When I thought it was over she looked at my twisted feet, moved the rod near as if to touch them. Then seemed to change her mind, shook her monstrous head.

The rod vanished. Scylla dragged me down the beach into the crashing waves.

I struggled for breath through the breakers but the ocean smoothed a mile or so out from land. She pulled me down deep fast and backward, catching me on rocks.

A weird noise bubbled through the water that might have been laughter.

Warning Way Too Late

A big swordfish came fast toward us. Scylla slowed to a stop and dangled me out like bait, enticing it in to get me.

She was less visible now as if the water hadn’t merely camouflaged her but transformed her enormous bulk into a grey-blue mist shadow.

At the last moment I ducked, so the swordfish missed.

"Mortals do much damage. It is unforgivable." Scylla shook me as if it all was my fault. The swordfish circled ready for another run.

"I take my revenge on you, for the sins of others. I am furious at the way the seas are treated and polluted around the island you know as Sri Lanka."

Swordfish powered fast toward me, adjusting trajectory.

Scylla held me tight. "The leaders there must be made to understand if they do not stop poisoning the waters around them, I, Scylla will take revenge more fearsome than any they have known."

The swordfish was close again, its point s.....d fast at my chest. I shut my eyes.

"I have had enough." Scylla snatched me away at the very last-gasp moment. "Return to your body. Do you expect gifts from me?" she asked. "I am giving you the gift of your life. So take that, and go."

She threw me back and then was gone.

Governments Probably Don't Believe in Sea Monsters.

Based on her comment that day, I guessed Scylla perhaps favours the waters of the Indian Ocean. She gave me that message during the mid 1990s but I didn’t pass it on to politicians in the Sri Lankan government.

I regret not doing so, for the tsunami that hit the area was devastating.

Would the politicians have listened to word that a sea monster sent them warning? Unlikely probably, but still I should have tried.

Scylla is out there. Now her message is too, with my own belated apologies.

"Many troubles in your world are caused because we 'monsters' as you call us, are not honoured,’ she explained when next she returned some six weeks later.

She b.t me again, though not so viciously as last time.

Her giant monstrous scaled head swayed as if moving to the caress of ocean currents. "So it is well you welcome me."

I was lifted away, dropped on an uncomfortable hot sun-baked rock in the ocean. A hundred yards or so out in the water, bobbed a large motor launch.

Four men in shorts on deck, all bare chested and a woman in a pale blue bikini sunning herself on a lounger. The men fished but they didn’t see me, or Scylla.

She s.....d a talon through my sh.....r. I so nearly screamed.

"Scream, scream louder," she urged. "Should you shed tears the salt of your tears will add to the salt of the ocean."

She did it again and twisted the t...n deep. "I am not a gentle goddess. The more v.....t I am, the calmer you have to be."

Food for the Fishes

A sinister croak noise sounded deep from the vocal chords at the back of her throat. The exhalation that came with it stank of rotting fish.

She withdrew the talon, then turned her huge grey blue body, slid lithely off the rock into the water and disappeared below the surface.

Moments later. Boom!

The boat e......d. Flash-banged into pieces, flames on the ocean.

A detached a.m landed on the rock beside me. The golden wrist-watch still showed the time of the catastrophe.

Scylla surfaced again, rose up from the water and climbed onto the rock to stare at the debris burning on the surface. Nothing much remained of the launch, and I saw no survivors.

Scylla tail-swished the dismembered l..b into the water.

"Food for the fish," she said and turned to me, teeth bared widely in terrifying grin. Amused by my horrified expression. "I enjoy it," she said carelessly.

Scylla gestured to the water. "I rejoice when ships are s..k and bad mortals d...n."

That probably is not the current principal difference between a sea God and a monster.

She grabbed hold of my hair and slammed my f..e hard into the barnacle-covered rock. I struggled, uselessly while she g....d my nose into the hard abrasive surface.

"I like to see b...d," she snarled and b.t my shoulder again but then let go and stomped away to the rock edge.

That's the difference.


What happened next was weird to witness.

Scylla's big bloated grey blue body rippled with golden light. Scales turned human flesh-like. She shrank in size, slightly. Black soft hair pushed through the surface of her scalp, didn’t grow long but stayed short.

Scylla’s face looked almost human. No beauty just hard, plain and dark eyed.

For a moment she stood naked, then a loose white gown formed around her body. Although smaller she still was giant-sized.

"When we all are honoured, this is how I shall appear to mortals." She gestured. "Now, you return to that shell of earthly body. You have my admiration, for your courage and your faith. I give you my affectionate blessings."

She paused. "No, I correct that, my loving blessings. Continue on this stream. Go."

Thank you for your company on this short introduction to goddess Scylla. If you would like to know more about Margo Williams' experiences and suggestions for how to survive in the hereafter read this book. Now available from Amazon.

Book cover link to purchase Olympian Goddesses and Gods Coexistence
Olympian Goddesses and Gods Coexistence. Now available from Amazon.co.uk