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The Labors of Hercules - Labor IV - Part 1

The Capture of the Doe or Hind - Part 1
(Cancer, June 21st - July 21st)

The Myth

The great Presiding One, who sits within the Council Chamber of the Lord, spoke to the Teacher, standing by his side: "Where is the son of man who is the son of God? How fares he?
How is he tested and with what service is he now engaged?"
The Teacher said, casting his eye upon the son of man who is a son of God:
"Naught at this time, O great Presiding One. The third great test provided much of teaching sustenance to a learner such as he. He ponders and reflects."
"Provide a test which will evoke his wisest choice. Send him to labor in a field wherein he must decide which voice, of all the many voices, will arouse the obedience of his heart. Provide likewise a test of great simplicity upon the outer plane, and yet a test which will awaken, on the inner side of life, the fulness of his wisdom and the rightness of his power to choose. Let him proceed with the fourth test."

Before the fourth great Gate stood Hercules; a son of man and yet a son of God. At first was silence deep. He uttered not a word or made a sound. Beyond the Gate the landscape stretched in contours fair and on the far horizon stood the temple of the Lord, the shrine of the Sun-God, the gleaming battlements. Upon a hill nearby there stood a slender fawn. And Hercules, who is a son of man and yet a son of God, both watched and listened and, listening, heard a voice. The voice [78] came out from that bright circle of the moon which is the home of Artemis. And Artemis, the fair, spoke words of warning to the son of man.
"The doe is mine, so touch it not," she said. "For ages long I nurtured it and tended it when young. The doe is mine and mine it must remain."
Then into view Diana sprang, the huntress of the heavens, the daughter of the sun. Leaping on sandalled feet towards the doe, she likewise claimed possession.
"Not so," she said, "Artemis, fairest maid; the doe is mine and mine it must remain. Too young until today, it now can be of use. The golden antlered hind is mine, not yours, and mine it shall remain."
Hercules, standing between the pillars of the Gate, listened and heard the quarrel, and wondered much as the two maidens strove for possession of the doe.
Another voice fell on his ear, and with commanding accents said: "The doe belongs to neither maid, O Hercules, but to the God whose shrine you see on yonder distant mount. Go rescue it and bear it to the safety of the shrine, and leave it there. A simple thing to do, O son of man, yet (and ponder well my words) being a son of God, you thus can seek and hold the doe. Go forth."

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