Author: Jan Scholten
2.7.4 Stage 4, Cerium: Circe
The only ship left sails further, severely battered, and they reach the island of Aiaia. There lives Circe, the daughter of Helios, the God of the sun, who brings light. They see smoke and half of the men go on a search. They meet Circe, who enchants them with her songs. She has tamed all the wild animals with her herbs. She also gives the men her magic herb potion and they forget the memory of their homeland. She bewitches them into swine. Only Eurylochos didn't drink the potion and he returns to Odysseus. Odysseus goes to Circe. On his way Hermes gives him a magic herb to be able to resist the magic of Circe. Thus Odysseus can force Circe to alter the bewitchment of his men. For a year they enjoy the hospitality of Circe. When they leave, Circe advises them to go to Hades and ask advice from Teiresias for their return home. Teiresias tells Odysseus that he has provoked the rage of Poseidon by blinding the Cyclops.
Circe has the power to let people forget their homeland. This resembles the theme of the cocoon of Cerium, where there is no way in or out. It’s the state of amazement of Stage 4, not knowing where you are. The theme of Hades enters into the story, the theme of the shadow of the Lanthanides.
The name Circe has also resemblance to the name Cerium. Circe means “hawk”, which a symbol for the Lanthanides.