The ultimate power of the enchanting and dangerous siren has been spoken of for centuries. The tale of the siren is brutal. It is the tale of the power of deceit. How voices as beautiful as heaven’s gates, actually pave the deadliest paths to hell to its victims. Rumour has it that you could never withstand the power of the siren. As long as you heard her voice, you were going to listen. Listening to her sucks you into a mirage that ultimately spelt doom – distraction. You were going to die.
“He who comes near the Sirens without knowing their ways and hears the sound of their voices never again shall that man see wife or child, or have joy of his home-coming. All round where the Sirens sit are great heaps of the bones of men.”
I first found out about sirens while reading The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene, and there was something so captivating about it. While Robert Greene played it to an angle that was more metaphorical than real, Greek mythology shows the true story – well, as true as myths have it. According to Greek mythology, Sirens were dangerous creatures who had very beautiful voices. Some say they had the heads of beautiful ladies and bodies of birds, just as mermaids were half women and half fishes. However, later accounts simply described them as beautiful women.
They were the daughters of the river god Achelous, but their mother may have been Terpsichore, Melpomene, Sterope or Chthon. Their mission was to seduce sailors with their enchanting songs and voices, pull them into a form of mirage, thereby causing them to shipwreck or fall into some deeper trap to their deaths. Sailors were so mesmerized by their voices that they moved closer until they lost awareness. Every siren was a nymph and they were known to live on islands surrounded by cliffs. Sirens had very clear evil intentions behind their motives and they purposely used to drown sailors into the sea.
Two men have successfully lived to tell the story. Orpheus helped the Argonauts to escape them by playing his lyre so loud and beautifully that his music drowned the sirens’ music. The main one, however, is the story described in the Odyssey. Odysseus plugged his crew’s ears with wax and ordered them to tie him to the mast of the ship. He also instructed them that no matter how he screamed or begged, they mustn’t untie him. When they passed near the Sirens’ island, Odysseus started begging his shipmates to let him go, but they didn’t even hear him and even tied him more. That was how they passed the sirens.
Generally, siren is used as a term to describe something that enticing and at the same time dangerous. Some have used the myth to explain how certain women can be dangerous, while appearing naïve and harmlessly beautiful. Others simply view it as one of the limitations of following the alluring things of life. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. It is also seen as appeal that is so hard to resist but, if heeded, will lead to fatal consequences. Blindly following fantasies no matter how fatal they seem, can be to the doom of you. One thing we do know for sure, is that sirens are seductresses and temptresses. The goal of the siren is simple – distraction. She makes you lose focus of your dreams and goals, and plunge to whatever it is that can end you.
Robert Greene in The Art of Seduction, believed that the power of the siren can be used to your advantage as long as you can create an illusion and be the probable object of a sexual fantasy.
“A man is often secretly oppressed by the role he has to play—by always having to be responsible, in control, and rational. The Siren is the ultimate male fantasy figure because she offers a total release from the limitations of his life. In her presence, which is always heightened and sexually charged, the male feels transported to a world of pure pleasure. She is dangerous, and in pursuing her energetically the man can lose control over himself something he yearns to do. The Siren is a mirage; she lures men by cultivating a particular appearance and manner. In a world where women are often too timid to project such an image, learn to take control of the male libido by embodying his fantasy.”
One thing’s for sure, the siren is a fatal fantasy that would burn you as long as you are the victim. If you follow her enchanting persona, you’ll drown. If you become that enchanting persona and create the illusion of perfection around you, you have the power of life and death hanging by your teeth.