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Greek : Kisthos
Species :Cistus creticus or Cistus villosus or Cistus Incanus.
Description : A low growing perennial shrub with large, delicate, pink or yellow flowers.
Sacred to : Poseidon (perhaps)
Mythology : Seduction of Medousa. The Gorgon Medousa was seduced by Poseidon in a meadow of rock roses on the island of Kisthene. The isle was named Kisthene for the flower kisthos.


Greek Mythology : Medusa.

One of the Gorgons, the only mortal one. She had a ghastly face that turned anyone who looked at it to stone, a dragon body and snakes for hair. Her parent's were Phorcys and Ceto, and she lived by the western ocean with her immortal sisters Stheno and Euryale.
She was killed by Perseus, and from her blood and Poseidon's semen the horse Pegasus was born.The head of the Gorgon was often used in Art. It was pictured on the aegis of Athena, since Perseus had offered it to the goddess after his feat, and people would have it as door knockers to protect the house from evil and it was also painted or sculptured inside cups.
According to another story Medusa was originally a lovely maid who was the daughter of Echidne, who was half woman, half snake, and Typhon, the worst monster in the world. Poseidon fell in love with her, and seduced her in the temple of Athena. Because this was sacrilege, the goddess Athena wanted revenge. She could not punish Poseidon since he was a greater god, so all the blame fell on Medusa,who turned into a monster.


Hellenic Gods : Poseidon

kisthos - (Greek: κίσθος, κίστος, or κισθός) kisthos is the Hellenic word for cistus, a perennial shrub known as the rock-rose. Several species are included: Cistus cretifus, Cistus incanus, Cistus ladaniferus, Cistus laurifolius, and Cistus villosus. The shrub exudes a black oleoresin known as labdanum (Greek: aladanos - Aλάδανος, ladano - λάδανο, or ælianthes - ἡλιανθές). The resin was collected by driving goats through thickets of the shrub. The animals would graze and emerge with their beards saturated with the resin, which was then collected. The resin can also be obtained with a device known as the ladanisterion or ergastiri, a rake-like tool having long strands of leather that are drawn through the shrubs to gather the resin. In modern times, the resin is usually extracted by boiling twigs and leaves of the plant (Cistus Ladaniferus at Spain) They are not same.The kisthos resin is magnificently fragrant. It makes a superior offering in ritual. Labdanum is usually found in a semi-solid state, a thick, sticky resin. Some sources sell a more refined labdanum which is more fragrant, but less solid. If you have purchased the more liquid form of labdanum, one method to utilize the resin is to push a toothpick into the labdanum and roll it around as if it were spaghetti. If the labdanumis not soft enough (yet too liquid to use 'as is'), place the container in a microwave oven for about 5-10 seconds. Now you should be able to use a toothpick to gather some resin. When you have the amount you desire, press it into a pulverized incense such as powdered frankincense or rose petals. Using another toothpick, you can scrape this off and roll it into a ball to be offered on charcoal.
It is said that Medusa was seduced by Poseidon in a thicket of rock-rose. Therefore, some people believe that the plant and its resin are sacred to Poseidon.


Labdanum - goats - Pharaoh

In ancient times, labdanum was collected by combing the beards and thighs of goats and sheep that had grazed on the cistus shrubs. They also used wooden instruments referred to as ergastiri or lambadistrion which was a kind of rake, to which a double row of leathern thongs were fixed instead of teeth. These were used to sweep the shrubs and collect the resin which was later extracted. It was collected by the shepherds and sold to coastal traders. The false beards worn by the pharaohs of ancient Egypt were actually the labdanum soaked hair of these goats.

10.000 years history.

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