Alexander the Great and the Gordian Knot
Mars retrograde may be over, but it isn’t really finished until Mars has exited the “retrograde patch,” that span of 0-to-19 degrees of Fixed signs he’s been in for the last 2 months. So themes of anger management, self-assertion and the need to be a hero will pervade the atmosphere through May 17 and I’m continuing my thread about the virtues of a hero as told through classical Greek and Roman mythology. Today’s heroic virtue is invention—the strategic capacity to solve a problem in such an unexpected way that the problem itself is rendered irrelevant.
Legends of Alexander, Warrior-King: The Gordian Knot
Alexander the Great was a historical figure of the 300’s BC. He was a great warrior and king who expanded his empire greatly through his exploits. The famous story of his approach to the Gordian knot is a wonderful illustration of inventiveness.
The Gordian knot was tied by King Gordius of Phrygia and it was quite a piece of work. Legend arose that whoever untied the knot would rule all of Asia. Many tried to untie the knot and failed. Alexander himself came to the area and tried but became frustrated with the incredible complexity and resistance of the stubborn puzzle. Ultimately, impatience overcame him and he took out his sword and sliced the knot in two—and went on to conquer all of Asia, thus fulfilling the prophecy.
Alexander’s solution to the problem of the knot was unconventional. He refused to solve the problem on its own level by following the rules the knot presented. Instead he made his own rules, which transcended the rules of the knot, and solved the problem with a single blow.
Heroic Virtue #5: Invention
Invention is the ability to see a problem from such a startling angle that it becomes solvable in a new way—and probably a simpler and faster way too. If you can invent a solution, you can save resources and live to battle another day.
What Mars is Asking of You
What knotty problem are you struggling to solve in your life right now?
Have you taken the rules of this problem for granted?
What if you operated outside the rules of this problem?
Is there a way to solve it from outside that leads to the same (or better) results and saves time, money or resources?
Articles in this thread:
Mars Retrograde: The Hero’s Journey
Hercules, Hero of Strength
Achilles, Hero of Courage
Resourceful, Clever Odysseus
There’s Still Time To Be A Hero
Castor & Pollux: Brotherhood in the Trenches
Alexander the Great & the Gordian Knot
Orpheus: Going The Distance For Love