Aphea's Stars

A Myth About the Reason we Have Stars

Aphea always was a smart girl: she was Athena’s daughter after all, though Aphea would soon learn that our pride can get even the best of us. Poor Aphea was taught he lesson the hard way. She was smart enough to conquer anything though emotions and the constant need to feel approval from others stood between Aphea and her amazing future.


Once there was a girl named Aphea who thought that she was the smartest person in the world. And though she was young she could invent a machine that could do almost anything. The Greek god of metal working and fire, Hephaestus, caught word from one of his sons about Athena’s supposed daughter and was impressed. After asking around Aphea’s small village Hephaestus wanted to meet this legendary girl himself. When he finally found her he automatically assumed that it was her mother, the goddess of wisdom, who had taught Aphea all of her tricks. To this Aphea immediately denied even though she had gone to her mother and Athena helped Aphea in her journey for knowledge, but she wanted Hephaestus to think that she was that smart on her own.


It didn’t take Hephaestus long to figure out that Aphea was lying and that was when he made her a deal. Aphea would have to invent a machine that could produce fire without burning itself up. If she were to succeed in this, then Hephaestus wouldn’t punish Aphea for lying to a god. Though Hephaestus was to attempt to make an invention himself that was similar in fashion that would do the same thing Aphea’s did. Aphea’s invention would have to work more efficiently than Hephaestus’ in order for her to win this competition. Aphea and Hephaestus worked all night under the light of the full moon. Hephaestus and Aphea both had to work in Aphea’s home so that they could make sure that they were only using limited materials. Aphea’s tiny cottage was crooked and crawling with creepy critters.


When the sun first started to peak over the horizon, the machines were both completed. The cottage reeked of oil and metal with a faint sent of charred carpet. There was nothing that Aphea or Hephaestus could do to improve or modify their machines any longer. Flames danced along the edges of Aphea’s machine though the invention itself stayed intact. Though as soon as Hephaestus’ invention caught fire the smell of something burning filled the air as his machine crumbled to ashes. Enraged, Hephaestus broke apart Aphea’s machine and threw the fiery pieces into the sky, but nothing could bring down Aphea’s mood. She was as delighted as someone who had just seen the light of day for the first time. As the flaming, jagged pieces of Aphea’s machine hurtled farther and farther into the sky, the winds howled in response to the disturbance.


Aphea ignored the warnings from the people around her as well as her inner logic and went around bragging about how much better she was that Hephaestus. She knew that she should’ve listened to everyone telling her to stop, including herself, but she felt as though the world needed to know just how smart she was. When the god Hephaestus heard of this, he released all of his fury on Aphea. He found her small house again and set fire to all of Aphea’s possessions before hurtling them into the sky alongside the broken parts of Aphea’s no longer identifiable machine. Meanwhile Aphea had gone to her local market in the center of her small town to gather fruits to eat. She enjoyed watching people whisper about how intelligent she was. Though when she returned she was crestfallen at the sight of dark gray ashes covering her property. Everything she owned was gone, but when she looked to the sky and saw the bright orbs of light, she secretly knew that it was her burning, sentimental possessions in the sky.


“This is why you don’t mess with the gods, young one, you may be book smart, but you are still lacking in common sense,” Hephaestus’ booming voice scolded, echoing through the remains of her used to be shelter. Aphea wanted to run and hide. As if she was exposed in front of a crowd. There was nothing more to do than give in.


It was then that she knew her bragging had caused it. Aphea was smart enough to fit all of the puzzle pieces together in her head, though she also knew that she had figured it out all too late. In the end, Aphea was left with her knowledge and memories. For the rest of her life everyday Aphea worked to invent a time machine that she would use to correct her past mistakes, mistakes that she made while blinded by her own pride. To this day Aphea’s belongings still burn eternally in the sky, but now they are much more commonly known as “stars”.



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Extra Information About...

Background on Athena

This is Aphea's mother Athena who is the Greek goddess of wisdom, battle stratigies, and crafts. Her symbol is the owl and her tree is the olive tree.

More About Hephaestus

Hephaestus was the Greek god of metal working, fire, and scupltures. This isn't this only myth in which Hephaestus comes across as short tempered. He is normally seen with a hammer or some other sort of black smith's tool.

Written By: Taylor Travis