Images of the Divine Child

[aras-image:5Jb.054,a,8,,,Figure 21 Kronos devouring nude son.]

The advent of the Divine Child is not always a welcome event for it is a call to a new beginning, saying, in the words of Rilke, "You must change your life."5 Men resist this command choosing instead to destroy the newborn child. A miraculous birth hidden from sight is no guarantee of survival.
The Greek stories of Ouranous and Kronos consuming their own children are monstrous visualizations of the terror of threatened change. Nothing portrays such consuming madness and horror equal to Goya's painting of Kronos eating the child (Figure 21). In order to save Zeus from such an early fate, Rhea orders the Kouretes to make a great noise with their war dance so that Father Kronos would not hear the cry of the newborn. Drawings from a Roman panel shows the noisy young men dancing with shields and swords over their heads with the infant Zeus on the ground. Rhea substitutes a stone for Kronos and this divine child is not consumed by his father.