My name is Merope, but they call me the lost Pleiad.
My story is not simply my own. I have six other sisters, all of whom are the daughters of Atlas – the Titan who holds up the mortal Earth – and Pleione. My mother – no, our mother – is a protector of sailors, but not only that. She was our protector as well.
Before I tell of what happened to all of us, I will tell you who we are. Mortals tend to forget that these… stars that you worship had lives before they mapped us into the sky.
My oldest sister, Maia, was the most beautiful of all the sisters. It is why her star burns the brightest; she never controlled how people saw her. Many tried to court her, but no one ever caught her eye. While I would have loved to live with my eldest sibling, she chose to live alone, a place where her beauty had no expectations, as no one could use it against her. Maia was always soft-spoken, but protective, like our mother. I guess that is why our mother had decided to name her what she did; Maia meaning mother. Maia meaning nurse. She was all these things – she was the mother of Hermes, the god of trade, of travelers, of thievery – and so much more.
Alcyone – she had always hated her name, so she demanded we call her Ally – was always the leader. Where Maia was quiet, Ally was loud. While Maia protected, Ally took risks. She was once seduced by Poseidon – who, of course, is one of the Big Three; he rules over the ocean. She bore him children, sent them out into the world to do what they must. Some say that she is Orion’s grandmother, but you will understand why that does not seem to fit into her story later on. While she took all these risks, while she endangered herself every day, she did it to protect us. To protect her family.
My best friend, my other half, was Asterope. Maybe our mother found it ironic in the end, how she named her third daughter Star-Face, and that is who she became. Many humans will tell you that she is dimmer than all the other sisters, but Asterope bore a child with the mighty god of war, Ares. A powerful god such as Ares could never choose a weak mate, unless Asterope misled him. Even then, there is no way that Ares would not have found out. For that, it must mean that Asterope was strong. Maybe the strongest of us all.
Have you ever been struck by lightning? Celaeno tells me that it was the most painful experience of her human life. After the incident, she was never quite the same. It was as some of the life had been drained from her; it didn’t stop her, however, from living. Poseidon chose her to bear two sons – Lycus, or Wolf, and Chimaereus. She.might not have the strength to shine as bright as our other sisters, but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t strong.
Taygete – I ended up nicknaming her Tiggy, when I could not say her full name as a child; it just stuck – took after Maia. However, she was not able to live unnoticed, and had gotten herself into trouble with Zeus, and a young man by the name of Hercules. But he is a different story. Tiggy, always different from the rest, ran and begged Artemis to help her, who in return, turned my dear sister into a doe, allowing her to escape.
You have heard of the lost city of Troy? Like myself, many humans have forgotten the place. But my sister Electra, the one closest to me in age, never did. One of the brightest of my siblings, she had a son, named Dardanus, who founded the ancient city. After the fall, however, he disappeared, and my sister has never stopped looking for her son. Electra and Celaeno had a falling out after this as well, only because Celaeno believes that Dardanus indirectly caused the deaths of his cousins, Lycus and Chimaereus, who also died during the fall of Troy.
You must be wondering who I am, now that you know all the others. As I said before, my name is Merope. Much like my father, I have always felt as though I carried the weight of the world on my shoulders. I made horrible choices as a human – my husband, the infamous Sisyphus, was a criminal, a mortal man who no one agreed was acceptable to marry – and even though everyone complained about my choices, I rejected their criticism. Now, however, I can understand their rejection, which is why I hide. No human can see me in the sky, not with their mortal eyes. But why would they want to? I was always invisible, always lost. Maybe it is better that I remain that way.
My sisters and I, together, have faced many battles. We work together in ways that only sisters are able. However, that did not stop Orion from hunting us. There is something about men, when they discover something that they want. They simply… persist. We were not mortals, not to him. We were not human beings; we were prey. Objects to be won.
Zeus disagreed with Orion’s advances, and whether this was due to his infatuation with Tiggy, I will never be sure. But untrue to his general nature, the King of the Gods helped us. He gave us the power to sprout wings, and fly.
I am sure that none of you have ever flown before, but it is such a freeing experience. Each gust of wing bringing you higher up to the heavens releases another shackle that had held you down in the first place. By the time that my sisters and I shed our avian bodies, we were truly free, and our souls became astral figures, for all the mortal earth to see.
We remain amongst the heavens, to allow the lesson to be learned that there are always going to be struggles, always going to be obstacles, but that does not mean that you will never be free of whatever is haunting you.
Author's Note: So, the original story of the Seven Sisters is interesting because its mostly just seven different characters all tied into one tale. My favorite sister would definitely be Merope, mainly because she’s the most elusive. It was a little hard to choose what I was going to say about each sister, only because there are multiple characters in Greek Mythology with their names, and their stories can be intertwined with one another’s. There are different tales based on Merope. This is why I chose her to be my narrator for this; not only does it make the piece more interesting, but it allows that elusiveness that she has created for herself to become, well, less elusive. I didn’t know how to exactly make this into a story, which is why I went with Merope telling her audience about her sisters and then connecting it all together at the end of the piece. In the original stories, each sister has their own story and then it all comes together, like I said. Unlike the website I found that tells you about the sisters, I made it more personal rather than a sort of summary of the sisters. Making their stories all connect to one lesson, as well, gives the reader a sense of purpose after reading about the Seven Sisters rather than simply finding out who they were and what their lives were like. They are more than a tale to be told, but real people that had real life problems that ended up freeing them in the end.
Bibliography: The Seven Sister's Series by Lucinda Riley. Link to online reading.