Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Agents of Chaos - Eris from Shades of Phoenix Review

Today I have another beautiful polish from local indie polish label Shades of Phoenix to show you, and by now I’m sure most of you know what that means – impromptu mythology lesson time!

First – the polish! Eris is lovely dark blue/black jelly based glitter polish from Shades of Phoenix's second collection, Let’s Hear It For The Girls. The base is full of a veritable cornucopia of colours – large iridescent greeny gold glitters give it a peacock tail sheen, and under that a scattering of tiny glitters in all shapes and sizes round the palette out. 

Shades of Phoenix Eris

Every time I look at this polish, I spot a different colour flashing through. So far I’ve noticed little red and gold glitters, and tiny blue bars that show up as beautiful flashes in the dark base, maybe even some purple flakies in there somewhere.

Shades of Phoenix Eris

Shades of Phoenix Eris
BAZING! Look at that sparkle in the sunlight!

I’ve layered it over a plain navy base for these pictures, but with three careful layers you could wear this on it’s own. 

Shades of Phoenix Eris

Apart from having a beautiful array of glitters, it has a really good glitter to base ratio – just the right amount of glitter comes out with each swipe, and it’s really easy to get this looking nice and neat.

And now – the mythology! Eris is one of those slightly annoying mythological figures who has actually been rewritten quite substantially by different authors, so it’s difficult to mash it all into a single character when talking about her. Even her origin is quite debatable – sometimes she’s said to be the daughter of Nyx (the goddess personifying the night sky), sometimes she’s the sister of Ares (God of War) and so presumably the daughter of Zeus and Hera. All the sources agree on one thing though – she’s trouble.

Look at that goth outfit! Even when shown on ancient Greek pottery, Eris is ready to party.
Eris is most commonly portrayed as the personification of strife, discord, competitiveness and chaos. One of the best known stories featuring her is actually all about a little squabble that ended up causing the Trojan War! Because of her reputation as a troublemaker, Eris hadn’t been invited to the wedding of some Important People, and decided to show up and cause shit out of spite. I’m not sure how this was supposed to HELP her reputation, but hey, we’ve all done stupid things when we’re ticked off. Anyway, she rocked up to the wedding with a gold apple, that was engraved with the words “For the fairest”, and rolled it into the crowd. Naturally several of the goddesses started bickering over who should get it (ie. who was the fairest), and they decided to make Paris (the Prince of Troy) choose who got it. Because deities in Greek Mythology never play fair, they all offered him a bribe. Athena offered him kick ass warrior skills if he gave it to her; Hera offered him political power if he gave it to her; and Aphrodite offered him this rockin’ babe, Helen, who just happened to be married to the King of Sparta at the time. Because Paris was a freaking idiot, he chose the rockin’ babe– thus kicking off the Trojan War.

This is why you should ALWAYS look a gift horse in the mouth.
According to The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales, it’s quite likely this story was at least in part the inspiration for the opening act of Sleeping Beauty, where the “wicked” fairy shows up and curses Sleeping Beauty because she hadn’t been invited to the christening. 

"I didn't want to go to your stupid party anyway, SO THERE!"
Interestingly, there is actually a modern day religion that continues to worship Eris, and actually places her at the centre of their mythology – Discordianism. It’s a pretty difficult religion to describe – considering it based around the general principle that chaos is good, this probably shouldn’t be much of a surprise. I've known a couple of practicing Discordians, and I'm still not really sure how to sum it all up. Practitioners often use a lot of absurdist, surreal humour to express and explore their beliefs and every Discordian is encouraged to interpret the religion in their own way, which can make it even more difficult to understand from the outside. 

As far as I understand it, and keep in mind my understanding is very limited, Discordianism is designed to be a counter balance to other religions that revere order by encouraging it’s followers to spread chaos and disorder. Eris is a pretty natural fit for this world view, since she has always been associated with chaos, but Discordianism seems to have dropped some of the more malevolent elements of her character as described by the Greeks. I don’t know how many of my readers are old enough to remember The KLF, but if you DO remember them it might help your understanding of Discordianism to know that they were diehard Discordians. 

I remember seeing this song at the time and wondering what one earth they were going on about, because it made absolutely no sense to me. As it turns out, it wasn't SUPPOSED to make any sense, just celebrate chaos and abstract absurdity - and as far as that goes, I think it's far to say they totally succeeded.

If you want a little Eris in your life without going to these sorts of extremes, the nail polish is available from the Shades of Phoenix Etsy store within Australia, and from Mei Mei's Signature's for delivery internationally.

1 comment:

  1. words can not describe how much I LOVE this! xxx


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