Seventh labor - Cretan bull:
In this labor a sacrificial Bull that King Minos had promised to give to Poseidon had been spared for its worth.
Poseidon was angered and cursed the Bull, making it furious and rampaging across Crete.
Hercules showed up and tackled the Bull and took it back to Eurystheus.
Eurystheus saw that the task was complete and let the Bull go, letting it start to terrorize the rest of Greece.
A very short and straight forward story, but what does it mean?
Poseidon is the King of the sea, in other words the King of the unconscious and feeling.
It is the element of water and hence the cups, and the King of cups is an obvious match.
Minos is one of Zeus son's and would not give Poseidon what was his due, possibly due to the conflict of Zeus/Hera.
The Bull is a symbol of virility and fertility, so in some sense, it is virility that has become enraged.
Basically we can say that without the cooperation of the feeling element, virility is just a raging force.
In the last test Hercules faced down thinking,
this time he seems to face down the effect of no feelings on the instincts.
Especially the sexual instinct.
The way Hercules deals with this, is just brute force, he goes in gets it done,
presents his result, and then lets go of the issue as if that was all.
In other words it is just a momentary effort of self-control and posturing,
and then going on with business as usual.
In the last labor the number 8 was very central, so now it would be natural to assume number 9 is up.
Yet what would even the Hermit have to do with this?
Well the Hermit isn't what was done, but more what wasn't done, there was no deeper understanding,
just a superficial quick fix.
When we add up the number 8 to 9 we get 17 the Star, yet what does that hopeful card got to do with anything?
We need to analyze what we are dealing with in the 9.
The nines are a pretty heavy set of cards, that holds a lot of promise,
but it is sort of over the top, and takes up a lot of room and time.
The Hermit archetype seems nice, but to be a Hermit is a lifetime vocation.
You hardly get to do anything else with your life, you sit in your cave and reflect.
End of story...
So while it seems like a nice thing to do, it is hard, and hence people often just skip it.
And this is exactly what Eurystheus does, Hercules catches the bull, but it is too much hassle to deal with.
So Eurystheus just lets it go, and considers the completion of the task as the main event,
not dealing with the actual problem.
For the Star we need to dig a little deeper, it strikes us as a shortcut of sorts.
Cause when one is in the 7 with the massive fall it is, to not actually touch the sky,
and then having to face the eight and the aftermath of the fall.
Isn't it easier to just put on a mask?
To hide behind pretense, pretend that the dream of the sky is already here.
In other words the Star is in many ways a hope of a victory turned to a mask.
We are really dealing with the formation of a persona here.
As a persona is basically pretending to be something else than one actually is.
It is a convenient way to forget about the Lovers completely.
And not only that, to sweep the fact that one had a fall under the rug.
Cause else one will have to deal with all the fallout and issues,
issues that are too heavy to deal with, as they would take a lifetime in the Hermit.
A persona usually highlight some aspect, and makes us out to be that aspect.
It is a narrow crystallization trying to masquerade as wholeness,
someone whole would have all aspect as colorful as that one mask.
Yet since it is easier and more convenient, one has one or more masks to hang on to.
The persona is basically conservation of energy.
In that way, the nines are all about having more or less spent all that one can spend,
and to push any further would be really hard, and it is from this place we form our persona.
It is the rug we push everything we cannot possibly deal with under, and hide it from the world.
Jung rightly points out that it is necessity that forces us to hold back.
We are still caught by our beasts, the Boar is still at large.
Hence we don't have the surplus to chase down every passion, to make every wish come true.
We have to chose carefully and go with what seem to be the best option at the time.
In this Eurystheus as the ego goes with the option of letting go of the Bull,
as it just doesn't seem worth it from his stance and agenda to keep it around.
He doesn't want to delve into all the hidden issues that link directly back to the Boar,
after all it was Poseidon who cursed the Bull, and it is very much an emotional curse.
A curse of having every passion poisoned with destructiveness, due to neglected emotion.
Especially the male sexual urges, that this Bull symbolizes.