With the jar opened and Seven of the Sins now captured but quickly growing stronger, Hades was running out of options. Pandora stood mute as she watched the cracks spreading across the surface of the clay. It was then she knew what she must do to right her wrong, and she made the greatest sacrifice. She looked at the Lord of the Underworld, asked his forgiveness for her folly, and with a shard of the jar in hand, she stabbed it deep into her throat. Rich, dark blood poured from her neck, spilling and covering the jar, hissing as it touched the clay.
Hades tried to stop her, but her blood seeped into the clay, coloring it forever a deep red and gold. The cracks sealed, along with the howling of the evils still trapped within. It was then the other gods arrived. The glittering Apollo, the radiant Aphrodite, battle-ready Ares, and beside him, Athena, sword drawn. Leading them was Zeus, in all his horrifying glory, his seven magnificent warriors with their shimmering wings of black and silver lined up on either side of him.
Hades held the dying woman, her warm blood coating his fingers as the last crack in the jar was sealed. His silver eyes rolled up to his brother. Had they been alone, he would have ended him right then, Zeus, the cruelest of gods. Hades narrowed his gaze on the winged warriors. He could not fight them all. As the life blood pumped from Pandora, he stood, cradling her. Covering the bleeding wound, he sealed her flesh. Her heartbeat slowed, death hovering at her shoulder. The record of their small but powerful conversation is well-known among the gods.
“Have you not done enough, brother?”
“Hand over the Sins that were released, Hades.” Of course Zeus wanted such new powers for himself.
“That I cannot do, brother. They were sealed with my blood. As such, they must return to Hades with me.”
The winged warriors of the heavens stepped forward, and Zeus raised his hand. “So I see, Hades. Trickster as always.”
“You would know all about tricks, wouldn’t you, brother?”
“Still holding a grudge? Fine. Keep the Sins. They will soon escape their bonds. Already they leach evil into the world. Give me Pandora. What life remains in her body is mine.”
“Again brother, I am the Lord of the Underworld. She passes even now unto death. She. Belongs. To. Me.”
It is said that Zeus brought a great storm that night, for he lost not only the Sins but the soul of the first woman, and all to his elder brother. Hades reveled in his victory, small pleasures when battling the Lord of Olympus. He carried the Seven Sins, the jar that had housed them, and the body of Pandora down into the depth of Hades.
Placing the Sins and the jar upon his desk, Hades now had a choice. The Sins would soon escape the fragile cages in which he had encased them and the jar needed to be hidden from all who would seek it for their own gain. Zeus would no doubt want it back, if only to open it once again. There were more Sins still inside. And there was the body of Pandora to deal with. Her soul was fading; she would soon have to face Charon and pass over the River Styx into the Underworld. She did not deserve such a fate.
The myth says she died and was never heard from again. But the history is very different. Hades would not allow Zeus to win this day. He would no longer allow his brother to rule him. He was through letting the darkness direct his soul. On this day he tore his own realm apart, creating from it a place for the souls of man to be reborn into the world, where they might live once again on the mortal plane, the Isle of the Blessed. He also created the Elysium Fields, a true heaven, where those that had finally learned all they could in life, heroes and great warriors, might rest in bliss and peace.
Hades would not allow Pandora to walk the shores of the Acheron lost to the mists and woe. He would give her a chance to be reborn, that she might have a life, untainted by Zeus and his cruel games. It is but speculation. Some records say that at this point a crystal cracked. The red sin of Pride rushing from his confines made a break for the mortal word. Hades was unable to catch him–the lord was too slow, yet the Sin stopped, hovering over the body of the dying female as if captivated. Why would this be? No one knows, but he was caught and caged once again. Perhaps Pandora held some power over those Sins?
Unfortunately, history is not a storybook ending. Zeus, in his rage, found out what Hades had done to save the first woman. In his jealous madness, he cursed her soul to forever die at the same age at which she sacrificed her own life to reseal the jar of Sin. What was worse, she was cursed to remember every life she lived, an eternity of memories locked in an immortal repeat.
Maybe you have run into Pandora in one of her many reincarnations. Perhaps it is she who helped translate this manuscript of the first woman: The history and fate of Pandora’s Box.