Circe was an enchantress who lived on an island in the Aegean Sea. A daughter of the sun god Helios, Circe was a minor goddess of witchcraft, and skilled in potions and herbal lore, especially the arts of transmutation. She used these to transform into animals those who offended her, as Odysseus and his crew found to their regret when they were blown off course on their return voyage from the Trojan War, and landed on her island. The sailors had the misfortune to kill and eat a stag they found there, in reality one of Circe’s metamorphoses.
In revenge Circe invited them to a banquet, which Odysseus did not attend; she poisoned the revelers with a potion which turned them into swine. The messenger god Hermes assisted Odysseus in overcoming Circe’s charms, bringing her under his power, after which he and his crew stayed on her island for a full year, feasting and drinking, before resuming their homeward journey. Odysseus is said to have fathered a child on Circe. When he left, she gave him advice on alternate routes to his home in Ithaca, warning him of the passage of Scylla and Charybdis, and also a secret path to the underworld.
Astrologically, Circe represents seduction and bewitchment; the ways others can transform us against our will; the magickal arts and contact with magicians, conjurors or sorcery. It is also noted for being a helpful influence, offering sage advice and specialized information that can facilitate others in overcoming their obstacles.