Pandora was the first human woman, created on the orders of Zeus to blight the human race after Prometheus’ theft of fire had elevated their station. Molded of earth by Hephaistos, each of the gods then granted her unique gifts, which is how she was named (Pandora literally means “all-gifted”). Athena gave her clothing and skill with crafts; Aphrodite gave her grace and charm; Hermes granted the power of speech, but also a mind of inquisitiveness, cunning and deceit; the Charites gave her jewels and adornments; and the Horae gave her a garland for a crown. Lastly, Zeus presented her with a jar, instructing her never to open it.
Prometheus (literally, “forethought”) was aware of Zeus’ ire at his service to mankind, and warned his brother Epimetheus (literally, “afterthought”) not to accept any gifts form the king of the gods. But Aphrodite’s charming of Pandora was effective, and Epimetheus accepted her as wife. Eventually Hermes’ gift of curiosity took hold of her, and Pandora opened the jar, which held captive all the ills which plague mankind: war, disease, toil, and vice. Too late, Pandora realized her error, and clapped the lid back on the jar, but the ills had fled, leaving only Hope remaining. Some say this was the worst of Zeus’ “gifts”, in that it encourages men to continue to struggle against the impossible odds life presents. Due to a translation error, “jar” became confused with “box,” which is the origin of our term “opening Pandora’s Box”, a metaphor for a process that generates many complicated problems due to unwise interference in something.
Astrologically, Pandora represents meddling, foolish choices, getting more than one bargained for, unexpected consequences arising from ill-considered acts, and negative circumstances for which we have no one to blame but ourselves. Often those with Pandora prominent may find that their intercession leads to greater difficulties, and things would have been better left undone.