Sisyphus was the founder and king of Ephyra in Greece, noted for his cleverness and trickery, greed and tyrannical rule.
Among his many plots was one against his own brother Salmoneus, whose daughter Tyro Sisyphus seduced, planning to use their children to usurp his brother’s throne. When she discovered the plot, Tyro killed their children so they could not be used in Sisyphus’ game of revenge. Sisyphus also betrayed the hiding place of one of Zeus’ abducted lovers to her father, and for this and other crimes against the gods he was sentenced after death to eternal punishment in the underworld. Sisyphus was forced to roll a large rock uphill, only to have it roll back down again, thus necessitating an endless repeat of this act. In modern usage, any pointless or interminable action has come to be known as “Sisyphean”.
Astrologically, Sisyphus represents repetition, particularly of an endless or unprofitable task; boredom or ennui; persistence and refusal to admit or accept defeat; and starting over, being back at “square one”, the need to go back into a situation or circumstance and re-do what was thought completed or finalized.
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