52 Europa

Not to be confused with Jupiter II Europa, same referent.

This minor planet is named after a woman from Greek myth, for whom the continent of Europe is supposedly named for, but in fact this is probably a fictional back-etymology. She was a lover of Zeus, and mother of the legendary King Minos. Zeus first approached her in the form of a white bull, and because he was a horny bastard, he commemorated their affair in the form of the constellation Taurus.

The symbol of this minor planet is that of Taurus, on a female cross. Sorry, Europa. I'm sure you did a lot in your mythical life and had dreams and aspirations and a personality beyond being the lady who was raped by a bull, but here we are. It is an unfortunate thing for a person to be judged by their trauma and reduced from a person to a abstractified image of a victim. Let's let this symbol remind us not to do that to people in real life, as we have to women in myth.

For a different angle on this figure, consider that to the Phoenicians, she may have been an image of a lunar deity, or a re-forming of the goddess Astarte.

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