The story of the Titan Atlas is not a happy one. According to Greek mythology, Atlas participated in a war the Titans waged on the Gods. The Titans, led by Cronos, were defeated by the Gods, led by Zeus. As punishment for the war, Zeus banished most of the Titans to the hellish Tartarus. For Atlas, Zeus chose to have him stand at the western edge of Gaia (Earth) and hold up Uranus (the sky) to keep the two from squeezing against each other.
Later, Heracles (who we know as Hercules) was assigned to gather 12 golden apples from the garden of Hera. these apples were guarded by Atlas’ daughters, the Hesperides (who apparently weren’t very nice) and the dragon Ladon. Heracles duped Atlas into fetching the apples from his own daughters while he held up the sky. Atlas, thinking he was going to pull a fast one on Heracles, gladly obliged. Later he returned with a sack full of the golden apples, pleased with himself. But Heracles asked Atlas if he would kindly hold the sky for a minute while he rearranged his cloak. Atlas agreed. Heracles simply took the sack of apples and ran off, never to return, once again leaving Atlas with the task of holding up the sky for the rest of eternity.
A variation of Atlas’ tale tells of him trying to drive Perseus away from where the Atlas Mountains now stand in Africa. Perseus, the great grandfather of Heracles, revealed the head of Medusa. Atlas turned to stone and became a mountain range connecting Morocco to Spain. Later, Heracles was on his way to the island Erytheia and had to cross the mountains. Instead, he smashed through, creating what we now know as the Straight of Gibraltar. Obviously, this doesn’t match up well with the previous rendition of Atlas’ meet up with Heracles.
We know the pictures of Atlas holding a globe on his shoulders, which most of the time we think represents the earth. But this globe actually represents the celestial sphere of ancient astronomy. In a sense, Atlas is not holding the weight of the world on his shoulders, but the weight of the universe.
What This Means To Your Health
Just like how the Titan Atlas holds up the universe on his shoulders, your top cervical vertebra, a little 2 ounce doughnut-shaped bone, aptly named Atlas, holds up the 14-16 lb weight of your universe. Your universe is your body’s Innate Intelligence. It controls every single aspect of your body and nervous system.
The story of Atlas is obviously myth, but what do you think would have happened had Atlas slipped? Would the heavens have come crashing down on the earth?
So what happens when your Atlas, held in place only by ligaments and tendons, slips to the left or the right? Is it fair to say your universe could come crashing down, albeit slowly over time?
Would your spine be better off if your Atlas sat in its normal position, allowing brain-to-body communication to flow freely back and forth? Or do you think it would be fine if Atlas slipped off to the side, rotated and rocked up or down in an abnormal position at the top of your spine, causing spinal compensations all the way down, leading to a disruption of that vital brain-body communication, unilateral muscles tightness, and advanced degeneration of vertebrae?