Circe is telling Odysseus about the obstacles in his path. She tells him that his ship will pass the sirens and how to protect himself and his men from them. She also tells of two paths that he can take, going through rocks or going between two monsters, Scylla and Charybdis.
These are the Sirens. They sing and their voices cause sailors to swim out to them. The sailors who swim out will be killed and eaten by the Sirens. Odysseus plugs his men's ears with beeswax so they are not tempted to swim out to them.
"Ahead are beetling rocks and dark blue glancing Amphitrite, surging, roars around them. Prowling Rocks, or Drifters, the gods in bliss have named them- named them well. Not even birds can pass them by."(Homer 26-30)
"One is a sharp mountain piercing the sky, with stormcloud round the peak dissolving never, not in the brightest summer, to show heaven's azure there, nor in the fall...midway that height, a cavern full of mist opens toward Erebus and evening...but that is the den of Scylla, where she yaps abominably, a newborn whelp's cry, though she is huge and monstrous."(Homer 31-45)
"A great wild fig, a shaggy mass of leaves, and Charybdis lurks below to swallow down the dark sea tide. Three times from dawn to dusk she spews it up and sucks it down again three times, a whirling maelstrom; if you come upon her then the god who makes earth tremble could not save you." (Homer 61-67)
These are Helios' cattle, who graze on the island Thrinacia. The cows and their cowherds are immortal. Circe advises Odysseus to give the island a wide berth because she sees destruction for his ship and crew if they kill and eat the cows.
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