Greek Goddesses  

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Greek Goddesses Cover


Gaea: Gaea is the earth goddess. With Uranus she bore the rest of the Titans. She is regarded as all-producing and all-nourishing, and one of the deities of presiding over marriage.

Mnemosyne: The goddess of Memory, Mnemosyne, mated with Zeus to produce the 9 Muses.

Phoebe: By her brother Coeus she is the mother of Asteria and Leto. Through Leto, she is the grandmother of Apollo and Artemis.

Rhea: Rhea was the wife of the Titan Cronus, who made it a practice to swallow their children. When Zeus was about to be born, she bore him in secret and gave Cronus a stone wrapped as an infant to swallow.

Themis: Themis is the goddess of the order of things established by law, custom and ethics. By Zeus' command, she convenes the assembly of the gods, and she is invoked when mortals assemble. She is the mother of the Horae (seasons), the Hesperides and Prometheus.

Theia: The wife of her brother Hyperion, by him Theia gave birth to Helios (sun), Eos (dawn), and Selene (moon). She is the goddess from whom light emanates and considered especially beautiful.

Tethys: Tethys the wife of Oceanus and gave birth to around 3,000 river-gods and the Oceanides. Hera was raised by Tethys until she was ready to marry Zeus.


Athena: Athena is the Greek virgin goddess of reason in war and peace, intelligent activity, arts and literature, and useful arts. She sprang full grown from Zeus' head rather than being born by a woman. She is Zeus' favorite and is allowed to use his weapons including his thunderbolt. Sacred to her are the olive, serpent, owl, lance, and crow. She invented the bridle, the trumpet, the flute, the pot, the rake, the plow, the yoke, the ship, and the chariot.

Artemis: Artemis is the goddess of the hunt, virginity, the moon, and the natural environment. She is the daughter of Zeus and Leto and twin sister of Apollo. Even though she is a virgin goddess, she also presides over childbirth. Sacred to her are the laurel, fir tree, fish, stag, boar, bear, dog, goat, bee and other animals.

Aphrodite: Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, was born from the foam of the sea. She is married to Hephaestus, the god of fire and smithy to the gods. Sacred to her are the myrtle, rose, apple, poppy, sparrow, dove, swan, swallow, tortoise, ram, the planet Venus, and the month of April. Eros was produced from a liaison with Zeus. Her favorite lover is the god of war, Ares.

Demeter: Demeter is the goddess of the earth, of agriculture, and of fertility in general. Sacred to her are livestock and agricultural products, poppy, narcissus and the crane. She is the mother of Persephone by Zeus. During the months Persephone lives with Hades, Demeter withdraws her gifts from the world, creating winter. Upon Persephone's return, spring comes into bloom.

Hestia: Hestia is the virgin goddess of the hearth and of domestic life, and the inventor of domestic architecture. Of all the Olympians, she is the mildest, most upright and most charitable.

Hera: Hera is the supreme goddess of the Greeks and goddess of marriage and childbirth, and wife to Zeus. Her children are Ares, Hebe, Hephaestus and Eris. Sacred to her are the peacock, pomegranate, lily and cuckoo. She is extremely jealous of Zeus' amorous adventures and punishes his mortal lovers.

Other Goddesses

Arete: Arete is the Greek goddess of justice and teacher of Heracles.

Alecto: Alecto is one of the three Furies or Erinyes and sometimes known as a Greek goddess of war and death.

Cotys: Coyts the goddess of sexuality was revered in Thrace. There here servants, the baptai ("baptized ones"), celebrated secret festivals in her honor.

Cer: The Greek goddess of violent death, Cer (or Ker) is the daughter of Nyx ("night") and sister of the Moriae ("fates"). This name was also used of the malevolent ghost of any dead person.

Charities: Charities are personifications of aspects of grace and beauty. They are called Aglaia (Splendor), Euphrosyne (Mirth), and Thalia (Good Cheer). While the Muses inspire artists, the Charities apply the artists' works to the embellishment of life.

Dryads: Dryads (Hamadryads) are elemental forces incarnated in a bark-like body. They were usually female and mortal, dying when the tree died. A dryad will punish mortals for thoughtlessly breaking her branches or harming her.

Erinyes: Erinyes (Eumenides) names are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. They are solemn maidens dressed as huntresses, wear bands of serpents around their heads, and carry torches. They pursue wrongdoers and torment them in ways that make the criminals wish they were dead. Crimes that especially draw their attention are disobedience toward parents, ill-treatment of the elderly, murder, violation of the law of hospitality, and improper conduct toward suppliants.

Eris: Eris is the goddess of discord and the daughter of Zeus and Hera. She is obsessed with bloodshed, havoc, and suffering. She calls forth war and her brother Ares carries out the action.

Eos: Eos is the goddess of dawn, daughter of the Titans Hyperion and Theia, and sister of Helios and Selene. She is the mother of the evening star Eosphorus (Hesperus), other stars, and the winds Boreas, Zephyrus and Notus. When she was caught in a tryst with Ares, Aphrodite cursed her with an insatiable desire for handsome young men. She most often appears winged or in a chariot drawn by four horses, one of them being Pegasus.

Horae: Horae are the goddesses of the seasons and the orderly procession of things in general. They are also the collective personification of justice. Hesoid, who saw them as givers of the law, justice and peace gave them the names Eunomia (Discipline), Dice (Justice) and Eirene (Peace). At Athens two of the Horae, were called Thallo and Carpo, and to the Athenians, represented the budding and maturity of growing things. As a result, Thallo became the protectress of youth.

Hecate: Hecate brings good luck to sailors and hunters or can withhold these blessings if undeserved, so fear became a motivating factor in her worship. When Persephone was found with Hades, Hecate remained with her as attendant and companion and as a result has a share in the ruling over the souls in the underworld. Because of her unearthly aspect she is regarded as a kind of queen of witches.

Iris: The winged, rainbow goddess Iris is Hera's messenger. When she is not delivering messages she is asleep under Hera's bed. She is one of the few who can journey at will to the underworld where she fetches water for solemn oaths.

Irene: Irene is the Greek goddess of peace and is worshipped with bloodless sacrifices at Athens. Some legends say she is one of the Horae.

Iaso: Iaso is a Greek goddess of healing and the sister of Hygia.

Leto: Leto is the mother of Apollo and Artemis and is mostly worshipped in conjunction with her children.

Muses: The nine Muses are the goddesses of arts and sciences and inspire those who excel in these pursuits. They are the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne. Their names are: Clio (History), Urania (Astronomy), Melpomene (Tragedy), Thalia (Comedy), Terpsichore (Dance), Calliope (Epic Poetry), Erato (Love Poetry), Polyhymnia (Songs to the Gods), and Euterpe (Lyric Poetry). Apollo is the leader of the Muses.

Moirae: Moirae are the Fates, the personification of the destiny of humans. The three Moirae are Clotho, Atropos, and Lachesis. Clotho spins the thread at the beginning of one's life, Atropos weaves the thread into the fabric of one's actions, and Lachesis snips the thread at the conclusion of one's life. Gods as well as mortals have to submit to the will of the Moirae.

Meliae: In one of the Greek creation myths, Mother Gaea had her son Uranus castrated. Drops of his blood fell on her and from those spots, Gaea conceived tree spirits called Maelia. As the world's original women, they were the mothers of humankind.

Nike: Nike, the winged goddess of victory, is the daughter of the fearsome river goddess Styx and the sister of Zelos ("zeal"). She was honored throughtout Greece, especially at Athens.

Nemesis: Nemesis is the personification of divine vengeance. Happiness and unhappiness are measured out by her, determining that happiness was not too frequent or excessive. If so, she brings about losses and suffering. She is one of the assistants of Zeus.

Pleiades: Pleiades are the daughters of Atlas by Pleione and are called Electra, Maia, Taygete, Alcyone, Celaena, Sterope, and Merope. They and their mother were pursued by the giant Orion until the gods intervened and transformed them into a constellation.

Persephone: Persephone is the daughter of the Olympian Demeter, and became the goddess of death and the underworld when Hades abducted her. The mint and pomegranate issacred to her. Persephone raised Aphrodite's child Adonis.

Styx: The goddess of the River Styx that wound beneath the earth in the land of the dead is called is also called Styx "the hated one," who prevented the living from crossing into the realm of Persephone without first undergoing death's torments.

Selene: Selene, also called Mene, is the goddess of the moon. She is the daughter of Hyperion and Theia, and the sister of Eos (dawn) and Helios (sun).

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