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Primal forces of the Greeks

Chaos (no known sex) Chaos is from the Greek word Khaos, meaning "gaping
void". There are many explanations as to who or what Chaos is, bt most
theories state that it was the void from whi!h all things developed into a
distin!tive entity, or in whi!h they existed in a !onfsed and amorphos shape
before they were separated into genera. "n other words, Chaos is or was
"n magi!al terms !ome people !old see Chaos as an analogy for the abyss of
the kabala. #owever this wold be wrong. Chaos has rles, it has a pattern.
The abyss is madness, formlessness and the dissoltion of everything yo know
and realise all rolled into one. $sing Chaos as an agent in a spell, i.e. !alling or
smmoning its power wold be foolish indeed nless yo where of sffi!ient
experien!e to be able to re!ognise the pattern that wold emerge from s!h
spell work.
Oceanus (male) The personifi!ation of the vast o!ean. %s geography be!ame
more pre!ise, Oceanus began to refer to the water otside of the &illars of
#era!les, or the %tlanti! '!ean. #e was the father of all rivers by Tethys. The
!ople also had the '!eanids whi!h personified springs and smaller bodies of
waters, like lakes and ponds.
The primal water for!e in magi!al work !an bring abot strong emotional and
!hangeable effe!ts. %s !an be seen by his tales and notes, he is a strong
!reation for!e bringing abot rivers, natre spirits and other offspring. %s with
all primal for!es !are shold be taken when !alling pon them in spell work.
Eurynome (female) not m!h is known abot Eurynome as the all mother
figre in myth. #er name is meant to mean "far(rling" or "wide(wandering"
whi!h !old hold the !le to her powers, bt withot more information it wold
be foolish to se her in any work. "t is interesting that she is asso!iated with
wisdom and !reates primal desire. "t !old be said that if she is far rling she
wold be knowledgeable. )o is this a referen!e to knowledge and wisdom
!reating desire. "t is a logi!al progression.
Ophion (male) ( in Greek mythology, a hge serpent. % primal god who rled
the world with his mate, Eurynome, before the reign of the titans. *hen he
be!ame nrly, Eurynome banished him to the nderworld. "n other myths it is
the titans who banish him to the nderworld. "t is a !ommon myth, that a
serpent is banished to the nderworld.
"f yo see the nderworld as being a symbol of death and the serpent as being a
symbol of wisdom this is a veiled allegory to the idea that wisdom will allow yo
to see or visit the realms of death and srvive. #owever " wold not re!ommend
trying withot a lot of pra!tise. +aybe more to do with astral travelling than
physi!ally being dead for a while.
Erebus (male) ( Erebus was known as the embodiment of primordial darkness,
the son of Chaos (who was the void from whi!h all things developed). %!!ording
to #esiod,s Theogony, Erebus was born with Nyx (-ight), and was the father of
Aether (the bright pper atmosphere), Hemera (.ay) and Charon, the ferry(man
who took the dead over the rivers of the infernal region.
#ere we find the beginning of !osmology beginning to take pla!e. &rimordial
darkness along with night brings abot atmosphere and day. -ot sre why the
ferryman is with the other two thogh. +aybe a mistake somewhere along the
line or maybe the ferryman is seen as a parti!lar star passing along the night
sky. *orth meditating on.
Erebus shold be seen as primordial darkness and as s!h wold be a
frightening power to !all pon. .arkness is not night, sin!e night has some light
in it. This is pre bla!kness and as s!h wold be a very frightening experien!e.
This is one step away from the abyss and shold only be !alled pon if yo know
what yo are doing. " wold not partake of any rital that in!lded this entity.
Nyx (female) ( Nyx is the goddess and embodiment of the night. %!!ording to
#esiod in his Theogony (//.//0(/12), "3rom 4haos !ame forth 5rebs and bla!k
-ight -yx6 of -ight were born Aether being the bright pper atmosphere and
.ay Hemera, whom she !on!eived and bore from nion with Erebus her brother".
%lso attribted to Nyx and Erebus is Styx, the goddess who rled over the river in
#ades and was thoght to be hate.
%lso from the Theogony (//. 7//(778)6 "%nd -ight bore hatefl .oom Moros and
bla!k 3ate and .eath Thanatos, and she bore )leep Hypnos and the tribe of
.reams. %nd again the goddess mrky -ight, thogh she lay with none, bare
9lame and painfl *oe, and the #esperides who gard the ri!h golden apples
and the trees bearing frit beyond glorios '!ean. %lso she bore the .estinies
and rthless avenging 3ates who were regarded as old women o!!pied in
spinning, Clotho the )pinner of the thread of life and Lachesis the .isposer of
:ots, she who allots every man his destiny and Atropos )he *ho 4annot 9e
Trned, who finally !ts the thread of life who give men at their birth both evil
and good to have, and they prse the transgressions of men and of gods, and
these goddesses never !ease from their dread anger ntil they pnish the sinner
with a sore penalty. %lso deadly -ight bore Nemesis "ndignation to affli!t mortal
men, and after her, .e!eit Apate and 3riendship and hatefl %ge and hard(
hearted )trife.
)o from that it is thoght that Nyx withot any male inflen!e bore Moros
(destiny), Thanatos (death), Hypnos (sleep), Nemesis (divine vengean!e and
;sti!e), 'izys (pain and distress), Philotes (affe!tion), Apate (de!eit), Geras (old
age), Phthonus (envy) and the fates.
<st looking at the list yo !an see that there is a large amont of negative
!onnotations pla!ed pon the night. "t is seen as something bad or to be feared
althogh at this time it probably was something to be feared. The one srprise is
that althogh there is affe!tion, there is no sex or love. " gess this wold be
!overed by Eros in desire. 5ven more interesting to me thogh is the idea that
fate and destiny are linked in to the night. +aybe showing a more mysti!al side
to the an!ient Greek pantheon=
Nyx is the first power that " wold have no problem sing in spell work. To be
honest as a night goddess she seems a lot more pleasant than some night
goddess>s " have !ome a!ross.
Tartarus (male) while #ades was the pla!e of the dead, Tartarus be!ame
known as the pla!e where pnishments where handed ot. ?ery m!h like the
4hristian idea of hell today. %s one of the first primal for!es, Tartarus !old be
seen to be pnishment= 'r maybe ;dgement=
"n The "liad (!. @AA), Zeus asserts that Tartarus is "as far beneath #ades as
heaven is high above the earth." %s a pla!e so far from the sn and so deep in
the earth, Tartarus is hemmed in by three layers of night. "t is a dank and
wret!hed pit englfed in mrky gloom. "t is one of the primordial ob;e!ts that
sprng from Chaos (along with aea (5arth) and Eros ()ex)).
$nfortnately there is not a lot of information abot Tartars the deity as
opposed to the pla!e. "f the two are seen as the same however we !an see that
the deity is seen as a pnisher, a prison of some sort. %lthogh later pla!ed
below #ades, " wold sggest that they wold be side by side.
Gaea (female) ( aea, known as 5arth or +other 5arth (the Greek !ommon non
for "land" is ge or ga). )he was an early earth goddess and it is written that aea
was born from 4haos, the great void of emptiness within the niverse.
&arthenogeneti!ally (withot male intervention), aea gave birth to Ourea
(+ontains) and Pontus ()ea).
aea took as her hsband !ranus, and their offspring in!lded the Titans, six
sons and six daghters. )he gave birth to the 4y!lopes and to three monsters
that be!ame known as the "#e!aton!hires". The spirits of pnishment known as
the 5rinyes (fries) were also offspring of Gaia and $rans. The Gigantes, finally,
were !on!eived after $rans had been !astrated by his son Cronus, and his
blood fell to earth from the open wond.
To prote!t her !hildren from her hsband, (the 4y!lopes and the #e!aton!heires,
as he was fearfl of their great strength), aea hid them all within herself. 'ne
version says that !ranus was aghast at the sight of his offspring so he hid them
away in Tartars, whi!h are the bowels of the earth.
aea herself fond her offspring n!omfortable and at times painfl, and when
the dis!omfort be!ame too m!h to bear she asked her yongest son Cronus to
help her. )he asked him to !astrate !ranus, ths severing the nion between the
5arth and )ky, and also to prevent more monstros offspring. To help Cronus
a!hieve his goal aea prod!ed an adamantine si!kle to serve as the weapon.
Cronus hid ntil !ranus !ame to lay with aea and as !ranus drew near, Cronus
str!k with the si!kle, !tting the genitalia from !ranus. 9lood fell from the
severed genitals and !ame in !onta!t with the earth and from that nion was
born the 5rinyes (3ries), the Giants and the +eliae (-ymphs of the manna ash
%fter the separation of the 5arth from the )ky, aea gave birth to other
offspring, these being fathered by Pontus. Their names were the sea(god Nereus,
Thaumas, Phorcys, Ceto and Eurybia.
"t was aea who saved Zeus from being swallowed by Cronus, after Zeus had
been born, aea helped "hea to wrap a stone in swaddling !lothes, this was to
tri!k Cronus in to thinking it was Zeus, be!ase Cronus had been informed that
one of his !hildren wold depose him, and so to get rid of his !hildren he had
swallowed them, aea#s tri!k worked and Zeus was then taken to 4rete.
aea being the primordial element from whi!h all the gods originated was
worshiped throghot Gree!e, bt later she went into de!line and was
spplanted by other gods.
There are so many interesting elements in the stories of Gaea. *e see that she
!an be generos (in res!ing Zeus) or vengefl in helping to !astrate !ranus$
That she gives Cronus a si!kle is interesting in its self. )he embodies all aspe!ts
of the earth in her stories, even to the point of giving birth to both gliness and
%lso the idea that earth and sky are linked ntil something happens that severs
it seems to be a niversal theme in many mythologies.
" wold say that aea is the primordial wit!h>s goddess and as s!h every wit!h
shold be spending ;st a little time getting to know her.
Uranus (male) ( !ranus, also known as 'ranos, was the embodiment of the sky
or heavens, and known as the god of the sky. #e was the hsband of aea (the
earth) and a!!ording to #esiod, their !hildren in!lded the TitansB six sons
(Oceanus, Coeus, Crius, Hyperion, %apetus and Cronus) and six daghters (Theia,
"hea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoebe and Tethys). There were other offspringB the
4y!lopes, (who were named 9rontes, )teropes and %rges and were later known
as "one eyed giants"), and also the three monsters known as the #e!aton!hires,
who ea!h had one hndred hands and fifty heads. Their names were 9riares,
4otts and Gyes. 'ther offspring of !ranus and aea were the 5rinyes, who were
spirits of pnishment and goddesses of vengean!e.
% slightly differing version of the !astration myth tells of !ranus being so vast
that he !old !over +other 5arth (aea) and easily take advantage of her
fritflness, bt aea tired of her exberant fertility and begged her sons to free
her from the ex!essive embra!e of !ranus. %ll refsed ex!ept Cronus. %rmed
with a si!kle he !astrated !ranus, and the blood whi!h fell from the mtilation
gave birth to the 5rinyes (3ries), the Giants and the +eliae (-ymphs of the
manna ash trees). %nd when Cronus threw the si!kle into the sea the island of
4orf, home of the &haea!ians, sprang p).
%fter !ranus (the sky) had been emas!lated, the sky separated from aea (the
earth) and Cronus be!ame king of the gods. :ater, Zeus (the son of Cronus)
deposed his father and be!ame the spreme god of the Greek &antheon.
The idea that a wonded or !astrated gods !an be!ome a king or Call fathererD of
the gods is another re(o!!rring myth that shows p time and time again. The
differen!e is there is no healing part to this myth whi!h is strange.
Eros (male)(The Greek god of love and sexual desire (the word Eros, which is found in the
Iliad by Homer, is a common noun meaning sexual desire). He was also worshiped as a
fertility god, believed to be a contemporary of the primeval Chaos, which makes Eros one of
the oldest gods.
In the ionysian !ysteries Eros is referred to as "protagonus", the first born.
#rom the early legend of Eros it is said that he was responsible for the embraces of Uranus
(Heaven or $ky) and Gaea (%arth), and from their union were born many offspring. It was
also written that Eros hatched our race and made it appear first into the light (Birds, by
&ristophanes). &lthough one of the oldest gods, he was a latecomer to Greek religion. He was
worshiped in many regions of Greece, at 'hespiae there was an ancient fertility cult, and in
&thens he and Aphrodite had a (oint cult. &lso in &thens the fourth day of every month was
sacred to Eros. $ometimes Eros was worshiped by the name Erotes (which is the plural of
%ros)) this personified all the attractions that evoked love and desire, this included
heterosexual and homosexual allurements.
Eros is usually depicted as a young winged boy, with his bow and arrows at the ready, to
either shoot into the hearts of gods or mortals which would rouse them to desire. His arrows
came in two types* golden with dove feathers which aroused love, or leaden arrows which
had owl feathers that caused indifference.
'he Greeks regarded him as most beautiful and handsome, the most loved and the most
loving. 'hey placed statues of him in gymnasiums (as most athletes were thought to be
beautiful). He was depicted on every form of utensil, from drinking vessels to oil flasks,
sally showing him ready to fire an arrow into the heart of an nsspe!ting
Erinyes (female) ( -ot so m!h deities as spirits of vengean!e. Erinyes (the
angry ones) were representing the anger of the dead. The Erinyes had snakes for
hair and blood dripped from their eyes. They also had bats, wings and dogs,
There were three of them, Alecto (n!easing), Me&aera (grdging), and
Tisiphone (avenging mrder). This they did by affli!ting the person they were
!hasing with madness.
Cyclops (male) The Cyclops was a ra!e of one eyed giants. They were pla!ed
in Tartars by !ranus bt were later released by Zeus. They were forgers and
masonry experts who helped !reate Zeus thnderbolts, Posei'on(s trident and
several other artefa!ts.
There were originally three of them, Ar&es (bright), )rontes (thnderer),
Steropes (lightener).
Hecatonchires (male) the hndred handed ones. % ra!e of giants with fifty
heads and one hndred hands ea!h. :ike the Cyclops, they were pshed into
Tartars by their father !ranus, bt released later by Zeus and they helped
overthrow the titans by throwing ro!ks at them.
There are for re!orded names for them. These are )riareus (the vigoros),
Ai&aion (the sea goat), Cottus (the striker), and y&es (the big limbed). "t is
nknown whether they had a !lt or any asso!iations bt if they did it is
theoriEed that they wold personaliEe the giganti! for!es of natre.
Gigantes (male) ( "n Greek +ythology the i&antes were (a!!ording to the poet
#esiod) the !hildren of !ranus and aea. They were involved in a !onfli!t with
the 'lympian gods whi!h was eventally settled when the hero #er!les de!ided
to help the 'lympians. The Greeks believed some of them, like to lay bried from
that time nder the earth, and that their tormented Fivers reslted in
earthFakes and vol!ani! erptions.
Styx (female) Styx whi!h means hate is the Greek goddess of the river of
death in the nderworld. )he was sally said to be the daghter of Erebus and
ether (male) ( The personifi!ation of the pre pper air in whi!h the gods
reside, in !ontrary to the ,aer,, the lower air whi!h mortals breathe. "n the early
Greek !osmologies, %ether is the son of Erebus and Nyx, and the brother of
Hemera. #e is one of the elements of the !osmos and in the 'rphi! hymns he is
mentioned as the sol of the world from whi!h all life emanates.
Hemera (female) ( Hemera is the Greek goddess of day. )he was born from
Erebus, darkness, and Nyx, night. Hemera emerged from Tartars as Nyx left it
and retrned to as she was emerging from it.
Charon (male) Charon was the god who ferried the dead a!ross the river into
hades. "f a !oin was not pla!ed on the dead person to pay for passage prior to
the fneral then the dead sol wold wander never being able to get into the
Ourea (male) ( The Greek personifi!ations of montains. 5a!h montain was
said to have its own god. They are of the &rotogenoiB the first(born elemental
gods, !hildren of aia. Theo&ony (/7G(/1/), Ar&onautica (/.HG2).
Pontus (male) ( Pontus is the personifi!ation of the sea and the son of aia and
!ranus. *ith aia he fathered Nereus, Thaumas, Phorcys, Ceto and Eurybia.
Nereus (male) ( % wise and gentle sea(god, a son of Pontus and aea. #e is the
father of the fifty Nerei'es by *oris. Nereus, known as the 'ld +an of the )ea,
had the gift of prophe!y and !old !hange himself into any shape (Theo&ony
711(70H). #era!les, seeking the lo!ation of garden of the #esperides, asked
Nereus for dire!tions bt he refsed to help him. #era!les seiEed the god and
held him fast and despite !hanging into many forms Nereus !old not es!ape
#era!les, powerfl grip. 3inally, Nereus relented and told the hero where to find
the garden.
Nereus and *oris and their fifty daghters mainly dwelled in the depths of the
%egean sea. #e had a temple near Tra!hin in Thessaly (Metamorphoses ", /@@(
/G26 I", 1H0(HAG).
Thaumas (male) ( Thaumas ("wonder") is a Greek sea god and the son of Pontus
and aia. 9y the '!eanid 5le!tra he fathered the #arpy and %ris.
Phorcys (male) a sea god, who is responsible for fathering a host of Greek
monsters along with his sister Ceto.
Ceto (female) ( Ceto is the daghter of aia and Pontus. )he is the sister of
Phorcys, who was also her hsband, Thaumas and Eurybia. )he is the
personifi!ation of the dangers and horrors of the sea. #er name eventally
be!ame a name for any generi! sea monster. Ceto is regarded as the mother of
the Gorgons and many other monsters.
Eurybia (female) the sea goddess with "who has a heart of flint within herD,
#esiod, Theogony, 71G. +ost notable as being a !onsort of Posei'on. )he was
!onsidered a minor sea deity.
Oi!ys (female) ( %!!ording to #esiod (Theogony, 7/H(7/8), the female
personifi!ation of pain and distress. )he is a !hild of Nyx.
Phthonus (male) ( The Greek personifi!ation of envy. Phthonus was said to have
married many different women and killed most of them be!ase he sspe!ted
that they !heated on him. #e was sally thoght of as the son of -yx.
Philotes (female) ( The Greek personifi!ation of affe!tion. )he is sally
as!ribed as the daghter of -yx and sister of Apate ("de!eit"), eras ("old age"),
and Eris.
pate (female) ( Apate was the Greek goddess of de!eit, daghter of Nyx. Apate
was one of the spirits inside &andora,s box.
Geras (male) ( "n Greek mythology, Geras was the god of old age. "t was
!onsidered a virte whereby the more gJras a man a!Fired, the more kleos
(fame) and arete (ex!ellen!e and !orage) he was !onsidered to have. %!!ording
to #esiod, GJras was a son of -yx. #e was depi!ted as a tiny shrivelled p old
man. GJras,s opposite was #ebe the goddess of yoth.
"oros (male) ( Moros ("destiny") is the Greek personifi!ation of doom. #e is the
son of Nyx and the brother of Thanatos.
Thanatos (male) ( The Greek personifi!ation of death who dwells in the lower
world. "n the "liad he appears as the twin brother of #ypnos ("sleep"). 9oth
brothers had little to no meaning in the !lts. #esiod makes these two spirits the
sons of -yx, bt mentions no father.
Thanatos was portrayed as a yongster with an inverse tor!h in one hand and a
wreath or btterfly in the other. #e appears, with #ypnos, several times on
%tti!an fnerary vases, so(!alled lekythen. 'n a s!lpted !olmn in the Temple
of %rtemis at 5phese (Hth !entry 945) Thanatos is shown with two large wings
and a sword atta!hed to his girdle.
Hypnos (male) ( Hypnos is the personifi!ation of sleep in Greek mythology. #e is
the son of Nyx, and the twin of Thanatos ("death"). 9oth he and his brother live
in the nderworld. #e gave 5ndymion the power of sleeping with open eyes so
he !old see his beloved, the moon goddess )elene.
Hypnos is portrayed as a naked yong man with wings atta!hed to his temples,
or as a bearded man with wings atta!hed to his sholders.
Nemesis (female) ( "n Greek mythology, Nemesis is the goddess of divine ;sti!e
and vengean!e. #er anger is dire!ted toward hman transgression of the
natral, right order of things and of the arrogan!e !asing it. Nemesis prses
the insolent and the wi!ked with inflexible vengean!e. #er !lt probably
originated from )myrna. )he is regarded as the daghter Nyx a!!ording to
)he is portrayed as serios looking woman with in her left hand a whip, a rein, a
sword, or a pair of s!ales. "n the #ellenisti! period she was portrayed with a
steering wheel. %lso !alled Khamnsia, from a temple and state of her in
Khamns, a village in the northern part of %tti!a. The epithet %drasteia "she
whom none !an es!ape", properly of the those of the &hrygian 4ybele, was later
applied to her.
"oirae (female) the three fates of Greek mythology. They measred, weaved
and !t a person>s thread to determine the length of their life. They were
!onsidered part of the normal order of things and nothing !old move them. "t is
n!lear whether the gods were nder their rle, bt the !ommon !onsenss is
that they were. There were three of them.
tropos was the fate who !t the thread or web of life. )he was known as the
"inflexible" or "inevitable" and !t this thread with the "abhorred shears."
Clotho is the spinner, and she spins the thread of hman life with her distaff.
The length of the string will determine how long a !ertain person,s life will be.
#achesis ( The .isposer, she measres the length of the thread of hman life
spn by Clotho and determines its destiny.