Hestia - Goddess of the Hearth

She is the eldest sister of Zeus and the oldest daughter of Rhea and Cronus.

She was a virgin-goddess, and when wooed by Poseidon and Apollo, swore by the head of Zeus to remain a virgin. She had no throne, but tended the sacred fire in the hall on the Olympus and every hearth on Earth was her altar. She is the gentlest of all the Olympians.

Symbols and weapons of Hestia:  The hearth.


Long before the Olympians ruled the territory we now call Greece, the people there recognized three immortal black maidens with serpent hair and poisonous blood that dripped from their eyes. Clad in gray, bearing brass-studded whips, baying and barking like bitches, they roamed the pre-Hellenic world in pursuit of those who dared offend the primordial laws of kinship. They were the force that held a matriarchal world together, for these half-human women waited as punishment for anyone who dared commit the sacrilege of spilling kindred blood. The dreaded Erinyes hounded to death, like a tortured conscience, anyone who spilled such blood, painfully created by his maternal relatives, for kinship was traced through the mother.

There were three Erinyes, or there was one Erinys with three forms: Alecto ("unresting one"), Megaera ("envious anger"), and Tisiphone ("avenger"). They were born from the blood of the castrated sky god Uranus where it touched the earth mother Gaia. Standing by the throne of the sun or in the dark world of Tartarus, these implacable goddesses could be stayed by neither sacrifice nor tears once their righteous anger was aroused. Nonetheless, those hoping to avert their gaze from minor misdeeds would lay by their sanctuaries black sheep and honeyed water, white doves and narcissus flowers.


The Graces, are the personifications of charm and beauty in nature and in human life. They love all things beautiful and bestow talent upon mortals. Together with the Muses they serve as sources of inspiration in poetry and the arts. Originally, they were goddesses of fertility and nature, closely associated with the underworld and the Eleusinian mysteries.

Aglaea ("Splendor") is the youngest of the Graces and is sometimes represented as the wife of Hephaestus. The other Graces are Euphrosyne ("Mirth") and Thalia ("Good Cheer"). They are usually considered the daughters of Zeus and Eurynome, or Dionysus and Aphrodite. According to Homer the Graces belonged to the retinue of Aphrodite.


The Fates, or Moirae, were the goddesses who controlled the destiny of everyone from the time they were born to the time they died. They were: Clotho, the spinner, who spun the thread of a person's life, Lachesis, the apportioner, who decided how much time was to be allowed each person, and Atropos, the inevitable, who cut the thread when you were supposed to die. Even though the other gods were almighty, and supposedly immortal, even Hera had reason to fear them. All were subject to the whims of the Fates. Ministers of the Fates were always oracles or soothsayers (seers of the future). The Fates were very important, but it is still unknown to who their parents were. There is some speculation that they might be the daughters of Zeus, however, this is debatable.

The Fates were often depicted as ugly hags, cold and unmerciful. But the Fates were not always deaf to the pleading of others. When Atropos cut the thread of King Admetus, who happened to be Apollo's friend, Apollo begged the Fates to undo their work. It was not in their power to do so, but they promised that if someone took Admetus' place in the gloomy world of Hades' domain, he would live. The king's wife, Alcestis, said she would take his place. But Hercules, who happened to be Admetus' guest, rescued her from the underworld, and Admetus an Alcetis were reunited.


Calliope: The eldest and most distinguished of the nine Muses. She is the Muse of eloquence and epic or heroic poetry. Calliope ("beautiful voice") is the mother of Orpheus and Linus with Apollo. She was the arbitress in the argument over Adonis between Persephone and Aphrodite. Her emblems are a stylus and wax tablets.

Clio: The Muse of historical and heroic poetry. With Pierus, the king of Macedonia, she is the mother of Hyacinth. She was credited for introducing the Phoenician alphabet into Greece. Her attribute is usually a parchment scroll or a set of tablets.

Erato: The Muse of lyric poetry, particularly love and erotic poetry, and mimicry. She is usually depicted with a lyre.

Euterpe: The Muse of Apollo. Her name means "rejoicing well" or "delight". She was born from Zeus and Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory, along with her other eight sisters. Euterpe is the Muse of music and lyric poetry. She is also the Muse of joy and pleasure and of flute playing and was thought to have invented the double flute, which is her attribute.

Melpomene: The Muse of tragedy. She is usually represented with a tragic mask and wearing the cothurnus (the boots traditionally worn by tragic actors). Sometimes she holds a knife or a club in one hand, and the mask in the other.

Polyhymnia: The Muse of the sacred hymn, eloquence and dance. She is usually represented in a pensive or meditating position. She is a serious looking woman, dressed in a long cloak and resting with an elbow on a pillar. Sometimes she holds a finger to her mouth. 

Terpsichore: The Muse of dancing and the dramatic chorus, and later of lyric poetry (and in even later versions, of flute playing). Hence the word terpsichorean, pertaining to dance. She is usually represented seated, and holding a lyre. According to some traditions, she is the mother of the Sirens with the river-god Achelous. She is also occasionally mentioned as the mother of Linus by Apollo.

Thalia: The Muse who presided over comedy and pastoral poetry. She also favored rural pursuits and is represented holding a comic mask and a shepherd's crook (her attributes).

Urania: The Muse of astronomy and astrology. She is occasionally mentioned as the mother of Linus by Apollo. She is represented with a globe in her left hand and a peg in her right hand. Urania is dressed in a cloak embroidered with stars and she keeps her eyes towards the sky.

The Greek goddesses who presided over the arts and sciences. They were believed to inspire all artists, especially poets, philosophers, and musicians. The Muses were the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory. The number of Muses varies over time; initially there was but one, and later there is mention of three: Melete, Mneme, and Aoede (the Elder Muses). They were nymphs in Pieria, western Thrace, and their cult was brought to Helicon in Boeotia by the Aloadae.

The Muses were venerated throughout Greece, but more so in those areas with many wells and springs. The area of Boeotia, near Helicon, remained the favorite place of the Muses, and there they were more venerated than elsewhere. It is also the place of two well that were sacred to them, Aganippe and Hippocrene. Also Delphi and the Parnassus were their favorite places, and it was here that Apollo became their leader (musagetes).

The Muses sat near the throne of Zeus, king of the gods, and sang of his greatness and of the origin of the world and its inhabitants and the glorious deeds of the great heroes. From their name words such as music, museum, mosaic are derived.


Nemesis was the goddess of divine justice and vengeance. Her anger was seen as directed chiefly toward those guilty of arrogance (Hubris), particularly human arrogance towards the gods and their laws. Nemesis pursued the insolent and the wicked with inflexible vengeance. Her cult probably originated from Smyrna. She was described by Greek writers as the daughter of Oceanus or Zeus, but according to Hesiod she was a child of Erebus and Nyx.In English the meaning of the word nemesis has changed somewhat. It now usually means an ultimate or unbeatable enemy, as in the phrase "to meet one's nemesis." The sense of nemesis being a just punishment for hubris has generally been lost.


Nyx was the primordial goddess of the night.

Nyx in Hesiod's Theogony - Night is born of Chaos; her offspring are many, and telling. With her brother Erebus, Night gives birth to Aether ("atmosphere") and Hemera ("day"). Later, on her own, Night gives birth to Momus "blame", Ponos "toil", Moros "fate", Thanatos "death", Hypnos "sleep", the Oneiroi "the tribe of dreams", the Hesperides, the Keres and Fates, Nemesis, Apate "deception", Philotes "friendship", Geras "age", and Eris "strife".

In his description of Tartarus, Hesiod says further that Hemera "day", who is now Night's sister rather than daughter, left Tartarus just as Nyx entered it; when Hemera returned, Nyx left. This mirrors the portrayal of Ratri "night" in the Rig-Veda, where she works in close cooperation but also tension with her sister Ushas "dawn".


Pan is the son of Hermes. He is the god of goatherds and shepherds. He is mostly human in appearance but, with goat horns and goat feet. He is an excellent musician and plays the pipes. He is merry and playful frequently seen dancing with woodland nymphs. He is at home in any wild place but, is favorite is Arcady, where he was born. He is always in pursuit of one of the nymphs but, always rejected because he is ugly.

His name is the basis for the word "panic". There are two differing explanations for this. The first is that he was present when Zeus defeated the Titans and claimed that it has his yelling that caused the Titans to flee. However, this seems at odds with his being Hermes son. The second is that he created the noises in the woods at night the scared travelers. He fathered Crotus with Eupheme.


Thanatos ("death") was the personification of death, and a minor figure in Greek mythology. Thanatos was a son of Nyx (Night) and Erebus (Darkness) and twin of Hypnos (Sleep). In early mythological accounts, Thanatos was perceived as a powerful figure armed with a sword, with a shaggy beard and a fierce face. His coming was marked by pain and grief. In later eras, as the transition from life to death in Elysium became a more attractive option, Thanatos came to be seen as a beautiful young man. Many Roman sarcophagi depict him as a winged boy, much like Cupid.

According to mythology, Thanatos could occasionally be outwitted, a feat that Sisyphus twice accomplished. When it came time for Sisyphus to die, he succeeded in chaining Thanatos up with his own shackles, thereby prohibiting the death of any mortal. Eventually Ares released Thanatos and handed Sisyphus over to him, though Sisyphus would trick Thanatos again by convincing Zeus to allow him to return to his wife. Other than being outwitted, Thanatos was sometimes outwrestled by Heracles. A prime example is when Heracles wrestled the deity at Admetus' house and won the ability to have Alcestis revived.

Thanatos is sometimes depicted as a young man carrying a butterfly (the ancient Greek word for butterfly is psyche which in modern Greek means soul), wreath or inverted torch in his hands. He has also been depicted as having two wings and a sword attached to his belt.