* It’s been a long while since I last posted here. Whew! Just got busy this month, but hey, still managed to publish a post! :)
In the illustration below, you can see some of the known Goddesses in Olympus. Could be called as the Olympian Goddesses but I prefer to call them the Goddesses of Olympus.
DEMETER – considered as the goddess of the corn and harvest. Her siblings included Hades, Poseidon, Zeus, Hestia and Hera, their parents, the Great Titan Cronus and Titaness Rhea.
Probably the best known myth about her is when her daughter, Persephone, was abducted by Hades, the Underworld God of the Dead. Her grief was so much that she prohibited the growth of crops and let famine and the dying fields affect the lives of mortals. With the commotion happening, Zeus, through Hermes, ordered Persephone to be released from Hades. As mother and daughter embraced each other, the earth once again flourished and live. But when Demeter learned that her beloved daughter ate Pomegranate seeds, for her that means that she’ll have to see her daughter go to the dreaded Underworld, and return to her after 6 months. When her daughter is gone, winter approached. The return of Persephone means the return of Spring. That explains the changing of seasons.
HERA – also one of the children of Cronus and Rhea. She is the goddess of marriage and women, and is the wife of Zeus. She is the Queen Goddess, and with Zeus, she’s the mother of Ares, the god of war, Hebe, the goddess of youth and Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth. It is also a famous myth that she produced Hephaestus alone, through Parthenogenesis.
During the war with the Titans, she was sent to Oceanus and his wife Tethys, to be cared for. Her becoming the Queen is not that easy as it may seems. While she bathed, a wounded Cuckoo fell near her. Pitying the bird, she held it and placed it near her bosom, to heal it and give warmth at the same time. Unknown to her, the “wounded Cuckoo bird” is no other that Zeus, the King of the Gods himself. Hera was raped, and to cover her shame, the two marry.
Hera is known for her jealousy, her husband’s lovers and children were all subjected to her wrath. One of these unfortunate women is Io (who was turned into a heiffer) and probably, we can say that Herakles is one of the most unfortunate child of Zeus. Herakles was driven mad by Hera, so mad that he did kill his wife Megara and their children. The famous Labors of Herakles is the tasks given to Herakles to have his guilt cleared.
HESTIA – oldest sister of Demeter, Hera, Hades, Poseidon and Zeus. She is the Goddess of the hearth and home.
Little myth or story is known about Hestia. Originally she’s part of the Olympians, but when Dionysus came, Hestia willingly gave up her throne to Dionysus. Hestia is a Virgin Goddess, it is told that Apollo and Poseidon wanted her, but she pledged an oath, in Zeus’ name, to remain a Virgin goddess.
ARTEMIS – twin sister of Apollo, daughter of Leto and Zeus. She is regarded as the Goddess of the Wild, of the Hunt, Childbirth and sometimes of the moon.
Before she and Apollo were born, Hera learned of Zeus’ another escapade with Leto, and in her anger she commanded that no land shall receive Leto when she is about to give birth. As expected, poor Leto searched for a place to stay to give birth. No one accepted her, except the little floating island of Delos. There, Leto delivered Artemis first, and Artemis assisted her mother Leto to deliver Apollo.
Artemis demanded to be a Virgin Goddess, this she asked to her father Zeus. She also has several nymphs as her attendants, those girls who decided to follow her shall remain pure and Virgin like her. She is often seen with a silver bow and arrow set with her, the bow and arrow crafted by the mighty Hephaestus.
APHRODITE – born from the sea foam, to be exact, from the blood of the castrated Uranus that dropped in the sea. The goddess of Love and Beauty, she is often seen with Eros, sometimes depicted as a blindfolded child with arrows. Aphrodite is depicted as a laughter-loving goddess, but also vain.
She’s married to the blacksmith God Hephaestus, though she’s not loyal to him. One of her famous lovers is the God of War, Ares. She also had lots of lovers, gods and mortals alike, whom she had children with. Some of her children were Hermaphroditos (with Hermes), Harmonia, Phobos and Deimos (with Ares) and Aeneas (with the mortal Anchises).
Perhaps the most famous myth of Aphrodite is her involvement at the Trojan War. Eris, the goddess of strife and discord, threw a golden apple inscribed with the words “To the Fairest”. All the goddesses wanted the golden apple badly, but only three goddesses fought for it: Hera, Athena and Aphrodite. They all told Zeus to choose the fairest among the three, however Zeus told them to go see a prince named Paris. The three goddesses bribed Paris, Hera will make him the King of Asia, Athena will make him victor of all wars he’ll engage in and Aphrodite will give him the fairest woman to be his wife. Paris chose Aphrodite, turns out that the most beautiful woman, Helen, is already married. But hey, a promise is still a promise! Paris got Helen, thus started the Trojan War.
ATHENA – born from Zeus’ head. She is the daughter of Zeus and Metis, wisest of all the gods and mortals and Zeus’ first love. A prophecy is said, that a boy born from her will definitely be stronger than Zeus. Zeus, fearing that the prophecy will come true, swallowed Metis, not knowing that she is already pregnant with Athena. Zeus felt unbearable pain in his head and ask Hephaestus to have his head cut open. Hephaestus obliged and from Zeus’ head, Athena appeared, full grown with an armor and shield.
Athena is the goddess of wisdom, war, craftsmanship, weaving and of the city. She’s known as the favorite daughter of Zeus. She’s the only one who can carry the awful Aegis from Zeus. Like Hestia and Artemis, she is also a Virgin Goddess. A war goddess, she prefer to make strategies to win the war.
There are several myth about her, but the story of Arachne maybe is one of the best remembered story of all. Arachne bragged her weaving skills, saying that she can even surpass the Goddess Athena. The goddess, enraged, challenged Arachne to a weaving tournament, which, obviously, the goddess wins. Athena punished Arachne by turning her into a spider. Another myth is Athena turning the beautiful Medusa into a monster.
*clockwise, from top to bottom, start from the upper left corner (Demeter, Hera, Hestia, Artemis, Aphrodite, Athena)
Hope you like the article and my illustration of the Goddesses. Feel free to comment! :)