The Greek mythology has always been interesting to read about. For fans of fantasy and folklore, the stories of the Greek gods and goddesses seem so out-of-this-world and the world building has never failed to make people question their existence. If you love the Percy Jackson series, the myths seem even more realistic as the author writes about the Greek myth existing in this 21st century. You can simply check out the series on Youtube. Ever heard of Hades, the God of the dead and the ruler of the underworld who kidnapped Persephone while she was picking flowers? Enraged by the action of Hades, Persephone’s mother, Demeter, goddess of harvest and fertility, cast a curse on the land where farmine happened. She declared that it would remain that way until Persephone returned back to her side. Because of that, it was agreed that Persephone would spend a third of the year in the underworld with her husband. The time of the year where Persephone stayed with Hades is when winter falls upon Earth, in which it was associated with sadness and mourning of her mother. Another well-known myth is the tragic love story between Apollo and Hyacinthus. Apollo is the twin brother of the goddess of hunt, Artemis. He is a god of so many elements – music, poetry, art, prophecy, truth, archery, plague, healing, sun and light. He fell in love with Hyacinthus, a Spartan youth with beautiful visuals that attracted him. However, Apollo accidentally killed him while teaching Hyacinthus how to play the disc. Unable to save his lover even when he is the god of healing, Apollo created the flower we know as hyacinth from Hyacinthus’ blood in honor of him.
This is only a small part of the myths about the Greek, especially regarding the 12 Olympians. Do you notice that the stories so far revolve around the Greek gods and not much of the goddesses? Some of you must be wondering about the Greek goddesses, right? The girls in particular should know about them and their roles.
Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom and War
One of the famous goddesses in the Olympians is perhaps Athena. She is a figure of wisdom in battles and is known to be giving advice or mentoring due to her intelligence. She is always accompanied by her owl and she wears a breastplate made out of goatskin called the Aegis, a gift from her father Zeus. It is amazing how the Parthenon at Athens is known as her famous shrine. Athena is known to aid Odysseus’ son, Telemachus in finding his father in The Odyssey and Perseus when she gave him the shield he used to slay Medusa. Athena is a model of women’s strength and wisdom which should inspire many girls to be the same.
Artemis, the Goddess of Hunt
Like her twin brother Apollo, Artemis is known to be a goddess of more than one major element. She is the goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and protector of young girls. Also the opposite of her twin who rules over the Sun, she is the goddess of the moon. Often described as a hunter carrying bows and arrows, she is known to be a virgin goddess who never had a lover and children as she is the embodiment of innocence and purity. As she represents the new moon, she is an important archetypal figure for young independent and unmarried women in the form of the maiden goddess. Her independence and free-spirited nature should be mirrored by the young ladies these days as society continues to have this stereotype where girls are weak and not as reliable as men are.
Aphrodite, the Goddess of Beauty
Here comes the goddess all girls should know about since just like the girls, she is all about love and looking pretty. Known as Venus in her Roman counterpart, Aphrodite is the goddess of love, beauty, desire, prosperity and fertility. Do you know that the second planet from the sun is named after her? According to the mythology, she was born from the sea form produced by the severed genitals of Caelus-Uranus, the primal god of the sky. It is said that she was born already in adult form. It’s interesting how she is always depicted nude in paintings. She is said to be the most original creation of Roman pantheon and seen as the embodiment of watery female principle essential to balance of life.
Nike, the God of Victory
The Winged goddess of Victory is said to be the daughter of Titan Pallas and the goddess Styx. Sculptures of Nike are very common in the temples and public spaces in Ancient Greece and it is easy to see why. As a figure symbolising victory, it is only natural that she is one of the goddess people will pray to in hope to win. Who doesn’t like winning? Her sculptures will be essential to honor the victories in wars and competitions. She is also commonly seen alongside the sculptures of Zeus, the god of the sky who is known to be the highest form of deity in Greek mythology and his daughter, Athena. She is often associated with successful athletes as a symbol of their victories.
Hestia, the Goddess of Hearth
Hestia is one of the original 12 Olympians in the Greek mythology. This goddess of hearth, home, domesticity, virginity and hospitality is important to the Greek as she maintained the hearth fire of both Mount Olympus and the homes of the Greeks. The fire is used to cook and keep the house warm. As a peaceful goddess, she taught people how to build their homes and maintain the peace in the families. Another interesting part of her is that she is one of the Hesperides, the nymph daughter who guards the golden apples given to the goddess of marriage, Hera for her marriage with Zeus. Hestia was given the honor to preside over all sacrifices given to the Gods as she swore to remain a maiden forever and spent her life in Mount Olympus.
Now that you have seen these amazing goddesses of Greek mythology, isn’t it great that so many goddesses hold big roles among the presence of male gods? They are figures of love, wisdom, stability and independence which is nice that they are associated with girls. The youngsters of this generation might not be interested in learning Greek mythology, but it might drive them to start if you introduce them to these goddesses. With that, dear ladies, γειά σας (goodbye)!