This month: let’s Meet The Gods !
ZEUS – Father of Gods and Men, ruler of the universe. He was the supreme cultural embodiment of Graeco-Roman religious beliefs. Symbols : thunderbolt, eagle, oak tree, lion, scepter, scales.
HERA – Hera was the queen of all the gods; also the goddess of marriage. She was Zeus’ sister but also his wife. Some symbols : the peacock, cuckoo, and cow
POSEIDON – God of the seas, water, storms, hurricanes, earthquakes and horses. He was moody, restless and powerful.. Symbols : the horse, bull, dolphin, and -of course- trident
DEMETER – Demeter was super-important to humans as she was goddess of the harvest, fertility, agriculture, nature and the seasons. Symbols : the poppy, wheat, torch, cornucopia, and pig.
ARES – God of war and violence but also god of manly virtues. Favorite god to the Spartans and the Romans, he was tall, good-looking, mean and self-centered. Symbols: the boar, serpent, dog, vulture, spear, and shield.
ATHENA – Athena was famous for representing wisdom, knowledge, reason, intelligent activity, literature, handicrafts, science, strategy and defense. Symbols: the owl, olive tree, aegis, snake, shield
APOLLO – God of light, the sun, prophecy, philosophy, truth, inspiration, poetry, music, arts, medicine, healing but also plague. Some symbols: the sun, lyre, swan, mouse, bow & arrows
ARTEMIS – Goddess of the hunt, the wilderness, virginity, the moon, archery and childbirth. She was both huntress and protectress of the living world. Some symbols: the moon, horse, deer, hound, she-bear, snake, cypress tree, bow & arrows
HERMES – The messenger of the gods. Also protector of commerce, patron of travelers (and thieves!) and god of eloquence and diplomacy. Symbols: the caduceus (staff entwined with two snakes), winged sandals and cap, stork, and tortoise (whose shell he used to invent the lyre)
APHRODITE – Goddess of love, pleasure, passion, procreation, fertility, beauty and desire. She had a son named Eros (known as Cupid in Latin. Symbols: the dove, bird, apple, bee, swan, myrtle, and rose
HEPHAESTUS – Master blacksmith and craftsman of the gods; god of the forge, craftsmanship, invention, fire and volcanoes Some symbols: fire, hammer & anvil, axe, donkey, tongs, quail
DIONYSUS (aka BACCHUS) – God of wine. The youngest of the Olympians, he was patron god of the art of theater! He was also god of fertility, festivity, humor, ecstasy, madness and resurrection Symbols: the grapevine, ivy, cup, tiger, panther, leopard, dolphin, goat, and pinecone
HESTIA – Hestia was a gentle goddess, with an important job of her own. She was the goddess of hearth , home, fire and of the right ordering of domesticity and the family. Some symbols: hearth, flame, fire, kettle, donkey, pig
HADES (aka PLUTO) – Brother of Zeus and Poseidon, Hades ruled the Underworld, with which he was sometimes synonymous. Some symbols: a golden chariot (Helios being the previous owner), the three-headed guard dog, Cerberus.