Deities

Deities Associated with Thursday – Jupiter, Roman God


Deities Associated with Thursday – Jupiter, Roman God

Jupiter, also known as Jove, is the god of sky and thunder, as well as the king of gods in Ancient Roman Mythology. Jupiter is the top god of the Roman pantheon.Jupiter was considered the chief deity of Roman state religion during the Republican and Imperial eras, until Christianity became the dominant religion.

Zeus is Jupiter’s equivalent in Greek Mythology. The two share the same features and characteristics.

Due to Jupiter’s popularity, the Romans named the largest planet in the solar system after him.

Attributes
Jupiter is depicted with a beard and long hair. His other attributes include scepter, eagle, cornucopia, aegis, ram, and lion.

Jupiter, the Planet
The ancient Babylonians were the first known people to record their sightings of the planet Jupiter. The Babylonians’ recordings date back to the seventh century BC. It was initially named after Jupiter, the king of the Roman gods. To the Greeks, the planet represented Zeus, their god of thunder, while the Mesopotamians saw Jupiter as their god, Marduk.

Zeus
Jupiter and Zeus are equivalents in ancient mythology. The share the same traits and characteristics.
The Greek god Zeus was the top Olympian god in the Greek pantheon. After he took credit for rescuing his brothers and sisters from their father Cronus, Zeus became king of heaven and gave his brothers, Poseidon and Hades, the sea and the underworld, respectively, for their domains.

Zeus was the husband of Hera, but he had many affairs with other goddesses, mortal women, and female animals.
Zeus mated with, among others, Aegina, Alcmena, Calliope, Cassiopea, Demeter, Dione, Europa, Io, Leda, Leto, Mnemosyne, Niobe, and Semele.

He is king on Mount Olympus, the home of the Greek gods. He is also credited as the father of Greek heroes and the ancestor of many other Greeks. Zeus mated with many mortals and goddesses but is married to his sister Hera (Juno).

Zeus is the son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. He is the brother of his wife Hera, his other sisters Demeter and Hestia, and his brothers Hades, Poseidon.

Etymology of Zeus and Jupiter
The root of both “Zeus” and “Jupiter” is in a proto-Indo-European word for the often personified concepts of “day/light/sky”.

Zeus Abducts Mortals:
There are many myths about Zeus. Some involve demanding acceptable conduct of others, whether human or divine. Zeus was enraged with the behavior of Prometheus. The titan had tricked Zeus into taking the non-meat portion of the original sacrifice, so that mankind could enjoy the food. In response, the king of the gods deprived mankind of the use of fire so they wouldn’t be able to enjoy the boon they’d been granted, but Prometheus found a way around this, and stole some of the gods’ fire by hiding it in a stalk of fennel and then giving it to mankind. Zeus punished Prometheus with having his liver pecked out every day.

But Zeus himself misbehaves — at least according to human standards. It is tempting to say that his primary occupation is that of seducer. In order to seduce, he sometimes changed his shape into that of an animal or bird.

· When he impregnated Leda, he appeared as a swan [see Leda and the Swan].
· When he abducted Ganymede, he appeared as an eagle [see Zeus and Ganymede] in order to take Ganymede to the home of the gods where he would replace Hebe as cupbearer; and
· when Zeus carried off Europa, he appeared as a tempting white bull

— although why the Mediterranean women were so enamored of bulls is beyond the imaginative capacities of this urban-dweller — setting in motion the quest of Cadmus and the settling of Thebes. The hunt for Europa provides one mythological version of the introduction of letters to Greece.

The Olympic Games were initially held to honor Zeus.
 

Author

N.S. Gill, Ancient/Classical History Expert
Article published on & owned by About.com

 

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Squirrel in winter timeDeities Associated with Wednesdays – Hermes, Greek God

Squirrel in winter time

Hermes

 

Fast Facts About the Olympians – Hermes

Name: Greek – Hermes; Roman – Mercury

Family
Parents: Zeus and Maia

Siblings: All the children of Zeus are his siblings, but Hermes has a special younger-brotherly relationship with Apollo.

Mates: Agraulos, Akalle, Antianeira, Alkidameia, Aphrodite, Aptale, Carmentis, Chthonophyle, Creusa, Daeira, Erytheia, Eupolemeia, Khione, Iphthime, Libya, Okyrrhoe, Penelopeia, Phylodameia, Polymele, Rhene, Sose, Theoboula, Thronia,

Children: Angelia, Eleusis, Hermaphroditos, Oreiades, Palaistra, Pan, Agreus, Nomios, Priapos, Pherespondos, Lykos, Pronomos, Abderos, Aithalides, Arabos, Autolycus, Bounos, Daphnis, Ekhion, Eleusis, Euandros, Eudoros, Eurestos, Eurytos, Kaikos, Kephalos, Keryx, Kydon, Libys, Myrtilos, Norax, Orion, Pharis, Phaunos, Polybos, Saon,

Role of Hermes
For Humans:
Hermes is the god of eloquence, commerce, cunning, the inventor of the alphabet, numbers, astronomy, music, the art of fighting, gymnastics, the cultivation of the olive tree, measures, weights, and more, he sends refreshing sleep, conducts dreams, is the herdsman of the dead, the protector of travelers, the giver of wealth and luck, the protector of sacrificial animals, and patron of gymnastic games, among other things.

For Gods:
Hermes is credited with inventing divine worship and sacrifice. Hermes is the herald of the gods.
Canonical Olympian? Yes, Hermes is a canonical Olympian.

 

Author

N.S. Gill, Ancient/Classical History Expert
Article published on & owned by About.com

 

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Deities Associated With Tuesday – Mars, Roman God of War

Blessed Be
Deities Associated With Tuesday

Mars, Roman God of War

Mars was the Roman god of war, and is one of the most commonly worshiped deities in ancient Rome. Because of the nature of Roman society, nearly every healthy patrician male had some connection to the military, so it is logical that Mars was highly revered throughout the Empire.

Early History and Worship
In early incarnations, Mars was a fertility god, and a protector of cattle. As time went on, his role as an earth god expanded to include death and the underworld, and finally battle and war.

He is known as the father of twins Romulus and Remus, by the Vestal virgin Rhea Silvia. As the father of the men who later founded the city, Roman citizens often referred to themselves as “sons of Mars.”
Before going into battle, Roman soldiers often gathered at the temple of Mars Ultor (the avenger) on the Forum Augustus. The military also had a special training center dedicated to Mars, called the Campus Martius, where soldiers drilled and studied.

Festivals and Celebrations
The month of March is named in his honor, and several festivals each year were dedicated to Mars. Each year the Feriae Marti was held, beginning on the Kalends of March and continuing until the 24th.

Dancing priests, called the Salii, performed elaborate rituals over and over again, and a sacred fast took place for the last nine days. The dance of the Salii was complex, and involved a lot of jumping, spinning and chanting. On March 25, the celebration of Mars ended and the fast was broken at the celebration of the Hilaria, in which all the priests partook in an elaborate feast.

During the Suovetaurilia, held every five years, bulls, pigs and sheep were sacrificed in Mars’ honor.
This was part of an elaborate fertility ritual, designed to bring prosperity to the harvest. Cato the Elder wrote that as the sacrifice was made, the following invocation was called out:

“Father Mars, I pray and beseech thee
that thou be gracious and merciful to me,
my house, and my household;
to which intent I have bidden this suovetaurilia
to be led around my land, my ground, my farm;
that thou keep away, ward off, and remove sickness, seen and unseen,
barrenness and destruction, ruin and unseasonable influence;
and that thou permit my harvests, my grain, my vineyards,
and my plantations to flourish and to come to good issue,
preserve in health my shepherds and my flocks, and
give good health and strength to me, my house, and my household.
To this intent, to the intent of purifying my farm,
my land, my ground, and of making an expiation, as I have said,
deign to accept the offering of these suckling victims;
Father Mars, to the same intent deign to accept
the offering of these suckling offering.

Mars the Warrior
As a warrior god, Mars is typically depicted in full battle gear, including a helmet, spear and shield. He is represented by the wolf, and is sometimes accompanied by two spirits known as Timor and Fuga, who personify fear and flight, as his enemies flee before him on the battlefield.

Early Roman writers associated Mars with not only warrior prowess, but virility and power. Because of this, he sometimes is tied to the planting season and agricultural bounty. It is possible that Cato’s invocation above connects the more wild and frenzied aspects of Mars with the need to tame, control and defend the agricultural environment.

In Greek legend, Mars is known as Ares, but was never as popular with the Greeks as he was with the Romans.

Author
Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
Article published on & owned by About.com

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Deities Associated With Friday – Aphrodite, Greek Goddess of Love

Free World
Deities Associated With Friday – Aphrodite, Greek Goddess of Love

Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and sexuality. According to legend, she was born fully formed from the white sea form that arose when the god Uranus was castrated. She came ashore on the island of Cyprus, and later was married off by Zeus to Hephaistos, the deformed craftsman of Olympus. Despite being married to Hephaistos, Aphrodite took her job as a goddess of sexuality seriously, and had a multitude of lovers, but one of her favorites was the warrior god Ares.

At one point, Helios, the sun god, caught Ares and Aphrodite romping around, and told Hephaistos what he had seen. Hephaistos caught the two of them in a net, and invited all the other gods and goddesses to laugh at their shame… but they had none whatsoever. In fact, Aphrodite and Ares had a good laugh about the whole thing, and didn’t particularly care what anyone thought. In the end, Ares ended up paying Hephaistos a fine for his inconvenience, and the whole matter was dropped.

At one point, Aphrodite had a fling with Adonis, the young hunter god. He was killed by a wild boar one day, and some tales indicate that the boar might have been a jealous Ares in disguise.

Aphrodite had several sons, including Priapus, Eros, and Hermaphroditus.

In many myths and legends, Aphrodite is portrayed as self-absorbed and cranky. It would seem that like many of the other Greek gods, she spent a lot of time meddling in the affairs of mortals, mostly for her own amusement. She was instrumental in the cause of the Trojan War; Aphrodite offered Helen of Sparta to Paris, the prince of Troy, and then when he saw Helen for the first time, Aphrodite made sure he was inflamed with lust, thus leading to Helen’s abduction and a decade of war.

A festival was held regularly to honor Aphrodite, appropriately called the Aphrodisia. At her temple in Corinth, revelers often paid tribute to Aphrodite by having rambunctious sex with her priestesses. The temple was later destroyed by the Romans, and not rebuilt, but fertility rites appear to have continued in the area.

In addition to her association with the sea and shells, Aphrodite is connected with dolphins and swans, apples and pomegranates, and roses.

 

Author

Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
Article published on & owned by About.com

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Deities Associated with Thursday – Zeus, Ruler of Olympus

Stormy Night
Deities Associated with Thursday – Zeus, Ruler of Olympus

Zeus was the youngest son of Cronos and Rhea, and became the supreme ruler of all the gods of the ancient Greeks. Citizens from all of the Greek city-states honored him, particularly at the Temple of Olympus, which became the site of a major festival every four years – that religious festival eventually became known as the Olympic Games. A colossal golden statue of Zeus was the site of many rites and rituals involving the athletes of the Olympics.

Early History and Worship
Although Zeus was venerated in many areas of Greece, there doesn’t seem to be much consistency about the methodology of this worship, and his temples (and titles) took a variety of forms. A number of different “cults of Zeus” popped up throughout history. One common form of honoring him appears to be the sacrificing of a white animal — sheep, bull, pig, etc. — over an elevated altar.

In addition to being the head honcho of Olympus, Zeus is the god of thunder and lightning. He is often represented by a lightning bolt, and is sometimes depicted with an eagle, bull, or oak tree.

Because Zeus was also considered a weather god – after all, he was the one who threw thunderbolts down from the sky – he was often worshiped on high mountaintops, including but not limited to Mount Olympus.

Eventually, the cult of Zeus expanded beyond the borders of Greece, and into nearby empires, including Persia. Herodotus wrote a lengthy description of a temple to Zeus Belus in Babylon. He described “a square of four hundred and forty yards each way, with gates of bronze.

In the center of this enclosure a solid tower has been built, two hundred and twenty yards long and broad; a second tower rises from this and from it yet another, until at last there are eight. The way up them mounts spirally outside the height of the towers; about halfway up is a resting place, with seats for repose, where those who ascend sit down and rest. In the last tower there is a great shrine; and in it stands a great and well-covered couch, and a golden table nearby.”

Zeus Gets Around
Zeus was known as quite the philanderer. Although he was married to his sister Hera, goddess of marriage, he strayed from her bed fairly regularly.

Zeus hooked up with numerous other goddesses, mortal humans, the occasional nymph, and even a few animals. Hera jealously put up with his wandering ways, and often took revenge upon Zeus’ women by going after their children. Zeus sired many of the Greek heroes and demi-gods during his amorous adventures. His extramarital activities weren’t limited to women, either. Zeus’ cup-bearer, the handsome Ganymede, earned Hera’s wrath when she discovered that the young man was also her husband’s lover.

Modern Worship of Zeus
As the supreme ruler of Mt. Olympus, Zeus was in charge of justice, morals and law. His word was to be obeyed by both men and gods alike. Today, many Hellenic Pagans continue to honor Zeus and the other gods of the ancient Greeks. Some are members of a group called the Return of the Hellenes, and consider today’s Greece to be under Christian occupation. A 2013 BBC article quotes Exsekias Trivoulides, who says, “People want to identify with something in the past – where they came from – so as to know where they are going… If you don’t know your past, you don’t have a future.”

 

Author

Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
Article published on & owned by About.com

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Brigid, Celtic Goddess of Imbolc

Imbolc/Candlemas Comments

Brigid, Celtic Goddess of Imbolc

 

Brigit is the central Irish Goddess. She is known as Brigantia in England and Bride in Scotland. She rules metal work and smithy, fire, poetry, midwifery and martial arts–but is primarily known as a major Mother Goddess. Brigit is a face of the Triple Goddess, and able to see all–often represented by an ever watchful eye. The three heart-shaped leaves of the shamrock recall the magical Celtic number of three, as well as the number of Brigit’s faces. From nine to Nineteen priestesses once tended an undying fire in her name at Kildare. Brigid is so central to Ireland that the newly converted people would not give her up, so her name metamorphosed into St. Bridgid, who in Irish Christian myth acts as tender and supportive friend of Mary and as the midwife at Christ’s birth. Barbara G. Walker writes that to the Irish people, however, she continued to be a Queen of Heaven and the mother of all the deities of the new religion. As the Saint, she also matched wits with St. Patrick, who is as mythical as she. At times they seem to be consorts, at others, adversaries. It cannot have helped their relationship that Patrick is known for ridding Ireland of snakes, and since Bridgid the saint descended from a pagan goddess and priestess persona, whose sacred healing totem is the snake. So when St. Patrick says he is ridding the isle of snakes, what he means is he is ridding it of pagans. Nevertheless, Patricius and Bridgid were often considered the primal Mother and Father, and were supposedly buried together at Derry Down.

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Thursday’s Name Sake, The God Thor, Norse God of Thunder

Thor's Hammer

Thursday’s Name Sake, The God Thor, Norse God of Thunder

 

In Germanic mythology and religion, Thor is the god of thunder. He is typically portrayed as red-headed and bearded, and carrying Mjolnir, a magical hammer. Depictions of Mjolnir became popular adornment for warriors during the age of the Vikings, and it is still seen today among adherents of some forms of Norse Paganism.

A son of Odin, Thor was married to a fertility goddess named Sif, although he also had a mistress, Jarnsaxa.

Thor was known for protecting both gods and mortals from the powers of evil. As keeper of thunder and lightning, he was also considered integral to the agricultural cycle. If there was a drought, it wouldn’t hurt to offer a libation to Thor in hopes that the rains would come.

During a thunderstorm, Thor rode through the heavens on his great chariot, pulled by two magical goats. Whenever he swung Mjolnir, lightning flashed across the sky. Mjolnir itself was such a powerful item (as dwarf-made items often are in Norse legend) that Thor needed a special belt and iron gloves to handle the hammer. After it was thrown, the hammer always returned home to Thor.

In the Prose Edda, the death of Thor at Ragnarok is described.

The poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote of Thor:

I am the God Thor,
I am the War God,
I am the Thunderer!
Here in my Northland,
my fastness and fortress,
reign I forever!

Here amid icebergs
rule I the nations;
This is my hammer,
Miölner the mighty;
Giants and sorcerers
cannot withstand it!

Thor’s influence has carried over into modern times. A day of the week is named for him (Thor’s day) and there are a number of references to him in pop culture.

He appears as a Marvel comic book character, and pops up alongside Loki and Odin in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series, as well as Gaiman’s excellent novel, American Gods. Most recently, Thor has been featured in Joanne Harris’ Runemarks, a book for juvenile readers set 500 years after Ragnarok.

Author

Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
Article published on & owned by About.com

 

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, The Gods | Leave a comment

Odin, Ruler of the Norse Gods, Wednesday’s Name Sake

Protected By Unicorns
Odin, Ruler of the Norse Gods, Wednesday’s Name Sake

In the Norse pantheon, Asgard was the home of the gods, and it was the place where one could find Odin, the supreme deity of them all. Connected to his Germanic ancestor Woden or Wodan, Odin was the god of kings and the mentor of young heroes, to whom he often gave magical gifts.

In addition to being a king himself, Odin was a shapeshifter, and frequently roamed the world in disguise. One of his favorite manifestations was that of a one-eyed old man; in the Norse Eddas, the one-eyed man appears regularly as a bringer of wisdom and knowledge to heroes.

He pops up in everything from the saga of the Volsungs to Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. He was typically accompanied by a pack of wolves and ravens, and rode on a magic horse named Sleipnir. Odin is associated with the concept of the wild hunt, and leads a noisy hoarde of fallen warriors across the sky.

Odin was said to summon dead heroes and kings to Valhalla, which they entered accompanied by the host of Valkyries. Once in Valhalla, the fallen engaged in feasting and combat, always ready to defend Asgard from its enemies. Odin’s warrior followers, the Berserkers, wore the pelts of a wolf or bear in battle, and worked themselves up into an ecstatic frenzy that made them oblivious to the pain of their wounds.

As a young man Odin hung on the world tree, Yggdrasil, for nine days while pierced by his own javelin, in order to obtain the wisdom of the nine worlds. This enabled him to learn the magic of the runes. Nine is a significant number in the Norse sagas, and appears frequently.

Odin continues to maintain a strong following, particularly amongst members of the Asatru community.

Author

Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
Article published on & owned by About.com

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, The Gods | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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