Tag Archives: Apollo

The Olympians: The Second Generation


The Olympians shared many of the characteristics of the humans they ruled (anthropomorphic).  They consumed ambrosia for their food and nectar as their drink.  The food and drink of the gods conferred immortality without aging upon whoever consumes it but was generally reserved for the gods.  It was delivered toOlympusby doves.  They also fathered or bore children which leads us to the Generation #2 of the Olympians.  The Olympians Ares, Hermes, Hephaestus, Athena, Apollo, and Artemis were children of the first generation of Olympians and joined their parent(s) onOlympus.  Some claim that Hestia gave up her place among the gods to Dionysius.

Aphrodite (Roman-Venus) was the goddess of love, beauty, and desire. Her parentage varied by accounts. Her symbols include the dove, scallop, bird, apple, bee, swan, myrtle and rose. Her sacred animal is the dove.  She was married to Hephaestus, but was unfathful. She was depicted as a beautiful woman usually accompanied by her son Eros.

Ares (Mars) was the son of Zeus and Hera.  He was the god of war, violence, bloodshed, manly courage, and civil order. His symbols included the boar, alligator, serpent, dog, vulture, spear and shield. He was despised by all the other gods, except Aphrodite. He was depicted as either a mature, bearded warrior dressed in battle arms, or a nude beardless youth with helm and spear. His attributes are golden armor and a bronze-tipped spear.

Artemis (Diana) was the goddess of the hunt, childbirth, archery and all animals. Her symbols include the moon, deer, hound, she-bear, snake, cypress tree and bow and arrow. She was the twin sister of Apollo.


Apollo (Apollo) was the God of light, knowledge, music, poetry, prophecy and archery. His Symbols include the sun, lyre, bow and arrow, raven, dolphin, wolf, swan and mouse. He was the Twin brother of Artemis.

Hephaestus (Vulcan) was a master blacksmith and the craftsman of the gods. He was the god of fire, metalworking, stonemasonry, sculpture and volcanism. He was the Son of Hera, either by Zeus or alone. His symbols included the fire, anvil, ax, donkey, hammer, tongs and quail. After he was born, his parents threw him offMountOlympusbecause of his damaged leg.  He was usually depicted as a bearded man holding hammer and tongs—the tools of a smith—and riding a donkey.


Athena (Minerva) was the messenger of the gods and was the god of commerce and thieves. Her symbols included the caduceus (staff entwined with two snakes), winged sandals and cap, stork and tortoise.




Dionysus (Bacchus) was the god of wine, parties and festivals, madness, drunkenness and pleasure. He was depicted in art as either an older bearded god or a pretty effeminate, long-haired youth. His attributes include the thyrsus (a pinecone-tipped staff), drinking cup, grape vine, and a crown of ivy. Animals sacred to him include dolphins, serpents, tigers, panthers, and donkeys. A later addition to the Olympians, in some accounts he replaced Hestia.

Hermes (Mercury) was the son of Zeus and the nymph Maia. He was the father of Pan by Dryope. He was the god of travel, messengers, trade, thievery, cunning wiles, language, writing, diplomacy, athletics, and animal husbandry. He was the messenger of the gods and led the souls of the dead into Hades’ realm. He was depicted either as a handsome and athletic beardless youth, or as an older bearded man. His attributes included the herald’s wand or caduceus, winged sandals, and a traveler’s cap. His sacred animals were the tortoise, the ram, and the hawk.

Tomorrow, The Pantheon  RitaBay

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The Olympians: Hera & Her Sisters

Hera (Juno)

Mount Olympus

When Zeus overthrew his father Cronos, he rescued his brothers Poseidon and Hades and sisters Hera, Ceres, and Hestia. Together, they cast Cronos into Tartarus. Then, they all ruled the world from Mount Olympus.

With her marriage to Zeus, Hera (Juno) became queen of the gods. She was also the goddess of the sky and heavens, women, marriage and family. Her symbols included the peacock, pomegranate, crown, cuckoo, lion and cow.  She was usually depicted as a beautiful woman wearing a crown and holding a royal, lotus-tipped staff. She was accompanied by a royal lion, cuckoo or hawk. She was known for seeking revenge against her unfaithful husband Zeus’ girlfriends and their families. 

Hestia (Vesta)

Hestia (Roman Vesta) was the goddess of the hearth, architecture, and of the right ordering of domesticity and the family. She received the first offering at every sacrifice in the household.  She presided over the cooking of bread and the preparation of the family meal. Hestia was also the goddess of the sacrificial flame and received a share of every sacrifice to the gods. She never married, despite being pursued by Apollo and Poseidon.  Instead, Zeus allowed her to reside at his royal hearth. Hestia was depicted as a modestly veiled woman sometimes holding a flowered branch. A kettle was her attribute.  The community hearth of a city served as her official sanctuary. With the establishment of a new colony, flame from Hestia’s public hearth in the mother city would be carried to the new settlement.

Demeter (Ceres)

Demeter (Ceres) was the goddess of fertility, agriculture, nature, and the seasons. Her symbols included the poppy, wheat, torch, and pig. Demeter was depicted as a mature woman, often crowned and holding sheaves of wheat and a torch.  As an Earth Mother figure, she was honored for providing food for the people of Earth. 

When Hades kidnapped her daughter Demeter and carried her to his realm as his queen, she wandered the earth searching for her daughter and mourning her loss.  Seeing the destruction she was causing, Zeus decreed that Persephone return to her mother IF she had not eaten anything while in the Underworld.  Since she had consumed six of the twelve seeds of a pomegranate, she had to remain with Hades for six months of the year.  Demeter mourned her loss, which is how winter came to the earth.

Tomorrow, The Olympians, Gen #2      Rita Bay

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