Tag Archives: Olympians

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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Zeus & His Brothers


When Cronos was defeated, his sons Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades divided the world among themselves.  Zeus (Roman name – Jupiter) was the king of the gods and ruler of Mount Olympus.  He was the god of the sky, thunder, weather, thunder, law, order, and fate. His symbols included the thunderbolt, eagle, oak tree, scepter and scales. He was depicted as a regal, mature man with a sturdy figure and dark beard. His attributes included the royal scepter and the lightning bolt. His sacred animals are the eagle and the bull. He was married to Hera.


Poseidon (Neptune) became the god of the seas, rivers, floods, droughts and earthquakes. He was known as the “Earth Shaker” and was the creator of horses. His symbols included the horse, bull, dolphin and trident. He was depicted as a mature man of sturdy build with a dark beard, and holding a trident. The horse and the dolphin were sacred to him.



Since he dwelled in the underworld, Hades (Pluto), the brother of Zeus and Poseidon, was not considered one of the twelve Olympians. He was king of the Underworld and the god of the dead and the hidden wealth of the Earth. His symbols are the key of Hades, the Helm of Darkness, and the three-headed dog, Cerberus. The screech owl was sacred to His consort was Persephone, a daughter of Ceres, whom he kidnapped from the earth and was allowed to keep with him for six months each year. A difficult situation, especially since Persephone was the daughter of Mother Nature.  Everyone knows you don’t mess with Mother Nature.

Tomorrow, Hera and her sisters.    Rita Bay


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