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Greek Goddesses - C
Every Greek Goddess You've Heard Of - And A Bunch You Haven't

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Called the mother of Chaos. With Chaos, she gave birth to Nyx.

This is sometimes a surname for Aphrodite. It means "beautiful buttocks".

CalypsoCalypso and Odysseus, by John Waterhouse
There's more on her in the nymph section, but now she's here to, as she should be. Daughter of the Titan Atlas, she lived on the island Ogygia. This was where Mr. Odysseus (of the Odyssey, yes, that's one you should know) was washed ashore. Calypso fell in love with this shipwrecked hunk o' burnin' love, and offered him eternal life to stay with her (which he refused, good for him - he had a wife, Penelope). They were lovers, though against his will. After seven years, Athena complained for Odysseus to Zeus, and Hermes was sent to Calypso to order her to set him free. She did so reluctantly, helping him make a small boat to get free of the island. Oooh, and her name means Hidden or Hider. Very appropriate, no?

Carya was a pre-classical mythology goddess. She was the Goddess of the Walnut Tree. That is a Cool Ass job. Wow. Later she was added to the Artemis myth, as Caryatis.

A fountain Goddess. She had a fountain on Mt. Parnassus that was the sacred place of the Muses.


Now this is a chica with a lot of choices. Her name means the Dark and she was also known as Podarge (Fleetfoot) as one of the Harpies. Celaeno the Harpy was the mama of Xanthus and Balius, the magic horses of Achilles (by Zephyrus, her lover). Of course, another version of Celaeno says she is a Pleiade, and the lover of Poseidon, mother of Lycus by him (and Deucalion by Prometheus, besides). This is one busy lady.

The personification of Violent Death. She was a daughter of Nyx.

Ceto was one of the original Titans. She was one of the few who had a true mate: Phorcys. In addition to being her husband, Phorcys was her brother. As were Thaumas and Eurybia. Ceto and Phorcys were the parents of the Gorgons. Ceto was the personification of all the Horrors of the Sea.nCharites

An epithet for Demeter. It means Green. Makes sense for an agricultural deity!

Flora, by Richard FranklinChloris
Chloris was the Goddess of Flowers. She is the spouse of Zephyrus, the West Wind. He abducted her and gave her dominion over flowers. That picture right next to this, that's Chloris (not Flora). This was also the name of the only child of Niobe spared by Apollo and Artemis. To the Romans she was known as Flora, sound familiar? To be honest, she seems like much more of a Roman type of deity (email me for the fascinating differences between them) than Greek, but I thought I'd give Ovid the benefit of the doubt.nCirce, by John W. Waterhouse

Circe was the daughter of Hecate (or Perse) and Helios (the Sun-God). She was a union of opposites. Just look at her parents: one is the Dark Moon and the other is the Sun. The sorcery bit goes hand in hand with the celestial powers, so that's alright, but just mentioning that she was witchy does not begin to encompass her. Her biggest part is played in the Odyssey (you don't remember? I'm so ashamed ...), and she had her own island (near her dad's, actually) off the coast of Italy where she liked to catch sailors and other random men and turn them into things (like pigs). Apparently, she was also pretty good in the sack, because Odysseus delayed his "urgent" return to Penelope at least a year and contributed his sperm towards at least two kids (Telegonus and Cassiphone). Although she wasn't thrilled to see him go (like her predecessor Calypso she gave him super good advice that he actually followed (always listen to witches!). There's some funky endings to that relationship including that Penelope brought Odysseus' body to be buried on Circe's island after he died (what?) and that Odysseus' son killed Circe and then that Cassiphone killed him. Another story that made it to the myth pages about Circe and Scylla (and Glaucus) can be found here. nCybele, by Sandra M. Stanton

Also known as Cotytto, she was a Thracian goddess (yes, that still counts as Greek) but she seems almost like a Bacchante because her rituals are so similar to those of Rhea and Dionysus. Basically, it involved lots of noise (cymbals, drums, what have you) and lots of other orgiastic ritual stuff they may or may not have involved sex. That painting's one of Sandra Stanton's images of Cybele, but it seemed appropriate.nFountain of Cybele in Madrid

Cybele wasn't technically a Greek goddess in that she came from Phrygia, but she was worshipped in Greece and Rome and a whole rack of other places, too so I think she should be here. It is interesting (at least to me) that she was never appropriated as completely Greek, but always seen as exotic (kinda like Dionysus that way). Well, maybe that's not completely fair since she was super strongly identified with Rhea. Anyway, she, like a bunch of the big names, isn't just a personification. She's all up in fertility and nature and had some crazy mysteries like Demeter, but Demeter isn't known for orgies, sadomasochism, or gender queer priests like Cybele is. Interested? Check out her most important myth in the Myth Pages. You can see her in a very typical representation in the photo at right.

The epithet of Artemis, because of her birth on Mt. Cynthus on Delos. For the same reason Apollo is called Cyntheus.

This is an epithet of Aphrodite, referring to her birth rising from the sea near the island of Cythera, where she was worshipped mucho mucho more.n

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Last Updated July 16, 2011

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