Divine Femininity
Goddess_Demeter.jpg (20195 bytes)

Sources of Divine Femininity

The stories of Zeus's sexual union with various goddesses may interpreted both historically and allegorically. Historically, such sexual union reflects historical fact of the triumph of Greek male sky god over the mother goddesses of diverse peoples of the Midteraean. This reveals an endeavor of the Greek people to appropriate the various goddess worships into their religious culture under one family structure (extramarital affairs within a monogamous system). Allegorically, the love affairs associate variety of creativity with feminity.

Zeus Consorts Offsprings
(law, justice)
(1) Horae = 3 goddesses of hour, seasons
                Dice = justice
                Eirene = peace
                Eunomia = order and wise legislation          
(2) Moerae =3 godesses of fates:
                     Clotho (spinner, who makes the thread of life)
                     Lachesis (apportioner, who measures the length of the thread)
                     Atropos (who cuts the thread)
Eurynome (wide-ranging) Graces (Charities, the goddesses of female attraction)
Mnemosyne (memory) Muses = 9 goddesses of arts:
1.  Clio (making famous) = Hitory
2. Euterpe (delighter) = Music , flute playing
3. Thalia (flowering) = Comedy
4. Melpomene (song and dance) = Tragedy
5. Erato (lovable) = Lyric
6. Terpsichore (delilghting in dance) = Dance
7. Polyhymnia (with many songs) = Pantomine
8. Urania (heavenly) = Astrology
9. Calliope (fair-voiced) = Epic
Metis (cleverness) Athena (goddess of wisdom, of craft, of military strategy)
Leto 1. Apollo (god of sun, of plague and medicine, of prophecy)
2. Artemis (goddess of moon, of hunting, of virginity, protector of the week, the young)
Dione Aphrodite (goddess of love, beauty)
Demeter Persephone (The Eleusinian Mystery)

**According to Hesiod's geneology, Themis, Mnemosyne belong to the third generation, older than Zeus.
Leto (daughter of Coeus and Phoebe), Metis (daughter of Oceanus), Dione (daughter of Oceanus), and Demeter (daughter of Cronos and Rhea, sister of Zeus) are the same generation as Zeus is. 


The divinities related to fertility in classical mythology include Geae, Rhea, Aphrodite, Demeter, Artemis

@ Characteristics Association with foreign divinities
Aphrodite goddess of love, sexual desire 1. Inanna
2. Ishata
3. Astrte
Artemis 1. As Prtnia Theron (mistress of Animal) 1. Creten goddess of snake
2. Phrygian Cybele
2. Artemis of Ephesus (many breasted Mother Earth) 1. Greek goddess Gaea, Rhea
2. Phrygian Cybele
3. As godess of virginity @
Demeter Demeter's daugher, Persephone was abducted by Hades:
1. Life cycle: Death and rebirth
2. The death of male god as sacrifice
1. Inanna vs Dumuzi
2. Isis vs Osiris
3. Cybele vs Attis
4. Aphrodite vs Adonis


The three vigin goddesses of the Olympians in Greek mythology are Hestia, Artemis, and Athena


"Athena represents reason's control over elemental force"

@ Athena Other Gods
Concerning transportation Athena:
built the first chariot;
built the ship.
sired the horse Arion;
rouves the waves
Concerning animal Athena:
taught human to spin the wool
protects the flocks in distantd mountain.
protects the wild animal.
Concerning war Athena:
strategy and disciplined tactics in war;
emphasizes law and justice.
unrestrained violence in war;
emphasizes blood lust.


Visit an interesting website devoted to the images of the ancient divine femininity "The Museion" and you will find out related images of the goddess of fertility in many cultures.

Images of Magna Mater

Monuments and Wonders

Goddess Images On Artifacts and Coins

Sexuality in Ancient Times

Cybele, Attis, and the Gallae

Legacy of the Divine Feminine

And then Images of Women in Ancient Art to read the interpretations of the images of divine femininity.

Ted Chen Chi-szu
Revised: 09.14.2005