I’ve been talking about the ‘story that never ends’ that has a loose base in Celtic mythology, but I also have a children’s series I’m working on that has its base in Greek mythology, at least the first few. I have the first one completed, and I’m in the last editing phase of the second, so I’m hoping to have it available on Amazon in another week or two. That being said, I thought I’d toss in some of the Greek mythology that inspired the stories.
In the first book, A Walker is Born, we get a brief glimpse of the goddess Gaia. In Greek mythology, Gaia was the earth. She’s one of the primordial beings mentioned by Hesiod in his Theogony. According to Hesiod, Gaia was the first being to come into existence after Chaos. She then gave birth to the entirety of the universe. Uranus, Ourea, and Pontus were born without a father, and Uranus was considered to be Gaia’s equal.
Gaia’s next group of children, fathered by Uranus, were the Titans. These were the forces of nature and divine law, so to speak. They were personifications of the workings of the universe. For example, Cronus was the Titan of time, so we have the idea that the earth (Gaia) gave birth to the concept of time. Other Titans controlled the sea, divine law, motherhood, etc. Some information and beautiful pictures can be found here.
Gaia had more children from other fathers such as the sea deities fathered by her son Pontus. She also had more children by Uranus, including the Cyclopes.
The list of her offspring just about goes on forever, but, when each child was born, Uranus hid them within her and caused a good amount of pain (if you’ve ever born a child you can somewhat imagine). In response to this, Gaia came up with a plan.
Gaia created an adamantine or flint or (pick a substance – different sources list different ones) sickle (some sources say harpe, and this is the one I chose to use) and gave it to Cronus. When Uranus approached Gaia again, Cronus rose up and castrated him. His genitals fell into the sea and gave birth to Aphrodite, goddess of love, at least according to Hesiod. (Ovid has her parents as two of the Olympians. There are some things I’ve read that say Aphrodite was actually two goddesses – one of pure love and one of sexual, sensual love. If I can ever remember which sources they are, I’ll list them.) From Uranus’s blood, Gaia created the Erinyes, Giants, and Meliae, so, apparently, Uranus served his purpose even castrated.
With the Olympians, borne by Rhea and Cronus, Gaia seems to be all over the place. She helped Rhea and Zeus defeat Cronus when he swallowed all of his children. (There was a prophecy that stated he would be overthrown by one of them.) Yet her youngest child Typhon challenged Zeus.
The ancient Greek writers had a great deal to say about the gods and Titans. I’ve listed a few of the sources below for those who would like to read a little more on them. My personal favorite is Hesiod, though Ovid isn’t bad. I enjoyed comparing the two of them since their genealogies are slightly different. I hope some of you will find the information interesting.
Metamorphoses – Ovid