Greek Mythology – Lesson One

Written by Grishtha Arya

Where it all began . . . 

This is a starting point, or a warning (depending on your taste), of the Greek Gods and all their wonderfully messed up mythology.

Where the gods of other religions were working at defeating evils, turning water into wine, saving people and all that jazz, the Greek Gods were busy fucking and fucking over each other.

The most descriptive work of the creation of everything comes from Hesiod’s Theogony which, along with Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, is one of the earliest works of Greek mythology. We are referring to Theogony here as the source of all the myths. And we’re starting where all the messes start: with a bad idea—the birth of the insanity named Gaia.

So, there he/it was. Chaos. Just chilling. He/It (Seriously, can someone sort it out? How do you define an abstract power that can give birth?) was the nothingness out of which everything came into existence. He was akin to the vast emptiness that most of us see as our future. One fine day (maybe after a few drinks) he decided he was ready to be a father. He first gave birth by himself (using Chemical X?) to what are commonly referred to as the primordial deities. He’s basically responsible for all of the oncoming mess. (To be fair, can one expect something rational out of an entity named Chaos?) These were Gaia (the Earth), Eros (desire or love), and Tartarus (the underworld deep inside the earth).

Chaos also bore Erebus (the darkness) and Nyx (the night). These siblings had their bout of friendly wrestling, and from it Nyx gave birth to Aether (brightness) and Hemera aka Day. The gods weren’t radomnly named, no matter how much it looks like that. The gods embodied their names’ powers. For example, Gaia was not only the deity of Earth, she was literally the Earth herself. So with the birth of Day, we had a functioning day-night system—one of the few good things to come out of it all.

Nyx gave birth to so many deities that it would take another entry just to name them. Let’s go over a few main ones. She gave birth to the Fates (yes, the three-hags from Hercules), Doom, Death (not Hades), Old Age, Dreams, Sleep, Woe and Passion. These kids then had kids of their own.

Rather than me listing off all of the names of everyone’s offspring, just know that every being was busy expanding their tree. The tree we want to focus on right now, because it’s the cause of so much drama, is Gaia’s.

Gaia, predicting the impending homelessness issue, read the 101 Guide to Solo-Birth and gave birth to Ouranos, the starry sky. He covered her entirely and later provided a home to the gods. Then, Gaia and Ouranos got into the business of carving out the earth we know. Gaia took care of the huge mountains and forests while Ouranos bore Pontos, the wild open sea. I guess, we should thank them for that. With that out of the way, and not a lot of other options, they decided to see each other on a regular basis and have kids.

Like, a village of kids.

Some notable children were the Kyklopes (the one-eyed giants), and Hecatonchires (the hundred-handed giants). These were frightening beings with Hecatonchires surpassing even the Titans in strength. I mean, if someone is mentioned as the most dreadful of children in the horror-show that’s Greek mythology, you can imagine what they must have been like.

Most importantly, they had the twelve Titans: Okeanos, Koios, Kreios, Hyperion, Iapetos, Thea, Rheia, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, Tethys, and the youngest and most fearsome (code word for ass), Kronos.

The Titans were the main crowd of the Greek mythology back then and remained important later as well. They were the predessecors of the Olympians, or the more well-known Greek Gods like Zeus and Hades.

While everyone was oohing and aahing over these cute little monste—gods, I mean GODS, Ouranos wasn’t a fan of his kids, and that’s why in all his douche glory he named them ‘the Titans’. ‘Titans’ can be translated to ‘strained’ or ‘stretchers’. As if saying, ‘I know you’re up to some shit, and you will pay for it’. To give him some credit, they were up to something … More coming on that later.

Read more of Grishtha’s work in the Power edition of WORDLY.

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