Olympian Gods

by | Hellenic Polytheism

Who Are the Olympians?

The Olympian gods were worshipped in ancient Greece and are the main pantheon in the modern Hellenic Polytheism revival. They consist of first generation Olympians, most of the offspring of the Titans Cronus and Rhea, and second generation Olympians, mostly children of Zeus.

There are traditionally twelve Olympian gods, though other gods were said to reside on Olympus. The twelve canonical Olympians include:

  • Zeus
  • Hera
  • Poseidon
  • Athena
  • Apollo
  • Artemis
  • Hermes
  • Demeter
  • Aphrodite
  • Hephaestus
  • Ares
  • Dionysus or Hestia

There is a myth that Hestia gave up her seat on Olympus for Dionysus, instead taking her place in the home among mankind. As such, there are differing accounts for the “twelve” Olympians.

Zeus

Zeus is the god of the sky and king of the gods. He is often depicted as a regal man with a beard and lightning bolt in his hand.

He has many roles, ranging from protector of the home and of boundaries, to travellers and xenia (hospitality). Zeus is also often referred to as the Father of Gods and Men.

Poseidon

Poseidon is god of the sea, earthquakes, and horses, and on of the six children of Cronus. He is often depicted as a bearded man holding a trident.

Poseidon is a protector of sailors and fishermen. And, he is often called upon to calm the seas during storms and to provide safe passage for ships. But his domain was not limited to the sea, and he is known for his bad temper and his ability to cause earthquakes.

Hera

Hera is wife to Zeus, queen of the gods, and goddess of marriage, women, childbirth, and family. She is often depicted as a beautiful woman wearing a crown or headdress.

She is often called upon to help women during childbirth and to protect children from harm. But she is also known for her jealousy and her ability to punish those who cross her. 

Demeter

Demeter is the goddess of agriculture and the harvest. She is often depicted as a mature woman holding wheat or corn.

Demeter is known for her kindness, her ability to bring bountiful harvests, and was known for her role as a protector of the earth’s fertility. She is often called upon to bless crops and ensure that they grew strong and healthy.

Aphrodite

Aphrodite is the goddess of love, beauty, and sexuality. And as a protector of lovers. She is often depicted as a beautiful woman with long hair and a flowing gown. She was often called upon to help people find love or to keep their love strong.

She is said to have been born from the foam formed when Cronus severed Uranus’ genitals and they fell into the sea. As such, Aphrodite is older than most or all the Olympians.

Athena

Born from the head of Zeus, Athena is the goddess of wisdom, courage, civilization, mathematics, strategy, arts and crafts, and skill. She is often depicted as a warrior woman wearing armour or carrying a shield. In fact, she was said to have sprung from Zeus’ head in full armour and with sword and shield already in hand.

She is known for her intelligence and her ability to inspire others. Athena was also known for her role as a protector of cities and civilization. She is known to favour cunning men, such as Odysseus throughout the Odyssey.

Artemis

Artemis is goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, and virginity. She is often depicted as a young woman wearing a short dress and carrying a silver bow, or accompanied by wild animals.

She is the twin sister of Apollo, and is also associated with the moon and moonlight. She is also known as a protector of young women.

Apollo

Apollo is god of music, poetry, and art, of oracles, archery, medicine and plague, and sunlight. He is often depicted as a handsome young man with long hair holding a lyre or golden bow.

He is the twin brother of Artemis, and is also associated with the sun and sunlight. Apollo is also known for his role as a protector of young men.

Ares

Ares is a god of war and violence. He is often depicted as a muscular man wearing armour or carrying weapons. He is known for his love of battle and is a protector of soldiers.

Hephaestus

Hephaestus is the god of fire and metalworking. He is often depicted as a bearded man holding a hammer or other tools. He is known for his skill in crafting weapons and other objects, such as the armour of Achilles in the Iliad.

Hephaestus was also known for his role as a protector of craftsmen and artisans. He is often called upon to help people create beautiful objects or tools.

Hermes

Hermes is god of commerce and thieves, and is messenger of the gods. He is often seen as a young, beardless man wearing winged sandals. He is known for his speed and his ability to travel between worlds.

Hermes is also known for his role as a protector of travellers and merchants. As such, he is called upon to help people make safe journeys or to assist with business dealings. In some sources, he also has associations with magic and sorcery.

Dionysus

Dionysus is the god of wine, parties and festivals, madness, and theatre. He is often depicted as an effeminate man wearing ivy leaves or carrying grapes or wine cups.

Dionysus is a protector of the theatre and the arts, and is often called upon to help people pursue their creative passions.

Hestia

Hestia is the goddess of the hearth and home. She is the first and last born of Cronus and Rhea. She is often depicted as a modest woman holding a fire or tending to a hearth. She is known for her kindness and her ability to bring warmth and comfort to homes. Hestia was is a protector of families and may be called upon to bless homes and ensure that they are safe from harm.

<a href="https://hearthandshrine.com/author/alexander" target="_self">Alexander</a>

Alexander

Alexander has been polytheist for several years. He is continually learning more about Hellenic Polytheism and reconstructionist religions. He is also researching and learning about other polytheist traditions such as Heathenry.

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