A2Z Challenge: N is for Nyx

I have done some writing and reading about darkness and night. So, I picked this goddess to review. I am also a fan of another Nicks, the lady called Stevie. It made sense to me.


Nyx is the Greek goddess of the night. By some accounts, Nyx is the offspring of Chaos; by others, she precedes him. Varying accounts have Nyx, in mating with her brother Erebus (Darkness and Shadows), as the mother of many deities. All this Greek deity myth stuff is very confusing and conflicting. Kind of makes me wonder why someone didn’t just decide on one omnipotent god and leave it at that. Anyway, Nyx had a bunch of kiddoes as well as other brothers and sisters.

Other sibling of Nyx, children of Chaos include Gaea (Earth), Tartarus (Underworld), and Eros (Love).

Disregarding paternity (we don’t care who the daddy was), Nyx was the mother of Hypnos (Sleep), Thanatos (Death), Aether, (Brightness), Hemera (Day), Moirai (the Fates), Geras (Old Age), Moros (Doom), Keres (Destruction), Oneiroi (Dreams), Monus (Blame), Oizys (Pain), Hesperides (Daughters of the evening), Nemesis (Retribution), Apate (Deceit), Philotes (Friendship), and Eris (Strife).

I find it interesting that Eros, god of love or sexual desire (think an adultish Cupid), is a direct offspring of Chaos. Yet, unlike other primordial siblings, he is not a physical world deity, but a god for the condition of procreation. Thus, while accounts may vary, ancient Greek mythology elevated the god of love to a primary level. I like that. I have heard love and sex referred to as primordial desires. Now I know why. I plan to use this information when I get back to writing about the paradox of love.

Nyx appearances are sparse in mythology, but they grant the goddess of night such exceptional power and beauty that she was feared even by Zeus. The story goes that Hypnos (her mischievous son and god of sleep) put Zeus to sleep, allowing Heracles to have a very bad day. Can you imagine, the god Zeus sleeping on the job?

Zeus was pissed and would have tossed Hypnos into the sea. But the sleep-god ran to his mama, Nyx, for protection. Even gods did that. Zeus did not want trouble with Nyx, so he chilled and let Hypnos off easy. Tenuous relationships followed.

The vision of Nyx’s power in the cosmos is further enhanced in poems by Orpheus. In one, the entire universe dances to the tune of Nyx singing or chanting. Now that goddess has a voice better than any angel. Right?

Each night Nyx emerges with Erebus. They block the light emitted from Aether, bringing night and darkness to the world. The next morning Hemera emerges to sweep away the darkness of night. Nyx briefly returns to her abode. Mother Nyx and daughter Hemera are never in the same place at the same time. Things may have changed in later Greek mythology, but Nyx is never subjugated.

Look both ways, especially at night.
Find the gaps and mind them well.

A2Z Challenge — H is for Hamadryads

If you’re a tree hugger, all is well. If you’re an arborist, even better. But if yer a tree chopper, you might want to be sure these little darlin’s don’t really exist. If you kill the tree, you kill the Hamadryad of that tree. That pisses off the gods and you know what that means, right?

Hamadryads live in the trees, more precisely in an individual tree. They are a specific type of dryad, which are a type of nymph. A nymph is a minor female nature deity usually associated with a specific location or landform.

They are different from other goddesses in that they are divine spirits who animate nature. They are beautiful young maidens who love to dance and sing. Their amorous freedom makes them very different from wives and daughters of the Greek polis. Now we know why those guys were hugging those trees.

Nymphs are beloved and can be found in forests by lakes and streams, and in or on trees.

Hamadryads are born bonded to a certain tree. If the tree dies, the hamadryad associated with it dies as well. For that reason, dryads and the gods punished any mortals who harmed trees.

I feel a twinge when I read Poe’s sonnet to science. To a degree, the poet is scolding science and, in a way, me.

He pines well for the wonderfulness of fantasy and nature’s unknown wonders. He is right.

Sonnet—To Science (By Edgar Allan Poe)

Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art!
Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet’s heart,
Vulture, whose wings are dull realities?
How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise,
Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering
To seek for treasure in the jewelled skies,
Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing?
Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car,
And driven the Hamadryad from the wood
To seek a shelter in some happier star?
Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood,
The Elfin from the green grass, and from me
The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?

Source: The Complete Poems and Stories of Edgar Allan Poe (Pub: Alfred A Knopf, 1946)

Look both ways as you walk the woods
and recall within each tree lives a Hamadryad to protect.
Mind the gaps and morn the loss of so many trees.


A to Z Challenge — C is for Chimaera

The Khimaira (Chimera or chimaera) was a three-headed monster. If ya Google it without the mythology tag, most options will be links to ghost fish or sharks. This is no fish story.

Like so many monsters of Greek mythology, The Chimaera was the offspring of couple of monstrous sweethearts named Typhon and Echidna, a pair I envision as sort of an Adam and Eve couple of the Greek Mythological Monster class.

This bizarre, fire-breathing cat had the body and head of a lion (good so far). But peeking over its shoulder was a goat’s head rising out of its back. The beast had udders like a goat (no idea why). Away from the business end, the ubiquitous mythological snake rounded out the creature’s tail, with serpent’s head at the very end.

Since nothing good could possibly spring from the union of Typhon and Echidna, this beast ravaged the countryside of Lykia (Lycia) in Anatolia, which is on the southeastern end of Turkey. Contemporary Turkish history does not jibe well with older Greek myth, but at the time it all fit nicely, if fearsome.

As the story goes, this Chimaera cat was just kickin’ ass all over that part of the world until a hero named Bellerophon came on the scene. He was either asked or commanded, depending on who is doing the telling, by King Iobates to kill the beast.

Bellerophon rode into battle on the back of the winged horse, Pegasus, of course. He sought and found Chimaera and drove a lead-tipped lance into its flaming throat. So, the big cat-goat’s fiery breath melted the lead tip, promptly choking the beast on hot molten metal. Lead poisoning for sure. So, the beast died from sucking on a lead popsicle, Greek Mythology style.


Turkey has never been known for its geological stability. So, later classical writers believed the Chimaera creature was a metaphor for a Lycian volcano, of which there almost certainly were several.

The Chimaera can look both ways at the same time
and the snake can keep its eyes looking backward.
So, mind the gaps.