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PBP: Winged Greek Divinites

November 24, 2012

I’m behind on Pagan Blog Project.  Mostly due to a lack of ideas, partially a lack of desire to write.  For W, I thought I’d list the various winged Greek divinities.  Often they were messengers or visited something upon mortals.  Info from

  • Arke – Messenger of the Titans during their war against the Olympians; twin sister of Iris; Zeus stripped her of her wings at the end of the war and threw her into to Tartaros; represented by the 2nd faded rainbow that sometimes appears with a vivid rainbow belonging to Iris.
  • Boreas –  god of the north wind, the god of winter; was depicted as a striding, winged god, sometimes his hair and beard were spiked with ice; in mosaic art he often appears as a gust blowing head with bloated cheeks up among the clouds; described as purple winged.
  • Eos – the rosy-fingered goddess of the dawn, closely identified with Hemera, the primordial goddess of day; sometimes depicted riding in a golden chariot drawn by winged horses, at other times she was shown borne aloft by her own pair of wings.
  • Erinyes – depicted as ugly, winged women with hair, arms and waists entwined with poisonous serpents; avenged crimes against the natural order such as homicide, unfilial conduct, crimes against the gods, and perjury.
  • Eros – God of Love and Sexual Desire; myth says the minion of Aphrodite received his wings second hand when Nerites, beloved by Aphrodite, was given a pair by her and yet refused to join her in Olympos.
  • Euros – god of the East Wind, associated with the season of autumn
  • Gorgons – portrayed as winged women with broad round heads, serpentine locks of hair, large staring eyes, wide mouths, the tusks of swine, lolling tongues, flared nostrils, and sometimes short coarse beards; some myths say that the mortal one, Medusa had a beautiful face, serpentine locks and small wings on her head; the bringers of drought, the withering of crops and the coming of famine.
  • Harpies – the spirits of sudden, sharp gusts of wind, known as the hounds of Zeus and were dispatched by the god to snatch away people and things from the earth, sudden, mysterious disappearances were often attributed to them; depicted as winged women, sometimes with ugly faces, or with the lower bodies of birds
  • Hebe – the goddess of youth and the cupbearer of the gods, she was also the patron goddess of the young bride and an attendant of the goddess Aphrodite, wife of Herakles; sometimes portrayed as winged
  • Hermes – God of animal husbandry, roads, travel, hospitality, heralds, diplomacy, trade, thievery, language, writing, persuasion, cunning wiles, athletic contests, gymnasiums, astronomy, and astrology;  the personal agent and herald of Zeus; depicted as either a handsome and athletic, beardless youth, or as an older bearded man, attributes included the herald’s wand or kerykeion, winged boots, and sometimes a winged traveller’s cap and chlamys cloak.
  • Hypnos – God of Sleep who rode in the train of Nyx; twin to Thanatos (Peaceful Death); portrayed with wings upon head or shoulders carrying a horn of sleep-inducing opium, a poppy-stem, a branch dripping water from the river Lethe (Forgetfulness), or an inverted torch.
  • Iris – the goddess of the rainbow, the messenger of the Olympian gods, handmaiden and personal messenger of Hera, twin sister of Arke; believed to replenish the rain-clouds with water from the sea; depicted as a beautiful young woman with golden wings, a herald’s rod (kerykeion), and sometimes a water-pitcher (oinochoe) in her hand, often indistinguishable from Hebe in art.
  • Kairos – the daimon of opportunity, the youngest divine son of Zeus; depicted as a youth with a long lock of hair hanging down from his forehead, which indicated that Opportunity could only be grasped as he approached and wings on his feet.
  • Nike – Goddess of Victory whether in battle or competition; closely identified with Athene
  • Notos – god of the South Wind, the wet, storm-bringing wind of late summer and early autumn;
  • Oneiroi – dark winged daimons of dreams; they pass through 2 gates:  one of prophetic dreams and one of false dreams; melas oneiros means black dream aka nightmare
  • Phanes (aka elder Eros) – was the primeval god of procreation in the Orphic cosmogony. He was the primal generator of life, the driving force behind reproduction in the early cosmos; portrayed as a beautiful golden-winged hermaphroditic deity wrapped in a serpent’s coils.
  • Psyche – the goddess of the soul, wife of Eros god of love; depicted in ancient mosaics as a butterfly winged goddess
  • Tethys –  Titan goddess of the sources fresh water which nourished the earth, wife of Okeanos; in mosaic art she appears with a small pair of wings decorating her brow, probably in her role as the mother of rain-clouds.
  • Thanatos – God of Peaceful Death; twin of Hypnos; depicted as a winged, bearded older man, or more rarely as a beardless youth  holding a down-turned torch and wreath or butterfly (symbolizing the soul of the dead).
  • Zephyros –  god of the west wind and of spring, husband of Khloris; portrayed in classical art as a handsome, winged youth

“a year of exploring the Pagan world through blogging”


3 Comments leave one →
  1. ladyimbrium permalink
    November 24, 2012 11:47 PM

    The Erinyes don’t get anywhere near enough credit. Excellent list of excellent information 🙂



  1. PBP: Yearbook « 4 of Wands

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