Come in! 🙂 By Adelino Manuel Pinhe…, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Today, we are talking about the Roman goddess Cardea, who was responsible for the door – and everything connected with it (threshold, handle, hinges, handles).
Her male counterpart was called Forculus and if you write about door deities, of course, the two-faced Janus may not be missing, who is probably the best known one of all.
Perhaps this article opens a door for some readers who have so far never had any contact with mythology. I would appreciate that! 🙂

By Ultima Thule, 1927 – Ultima Thule, 1927, Public Domain, Link

Janus had a temple on the Forum Romanum, which is said to have been built in the time of the second legendary Roman king Numa Pompilius. This king was the successor of Romulus and married to a Sabine. He introduced another important cult (probably of Sabine origin) besides Janus, that of the Vesta.

A brief review of Roman history:
Romulus and Remus, the sons of the war god Mars and the Vestal Rhea Silvia, were found and suckled by a wolf after the death of their mother (she was not allowed to have children as a Vestal).

By Peter Paul Rubens[1], Gemeinfrei, Link
Mars and Rhea Silvia.

By Heinrich Aldegrever – Private collection, Public Domain, Link

According to legend, Rhea Silvia was supposed to be drowned in the Tiber, and a servant was said to throw the children into the Tiber. There are different variations of what happened to Rhea Silvia. Either she dies, or the river god Tiberius mercies her – as it happened to Romulus and Remus.

By Maître aux incriptions blanches, XV siècle – British Library:, CC0, Link

Here you can see very nicely how the twins are found by Faustulus and brought to Acca. Faustulus, a shepherd, and Acca, become the parents of Romulus and Remus.

Romulus kills his twin brother Remus and turns into the first king of Rome. The parallel to the biblical fratricide of Cain and Abel is worth mentioning.

By AnonymousHampel Auctions, Public Domain, Link

As king of Rome, Romulus had a big problem at the beginning: there are a lot of men in Rome, but no women. Romulus decides to get women for the Romans and lures his neighbours into a trap: the Sabinians and especially their daughters.

By Christoph Fesel (1737–1805) Dorotheum, Public Domain, Link
The Sabine robbery.

What initially appears to be a classic women’s robbery may seem a little less drastic, considering that Romulus first asked the Sabine fathers for their daughters’ hands. Perhaps some of them might have fallen for one of the stately Romans?
This is of course very speculative, but it is certain (mythologically “certain”, to be specific) that the female Sabins, as mothers of Roman-Sabinese children, ensured that their husbands and fathers did not continue to war with each other.

By UnknownWeb Gallery of Art:   Image  Info about artwork, Public Domain, Link Painting by Jaques Louis David, painted 10 years after the French Revolution (1799).

According to legend, King Numa Pompilius, the successor of Romulus, lived with the Sabinians for a while and brought the Sabine Vesta cult to Rome.

By sv:Constantin Hölscher (1861–1921), Public Domain, Link Im Tempel der Vesta.

There are different approaches to the historical development of Janus (as far as this can be traced back historically at all). Mythologically, his cult is also attributed to the second king of Rome.
Some religious scholars assume that he is a deity of “beginning” and “end”, a kind of “main deity” on which everything else depends in principle. Freely based on Hermann Hesse:”Every beginning has a magic and every end has a new beginning.”

Vesta would then be the “third side of the coin”, a goddess of fire (eternal fire). The initial-and-end God Janus and Vesta can also be found in other cultures, especially in India as Vaju and Saraswati.

By Suraj BelbaseOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link Vayu, a kind of “wind god” who is also connected with the breath (Prana).

By, CC BY 4.0, Link Saraswati with peacock (also a symbolic animal of Juno/Hera).

Relatively complicated and somewhat older, but nevertheless worthwhile are the thoughts of the religious scholars Eliade, Schmitz and Dumézil, who have kindly been included in the Wikipedia article about Janus.

The reference of Janus to a sun god is also remarkable at this point, because he then might be connected with the two solstices in the year and was already known to the Sumerians. Isidor of Seville describes the solstices as “two doors of heaven” (ianuae coeli) from which the sun comes out and enters in again (Etymologiae 13.1.7). Ianua (lat. door) and Ianus/Janus are closely connected etymologically.
From knowledge of the solstices also the mythological figure of the “divine twins” is said to have emerged, which appear in many cultures and in my opinion also reverberate in the double-faced Janus. Or in the history of Romulus and Remus.
Perhaps even in the history of Cain and Abel?
For one of the brethren is mortal, and one is immortal.
Here too one can obtain comprehensive information, though the reference to Australian mythology is missing in both parts (still).

However, E. Smart comes to a conclusion regarding this, which I also would have formulated now. 😉

The temple of Janus had a special function in ancient Rome for centuries.

By Peter Paul Rubens

Whenever Rome was at war, its doors remained open. In peacetime the doors were closed again. It is possible, however, that this practice was an invention of Emperor Augustus, who at the time of his reign boasted of having closed the temple of Janus three times.

If you look at the mythological tales about the god Janus, you will also find a connection to the goddess Cardea, which is handed down by the Roman poet Ovid.

By No machine-readable author provided. Auréola assumed (based on copyright claims). No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., Public Domain, Link Ovid in Microsoft Paint.

Ovid was a poet – or rather a writer who wrote in verse, as it was customary at the time – who lived in the age of Emperor Augustus. Many of his stories can be found in modern literature (in a modified form). He made it his business to write about love and the art of loving (Amores, Ars Amatoria) But he also collected different mythical stories (Metamorphosen, Fasti) and was finally bannded from his favorite city Rome

The story of Janus and Cardea comes from the part of his work dealing with mythical stories, the Fasti.

Public Domain, Link
Ovid and his sweetheart Corinna.

Ovid was, one could interpret this from his lyrics or look at the quite obvious picure above, a very passionate person, whereby the question always remains, of course, whether he really described himself or let a fictitious, lyrical ego tell. For example: his banishment may never have taken place, but rather was an invention of himself.

By Evelyn De Morgan –, Public Domain, Link Medea.

This “literary fiction” of his exile becomes especially exciting because, according to the legend, the city of Tomis (Tomoi) was the burial place of Absyrtos, the brother of Medea, murdered by her.

So Ovid wrote the following story about Janus and Cardea in the Fasti:
First of all, he notes that the 1st day of the month is dedicated to the goddess Carna, assuming that it is the goddess Cardea. (Probably because the 1st of the month also has a “threshold function”.)
He then calls her “Cranaë” and tells the story of this nymph, who happily hunted in the forests of Arcadia and was occasionally confused with the moon goddess Diana. Whenever a man approached her, she pretended to go with him. “Just find a hidden cave, I’ll be right behind you.”
In this way Cranaë got rid of all the annoying worshippers, for of course she quickly hides in the thicket.
But when the double-headed God Janus asked her, this trick didn’t work, because he could see what was happening behind his back. He overwhelms Cranae in the thicket, which Ovid describes very clearly: “You can’t do anything”,”Do nothing”, he lets Janus repeat twice.
After the deed Janus declares Cardea/Carna/Cranaë to be the goddess over the doorsteps.

The story of “robbery and subsequent idolisation” appears more frequently in myths. For example, with Bona Dea or with Priapus. .

In the goddess Cardea there are probably different deities fused together. Thus, this goddess, if one considers the ovidic reference of her as “Carna”, also finds a reference to the healing deities,
Carna was a goddess for the heart and the human life force, who also had the ability to deter so-called Striges, strange vampire creatures who are said to steal small children. A reproach that was also reported of Lilith.

By cjuneauLa Strige, CC BY 2.0, Link

Cardea, in her function as a door goddess, was able to keep away such Striges. All you need to do is hang a little hawthorn on the door.

By FreddyKrueger 10:43, 13. Mai 2008 (CEST) – FreddyKrueger 10:43, 13. Mai 2008 (CEST), Attribution, Link


The goddess Bubona

Cow Cow and calf. By CgoodwinOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Today’s article could end after a few lines or fill entire libraries. About the goddess Bubona one knows almost nothing, but at least that her name derives from the Latin noun “bos” and that she was the goddess of protection for cattle and herds in the Roman Empire.
The meaning of “bos” contained in Bubona is already fixed with regard to the declension that seems crazy for Latin nouns.
While the common nouns of the 3d declension (or consonantal declension) usually have regular endings to the root,”bos” stubbornly adheres to its ancient Greek  βοῦς (bous)/ βῶς (bōs) and has already driven some Latinists to despair. In addition, the word has two genera, male and female.
„Bos“, in English “bovine” has various subgenera such as aurochs, yak, water buffalo – and from there the path is no longer far to a cow-animal with what is probably connected the most widely ramified mythical storyline at all:
the bull or “taurus”.

Bull. By Benno Adam, Public Domain, Link

Minotauros Minotauros in a modern interpretation. By Stefano.questioli at Italian Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0, Link

Cow-animals were very important for the early humans. If you had one, you could say that you were set for life. They supplied not only food and clothing, but also fertiliser, medicine, heat and labour.
Cow dung is still used today to build simpler houses, there is a part of Ayurvedic medicine in which cow dung is used, and if dried properly, it can be used for heating a long time.

Armenien Wall of dung in Armenia. By Rita Willaert from 9890 Gavere, Belgium – Aragat – Armenia, CC BY 2.0, Link

dung Burning dung. By Petrol.91Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

The bull in the original sense was called “taurus” by the Romans. In this word you can still see the etymological connection to Mino-taurus. The noun “taurus”, by the way, refers to the sexually matured male cow.

However, the beef – or the bull – did not really gain importance in the Roman era. It is even more likely to be assumed that the religious significance of cattle and other farm animals has diminished since classical antiquity (i. e. with the Greeks and Romans) unless one had a professional relationship with them. For example, as a shepherd who for a long time still worshipped the goddess Bubona.

Hirte und Nymphe Sleeping nymph and shepherd. With Amor. By Angelica KauffmanVictoria and Albert Museum, Public Domain, Link

During classical antiquity, a special literary genre emerged, the so-called “Bucolic” or “bucolic poetry”, to whose main representatives the Greek Theokrit (3rd century B. C.) was the most important. On the one hand, it deals with the idyllic way that shepherds live, whilst on the other hand it makes fun of them because they were not really familiar with mythology – in contrast to the citizens of Polis, where the stories were performed. It caused laughter among the educated citizens of Athens when two shepherds told each other twisted stories of cyclopses and human women, for example.
As a city dweller, one was something better and had moved away from these “profane” things like cattle.
At the same time, the Roman upper class developed an ever finer and more generous desire to eat.

Here is a short insight into a satire of Horace (Satire 2,8 – 1st century B. C.), a Roman humorist who sharply targets the eating habits of the Romans.

Although the guests have long gorged themselves up, the host always serves them more and more delicious delicacies. Among other things:
a Lucanian boar caught in a mildly blowing southwind, birds, mussels and fish, a ragout of echinoderms and turbot, a moray eel in the midst of floating crabs, a disassembled crane, the liver of a fig-fattened goose, blackbirds with tanned skin… and so on and so on and so forth.
The guests then decide to flee together, because the meal becomes a torture, but first loot the wine cellar to avenge themselves.

One of my favourite phrases in Latin: Nos nise damnose bibimus, moriemur inulti. If we don’t get drunk unrestrained, we’ll die unavenged.

So when you are concerned with the goddess Bubona, you cannot avoid questioning your own eating habits or the view of farm animals. In an early age, the cattle was considered to be very sacred to mankind and it is obvious to assume that this also applied to the people who owned many animals (cattle, sheep, goats).

By the way, n the 17th/18th century there was a kind of renaissance of the “Bucolic”, which can be seen in the countless paintings with shepherd and animal motifs of that time.

Van de Velde (17. Jahrhundert) By van de Velde, Adriaen (1636 – 1672) – Possibly afterDetails of artist on Google Art ProjectmwEaSahFiFkfNw at Google Cultural Institute maximum zoom level, Public Domain, Link

From the early cultures of history we know bull and cattle pictures, especially of the Minoans in Crete, who used them to decorate their palace.

Stier Minoan Bull, 1200 B.C. By Olaf TauschOwn work, CC BY 3.0, Link

Wall painting in the palace with typical Minoan bull’s jump. Approx. 1500 BC. By JebulonOwn work, CC0, Link

Stierkopf Famous Minoan bull-head 1500 B.C. By JebulonRéférences/references:ici/hereOwn work, CC0, Link

Minoer The most important symbol of the Minoans – next to the double axe: bull horns. By JebulonOwn work, CC0, Link

But you can go even further back in history and discover:

Altamira Bison in the cave of Altamira (Spain), approx. 15000 BC. By RameessosEigenes Werk, Gemeinfrei, Link

Cow animals were then regarded worldwide as sacred, at least where they existed. Until the 16th century, when the country was colonized by Europeans, there were no cattle in Australia and America.

Cattle Which has changed a little, though. By Peer VOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

A good example of the religious and cultural importance of these animals is India. There the cow appears in the ancient writings of the Vedas (around 1000 B. C.) as the embodiment of the “Mother Earth” Prithivi Mata. A cow named Kamadhenu fulfilled wishes. The blue god Krishna grew up among cowherds, cows then also play an important role in his further life and the companion animal of the god Shiva is the bull.
The animals are still considered sacred there today, but are hunted illegally and transported to slaughterhouses.

Kuh Cow and cow-container containing food for the animals (or garbage). By Rod Waddington from Kergunyah, Australia – Holy Cow Container, India, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

A comparison of Indian and European cow myths would be interesting, one of the best-known Euoprean myths is certainly the story of Minotauros.

Pasiphaë A woman named Pasiphaë and a beautiful bull. By Gustave MoreauOwn work, Public Domain, Link

Pasiphaë Pasiphaë climbs into a dummy cow. By Giulio ROmano –, Public Domain, Link

kleiner Minotauros Pasiphaë – mother of the Minotauros. By Settecamini Painter – User:Bibi Saint-Pol, Own work, 2010-02-06, Public Domain, Link

Minos, the legendary king of Crete and mythical founder of the Minoans, asked the sea god Neptune to help him establish his kingdom.
Neptune then sent him a beautiful white bull, which Minos was supposed to sacrifice. Minos liked the bull so much that he didn’t want to sacrifice it and chose another animal.
Neptune noticed this of course and cursed Mino’s wife Pasiphaë to fall in love with the unoffered bull.
What happened then can be seen from the pictures above.
The famous architect Daedalus, who later also built the labyrinth for the Minotauros, was at that time on the island of Crete and helped Pasiphaë to develop the above depicted “dummy cow” -construction, into which she climbs in the middle picture.

But not only Pasiphaë developed, let’s say, a peculiar sex life. She had cast a peculiar spell on her husband, King Minos, so that when he was with another woman, he would ejaculate scorpions, snakes and centipedes – and kill his loved ones most of the time.

Minos Why do you think Michelangelo painted Minos like that?
By see filename or category – scan: De Vecchi, Cappella Sistina, 1999, Public Domain, Link

The donkey ears are said to signify stupidity, whereby Minos is declared judge of the dead after his own death by Pluto/Hades. The reason for this is the fact that he was a son of Jupiter/Zeus. Hades/Pluto is the brother of Jupiter/Zeus and King Minos, thus something like his nephew. All in the family.

But before all this happened, the child of Pasiphae and the bull, the Minotauros, was locked in a large labyrinth built by the scholar Daedalus (Daedalus and Ikarus).The half man half bull monster is fed with virgins every year and when there are almost no more on Crete, the beautiful king’s daughter Ariadne (the half-sister of the Minotauros) would have been the next victim, but at this very moment the hero Theseus passes by and everything is turning for the better. (Firstly.)
He heads into the labyrinth with Ariadne’s ball of wool, kills the Minotauros and marries Ariadne. But then he has to leave her, for he is to become the mythical founder of Athens.
Apart from the fact that there are unmistakable parallels to Aeneas and Dido Ariadnes fate has not been so bad. She was then found and loved by the cheerful wine god Bacchus/Dionysus.

Theseus Theseus Mosaik. By Carole Raddato from FRANKFURT, Germany – Theseus Mosaic, discovered in the floor of a Roman villa at the Loigerfelder near Salzburg (Austria) in 1815, 4th century AD, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, Austria, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

A mythical story that changes from sacrifice of a bull to human sacrifice for the (evil) bull and then the dead of the evil animal.
Why that was the case can only be assumed. Gerd Hellmoodhas written an interesting, profound psychological interpretation of the story (told by Dürremat) in German. My approach therefore would be culturally anthropological.
Considering that the upper classes of the Romans and Greeks were probably starting to consume beef frequently, the myth could also be a subsequent or parallel “explanation” as to why it was okay to deviate from the original, probably only religiously legitimated meat consumption.

However, some of the “holy beef” has been preserved. Cultic bull sacrifices were still a big part of the Mithras cult , Jesus was born in a stable “between ox and donkey”, the symbol for the evangelist Luke is a bull and it took a while until cattle developed into a general consumer good.

Burger. By Fritz SaalfeldOwn work, CC BY-SA 2.5, Link

MC MC Donalds branches worldwide. There’s only chicken in India. By Ukelay33 and others, see file history – Self-published work by Ukelay33, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Anzahl Filialen Number of branches per million inhabitants. By Karfreitag64Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Last but not least, this can be seen in the existence of the goddess Bubona during the Roman Empire. For even though the goddess does not come along with great significance, she was nevertheless the goddess of protection for cattle and oxen for centuries.

And there are other figures like Cyrene, that can probably be linked to the goddess Bubona.

Cyrene Cyrene. By Edward Calvert (1799-1883) –, Public Domain, Link

Cyrene was a nymph whose ancestors included the Okeanos and the sea goddess Tetys. She was not so much interested in the work of women (weaving and sewing), but rather loved to protect her father Hypseus’s herds with sword and shield against savage animals. The sun god Apollo was so impressed by this, that he fell in love with Cyrene, married her and had two children (Aristaeus and Idmon) with her.
The descendants of Cyrene then became hunters, reached high positions (kings, accompanying the Argonauts, founding cities), but it is striking that both Idmon and Aktaion, the son of Aristaeus, died in hunting accidents.
Idmon was wounded by a giant boar and died. The story of Aktaion, Kyrene’s grandson, is a little more drastic.

Not amused The moon goddess Diana is not pleased when Aktaion she (accidentally?) observes while bathing.

Aktaion That’s why she turns him into a deer. By HaStOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Aktaeon Aktaion is then hunted as a deer by his own companions and mauled by his dogs. Public Domain, Link

Similar to the story of the Minotauros, “wild animals” become dangerous for humans in this myth – perhaps it goes too far, but possibly patriarchal or matriarchal thoughts also play a role here. The story of Aktaion (approx. 1200 B. C.) is considerably younger than that of the Minotauros (approx. 1700 BC)

A few speculative, concluding thoughts:
Like the Minotauros, Aktaion is also a “half” human being, because he is still aware of his state of transformation.
Aktaion is created by the moon goddess Diana, the Minotauros is in the responsibility of Neptune, King Minos` and Daedalus.
Both hybrids are killed.

I suspect that both stories may represent the detachment from the “animal” as something “holy”. Because humans (Minotauros, Aktaion) who are over-identified with animals are being killed.
If we consider the initiators – once it was men, once a woman – then all that remains to be said is that both genders were somehow involved in this development.

Lady Gaga Lady Gaga’s meat concert. By John Robert Charlton[1], CC BY 2.0, Link

Gods and the wind


In the last contributions I´ve written on my first blog named clay oven, there were topics like the diversity and similarities of antique gods. They´re written in German and not translated into English yet, but if there is some interest, let me know and I would gladly manage to translate these thoughts as soon as possible.

Today the topic is about very old gods that have a lot in common with nature itself. Presumably, before mankind even started to imagine gods as “persons”, there might have been the imagination, that everything has its grateful place and time and divinity, even the clouds in the sky and the trees on the ground.
“Gods and wind” or “gods of wind”, “wind gods” is a very, very old idea of imagining God.
I would even say, this kind of thinking is somewhat closer to human reality than the idea of a single man with a long beard reigning in heaven on a golden throne.

God Michelangelos view of god, surrounded by the symbols of different religions. By Blok GloOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

The wind is real. It surrounds you when you open the window or go outside. You can feel it on your skin. It blows, it raises, it ventilates, it circles … it moves the leaves of trees, it shifts even ships or windmills, today: giant wind turbines.
And the most important thing we care about is closely connected to the wind:
The weather.

Wind farm Wind farm. By KwerdenkerOwn work, transferred from de:Bild:Tauernwindpark.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Windswept trees Windswept tree. By Photo: Arcalino / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
Weather map Weather during D-Day 1944. By Pierre_cben:Image:Ddayweather.jpg by Fuelbottle, Public Domain, Link

How did people in former times imagine the wind? What was its character like? And how come that the modern world only sees it as a value of calculation for the weather?

In ancient times, the world was stuck with wind and weather gods of quite different names.

For example Iskur (Sumerian), Adad (Akkadian), Tessup (Hurritic), Thor (Nordic), Djaramulun (Aborigines), Chaak (Maya), Anemoi (Ancient Greek) … and so on.

Probably the oldest known God is the Sumerian storm god Iskur (Adad). You may still join him today in crossword puzzles.

Adad Copy of Assyrian7th century B.C., the Sumerian version goes back to the second millennium B.C.
By Drawn by Faucher-Gudin after Austen Henry Layard – History of Egypt, Chaldea, Syria, Babylonia and Assyria, Vol. III, Public Domain, Link

The parallels to the Nordic god Thor are unmistakable. (“Hammer”, horns (?), armor and beard.)

Thor Islandic Thor, 18th century. By Ólafur Brynjúlfsson[2]NKS 1867 4to, 94v. Digitized version available from Image processing (crop, rotate, color-levels) by Skadinaujo (talk · contribs), Public Domain, Link

The Sumerian god Iksur / Adad had a bull as a symbolic animal (sometimes also a liondragon) and a wife named Hepat and/or Shala, a kind of “earth-mother”.

Here is a very nice, (still) short overview in German about Gods of weather in Europ/Asia Minor, unfortunately mostly without their wives.
The English version is far more extensive.

If you are interested in the “marriages” of Weathergods, you may like to read a Wikipedia entry about “Mother Earth” or “Mother Goddesses”. Very extensive and detailed – and still under discussion – in my opinion, great work is done here for the consciousness of forgotten, female gods.

When reading these extensive articles it becomes clear that this duality (man/woman, rain/earth …) is also present in non-European cultural circles. Here, for example, some amiable representations:


Aborigines. Twentieth millennium B.C. By Thomas SchochThomas Schoch at, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Of course, it is very difficult to name the Aborigines way of thinking or imagination “gods”. There is, however, the idea of a “god” named Djaramulun who is responsible for thunder, as far as Wikipedia is properly informed. I think there is still need for research, especially when it comes to their wives. The picture above includes the ancestors/gods Namondjok, Namarrgon (“Weathergod”) and his wife Barrginj.

Australische Kunst

Australian art, that represents in some way the religious(?) or „intuitive“ content of Aborigines myths. By Albert_Namatjira_with_Jack_Kramer_and_Frank_Sedgman.jpeg: Unknownderivative work: M0tty (talk) – Albert_Namatjira_with_Jack_Kramer_and_Frank_Sedgman.jpeg, Public Domain,

Maya-God Chaak. By unknown Maya artist – Francis Robicsek: The Maya Book of the Dead. The Ceramic Codex, University of Virginia Art Museum (1981)., Gemeinfrei, Link

At the very outset of religion – it´s difficult to determine this “beginning” in time – there were in many areas of the world, where people lived, that worshipped the idea of the goddess “Mother Earth” and a God of “wind/rain”.
This seems logical, especially when one thinks that the rain and the earth fit very well in terms of fertility. Still today it is a good sign when it rains a little at a wedding. Especially if you want children.

In ancient Europe, the idea of weather gods and their wives has transformed in time.

Adad and his wife became forgotten and/or changed into several gods, “Hera/Zeus” or “Juno/Jupiter”. To be seen especially in the property of Jupiter as “God of thunder”.

Jupiter und Semele Semele is consumed by Jupiters Fire. By Bernard Picart, Public Domain, LinkBy Gustave MoreauOwn work Book scanBook scan of the book: Holle, Gerard du Ry van Beest (publ.), Kunstgeschichte, Mueller Karl, Erlangen 1994, ISBN 3860703528, p. 682 (further notes on p. 767, 4th row)., Public Domain, Link

There is a mythical story about the pictures above: Semele and Jupiter had an affair, but Semele was not aware who came to her night after night. Juno was not amused about the escapades of her husband and used an intrigue.
Semele herself asked Jupiter to show up in all his splendor and force. Because he had promised so, Jupiter had to do it, although he knew something bad would happen. He revealed himself as thunder and lightning being – and Semele died.
What then happened might be called manly emancipation. For Semele was pregnant with Dionysus/Bacchus and Jupiter did not let the child down but locked it in his thigh (!), from which it was then born in due time.
After birth, Jupiter gives it to another emancipated man and adoptive father: the Satyr Silenus.

Dionysus und Silen Silen and Dionysus. By Dennis Jarvis from Halifax, Canada – France-003275 – Silene carrying Dionysus, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

Considering historically that the Dionysian festivals were a feast until late antiquity, where women were going wild and outer edge … well, I digress.

Anemoi Sun and four winds. By Gérard Audran – Peace Palace Library, Public Domain, Link

Windrose Compass rose (about 18th century) By Adamantios Coray – Google books : Lettres de Coray à Chardon de la Rochette (1880), page 300., Public Domain, Link

Compass. By Brosen~commonswikiOwn work, CC BY 2.5, Link

Maya compass Maya-Kompass. By Ancient People from the Land of Aztec – Ancient Aztec Stone Compass, Public Domain, Link

In ancient Greece (and also Rome, whereby I restrict myself now to the Greek winds) there were the so-called “Anemoi”, which at about the same time (4th century BC) their more technical variant, the compass, became available.
Again, it should be pointed out that these winds exist not only in European antiquity, but also – in other forms – in the Mayan, Chinese, and even Aborigines culture.

In Greek antiquity the four main winds (heavenly directions) consist of the following fellows:

Boreas Boreas. North wind. With Oreithyia. Public Domain, Link

Zephyr und Flora Zephyr. West wind. With Flora. By Victorianaesthete at English WikipediaOwn work, Public Domain, Link

Notos Notos. East wind. A blustering loner. By MMOwn work (Original text: Self made photo), Public Domain, Link

Eurus Euros/Eurus. South wind. Loner. By MMOwn work (Original text: Self made photo), Public Domain, Link

There are much more “Anemoi,” but these four can be safely counted among the main gods. According to legend, they are derived from Eos (Roman Aurora, the goddess of dawn) and Astraios/Aeolos, a titan, and god of the dusk/wind god. Between Astraios and Aelos there are some overlaps. Possibly the gods of wind are also not “children”, but brothers of Astraios/Aeolos.
And because of the ancient division of season in only three phases, the wind Eurus existed later than his brothers.

Aeolos is commonly known as the patriarch of the Greeks. Around Boreas and the Zephyr, there are different myths about women’s breeches. Boreas actually derived from Thrace and becomes the son-in-law of the Athenians by the robbery of Oreithyia. Later, he helps them destroy the entire Persian fleet.
The Zephyr has a hanky-panky with Chloris, from which Flora emerges, a spring deity. Very beautiful to see at Botticelli: the third group of persons in the picture on the right side (Zephyr, Chloris, Flora – left to right).

Der Frühling Spring. Botticelli.
By Sandro BotticelliLivioandronico2013, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

But especially in the case of Zephyr, it depends on which ancient authors you read. There are countless other stories about him and women.
There are also as many other wind stories as stars in heaven. One of them the www-wind was blowing right up to me and I will take a last, outside European course on the subject.

Japanisches Märchen Japanese Fairytale. By Internet Archive Book Images book page:, No restrictions, Link

The fairy tale comes from Japan and is called “green willow”. The www-wind has blown it to me when I was searching for “thunder”. I met this little story collection, wherein is also a Japanese fairy tale about thunder. (The good thunder).  Here you can read it all – written in English.
The story “green willow” it is about love, disobedience, and honor. The willow is (probably) the pretty protagonist herself. In the story of the good thunder, the supreme Japanese Thunder God sends his son to the earth, who decides to live with ordinary people. References to Philemon and Baucis or even Jesus can not be dismissed.   … I do not want to reveal too much of the content, especially since I have to think about it for a while. Perhaps there is a kind of “basic truth” hidden in all the ancient tales of the world? I really do wonder about all the similarities of weather Gods that – despite the differences – are so obvious!
In European antiquity, for example, women are constantly transformed into trees (like the willow one), especially when the guys chase them (as a lot of wind gods do). In Japan it´s turned somewhat upside down – a tree becomes a woman, for she has fallen in love with a man …
At this point, we would like to thank you for the great gift Jonny Lindner aka Comfreak made to mankind! 😉
The following picture is absolutely brilliant and I had already thought about using it for the cover of my novel “Amor and Psyche”, but I guess I will choose a reduced, more cute variant.


Link to the artist:

Oh, God! Or do I take it? What do you mean? (I have the permission of Jonny Linder.) And just because I could still write hours (days, months !!!) on the topic: I declare today’s post for finished. If there are any questions or comments, let me know. I’ll answer everyone as soon as I can. I enjoy thinking and writing about these ancient topics a lot! It´s amazing! 🙂