Weekly Deity: Hemera


Hemera is the Greek goddess and personification of day.

Attributes

Like many other sky deities, Hemera rode in a chariot when she brought the day.  She would have appeared as a young woman in artistic renditions, probably with golden hair and fair skin, though descriptions of her are scarce.  She appears in few surviving vases or reliefs from ancient days.

Mythology

Hemera does not have myths of her own, though she may appear as a side character in the stories of her more famous cousins.  Hemera is the daughter of Erebus and Nyx, or darkness and night, and is thus the granddaughter of Chaos.  This makes her a primordial deity rather than an Olympian deity.  It’s said that as Nyx leaves the realm of Tartarus to bring in the night, Hemera returns to Tartarus to draw the day to a close.  The goddess of day has one child, Thalassa, the sea, fathered by Hemera’s brother Aether.

The role of Hemera is almost entirely taken over in later mythology by Eos, goddess of the dawn.

Light and Dark Sides

Seeing as how there are no myths to tell us of Hemera’s personality, I can’t really say anything about what she might or might not do in situations.  However, it would probably be safe to say that Hemera could be seen as a goddess of new beginnings, as well as a goddess of light and warmth.  Mostly she seems very positive, and would be unlikely to have any tricks or traps up her sleeves like some other deities.  When honoring Hemera, I would say to offer her foods that are reminiscent of the sun, such as yellow, orange, or red foods, or flowers (though stay away from those that bloom in moonlight) such as those that open only in the dawn.  The flower Tribulus cistoides would be good, as it opens at dawn, follows the sun as it moves across the sky, and closes up at dusk.

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