goddess of new growth and flowers. She was wife of Zephyrus and allegedly dwelled in Elysian Fields.

Springtime: A time of renewal, warm breezes and the return of all things green! A time when the worries and drudgery of winter melt away and make room for the new, a promise of things to come. The ancient Greeks enjoyed the spring much as we do today, soaking up the warming sun and feeling their spirits rise as the world came back to life after a long, snow-capped sleep.

And naturally, they took the time to inhale the fresh scents of the blooming flowers that poked their way through the winter-weary soil, all courtesy of the little-known but oh-so-important goddess CHLORIS, the ancient Greek goddess of flowers!

Chloris actually means "greenish and fresh" in ancient Greek, and you couldn't really place a better name on the sweet, young girl who brings forth the flowers in a wave of blossoms each spring. The hundreds of different kinds of flowers she commands makes her the goddess of buds, blooms, and basically anything green that sprouts out of the ground when the soft rains and warm temperatures return each year.

On the off-season (which would be during the winter for Chloris), she was said to have lived in the Elysian Fields, the ancient Greek idea of a perfect paradise; heaven, an island in the middle of the Underworld where only the best and purest of heart lived when they died. The Elysian Fields were supposed to have every flower ever created (and then some) there for the enjoyment of those who had earned them, and Chloris was their tender and gardener.

According to the legend, Chloris started off life as a mere nymph, a nature spirit who tended to nature and the daughter of the two ancient, ocean-going Titans, Oceanus and Tethys. That all changed when she was happened upon by Zephyrus, the god of the West-Wind (and keeper of the warm spring breezes!). Zephyrus was stunned by her beauty and sweetness and begged for her hand in marriage; along with that came the prospect of being made a minor goddess.

Chloris fell quite in love with her breezy god and had three children by him: Ampyx, Mopsus and Carpus. In her career as flower-tender of the world, Chloris was also said to have been responsible for the flowery transformations of several characters in Greek Mythology: Adonis, Attis, Crocus, Hyacinthus and Narcissus, all turned to flowers for their different circumstances.

On top of that, Chloris was said to have created the very first rose. While strolling through her garden one morning, she supposedly came upon a lifeless nymph in a clearing surrounded by thick and fragrant forest. In her deep despair over the nymph's death, she decided to transform the girl into a flower to preserve her beauty and keep her essence alive.

But Chloris wanted THIS flower to be more beautiful that all of the rest that she tended, so she went to the goddess of love, Aphrodite, for some assistance. Aphrodite, her heart feeling for both Chloris and the poor nymph, was kind and gave the nymph-flower a portion of her unrivaled beauty. Yet even that was not enough, so Chloris asked a favor of Dionysus, the god of wine, who graciously gave her a drop of gods' nectar to give her the most heavenly fragrance.

Further blessings upon Chloris' creation were given by the Graces, who gifted her with allure, brilliance and elation. Last but certainly not least, Zephyrus came down and cleared off the clouds so that the sun god, Apollo, could lend the light of his sun chariot upon the nymph-flower and allow her to bloom.

All of those things combined together in a magical instant and in that moment, the rose was born and was named the Queen of Flowers. And Chloris made sure to use her "green thumb" and tender compassion to see that the rose was spread far and wide around the world!



[1] "Mrpsmythopedia"

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