Horae (hours)

goddesses of natural order and justice. However, they were originally represented as personifications of different seasons

Like clockwork, each year the seasons cycle through the wildly different weather and temperament of Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Each season has something to love and offer, and each season has something to grumble about, but over all, we look forward to the changes they bring throughout the year.

The ancient Greeks, having no idea that seasons were attached to the orbit of the earth around the sun and the axial tilt of the planet, naturally had a much more creative explanation as to why the seasons changed every few months. The three divine sisters that handled that were called the HORAE, (literally translated as the "hours" and pronounced "Or-ay"), and were the daughters of Zeus, the King of the Gods and Themis, the Titaness of Justice.

They were minor goddesses that handled the seasons, the flow of weather, the passing of time and prosperity of the earth. Quite a bit job for three relatively minor characters in Greek mythology!

The Horae personified the seasons, maintaining the rhythm of the cycle of vegetation, and acted as dividers of time between each season. Thallo, was the goddess of spring, buds and blooms, who brought green back to the earth again once Persephone returned each year from the Underworld to see her mother, Demeter.

The second Horae was called Karpo, who personified the maturing of the summer. Hot sun, warm breezes, dark green everywhere! The third and final sister in the Horae trio had the name Auxo and was the personification of autumn and winter.

Under her, the trees and plants began to lose their leaves and flowers when it was time for Persephone to return to her husband, Hades, for the winter. The three sisters all called the special gardens they tended near the River Heridanus, which was located in the center of Athens, home.

As a side job when the sisters weren't guiding the seasons along through their proper paths, they also were given the honor by Zeus to guard Mount Olympus, opening and closing its gates with big, heavy, impenetrable clouds. On a social level, the Horae were mostly associated with Aphrodite, the goddess of Love.

They were the ones who had found and welcomed her on the island of Cyprus when she was born out of the sea-foam. They were the ones who hooked her up with proper clothes (flowing robes and flowers!) and then followed her around after that like groupies.



[1] "Mrpsmythopedia"

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