Boreas : The Devouring One

Boreas, the North Wind, is the spirit of winter. Son of Eos and Astraios, he is an aggressive spirit with a violent temper and a history of sexual violence. Because Boreas comes from the north, the Greeks identified him as Thracian. According to legend, he was smitten with a beautiful Athenian princess. She resisted his advances, so he swept her up and brought her to Thrace. They had two sons, known as the Boreads, and two daughters. Based on this abduction, the Athenians perceived Boreas as a kind of “in-law” and thus obliged to be their ally. When Athens was threatened by the Persian fleet, appeals were made to Boreas for protection. Four hundred Persian ships were allegedly sunk by the North Wind.

Invoke Boreas when you need a North Wind. He is associated with the welfare of horses. His wives include mares; Boreas protects horses’ reproductive health. Roman author Pliny describes a belief that mares would conceive if their hindquarters were turned to face the north wind.




He is the wind, but he also manifests as an elderly, bearded winged man with wild, shaggy hair. His cloak billows. He may have snakes for feet. He also appears as a stallion.


He is sometimes depicted with two faces, like Janus, facing front and back, indicating his ability to see the future and past.


Conch shell

Sacred animal:




Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.

To read another article about this subject click on the next page