Echidna, the snake woman, is the daughter of Gaia the Earth. (An alternative myth suggests that she’s the daughter of Keto and Phorkys.) Typhon is her brother, lover, and father of her children: Cerberus; Orthrus, the Chimera; Hydra; the Nemean lion; Ladon; and the sphinx (or at least the Greek sphinx).
Echidna was born in a cave and dwells deep in a cave. She is a great goddess, mother of a pantheon of spirits, an alternative to the Olympians. Modern children’s mythology books often dismiss Echidna as a cave monster. Her children are vilified as monsters; Heracles was deputized to kill many on behalf of Zeus. Hesiod described her as ageless and immortal. She was worshipped as an earthquake goddess in Phrygia, now in modern Turkey.
Echidna is a guardian of Earth’s treasures. She is a repository of ancient wisdom. She canbe a protective guardian. Earthquakes are the result of Echidna, the great snake, uncoiling and moving about. She is invoked to prevent earthquakes or to provide safety and minimize the damage should one occur.
Echidna is a beautiful woman from the waist up; below the waist, she is a snake. She may have wings and/or a double-tail. She possesses a snake’s venom.
Echidna is a very private and primordial spirit. An altar in a quiet cave or grotto is best. Altars within homes should be placed in quiet corners. She may be venerated alongside Typhon, her children, Keto, and/or Gaia. Decorate altars with serpentine imagery or images of her children.
- Greek Mythology
- Olympian Spirits
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.
Echidna (she-viper) In Greek mythology, half-woman, half-serpent monster, child of Chrysaor and Callirrhoë, the daughter of Oceanus (or Phorcys and Ceto). Echidna was the mother, by the monster Typhon, of Orthus, Geryon’s hound, Cerberus, the Hydra, and the Chimaera. By Orthus she was the mother of the Sphinx and the Nemean Lion. According to Herodotus’s Histories (book 3) the hero Heracles had three children by her, Agathyrsus, Gelonus, and Scytha. Echidna appears in Hesiod’s Theogony (295 ff.) and Ovid’s Metamorphoses (book 9).
Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow-Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante