Graeae – The Grey Goddesses

The Graeae are sea spirit sisters whose parents are Keto and Phorkys. The number of Graeae is unclear. There may originally have been two:

• Pemphredo (“well-clad”)

• Enyo (“saffron-robed”: not the same Enyo as the one in Ares’ entourage)

A third named Deino (“The Terrible”) is sometimes added, and there is even occasionally a fourth. The Graeae live in a cave beyond the ocean in a place called Kistbene, “the land of rock roses.” The Graeae guard the road that leads to the Gorgons. Their most famous appearance in mythology is when Perseus, aided by Athena, forces the Graeae to betray the location of their sisters, the Gorgons.


Graiae; singular: Graia




The Graiae are described as grey-haired but with beautiful faces. This is usually considered to be a euphemism because they are also described as sharing one eye and one tooth between them. However, that may be meant metaphorically: the shared eye may refer to a lamp or other divination device like a crystal ball. The single tooth may refer to a shared weapon. The Graeae are described as being “born grey”: they were old at birth. They are also described as resembling swans.


Rock roses (Cistus spp.), which are also sacred to sea goddess, Aphrodite


  • Athena
  • Gorgons
  • Keto


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.


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