Hades is in Greek mythology, the god who rules the underworld of the dead. Hades is the son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. With one of his brothers, Zeus, he plots to overthrow their father Cronus, the god of time. Hades; Zeus, god of Olympus; and another brother, Poseidon, god of the sea, drew lots to divide up the world, and Hades fared the worst, getting the underworld. Hades seeks to increase the population of his kingdom and prevent anyone from leaving. The gates of his abode, also called Hades, are guarded by the three-headed dog Cerberus. Hades’ wife is Persephone, whom he abducted to the underworld.

Hades also is the god of wealth, because of the precious metals mined from the earth; he is also called Pluto (the rich one or the hidden one). He has a helmet that makes him invisible.

See also : hell.


The Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology – Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – Copyright © 2009 by Visionary Living, Inc.

Hades : The Wealthy One; The Hospitable One; Receiver of Many Guests

Hades is the Greek Lord of Death. Hades is not actually his name: it refers to the extensive realm of death he rules, which is also known as Hades. His true name is a secret. It’s considered safer not to utter or even think it, lest he respond to the call. Hades is the original He Who Must Not Be Named. He’s also the one who must not be seen. Not only did people not articulate his true name, instead referring to him by euphemisms, they tried to avoid looking at him, too. When addressing Hades or giving him an offering, it’s traditional to avert one’s eyes. Eye contact is definitely not recommended.

Hades was traditionally honoured during funeral rituals, but, as befitting a deity whose name people were afraid to utter, Hades was not otherwise often invoked. He is, however, a spirit of justice and was traditionally requested to avenge crimes against the deceased, especially dishonour or defamation. He can be requested to punish murderers, too. Hades fears no one: all will ultimately bow before him; thus he is invoked against perpetrators perceived as otherwise above the law (dictators; mob bosses; drug lords). Hades is a spirit of last resort. He is petitioned by those experiencing maximum rage, despair, or grief—those who don’t care whether they live or die and hence are not afraid to summon the Death Lord.

The most famous myth involving Hades concerns his abduction of Persephone. She is traditionally venerated alongside him and is considered a mollifying influence on her husband. (If you fear you have offended him, invoke Persephone’s aid to calm him down.)

Hades is also an oracular spirit, lord of necromancy: any sort of divination involving receiving information from the dead, including Séances and ouija boards, is under his domain. Hades, together with Persephone, may be propitiated when seeking consultations or visitations with the dead. Hades potentially controls dreams sent by the dead:

• If you seek such dreams, he can arrange to have them sent.

• If you suffer such dreams, he can make them stop.

When Circe gave Odysseus directions to the House of Hades in Homer’s Odyssey, she wasn’t being metaphoric. “House of Hades” refers to the realm of death but also to a Nekromanteion, a type of oracle house. One has been unearthed near Parga in northwestern Greece at the confluence of the Acheron and Cocitus Rivers, pretty much where Circe told Odysseus it would be.

Incorporated into a shrine dedicated to Hades and Persephone, priests serving this oracle lived on-site. The shrine also contained room for travellers to be housed. Pilgrims stayed for days performing rituals of purification and following a strict diet incorporating lupine seeds and a type of fava bean that can theoretically induce visions. In addition, archaeologists have unearthed large quantities of decayed hashish.

Pilgrims descended into labyrinthine passageways via an iron-bound door until reaching a portal where conversations with the dead were allegedly possible. For example, Periander, Tyrant of Corinth, sent a delegation to ask his dead wife where she hid the treasure. The shrine, which existed at least as early as the seventh century BCE, was destroyed in 167 BCE when the Romans ravaged this region as reprisal for backing its enemy, Macedonia, during a war. Some fifteen thousand people were sold as slaves. The oracle house was destroyed. The site was uninhabited for almost two thousand years until the eighteenth-century Monastery of Saint John the Baptist was built over the site. Archaeological excavation began in 1958 and continues.


Aidoneus, Pluto


A large man with a curly black beard


A helmet that confers invisibility


Hades is usually depicted together with Cerberus, his three-headed guard dog


Invoke Hades by falling to the ground and banging on it. Use an open palm, not your fist. (The goal is to request help, to Demonstrate your desperation, not to injure or insult Gaia.) When you feel you have his attention, speak into the Earth.


For obvious reasons, Hades is usually not invited into the home. Instead temporary altars are set up outside:

Dig a grave or door-shaped pit.

Pour libations within. Offerings are placed inside, too.

Leave the pit open while incense or candles are burning, but it can be covered once your invocation is complete. Leave offerings inside.


Black narcissus, mint, cypress tree, fava beans






Black ram, wolf, bear

Sacred site:

He had a shrine on Mount Mentha in Tryphelia, Elis; Hades was also worshipped with Athena at her temple near Koroneia in Boeotia.


  • Athena
  • Charon
  • Circe
  • Demeter
  • Menthe
  • Olympian Spirits
  • Persephone
  • Thanatos


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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