Horae : The Hours

The Horae are the joyous goddesses of the seasons. Daughters of Zeus and Themis, they are spirits of abundance. The Horae organized the seasons and devised the earliest calendar, establishing the length of months, weeks, days, minutes, and hours. They are the goddesses of the correct moment, spirits of perfect timing.

They are the truthful ones who guard the gates of Olympus. Although described as the daughters of Zeus, legends suggest that they were the ones who raised Hera. (It’s been theorized that they were originally only Themis’ possibly parthogenic daughters. Later, when paternity became significant, Zeus was incorporated into the myth.)

In their earliest manifestations, there were only two or three Horae. (Some regions recognized two; others three.) Eventually, however, more joined them until there were twelve Horae. They are closely allied with Hera, Aphrodite, and Dionysus:

• The Horae open the gates of the sky for Hera.

• Hera can allegedly be contacted via the Horae. Contact them first and request that they intercede.

• The Horae are among those who greeted and clothed Aphrodite when she rose from the sea.

• They dance in the entourage of Dionysus.

• The Horae are Dionysus’ partners in viniculture, responsible for the ripening of grapes.

The blessings of the Horae are invoked on brides, weddings, and children.




The Horae are beautiful, flower-bedecked, youthful dancing women.



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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