The sea isn’t all fun, games and splashing about. Dangers lurk in the deep, too, and sometimes approach the shore. Keto is the goddess of the dangers of the sea; the treacherous aspects of the ocean. Her name is the feminine form of the Greek word for sea monster. Keto presides over the ocean’s living dangers: carnivores; really big, potentially dangerous creatures; mysterious sea monsters. Her parents are Pontus and Gaia: the primordial Earth and Sea. With her brother/ lover Phorkys, she has many children including Echidna, Scylla, Ladon, the Graeae, the Gorgons including Medusa and sometimes, depending on myth, the Sirens. They may be venerated together on an altar: they may once have formed an independent pantheon who were eventually Demonized. They are closely related to Hekate.

Keto is a primordial goddess who is now frequently dismissed as nothing more than a sea monster. It is perhaps more appropriate to describe her as the goddess of the mysteries of the deep or of awe of the ocean. She is feared and dreaded but also may once have been the subject of intense veneration: several of her children are targeted for destruction by the Olympian spirits.






Keto is usually depicted as a beautiful woman in the company of fish-tailed mermen like Phorkys or Triton.

Sacred creatures:

Sharks, whales, giant squids or octopi, mysterious monsters of the deep


Decorate her altar with shells, fossils and motifs of the sea. Add merpeople and images of her children and the fierce creatures she loves. Offer glasses of salted water; sea salt and treasure.


  • Echidna
  • Gaia
  • Gorgons
  • Graeae
  • Hekate
  • Heracles
  • Ladon
  • Medusa
  • Olympian Spirits
  • Phorkys
  • Pontos
  • Scylla
  • Siren
  • Triton


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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