Kronos – Father Time

Kronos was among the Titan children of Gaia and Uranus. He married his sister Rhea. Uranus adored the Titans who were beautiful and powerful but he imprisoned their less aesthetically pleasing siblings the Hecatoncheires and Cyclopes. Gaia sought for a hero among the Titans: one who would overthrow their father and liberate their siblings. All the Titans refused except for Kronos, the youngest male.

Gaia gave Kronos a sickle that he used to castrate his father. He assumed his father’s place as head of the pantheon but Kronos did not fully accomplish what he had promised his mother. He did not liberate his imprisoned siblings. Instead, convinced that one of his own children would treat him as he had treated his father, Kronos proceeded to swallow all of his offspring. (An alternative myth suggests that he only swallowed the male children.) Rhea, devastated at the loss of her babies, consulted with her mother, still aggrieved at the captivity of her other children and with Metis, Goddess of Wisdom. A plot was hatched: Rhea secretly rescued her youngest son Zeus and sent him into hiding.

Years later, Zeus emerged to confront his father. Kronos was secretly served an emetic that caused him to disgorge the children he had swallowed. They emerged full-grown and in total command of their godly powers. Zeus and his siblings formed a new pantheon, the Olympians, who squared off in combat against their elders, the Titans, led by Kronos. This war between pantheons lasted ten years until Zeus finally liberated the Cyclopes and Hecatoncheires who helped propel the Olympians to victory.

There are different versions of what happened to Kronos, leader of the Titans:

• He escaped to Italy where he assumed a new name, Saturn

• He was imprisoned alongside other defeated Titans in the pit of Tartarus. Zeus eventually took pity on his father. He released him, giving Kronos the position of king of the Elysian Fields, the paradise awaiting the blessed dead.

Although children’s mythology books consistently portray Kronos as a baby-swallowing monster, the era he presided over before he was overthrown is known as the Golden Age. Kronos is the lord of time. He is consistently benevolent and generous toward people, if not toward his own offspring. He remains a powerful deity with potent connections who may be invoked for any sort of assistance. Kronos and Khronos may or may not be the same spirit.


Cronos; Kronos




A powerful man or a magnificent stallion






  • Ananke
  • Aphrodite
  • Atlas
  • Erinyes
  • Gaia
  • Khronos
  • Metis
  • Nike
  • Olympian Spirits
  • Poseidon
  • Prometheus
  • Rhea
  • Saturn
  • Styx
  • Thetis
  • Titans
  • Zeus


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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