The Old Man of the Sea

Also known as:

Phorcys; Phorkos



Phorkys is among the primordial deities of the sea. Hesiod calls him the son of Gaia and Pontus. The Orphics describe him as among Oceanos’ eldest children. He is an extremely powerful spirit capable of resurrecting his daughter Scylla from the dead. Phorkys’ other daughters include the Gorgons, including Medusa and the Graiae. Phorkys is a master shape-shifter who manifests as he desires. He travels where he will, but his official addresses include the bay of Ithaca and near Scylla’s home in Sicily.


Phorkys is a shape-shifter.


Phorkys is portrayed as a man with scarlet skin and lobster claws, wreathed in seaweed.


Flaming torch and a closed box (the contents of the box are unknown and may indicate that Phorkys is the master of a Mystery tradition)

Consort: Keto

See Also:

Gaia; Gorgons; Graiae; Keto; Medusa; Oceanos; Scylla and the Glossary entry for Mystery


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.