"To Cronides ["Son of Cronus", epithet of Zeus], Most High, I will sing of Zeus, chiefest among the gods and greatest, all-seeing, the lord of all, the fulfiller who whispers words of wisdom to Themis as she sits leaning towards him. Be gracious, all-seeing Cronides, most excellent and great!"
(Homeric Hymn 23 to Cronides [Zeus])
Zeus (Roman: Jupiter, Jove), [Pronounced in English as "Zoos" (Roman: "Jew-piter", "Joe-v") and in Greek as "Zefs" or "Zevs"], is the King of the Gods in Greek Mythology and rules supreme over the sky and weather. Zeus is also considered to be a god of justice, law and is viewed as the "all-father", the father of both gods and mankind. Zeus is also the source of all prophecy. Zeus' name literally means "god". Zeus is usually considered to be the most powerful god in Greek mythology. However, later Greeks believed that the Moirai (The Fates) and Aphrodite, the goddess of love and desire, as well as her son Eros, the god of sexual desire, had some level of power or influence over him. Toward the end of the Hellenic age, Zeus was viewed as being the one true god with the other gods being mere aspects of his power and divinity.
Zeus is almost universally portrayed as a strikingly handsome, mature man in his 30s-40s, with dark hair and a full, curly beard. He is usually portrayed robed but is sometimes shown nude. In the nude he is portrayed like his brother Poseidon, possessing a nearly perfect, athletic, male physique. He is portrayed in art as either standing or sitting on his throne. In one hand he holds his lightning bolts, forged by the Cyclopes, and in his other hand he holds his lotus or eagle-tipped scepter. Zeus may also hold in his hands the daemon Nike, the winged-spirit of victory. Upon his head he wears a crown, either a real one or a crown of oak leaves or olive leaves. At the side of Zeus' throne lie two jugs. One contains good luck and the other contains bad luck. Upon a person's birth, Zeus reaches down and pours a portion of each jug into a person's life. Sitting at the side of Zeus were the goddesses, Hera, the Queen of the Gods, and Themis, the goddess of law and order. Surrounding Zeus' throne were the winged daemons, Kratos (strength), Zelos (rivalry), Nike (victory), and Bia (force). Additionally, a giant golden eagle perched on Zeus' throne. The eagle was Zeus' sacred animal.
According to myth, this particular eagle was once a mortal king named Periphas. Periphas, while a man, was so beloved by his people that they worshiped him as a god, giving him even more worship than Zeus himself. Zeus grew so angry that he decided to kill Periphas with a lightening bolt, to prove to his subjects that Periphas was just a mortal man and not worthy of such praise and devotion. However, Apollo intervened because Periphas was a good man who was actually quite humble and who properly honored the gods. Apollo then transformed Periphas into an immortal eagle and gave him to Zeus as a gift. From then on the eagle became Zeus's herald and spy in the mortal world.
Zeus is the youngest child of his parents, the Titans Cronus and Rhea. As such, Zeus truly had no right to rule. However, due to the myth of his siblings being swallowed by his father in a failed attempt to prevent a prophecy, Zeus became the symbolic eldest child as the subsequent vomiting up of Zeus' siblings is in a sense a form of birth.
So it came about that Cronus, the King of the Titans, the first race of gods who ruled the earth, heard of the prophecy that one of his children would rise up and overthrow him. So Cronus did what any intelligent divine being would do. He swallowed each and every one of his offspring, save one, Zeus, whom his mother Rhea saved by tricking Cronus. Rhea got pissed that Zeus was snacking on her babies. So she went to Gaia, the goddess of the earth, and asked her for advice. Gaia told he that when Zeus was born to take a rock and wrap it in swaddling clothes and present it to Cronus instead of the baby. Rhea did as she was told and Cronus swallowed the rock thinking it was the infant Zeus. Meanwhile, Rhea had Zeus spirited away to an island where he matured.
When Zeus was fully grown he led a rebellion against his father. His first lover, Metis, gave a drink of wine mixed with mustard to Cronus, which naturally caused him to vomit up all of Zeus' siblings that Cronus had previously consumed. Being gods, they could not die but were imprisoned within Cronus' belly. Once free, the gods joined their brother Zeus in his rebellion and overthrew their father. He, and his supporters were then cast into Tartarus, the Greek version of hell, where they were punished for their sins. Eventually, Zeus freed them and his father Cronus was granted the rule over Elysium, or the Elysian Fields, the Greek version of paradise.
However, this was not the end of Zeus' battles. The Giantes, a race of giants, children of the goddess of the earth, Gaia, decided to attack the Olympians and overthrow them. The giants were terrible and strong. Some were truly gigantic. Some were just a few feet taller than humans. Some even had serpents instead of legs.
The war between the Giantes and the Olympians started when a giant named Alcyoneus stole the cattle of the sun god, Helios. Next, a giant named Eurymedon attempted to rape the goddess Hera. The gods had had enough. The war began. Fearing for her children, Gaia sought out a magical plant that would protect the Giantes from harm. This herb only grew in one secret location. When the gods found out what she was doing, they conspired to rid her of light. Helios, the sun god, Selene, the goddess of the moon, and Eos, the goddess of dawn stopped shining their light. Then Helios went and found the herb and took it so that Gaia could not get it and help her children. Deprived of magical immunity, the war began.
Ultimately, Zeus defeated and killed the Giantes. Those that happened to be immortal were imprisoned in Tartarus. Gaia was so pissed at the loss of her children that she decided to have a baby with Tartarus. This baby was none other than the monster Typhon. Typhon was portrayed as a winged human with serpents for legs or else a winged man with a hundred, fire-breathing serpent heads sprouting from his shoulders. He was so tall that his heads brushed the stars. Typhon grew up and attacked Zeus for control over the universe. Typhon also was ultimately defeated. After hurling thousands of lightening bolts at Typhon, Zeus threw a mountain on top of him, imprisoning him under the earth. Typhon still twists and turns under the earth, causing earthquakes and volcanoes to this very day.
After defeating Cronus, the Giantes, and Typhon, and taking his place as King of the Gods, Zeus then married his sister, Hera. However, the marriage would would not be peaceful. Zeus was unable to remain faithful to his wife. His sex drive was so powerful that he constantly sought out divine and mortal lovers, both female and male. As a result of his affairs, Zeus fathered most of the gods and numerous demigods. Hera was beside her self with grief and anger. She vowed to torment all those foolish women who dared sleep with her husband and also turned her jealous eye toward their bastard offspring.
Although Zeus is called the "all-father", the father of both gods and men, Zeus actually did not create mankind himself. In reality, the twin Titans, Prometheus (forethought) and Epimethius (afterthought), created mankind, molding the first man out of clay. The brothers, although Titans, were spared punishment because they allied themselves with the Olympians against Cronus.
Now it came about that the gods met in their assembly and decided to create beings that would inhabit the earth. Prometheus and Epimethius were then ordered to set about this task. Together they molded all the animals that live and move upon the earth. Epimethius possessed a bag given to him by Zeus which contained all the qualities that he was to distribute to these new life forms. Thus Epimethius gave the serpents their fangs, the birds their wings, the fish their fins, the lion it's roar, etc. The very last being the brothers made was designed in the image of the gods, in their likeness. They called him "Man". Man quickly became the favorite creation of Prometheus. After giving him life, Epimethius stuck his hand into the bag given to him by Zeus and to his dismay realized that it was empty. All of the qualities had been used on the other animals. Prometheus went to Zeus and explained the situation. He told Zeus that Man was special and not like the other animals they created. He told Zeus that Man had great potential and that in time mankind may possibly even evolve into gods. Zeus was intrigued by the idea. Zeus stuck a stalk of fennel into Hestia's sacred hearth flame and gave it to Prometheus. Zeus instructed Prometheus that with this gift of fire that man will now be able to cook his food, heat his home, defend his life and, most importantly, worship and sacrifice to the gods. Zeus instructed Prometheus to teach Man the proper ways of worshiping the gods. Prometheus was delighted and swiftly returned to the earth and gave the gift of fire to Man.
So Prometheus set about his task. He did as instructed. He taught Man how to sacrifice to the gods. However, at the same time, he realized that Man's life was hard and that as a mortal his life was brief. This caused Prometheus to love Man even more than the gods. He secretly believed that in his own way, Man was superior to the gods. One of the first things that Prometheus noticed was that the gods demanded animal sacrifice when Man needed the meat far more than the gods did. The gods didn't even eat human food. Instead, they dined on ambrosia and nectar, the food and drink of the gods, the substances that made them immortal. Man needed protein to survive. Prometheus didn't think it was fair that the meat of animals had to be wasted just because the gods like the smell of burning meat. So Prometheus, being a trickster, decided on a plan.
Prometheus took a recent bull sacrifice and butchered the animal. He wrapped the bones in the animal's fat, the substance that when burned produced the smell that the gods loved. He then wrapped the choice meat with the disgusting organs and innards. He brought both bundles to Zeus directly and asked Zeus to chose which bundle would be the standard that man would offer to the gods in sacrifice. Zeus naturally chose the one he thought was more pleasing, the bundle wrapped in fat but was actually just bones underneath. Once Zeus made his sacred choice he could not take it back. So from then onward, when it came to sacrifice an animal to the gods humanity was allowed to eat the delicious meat and the gods were given the bones and fat. Zeus was pissed!
When Zeus realized that Prometheus had tricked him he became so furious that he decided to take back the gift of fire that he had previously given. This time Prometheus wept. Prometheus begged and pleaded with Zeus and told him that Man could not survive without fire. Zeus would not change his mind. Prometheus was forced to take a bold step that would cost him severely.
While Zeus slept on his couch, Prometheus entered into the chamber of the gods. He thrust a stalk of fennel into the sacred hearth fire of Hestia and set it ablaze. He then flew back down to earth and gave Man fire once more. This time it was fire that had been stolen and not freely given.
When Zeus awoke and realized what Prometheus had done he swiftly dealt out punishment. He ordered Prometheus bound to a rock. Every day an eagle attacked him and ate his liver. Every night Prometheus' liver grew back. And so this was the horrible fate of the god who loved mankind. Eventually, Prometheus would be freed by Heracles so his suffering was not eternal.
Meanwhile, Zeus decided that Man needed to be punished as well. What was his punishment? Zeus ordered Hephaestus to create the first woman. He gathered around all the gods and bid them give her a gift. Athena taught her to weave and gave her clothing. Aphrodite made her beautiful. The Charities gave her make-up and jewelry. Hermes gave her a lying tongue and a name, Pandora (all-gifts). Zeus gave her a jar and told her never to open it. Pandora was then given to Epimethius as his wife. Poor Prometheus, being bound and tortured, had tried to warn Epimethius never to accept a gift from Zeus but it was too late. Epimethius was overtaken by Pandora's beauty and accepted her as his wife.
As most would assume, Pandora's curiosity eventually caused her to open the jar that Zeus gave her. To her horror, inside were contained all the evil daemons, such as old age, sickness and disease, pain, death, misery, misfortune, jealousy, revenge, hatred, bloodshed and murder, etc. The winged monsters immediately escaped their prison and flew into the world. Pandora slammed the lid back down on the jar, trapping only one daemon, that of Hope. So hope is the only thing that remains trapped. The other evils fly through the air, tormenting the human race to this very day.
This would not be the last time that Zeus decided to punish humanity. Eventually mankind became corrupt and stopped worshiping the gods. Worse still, humans had started to cannibalize each other and began offering human sacrifice to the gods, a practise that the gods considered most vile. Man grew evil and perverse. Zeus became so disgusted with man that he decided to destroy the entire race. However, a son of Prometheus named Deucalion attracted the attention of the gods. Deucalion was the only righteous man on earth at that time. He alone continued to properly honor the gods. As such, Zeus took pity on him. Zeus warned him that he was about to destroy humanity and told him to build a chest large enough for him and his wife. Then Zeus unleashed a great torrent, a flood, that ravished the land and drowned all of the corrupt humans. Only Deucalion, his wife Pyrrha, as well as pairs of animals they took with them, survived. When the flood was over the pair sacrificed to Zeus and prayed to Themis, some say the Oracle of Delphi, as to what actions they should do next. Themis (or Apollo) responded by telling them to take the bones of their mother and throw them over their shoulder. Deucalion and Pyrrha correctly realized that the mother that was mentioned meant Gaia, the goddess of the earth, and her bones meant rocks. They each picked up a handful of rocks and tossed them over their shoulders. Each rock thrown transformed into a human being. The rocks thrown by Deucalion transformed into men. The rocks thrown by Pyrrha transformed into women. Thus the human race was reborn.
As mentioned above, Zeus is infamous among the gods as being the most amorous. In fact, the majority of his myths involve his sexual conquests, involving both goddesses and mortal women. In fact, it can be stated that if Zeus didn't have wandering eyes and roaming lusts then Greek mythology would be rather boring.
Now, many might question why the myths always portray the gods in a less than divine light? Why does Zeus constantly cheat on his wife and why would anyone want to worship such a god? Well, the answer is actually quite simple. First, I need to stress that the Greeks had no sacred scripture. The myths were viewed as the creations of their individual authors and were believed to be their opinions. Second, the myths often employ symbolism and metaphor to convey secrets and aspects of human existence. Third, Zeus is a sky god. The ancients viewed rain to be similar to semen. When men mated with women they unleashed their semen and children sometimes resulted. When it rained nature sprung to life, plants and flowers bloomed, animals increased, etc. When it rains, the rain falls on all. So by his very nature, a sky god is going to be promiscuous. Thus, it is perfectly naturally to assume or portray that Zeus spreads his love around just like the rain. Fourth, as the worship of Zeus spread from place to place, it became very popular for people to want to wed or unite their local goddesses with his worship. Since it was widely known that Zeus was married to Hera, there wasn't much room for additional wives, thought the ancients did try to force such. For example, at Dodona, Zeus' wife was said to be Dione. In most places the preferred solution was to make their local goddess be Zeus' lover instead. Thus, and with time, the number of Zeus' lovers sky rocketed.
It would be practically impossible to list every single lover of Zeus, and the resulting offspring. However, it's necessary to list the loves of Zeus that resulted in divine, or semi-divine, offspring which populated Olympus and which created the great diversity of the gods worshiped by the Greeks as well as provided fascinating tales of heroism which have been passed down through the ages. Below is an incomplete list of Zeus's lovers and his offspring.
Hera - The Queen of the Gods, Zeus legal wife - Hera bore him Ares, the god of war, Enyo, the goddess of war, Hebe, the goddess of youth, Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth, Eris, the goddess of strife, and Hephaestus, the god of fire and the blacksmith of the gods.
Metis - The Titan goddess of wisdom, cunning and trickery - Metis bore him Athena, the goddess of wisdom, war, and crafts.
Dione - A Titan sky or sea goddess - Dione bore him Aphrodite, the goddess of love (most claim that Aphrodite was born of the sea foam that gathered around the castrated genitals of Uranus), and Dionysus (again, Dionysus is mostly said to be the son of Semele and Zeus).
Demeter - Goddess of agriculture - Demeter bore him Persephone, the goddess who became the bride of Hades and Queen of the dead.
Persephone - Queen of the Dead - Persephone bore him Dionysus (though it's more popularly believed that Zeus fathered Dionysus with Semele).
Aphrodite - Goddess of love and beauty - Bore him Priapus, fertility god shown with a huge erect penis,(also said to be the son of Aphrodite and Dionysus), Zeus spilled his seed on the ground while chasing her one day. The drops of semen impregnated the earth and gave rise to the Centaurs, creatures who were half-horse, half-men.
Eurynome - A Titan sea goddess - Bore him the Charites (Graces), the goddesses of beauty, adornment, joy, and all that which makes life worth living.
Leto - A Titan sky goddess associated with motherhood - Bore him the twins Apollo, god light, reason, music, healing, and prophecy, and Artemis, virgin goddess of the hunt and childbirth.
Mnemosyne - A Titan goddess of memory - Bore him the 9 Muses, goddesses of the arts and sciences.
Themis - A Titan goddess of law and divine order - Bore him the Horai (The Hours, but meaning "seasons"), goddesses who measured out the seasons and the revolutions of the stars, and the Moirai (The Fates), goddesses who weave the destiny of gods and men.
Maia - A Pleiades, daughter of Atlas, and mountain nymph - Bore him the god Hermes, the trickster god of commerce, communication, and messenger of the gods.
Carme - A nymph - Bore him Britomartis, a.k.a. Diktynna, a goddess of mountains and hunting.
Gaia - Primordial goddess of the earth - Bore him the Centaurs, half-horse, half-men, when his semen accidentally fell on the ground while chasing after Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, and Agdistis, a hermaphroditic god that was viewed as being so powerful that Zeus feared he would overthrow him. Therefore, Zeus castrated him, turning him into the goddess Cybele.
Semele - Mortal princess - Bore him Dionysus, the god of wine, freedom and ecstasy.
Tyche - The Goddess of Luck and Fortune - Bore him Kairos, the god of opportunity and perfect timing.
Alcmene - Mortal princess - Bore him Heracles (Hercules), the most famous of Greek heroes, a demigod who would eventually become a full god, a god of physical strength, courage and bravery, upon his death.
Leda - Mortal princess - Bore him Helen of Troy and Pollux.
Callisto - Mortal princess - Bore him a daughter, both the child and mother were turned into bears, were killed, and then were placed in the heavens as the constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.
Danae - Mortal Princess - Bore him the demigod and hero, Perseus, the slayer of Medusa.
Selene - The Goddess of the Moon - Bore him the goddesses, Pandia, goddess of the brightness of the full moon, and Ersa, goddess of dew.
Boetis - Nymph and wife of the god Pan - Bore him Aegipan, a god who was part goat and part fish. Aegipan helped Zeus in his battle against the Titans and was rewarded by being placed in the stars as the constellation Capricorn.
Elare - Mortal princess - Bore him the giant Tityos.
Lamia - Mortal Queen - Bore him multiple children but Lamia was transformed into a monster by Hera and then devoured her children.
Olympios - Historical Queen - Bore him Alexander the Great.
Ganymede - Mortal prince - Zeus' male lover
Keep in mind that this list is not complete and does not include the majority of lovers who bore Zeus offspring that grew up to be kings or the founders of cities and/or tribes of people. Also not included are the women who rejected Zeus. Many of such met tragic ends or suffered great misfortune.
It should be noted that Zeus' love for Ganymede is quite unique. Ganymede was a beautiful Trojan prince that Zeus spied one day while he was exercising. Zeus immediately lusted after the youth. Zeus transformed himself into a giant eagle and carried off Ganymede to Olympus where he made him immortal and made him the cup-bearer of the gods. Ganymede is the only lover of Zeus whom Zeus made immortal. So many have speculated that Ganymede was Zeus' favorite lover.
As a god, Zeus has the power to transform into any shape he wished. When it comes to love, Zeus has shown himself time and again to be a master of disguise. In order to seduce his many lovers, Zeus took on some rather creative forms. He seemed to rather enjoy shape-shifting into animals. With Hera, his wife, he transformed into a cuckoo. With Leda, a swan (and she actually laid an egg instead of giving birth to Helen and Polux), and with his male lover, Ganymede, Zeus transformed into an eagle and carried him away. With Europa, Zeus became a bull. With Demeter and Persephone, Zeus became a serpent. With Euromedousa, Zeus transformed into an ant.
Zeus also liked to transform into mortal men as well. With Mnemosyne, he transformed into a young shepherd and with Alcemene, he went as far as taking on the appearance of her husband! Zeus wasn't even above transforming into the likeness of other gods, even goddesses! When Zeus desired Callisto he knew that she was a priestess of Artemis and had taken a vow of chastity. So Zeus transformed into the appearance of Artemis and seduced her. With Danae, Zeus had to be really creative as she was imprisoned by her father. So Zeus transformed himself into a shower of gold that fell through the cracks of her cell, onto her body, and impregnating her.
Why did Zeus go to such great lengths to seduce his lovers? Well, these myths show just how intelligent, creative, and determined Zeus was to achieve his goals. He didn't let anything stop him. These are all qualities that the supreme god should possess and they make very entertaining tales. It's no wonder why Zeus was the most popular of Greek gods. In fact, even today people who may not know much about Greek mythology tend to at least know far more about Zeus than any other god or goddess.
Parents: The Titans Cronus and Rhea
Offspring: Ares, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Aphrodite, Persephone, Dionysus, Eileithyia, Enyo, Eris, Hebe, Hermes, Hephaestus, The Muses, The Horai, The Morai, The Charites, Pandia, Ersa, Priapus, Aegipan, Kairos, Helen of Troy, Pollux, The Centaurs, Agditis, Britomartis, Alexander the Great, Heracles, Perseus, as well as a great number of other demigods who went on to become great kings, found cities and empires or become the founders of various races of people.
Attendants: Hera, Themis, Kratos, Zelos, Nike, Bia, Hermes (messenger), Metis (whom he swallowed), and Ganymede (cup-bearer)
Sacred Epithets/Aspects: Cronides (son of Cronus), Cronius (son of Cronus), Xenios (protector of guests), Ktesios (guardian of home/property), Agoraios (of the marketplace), Teleios (of the marriage rite), Dikephoros (peacekeeper of gods and man), Soter (savior), Panergetos (all achieving), Olympios (of Olympus), Ombrios (bringer of rain), Hyteios (bringer of storms), Herkeios (of the courtyeard), Polius (of the city), Panhellenios (of all the Greeks), Agetor (leader/commander), Diktyaois (of the 10th month), Aphesios (releasing rain), Skotitas (dark), Keraunios (of the thunderbolt), Astrapaios (of lightening), Kataibates (descending), Labrandeus (furious/raging), Maimaktes (boistering), Euenemos (of fair winds), Konios (of the dust), Ikmaios (of mosture), Limenoscopos (watcher of sea havens), Basilius (king), Hypatos (most high), Hypsistos (most high), Koryphaios (chief/leader), Boulaios (of the council), Amboulios (councellor), Moragetes (leader of the fates), Klarios (of the lots), Semaleos (giver of signs), Mekhneos (the contriver), Kosmetes (orderer), Epidotes (giver of good), Plousios (giver of wealth), Theos Agathos (the good god), Philios (of friendship), Phyxios (of refuge), Meilikhios (merciful), Apemios (averter of ills), Palamnaios (punisher of murderers), Katharsios (purifier), Postropaios (turner of pollution), Laoites (of the people), Eleutherios (of freedom), Stratios (of war), Areios (of war), Sthenios (strong), Tropais (defeater), Sosipolis (savior of the city), Krysaooreus (of the golden sword), Cthonios (of the earth), Katachthonios (under the earth), Meilichios (sweet, kind, "honeyed"), Apomyios (averter of flies), Erkeios (guardian of the home/property/fence), Velchanos (boy-Zeus), Kouros (youth, young man, teen), Lykaios (wolf-Zeus), Nephelegereta (cloud gatherer), Ammon (Zeus-Ammon), Adultus (adult), Aigiochos (aegis bearing), Alumnus (cherisher of all), Anax (lord/king), Apatenor (deciever), Apobaterius (presiding over landing ships), Brontaeus (thunderer), Cappautas (to make cease), Charisios (grace/favor), Eucleios (of glory), Elipnates (of banquets), Endendros (of trees), Ephaptor (toucher, caresser), Epistios (of hearths and harbors), Eribremetes (loud sounding), Erigdupos (thundering), Evenemus (appeaser of winds), Exacesterius (healer/appeaser), Gamelios (of marriages), Genethlius (presider over births), Hecatombaeus (of the hecatombs), Homagyrius (of public assemblies), Horcius (of oaths), Hupatus (supreme), Icmaeus (showering), Ikaesios (protector), Ileos (propitious), Klidonios (sender of omens), Ktisios (giver of riches), Leuceus (white), Lucerius (of light), Mechaneus (undertaker of all things), Mitiaeta (all wise), Morius (of the mulberry tree), Muscarius (of flies), Myiodes (driver away of flies), Nemetor (avenger), Nicaeus (victorious), Nicephorus (carring victory), Nomius (of laws), Palaestes (wrestler), Panarius (bread thrower), Pancrates (omnipotent), Panomphaeus (source of all oracles), Panoptes (all seeing), Pasianax (universal king), Pelorius (stranger), Phanaeus (bringer of light), Phegoneus (of beech or oak trees), Philius (protector of friends), Physicus (of nature), Phytalmius (fertilizer of nature), Phuxios (protector of fugitives), Pistios (faith), Pistor (baker), Pixius (of oaths), Pyrphoros (fire bearer), Sthenius (mighty), Taelaetheis Dii (bringer to completion), Teleius (perfect), Thaemistios (patron of right), Tropaechus (of trophies), Uranius (heavenly), Urius (sender of good winds), Zoogonos (origin/preserver of life), Zeuxippas (charioteer, yoker of horses), Hetaereius (of companions)
Sacred Color: Purple
Sacred Number: 6
Zodiac Sign: Leo
Sacred Symbols: Lightening Bolt, Throne, Mountains, Oak Leaf Crown, Olive Leaf Crown, Lotus or Eagle-Tipped Scepter, Aegis (shield or protective garment), Figure of Nike (goddess of victory)
Sacred Incense: Benzoin, Gum Ammoniac
Sacred Offerings: Libations of Wine, Oil, Milk, Honey, Poured Into Flame, Sacred Plants, Sacred Incense, Cakes or Cookies in the Shape of his Sacred Animals
Sacrificial Animals: Bulls, Cows, Goats
Sacred Plant: Oak, Olive, Carnation
Sacred Bird: Eagle
Sacred Animal: Lion, Bull, Wolf
Sacred Festival: Olympics, Diasia, Hetairideia, Lykaia
***Note: Toward the end of the Hellenic age, philosophers speculated that there was only one true god, Zeus, or an unknowable god, whom all the other gods were just aspects of. It has been speculated that had Christianity not rose to power that in time the Greeks may have naturally evolved into monotheism.
***Note: In one aspect of Zeus, as Zeus Velchanos (boy Zeus) or Zeus Kouros (youth Zeus), he is portrayed as a beautiful youth.
***Note: There are multiple myths of the creation of human beings. In other versions Zeus does indeed create humanity, but as hermaphroditic beings that he then splits apart into the sexes.
***Note: Pandora was most likely herself originally a goddess that was then turned into the first mortal woman.
***Note: The fact that Hope remained trapped in Pandora's jar is troubling. For one, why is Hope in there in the first place? The jar was full of evil daemons. So is Hope evil?
***Note: Ganymede was what we now would call a teenager, probably between the ages of 14-17 years old. The practice of an adult man taking on an adolescent male lover is properly called pederasty, a term meaning "boy love". Pederasty is different from pedophilia as in the later an adult man molests a prepubescent child. The practice of pederasty was considered normal to the Greeks, as well as the rest of the ancient world. This may be because the age where a person could be married was also quite young, around the age of 14. The average life expectancy at that time, 25 years of age, may have been a factor in this development. Despite what people may think, there were certain rules to the practice of pederasty. The younger love could not be sexually penetrated, either orally or anally. Instead, sex was performed by rubbing the penis between the lover's thighs. Additionally, when the younger lover matured to the point of being able to grow a beard the relationship was supposed to end and the younger lover was to marry, raise a family, and then take on a younger male lover of his own.
***Note: Please remember that the just because a handful of men decided to portray Zeus in a negative light in certain stories that we call myths, does in no way mean that this is the actual behavior of the god. Zeus, as well as the rest of the deities, are perfected entities who are good, wise, and loving. The gods wish to better humanity and look toward our personal evolution.
***Note: Zeus Chthonios (of the earth) and Zeus Katachthonios (under the earth) may in fact be references to the god Hades.
***Note: Zeus Lykaios (wolf Zeus) is the aspect of Zeus concerning his punishment of King Lycaon, who foolishly killed his son and served his flesh to the gods to eat. As punishment Zeus transformed him into a wolf. Human sacrifice and cannibalism were completely abhorrent to the gods.
***Note: Zeus Meilichios was worshiped in the form of a serpent.
***Note: The official name of the carnation is "dianthus", which means "Zeus' flower".
***Note: The Greeks and Romans identified the Biblical God with both Zeus/Jupiter and Cronus/Saturn.