Here in Southern Ontario, we had some thunderclouds passing us by late in the afternoon yesterday. I don’t know about you, but I always feel so “electric” for lack of better words during thunder and lightening storms. It is most definitely not an energy that is my own, and I like it that way. There is so much magic(k) in the thunderstorm, and I thought I’d post about some of the gods that preside over this chaotic event.
Zeus was the son of Cronus and Rhea, both Titans. His brothers and sisters by the same parents are Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon.
When Zeus’ father, Cronus, heard from Uranus and Gaia that he would one day be overthrown by one of his sons, he promptly swallowed each of his children after they were born. Before Zeus was to be born, Rhea went to Gaia to secretly plan for Zeus’ escape from his father’s belly, and that one day, Cronus would get what was coming to him for doing such a horrible thing to his children, and his actions against Uranus.
When Rhea gave birth to Zeus in Crete, she handed a rock in swaddling clothes for him to eat and believe was his son after hiding the real baby Zeus in a cave on Mount Ida in Crete. (There are many different stories as to how he was raised, but for the purpose of this post, we’ll focus on his thunder godness 🙂 ).
When Zeus finally reached manhood, Zeus made his father disgorge (or he cut Cronus’ stomach open; or Metis gave him an emetic, which forces one to vomit) the babies he had swallowed in reverse order. Then Zeus released Cronus’ brothers, the Cyclopes, the Hecatonchires, and the Gigantes from their dungeons in Tartarus. As a token of appreciation, the Cyclopes gave Zeus thunder and the thunderbolt, which were previously hidden by Gaia. He then went on to defeat the Titans and rule the world equally with his two eldest brothers.
Zeus could pretty much do anything he wanted after conquering the Titans and claiming the earth for himself and his brothers. After dividing the world, he chose to rule the skies and heavens, meaning that he could create storms, gather clouds and disperse them. He was the King of gods and man, the high ruler over the world.
Thor was the son of Odin, and Jord, goddess of the Earth. Thor was the strongest of the Aesir (the collective name for the principle Norse gods). Thor was usually described as a tall, muscular and powerful man with a long red beard, flowing hair, and eyes of lightning.
Even though Thor is not the “head” god in Norse mythology, his popularity in history surpassed that of his father, Odin, for his lack of human sacrifice requirement. He presided over the air, winds and rain, weather and crops. If famine or plague were feared, libations were poured to his idol.
During thunderstorms, Thor is believed to be riding through the heavens on his chariot pulled by his goats, Tanngrisni and Tanngnost, which means “gap-tooth,’ and, “tooth-grinder,” respectively.
What is also quite neat, is that our modern day Thursday is a namesake for him, “Thor’s Day”.
Son of the sky goddess, Nut, and earth god Geb, Set was brother to Osiris, Isis, and Nepthys. He is god of chaos, darkness, storms, and the desert.
Set was jealous of his younger brother, Osiris, who was married to their sister, Isis. Set killed and ripped Osiris to pieces. After Isis’ and Osiris’ son, Horus, was born, they were enemies for the obvious reason. Set poked one of Horus’ eyes out, and in return, Horus cut off Set’s testicles, making Set also known as the god of infertility.
To placate both gods, Geb divided Egypt into two halves, giving Set upper Egypt (the Southern deserts), and Horus lower Egypt (the delta region in the North). Eventually, the two lands were united as one, and the Queens of the 1st dynasty were named “She Who Sees Horus And Set”. Pharaohs also believed that they settled the quarrel between the two gods and held them in balance. This later led to the dual god, Horus-Set.