- Attibutes: Goddess of peace, spring, reconciliation and cooperation
- Symbolos: Cornucopia, torch, scepter, rython
- Place: Greece
This Goddess is always represented as a beautiful young woman carrying a cornucopia (horned basket of fruits), a torch, a scepter or a rython (an old drinking vessel). It is said that she is the daughter of Zeus and Themis. Her Roman equivalent is the Goddess Pax.
The citizens of ancient Athens worshiped her vehemently and several altars were erected to her. Once a year, the country stopped to celebrate the day of the “Common Peace”, in honor of the Goddess and the peace that she brought among all nations. In one of the most famous statues of her, Eirene holds in her left arm the baby God Ploutos, deity of wealth and plenty. It was built in the Agora of Athens and served to remind everyone that prosperity flourishes when there is peace.
Guardian of Olympus
As stated earlier, Eirene is part of Horae, a trinity of Goddesses who represent nature in different seasons.
They bring maturity, they come and go according to nature and the very cycle of life, and they traditionally guard the gates of Mount Olympus so it can hide in the clouds and make the earth prosper.
In the Iliad two trinities of Hours are mentioned. The first is associated with Zeus and Aphrodite as representations of the passage of time and growth:
- Thallo, Goddess of Youth and Spring;
- Auxo, Goddess of Plants and Summer;
- Carpo, Goddess of Autumn and Harvest.
The second trinity is associated with Themis and Zeus, representing order and natural law:
- Dike, Goddess of Justice;
- Eunomia, Goddess of Order and Legislation;
- Eirene, Goddess of Peace.
|Horae Serenae – Edward Poynter, 1894|
This triple aspect of balance reminds us of the Triple Goddess in Wicca, where different aspects complement each other and bring harmony.
It is important to point out that there are a group of Goddesses called “The Twelve Hours”, as Goddesses who patrons the hours of the day:
- Auge, the first light.
- Anatolia, the sunrise.
- Musica, the morning time of music and studies.
- Gymnastica, the morning exercise and training session.
- Nympha, the morning ablution (bathing).
- Mesembria, the noon.
- Sponde, libations after lunch.
- Elete, prayer, the first of the evening hours of work.
- Cypris, the hour of food and pleasure.
- Hesperis, the beginning of nightfall.
- Dysis, the sunset.
- Arktos, the night sky and the constellations.
The 12 Hours blessed the day of devotees, bringing prosperity and harmony to their routine.