Shoot the breeze


rainbowI began this short weather deity series to coincide with lousy weather. We’ve managed to dodge more than one storm on the radar over the last few days so I’m hanging out my rainbow and putting away my umbrella.

I’ve decided to continue discussing ancient gods and goddesses who were said to influence the weather. Who knows where my interest will take me. If you’re here for the first time, the plan is to blog the weather gods of many religions. I’ve started my series with the Theoi Meteoroi — the weather gods of Ancient Greece.

Continuing on with the Greek winds, today is about the Aurae.

In Greek mythology the forces of nature were usually Aurai-nymphsoverseen or personified by some god or goddess, some monster or the other, or by a different sort of being — the nymph. Technically, nymphs were not gods, nor were they immortal like the gods. They did eventually die, but in their death, most often what you got was a transformation. Nymphs were the personifide aspects of earth, their essence and being tied to the water, air, trees etc, in which they lived. The myths are filled with nymphs giving up their lives to transform into trees and plants, water and stone. The first time I read this I thought of Newton’s First Law of Thermodynamics — energy only changes form, it never disappears.

Aurae are the nymphs of the cooling breezes. In artworks of the time, we see Aurae with billowing garments that hold those breezes. And when you read about them, they are always seen in the plural. That’s a good thing to know because the myths are confusing enough sometimes. It would be easy to confuse them with Aura the Titan goddess of the Breeze and Fresh Air of Early Morning.

350px-Tellus_-_Ara_PacisI’ve come across several origins for these ladies. Some say they were the daughters of Boreas and the wind brothers mentioned in previous posts. Most say they were daughters of Okeanos, the earth-encircling fresh-water stream. Others say the Aurae just were – sprung from the earth mother as is to become protectors who tended the various natural phenomena such as springs, lakes and rivers, clouds, trees and meadows, caves and beaches, etc. Although they weren’t goddesses, they had good standing with the gods and were always invited to attended the various assemblies on Mount Olympus.

In Homer’s Odyssey, Okeanos sends his daughters and their accompanying breeze to gently blow over a beautiful meadow on earth called the Elysian field. It’s there that Zeus slips away from Mount Olympus and enjoys perfect happiness for a while. He is a tormented husband after all. Later, the poet Virgil will write this field as located in Hades realm — a exquisitely beautiful place the worthy go after they die.  The Aurae continue to blow their refreshing breezes there too.

Sometimes these breezes have fits of temper and blow strong enough to carry ships off the water. Ah those temperamental winds.

Tomorrow ~ Fun Day Sunday!

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For 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Clichés.
There are 80 entries to come.

Here’s a cliché for today:

Shoot the breeze


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About ~RoseAnderson

Rose is multi-published award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and discovering interesting things to weave into stories. She lives with her family and small menagerie amid oak groves and prairie in the rolling glacial hills of the upper Midwest.
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4 Responses to Shoot the breeze

  1. Ray G says:

    I guess with increasing storms it must be new generations of the Nymphs. Another great blog.
    I love the pictures you keep putting in these blogs.

  2. The Aurae – nymphs of the cooling breezes – are my delight! As a menopausal-aged woman used to dealing with volcanic eruptions, I’ve come to greatly appreciate any and all cool breezes. How can I lure them to Texas? LOL! ;-)

    • Texas always seems so hot to me living this far north. I can deal with a dry heat, but humidity..ugh. I once saw a t-shirt for Arizona that had a bunch of skeletons in lawn chairs. The caption was Arizona – It’s a dry heat. lol
      Are you still deep in drought down there?

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