Titanides Picture

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The TITANIDES were the six earth-goddess daughters of Heaven (Ouranos) and Earth (Gaia). They were the female counterparts of the Titanes, the primal gods of time, divinities of both Heaven and the Tartarean pit, the cosmic inverse of heaven.

The Titanides represented different aspects of their mother Gaia the Earth: Tethys was the nourishing waters of subterranean springs, nurse of all life; Rheia was nature's fertile mother, and lady of the wilds; Themis was earth's natural order, and prophetic voice; Phoibe was earth's oracular midpoint (Delphoi)l; Theia was sight, the all-seeing all-knowing earth; Mnemosyne was memory, the preservation of earthly history.

The Titanides also represented various human and animal qualities: Tethys was the nursing mother; Rhea female fertility; Themis natural order and custom (implying instinct in animals); Phoibe intelligence, the mind; Theia sight; and Mnemosyne memory, learning.

Many of them were oracular in nature:--Themis was honoured at the oracles of Delphoi, Dodona and Ikhnai, and named after themistes "oracular pronouncements" or "decrees from the gods"; Phoibe was the goddess of the Delphic shrine, whose named was associated with the Greek word phoibazô "to prophecy"; Theia was the goddess of the oracle at Ikhnai, her name being derived from the word theiazô "divine inspiration" or "prophecy"; Dione was the goddess of the oracle at Dodona, named "the female Zeus"; and Mnemosyne "Memory" presided over the oracle of Trophonios at Lebadeia.

The marriage of the Titan sons of Heaven and Titanis daughters of Earth produced a huge family of gods which represented the power of heaven over earth.

When Zeus led his allies into the Titanomachia (War of the Titans), the female Titanides either remained neutral or were passive supporters of the Olympian gods, and unlike their brothers were never cast into the Tartarean pit.

Many of the daughters of the Titanides were also themselves titled Titanides. These younger Titanes were a combination of heavenly and earthly goddesses. The earth-goddesses included Klymene, the chthonian goddess of renown, Eurynome goddess of earth's rich meadowlands, and chthonian Styx the oath-protector. The heavenly Titanides included the likes of Leto a goddess of light, Asteria the starry night, Selene the moon, and Eos the dawn.
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