December 30th, 2009 by sabrina

RheaRhea is the Greek Goddess of fertility and motherhood. She is one of the Titans, daughter of Ouranos and Gaia, and after she helped her brother Kronos to overthrow their parents, she became his queen. Just as Kronos had supplanted his father Ouranos, it was foretold that Kronos would be supplanted by his own child, so whenever Rhea had a child, Kronos would swallow the baby. One by one, he devoured their children—Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon. When Rhea gave birth a sixth time, she managed to hide the child away in a cave and gave her husband a stone wrapped in blankets. The baby grew to be Zeus, and he did indeed overthrow Kronos and made him spit out the other Gods, as well as the stone which had fooled him.

With Kronos overthrown, most of the Gods moved to Mount Olympus, where Zeus became the king of the Gods with Hera as his queen. Rhea decided to stay on the island of Crete, where she had given birth to Zeus. She would sometimes journey to Mount Olympus for celebrations in a chariot pulled by two lions, one of her sacred animals. When the cult of the Phrygian Mother Goddess Kybele spread to Greece, the Greeks saw her as Rhea, who they said had fled to Phrygia to escape from Kronos’s wrath over her tricking him with Zeus. Rhea’s name, which means “flow,” is also seen as Rheia, and her epithets include Meter Megale (great mother), Meter Theon (mother of the Gods), and Meter Panton (mother of all).

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