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Introducing Hēlios, the Sun

By Elani Temperance

The Hellenic pantheon literally has hundreds of Gods, Goddesses, Titans, nature spirits, heroes, kings and queens. Although Hellenismos focusses mostly on the Big Twelve, Hades, Hestia and Hekate, Hellenic mythology is a true treasure trove of immortals. Most of these ‘lesser’ immortals get very little attention, and I’d like to change this. So, ever now and again, I’m going to introduce one of the lesser known immortals and try and find a place for them in modern Hellenistic worship, based off of their ancient Hellenic worship. Today, I’m introducing to you Hēlios (Ἥλιος), personification of the sun.

Hēlios is a Titan, born from Hyperion and Theia (Hesiod, Pindar), or Hyperion and Euryphaessa (Homeric Hyms). Hyperion (Ὑπερίων), meaning ‘The High-One’, was born from Gaea and Ouranos. He is the Lord of Light, and Titan to the east. Due to his (and Helios’) epithets, there is often confusion between the two: Helios is refered to as ‘Hyperion’ by Homeros in the Odysseia, and one of the well known epithets of Hyperion is ‘Helios Hyperion’, yet the ancient Hellens distinguished between Them quite rigidly. Hyperion is the observer–and father–of many of the Titans connected to the sky.

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