Colors associated with the Olympian Gods

In Ællinismόs (Hellenismos; Gr. Ἑλληνισμός), the ancient Greek religion, and specifically in the practices of those who follow the teachings of Orphéfs (Orpheus; Gr. Ὀρφεύς), the great theologian, there are specific colors associated with each Olympian God or Goddess. The deities and the associated colors are as follows:

Æstía (Hestia; Gr. Ἑστία) – red
Áris (Ares; Gr. Άρης) – dark red
Ártæmis (Artemis; Gr. Ἄρτεμις) – silver
Íphaistos (Hephaestus; Gr. Ἥφαιστος) – golden-red
Íra (Hera; Gr. Ήρα) – blue
Poseidóhn (Poseidon; Gr. Ποσειδῶν) – deep blue
Athiná (Athena; Gr. Ἀθηνᾶ) – light blue
Aphrodíti (Aphrodite; Gr. Ἀφροδίτη) – white with diamonds or pearls
Apóllohn (Apollo; Gr. Ἀπόλλων) – pure white
Ærmís (Hermes; Gr. Ἑρμῆς) – gold
Zefs (Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς) – purple
Dimítir (Demeter; Gr. Δημήτηρ) – green

Diónysos and the Olympian Deities

Many people may view this list and ask, “Where is Diónysos? What color is associated with him and why is Æstía apparently in his place?” Diónysos is not one of the Twelve Olympians and there is no credible evidence of the idea from antiquity despite the misinformation promulgated by Robert Graves in his book The Greek Myths. The idea is appealing to those who love Diónysos but for many reasons it is not logical. This, however, in no way reduces the importance of the God for he is Klironómos (Gr. Κληρονόμος) to his father:

(Zeus speaks) “Hear me, you Gods: this one (Diónysos) I establish as king.” [1]

…but even this must be understood properly. Diónysos is the flower of the compassion of Zefs (Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς) and fulfills his father’s providence by freeing us from the sorrowful circle of births (κύκλος γενέσεως) and destroys evil by means of his Mysteries (Kern Orphic fragments 229-230). Diónysos gives us Wine which is symbolic of the intoxicating influence of the Aithír (Aether or Ether; Gr. Αἰθήρ) of Zefs for which it can be deduced that the color purple would be associated with him as it is with his father. For a deeper understanding of the importance of this great God please visit Orphic Rhapsodic Theogony (See The Sixth King), the most important page on the entire website.

“The Euboian battalions were ruled by shield-bearing Corybants, guardians of Dionysos in his growing days: who in the Phrygian gulf beside mountain-ranging Rheia surrounded Bacchos still a child with their drumskins. They found him once, a horned baby, covered with a cloak the colour of purple wine…” [2]

[1] Orphic fragment 208. (190) Πρόκλος Commentary on Πλάτων Κρατύλος 396b p. 55, 5 Pasq.: κλῦτε, θεοί· τόνδ’ ὔμμιν ἐγὼ βασιλήα τίθημι
(Zefs speaks) “Hear me, you Gods: this one (Diónysos) I establish as king.” (trans. by the author)
[2] Νόννος Διονυσιακά 13.135-140, trans. W.H.D. Rouse, 1940. We are using the 1962 edition entitled Nonnos Dionysiaca Vol. 1 published by Harvard Univ. Press (Cambridge, MA) and William Heinemann (London), where this quotation may be found on p. 439.



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