Themis

Voice of the Earth

 Themis from the Temple of Nemesis, Rhamnous, Attica, signed by the sculptor Chairestratos, c. 300 BCE

 Themis from the Temple of Nemesis, Rhamnous, Attica, signed by the sculptor Chairestratos, c. 300 BCE

 First I pray to Gaia, earth herself,
primal prophetess, the one who seeks
the hidden truths; then I call upon
earth's daughter Themis, for justice
sits upon her mother's throne;
these names are the vestibule of prayer
for me, the entry to the sacred realm.
Then I call upon Athena, for I will
need her wisdom; and the Muses,
for I need their eloquence. Divine
women, all of them, I invoke them
as I rise into my strength and power.
~Greek Dramatist, Aeschylus

GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast January 9, 2008

The Goddess Companion

 

Sacred Number: 6   A Titanis (female Titan) and one of the six children of Gaia and Uranus.  She bore six children as well.  
Sacred Food:    Fruit
Sacred Scent:  Frankensence
Season:  Spring.   She is referred to in hymns as "Blossom of Earth"  
Expertise: Divine Rightness, Wisdom, Prophecy, Oracular Ability, The Convening and Disbanding of Mortal Gatherings   
Polar Twin:  When Themis is ignored, Nemesis delivers just revenge
Phases of the Goddess:  Death and Rebirth   
Mother: Her Six Children are:  The Three Fates & the Three Seasons She also served as a Mid-Wife to several Goddesses.
Crone: Counselor to Zeus on Divine Rightness and the Rules of Fate, built the Oracle at Delphi,Presided over the Oracles of Delphi, Dedona, Olympia 
Prophetess
    
Other Wisdom Goddesses:
Maat - Egyptian
Isis - Egyptian
Sophia - Greco/Roman
Nisaba - Sumerian
Innana - Sumerian

 A Titanes, a daugther of Gaia (Earth) and Uranus (Sky), Themis is an ancient Goddess who counseled Zeus and built the Delphic Oracle.  Some myths claim that she, with Zeus, bore the three Fates or Moirae (Atropos -the Inevitable, Clotho -the Weaver, Lachesis -the Lot-caster). But other myths say the Fates were fathered by Okeanos, the World River.  

Themis birthed the three Horae (which translates as ‘hours’) with Zeus.   Sometimes the Horae are represented as seasons:  Thallo, Blossom Bringer or Spring; Auxo, the Grower or Summer; Carpo, the Fruit Ripener- Autumn.  (Note-originally there were only three seasons).  The Horae were also known as “The Rightness of Order Unfolding in Time”: Dike (Trial), known as Astraea in Roman mythology (the constellation Virgo); Eirene (Peace) and Eunomia (Rule of Law).  So the Horae governed the growth and production of plants and stability and order in society – growth and balance between plants and people.     

Themis presided over the division of the sacrificial feast and over the gathering and disbanding of mortal meetings (conferences, conventions, assemblies), especially governmental ones.  

Themis differs from Lady Justice (Justitia), the blindfolded woman holding scales, in that Themis governs what is divinely dictated as ‘right’.  Whereas, Justitia, governs the laws created by humanity. 

Themis, goddess of custom | Athenian red figure kylix | Antikensammlung, Berlin

 Themis, Athenian red-figure kylix C5th B.C., Antikensammlung, Berlin

                                                                     The following quote of text from http://www.theoi.com/Titan/TitanisThemis.html adds additional understanding to Themis and her power. 

“Themis was closely identified with Demeter…. Indeed Themis' six children, the spring-time Horai and death-bringing Moirai, reflect the dual-functions of Demeter's own daughter Persephone. Themis was also identified with Gaia (Earth) especially in the role of the oracular voice of earth.”

Themis & the Oracle of Delphi | Greek vase painting

T8.1 THEMIS
ORACLE OF DELPHI

Themis & the Nymphs | Greek vase painting

T8.3 THEMIS,
NYMPHS

Themis & Eris | Greek vase painting

N15.2 THEMIS,
ERIS

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 5. 67. 3 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
"Of the female Titanes . . . Themis, the myths tell us, was the first to introduce divinations and sacrifices and ordinances which concern the gods [piety], and to instruct men in the ways of obedience to laws and of peace [lawfulness]. Consequently men who preserve what is holy with respect to the gods and the laws of men are called ‘law-guardians’ (thesmophulakes) and ‘law-givers’ (thesmothetai)."

Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 13. 298 ff :
"Ay, wicked men never elude pure Themis (Divine Law) : night and day her eyes are on them, and the wide world through above the tribes of men she floats in air, holpen of Zeus, for punishment of sin."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 41. 155 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"[Hermes] came to help [Aphrodite with] the labour of Beroe [goddess of the city famous for its law-courts], and Themis (Divine-Law) was her Eileithyia (Birth-Goddess)--she made a way through the narrow opening of the swollen womb for the child, and unfolded the wrapping, and lightened the sharp pang of the ripening birth, with Solon’s laws in hand. Kypris [Aphrodite] under the oppression of her travail leaned back heavily against the ministering goddess, and in her throes brought forth the wise child upon the Attic book."

Themis & Zeus | Greek vase painting

T8.2 THEMIS,
ZEUS

Themis & Bendis | Greek vase painting

K45.1 THEMIS,
BENDIS

In her essay on Themis, Dr. Kathleen Granville Damiani says, “The Greek word Themis and the English word Doom are one and the same. Doom is whatever is fixed and settled. ‘Your private doom is your private opinion, but that is weak and ineffective. It is the collective Doom, public opinion, that, for man's common convenience, crystallizes into Law. Themis like Doom begins on earth and ends in heaven.’ (Harrison, Themis, 483)”

TITLES & EPITHETS OF THEMIS

Greek Name

Transliteration

Latin Spelling

Translation

 

EubouloV

Euboulos

Eubolus

Well-Counselled
(euboulos)

 

OrqobouloV

Orthoboulos

Orthobolus

Straight Counselled
(orthos, boulos)

 

Swteira

SŰteira

Sotira

Saviour
(sŰteiros)

 

`Iera

Hiera

Hiera

Holy, Reverend
(hieros)

 

AidoioV

Aidoios

Aedoeus

Reverend, August,
Venerable (aidos)

 

EugenhV

EugenÍs

Eugenes

High-Born
(eugenÍs)

 

TitaniV

Titanis

Titanis

Female Titan
(titan, titanis)

Ritual: 
There are times in life when we enter the court system to have help in dealing with life’s sitations – child support, divorce, civil and criminal issues.  Each time, standing before a judge, we hope to have favor and receive what we think is truly ours- money, rights, absolution or justice.  This ritual is for women who are undergoing this process. 

 Supplies Needed:  blue candle – for Themis, green candle – for Gaia, black candle and white candle – to represent balance and your needs, frankincense incense optional, soothing music, two quarters that have been charged with full moon magic. 

 Smudge your space using sage, salt water, or your own favorite method.  And prepare your altar with the candles and place your quarters there.  Take a bath with the music on and cleanse yourself, clear your chakras, and attempt to still your mind.   When finished, approach your altar and write the words that best describe what outcome you need on the black and white candles.  You can dress all the candles with your favorite oils and spices so they have something uniquely you on them.  Light the blue candle for Themis and say,

Themis, Goddess, I call on you
That all may be as it should
For Rightness on tomorrow’s day
With decisions for my good.  

Then light the black and white candles and tell the Goddess of your specific worries and the situation that has brought you to court.  When ready, light the green candle to Gaia and ask, “for the best possible outcome to all.”  Meditate on the truth that everything we do and ask for is directly connected to Gaia and her web of life.  When ready, extinguish the green and blue candles (in case you have several days in court and want to do this each night).  But let your black and white candles burn.  In the morning put a quarter in each pocket so that you have something to hold in your palm to remind you of the Goddess and that she is with you during the trial or hearing.  On subsequent nights, light the blue and green candle and ask for what you perceive to be needed- the right words for truth to be spoken, or whatever other help you need.              

 

Original Art by Artesia

 Suffering A Long Winter

-         a hymn to Themis
        

Justice Card - MotherPeace Tarot

 As Demeter wandered, enraged and grief stricken,

So have I, stumbling through life,

With tears and anger compressed

like dark diamonds, into depression.

My setbacks and losses chilling me

like a decade of winter.

I have forgotten balance

and abandoned Temperance.

Living daily with the too cruel hand

of Fate tucked into my back pocket,

pulling me back from all I deserved.

At first, I railed against what life brought,

refusing to believe it could last long.

I accepted my suffering

as a phase,

a chance to grow,

a test of faith.

Then my optimism floundered

from relentless pressure,

crushing my hope, grinding my kindness.

My voice raised the winds of rage.

My sadness caused tears to spill on cheeks not my own.

My suffering silenced friends and family.

Until the sun washed my face dry,

peeling away the skin

leaving only bone.

My outer layers of memories, experiences and emotions gone,

my skull grew warm.

Themis, Blossom of Earth,

touched me, germinating hope.

And then I knew,

having been wounded, I understood pain.

Having wounded, I understood power.

All chance for destruction or growth lies

within the rise and fall of my voice.

And I choose wisely,

listening to Themis,

High-born, Well-Counseled.

The Righteous One.

And I refrain from rash anger

to speak words of truth

with tempered care and empathetic love,

finding Balance, walking in Wisdom.

And my compressed rage breaks apart slowly

one day at a time

to reveal new growth-

my soul’s spring rejuvenation of self.

 To learn more about Themis, read the Motherpeace chapter on Justice or spend some time journeying with the card.

 

Sources: 
Grannymoon’s Morning Feast
Wikipedia – Themis, the Horae
http://azothgallery.com/alchemical/k_damiani_sophiasoul.html
http://www.theoi.com/Titan/TitanisThemis.html

This page is the creative and intellectual property of HPS Artesia 

Copyright 2008 

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