THE FIRST KING ~Phanes~
From the Egg, Phanes (God of Light) emerged. He who is known as Firstborn (Πρωτόγονος), the Shining One (Φαέθων), Ericapaeus and Metis. He has four eyes looking everywhere, four horns, and golden wings. He’s both male and female, he has a mighty voice, bellows like a bull and roars like a lion. He is the all-seeing Zeus (will be explained later in the myth).
He is the personification of the creative Eros (not the son of Aphrodite), the progenitor of the Gods, who call him “the Revealer” and “First-Born” and can be seen only by his daughter. And as he was born the Aether and Chasm were torn apart.
Seated in the misty darkness of the Cave of his daughter Nyx, the First King divided the world between Gods and mortals. He builds an everlasting dwelling for the Immortal Gods. He brings forth the Moon which Gods call Selene and mortals call Mene, with mountains, cities and mansions and for the ephemeral beings he made a world with natural laws and with a sun neither too cold nor too hot, but appropriate for their needs.
THE SECOND KING ~Nyx~
Phanes then united with his daughter Nyx, the Mother of Dreams, and gave her the rulership. He placed in her hands his mighty staff, the scepter of Ericapaeus, and bestowed upon her the gift of prophecy. Nyx gave birth to Gaia (earth) and Uranus (sky) and gave the scepter of Phanes to Uranus, giving him the Kingship. Uranus and Gaia united and this is the first marriage.
THE THIRD KING ~Uranus~
Gaia gives birth to the three Cyclops and the three giant Hundred-Handers, but these were an unruly bunch and Uranus cast them into the deep Tartarus, for he had received an oracle that his own children would overthrow him.
But when Uranus imprisoned her sons, Gaia was greatly distressed so she gave birth to seven daughters and seven sons, the Titans. (Hesiod mentions 6 daughters and 6 sons)
Themis, Tethys, Mnemosyne, Theia, Dione, Phoebe, Rea
Coeus, Crius, Phorcys, Hyperion, Iapetus, Oceanus and Cronus.
Of all these mighty sons and daughters of Gaia and Uranus it was Cronus who Nyx cherished and cultivated.
Gaia then pleaded with the Titans to overthrow their father for having casted their siblings into Tartarus. All Titans agreed except Oceanus.
She then gave Cronus an adamantine sickle and when Uranus came to lie with her the Titans bounded him while Cronus cut off his genitals which fell into the sea and from the foam the Heavenly Aphrodite emerged, the mother of Harmony. And as she was born, Zelus (envy, jealousy) and Apate (fraud) the winged Demons took her into their care.
THE FOURTH KING ~Cronus~
When the Titans overthrew their father Uranus, Cronus who by his very nature and because he borne the greatest weight of the deed done to his father, assumed the Kingship. He married his sister Rea and the rest Titans married each other.
Cronus and Rea produced Hestia, Hera, Plouton and Poseidon. But same as his father, Cronus also received a prophecy that he will be overthrown by his children so he swallows them as they came into the world. Rea, same as Gaia, is greatly displeased, and she makes a plan. The next child was born, Zeus, and at the birth of Zeus Rea becomes the Mother-Earth, Demeter. She deceived Cronus by presenting him with a rock wrapped with swaddling clothes. Cronus swallowed the rock, thinking it was his newborn son. This caused him to vomit up all the Titanic children.
Plouton took his seat on Earth wielding his Cap of Invisibility, the symbol of his power.
Poseidon took residence in the Sea, wielding the Trident.
And Zeus was also destined for great things, but it wasn’t his time yet.
The newborn God was rushed to the cave of Nyx in great secrecy and placed under the care of the nymphs Adrasteia and her sister Ida. To prevent Cronus from hearing the cries of the child, Adrasteia stood in front of the cave and loudly clashed brazen cymbals and beat a goat-skin drum while the three Curetes, Demons, sons of Rea, drowned out his cries with a frenzied dance of clashing spear and shield, beating their feet on the ground around the baby.
When Zeus grew in strength and the time was right, received an instruction from Nyx: “When your father is in the oaken wood and drunk with the fruit of bees, then bind him!”
Zeus told his mother everything and Rea threw a magnificent banquet. Along with course after course of Abrosia, she gave Cronus great drafts of golden honey. Soon Cronus got drunk, got out and roamed the forest until he laid down and fell asleep. Zeus and his confidants went in search of him, and, just as Nyx had foretold, they found him in the oaken wood. They bound the God and Zeus castrated him, just as Cronus had previously castrated his own father.
THE FIFTH KING ~Zeus~
And then Zeus went to the Sacred Cave and asked, “Mother, supreme of all the Gods, immortal Nyx, how am I to proceed? How can I inaugurate my rule with the immortal Gods? How can I keep all things as one yet separate?” And Nyx answered him saying, “Surround everything in the Aether. The heavens, the earth, the sea, and the stars… And bind them all with a golden aetherial chain.”
And so mighty Zeus engulfed and swallowed Ericapaeus, employing all of his power, and drew everything that existed into the hollow of his belly. And now all things in Zeus were created anew, the sky, the sea, the earth, and all the blessed and immortal Gods and Goddesses, all that was then and all that will be, all mingled in the belly of Zeus. (Zeus became Life)
And then Zeus produces his children: He mates with Ananke (Necessity) and generated Fate (Ειμαρμένη).
Themis (law-giving) who was barren until the birth of Zeus as Nyx had foretold in oracle, she bore him the Seasons (Horae), Justice (Dike), Good Order (Eunomia) and Peace (Eirene) who manifest the progression of Nature.
With Eunomia he fathered the Charites: Aglaea (Splendor), Euphrosyne (Mirth) and Thalia (Good Cheer).
He pursued Dione, but she escaped and his divine semen fell into the sea. When the sping came, from the foam the common Aphrodite came forth, she who awakens laughters and who blesses the physical union of mortals. (Second birth of Aphrodite)
With Hera he fathered Hephastus, who the three Cyclops taught him the art of coppersmith, and he (Hephastus) mated with Aphrodite and created the form of the Universe. Then he (Hephastus) united with Aglaea and produced Eucleia (Good Glory), Euthenia (Abundance), Eupheme (Good Fame) and Philophrosyne (Friendliness).
With Hera, Zeus also fathered Ares, Hebe, Eileithyia who protects the births of our progeny, Artemis the great huntress who with her dogs seeks beautiful prey to receive her arrows, she is a great boon to women, for she assists them in childbirth and her brother Apollo, the slayer of the Python who unites the two streams of oracular ability: one stems from Zeus, for he sits at his father’s side and proclaims his will, and the other originates with Earth who gave it to Themis who gave it to Phoebe who at last passed it on to him for all time. Apollo plays the mystic guitar which spins our souls to Freedom, for which he is known as the Great Liberator.
With Maia he produced Hermes the luck-bringing messenger of the deathless Gods, who is cherished for his great love of mankind.
And from his head, Zeus produced Athena, a glory to behold all gleaming in bronze and bearing arms, for she is adorned with shining armor at her birth.
Zeus took up the invincible Thunderbolt, crafted for him by the Cyclops, and the Staff of Phanes passed down through all the line of kings. He now took saddle upon a comely she-goat which transported him to his throne in the Sky. Nyx bid him to keep Law, Justice, and Piety at his side. Tthis he did and commenced his glorious reign. And joined with him in marriage is his sister Hera, of equal rank with him.
He then appealed to his father: “Glorious Demon, how must I set up this generation?” and Cronus gave him lengthy advice. Thus, Zeus divided up the kingdom amongst the greatest of the Gods, he and eleven others, for which they are known as the Dodekatheon, the Twelve Olympian Gods.
And he gave them each governance over one of the Natural Laws:
Hestia - Movement
Ares - Life
Artemis - Energy
Hephastus - Form
Hera - Attraction
Poseidon - Progress
Athena - Co-Influence
Aphrodite - Harmony
Apollo - Freedom
Hermes - Movement in the Divine Realm
Zeus - Life in the Divine Realm
Demeter - Energy in the Divine Realm
THE SIXTH KING ~Zagreus/Dionysus~
Mighty Zeus with deep fore-knowledge, understood he must marry his mother Demeter (Earth-Mother), but Demeter resisted his advances and transformed herself into a serpent. Zeus responded by becoming a serpent himself and the two intertwined in a Knot of Heracles (Reef-knot. This knot was a symbol in ancient times of the bond of marriage) producing the Daughter (Kore) Persephone.
Then, when time had passed and Persephone was at the bloom of her youth, Zeus again became a serpent, united with her and produced the child Zegreus, who got the horns of his mother. And the leaping Curetes danced about his cradle, clashing their cymbals, stamping their feet to the beat of the drum.
When the God was still young, Zeus set him on a throne and placed the scepter in his hands. All the Gods were gathered in awe and Zeus declared: “Listen you Gods! Behold, here is your king!"
But Hera wasn’t happy that her husband had a child and heir to the throne with another woman, so she sends the seven pairs of Titans with faces smeared with gypsum, approached Zagreus and presented him with a basket containing seven toys: a mirror, knucklebones, a sphere, a top, an apple, a cone and a tuft of hair.
Little Zagreus peaked inside the basket and glimpsed his own reflection radiating back at him. He picked up the beautiful Mirror and was mesmerized by his image. The Titans took advantage of his state of wonderment and seized him. But Zagreus resisted and tried many sundry ways to escape them. He transformed himself into the tiniest little things, thinking he would surely slip through their fingers, but the Titans would not relax their grip. Next he became all manner of creatures from the sea, first the spineless jellyfish and the spinning crustaceans, he became the swimming fish, both small and large, and he turned into a wondrous dolphin, and a shark, and many creatures long forgot, but the Titans would not relax their grip. Now Zagreus became four-footed creatures, a mouse, a dog, a lion, and great panther. He became a goat, a wild horse, and all the other numerous cloven-footed animals, and finally a great bull, but the Titans would not relax their grip. And after so many divers transformations, whirling from one to another, from female to male and back again, over and over into all the vast plenitude of life, Zagreus grew dizzy and woke from his futile attempt to circumvent their plan. He found himself simply staring into the Mirror, unable to escape.
The Titans took Zagreus and prepared him for a great meal. They cut him into seven pieces, but the heart, the seat of the Mind, was carefully set aside and the limbs were left alone. The Titans then boiled the pieces and placed them on spits, roasting them, and they ate some of his flesh in a great holy rite.
When the smoke of the sacrifice reached the palace of the all-seeing king, Zeus immediately recognized the savor of his burning scion and understood what had occurred. He sent Athiná to retrieve the heart. She placed it in a silver casket and delivered it to her father, and it is for this reason that she is known as Pallas, for the heart was still beating. Zefs now summoned Apollo and said: “Collect the limbs of Wine, for he is the essence of my Aether which intoxicates the souls of all those who taste it!” Apollo sped swiftly to the great sacrifice, gathered the limbs with tenderness, and entombed them at his sanctuary on Mount Parnassus.
And now with no delay the mighty son of Cronus stood before the Titans, in no mood for conversation. He lifted his great left arm straight into the clouds. A terrible clap of thunder bellowed from the vast sky like the roar of a powerful bull. The surrounding clouds exploded into light and from within emerged an enormous glowing bolt of lightning which took perfect aim upon the Titans. All the heavens lit up and exposed colossal mountains of ominous dark clouds, crackling with lightning, the powerful weapon of Olympian Zeus. And now the God bent his fury upon the earth with a torrent of massive thunderbolts setting all ablaze and the Titans with it.
The anger of the God continued for a great period of time, but at last the smoke dispersed and soot fell from the sky. From this ash, the remains of the blasted Titans, Father Zeus revealed a new generation of mortals. For under Phanes there had been a Golden Age of men. And under Cronus there was a Silver Age where men had very long lives. But there would now be a new age, with humans and sundry kinds of animals, some who fly, some walking, and others swimming, all of whom have souls from the soot, but in due time their bodies grow old and fade away or are destroyed by disease or violence. Their souls, however, are immortal and have as their source the Aether of Zeus himself. They come back and are reborn in the mortal bodies of the various creatures, sometimes walking, sometimes swimming, or sometimes human, sometimes female and sometimes male, being born and living a while but then fading away only to return, over and over, with little respite. And of this sorrowful cycle of births, Zeus had deep compassion and he thereby devised a great plan, for from the still-beating heart of Zagreus would come a great God.
As these events came to fruition, Kypris attracted the attention of Ares. They united and produced Harmony. When Harmony came to age, Zeus gave her to King Cadmus and they produced Semele. And the attention of Zeus fell upon her for she possessed a two-fold beauty, both of physical form which was unsurpassed, but also within her heart. Zeus proceeded to woo her, for he recognized in the girl a suitable vessel in which his providence would blossom. He united with the daughter of Cadmus and the beating heart of Zagreus was nurtured within her womb. Zeus was so pleased with Semele that he promised to return and grant her anything she desired.
In the meanwhile, Hera, discovered this liaison. She transformed herself into an old woman and approached the door of Semele, introduced herself as Veroe and asked to be employed in Semele’s house. She accepted, unaware of who Veroe really was. Soon she revealed to Veroe all that had transpired and that her divine suitor was soon to return and grant her anything she desired. Then the old woman smiled and said to her, “Oh, such a great opportunity! Ask the mighty God to come to you in all his glory. Ask him to come to you as he comes to his wife Hera!”
Soon Zeus returned and Semele made the request suggested by Veroe, but the mighty God looked deeply into her eyes and said, “Not this, Semele, not this.” But his reluctance only made her desire for this wish stronger, and with this he left. When next he returned to the home of Semele, there was a great wind and thunder. The fire-bearing son of Cronus appeared before her crackling with lightning, but as he approached, she could not withstand his glory and was completely burnt away. Zeus reached into the fire and retrieved the divine infant. He cut open his own thigh, placed the baby inside and sewed up the wound. And when the months were up, the child was born from the thigh of Zeus himself for which the child-God is known as Thrice-Born (Τρίγονος). He was delivered to the Goddess Hipta, the soul of the universe (here Zeus is called Sabazios, a Phrygian deity syncretized to Zeus), who put the infant in a red basket wound about by a snake. The Goddess set the basket on her head and carried the child up Mount Ida and placed him in the care of the Mother of the Gods, who, when the time was ripe, taught him the rites of the Mysteries.
This child, conceived from the heart of Zagreus, is now born again and transformed into Dionysus, and it is he who, along with the Daughter (Kore) Persephone, initiates mortals into Mysteries and thereby frees them from this wheel of misery bringing the compassion of his father to fruition. And thus men make great sacrifice of a hundred oxen and practice the mystic rites yearning for freedom. And Zeus, through his blessed Son, sets them free from the sting of endless passion and sufferings.