The Cosmic Horae: Order, Justice and Peace Shall Rule
In Greek Mythology the classification of Goddesses known as the Horae composed two basic components of cyclic action. This name given of “Horae” was used to describe several goddesses whose primary function was order, balance and justice from the aspect of nature to the larger demands of Cosmic events. The earliest writing about the Horae is attribute to Homer’s Iliad as custodians of the gates of Olympus. These were the daughters of Mighty Zeus and the Titaness, Themis, Goddess of Divine Order. Early worship in Athens separated the six dominant Horae into two triads that in combination attended to the order of society from cosmic affairs to the human needs.
The first of these being the Triad of the three seasons: Thallo (Spring), Auxo (Summer) and Carpo (Autumn). These Goddesses were considered the guardians of the growing season and agricultural blessings were bestowed by their continuous and fruitful cycles. Their worship was predominantly within the rural communities, serving the needs of the farmers and those living more simply and closer to the lands. Their annual festival was held in Horaea.
The Second Triad was responsible for the right order and balance of the Cosmos; thus affecting also the balance of daily mundane life and order within society. These were considered the Cosmic Horae and in addition to recognition in Athens were worshiped in the main cities of Argos and Olympia where politics and wealth played their games of power. Even their parentage spoke of power being the daughters of Zeus and Themis, the Titaness of Divine Order.
In the Hellenistic and Roman periods the Horae became the four seasons and were considered to be the daughters of the sun god, Helios, and the moon goddess, Selene, each represented by the conventional seasonal attributes of Spring, Summer, Winter and Fall. Subsequently, when the day was divided into 12 equal parts, each of them took the name of Hora (meaning “hour”) and each was responsible for a section of time and the energies that would prevail.
The Horae carried aspects of their parents, which when applied together formed a cohesive balance and whole. The cycles of the seasons continue through the balance of order, justice and peace and the fates web the stories of birth and death for those of humanity who will live in accord with those cycles in keeping with the laws. The focus for this essay is the Cosmic Horae of the Second Triad; Dike, Eunomia and Eirene and their Mother Themis.
The Titaness, Themis
The Goddess, Themis was an ancient deity of the First generation of the creation myths. She is one of the twelve Titans and daughter of Uranus and Gaia. She was responsible for maintaining and overseeing Divine order and much like the Egyptian Goddess, Ma’at, she was considered the personification of order within the Cosmos. Cosmic order was the required state for justice and balance to prevail and from the natural chaos of creative endeavor, Hers was the power to restore and provide the necessary structure to keep chaos at bay.
Themis is often depicted as blindfolded and carrying the scales of Justice and we all are familiar with the saying that “justice is blind”. In this way her actions and determinations had no bias of who, what or when. It was simply a fact that order would prevail, at all costs. Her final ruling could be severe and her judgment was precise and specific in its application. Maintaining Divine order and justice also required that she sit in judgment of the newly deceased and make final decision of whether they would enjoy the afterlife of the Elysian Fields or be cast into the deep abyss of Tartarus and eternal torment. Therefore, it behooved the individual to follow the precepts of law and order in their earthly life and this was upheld by the control of her daughters, the Cosmic Horae seeing that justice was preserved in daily affairs.
Another of Themis’ roles was that of a visionary. She was the overseer of the Oracle of Delphi before it was dedicated to Apollo and held in his domain. And, much in the same manner that we adhere to the principle that “with great power (or insight) comes great responsibility” there is a necessary application of balance, order, ethical and justifiable communication required when sharing the insights of visionary and oracular sight. Misspoken words can produce chaos, fear and restrained action if not productive to an outcome that should be driven by free will rather than destiny’s pre-determined hand.
In some myths, Themis is said to have (wed) the mighty God Zeus and their union produced the Eunomia, Dike and Eirene who became known as the Second or Cosmic Horae. The Fates (Moiraies) were also said to be progeny of the powerful Zeus and exacting Themis and again the themes of order are played out. Clotho spun the thread of life on her spindle; Lachesis measured the amount allotted to each individual and Atropos chose the manner and time of death. Each, becoming an extension of the Cosmic order of life and death. Each carrying out the broader reach of their mother, Themis.
1. Hesiod, Works and Days 212 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) 2. Demosthenes, Against Aristogeiton 25. 11 (Greek rhetoric C4th B.C.) :
3. Hesiod, Works & Days – Greek Epic C8th-7th B.C.
Part Two Next Month:
The Executors of Divine Order
About the Author:
Robin Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author.
She is the author of:
It’s Written in the Stars
The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two
The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three
The Eternal Cord
A Collection of Esoteric Writings
Aligning the Parts of SELF
Musings on the Magick of the Natural World
Nights of Devotion
Musings for the Year
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