The Erinyes, Children of the Night and Daughters of the Earth and Darkness
Submitted by: swampy
“Then fell Tisiphone with Rage was stung,
and from her mouth th’ untwisted serpents hung,
Girt in a bloody gown a torch she shakes,
And round her neck twines speckled wreathes of snakes.
Part of her tresses loudly hiss, and part
Spread poison as their forked tongues they dart…” (Metamorphoses, Book IV)
The Erinyes, the three Goddesses of revenge, are among the most ancient Goddesses and predated Zeus and all the other Olympians. In Greek mythology, They are called the Erinyes – in Roman mythology They are called the Furies (“the furious”) or Dirae (“the terrible”). They are usually represented as three black sisters: Alecto (“the Unceasing”), Megaera (“the Grudging”) and Tisiphone (“the Avenging”).
The Erinyes are the children of Gaia and Uranus. They were created from drops of blood coming from the wounds of Uranus when He was castrated by His son Cronus and which fell upon the Earth (Gaia). The first drop of blood formed Aphrodite, which is why She is sometimes referred to as the oldest of The Erinyes.
Artists in ancient times depicted The Erinyes as women with fiery eyes and snake hair and with attributes such as torches and whips. Sometimes They were dressed as hunters.
The Erinyes were placed in Hades and are Goddesses of the dead. They also are called upon to revenge the crimes – especially those against women and mothers – of murder, perjury, ingratitude, disrespect, harshness, violation of filial piety and the laws of hospitality. They are impartial and impersonal, and pursue these wrongdoers until they are driven mad and die. But even in death, the criminal does not find rest until he shows remorse.
The Erinyes are associated with funeral trees: the alder, the black poplar, and the yew. The color associated with the three is black and the animal associated with Them is the snake.