Rhea

Rejected Mother

Mother of Zeus

Shunned by the Titans

Imprisoned in Tartarus

When Rhea married her brother Cronus to become Queen of the gods, it marked the start of the golden age of the Titans. The situation soured with the birth of Hestia, her first child. The curse Uranus placed on Cronus, to be overthrown by his children, became a real threat and Cronus seized the infant and swallowed her whole. Cronus' rule became stricter and his golden age slipped into tyranny.

The heartbroken Rhea endured the sight of four more of her children being devoured. Each time, Cronus simply seized the child and swallowed it whole as the baby was presented to him. The goddess turned to her mother, Gaia, who had faced similar pain and loss at the hands of Uranus. Together the women devised a plan to save Rhea's sixth child, Zeus.

Gaia acted as midwife during a long, hard labour. Eventually Rhea emerged from the birthing room and, as tradition dictated, she presented an impatient Cronus with the infant wrapped in swaddling cloth. The god grabbed the infant and swallowed it whole, failing to notice the child was nothing more than a large stone. In truth the labour had been easy and Gaia, along with the infant Zeus, escaped to Crete.

Rhea's intentions were for Zeus to grow up and leave Greece, never intending for the young god to become the vehicle of Uranus' curse. She felt joy when Zeus cut open Cronus and freed his brothers and sisters, her love blinding her to the threat the children posed to the Titanic court. Not until the Titanomachy began did she realise the danger. As much as she loved her children and despite Cronus' tyranny, she was Queen of the Gods. By her husband's side she fought the Olympians until the end.

Imprisonment

Facing Zeus after defeat, Rhea expected leniency as the mother of the Olympians, but her children partly blamed her and there was no mercy. Condemned to Tartarus, her situation got worse. The other Titans blamed Rhea for their downfall because she let Zeus escape and they ignored her, leaving her isolated.

For a long time the pain caused by the Olympians and the Titans overwhelmed her but the inner strength of the Queen of the Titans is again evident. Her goals are unique amongst the Titans for she wants to escape but not to return to power. Rhea has accepted that Uranus' curse and not Zeus' uprising is to blame for the Titans' downfall. At peace with her past she no longer desires power and wishes only to walk through the fertile lands of Greece. She is the most reasonable and rational of the imprisoned Titans.

Agents

Her agents come from those who have been rejected by their family. They wear black cloaks adorned with feathers and cut lonely figures as they travel the world. They avoid agents of the other Titans and each other, preferring to work alone as they promote the notion of family unity and forgiveness. The agents also help protect and promote Rhea's cult. It is matrilineal, having only priestesses, and predominantly female followers. Their rituals focus on the sanctity of motherhood and the comfort of a complete family.

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open/settings/6d6hellenic/rhea.txt · Last modified: 2016/01/13 15:57 by tregenza
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