Themis — Goddess of Divine Law

Themis was the goddess of divine law–the primal, unwritten laws governing human conduct which were first established by the gods of heaven. She was believe to have issued these edicts to mankind through the great oracle of Delphi over which she presided alongside the god Apollon.”

It is interesting to me that Themis is portrayed as being one of the gods of Delphi as there is not usually any god or goddess that people associate with it other than Apollo or (maybe) Gaea. She is the goddess who defines law for the Gods as well as for humanity.  With her daughter Eunomia (Good Order) she is portrayed as being the protector of cities. The name of her daughter includes the word “nomos” which is usually translated as “law” where her name is usually translated as “custom”. These translations into English, however, ignore the culture of Greece itself where custom is often more important than law.

In MY mind, this is because “custom” is what works and “law” may not. The laws of Nature, such as gravity, would therefore fall under Themis rather than Nomos. Human “laws” such as the inability of gays to talk about homosexuality PUBLICLY in Russia are another matter.

Themis, as one of the counselors of Zeus, is a goddess that should be better known to us. However, with the exception of the Orphic Hymn to her there are only fragments that survive. This is a goddess who we need to have more thought of in our daily lives if we are to live those lives in ways that honor the Gods.

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