A Month of Devotional Thought — Hera, Day 6

Yesterday’s post was on the close genealogical connections of Hera, and today’s is concerning other gods or spirits associated with her.

The Charites are traditionally associated with Hera, either as part of her retinue or even potentially her daughters by Zeus as well as the other gods that I discussed yesterday. I also include the Hesperides in the group of (minor) goddesses associated with her as they guard the golden apples that Heracles is supposed to get as one of his labors.

According to some of the Homeric Hymns, she was fostered by Oceanus and Tethys, giving her a connection to some of the older rulers of the sea. Because of this, during the voyage of the Argo, one account has Hera able to summon the Nereids to aid the hero Jason of Thessaly’s voyage.

Although Hera did favor Jason in his voyage, it is also worth noting that she may have done so because of an insult Pelias (the ruler before Jason) had done to her. But, even if that had been her motive, there are few examples that I know of where one of the Theoi consistently aided a single hero (the only other that springs to mind is Odysseus). The only other of the well-known heroes of Greece that she has a strong connection with in myth is Heracles, and it is interesting to note that Hera was the one who commanded that Heracles be left behind by the Argonauts.

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