Titan Of Night & Darkness, Daughter of Chaos
“To Nyx (Night), Fumigation with Torches. Nyx, parent goddess, source of sweet repose from whom at first both Gods and men arose. Hear, blessed Kypris [Aphrodite], decked with starry light, in sleep’s deep silence dwelling ebon night! Dreams (oneiroi) and soft ease attend thy dusky train, pleased with the lengthened gloom and feastful strain, dissolving anxious care, the friend of mirth, with darkling coursers riding round the earth. Goddess of phantoms and of shadowy play, whose drowsy power divides the natural day; by fate’s decree you constant send the light to deepest hell, remote from mortal sight; for dire necessity (ananke), which nought withstands, invests the world with adamantine bands. Be present, Goddess, to thy suppliant’s prayer, desired by all, whom all alike revere, blessed, benevolent, with friendly aid dispel the fears of twilight’s dreadful shade.” –Orphic Hymn 3 to Nyx
Name: Nyx, The Titan of Night & Darkness. She has also been called Mistress of Darkness and Spirit of the Night. The Romans worship her as Nox. As a Titan, the correct form of address is 'Her Imperial Majesty'. Sometimes, she is just called Night.
Sole Parent - Chaos, First one of the Gods
Appearance: Nyx is quite tall and slim lithe at 5'9" and weighing 110 lbs. Her hair is blackish-brown and she leaves it quite straight & long most of the times. Her skin is flawlessly pale-white and is often depicted as a winged goddess.
Her eyes have been described as 'pools of the deepest blackness that can sometimes make you feel like you are falling into them'. She keeps her seductive figure very curvy by choice. It was said that her upper figure was quite ample, as given by a Fragment 1B of the Bacchylides - "holy .., daughter of great-bosomed Nyx.", especially with a figure of 34C-24-36.
As a Titan, she believes that she is more powerful then the Olympians (which is true in most cases except for the senior ones), and blames Zeus for his actions in causing the overthrow of Kronos. Because of Apollo's love, she was not cast into prison by Zeus and allowed to keep her position with a reduction in power influencing Mount Olympus and the world below. She still holds control of the Crown of Darkness, but has passed on the Scepter of Moonlight.
When she is in private or where appropriate, she enjoys being nude. She enjoys wearing tight silk gowns with that plunging very low in the back & are cut very high at the sides at times, and other times, she gets around in skimpy clothing. But in general, she is more refined unless she is in a playful mood.
She enjoys wearing jewelry, and is rarely found without any form of precious stone adornment.
During times when Nyx does not want to worry about her long hair obstructing her vision, she can often be seen wearing a blue-black headband to hold it back. This even got a mention in Bacchylides Frag 25 as "Nyx of the blue-black headband."
Nyx rides across the sky in a two horse chariot drawing her dark mists across the sky.
Personality: Nyx has been described as 'deliberately enshrouded in a cloak of mystery', yet was well-known as one of the most popular deities, being worshipped everywhere.
She is enigmatic and widely feared, although not hostile by action it seems that because thieves, murderers and madness usually work by night it is one of the reasons that she has earned fear among the masses. In fact, the people of Smyrna believe in "two Nemeses instead of one; they say Nyx was their mother." - Pausanias 7.5.1
The importance and responsibility of Nyx's role is profound and it pleases her that she can provide such as service to mortals.
“Nyx (night) with her gentle ban on man’s activities descended on the company. She put the world to sleep.” – Argonautica 4.1057
“Nox [Nyx the Night] came on, and laid to rest the cares of men and the prowlings of wild beasts, and wrapped the heavens in her dusky shroud, coming to all with kindly influence.” –Thebaid 3.406
“And Nyx (Night), respite from labour after the journey of the sun, lightened sleep and brought the beginning of wandering morn; and opened the two gates of Dreams (Oneiroi).” –Colluthus 319
She deeply cares for her children, and knows that although she may have been a distant mother, they didn't turn out as bad as others in general. "From Nyx and Erebos (were born} Fate, Old Age, Death,, Dissolution, Continence, Sleep, Dreams, Love - that is, Lysimeles, Ephiphron, Porphyrion, Epaphus, Discord, Wretchedness, Wantonness, Nemesis, Euphrosyne, Friendship, Compassion, Stux; the three Fates, namely, Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos; the Hesperides, Aegle, Hesperie, Aerica." - Hyginus Pref
Nyx could be seen to have a very healthy dose of narcissism, if it were not true of being a Titan. She has no fear and treads where Olympians do not dare go beyond the veils of space where voids and domains beyond mortal comprehension exist. She sometimes wishes for the old days. While most believe the war with the Olympians is over, Nyx does not and is secretly always on the lookout for something to help bring her father, Kronos, back to rule. She does know that should that happen, she would need to step in quickly to convince Kronos not to smite Apollo and her children with the rest of the Olympians. The night is long and she bides her time, even if it will take millions of years more.
She is greatly amused by how much of a squabbling ramble the Olympians are, and is pleased that Zeus has a hard time giving into them. She knows that Kronos ruled with an iron fist, and that Zeus should be more stronger.
She does not let others push her around, and has a terrible temper. It has been said that even Zeus is in awe of her and feared doing anything to displease her for her temper was legendary.
She represents both the darkness and the starlight of night. As with that, she is neither hostile or compassionate, treading down the middle mostly. Although she is not a compassionate goddess in general, Nyx does often provide lost mariners with help in the form of the constellation Altar should they heed her favouring signs as outlined in Phaenomena 405,
“The [constellation] Altar even beyond aught else hath ancient Nyx (Night), weeping the woe of men, set to be a mighty sign of storm at sea. For ships in trouble pain her heart, and other signs in other quarters she kindles in sorrow for mariners, storm-buffeted at sea. Wherefore I bid thee pray, when in the open sea, that that constellation wrapt in clouds appear not amidst the others in the heavens, herself unclouded and resplendent but banked above with billowing clouds, as often it is beset when the autumn wind drives them back For often Nyx herself reveals this sign, also, for the South Wind in her kindness to toiling sailors. If they heed her favouring signs … Nyx kindles like signs of storm upon the gleaming Altar.”
Overall, Nyx is very unpredictable and she tends to display an aura of tranquility and threat at the same time.
It is said that every day, the Titan Nyx has the rooster slain for awakening the warm day with its cry.
She has been said to represent the dark, dangerous and voluptuous side of female sexual appeal, and doesn't have any problems with using her beauty & power of hypnotic seduction to do what she wants.
She still harbours love for Apollo, and was greatly saddened when news of his marriage to Sappho came to her by way of her temples. It was said that for an unusually long time of twenty-two days, Selene (also known by mortals as the Moon) was hidden from the sky by the deepest blackness of Nyx's caress (for Selene was comforting her close friend) that mortals could remember and it rained continually at night. However, Nyx finally decided that she had to continue on, no matter how much her heart ached and both the events stopped on the 23rd night.
It has been said in private whispers that the relationship between Nyx and Selene is more intimate then commonly known, despite Nyx's love for Apollo.
Background: Born as a single child of Chaos with Erebus, Nyx is a member of the second generation of Gods known as Titans or Protogenoi, and is the personification of the Night.
The twins separated later after birth and Nyx went up into the night while Erebus went down to the Underworld. After she became pregnant with help from Erebus, she gave birth to a number of gods and goddesses, including Thanatos and Nemesis.
It has been said in legends that when Apollo, God of the Sun, first saw Nyx, he fell in love with her beauty so much that it hypnotized him. He mused for a long time to find a suitable present to win her, and finally created Selene, known as the Moon by mortals, before presenting it to her. For in Selene, Nyx would enhance her beauty and be shown how much he loved her by reflecting his light into the night to become an inspiration to lovers until the ends of time.
When Selene attracted a monster from the dark voids that threatened the world, Zeus was separated the pair in his rage and split daytime into two, never to join again. Before he destroyed Selene after killing the spirit, Nyx seduced him and convinced him to let it stay. The Fates - Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos -were born from the union, and Nyx got to keep Selene, where she created her palace. She enjoys being there across the dark horizon mostly, but sometimes, she travels down to Mount Olympus or the mortal world.
It happened that Hera bribed Hypnos in order to make Zeus fall asleep, so that she could have it her way during the Trojan War. Hypnos obeyed the goddess in spite of his fears; for once he had performed a similar task, and when Zeus woke up in anger, he sought him everywhere, and would have hurled him from heaven into the deep, had Nyx not saved him. For Zeus stopped and thought twice before doing anything that could displease Nyx.
During the Trojan War it was Night who protected the comings and
goings of spies, for it was protected by the darkness of immortal Night that
Odysseus entered, disguised as a beggar, the city of Troy; and it was during the
night that the Thracian Rhesus met his death attacked by Odysseus and Diomedes. And it was also in night-time that the Achaeans pretended to return home,
burning their own tents and waiting with their fleet off the island of Tenedos,
which is opposite the coast of the Troad, in order to stealthily sail back
disguised by the shades of the following night.
This time true beacon lamps, lighted by Sinon, and some say by Helen, guided them, so that they could land and take Troy, which fell by night, but on another night during their returns, the Achaean leaders suffered shipwreck because of the false beacon lamps, lighted by Nauplius, the father of Palamedes.
When Helen and Paris left Sparta as lovers and sailed to Troy, they started their fateful journey by night, and when she returned after the war, they say that she waited for the night to go out in order to avoid being stoned, if she went out by day, by the parents whose sons had perished at Troy. For Helen was called 'Lady of Sorrows' for having caused, as they saw it, that great war. But during the night she was safe, not only because Night provides hiding but also because the others mourned, for tears are shed mostly in night-time.
Powers: While she lost a lot of her power after the Titans lost the war with the Olympians, Nyx's powers as Titan of the Night are very extensive.
Nyx had prophetic powers, and gave oracles from a cave. She is older than Zeus & the Olympians but he is more powerful as king of the gods, who deferred to her wishes. She is more powerful then most of the other Olympians, save for some.
She has the ability to create both extreme darkness and light. Her darkness can enshroud souls of her choice, leading them to catatonia in an instant. Because of her domain and blessing of Hypnos, Nyx can manipulate dreams to a limited extent, for mortals dream at night but she tries not to abuse that power.
Her kiss is fatal to mortal males, and she travels around the world in shadows and mists.
She can hypnotize both mortals and immortals by the sight of her eyes and her voice.
With permission from her child, Hypnos, Nyx has distilled and keeps a powerful sleep mixture that causes mortals to fall unconscious for 8 hours at a time within moments of use.
"Near the Cimmerii a cavern lies deep in the hollow of a mountainside, the home and sanctuary of lazy Somnus [Hypnos], where Phoebus’ [the Sun's] beams can never reach at morn or noon or eve, but cloudy vapours rise in doubtful twilight ... there silence dwells: only the lazy stream of Lethe [Forgetfulness] 'neath the rock with whisper low o'er pebbly shallows trickling lulls to sleep. Before the cavern's mouth lush poppies grow and countless herbs, from whose bland essences a drowsy infusion dewy Nox [Nyx the Night] distils and sprinkles sleep across the darkening world." –Metamorphoses 11.602
Favorite City: Nyx does not have any favourite city per se, as she prefers to stay in her palace on the Moon. However, she is worshipped everywhere. She has temples where oracles can be visited to foretell the future. Megara has one of those temples.
Her Palace is made of the most exquisite black marble, with white marble streaks through. Central columns run the lobby towards the main reception hall, with black cat statues lining the outer walls.
Inside the main reception hall, a solid black ivory throne padded with blackened silk sits on a raised dais. A table with ambrosia and wine sits next to it within arm's reach. Set into the wall behind and coming out to form a roof over the throne is a blackened knurled branch upon which owls perch during audiences, while black cats can rest on a thick wool rug laid out at the base of the throne. Normally, Nyx has a cat on her lap also during audiences.
Favorite Animal: Nyx's favourite animals are the owl and the black cat, both of which do most of their hunting during her night-time. It was Nyx who gave the ability of night-vision to the cat. Her temples are normally home for numerous black cats, and it is common to place them upon altars when requesting the presence of Nyx as they are sacred.
Special Notes: It is well-known that the followers of Nyx include some of the followers of witchcraft, who gain a lot of their power from the night. This has been allowed by Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft and the moon. Her favoured black cats become conduits for her power during their rituals.
Nyx is highly appreciated and revered by those who cast snares, for mischief and treachery not seldom arise from night-time, when things are often unexpected. Also those who escape, commit thefts and other crimes, prefer to do it by night, for this is the time for Deceit, Sleep, Doom, Madness and Death, although no one knows how the children of Nyx will play. That is why Medea guided Jason to the Golden Fleece by night, lulling to sleep the guardian dragon by drugs, and by night the Argonauts left Colchis, taking with them the king's daughter.
It is believed that some of Nyx's followers have participated in rituals of utter violence and horror in the name of their Titan, involving the drinking of the blood from other mortals and brutal savage mutilation on the innocent leading to a painful death. Mortals who have angered her are often unfortunate victims of these rituals.
Nyx often travels down to Mount Olympus or the mortal world to secretly spy from a distance on her separated lover, Apollo, without anyone's knowledge. One of her only fears is what Zeus would do to either of them if he found out, for she knows his anger has not lessened.
Night, they say, carries Hypnos in her arms, but if he refuses
his comfort, the night-long vigils make the eyes of mortals sore. For in
night-time most things and beings are restored so that they might enjoy or
suffer the following day. And even Zeus could not have punished Prometheus for
so many years if his
liver had been eaten up by
the eagle on a single day, but as things are, the lobes of his liver grew by
night, so that they could be picked at again the next morning. So what is done
by day is undone by night, which was known by Odysseus' wife Penelope, who wove
by day the shroud of her father-in-law Laertes and undid it by night, thus
deceiving her suitors, for she had promised to wed one of them when her work was
Night is also an adequate time for her child Death, and that is why the seer Tiresias chose to die in the night-time after drinking water from the spring at Tilphussa. And the same may be said of her child Madness, for this seized Ajax by night, and made him slaughter the cattle with the herdsmen in the Achaean camp, taking them for the Achaeans, whom he hated for having adjudged to Odysseus the arms of the dead Achilles.
As Night opens the gates of her child Love, mortal lovers prefer to meet by night, as do the gods, for when Zeus visited Alcmena he not only did it by night, but duly prolonged that particular night threefold. And the results of these meetings not seldom are recorded in nights, for it is said that when Alcmena bore Heracles, whom she had by Zeus, he became the elder by one night and Iphicles, whom she had by Amphitryon, was born the night after. But whereas Alcmena consorted with Zeus and Amphitryon in two consecutive nights, Leda consorted with Zeus and with Tyndareus on the same night, giving birth to both mortals and immortals. And the same did Theseus' mother Aethra, for she was loved by Aegeus and by Poseidon during the same night.
Some divine manipulations are done in the night-time while mortals sleep, and that is why Thetis used to hide little Achilles in the fire by night, in order to make him immortal, but by day she anointed him with ambrosia, and it was also by night that Demeter put the little Demophon into the fire, with identical purpose.
Night is also a time of inspiration, and that is why it is told that the Muses sing during night-time their praises to the gods and Nyx on Mount Helicon, and they themselves are the result of the nine nights that Zeus spent with Mnemosyne.
The guilty love of Adonis' mother Smyrna for her father could not have occurred without Night, for only her dark power and her child Deceit could prevent her father from knowing that he was sharing his bed with his daughter, which he did no less than twelve times.
And even if war does not need to stop in night-time, Nyx is also known for parting warriors, thus sparing lives, for the heralds interrupted the duel between Ajax and Hector when it became dark, saying, "... night is now upon us, and it is well to yield obedience to night's behest." [Homer, Iliad 7.282]
And those who are fortunate do not wish the day to end, but those who are endangered during the hours of light welcome Night as a blessed relief:
"Sorely against the will of the Trojans sank the daylight, but over the Achaeans welcome, aye, thrice-prayed-for, came the darkness of night." [Homer, Iliad 7.487]
Send Hermes a long, long way to the Moon with a message for Nyx