Thursday 5 February 2009

Aglaia: Goddess of the Week

The Bad Witch's Goddess of the week, picked at random from The Concise Mythological Dictionary by Peerage Books, is Aglaia. It describes her as:

"The "brilliant, shining one", the youngest of the three graces, or charities, and sometimes represented as the wife of Hephaestus"."

In Greek mythology, three graces, the goddesses Aglaia, Euphrosyne and Thalia, were the daughters of Zeus. They were seen as personifications of pleasure, charm, and beauty.

Specifically, Aglaia represents splendor, Euphrosyne is the grace of Mirth and Thalia brings good cheer.

The graces were called upon in ancient times to grant their blessings to parties, dances, banquets and other social events. They were the companions of the muses and were the attendants of Aphrodite and Eros, the deities of love.

Aglaia, through her marriage to Hephaestus the smith, also helped inspire artists and craftsmen to create wonderful works.

Oddly, Aglaia is also the name for a genus of mahogany tree with species growing in places such as China, the Philippines and Borneo. Perhaps it gained its name because it is such a splendid type of tree, with beautiful wood, scented flowers, edible fruit and even uses in medicine.

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