We all know about the Greek Gods made famous throughout history and more recently by Disney movies, but did you know that these gods had SACRED ANIMALS that were SYMBOLS
(something that represents or stands for something else) of their specific strengths? These animals were used to pull CHARIOTS, send messages, or act as COMPANIONS (a person or animal that someone spends a lot of time with) to the gods.
SPELL: SACRED, ANIMALS, CHARIOTS
Today we are talking about _____ animals of the Greek Gods. SACRED
Something that represents something else is a ______. SYMBOL
What were these sacred animals used for? PULL CHARIOTS, SEND MESSAGES, ACT AS COMPANIONS
Name a Greek God.
Let’s start with ZEUS, the KING of the gods and the most powerful. He was the god of the sky and THUNDER, which meant he CONTROLLED THE WEATHER. He could hurl LIGHTNING BOLTS! His sacred animal was the EAGLE. The giant golden eagle served as Zeus’ PERSONAL MESSENGER and ANIMAL COMPANION.
SPELL: ZEUS, THUNDER, EAGLE
Zeus is known as the _____ of the Gods. KING
Zeus controlled the _________. WEATHER
What could Zeus hurl? LIGHTNING BOLTS
The eagle served as Zeus’ ______. PERSONAL MESSENGER, ANIMAL COMPANION
Zeus controls the weather, and he is the god of thunder, but what other types of weather would Zeus control?
Stand up, spread your arms out like an eagle. Now imagine you are Zeus holding a thunderbolt. How would you throw it?
HERA was the QUEEN of the gods, and the goddess of MARRIAGE, WOMEN, the SKY, and the STARS. She was also an animal lover. She was often PORTRAYED (depicted in a work of art or literature) with animals she considered to be sacred: Hera chose the cow because it is known to NURTURE (gentle, caring, and encourages growth and development). The PEACOCK and LION were chosen to represent her BEAUTY, LUXURY (comfort, extravagant living), and IMMORTALITY (the ability to live forever). Her chariot was pulled by peacocks.
SPELL: HERA, QUEEN, PEACOCK
Hera was the queen of the _____. GODS
What animal did Hera consider to be nurturing? COW
Which animals pulled Hera’s chariot? PEACOCKS
A nurturing animal cares for its young and encourages growth and development. What other animals can you think of that might be nurturing? HORSE, GOAT, PIG
Which animals did Hera consider to be sacred? PEACOCK, LION
POSEIDON, brother of Zeus, was the god of the OCEAN and of EARTHQUAKES. He is known for his weapon, a TRIDENT (a 3-pronged spear), which was said to be so powerful it could shake the earth and shatter any object! Poseidon’s sacred animals were the BULL, the HORSE, and the DOLPHIN. His chariot was pulled by a pair of fish-tailed horses known as HIPPOCAMPUS.
SPELL: POSEIDON, OCEAN, EARTHQUAKES
Poseidon’s weapon was a _____. TRIDENT
How many spears does a trident have? 3
What could the trident do? SHAKE THE EARTH, SHATTER
The bull, the horse, and the dolphin were Poseidon’s sacred animals, but his chariot was pulled by a pair of fish-tailed horses called ___________. HIPPOCAMPUS
A pair is how many? 2
If you had the power to shake the Earth or shatter any object, what would you do with that power?
APHRODITE was the goddess of LOVE and BEAUTY. The Greeks believed Aphrodite was created from the foam of the sea. She was considered the most beautiful of the gods. Aphrodite’s chariot is pulled by DOVES, her sacred animal. Many believe that the dove represents LOVE and PEACE.
SPELL: APHRODITE, DOVE, PEACE
Aphrodite was created from the foam of the ____. SEA
Aphrodite was considered the most ______ of the gods. BEAUTIFUL
The dove is believed to represent ______. LOVE, PEACE
How do you think a chariot can be pulled by doves?
ATHENA, DAUGHTER of Zeus, was the goddess of WAR. While she was praised for her COMPASSION and GENEROSITY, she was also known as a FIERCE and RUTHLESS (showing no pity or compassion) warrior. Her sacred animal was an OWL, the source of her WISDOM and JUDGEMENT. The owl also has exceptional NIGHT VISION (able to see in very low light), symbolizing Athena’s ability to “see” when others cannot.
SPELL: ATHENA, WAR, FIERCE
Athena is Zeus’ __________. DAUGHTER
Showing no pity or compassion is described as ______. RUTHLESS
The owl is the source of Athena’s _______. WISDOM, JUDGEMENT
The owl has very good night vision. What other animals can see in very low light?
Athena was known to be both ruthless and compassionate as the goddess of war. Why do you think someone could be described as both?
APOLLO was the son of Zeus and twin brother of Artemis. He was the god of healing, medicine, archery, music, poetry, and the sun. Since Apollo was the god of healing, he performed purification ceremonies for mortals who had committed immoral acts. Apollo’s sacred animals included the DOLPHIN, the WOLF, and the SWAN. It is said that he flew with the swans to HYPERBOREAN (a town in the far north said to be inhabited by giants) in the winter months. Apollo left Greece in the AUTUMN to spend the winter in the far North for a life of music, song, and art and returned to Greece in the spring in a chariot drawn by northern swans.
SPELL: APOLLO, DOLPHIN, WOLF, SWAN
The town in the far north, said to be inhabited by giants, is called___. HYPERBOREAN
Apollo left for Hyperborean in the _______. AUTUMN
What countries can you name that are in the far north?
ARTEMIS was the daughter of Zeus and Apollo’s twin. She was the goddess of wild animals, the hunt, vegetation, and the protector of young girls. She was known to use a BOW and ARROW. DEER were the only animals sacred to Artemis, and her chariot was pulled by five golden-horned deer.
SPELL: ARTEMIS, BOW, ARROW
The only animals sacred to Artemis were ______. DEER
How many gold-horned deer pulled Artemis’ chariot? 5
What would you consider to be a wild animal?
The list goes on! There are over 2,500 GODS and GODDESSES, and each of them has at least one sacred animal. Each sacred animal was chosen because it symbolized an ATTRIBUTE (a quality or feature regarded as a CHARACTERISTIC) that was important to a specific god or goddess.
SPELL: GODS, GODDESSES, ATTRIBUTE
An attribute is a quality or feature regarded as a ___. CHARACTERISTIC
There are over how many gods and goddesses? 2500
Greek gods had sacred animals that complemented some of their best attributes, or that served as companions to them. Think of some of your best attributes. What animal might best represent you and why? What animal would you choose as a companion and why?