Summary: Alcyone is the Greek Kingfisher Goddess.


    Greek name: Alcyone

    (NOTE: In addition to native variations by locality or over time, there are often several possible transliterations into the Roman alphabet used for English.)

basic information:

    Alcyone: Greek Kingfisher Goddess

Alcyone’s relations:

    Daughter of Aeolus by either Enarete or Aegiale.

    Wife of Ceyx, son of Eosphorus, the Morning Star.

myths and beliefs:

    Alcyone and Ceyx were happily married in Trachis and often called each other Zeus and Hera (a great sacrilege). Zeus was angered. While Ceyx was at sea to consult an oracle, Zeus threw a thunderbolt at the ship, killing all aboard. Morpheus, God of Dreams, disguised himself as Ceyx and appeared to Alcyone as an apparition to tell her of her husband’s fate. She was so struck with grief that she committed suicide by throwing herself into the sea.

    The deities had so much compassion for the lovers that they changed them both into halcyon birds (named for the Goddess Alcyone). Every winter Alcyone nests for two weeks. During this one to two weeks the wild seas become calm and peaceful.

holy days:

    Ovid and Hyginus claim that the metamorphosis of Alcyone as the source of the term halcyon days, the seven to 14 days in the winter when the storms stop.

    And the ragged rock in the restless waters.
    Waves wash over it, fogs conceal it.
    On a halcyon day it is merely a monument.
    In navigable weather it is always a seamark.
    To lay a course by: but in the sombre season
    Or the sudden fury, is what it always was.

The Dry Salvages by TS Eliot

    December 21: Yule Goddess.


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Last Updated: February 20, 2011

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