Goddess Groups: The Younger Graces

While the Greeks typically regarded and approached their gods as individuals, there were some who could also be addressed in the aggregate–as a group. One such group was the Graces, or Charites/Kharites. I discussed the Graces in brief in my previous post; here I will talk a bit about another group of similarly-themed goddesses, the Younger Graces.

As with their elders, the younger Graces are concerned with many of the delightful and pleasant things in life, the things that ease our existence in small or great ways. The goddesses are the daughters of one of the elder Graces, Aglaia, and her husband Hephaistos: Euthenia, Eukleia, Eupheme, and Philophrosyne.

Euthenia is a goddess of abundance. Her realm is that of prosperity and plenty, and her blessings are sought by those who seek material and financial security for themselves and their loved ones.

Eukleia is a goddess of good reputation; historically she was associated with womanly chastity as well as with those who had won glory and repute in battle, which certainly says something about the values of that era. In more modern times, Eukleia can be considered a goddess with an interest in good character, in doing what is right, in being a good and decent person.

Eupheme, goddess of praise and acclamation, triumph and cheers, rules a realm seemingly quite similar to that of her sister Eukleia. They are, I think, related, and someone who receives her gifts may well receive those of Eukleia as well–glory and approval do often coexist.

Philophrosyne is a goddess concerned with the spirit of welcome. She is a goddess of kindness, hospitality, friendliness and good will. Hospitality and the treatment of guests and strangers was very important in ancient Greece, so the goddess’ realm was a crucial one.

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