Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Circe, Ancient Greek Sorceress

Circe was said by Homer to have been a Goddess. Other sources say she was a minor Goddess, closer to a nymph or a witch. Daughter to Helios, the Sun God and Perseis, a water nymph. Her brother was Aeetes, the keeper of the Golden Fleece. Some accounts make her the daughter of Hekate and sister to Medea. Others think she may have been just a priestess of Hekate.

Being known as a powerful sorceress and enchantress, her most well known myth is in the Odyssey. She is said to have invited the crew of Odysseus into her abode for a feast after their travels. Unbeknownst to the crew, Circe mixed one of her magical potions in the food, and after they ate she used her wand to turn them all into pigs. After turning Odysseus men into pigs, Circe tried to keep Odysseus for herself by tricking him into sleeping with her. She bore him three sons, Argios, Latinos and Telegonos. Odysseus stayed on the island with Circe drinking wine and indulging. This was the promise he made so that his men could be freed.

Circe lived on the mythical island of Aiaia where she resided with nymphs who were her attendants. She was quite skilled in the power of illusion, creating magical brews and was also experienced in the art of necromancy. She was said to be quite beautiful with dark braided hair. In a Homeric hymn, she is invoked almost as though she is a daimon, or spirit:

"Daughter of Helios, Kirke the witch,
Come cast cruel spells; 
Hurt both these men and their handiwork."

Circe's sacred herbs are said to be Enchanted Nightshade which is in the Circaea genus, so befittingly named. As well as Mandrake and Primrose. She is skilled in the art of illusion, metamorphosis, and mind altering. Circe is a powerful sorceress gifted with many cunning arts and prowess. Some of her sacred stones are said to be green jade and peridot, which is the color of her eyes. Her symbols are the wand and the cauldron. When creating a magical brew, call on Circe, when looking to create a metamorphosis in your own life, call on Circe. She can give much power to any magical working.

I hope you enjoyed learning about Circe, minor Goddess of ancient Greece!

Photo courtesy of JWWaterhouse.com


  1. I'm so psyched about this post - I've been reading a lot about Kirke, Medea, and Ariadne lately and their roles in the epics. One book I like is called "Transformations of Circe"(ISBN:0252063562). Do you have any recommended reading of where to learn more about this enchanting figure?

    It's great to hear from you - I've been following this blog for a couple years now and always look forward to your posts.

    Pell Mell

  2. Thank you so much for your posts! I love reading about the various forms of the universe's energy. My favorite modern day version of Circe is in the Toni Morrison novel Song of Solomon. I love to see where they pop up!

  3. Hello. Nice blog here. You may be interested in my blog too devoted to the mother goddess at http://nainitalgoddess.blogspot.in/


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