The 12 Gods

Hades'Appearance: Like Zeus, Hades is usually represented as a vigorous bearded man.

Symbol or Attribute:Scepter or horn of plenty.

Strengths: Rich with the wealth of the earth, especially precious metals. Persistent and determined.

Hades' Weaknesses: Passionate over Persephone, the daughter of Demeter, whom Zeus promised to Hades as his bride. (Unfortunately, Zeus apparently neglected to mention it to either Demeter or Persephone.) Impulsive, favoring sudden, decisive actions. Can also be deceptive.

Birthplace of Hades: The most common story is that Hades was born to the Great Mother goddess Rhea and Kronos (Father Time) on the island of Crete, along with his brothers Zeus and Poseidon.

Spouse of Hades: Persephone, who must stay with him part of each year because she ate a few pomegranate seeds in the Underworld.

Pets: Cerberus, a three-headed dog (In "Harry Potter", this beast has been recently renamed "Fluffy".); black horses; various other hounds.

Some Major Temple Sites: The spookyNekromanteion on the River Styx along the west coast of mainland Greece, still visitable today.

Basic Myth: Hades springs out of the earth and captures Persephone, dragging her off to be his queen in the Underworld. Her mother Demeter searches for her and stops all foods from growing until Persephone is returned. Finally, a deal is worked out where Persephone stays one-third of the year with Hades, one-third of the year serving as a handmaiden to Zeus at Mount Olympus, and one-third with her mother; other stories skip Zeus's portion and divide Persephone's time between Hades and her Mom.

Interesting Fact: Hades originally may have been all of the dark and underworld aspects of Zeus, eventually considered to be a separate deity. He is sometimes called "Zeus of the Departed". His name originally probably meant "invisible" or "unseen", as the dead go away and are seen no more.

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