Nyx – The Goddess of Night

Nyx was the goddess of night. Her name, synonymous with Night, describes how her dark light falls from the stars and she dictates to men and also to the gods. Not even Zeus wanted to upset Night, as the stories go. She was one of the most powerful goddesses to be talked about in Greek mythology.

Nyx lived in Tartarus which was considered both a place and also the name of her brother. It was said that she spreads around him in triple lines like a necklace. The stories say that at and above the gates of Tartarus are the sources and ends of heaven, earth and sea. It is said that if a man found himself inside the gates, it would take a year to find the bottom and he would be carried by blasts in all directions. Nyx lives here and this dark-robed goddess, the giver of sleep lies here.

It is said that both Day and Night live here in the same home, behind the gates of Tartarus yet they are never there at the same time. The myths say that when one, either night or day, crosses the earth, the other will wait at home. They will greet each other only at the threshold where Atlas holds up heaven.

The exact origin of Nyx is unknown. Some sources say that she is the daughter of Eros and other sources say that both she and Eros are children of Chaos. Some sources even say that Nyx is the mother of Eros and that she laid a germless egg in the bosom of Erebos and the golden-winged Eros was born (after many long ages).

All those who favor mischief and misdeeds are said to get along great with Nyx. Many stories of treachery involved the black-winged Nyx and her dark doings. It is said that during the Trojan War, it was Nyx who protected the spies. It is also said that she is with fugitives and thieves who escape or move about in the night doing evil deeds.

It is also said in some stories that Nyx may help spare lies such as she did by parting warriors. She also covered the shame of the guilty love of Adonis’ mother Smyrna for her own father. Nyx and her child Deceit hid their true identity from her father so he did not know he was lying to his own daughter.

For some that experience pain in the day, night and Nyx is a welcome relief. They welcome her into their lives and their arms. For others, night is a frightening time where you never know what is lurking in the shadows or what Nyx’s children may do. For others, there is no difference between day and night and they care little for what Nyx may do, although it is said that Nyx will destroy what day has done.

Nyx is not all dark or bad tidings. Night is also the time for inspiration and it is told that the muses sing during the nighttime to the gods and to Nyx herself.