Now, if you worship a Greek god or goddess, such as Zeus or Hera, then you might be interested in how they came about, according to their history. The Greek Mythology is fascinating in it's diversity and as a story. So, here is the Myth of Creation and the Origin of the Olympians.
In the begining there was nothing. There was an endless black void which stretched forever. It's name was Chaos. All that was there was Nyx - a bird with black wings. With the wind Nyx laid a golden egg and sat upon it. For ages she sat, until life began to stir inside it. Then the egg hatched and out of it came Eros - the god of love. From the egg, one half rose up into the air and became the sky. The other came down and became the Earth. Eros decided to name the sky Uranus and the Earth - Gaia. And then, through Eros's influence, they fell in love.
Uranus and Gaia had many children. Of them there were the Giants called Hekatonkheires. They were horrid, huge, many-headed and many-armed beasts. They had 50 heads and 100 arms. There were 3 of them - Cottus, Briareus and Gyges. They were so mighty and strong that they were feared even by the future Olympians.
There were also the Cyclopes - one eyed giants who had enormous strength. There were 3 of them - Brontes, Sterops and Arges.
Now, Uranos was disgusted by what his children were and threw them back into Gaia's bowels. This caused her intense pain and suffering, and she was not happy that her children were punished in such a way.
After that Gaia gave birth to the second generation of gods - the Titans. There were 12 of them - 6 daughters and 6 sons. Theia, goddess of light; Rhea, goddess of Earth; Themis, another Earth goddess; Mnemosyne, personification of memory; Phoebe, goddess of the Moon; Tethys, personification of the fertile ocean. There was also Oceanus, eldest of the Titans and god of the primordeal river and the river itself; Coeus; Crius; Hyperion, god of the Sun; Iapetus and Cronus.
Now, Uranus was fearful that he would be overthrown by his children. So he did what he already knew he could - he threw them into their mother's womb to rid himself of danger. However, something happened that he had not foreseen.
Gaia got fed up with her husband stuffing her chieldren into her bowels. She devised a plan to stop anymore "joining" between her and Uranus. She created an adamantine sickle and gave it to her son, Cronus. (Here it gets a bit explicit, so children do not look). When Uranus came to lay with Gaia, Cronus struck by surprize. He siezed his father's genitals and sliced them off with the sickle. Cronus tossed the organ into the sea and from the splattering blood came forth more children - Enrinyes (Furies - Alecto, Tisiphone and Megara), Giants (clad in armor with weapons) and Meliae (The Tree Nymphs). From the organs also came forth a white foam. This white foam formed Aphrodite, the first of the Olympians. She was taken naked upon a scallop shell to Cythera island (Cyprus). Uranus was furious and cursed his children with the name "Titans" meaning Overreachers.
*takes a deep breath*
Ok, we are getting there. After the Titans were freed Cronus was made king and also freed their brothers - the Giants and Cyclopes. However, Cronus was not much kinder than his father and sent them right back to Tartarus. And after that 8 of the 12 Titans married off. The pairs were:
Theia and Hyperion - Gave birth to the Sun (Helius), Selene (the Moon) and Eos (the dawn).
Phoebe and Coeus - Gave birth to Leto and Asteria
Oceanus and Tethys - Their offspring include 3000 rivers and 3000 female Oceanids.
Cronus and Rhea - Gave birth to five children - Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades and Poseidon.
Cronus heard a prophecy from his parrents that his son would overthrow him just like he did his father. So he, in fear, swallowed all of his children. Then Rhea, in panic, for she was pregnant, ran to mom and dad. She asked them for help to save her sixth baby. Mom and Dad, having experiance, sent Rhea to Lyktos in Crete to give birth. Then child was Zeus and his mother gave him to Gaia who hid him in a cave in Mount Dicte and nourished him. Meanwhile, Rhea gave Cronus a wrapped rock which he swollowed without thought.
After years, Zeus grew up into a young man. He traveled to seek the help of Metis the Oceanid. She gave him an emetic potion which he presented to his father disguised as Cronus's cupbearer. After the King of the Gods drank it he began to vomit. One by one, his children were spat out in the order in which they were swollowed, the stone being the first. A great battle ensured, but it ended in a stalemate.
Gaia told Zeus that he can only win if he had the help of his uncles, who were still trapped in Tartarus. Zeus raced to the deep prison, killed the jailor (Campe) and freed the Cyclopes and Giants. The Cyclopes showed their gratitude by forging powerful weapons for the gods:
For Zeus, they made thunder and lightning;
For Hades, they made the helmet of darkness, which made him invisible;
For Poseidon, they forged a trident, which later became his symbol.
After the war finished the third generation of gods had won. They became the Olympians, for they chose the mount Olympus for their seat. Zeus was seated as King of the Gods. As for the Titans, all of them were imprisoned in Tartarus but one. Atlas was sentenced to hold up the heavens and seperate them from the Earth. Those who supported Zeus were rewarded. This ensured his reign would last forever.
I hope you liked it! I know there might be some holes in the story, but oh well. It is a myth and myths are not supposed to make all sense, right?
With good wishes,