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Introduction to Nemesis

There is very few to know about Nemesis, this ancient Greek deity, sometimes refered to as Ichnaii, sometimes as Adrasteia or Ramnousia. The etymology, the root of the verb "nemo" (Distribute in greek) originally stood for a fair distribution or sharing made under legal authority. With time it acquired the importance of taking judicial action on the part of authority to maintain or achieve justice. As the word 'Nemesis' has objective value and not subjective. When someone referes to "Nemesis" it usually means something like divine trial (Theia Diki).

It was Nykti according to Hesiod's Theogony and Pausanias, who without male partner gave birth to Nemesis, to keep in balance human affairs. In the Dionysian Nonnus however we have a different view, which wants Nemesis daughter of Ocean, while Yginos describes it as a creation of Erebus and Nykti.

Nemesis is also called Ramnousia because of a statue and a temple of the Rhamnus,( village of northern Attica. Athens) The Adrasteia adjective was attributed, since it means "that from which nobody can escape," they later related her with revenge since no human shall escape his guilt but as a matter of fact Nemesis was the personified concept of justice and order. Her role was to restore order (of nature, of human society, of the world) when it was disturbed. Then punish the arrogance of humans (the hubris= Disrespect towards the Gods).

In Smyrna there was a temple dedicated to her.

The mythological context

In mythology Nemesis is the mother of Hellen of Troy. The myth said that Zeus desired Nemesis greatly for her combination of Beauty and Morals. Nemesis took the form of a goose in order to avoid Zeus's desire. However Zeus took the form of a Swan and was united with her eventually. In his pursuit of Nemesis she flew over countries and continents. Nemesis gave birth to an egg which a Shepard found in the woods and gave it to Lida. Lida kept the egg in a closet and when when it cracked Helen was born from the egg, Lida raised her like her own daughter.

However there are two other versions of this egg:

    that Mercury (Hermes) threw it in Lida's breast that it fell from the sky.

There is another aspect of the mythological route of Nemesis. It was said that by joining Tartarus and she gave birth to Telchines. Their names were Gold, Silver and Copper, from the metals. Telchines were magicians able to cause rain, hail, snow and lightning. They were spirits who made miraculous potions and possessed tremendous skills. Described sometimes without hands or feet. They were beings amphibians and had something of man and something of fish.


Symbols of the goddess is the forearm and bridle. These symbols represent her ability to measure and count the human thoughts, feelings, actions and to set a limit to the selfishness of people.

Calling upon Nemesis

Thee I call Nemesis

Queen mighty,

through which disclosed the acts of mortals,

eternal, the respectable, with unlimited vision,

that embraces the right and the law

[...] every mortal know your influence,

and people groans behind thy righteous shackles,

because every thought well hidden in the mind,

clearly revealed in thy sight.

[...] Come blessed and holy Goddess, hear my prayer,

and put in the care of your life of your faithful,

your beneficent give help in time of need,

and plenty of power in the power of reason,

thoughts of the wicked, the arrogant and sneaky washing away.

-Orfikos Hymn 61 in Nemesis

Thank you for reading.

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Re: Nemesis
Post # 2

This was a good read. Thank you for posting it.

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Re: Nemesis
Post # 3
why in the forums and not in the articles??? This was really awesome, and more people would read it if it was posted there instead...
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Re: Nemesis
Post # 4
For additional symbols I prefer to use an eye with a slash mark across it, which both shows her enmity with the goddess Iris but also shows the general Nemesis philosophy which is that all things have a price to act as a counterpart. (i.e: an eye for an eye)
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