Myth of Maia
This portal was curated by:

MAIA

MAIA was the eldest of the Pleiades, the seven nymphs of the constellation Pleiades. She was a shy goddess who dwelt alone in a cave near the peaks of Mount Kyllene (Cyllene) in Arkadia where she secretly gave birth to the god Hermes, her son by Zeus. She also raised the boy Arkas (Arcas) in her cave whose mother Kallisto (Callisto) had been transformed into a bear.

Aiskhylos (Aeschylus) apparently idenifies Maia "the nursing mother" with Gaia "the Earth." On several occassions he calls the earth-goddess Gaia Maia (Mother Earth) and pairs her with Hermes Khthonios ("of the Earth").
DATABASES
MAIA was the eldest of the Pleiades, the seven nymphs of the constellation Pleiades. She was a shy goddess who dwelt alone in a cave near the peaks of Mount Kyllene (Cyllene) in Arkadia where she secretly gave birth to the god Hermes, her son by Zeus. She also raised the boy Arkas (Arcas) in her cave whose mother Kallisto (Callisto) had been transformed into a bear.

Aiskhylos (Aeschylus) apparently idenifies Maia "the nursing mother" with Gaia "the Earth." On several occassions he calls the earth-goddess Gaia Maia (Mother Earth) and pairs her with Hermes Khthonios ("of the Earth").
Maia (/ˈmeɪ.ə/; Ancient Greek: Μαῖα; Latin: Maia),[1] in ancient Greek religion, is one of the Pleiades and the mother of Hermes by Zeus.[2]

Maia is the daughter of Atlas[3] and Pleione the Oceanid,[4] and is the oldest of the seven Pleiades.[5] They were born on Mount Cyllene in Arcadia,[4] and are sometimes called mountain nymphs, oreads; Simonides of Ceos sang of "mountain Maia" (Maiados oureias) "of the lovely black eyes."[5] Because they were daughters of Atlas, they were also called the Atlantides.[6]
As part of the Pleiades sisterhood, Maia was also involved in the story of Orion the hunter. For it was said that Orion wished to sleep with each of the Pleiades. 

Artemis was said to have intervened to protect her attendants, and requested Zeus to prevent Orion from take advantage of Maia and her sisters. Zeus would firstly transform the nymphs in doves, but the tracking skills of Orion was such that he even managed to follow them when they flew away. 

Zeus therefore transformed the seven sisters into stars, becoming the Pleiades cluster of stars, part of the Taurus constellation, but even in the night sky Orion still chases after the Pleiades. 

Later mythological tales about Maia and her sisters have the Pleiades not in the night sky for the descended from the heavenly position to earth, to mourn alongside the Horai and Eos, upon the death of Eos’ son Memnon during the Trojan War.
The monthof May, a month celebrating spring and the summer ahead, a month of rebirth, nuture and flowers.

 May takes its name from Maia, in Greek mythology, the eldest of the seven nymphs of the Pleiades, daughter of Atlas, the Titan god, doomed to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders, and mother of Hermes, messenger of the gods.

Born on Mount Kyllini in Arcadia, where she lived alone in a cave, Maia was an Earth goddess, a nurturer, a mother, a nurse, and grandmother of magic.

The goddess Maia was also a midwife, (Maia also means midwife in Greek), bringing new life into the world, her name is also linked to ‘μαῖα’ (maia), a title, in ancient Greece, for older women.

Along with goddess Maia, according to Greek mythology, the month of May was also a celebration of the reunion of Demeter, goddess of harvest, fertility and agriculture, with her virgin daughter, Persephone.

Persephone returned to Earth, after being kidnapped, and held prisoner by Hades, god of the underworld.
The cult of Mercury is ancient, and tradition has it that his temple on the Aventine Hill in Rome was dedicated in 495 BCE. There Mercury was associated with Maia, who became identified as his mother through her association with the Greek Maia, one of the Pleiades, who was the mother of Hermes by Zeus; likewise, because of that Greek connection, Mercury was considered the son of Jupiter. Both Mercury and Maia were honoured in the Mercuralia festival on May 15, the dedication day of Mercury’s temple on the Aventine.
Visit our special guest curator
Related Portals:
 
Related Portals: