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God Hades: Family Prayers, Symbols, Books & More

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Written by: Tina Caro

How fascinating is Hades? His story, his myth, everything about him is so captivating and I could barely stop myself from writing down every fascinating aspect of him. If Hades is your God, if you feel a connection with him or if you simply want to know if it’s the god you need for your practice and your spiritual growth, keep reading this article!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

God Hades, a figure in Greek mythology, is the ruler of the underworld and the guardian of the afterlife.

He is not a malevolent deity but rather ensures the order and fate of souls after death.

Hades wears an invisibility cap and governs the Elysian Fields, where virtuous souls find peace.

He is often depicted with a helmet and a two-pronged staff called a “bident.”

Hades’ role is vital in the Greek pantheon as the overseer of the realm of the dead and the judge of souls.

Who is Hades?

Son of Cronus and Rhea, brother of Zeus, Poseidon, Hera, Estia, and Demeter. His name means “the invisible”, a condition to the dead. Like Zeus and Poseidon, he is one of the three masters who shared command of the Universe after the victory over the Titans.

The myth of Hades: myth and origins

While Zeus obtained Heaven and Poseidon the Sea, he was seen as the underworld’s ruler, or Tartarus. He participated in the fight against the Titans, and the Cyclops armed him with a helmet that made anyone who wore it invisible. This helmet, similar to that of Siegfried in Norse mythology, was later worn by other deities, such as Athena, and also by heroes, such as Perseus.

Hades and Cerberus.

In the Underworld, Hades reigns over the dead. He is a merciless master, who does not allow any of his subjects to return to the living. He is assisted by demons and various beings who work under his orders (for example, Charon the ferryman).

Residing in the underworld, Hades spends his life in a burial mound-like palace, sheltered from the sunlight, which he hates. Whoever dares to cross the great door that gives access to his kingdom is destined not to leave forevermore; he guards you in addition to the souls of the dead, even every source of wealth present in the subsoil.

After defeating his father Cronus and his brothers Zeus and Poseidon, he became lord of the underworld. He kidnapped and married Persephone. The world of the dead is also called Hades. He was the master of the underworld. But over time he was identified with the underworld.

With his wife Persephone, he ruled over the dead. The access routes to his kingdom were two rivers, the Styx and the Acheron, on which Charon sailed with the task of leading the dead before the god to be judged. Most of the dead ended up in the Plain of the Asphodels (a kind of Purgatory); the luckiest ones arrived at the Elysian Fields, while the few who had dared during their earthly life to offend the gods had Tartarus as their final destination.

Crossing the Styx, illustration by Gustave Doré, 1861.

He is occasionally counted among the Olympic divinities, although this is contrary to the canonical tradition; Hades is on the other hand had little presence in mythology, being essentially linked to mythological tales related to heroes: Orpheus, Theseus, and Heracles are among the few mortals to have met him.

Kidnapping of Persephone

With him reigns Persephone, no less cruel. He kidnapped her in the plains of Sicily while she was playing with her companions and picking flowers. Persephone, daughter of Demeter, is his granddaughter.

This is a painting of Hades abduction of Persephone who became his wife, and was only permitted to leave the Underworld once a year. The painting is on wood with a gold gilt background, 43 cm x 52 cm. Circa 18th century. Provided by Missing Link Antiques. Painter unknown. (Life time: 18th century)

Hades was in love with her, but Zeus, Persephone’s father, had not consented to the marriage, repelling him in front of Demeter of knowing the young woman forever locked up in the living room of the shadows. So, Hades decided to kidnap her, perhaps he was helped in this kidnapping by Zeus himself, who would secretly become her accomplice. Later, Zeus ordered Hades to return Persephone to her mother.

But Hades had taken precautions: he had given her a pomegranate grain to eat; now, anyone who visited the Empire of the dead, and ate something here, could no longer go back to the world of the Living. Persephone was therefore forced to spend a third of each year with Hades.

Fight with Heracles

Hades rarely intervenes in legends apart from the story of the abduction, which belongs to the cycle of Demeter. We also see him in the myth of Heracles.

The Iliad tells that, during the hero’s descent into the Underworld, Hades forbade him access to his kingdom; he met him at the “door” of the Underworld, but Heracles wounded him with an arrow in the shoulder, so much so that Hades had to be rushed to Olympus, where Peon, the healing god, applied a wonderful balm and healed him.

Herakles as a boy strangling a snake. Marble, Roman artwork, 2nd century CE. Palazzo Nuovo, first floor, gallery.

Some variations show Heracles knocking out the god with a huge stone. Whatever the facts, the victory remains with the son of Zeus.

Cult

Hades was not usually mentioned by name, as it was feared, by questioning him or eliciting his anger. He was often discussed using euphemisms. The most recurrent was that of Pluto (the “Rich”), an allusion to the inexhaustible wealth of the earth, both of the cultivated land and of the mines it conceals. This Pluto is often depicted holding a cornucopia, a symbol of that wealth.

He also plays an important role in the mystery religion of Samothrace, where he was called Axiokersos.

The underworld

The term Hades also designates the kingdom of the dead over which the god rules. It welcomes the souls of all the dead, except those of the unburied, forced to wander without peace for eternity in an area outside the real afterlife.

In any case, their sad condition can end if someone in the meantime provides for their burial: once they enter Hades they acquire, like the other dead, the possibility of scrutinizing what happens and what will happen on earth (but according to the Odyssey, no one spirit possesses this ability, apart from that of Tiresias).

The souls of the virtuous enter the Elysian Fields (also called, in some sources, the Fortunate Islands), those of the wicked are relegated to Tartarus and subjected to atrocious and eternal torments.

Ixion is a little known figure from Greek mythology. Known as the first person to murder his kin, he was exiled, and Zeus took pity on him. But Ixion offended Zeus as was doomed to eternal punishment. He is strapped to a spinning, fiery wheel in Tartarus. 1731.

According to Virgil, in Hades there would be two other areas: The Cry Fields, where the souls of those who suffered for love are found, and a section reserved for all the good warriors who died in war and were honored with funeral rites and burials.

The entrance

The entrance can be located in

  • the most remote western part, where the sun’s rays can not reach.
  • in Sicily, on Mount Etna.
  • Capo Tenaro, at the tip of the Peloponnese.
  • inside some Colonus caves near Athens.
  • in the Ionian coast of Greece, in the bay of Ammoudia. Now the place has changed by man, but once, near the Acherusia swamp, there was the Oracle of the Dead (Necromànteion). The oracle remained in business until the Roman conquest, in 176 BC. According to the ancients, the surrounding region, which stretches between the gulf, the right bank of the Acheron and the mountains, was populated by the legendary Cimmerians, gloomy inhabitants of darkness who used to live underground without ever going out into the light of day.
    The entrance is thought to be near Cuma, in Campania, near Lake Averno, formed by the crater of a deep volcano, surrounded by cliffs and full of mephitic exhalations. According to etymology, Averno means “without birds” and actually the birds could not live there because of the fumes.

Rivers

At one time it was thought that all the rivers of the earth flowed underground into the immense abyss of Tartarus, to then drain and take on a different appearance depending on the nature of the terrain.

Before flowing into the depths of Tartarus, some underground rivers run through numerous tunnels. Others surround the earth with one or more spiral turns, like snakes, until they descend to the center of the earth (no further because otherwise they would rise towards the opposite hemisphere).

Therefore, it is certain that there are different watercourses in Hades, even if their arrangement is reported differently depending on the sources. Some streams, which may be rivers or swamps, flow slow and threatening, others have violent or fiery currents.

What is Hades god of?

Hades is a god of the underworld and of the dead.

How do you know that Hades is calling you?

  • If you feel a deep interest in the underworld
  • If you feel a connection with your darker side
  • If you feel it’s time to do some shadow work
  • If you are in need of a séance

Best ways to connect with Hades

Practice dead magic

If you are an experienced witch and want to truly connect with Hades, give some dead magic a try. You can even give voodooblack magic, or any other cursing kind of rituals and spells a try to create a bond with Hades.

Open a portal
To truly create a connection with Hades, you can open a portal and connect with the underworld. Of course, this can be a bit dangerous, so give it a try knowing that there are repercussions when inviting dark entities into your life.

Summon him while using an Ouija board
You can use an Ouija board and summon him to create a special bond. Say a prayer to him and add custom sentences like: I invoke you, I want you here with me, and so on. Make it special.

Related:
How to Close a Ouija Board Session Safely? (Rules & Tips)
What Happens if you Throw Away a Ouija Board? (Scenarios)

Mourn the dead
Show the dead some respect. Go to a cemetery, honor those who passed away, and don’t forget to light a candle to honor them. This will definitely create a connection with Hades.

Celebrate Samhain
When that special time of the year when the veil between this world and the other world is thinner, you should definitely celebrate the dead and invite Hades over to join you. He will feel your presence and your commitment to his mastery of ruling the dead and becoming their vessel.

Also read:
Halloween Spells and Rituals [How To Properly Celebrate Samhain]

How do you honor Hades?

You can honor Hades in different ways:

What are Hades’s favorite offerings?

  • A coin

As you should pay a fee to enter the underworld.

  • An altar to the dead

If you lost someone, pay them tribute and place a statue or a picture of Hades to let him be part of this. He loves this kind of offerings as you are showing respect and love for those who passed away.

These plants are considered sacred to him, so these are great offerings to let him feel your support and respect.

  • A sacred herb

Use lavendersage or any other herb you feel can be a great herb to honor the dead and bring it to the offering. Hades is going to love it.

  • A pomegranate

In Roman tradition, Hades was considered to be Pluto, and that’s the reason why he was often linked to wealth and fetidly. Offering a pomegranate is an acknowledgment of this.

Prayer for Hades

“Hades, father of the dead and king of the underworld
Listen to my call
Join me, your humble apprentice and my craft
Be the guide of my journey
Let me explore darkness with your wisdom, your guidance, your energy
So be it”

What are Hades’s symbols?

A scepter
Symbol of his power and his ability to rule the entire underworld.

A throne
To state his dominion and his rule of God of the dead.

The pomegranate
A symbol of fertility and prosperity.

Cornucopia
A symbol of wealth.

Other symbols

SymbolMeaning
Helm of DarknessRepresents Hades’ role as the ruler of the underworld and his ownership of the Helm of Darkness, which grants him the power of invisibility.
CerberusThe three-headed dog guarding the gates of the underworld, symbolizing Hades’ control over the realm of the dead.
Cypress TreeAssociated with mourning and the realm of the dead, the cypress tree is often depicted in connection with Hades.
BidentA two-pronged staff or spear that symbolizes Hades’ authority and power as the god of the underworld.

My favorite books about Hades

A Touch of Darkness (Hades & Persephone) by Scarlett St. Clair

You can buy it on Amazon US and Amazon UK

If you are intrigued by the love story between Hades and Persephone, this is the book you have to read! You are going to explore this union and how it changed the entire idea we all have of the afterlife and of the underworld.

Olympians: Hades: Lord of the Dead by George O’Connor

You can buy it on Amazon US and Amazon UK

This is actually the 4th volume of a series dedicated to ancient gods and this is the one dedicated to Hades. This is O’Connor’s way to retell this ancient mysterious and intriguing story starting from important sources he studied to give his readers a deep insight into the origins of Hades, his gestures and his myth.

My favorite ritual with Hades

This silent ritual gives you the chance to honor the dead and Hades as well. If you can, perform this ritual on Samhain (Halloween) or simply do it on a night of the full moon.

Set a table with homemade seasonal dishes or simply create some of the favorite recipes of the dead person you would like to honor.

At the table leave a spot of honor to this person as it would be there joining you.

You can place a photo of this person there on that spot. Spend time in silence while eating what you prepared while thinking about this late person’s gestures and life.

If you can, bring an item linked to this person like his favorite book, favorite dress, and more. Whether you personally believe in an afterlife or just want to let go of something you’ve always wanted to say to a lost loved one, this is the perfect opportunity to express yourself.

Write everything in a handwritten letter, add some seasonal spices like cinnamonginger, and cloves, close the letter then burn it on a bonfire outside.

Hades artwork

Hades is often displayed looking alike Zeus but with a darker more server look in his eyes. His role as god of the underworld is very clear in art and iconography as he is displayed with a scepter and a throne while a dog, Cerberus, is standing by him.

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Dawn’s Thoughts on Hades

Hades is the Greek God of the Underworld. The name relates to the Doric word Aidas meaning “unseen”. He was also known as Plouton meaning “rich one” as his domain also includes all of the minerals that can be found beneath the ground and the riches they represent.

Hades is the first born son of Rhea and Cronus. After defeating his father in the Titanomachy in cooperation with his siblings, he and his brothers Zeus and Poseidon drew lots for dominion for the Sea, the Sky and the Underworld, all three overlapping the solid Earth, the dominion of Gaia and thus unavailable to anyone else. Hades, of course, drew the Underworld. His responsibilities as the God of the Underworld include playing host to the dead and guarding Tartarus where the Titans were imprisoned after their defeat.

Hades chose Persephone to be his wife and Zeus, her father, approved the match. However, Demeter was not willing to part with her daughter so Hades arranged to abduct Persephone with the help of Gaia. Demeter’s response was unfavorable and she withdrew her gifts from humanity, causing a great famine to fall all over the Earth and refused to allow any grain to ripen until her daughter was returned.

Eventually, an arrangement was reached allowing Persephone to return to her mother for part of the year and spend part of the year reigning as Queen in the Underworld. The entire story is detailed in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter.

Hades is associated with the Roman Gods Pluto, Dis Pater, Orcus, and the Etruscan God Aita.

About
Tina Caro

Tina Caro is a witch with more than 10 years of experience, a yogi, an astrologer, and a passionate supporter of all things holistic! She’s also an owner of the website Magickal Spot where she discusses a variety of her favorite topics.

Magickal Spot has helped thousands of readers worldwide, and she’s personally worked with hundreds of clients and helped them manifest desires to have a happier and more abundant life.

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