The first thing that came was Chaos. He came and foamed and thundered and filled the world with havoc. Then she came. Gaea, the beautiful Earth, laying over and under and around the mighty chaos – eternal soil for the deathless gods of snowy Olympus. Dark Tartarus set his lightless lands deep within the secret depths of the Earth. The fairest of the gods, Eros immortal, covered the earth and took the power to relax limbs and overthrow the will and mind and heart of any god and of all mankind. These four were the first and all else came from these.
Chaos gave life to Erebus and Nyx, the dark Night, who then in a union of love bore and delivered Aether and Hemera, the bright Day. Gaea first made for herself an equal, out of her own body she created the starry sky, mighty Uranus who covered the earth on all sides and so made a home for the blessed gods. Gaea then also birthed the hills, home to the goddess Nymphs who dwell in their forested valleys, and to the foaming sea, Pontus. When she lay with Uranus, they together bore the children Titans, fearsome and mighty.
Oceanus was first, ruler of the crashing waves, next Hyperion the lord of light and Iapteus, master of all moral life. There was brilliant Theia, mother Rhea, just Themis and Mnemosyne, lady of memories and days of old. Lastly, was the cunning Cronus, lord of time, the youngest and most dreadful of the Titans who harbored a great hatred in his heart for his father, because of his wickedness towards his children.
For three others sons were born of Gaea, the monsters Cottus, Briareus and Gyges. Their power was dreadful, with each having one hundred arms and fifty heads upon their shoulders, set on legs as sturdy as the earth itself. Because of their great power, their father hated them and so threw them deep beneath the earth, never again to see the light.
Gaea wept within her heart as the equal she brought forth hid away her children with delight in his starry eyes. In her distress, Gaea conceived a deceitful plan to repay Uranus for his wicked deed. She called her sons to her side and showed them the metal steel she had made and how she had formed it into a sickle. She told them she would lure their wicked father to her bed, how he would lay over her in love…while one of them must lay in wait, hidden and unseen, until the right time to act.
As she spoke, terror filled the hearts of the Titans and Gaea’s children said naught. Except Cronus, full of courage and anger, who answered his mother. His father’s name, he said, was now marked evil, for he was the first to commit a shameful deed and he would delight to bring justice to this vileness.
That night, Uranus came to lay over Gaea, bringing the starry night behind him, passionately desiring the embrace of the Earth’s love. While they were in the throes of desire, Cronus sprang from his hiding place – grasping the genitals of his father in his left hand and severing them with the sickle in his right, and cast them behind him into the waves of the sea.
Gaea, not desiring that blood be spilt in vain, collected the drops from Uranus’ wound and over time made Erinyes, Giants and Nymphs, who are also called Meliae. The genitals cast away by Cronus’ left hand fell into the waves of the immortal ocean who carried them to the shores of holy Cythera. There, the ocean surrounded them in foam, white as pearls, and brought forth a maiden, a goddess as lovely as she was divine. She stepped upon the shore and travelled to Cyprus. Tender grass sprouted in every place her delicate feet fell.
She was named by the gods and praised by men, Aphrodite, the foam-born goddess. Beside her, walked Eros. Desire followed in their steps. And so, from the first day of her birth to the day the gods welcomed her into their sacred assembly, and for all other days the fair goddess and her companions saw over her honored destiny – to watch and direct all affairs of desirous love.