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Greek Gods and Goddess: Chloris

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Chloris was a nymph associated with Spring, new growth and flowers, and was abducted, seduced and later married Zephyrus.

Zephyrus was the Greek god of the West wind, known for its gentleness, and his appearance in early February was said to herald the coming arrival of Spring and to aid the bearing of fruit, and flowers, and he held dominion over plants and flowers in general. He is reported to have had several wives, including, Iris goddess of rainbows.

Either after seducing Chloris or when they married, Zephyrus renamed her Flora and made her a goddess. Under the guise of her new role she was later rumoured to have been responsible for the changing of, Adonis, Attis, Crocus, Hyacinthus and Narcissus into flowers.

Her first name Chloris, meant, greenish- yellow, or pale green, and gives us the modern word, ‘Chlorophyll’ the green pigment of plants that traps the of sunlight for photosynthesis: it is also used as a colouring agent in food and medicines (E140).

But we should, set aside our romantic ideas, for Greek, was most definitely the language of poets: and we should seek to understand what is really being conveyed to us.

As the grip of winter loosens its grip on the ground, and the Sun begins once more to rise and regain its strength, vegetation and seeds start to stir in the soil, the fruit trees buds begin to burst, and soon enough their flowers begin to appear. Then the gentle west wind arrives, falls in love with the beauty displayed by Chloris, and slowly and softly dances amongst them, breathing in the intoxicating aromas, he sniffs their delicate scented pollen, carries it to another, breaths out before inhaling yet more, seducing her flower by flower, till both are totally love stricken, and their union consummated. Soon her flowers will fade and her multitude of wombs will start to grow. And the seeds germinate, and plants rejuvenated by the calling of their passion, spring forth, and the paleness that the winter had wrought upon her complexion, turns to vibrant green, for now she is Flora, goddess of vegetation, soon the gaunt and spiked face will blossom with Roses.