The Horae

August 27, 2010

The Four Seasons/Four Elements of Humankind

Image Credit

Identity: Eunomia, Dike, and Eirene, spirits of the Hours

Description: Three beautiful women with flowing hair, golden diadems, and light footsteps

Symbols: Eunomia – Flowering branch; Dike – Ear of Corn; Eirene – Vine stock

The Greek Myth

The name “Horae” signifies a period of time which may be applied to the year, season or hour. The Horae werre meteorological divinities, who showered the earth with rain, without which nothing could grow. Later they were said to preside over nature itself and the order of the seasons, but there was considerable confusion as to their true roles, even in those distant times.

They varied in number, with the people of Athens favouring Thallo, the bringer of flowers, and Carpo who brought fruit, while Hesiod counted the three Horae used in this book. Eunomia saw that laws were observed, Dike watched over justice, and Eirene ensured a state of peace. On Olympus they had special tasks including guarding the gates of heaven.

Eunomia, Dike and Eirene were the daughters of Zeus and Themis. They loved to dance and often accompanied the Graces to form part of Aphrodite’s retinue. They were also the helpers of children and young people generally, to whom they showed much tenderness and care.

Upright Meanings

Patience. The time factor and how its more pleasant contingencies are coped with.

Reversed Meanings

Impatience. The same as above, but taking long, drawn out periods of adversity into account.

Psychological Comment

Card 33, The Horae, literally means the time factor, and whatever this might apply to as regards prevailing conditions in the life of the enquirer. Time has been called, among other things, ‘the ultimate healer’, the ‘ deciding factor, and ‘the Grim Reaper’. It can be our ally or our enemy, depending on our attitude towards the passage of the years.

Coming to terms with the factual nature of time is part of human experience, and to ignore it or deny its existence or impact upon our psychology is asking for trouble. There are times in life when circumstances appear to force us to stand still, while at others we seem to be propelled forward, almost against our will. Enjoyable episodes in our lives appear fleeting, while unwelcome suffering lingers interminably. Patience can repeat its own rewards, while impatience frequently precipitates disasater.

Musings from The Muse

The science of numbers was greatly favoured by the ancient Greeks, and The Horae, card 33 in this Olympus deck, corresponds to the Sixth House in astrology: occupation and health and David Whyte’s book, The Three Marriages: Reimaging Work, Self and Relationship is a numinous guide for exploring the ‘sickhouse’ of the Sixth House.  Do you sing in the shower when getting ready for work? How do you ‘turn up’ to your place of employment, your life, your friends, your party……it is YOUR party…you can cry if you prefer to.

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to build up,a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late

~ performed by The Byrds, 1965





Perhaps you are hanging onto something that had its own truth in the past. There is nothing wrong with working out the past or reminiscing, as long as the full flower of present reality is not overlooked.

Further Reading about the message from The Horae: Balancing on a Sunbeam.




  1. Have you ever read the novel “The Hours” by Michael Cunningham or seen the movie? For some reason, it has been much on my mind lately. I’m trying to figure out why he titled it the way he did. Did he mean it to reflect the Horae? Cunningham is fascinated/obsessed with groupings of three. How do the Horae relate to the three stories contained in his novel? I’m still puzzling it out.

  2. Indeed, Debra, I have seen this movie several times. In fact, it was the Midday Movie on Friday, the day I posted this blog. I watched it up until the point Ed Harris falls gracefully out the window. Which is echoed in the last scene of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, where She dives off the bridge so He can have his wish…….
    The groupings of three, evokes the Trinity – the Mother, the Father, the Holy Spirit……. Have you puzzled “The Hours” from the three-headed doggy view of Cerberus?

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