http://greekmythology.wikia.com/wiki/Nyx Gustave Moreau
The night has teeth and it has claws … and I have found them.
Born of primal Chaos, the Greek goddess Nyx soared across the sky each night. As each day approached its close, she drew a black veil across the sky and flew free in the heavens trailed by a retinue of stars. Nyx was one of the most ancient of goddesses and it was said that even Zeus held her in awe, fearing to do anything to displease her. Nyx is part of the Shadow World and only seen in glimpses.
Beneath the cerulean skies of ancient Greece, a proud race of dreamers sang the chronicles of their gods. The statues they raised for worship and remembrance idealized the human form and glorified the spirit of man. In magnificent stone amphitheaters they praised their gods in ritual dance and through human voice, measured choruses echoed across time. Their great deities controlled all the great rhythms and hazards of the Universe – the moonrise, sunset, tide, rain and all the mundane facets of life itself. All things emanated from the will of the Great Immortals.
It is easy to consider and conceive that the cosmos is divided into a variety of deific domains but, the natural tendency is to lean towards the concept that the act of giving form to the origin of the Universe began with two domains Light and Dark or if preferred Objective and Abstract. To the ancient Greeks, the Light/Objective would be the domain of Gaea and the rest of the deific pantheon as we now know them and have experienced them throughout the history of time via all the various worldly religions, mythologies and philosophies. The Dark/Abstract had fewer deities and other lesser forces such as angeloi and daemones.
Consider for a moment that the Universe is eternal and like the gods in it, does not change in the way we think of and equate with the meaning of change. There is no premise of time in the Universe … all is but an essential instantaneous moment. Yet something is destined to happen – the gods stir and move and things happen that never happened before for suddenly there is a need for “time” and the emptying of space. This was the moment at the dawn of creation that Nyx spread her great black wings and made it so.
The great epic poet Hesiod tells us that it all began with Chaos. Chaos is translated not as uncontrolled and unpredictable activity, but as a great chasm, that is, a great still emptiness, from which the first gods were born … Gaea, the foundation of all that is and abode of all life, Eros, the beautiful, who draws all things together, Erebus, the darkness and Nyx, the goddess of the night. In ancient Greece and in modern times, Nyx is rarely the focus of cults but is often an influence behind them. In these contemporary times, there are those who feel they heed her call and consider themselves advocates and supplicants of Nyx.
Nyx mated with Erebus (the darkness) to bring forth children. But unlike the children of Gaea and Ouranos, these children were not divine perfection but rather abstract negations. Darkly fecund, Nyx gave birth to a host of terrors – Eris (Strife), Moros (doom) the Keres (murder, slaughter, carnage), the Hesperides (keepers of the treasures of the gods), the Morai (fate), Apate (deceit), Philotes (lies), Geras (old age), Limos (hunger) Momus (blame, cynicism and criticism), Hypnos (Sleep), the Oneiroi (Hynos’ collection of dream/nightmare masters, Morpheus, Icelus, Phobetor, Phatasos) and Thanatos (Death) and a great many others that balance out the forces brought into being by Gaea and her son/mate Ouranos. Please view video for more.
The Hellenic system has concepts of good and evil, but not in the same absolutes as more duotheistic or so-called monotheistic religions. The dark side of the universe is not evil. The dark and light aspects of the universe can be viewed more as primordial - the seen and the unseen, creation and destruction, objective and abstract. The dark aspect of the universe is that which negates, in a complimentary and necessary way, that which the light aspect produces. If the light aspect creates, the dark destroys. If the light aspect is life the dark is death. But this is all far too simple, for within the dark there are creative aspects just as within the light there are destructive aspects. This undoubtedly leads us to the concept of primitive fundamental balance.
Nyx is the ultimate goddess of the dark aspected universe yet she is clearly distinct because she is not intimately involved with life as the other Olympian gods who make their presence known in all things human. Nyx represents death, the great night, a condition which is viewed as negative and greatly feared. She works her terrible power of entropy, the force of destruction and dissolution that is part of all things, upon the entire cosmos eventually bringing the chaotic energy of being back to the stillness of non-being.
Nothing in the cosmos is eternal except the energy that was its foundation at the beginning.
The Universe is not in its natural state. The gods continue to disturb it as the two great forces Light and Dark, Objective and Abstract. The children of Gaea stir the pot and the children of Nyx still it. They seek each other out – the order and the chaos not to nullify one another but to come to a stalemate and equilibrium. Things must be destroyed so new things can come to be. Nyx and her children are not only destroyers but bringers of new potential and unending possibilities.
Nyx should not be thought of as a goddess of chaos, but rather a balancer, for the energies of the universe cannot all become cosmically subsumed into the solid matter of Gaea, nor can they be allowed to all be gathered to the center by Eros. Matter is formed, and it must be unformed so that it returns to an energetic form reforming into matter again. Combining and recombining to form newer and more complex materials.
The gods moved and stirred, and they saw that what was made by that stirring was good …
Orpheus Hymn to Night--
NIGHT, parent goddess, source of sweet repose,
From whom at first both Gods and men arose,
Hear, blessed Venus, deck'd with starry light,
In sleep's deep silence dwelling Ebon night!
Dreams and soft case attend thy dusky train,
Pleas'd with the length'ned gloom and feaftful strain.
Dissolving anxious care, the friend of Mirth,
With darkling coursers riding round the earth.
Goddess of phantoms and of shadowy play,
Whose drowsy pow'r divides the nat'ral day:
By Fate's decree you constant send the light
To deepest hell, remote from mortal sight
For dire Necessity which nought withstands,
Invests the world with adamantine bands.
Be present, Goddess, to thy suppliant's pray'r,
Desir'd by all, whom all alike revere,
Blessed, benevolent, with friendly aid
Dispell the fears of Twilight's dreadful shade.
In 1997, the International Astronomical Union approved the name Nyx for a mons (mountain/peak) feature on the planet Venus. Nyx Mons is located at 30° north latitude and 48.5° longitude on the Venusian surface. Its diameter is 875 km. On June 21, 2006, they renamed one of Plutos's recently discovered moons (S/2005 P 2) to Nix, in honor of Nyx. The name was spelled with an "i" instead of a "y", to avoid conflict with the asteroid 3908 Nyx.