The three brothers


The three brothers born by Rheia to Kronos, Zeus, and Poseidon, and the third is Hades, lord of the dead men. All was divided among them three ways, each given his domain. Poseidon when the lots were shaken drew the grey sea to live in forever; Hades drew the lot of the mists and the darkness, and Zeus was allotted the wide sky, in the cloud and the bright air. But earth and high Olympos are common to all three.

The three brothers are each allotted a section of the world dividing the realms of the Earth amongst themselves. Hades is allotted the realm of darkness, the domain of shades, that which lies under the earth in the realm of the unknown. He is the brother that will be the regent of the underworld, the Lord of death and rebirth. He is the silent and invisible brother who removes himself from the affairs of the family yet senses the life of the family at its deepest levels. As the guardian of the shades, Pluto is given the care taking role for the underworld of the family: the secrets, the shame, the buried passions, the grief and loss, the negative feelings. He is the custodian of what has been buried alive in the family, the complexes and patterns not adequately interred. Unlike his brothers he wants only one mate and with his brother Zeus’ blessing he abducts Persephone into his underworld residence.

Zeus is the new sky god whose realm is the spirit and as the younger brother who has become the elder takes the role of the supreme deity. Zeus is the personification of the law and becomes the supreme ruler of Olympus eclipsing the authority of his brothers. He is the overt carrier of the familial tradition and upholds the order of the family leaving his two brothers to be the carriers of the chaos within the family system. Zeus is the family planner and sees into the future while his brothers hold onto the past and its ancestral legacy. They were also named for the slowest moving planets, Neptune and Pluto, the two planets that record the ethos of each generation.

Poseidon’s domain is to be the sea, this vast and ever changing domain, where he rules from beneath. His watery kingdom includes an eclectic population - the beautiful and kind Nereids, the Oceanids, monstrous and fierce creatures, and shape-shifting prophets. His realm is unfathomable. He too is the earth shaker and author of destruction. Poseidon is the brother who rules the domain of the feeling life in the family, bringing the stormy and monstrous feelings out into the open. He was known as an angry and irritable god and one who would unleash tempests and storms. Odysseus faced the wrath of Poseidon after he killed his son Polyphemeus. Navigators and fishermen would pray to Poseidon for calm seas trying to earn his goodwill so they would not be at his mercy.

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