Nyx is an ancient Greek personification of the night. She is a primordial deity that was present from the very beginning, and birthed other night-related phenomena.
Nyx is a protective mother and a deity of great power — even Zeus was said to fear her wrath, which her sons used to their advantage.
According to Hesiod’s Theogony, Nyx is a child of Chaos. She procreates with Erebus, the personification of darkness, and produces Aether and Hemera (brightness and day, respectively).
She goes on to birth:
- Thanatos, death.
- Hypnos, sleep.
- Moros, doom.
- Oizys, distress.
- Momus, blame and infamy.
- Nemesis, retribution.
- Apate, deceit.
- Eris, strife.
- Philotes, friendship.
- Geras, old age.
- The Oneiroi, dreams.
- The Hesperides, nymphs of evening and sunset.
- The Keres, female spirits of death and destruction.
- Hecate, goddess of magic and witchcraft.
One time, Hera wanted to cause problems for Heracles. Heracles was the son of Zeus and Alcmene, so she knew that his divine father would never let her. She asked Hypnos to put Zeus to sleep, which would let Hera do what she wanted without fear of incurring Zeus’ wrath.
Zeus was furious when he awoke — furious enough to smite Hypnos into the sea. Fortunately, Hypnos was able to flee to his mother, Nyx, in time. Zeus knew better than to mess with one of Nyx’s sons right in front of her, so he relented.
In some poems by Orpheus, it’s Nyx, not Chaos, who first emerges and produces all creation.
Her mansion (sometimes described as a cave) is said to be located in Tartarus, beyond the sea, at the very edge of the cosmos.
Unlike most other Greek deities, Nyx didn’t have temples or cults dedicated solely to her.
Some Roman writings mention rituals for Nox, the Roman Nyx, with sacrifices of black bulls chosen for their beauty. According to Pausanias, a Greek scholar from the 2nd century CE, there was an oracle of Nyx in Megara.
Symbols & Associations
Nyx is associated with the night, darkness, and all things related to them. Since she birthed the personifications of these things, they tend to be more closely associated with their respective concepts than she is — for example, Hypnos is more strongly tied to sleep than Nyx is.
In the modern day, Nyx is symbolized by all things related to night. She’s also associated with black bulls. These were sacrificed to her as part of the Lemuralia, a feast intended to appease the malevolent ghosts of the dead.
Nyx’s greatest powers are creation and control over the day and night. As a primordial goddess, she is responsible for the creation of the day, darkness, and all things that came from the void at the beginning of creation.
In some stories, she’s the daughter of Chaos. In others, she fills the same role as Chaos.
During the Trojan War, Eos (the dawn) mourns the death of her son, Memnon. She asks Nyx to make night come early, so she can collect her son’s body from the battlefield without interference from the battle.
It’s also mentioned that Zeus fears her wrath. She has the power to cause nightfall, and is the mother of darkness, death, doom, strife, and other entities that could make life very difficult for all of creation. For this reason, the gods avoid incurring her wrath.
There isn’t a lot of information about offerings traditionally made to Nyx. Some sources mention the sacrifice of black bulls, but Nyx was generally acknowledged as a part of the worship of other deities.
Today, you may offer her:
- Black candles.
- Poetry or songs related to the night.
- Images of the night sky.
- Black flowers.
- Black fruits.
- Dark red wine.
Signs Nyx is Calling You
Nyx may be calling to you if you feel drawn to the night or the depths of space. You may even feel a fascination with death or darkness, but these might actually be a call from one or more of her children instead.
You may dream of night, or have dreams that feature the night sky prominently.
Animals associated with night, including their symbols or representations, may show up over and over again for you.
Crystals Associated with Nyx
All black-colored crystals are connected to Nyx. You can try working with:
- Black tourmaline.
- Black sapphire.
- Black moonstone.
- Black agate.
- Black calcite.
Herbs Associated with Nyx
As a personification of the night, there aren’t a lot of herbs associated with Nyx. You can try working with those who have black leaves or flowers, or flowers that bloom only at night.
Some examples include:
- Some lobelia.
- Night-blooming jasmine.
- Evening primrose.
- Queen of the Night epiphyllum.
Working with Nyx
The best way to work with Nyx is to spend time with her. Go outside in the evening and enjoy the cooler, quieter atmosphere. Experience the beauty of the night.
You may also want to allow her to inspire you. Create artwork, poetry, or songs for her, then show her.
If you have a suitable space outdoors, you may also want to create a moon garden. Find night-blooming plants suitable for your area and plant them. Adorn the space with dark-colored stones, black reflecting balls, and images of the moon and stars.
If you don’t have room for a garden, create an altar indoors. Cover it with black fabric (velvet would be lovely) and set it with a black candle, incense burner, and offering bowl.
Decorate it with crystals tied to Nyx, artwork or sculptures of her, and images of owls or black bulls. You can even include a vase for dark-colored flowers, if you wish. Spend time with your altar each evening, lighting the candle and incense, meditating, and making offerings to Nyx.
There isn’t much information about the worship of Nyx as a goddess. For the most part, she is viewed as a powerful force of creation — a being who came forth to birth gods.
Even so, if you feel strongly connected to the beauty and calm of the night, you can connect with her. Intuitively choose crystals, herbs, and offerings, and make a space for her in your heart and home. The more time you spend in the night, the closer you can be to Nyx.