In Greek mythology, Kírkē (Greek: Κίρκη) whose name means "falcon") is a minor goddess of magic (or sometimes a nymph, witch, enchantress or sorceress) living on the island of Aeaea.

Kirke's father was Helios and her mother was Perseis. She was sister of two kings Æëtes and Perses, and of Pasiphae (mother of the Minotaur). Kirke transformed her enemies, or those who offended her, into animals through the use of magical potions.

Circe Invidiosa - John William Waterhouse

Circe Invidiosa by John William Waterhouse


Helios & Perseis


Kirke, Skylla & Glaukus

While it is true that Kirke is best known for her actions in the Odyssey by Homer, that is not the only time she makes an appearance in a myth.  The monster Skylla who ate six of Odysseus' men was once a beautiful a beautiful nymph goddess (whose parentage is disputed).  Skylla caught the eye of a hansome Maritine god whose name was the Glaukos.  Unfortunately for Skylla, Glaukos had caught the eye of Kirke.  Kirke decided to rid Skylla's chance of a relationship with Galakus, so with her knowledge of herbs and potions Kirke poisoned Skylla's bath water.  When Skylla came to bathe, she was transformed into a hideous monstrous sea goddess who haunted the rocks of certain narrow strait opposite the whirlpool daemon Kharibdis. Ships who sailed too close to her rocks would lose six men to her ravenous, darting dog heads that were on her waist.

Kirke & Odysseus

In Homer's Odyssey, Kirke is described as living in a mansion that stands in the middle of a clearing in a dense wood. Around the house prowled lions and wolves, the drugged victims of her magic; they were not dangerous, and fawned on all newcomers. Circe worked at a huge loom. She invited Odysseus' crew to a feast, the food laced with one of her magical potions, and she turned them all into pigs with a wand after they gorged themselves on it. Only Eurylochus, suspecting treachery from the outset, escaped to warn Odysseus and the others who had stayed behind at the ships. Odysseus set out to rescue his men, but was intercepted by Hermes, who told him to use the holy herb moly to protect himself from Kirke's potion and, having resisted it, to draw his sword and act as if he were to attack Kirke. From there, Kirke would ask him to bed, but Hermes advised caution, for even there the goddess would be treacherous. She would take his manhood unless he had her swear by the names of the gods that she would not.

During his tenure at Circe's palace, Circe would bear him four sons. Odysseus's sons names are Ardeas (or Agrius), Latinus, Nausithous and Telegonus.Kirke is also said to have an affair with Poseidon and from their union Phaunos rustic God of forests was born.


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