The Breezes

Deities » Hellenic Deities

Nymphs of the Air

  The Breezes, also called the Aurai, are the eternally youthful daughters of Boreas, god of the north winds, and Orithyia, goddess of mountain gales. They live with their parents in an air palace above the land of Thrace, and are goddesses of light winds from variable direction.   The Breezes have a cheerful disposition and are pleasant to deal with, although they don't have much of an attention span and tend to flitter from topic to topic.  

As a Source of Wind

  The Breezes move the air around them as they fly, much like their parents, but to a lighter extent that mortals find pleasing. They work together, shifting the winds from all different directions.   They can be helpful to sailors, although their winds are fickle and apt to change without notice, making them unreliable.  

As a Source of Rumor

  Although not specifically goddesses of rumor (that would be Pheme), or messengers of the gods (that would be Iris or Hermes), the Breezes often pick up incidental news along their travels, which they pass along at random.   There is no intent on their part to glorify or scandalize any individual, though that is often the result. In fact, Pheme often uses them as unattributed sources, amplifying and warping their news for her own purposes.  

As a Divine Means of Conveyance

  The Breezes are sometimes tasked with assisting deities or mortals who have been equipped with winged sandals or winged chariots, as these can be tricky for a novice to handle.  

In the Theogony

  Prometheus, bound to the rock by Zeus for prolonged torture, calls out to the Breezes, among others, to be witnesses to a punishment that he feels is unjust. At his request, and with the permission of Ocean, they bring a winged chariot of Oceanids to speak with him as well.  

In General Mythology

  The Breezes were the first to learn that King Midas of Phrygia had donkey ears, which they spread around because they found it so amusing.   The Breezes were also the ones to speed the ship of Theseus away from Ariadne after he abandoned her on the island of Naxos, with the implication that they also had a grudge against her.  

In the Theban Cycle

  The Breezes were the first to learn that Prince Actaeon of Thebes had been transformed into a deer by Artemis, although it was Pheme who brought the news to the boy's family.  

In the Epic Cycle

  In the Penthesileiad (Posthomerica I), the Breezes inform Ares of the death of his daughter, Penthesileia.  

Erinyes in the Mythoverse

  The Erinyes appear in The Amazons!, a modern retelling of Posthomerica I.   In this retelling, the three Daughters of the North Wind are named Aura, Aeta, and Pnoia.   There are, separately, Daughters of the West Wind who blow pleasant breezes over the Blessed Isles in the Underworld.   The Northerly and Westerly Breezes are all granddaughters of Eos, and are therefore related through her to Memnon.

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Rage! (Iliad I)

Northern Air Palace above Thrace
Greek Name

Cover image: "Jupiter Pluvius" (1819) by Joseph Gandy (1771-1843)


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