The Ourea are offspring of the Goddess Gaia. This family line was important in Greek mythology because it explained the outline of natural occurrences on the hills surrounding the isles. Gaia had nine children who were know as the Ourea. They are Aitna, Athos, Helikon, Kithairon, Nysos, Olympus, Oreios, Parnes, and Tmolus. Each child of the nature goddess made their home on a mountain around Greece. Upon every mountain, the Greeks erected oracle monuments to mark the recognition of the presence of each deity.
The difficulty in understanding the Ourea in Greek myth comes from these deities being classified as primordial. They preceded the interaction of major gods like Zeus, Apollo, and Aphrodite. Their presence was established by the founding powers like Kronos and Uranus. In ancient Greek myth, the Ourea are equivalent to the modern notion of elemental powers. This collection of cosmic offspring controlled the natural aspects experienced in the region. They were not always actively involved in human struggles, but their whims had the power to influence history.
As Greek society progressed, the importance of the Ourea in culture somewhat diminished. The Ourea were considered to be earthly entities who were only powerful in the physical realm. This was in contrast to high gods who could influence spiritual matters. Though human tales often disregard the importance of the elemental gods, they are always held in high regard by members of the Olympian Order.
Zeus held Parnes as sacred. Even modern Greeks consider Athos to be the “sacred mountain.” The Ourea are one of the only lineages to exist from the primordial beginnings of Greek mythology, and into the psyche of modern Greeks today. They embody the role of nature, geography, and the unexplained in almost every Greek mythological tale.
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