Homer - The Iliad - The Hours
Type of Spiritual Experience
Horae in Meyers, 1888
‘The Hours’ or in Greek the Horai or Horae were three goddesses, whose specific role was to control the way that a person’s life proceeded. They are thus not hours of the clock in the sense we might first literally perceive it, but the Hours as we have seen it portrayed allegorically as a spiritual path. This is further reinforced by the fact that their half-sisters were the Moirae – the fates.
Being guardians of the Hours they also by definition are the goddesses of the cardinal directions …
It is worth noting that in later texts, particularly when the gods were adopted by the Romans, the name of 'the Hours' was preserved, but a new set of gods was invented with different symbolic meaning – more in line with literal meaning.
Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 183 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.
………Other writers give ten by these names [Horae] : Auge (When light first appears), Anatole (Dawn), Musica (Music-hour), Gymnastica (Gymn-hour), Nymphe (Bath-hour), Mesembria (Noon), Sponde (Libations poured after lunch), Elete, Acte, Hesperis (Evening), and Dysis (Setting).
N.B. The name of the twelfth Hora (Hour) is not preserved.
A description of the experience
The Iliad – Homer
Juno lashed her horses, and the gates of heaven bellowed as they flew open of their own accord--gates over which the Hours preside, in whose hands are heaven and Olympus, either to open the dense cloud that hides them or to close it. Through these the goddesses drove their obedient steeds.