Hebe was a goddess that served nectar to the gods and goddesses on Mount Olympus. This nectar was believed to keep the gods youthful. Hebe was the daughter of Zeus and Hera (Jupiter and Juno). She was married to Hercules, and was the cup bearer to the gods. Hebe was an ancient Greek divinity that could restore youth, and so represented exuberant youth and grace. Cup-bearer of the Olympian deities, she served the elixir of immortality, without which the gods would grow old and die.
Hecate is known as the Triple Goddess. She repesents the Holy Trinity: maiden-matron-crone holding triple sway over heaven, earth, and underworld. Her torch of lunar fire, serpent of immortality and knife of midwifery imbued her with primal power, especially in Greek, Egyptian and Celtic cultures. Christian tradition diabolized her as queen of witches to obscure her importance to the agrarian societies of medieval Europe as a source of healing magic. Hecate mainly represents the third aspect of the Goddess, the Ancient Queen of Wisdom...the crone. She is known as the Goddess of witches and of magic, the dark of the moon, and the depths of the underworld. She walks along the roadways and counsels those at the crossroads. Of all the Greek Goddesses, Hecate alone could grant or refuse anything asked by mortals. She is the Queen of the Night, and those who seek her protection can move safely in the darkness. Hecate is the voice of wisdom, divination and dreams. She is found at the dark of the moon, and at the crossroads of life. Hecate was in origin a Moon goddess. She was a native of ancient Thrace, and in some ways she resembled Artemis, with whom she was sometimes associated. Hecate was powerful in the sky and on earth and held the keys to hidden knowledge. She shared with Zeus the power to grant the wishes of men, and she gave men riches, victory, and wisdom. A later tradition has her as the daughter of Zeus and Hera. After she stole rouge from Hera to give to Europa, she fled to Earth to a woman's house where the woman was giving birth, which led to her becoming impure. To remove this taint she was flung into the river Acheron by Cabeiri. She then became a goddess of the underworld presiding over magic charms, enchantments, purifications, and expiations. She can often be found in images depicting Hecate Triformis: maiden, mother, and crone.
Hephaestus was the God of Fire and the Forge, the smith, craftsman and weapon maker of the gods. He was the son of Zeus and Hera, although it is sometimes said that Hera conceived him by herself and without any help from Zeus. Hera wanted to get back at Zeus because she was angry at her husband for birthing Athena from his own head without first procreating with her. (His Roman name was Vulcan) Of all the gods, Hephaestus was the only one to be physically ugly, and he was also lame. But of all the gods, it was the deformed Hephaestus who created the greatest works of beauty. Hephaestus chose to live underground, where he could work as an artisan undisturbed. Hera gave Hephaestus a massive workshop with many bellows, anvils, and helpers; there he continue to create beautiful ornaments, weapons, furniture and jewelry to the endless amusement and delight of the Olympian gods and goddesses. To help him in his workshop, he forged handmaidens out of gold, who were able to move around and help him in his work. In Homer's "Iliad" his wife is said to be Aglaia (Splendor), one of the Graces; in the "Odyssey" she is Aphrodite. But the commonly held belief is that Zeus, regretting his enmity towards this talented god, and knowing that he could make great use of Hephaestus' skills, gifted Aphrodite to Hephaestus as his wife.
Hephaestus was a kind and peace-loving god, gentle and introverted and popular both in heaven and on earth. He was worshipped by all blacksmiths and artisans, who recognized him as their special patron and venerated him accordingly. Hephaestus was the one who split open the head of Zeus with an axe, when the King of the Olympians was suffering from a terrible headache. From the gaping head of Zeus emerged Athena. At the request of Zeus, and against his wishes, he also created the first woman, Pandora, who eventually unleashed a slew of evils upon the world. Hephaestus was the only Olympian god who actually did physical work and he is worshipped for demonstrating that labor can be noble.
Hera was the Greek protector of marriage and women. (Her Roman name was Juno). Hera was the daughter of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. The Seasons were her nurses, which is a way of saying that Hera was a goddess of the calendar year. She was Zeus’ sister and equal to him in one thing alone: that she could bestow the gift of prophecy on anyone she pleased. Following the Olympians' overthrow of their father Cronus, who used to swallow his children as they were born, she became his wife. But she didn't do so willingly, and in fact she rejected his advances when he courted her. Zeus finally resorted to trickery in order to win her over, and transformed himself into a sad-looking and bedraggled cuckoo, soaked from a sudden thunderstorm. Hera did not see through his disguise, took pity on this poor creature and held it in her bosom to warm it. Resuming his true shape, Zeus then used the opportunity to ravish her and in shame she agreed to marry him.
The wedding feast was a huge and momentous bash and all the gods brought wonderful gifts for the new couple. In particular, Gaea (Mother Earth) gave Hera a tree with golden apples, which she placed in her orchard on Mount Atlas. There the maidens called the Hesperides and the dragon named Ladon guarded the golden apples, until the great hero Heracles came by and stole three of them to fulfill one of his labors. Following the wedding party Hera and Zeus spent their honeymoon on the island of Samos and it lasted three hundred years. To them were born the gods Ares, Hephaestus and Hebe, even though some say that Ares and his twin sister Eris (Strife) were conceived when Hera touched a flower (perhaps the may-blossom), and Hebe when Hera touched a lettuce. Some claim that Ilithyia (or Eileithyia), goddess of childbirth, was her child by Zeus.
Hermes was "Messenger of the Gods", The Magus. This androgynous trickster god was understood to contain within his body the Goddess Aphrodite, and thus is the original bisexual deity, the "hermaphrodite." Hermes is a universal Indo-European archetype of extreme antiquity, equivalent to the Hindu Shiva Ardanariswara and Buddha, to the Roman Mercury, as well as to the Germanic gods Teutatis and Woden. His tantric double serpent wand (caduceus) signifies the magic of masculine-feminine balance. The sign of the cross originally invoked the four sacred directions of Hermes, and phallic stones called herms, protected all Greco-Roman crossroads. Here he is shown wearing the Etruscan peasant hat and wearing winged sandals. He was considered the Master Philosopher in Arab, Greek and medieval cultures. Hermes is the son of Zeus and Maia, daughter of the Titan Atlas, and was born in a cave on mount Cyllene in Arcadia. That's why he is often called Atlantiades or Cyllenius. He is the fastest of the gods, and his position was as messenger to Zeus and all the other gods. He was also the Divine Herald, the solemn guide who knew the road to hell and would lead the souls of the dead down to the Underworld, after Thanatos (Death) did his job. That's why he was also called Psychopompus, a name given to him for being the guide of souls to the Underworld. Hermes is also the Greek god of Commerce and the Market, and thus the patron of traders, merchants and thieves. His distinguishing qualities were cunning, ingenuity, knowledge and creativity. His realm included Gymnastics; he was the patron of all gymnastic games in Greece, and gymnasia were under his protection. The Greek artists derived their ideal of the god from the gymnasium and thus they represented Hermes as a handsome youth with beautiful limbs harmoniously developed by athletic exercises and gymnastic excellence.
Hestia is the daughter of Cronus and Rhea and the sister of Zeus. This firstborn of the Olympians is the goddess of fire, particularly the hearth, the symbol of the house around which a new born child is carried before it is received into the family. Hestia, as the goddess of the hearth, represented personal security and happiness, and the sacred duty of hospitality. She was one of the three "virgin goddesses". Hestia swore by Zeus's head to remain a virgin forever and Zeus rewarded her efforts to keep peace among the gods by awarding her the first offering of every public sacrifice. Her temples were circular and served by virgin priestesses who dedicated their lives to her. Each city also had a public hearth sacred to Hestia, where the fire was never allowed to go out. Alone among the great Olympians, she never took part in wars or dispute. She was charitable to those who fled to her for protection. Hestia was universally revered as having invented the art of building houses. Although she was rarely depicted in art, and played almost no part in myths, she was held in the highest honor, by both the Greeks and the Romans. Hestia is the symbol of the sanctity of home, of home as temple and refuge, and of the fire of life contained within each place that honors her. In Rome, she was known as Vesta, and her priestesses embodied the very heart of the city and were honored above all others. Her eternal flame, like Brigid's, has never truly died.
Hiiaka is the youngest sister of Pele. She is a fierce warrior and yet a kind and calm friend of humanity. She gave the Hawaiian people the healing arts, creative arts, and the gift of storytelling.
Hotei is the Buddhist god charged to be the friend of children and of the weak. He is one of the Japanese Seven Gods of Luck (Shichi-Fukujin). He is usually depicted with a protuding potbelly which symbolized his satisfaction, for it was filled with serenity. Typically his fat belly is bare, as a symbol of friendly good cheer. Many believe rubbing Hotei's belly will bring good fortune.