Gods and Goddesses

Nyx Goddess of Night: 10 Ways to Work With the Dark Creatrix

In the silence. And in the velvety darkness…the voice of a goddess calls your name. Her voice is unsettling, yet comforting at the same time. One you can’t seem to explain. Her name is Nyx, and she was worshiped by the Ancient Greeks for thousands of years. Some believe she’s primordial – a creator goddess who has always been and always will be. In this article, get to know Nyx Goddess of Night, her origins, myths, magical associations and 10 ways to work with her in your pagan practice.

First, Who is Nyx Goddess of Night?

Nyx Goddess of Night is an ancient Greek goddess whose worship seemed to go hand-in-hand with other deities. For instance, scholars believe there was no central temple dedicated to Nyx (sad, I know). But she may have been honored alongside Artemis in Ephesus, and also Diana and Proserpina in Benevento (after the Romans absorbed the Greek deities). And her statue was found in the citadel of Megara, present day Caria, and referred to as the “Oracle Nyx” alongside temples dedicated to Aphrodite and Dionysus.

The fact she is alluded to as an “oracle” rather than a goddess indicates to me that the prophesying skills of the ancient Oracles were attributed to her. Perhaps the oracles invoked Nyx when they went into trance? Unfortunately, it seems her cult wasn’t as large as others in the Greek pantheon. That being said…

Nyx Goddess in the Myths

There are a few myths that mention Nyx. In Hesiod’s Theogony, Nyx is born as the personification of Night, emerging from Chaos. She couples with the personification of Darkness and gives birth to Doom (Moros), Death (Thanatos), Destruction (Keres), Fate(s) (The Moirai), Retribution (Nemesis), and a few others. Interestingly, most of her children are deities that personify human characteristics and experiences. Whereas she and her partner Darkness represent a force of nature. Hesiod also claims that Nyx lives in Tartarus, the Hell that exists below Hades…far below.

In Homer’s Iliad, Zeus the king of the gods, fears Nyx Goddess of Night and allows her son Hypnos to go free. Nyx has shown up a few more times in ancient poems: once as an Oracle and another time she’s gives birth to the Furies (Erinyes) with Hades, god of the Underworld. In addition to the Greek poems and mythos, Roman writers recorded hymns as offerings to Nyx Goddess of Night.

How Nyx Manifests – What Does She Look Like?

Any time the day ends and night falls, Nyx is present. You don’t have to call on her, as she’s literally all around you every night. However, sometimes Nyx will manifest in a physical, more corporeal form. And when she does, she typically resembles a large, black bird or a woman with black bird wings. Some sources claim Nyx will appear as a goth-looking woman wearing a black veil studded with stars (Judika Illes, 2009). When I see her, she comes to me as a beautiful mother with long, black hair, and steely gray eyes. She wears all black with silver accessories to mimic the color of the stars and moon.

Second, What is Nyx’s Spiritual Domain?

We know Nyx is an illusive, mysterious deity associated with the Night. So what is her spiritual domain, exactly? There’s a few qualities modern day Nyx devotees claim are hers including the night time, darkness, chaos, creation, destruction, divination (particularly oracular trance and prophecy), love, motherhood, and the mysteries.

Nyx seems to be a paradoxical goddess like so many others we’ve met here at Otherworldly Oracle. Every deity, like every person, has her own good and bad qualities. There has to be balance, even with deities like Nyx. As she’s presented as destruction and born of Chaos, she’s also the ancestress of every deity…she was there before creation. Before Gaia became Mother Earth and Uranus became the sky. This is probably why even Zeus fears her.

Nyx Magical Associations

AnimalsHerbsOfferingsGod/Goddess
Black BirdsNight blooming JasmineIncenseHemera
Black BullPoppiesBlackbird feathersHecate
OwlMoonflowerEggs and eggshellsDiana

10 Ways to Work With Nyx: Creatrix, Ancestor and Primordial Goddess

In recent times, there’s been a resurgence of interest in Nyx Goddess of Night. Many gothic pagans find working with her an invigorating and deep practice. But you don’t have to be gothic to enjoy a relationship with this creator goddess. Here’s 10 ways to work with her in your practice (but feel free to do your OWN thing!):

1. Study Nyx in Myth and History

The first way to get to know a deity is to learn everything you can about them. Read their myths, legends, and lore online and in books. I highly recommend a library trip to get your hands on books you might not find elsewhere. For Nyx, read Hesiod’s Theogony and Homer’s Iliad. Read the Roman poems by Orpheus in which he writes hymns in her name. But also look for Greek mythology, as well as evidence of Nyx’s worship via archaeological sites and artifacts.

2. Dedicate Altar Space to Nyx

Dedicate altar space to Nyx Goddess of Night. This could be as simple as a small bookshelf, a corner of your kitchen counter, a nightstand, or as big as the top of a buffet. Work with what you have. Cleanse the space and all items you plan to put on your altar. We recommend including the colors of night: black and silver. And including candles with candle holders, incense and burner, oils, bowls and cups for offerings, and anything that represents the night. Dedicate it to Nyx and ask her to visit and bless this sacred space.

3. Embrace the Night

Do you have an inexplicable fear of the dark? Nyx is calling you to her for a reason – it’s time for you to face your fears of the night time. Start by keeping all the lights off in your room and house at night. Yes, this means turning off or unplugging your night lights too! Ask for her comfort and peaceful presence to overcome this fear. And remember – without darkness, there would be no light. Without night, there would be no day.

4. Give Offerings to Nyx Goddess of Night

While we don’t know a ton about what offerings were provided to Nyx in ancient times, we do know that she enjoys incense, candlelight, wine, and music. In addition, if you’re a meat-eater, offer up a portion of beef, steak, and other red meats. We know the ancient Greeks sacrificed black bulls in her name, so beef is an acceptable modern alternative. Consider offering poppy seeds or fresh poppies in a bouquet. Dark chocolate, rich candy and sweets, perfume, and night blooming flowers like moonflower are all appropriate for Nyx. Stones like black tourmaline, onyx, and obsidian are appropriate gifts for Nyx, too.

5. Oracles and Divination

Because Nyx’s domain is over Oracles, this is your time to study what that means for you. Are you meant to be an oracle – one who sees and speaks for the spirit world? Or are you meant to practice divination in some other form – augury, tarot, etc? It seems to me that Nyx Goddess of Night, and also a deity who appears as a black bird, might enjoy teaching you and guiding you in the noble art of augury. If you didn’t know, augury is the art of reading birds’ flight patterns and behaviors to divine messages from the spirit world.

6. Shadow Work With Nyx

Nyx is the Goddess of Night. She is night personified. And while shadow work doesn’t directly correspond to the night, it does via symbolism. So if you’ve been avoiding working on yourself – ignoring your self love routines AND you’ve never engaged in shadow work, now is the time. Nyx is a helpful guide during the shadow working process. She is stern, and sometimes blunt, but also a protective, nurturing mother to her devotees. Shadow work isn’t an easy process. In fact, sometimes its downright painful. But remember Nyx says that sometimes destruction is necessary to make way for creation.

7. Creation Through Destruction

Since Nyx is a creator goddess and creates following the void, consider how to reenact this concept through your art. Some of you are screaming, art? What? I’m no artist! But yes, you are. Art can be anything you do to create – painting and artwork (sure), but also cooking, writing, singing, playing an instrument, crafting, digital design, etc. So let this concept inspire you the next time you pick up your pen, guitar, or spatula. Think of how you can destroy an object (safely, please) and use that destruction to make something beautiful.

8. Moon Rituals

As the Night is Nyx’s domain, consider performing your rituals at night. If you can perform them under the light of the moon, even better. Or, if during the Dark Moon, you can light a fire and cast fireside, even better! Nyx calls you to work your magic in the dark. With her soft, feathery wings of night wrapped around you. And maybe with a little help from her sister, the moon. Ritual baths, divination, releasing rituals, and fire scrying are just a few ideas.

9. Dreaming with Nyx and the Night

Have your dreams increased in intensity and quantity lately? Nyx is summoning you to work with your dreams. Start by keeping a dream journal: every morning write down the dreams you remember. Even if you only remember pieces OR you just wake up with a sensation – write it down. Your dream recall will increase, and subsequently improving your dream abilities. Sounds simple? Yes, but dream work is also a deep, and sometimes transformative process. Nyx will show you areas you need to work on through your dreams, and you might also learn of future events in your sleep.

10. Learning Astrology

The stars and moon are a part of Nyx, the Night personified. Therefore, any kind of work you do with the stars including astrology honors this primitive goddess. If you’ve never explored the Zodiac or your birth chart before, do so and dedicate the energy you put into your studies to Nyx. Ask her to guide your studies, and she will provide pertinent lessons.

Everyone’s Experience With Nyx Will Differ

Over the years of being a pagan witch, I’ve come to learn that every deity reveals itself in different ways to each individual. While some people might fear working with the Night personified, a goddess born of Chaos, others find her presence to be comforting and warm. Interestingly, Nyx may first manifest to her devotees in a more foreboding manner, but this is often her way of getting the individual’s attention right off the bat. Then as your relationship grows, her manner may shift to a protective mother. Or witch-teacher. Be open to what Nyx has to teach you. Embrace the night.

Learn More about the Greek Pantheon:

NYX Goddess of Night

1 Comment

  1. Tony

    April 27, 2022 at 7:35 am

    I need a god I can really experience. I want Nyx.

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