Nephele, meaning "cloud", was a cloud nymph featured in the myth of Phrixus and Helle and the Birth of Centaurs.
Nephele was a phantom moulded out of a cloud by Zeus in the shape of the goddess Hera. Zeus created Nephele after he saw King Ixion's attempted assault of Hera, and he sent Nephele instead. Ixion was fooled and slept with the cloud. Ixion was then chained to a fiery wheel for all eternity in Tartarus, because he thought Nephele was the goddess Hera. Nephele then gave birth to centaurs in a rain shower on Mount Pelion.
Phrixus and Helle
Nephele then married Athamas, King of Orchomenus, but he later divorced her for Ino , daughter of Cadmus , King of Thebes, and the goddess Harmonia . Phrixus and Helle, twins born to Nephele and Athamas, were hated by Ino. Ino roasted the town's corn seeds so the crops would not grow. The farmers, frightened of a famine, asked a nearby oracle for help, but Ino bribed the messengers to say that the town required a sacrifice of Phrixus and Helle. Before the children were killed, Nephele sent a flying golden ram to save them. Helle and Phrixus were instructed not to look down, but Helle did and drowned in Hellespont, named for her meaning Sea of Helle. Phrixus arrived in Colchis, where King Aeetes gave him his daughter, Chalciope, in marriage. Phrixus gave the king the fleece of the golden ram, later taken by Jason. Ino later died and was transformed into the sea goddess Leucothea.
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| Queen of Orchomenus|
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