Today’s topic will be how I became aware of the Goddes Hera for the first time. This is kind of a difficult question to answer, as this is lost in the sands of time of my youth. As a child, I was a voracious reader, and I was interested in all manner of ancient history. Particularly the Ancient Near East and the Mediterranean. So primarily Mesopotamia, Egypt, Hellas, and Rome.
Interestingly, when I was a child I was more of an egyptomaniac that anything else, I was absolutely fascinated by anything ancient Egyptian. Imagine if I had known of polytheism as a valid religious path, even for traditions that have been sundered by Christianity and Islam. I might just have become a Kemetic instead of a Hellenist… In fact, I do recall once claiming as a young child that I believed in the Egyptian Gods. Then again I did not know of polytheism as a true and valid path, and our culture isn’t very nurturing for such notions regarding polytheism, so I kind of outgrew it.
In any case, I was also very interested in Hellas, I read about the countless myths, and was fascinated by that as well. So it is with this interest that I must have first learned of Hera. Yet I do not know of any first impressions, though I do not recall ever being dismissive of any Deity because of the supposed immoralities they displayed in myth, as our society so often is.
When I went into high school I studied Latin, and thus came further into contact with Classical culture, the stories of the Gods, etc., though through a Latin lens. In my second year, I also studied Ancient Hellenic and would have loved to continue that throughout high school, but unfortunately they only gave it to the second grade of high school. By the time I graduated from high school it had even been scrapped altogether because of not enough interest. I always found that a shame, and I kind of regret not having taken the opportunity to switch schools in order to continue studying it. But I digress, this isn’t about my school years but about Hera, dammit!
But my interest in the Hellenic language and myths grew and overtook my interest in Egypt during high school, culminating in my third year at university in my discovery of Hellenismos. I was flabbergasted that I had never known about this, that I had never truly considered in my adult life that Hellenic polytheism was a valid religious path. Things just clicked and I never looked back. It is through my discovery of Hellenismos that I started worshipping the Gods, growing into the religion, and thus also with discovering Hera as an actual Goddess and not as just some character in “silly stories” of these people from long ago.
I have not, however, had any particular personal experience with her yet. Mayhaps I will during the course of this month of devotional thought, or perhaps not. It will be as Hera wills it.
So now I end this post, having answered this difficult question with a lot of stuff about my school years (>_>) It’s almost most a “How I found Hellenismos”-story than a post about Hera specifically.