So I have decided on doing another one of the Months of Devotional Thought. And as the title suggests, it’ll be dedicated to Hephaistos this time.
Hephaistos is a God who doesn’t get a whole lot of attention, I have a feeling, from the Hellenic polytheistic community, which I think it kind of weird in light of the fundamental role his domain has in human civilisation, today perhaps even more so than in antiquity. I admit that I am no different in this respect, I also honour him mostly on occasion, though I have been worshipping him weekly in the weekly schedule based on the Gods associated with certain days of the week. I have been neglecting that a bit though, these past few weeks. I’m hoping to restore this over the course of this month, as well as pay some daily attention to Hephaistos.
The domain of Hephaistos is Fire, Craftsmanship, Smithing, Masonry, Building, Industry, and such things. In our modern context, even the hardware end of our electronics like computers and smartphones can be seen as part of his domain. He is a God of Labour, so I feel it fitting that this first post takes place on the 1st of May, Labour Day. He is connected to all manner of jobs that involve manual labour, be it building, or be it smithing, but also with industrial engineering and architecture. Interestingly enough, and contrary to what one might expect, he is also known as the Lame Gods. Lame as in handicapped. He is often depicted with at least one crooked foot, and there is a vase painting of him riding a donkey as Dionysos leads to him to Olympos. One might not expect a Smith or Labourer to be thusly handicapped. Yet his wits and craftiness and keen mind outweigh his “physical” handicap (I put physical between quotes as a Gods are not physical beings, at least not in any way as we might understand them to be).
He is also no stranger to hard times and being rejected. When he was born, he was either thrown off Mount Olympos by his father Zeus or his mother Hera (more on that in a later post) for his ugliness and misshapenness. The baby landed on Lemnos, which would become his Sacred Isle and a centre of his Cult, where he was saved and raised until he came of age and plotted to claim his rightful place among the Olympians. Through his craftiness and intelligence, he managed to do so and was welcomed on Olympos. He received Aphrodite as his wife, to make up for the whole kicking him of Olympos thing, then she cheated on him on their wedding night with Ares, they divorced or the marriage was annulled. Finally, he received Aglaia as his wife, a Kharis (Grace), and they remained together.
After his establishment amongst the Gods of Olympos he had a hand in the creation of mankind and was heavily involved in the creation of womankind, he begot Erikhthonius with Athena and Gaia (more on that in a later post), he battled in the Trojan War against Skamandros, a River God, made the armour of Akhilleus, etc.
We will go more in depth into his myths, names, domain, etc., over the course of the following month.
Addendum: So I finished writing this blog post, saved it and scheduled it, and then went to Facebook. And what is the first post I see? Greekrevivalistmommy’s post with the topics for a Month of Devotional Thought. Coincidence? I rather think Hephaistos is letting me know he approves of my project.