Hephaistos’ Month of Devotional Thought: Day 6 – Other Related Deities

Χαίρετε πάντες!

I have already covered most related Deities in the previous post, as they constitute his family. Today will be about a few special cases amongst those, and non-familial relations.

First of all, I am going to mention Thetis and Eurynome, the two Okeanids who found, rescued, and raised Hephaistos after he was thrown off of Mt. Olympos as a newborn infant. While not directly “biologically” related, they were his (foster) parents during his youth and he still holds them very dearly, as evidenced by his making the armour of Akhilleus at Thetis’ request.

A different, but close, an association exists between Hephaistos and the Kyklopes. These were the original Kyklopes, sons of Ouranos and Gaia, liberated by Zeus from their imprisonment within Tartaros at their father’s hand. They were great smiths of their own and fashioned the weapons for the Three Sons of Kronos; the Helmet of Darkness that renders the wearer invisible for Hades, the Trident for Poseidon, and the Thunderbolt for Zeus. They eventually became the assistants of Hephaistos at his forge and workshop at the Etna on Sicily or the nearby Lipari islands.

Other attendants of his are the Golden Maidens, golden statues that were animated, who attended Hephaistos in his palace and forge on Olympos. And off course, he is also attended by his sons the Palikoi at his Etna workshop. At his forge on Lemnos, his sacred island, he was attended to by his sons the Kabeiroi. An attendant named Kedalion is also known, whom he temporarily had guide the blinded Orion.

Now, I will go into some of his familial relationships a bit deeper. As mentioned in the previous posts, Dionysos is very close to him, as Dionysos was the one to liberate him from his grievances. By getting him drunk and convincing him thusly to free Hera, Dionysos was the one to bring Hephaistos back into the fold of the Gods, leading him up towards Olympos. The two continued to have a strong relationship and Hephaistos is also often depicted in the company of Satyrs and Silens, companions of Dionysos.

T1.2Gaia

Gaea and the birth of Erichthonius, with Athena taking the child into her care. Athenian red-figure kylix C5th B.C., Antikensammlung Berlin. Image taken from Theoi.com, 5 May 2017.

But the strongest relationship probably exists between Hephaistos and Athena, who are closely associated in cultic practice. Particularly in Athens, given the strong links of both Deities to this polis. First of all, they are both Gods of the crafts and of industry, foundational elements of any society. And above that, they both kind of sort of had a child together in a rather roundabout way. Hephaistos was infatuated with Athena and attempted to seduce her, but she spurned his advances. During the encounter Hephaistos spilt his seed on Athena’s dress, who disgustedly swept it off with a piece of wool, causing the seed to fall on the Earth. Gaia thereupon became pregnant and gave birth to Erikhthonios. Athena did feel some responsibility towards the child. She had him taken care of by the daughters of Kekrops, King of Athens, and Erikhthonios would end up becoming King of Athens himself, leading to a line of Kings of Athens who were descendants of Hephaistos.

That’s about it for today.

Ἔρρωσο!

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