Friday, July 4, 2008

Concluding my time with Hera

My time with Hera has come to an end, and I am a bit confused by her. Of course, I am fairly confused by all the Gods in one way or another, but Hestia is a difficult deity to get a handle on in the scheme of things because the Greeks laid out a fairly rigid domain for her, yet ne that could be interpreted to include almost all of the other domains in one way or another.

We think, today, of love and marriage as being indellibly linked, yet in their time, the Greeks did not necessarily think this way. Surely we know there were stories of the romantic entanglements that gods and mortals alike fell into, but marriage itself was so often a matter of familial duty that one has to ask, are we doing it wrong?

Hera forces us to look at these things in ways that also force us to sometimes consider whether marriage, her domain, is one we even want to continue to foster in our current society. After all, it no longer serves the same function in society that it once did. But marriage is not going anywhere, and recent developments lead us to believe that marriage is expanding to a whole new function in society, one that is part of an elite class. Do we really want that?

But if our current definition of marriage is one that Hera has absorbed into her realm, then love, Aphrodite’s domain, becomes entangled in her domain as well.

As Queen of Heaven, her domain becomes entangled with almost every other domain except, perhaps, that of Hades and Persephone. She commands, as Zeus does, and she is a warrior, as Athena is, a protector of cities, as many of the Gods are, and a Great Goddess in her own right.

As a Great Goddess her role in Greek society, and in our modern revival of Hellenismos as a religion divorced from its parent culture, was one that also brought into the Hellenic cultural environs traditions and ideals that predated them. She brings with her a certain earthy quality that is not like that of Demeter, but more of a type that is of the people. Hera, as Great Goddess, is the very spirit of the people, and she binds them together not only in marriage, but as a society, as a culture, and with her guidance, the culture of the Indo-European Tribes that migrated into Hellas were married with the indigenous people into a new family unit, the Hellenes.

For that, we owe her much, for without her we would not know the Gods as the Greeks knew them, and that would be a great loss indeed.

I now move on along the star pattern to Poseidon, and it may be a little while before I can make my first post on him. There is much to think over in him, and many new ways in which I must consider him and his place in our religion, so I will write and rewrite some of what I feel about him from the onset.

See ya soon...

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