Saturday, June 21, 2014

O Helios

O Helios

Golden hued son of Hyperion
Flying high above the winds
Look down upon us, O Lord, and see
For through our toil, our love, our sadness we seek you

To see the beauty of the earth with your light
To feel the heat of it on our skins and be happy
To lie under the rays of the sun and adore you

O Helios

Resplendent son of Hyperion
Upon a chariot of gold
Shine down upon us, O Lord, and bless us
For in this, your season, we are made glad to seek you

To be enriched by your heavenly light
To seek pleasure in the joys of life
To dance upon the shifting sands and adore you

O Helios

All seeing son of Hyperion
Looking down upon the ever changing earth
Set your divine eyes upon us, O Lord, and see
For in this time of joy and bird song, we need you

To guide us with your light
To warm us with your heat
To feel you upon as and know we are also loved

Before I move on to the next point… Hekate

Before I move on to the next point in the star, I want to take a few posts to talk about Hekate.
I am, of course, somewhat familiar with this Goddess, as she is well attested in Hellenic literature, but her origins are murky and her place in the pantheon nebulous. Not an Olympian Goddess but a Titan, her power remained hers in the great mythic cycle because of her aid against the Titans. She retained her divine honors on Earth, in the Sky, and in the Seas, and her place in the realm of the Underworld is well known, for it is through this connection that her current role among some neo-pagans as a Goddess of Dark Magic and such is drawn.

But I am not going to lecture you on what Hekate is in the myths, but rather what she means to me. Which is how you should assume all my posts work.

I acknowledge four main aspects of Hekate.

1: Moon goddess.
2: Protector
3: Avenger
4: Psychopomp

Lunar Deity:

The first, lunar deity, is an aspect she shares with others, especially Artemis and Selene. You should know that I don’t think the Moon is a deity, nor the Sun, nor the Earth. These are physical bodies in a physical universe governed by the rules of how that universe works. But the Moon (and Sun and Earth) are symbols of divine powers. Symbols that come down to us from our ancient ancestors. They saw the moon as something mystical, magical, or divine, and as such, we do too, even if we do so from a different perspective brought about by a greater knowledge of what it actually is.

Moon deities seem to have some aspects in common. The bring light, they change, they signal the passage of time, they are dark and light, bringing with them aspects of something fearful that the light of the moon either sheds light on or drives away. It would be a gross simplification to say that the Moon deities are all one deity, that would be to give the Moon itself the central role of deity, but it is not, it is just a small planetary body in orbit around a much larger one.

Lunar deities are deities whose power we are affected by in day and night, but more so at night, because just as the light of the sun tends blind us to the moon’s presence, so too does day often, with all the hustle and bustle, blind us to the things that worry us. Lunar deities tend to be more mellow seeming, yet fierce and even dangerous in truth. Again, an aspect of the night, which seems so calm, yet can hide many dangers. 

I’m crazy, you say? Look at Artemis, she is wild and motion and the fierce huntress, but remember, in her common guise as daughter of Zeus, she is often seen as a very young woman, a girl even, and who hasn’t seen a pretty little girl and thought “how cute” never once considering she may hold in her pocket the knife that might end your life. 

To me, Lunar deity means ever changing, ever in flux, ever to be careful of. 


All deities, in one aspect or another, have aspects of protection. It only makes sense, but Hekate is indeed a goddess of protection. Whether she protects by shedding light upon your path, or is called upon by women to protect them in times of vulnerability, or by witches who seek her blessing upon their amulets of protection, she is a protector. Like Artemis, she is also a protector of children, and as a Goddess of women, this is to be expected. If there is anything women seek protection for, it is their children. 

Interestingly enough, her role as protector can also be a dangerous one. Like Athena, how far will that protection go? To the destruction of entire nations? You just never know with a power like Hekate, because hers is a power that stretches far into the other realms of the world and is even Titanic in nature. Titans were not subtle. 

I think that Hekate is a power around which one must tread lightly, not because she is indifferent or prone to attack, but because we mortals are often too quick to call upon Gods and often, if a God were to lends said assistance, it can come with unforeseen consequences. And while it is one thing to seek the protection of your children from harm, it is another to seek their protection through the destruction of another.

I, personally, seek her out as a lighter of my path, protecting me by illuminating my mind to danger, never seeking to invoke her name in vengeance. 


This is linked to the above in that, as we would see in the story of Medea, Hekate, who was Medea’s Goddess, aided her and it lead her to ruin. 

Vengeance, you see, is very destructive, but more so to the one seeking it than to the one who is being targeted. But there is something different about Hekate as Avenger of wrongs, and that is Justice. But Hekate is an overwhelming power, and if you seek her strength in your act of vengeance, do be careful, for as Medea showed us, the cost of that vengeance can be horrific indeed.

But as avenger of wrongs, Hekate is a useful deity to include in your prayers, and like others, such as Zeus and Athena, it is perhaps left up to them and fate what that Justice is rather than seeking to enact it yourself. 


It is my firm belief that like Hermes, Hekate is a psychopomp, a guide of souls. Now, considering I don’t actually believe in an afterlife, what does that mean to me? I believe that Hekate and Hermes are powers of transition. That as Hermes allows for the transition of the living into the dead, that instant when one becomes the other is his, and that in turn, that moment when dead things become living, that belongs to her. That part of her power, part of her domain, is that spark, that moment, that little reaction between disparate elements that produces something that is actually alive. In a sense, she brings the animating spirit across the divide between the divine and the physical into the world just as he takes it out again. 

To be honest, I hadn’t given it that much thought until just now, when the basic idea that has always been in my head, that Hermes and Hekate formed part of a chain of events that resulted in life and death, came head long into my head and actually flourished. (This is partly why I do this blog, it helps me think, focus my thoughts) And now I must meditate on it, see how much further the idea goes. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014


I am moving on from Zeus, but before I do, I want to set down a couple of the things I have managed to glean from my attempt to focus on him and his power.

1: He is Supreme.

This is not to say all powerful, but that his power to affect the universe around us is the most potent because he is, as myth would put it, the king. He is the arbiter, the decider, the one who is, for lack of a better word, the city manager of this universe. Gods act, but it is through Zeus that those actions take form in our universe.

2: He is vast.

To say a God is a vast entity is, well, stupid, of course they are vast, but in Zeus there is a different vastness. It is something hard to explain, but because of his role as King, his power and form is such that under no circumstances could I ever claim to truly understand him. The vastness I speak of is a vastness of power, of presence, in time and space, in the air, the water, and in death. It is hard for a mind, trapped in mortality, to come to an understanding of him.

3: He is powerful.

By powerful, I mean that even in our modern, Abrahamic world, the power that is Zeus is still very much worshipped even by those who claim, and will claim vehemently, they do not. The old testament Jehovah is very much like Zeus, and the ancient YHWH/El shares so many attributes with Zeus that historians, mythographers, and anthropologists would all have to lie to not classify him as the “Sky God” of the ancient Hebrews.

4: He is father.

One of the roles readily identifiable with Zeus, clear in his epithets and myths, is that he is a father. Father of heroes, of Gods, of men and women. He is progenitor and lord of house, and his role as father extends not just to the mythic impregnation of virgins, but to his role as the father of nations. All over the world, Gods that can be identified with Zeus, sometimes almost directly, sometimes with tenuous connection, have proven themselves the founders of entire civilizations, and as such, he is also…

5: He is civilizer

In ancient times, people believed that it was not just customary, but a religious obligation to be kind to strangers. To be welcoming of guests and to render them aid when needed. In our Western world, where all we seem to care about is ourselves, this is an ancient custom that can use reviving. Among the Greeks, this was also a custom, and Zeus, like YHWH, is said to have set forth the destruction of humanity (I don’t take myths literally) in order to end their shameful treatment of each other.

The crime for which El/YHWH destroyed the world was not gay sex, it was that, like Zeus, he is Lord of Hosts and as such the unwillingness of a people to behave in a kind and welcoming way to each other offended him.

This is Zeus (The Sky Father) as civilizer, as encourager of civility and kindness. In my opinion, one of his most wonderful aspects.

6: He can be angered.

In the West we tend to think of Gods as either capricious or as these strange emotionless things that spend eternity staring at their navels, but the history of religion teaches us that Gods can be angered. We may not understand fully the reasons, and we may often not even be the reasons, as we human beings are so egotistical, but Gods act, and often their actions mean horrendous turmoil. If we accept that Zeus is the Sky itself, and I do not, then we accept that storms, tornados, lightning strikes, etc., are his actions. If we do not, then we accept that some part of him is the divine force that allows those things. Are they a sign of  his anger? I don’t think so, but I do think that the turn our civilizations take, the life and death of them, can be. It is unfortunate that we so often blame stupid things, like gay men kissing or abortions (looking at you, tea party nuts) or some other stupid sin when perhaps it is the way we are in general that angers him. Our destructive, polluting, careless use of this world, this gift, we have been granted.

7: He can love.

Zeus is seen in myth as rather fickle, horny, and even rapey, but let us set aside those myths for a second, as more often than not they speak of human dynasties seeking to connect themselves with the King of Olympus, but there are also moments when he is seen to show tenderness to Hera, and to a few others, and in some myths, he is also the father of divine love.

Zeus loves mankind, but we are not his only love, we cannot be. God loves life in all of its many manifestations, and it is incumbent upon us to respect that life and, since we are part of the cycle of life, to be so with respect and care. To be part of the food chain is natural, to be cruel about it is not, and we have to learn that and then teach that as part of our religion’s teachings.

8: He is warrior.

Zeus is King, and in ancient times Kings did not sit by and give orders in the safety of their castles. Kings strode into battle, sometimes at the very head of their armies. Zeus loves the warrior, the hero, the defender. He loves the man, or woman, who puts his sword arm where his mouth is. I am guessing he probably hates most politicians, but hey, I dunno.