Tag Archives: Hermes

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Telling and Retelling: The Gift

© Columbine 2017

Prometheus peered sullenly through the clouds which obscured His sight, and that of the other Theoi, from the grim reality of the beasts of the Earth. Below the Blessed Gods, all the animals roamed, each with their respective gifts, to allow them the best chances for survival upon Gaea’s breast.

Each creature had its specialty. There were those which flew through the skies, with their hollow bones and feathered bodies; and there were those that swam beneath the many waters, aided by sleek scales and powerful fins. The beasts which roamed the land were of great variety, many with hooves for running, and others with great claws for climbing or rending flesh from bone. Still many were blessed with fangs sharp as swords.

And then, there was a curious race. A race of beasts which had no such magnificent attributes, save for maybe their intelligence. However, intelligence would not save them from the other beasts, who all had much more formidable gifts…..


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Gratitude Project 2017, Day 13 – Hermes

You know who is absolutely amazing and doesn’t get enough credit for the great things that have happened to me?  The God who is consistently the most present force in my life, besides Apollon?  The God who has always given me the best advice, whose advice I always take, even when I don’t want to?  The God who has been there to watch over me and mine during the long drives on Texas and Colorado roads? The God whose business acumen keeps me in this game, doing what I love, when it’s hard, when it seems like I’ll never succeed?

Hermes.

You know, I am not wealthy, or well off, or middle class.  I’m poor.  I barely scrape by financially, but I always do scrape by.  Much of this is due entirely to the teachings of Hermes.  I do what I have to do to survive, and I make no apologies.  I also help all those I can help, when I have the means.  Be cutthroat– and be generous.  This is what Hermes tells me. This philosophy sees that my children always have a roof over their heads, clothes on their backs, and food in their bellies.  And honestly, that is all I’m asking for in this life.  Everything else I have– my business, shrine space for Apollon– these are gifts from the Theoi, and I cherish them in my reverence for the Gods.

Hermes is very much a Brother to me, if we were to put our relationship into familial terms.  But He’s not the overbearing type of Brother that Apollon can be.  Hermes is very chill, very humorous when we’re together. Of course, He can and does get His point across with strong words when He has to.  I am notoriously stubborn and don’t like to do what I’m told. But, as I said before, I listen to Hermes, because He’s never been wrong when it came to the best way to accomplish a goal, or how to approach a situation.

So, for Hermes, I am grateful.  I am grateful for the way He weaves His words, and persuades me without being harsh.  I am grateful for the markers He places in the roads ahead of me, steering me down the correct paths.  I am grateful for His kindness, His humor, and His company.  And most of all, I am grateful for His commitment to our bond, because through it, I am able to handle my business and provide for my children.

#GratitudeProject2017

Prayer to Hermes, for Secret Plots

Hermes

Hermes, Dear Hermes, I call to You.  You have known me for many years, and I have offered You love, wine, and much in-between.  You know the depth of my devotion, and the lengths to which I have gone to secure the favor of the Deathless Gods.  Hear me now, if it pleases You, and be a mover of obstacles in my path.

Hermes, Who aids in sly endeavors, I seek Your divine assistance.  If this venture pleases You, Swift One, I ask that You direct my action to its best outcome.

Hermes, God pulling the strings of human communication, please allow all my efforts and all my words to sway those who would otherwise obstruct me.

Hermes of the Ways, God of all the roads, please clear this path for me as I work to bring reverence to You, and to the other Deathless Gods.

Hermes, who is skilled in many clandestine arts, please grant me the abilities needed to weave this plan into existence.

Hermes, Magnificent Son of Zeus and Maia, please place Your divine hand over me, and shield me from the sight of the uninspired.

To You, Hermes, do I give this offering, a symbol of my passion and my commitment.  If it pleases You, do allow my plans to flower, to seed, and to be planted in many fertile gardens.

Blessed Hermes, Who is known throughout the world, Whose name inspires the never-ending search for knowledge and truth, He Who does not reject those who are sincere– please hear me this day, and please work with me to expand the reach of High Olympos, that all who seek the Deathless Ones will find a place just for them.

Hail Hermes!  Hail the God of Travelers!  And may I, and others, always honor the sacred journey!

 

The Traveler

A man walked.  Well, he was almost a man.  Mostly, he was reptile, wandering across the asphalt, barefoot and dazed like a wounded animal. His clothes were long since torn off by the brush he had stumbled out of only moments before.  And when he had walked past them, the cattle continued to graze, recognizing this almost man as they might recognize a rattlesnake; not a threat, unless he came too close.

The Sun had roasted the almost man’s skin clear off, peeled away in large red circles all over his emaciated, naked frame.  His gait was wobbly, and I could hear him mumbling whatever incoherent nonsense that his reptile brain could command.  What a sight.  What a sorry, pitiful sight.

I followed him, though he never would know.

As the almost man was passing over the road ditch, he stopped for the first time seemingly in days, simply surveying the land.  There must have been some spark of sentience left in him, because he then turned his body down the long, hot road.  Perhaps there was a memory stored somewhere in his reptile brain, a memory of long drives and traffic jams; those things that any human being would know.

I watched him trip and fall over an upturned rock.  On the ground, he kept on with one hand, and then a foot.  One foot, and then a hand.  He went along the ground like this, kicking up dust and disturbing fire ant mounds. He increased his speed when the first tandem bite was felt, then stood again when his elbows began to bleed from the scraping.  Maybe he did remember, somewhere deep in his reptile brain, that crawling was for the wild beasts, not the animal Man.

The almost man walked on, delirious with thirst.  As I was near him, I could sense the dizzying thoughts flitting here and there.  Rain.  A water hose, transformed into a snake.  A river.  A faucet.  The drip, drip, drip of melting icicles.  He was hot.  So very hot.  And tired, and blistered and starving. This poor, almost man would not live another day– two days at the most.

I wondered what I could do for him.  He could not see Me, could not feel My cooling breath for the stifling heat.  If he fell again, he would not feel My arms circling him, but only the hard, sizzling asphalt.  He was too far gone now to remember even Me.  This poor, almost man who had once been so sure of his journey.

Necessary, he’d deemed it when leaving his perfect little wife, and their perfect little son, in their tiny, tiny, tiny little village.  But now, thoughts of family were replaced by cravings for critters crawling in the dirt.

The almost man reached down, grasping a juicy, juicy cricket that had hopped onto his leg.  It was so very juicy.  I could taste its bitterness on his tongue.  He was Mine still, after all, and would soon die in My loving embrace.  He always did prefer sweets.  It seemed best that he would not remember this final meal.

I could see it in his glazed and inhuman eyes.  Death was near, so I pleaded with Death.  “Not yet,” I said.  “Not this one.  Not here.”

And Death replied. “The whole of Earth is the Great Graveyard.  All places are equal.  All death is equal.  Life comes and goes, and men may not choose their time.”

And I commanded Death.  “Not here.  Not now.  Not yet.  I choose.  He chooses nothing.”

And Death yielded, grudgingly, saying, “Because You lead the souls down the final road, You alone may choose for this one who is Yours.  But, when next I come for him, be prepared, for not even You may stop Me.”

And Death fled.

Onward, the almost man walked.  On and on down the asphalt road.  At last, the Sun was coasting down below the trees, and I heard his involuntary sigh. Was it relief?  Or was it just another animal noise?  I wondered, even in my pity.

He was grunting now, a furious and frustrated sound.  A sound of despair, of humanity breaking down yet again, perhaps.  I tried to comfort him in his unease, but still his mind, the mind I had cultivated all these years, was gone.  I looked into his eyes.  If he’d had even a drop of moisture left, I suspect it would be pressed out in tears.  Though there were no coherent thoughts, I felt the raw emotion of a living being, nearing its end.

Not this one!  Not yet!  Not now!  I repeated this to Myself, and to all those dwelling nearby.  This one has a little wife, and a little son, and a little time yet to live in this cruel world of humans.  So, I called out in that silent way that only My kind can… and was thus answered.

Down that long, hot, desperate road, two lights were ever-brightening as the distance closed, driven by a maiden fair, with Sunset sparkling on her raven hair.  And she was one of Ours, brought here by her Master’s power, to save His Brother’s mortal child.

As the vehicle came closer, this, My almost man, fell to his knees, and then onto his side, no longer feeling the pain of burnt flesh, nor the ache of sore, torn muscle.  He breathed in shallow gasps, completely undisturbed when the two lights were fixed upon him, laying like a deer in the road.

But he would live.  Another day.  Two days.  Three.  And on and on for the duration of his most grateful life.

~

Thank you, Hermes Psychopompos.  Thank you, Thanatos.  Thank you, Apollon Agyieus.  Hail and Praise!

Why Honor the Deathless Ones?

Today, after a time to sufficiently bask in my family’s good fortune, I’ve come to a new conclusion about what reason is best to honor the Deathless Ones.  In the past, I can say that I’ve done it out of love and respect, primarily, and also to procure those things which were needed for survival, and some marvelous comforts. But those are all things that I’ve reasoned are important, things which I can predict a need for.  I know better now, though. I know that we can never know when the Gods are needed most.

We pay them honor, and they grant us favors.  This is kharis– reciprocity, and it seems to be the general arrangement.  They are not obligated to grant favors.  They are within Their rights to ignore every offering made by every devotee from the beginning of time till the end– and we would still be required, out of duty to the right order of the Kosmos, to give Them what is Theirs.  The Gods owe us nothing. We owe Them everything.

Yet, They seem to be at least mildly fond of our species, and are known, even now, to manipulate events and affairs of deep concern to our lives and livelihoods.  Why is that, I wonder?  Surely, for some of us this is answered in the question of Patronage, in the relationship of a God to a mortal in which They take on the majority of responsibility toward that devotee (without disrupting necessary relationships between said devotee and the other Gods).  But what of those who do not carry the weight of such Patronage?  If they are honoring the Deathless Ones as they should, each given Their proper portion of sacrifice, at the proper times, then there is no need to worry.

But, it must not be forgotten that reciprocity works best under the condition of continuous momentum.  In my understanding, this has come to mean keeping to a strict schedule of devotion, catering to my Household Gods, as well as the Olympians.

I do not have a close relationship to all of the Olympians.  Far, far from it.  I go to most of Them only with the problems of my life’s journey, or those related to specific areas of Their expertise, when needed.  I also give Them honor on the Noumenia, so ultimately, none are left out.  And this is as it should be.  Never underestimate the power of this foundational devotion.

It is literally Their job to listen to the regular and sincere devotions of the people.  Note, listen to, and not respond to– They owe us no response.  But if you are giving Them a return on the bounty they have granted you, along with regular prayers, then I’d wager They’ve put you on Their “list of humans to watch”.

When you put yourself on Their radar, you make it more likely that They will be watching when that unexpected disaster occurs.  You know, when you almost get run over by a truck, or nearly drive off an overpass, or almost drown, or just miss running into a murderer, etc., etc., etc.  It could be anything, really.  Anything could kill us, fragile as we are.

So, I posit that the greatest and most important reasons for honoring the Deathless Ones can not be known by humans.  Only the Gods may be in possession of this knowledge.  But that should matter little to us, who are at the mercy of the events of life.  As long as the Gods know, and are watching– as long as being known to Them leads to the fulfillment of reciprocity, we may lead our lives with blissful confidence.

As long as we keep up our devotions.

Praise Hermes!  Hail Apollon!  All Glory to the Deathless Ones!