Deity of the Day for July 8th is Ares, Roman God of War

Deity of the Day

 

Ares
Greek God of War

Ares, the Greek Warrior God:

Ares was a Greek god of war, and son of Zeus by his wife Hera. He was known not only for his own exploits in battle, but also for getting involved in disputes between others. Furthermore, he often served as an agent of justice.

The Rape of Alkippe:

A Greek legend tells the tale of Ares slaying of one of Poseidon’s sons. Ares had a daughter, Alkippe, and Poseidon’s son Halirrhothios attempted to rape her.

Ares interrupted before the act was completed, and promptly killed Halirrhothios. Poseidon, livid at the murder of one of his own children, put Ares on trial before the twelve gods of Olympus. Ares was acquitted, as his violent actions were justified.

Worship of Ares:

As a warrior god, Ares wasn’t quite as popular with the Greeks as his counterpart, Mars, was among the Romans. This may have been due to his unreliability and unpredictable violence – something which would have been completely contrary to the Greek sense of order. He doesn’t seem to have been very popular among the Greeks, who appear to have been mostly just indifferent to him.

In fact, many of the legends surrounding Ares culminate in his own defeat and humiliation. In Homer’s Odyssey, Zeus himself insults Ares after his return from the battlefields of Troy – where Ares was defeated by the armies of Athena. Zeus says:
Do not sit beside me and whine, you double-faced liar.
To me you are the most hateful of all gods who hold Olympus.
Forever quarreling is dear to your heart, wars and battles.

His worship was centered in small cults, rather than amongst the general populace of Greece. Specifically, more warlike areas like Macedonia, Thrace, and Sparta paid homage to Ares.

There are numerous accounts of a Spartan man, Menoikeus, offering himself as sacrifice to Ares, in order to secure the gates of Thebes. Gaius Julius Hyginus, a Greek historian, wrote in Fabulae, “When the Thebans consulted Teiresias, he told them that they would win the battle if Kreon’s son Menoikeus [one of the Spartoi] were to offer himself as a victim to Ares. When he heard this, Menoikeus took his life in front of the gates.”

Although little is known of the cults of Ares and how they specifically paid tribute, most sources do refer to sacrifices being made prior to battle. Herodotus refers to the offerings made by the Scythians, in which one of every one hundred prisoners taken in battle is sacrificed to Ares. He also describes, in his Histories, a festival which took place in Papremis, part of Egypt. The celebration re-enacts the meeting of Ares with his mother, Hera, and involves beating priests with clubs – a ritual which often turned violent and bloody.

The Warrior Oath

Aeschylus’ epic narrative, Seven Against Thebes, includes a warrior’s oath and sacrifice to Ares:
Seven warriors yonder, doughty chiefs of might,
Into the crimsoned concave of a shield
Have shed a bull’s blood, and, with hands immersed
Into the gore of sacrifice, have sworn
By Ares, lord of fight, and by thy name,
Blood-lapping Terror, Let our oath be heard-
Either to raze the walls, make void the hold
Of Cadmus – strive his children as they may –
Or, dying here, to make the foemen’s land
With blood impasted.

Today, Ares is seeing a resurgence in popularity thanks to a number of pop culture references. He appears in Rick Riordan’s highly successful Percy Jackson series for young readers, as well as Suzanne Collins’ books about Gregor the Overlander. He also shows up in video games, such as God of War and was portrayed by the late actor Kevin Smith in the Xena: Warrior Princess television series.

Some Hellenic Pagans pay tribute to Ares as well, in rituals honoring his bravery and masculinity

 

Source
Author:Patti Wigington , Paganism/Wicca Expert

Website: Article found on & owned by About.com

Calendar of the Moon for Thursday, May 15th

Calendar of the Moon
15 Huath/Thargelion

Hermes’s Day

Color: Light blue
Element: Air
Altar: Upon a light blue cloth place a winged hat, a pair of winged sandals, an image of the caduceus, a cup of sparkling alcohol, and incense of lemongrass and mint.
Offerings: Use your intellect for something. Learn something new.
Daily Meal: Light, cold, raw food.

Invocation to Hermes

Sing, O Muse, of the son of Zeus and Maia,
Lord of Arcadia and Cyllene rich in flocks,
Messenger of gods and bringer of luck,
Borne by Maia of the beautiful hair
Who brought forth to the light a remarkable child,
Devious, winning in his cleverness,
A robber, a driver of cattle,
A guide of dreams, a wind of opportunity,
A spy in the night, a watcher at the door,
Born at dawn, inventing the lyre by midday,
Stealing by evening the flocks of far-shooting Apollo.
Thrice-magical Trismegistus, watcher of magicians
And bearer of the serpents who heal,
Father of Aesclepius the great physician
And Hermaphroditos, both woman and man,
Embracer of both woman and man,
Lover of the Bearded Aphrodite,
Lord of Speed in all its forms,
We feel your passing like a breath of wind!
Bring us skill and luck, O God of the Stone Herm,
And may all our roads be marked first with your winged feet.

Chant:
I am word
I am wind
I am breath
I am spinning
On the edge
Of the blade

(The sparkling alcohol is poured out as a libation for Hermes. All breathe deeply and depart.)

 

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Sun for Monday, January 27th

Calendar of the Sun
27 Wolfmonath
Day of the Dioscuri

Color: Blue
Element: Air
Altar: Upon a cloth of blue place two blue candles, two red candles, two figures of horses, to small mirrors, and four knives, one before each candle. Place there also four cups, one containing white wine, one containing red wine, one containing grape juice, and one containing bitter tea.
Offering: Meditate on your inner divisions.
Daily Meal: Poultry.

Invocation to the Dioscuri

Hear ye the story of the Dioscuri, the sacred twins:
Leda, Queen of Sparta, opened herself to her lawful husband,
Tyndareus of Sparta, and also to great Zeus, king of the Gods.
She bore two sets of twins, and of each pair
One was mortal, and the other a divine child.
Castor, son of Zeus, loved his brother,
Pollux son of Tyndareus, with a love that could not separate them,
And Pollux returned that love. Each protected the other’s life,
As it should be between the mortal and immortal part
Of any being. Yet Pollux was stricken, slain, brought down,
As will come about for anything mortal, and went to Hades.
Therefore did Castor grieve, and offered up half his right to Olympus,
So that both spend half their time in the darkness, and half in heaven.
Yet hear the tale of the other twins: Helen the beautiful
Scorned her plain mortal sister Clytemnestra,
Saw her married at twelve, widowed at thirteen,
Raped on the bed beside her murdered babe,
Locked in a tower by her second husband
To prove as brood mare, whilst Helen, fairer of face
Than any mortal woman, went from prince to prince,
Fought over like a proud jewel. Yet the abused sister
Overthrew her oppressors, chose her own mate, turned a kingdom
Back to the ways of old before her death, whilst Helen
Was slain by raging mortal woman, like the sister she had scorned.
And so it is: The Divine and mortal parts must love each other,
More than life itself, and learn to work together,
And be prepared to sacrifice, or both shall be ever lost.

(The four cups are poured out as libation, first the white wine and the grape juice for Castor and Pollux, then the red wine and bitter tea for Helen and Clytemnestra.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

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Deity of the Day – Hermes

Deity of the Day – Hermes

Hermes(Mercury)
Son of Zeus and the nymph Maia. He stole some of Apollo’s cattle shortly after his birth and concealed them, sacrificing two to the Olympian Gods. This theft won high recognition as a God himself. When Apollo discovered the theft and Hermes was tried his defense was so skillful and spirited that Zeus laughed and ruled that there should be a friendly settlement between the brothers. Hermes was God of the spoken word and oratory and was the intermediary between the God and men. Also the God of commerce and contracts, where language must be precise to convey the correct meaning.