Words from Hephaestos: If I was coming to your ritual

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For my entire existence, I have struggled with a deformity in my leg. I can walk, but it’s slow, and it hurts me.

Hermes, Apollon, Ares, all the gods, really, would outpace me no matter how slowly they tried to walk. They weren’t ever mean about it. They just always forgot.

Everyone forgot. My own temples had stairs. MY OWN TEMPLES HAD STAIRS. That was just how they made temples, and no one ever gave it a second thought.

I want you to know that there are people out there who you aren’t thinking about. Maybe they have an illness, visible or otherwise, and easily get tired. Maybe they have a physical issue that makes stairs painful or impossible. Maybe they can’t read your handouts because they have a visual impairment. Maybe they can’t hear your inspiring speeches when your back is to them.

This is all I ask: give it a second thought. For me.

When you see someone, and their limits aren’t the same as yours, think of me. If it was me, the god of fine arts and invention, the deity who brought you painting, pottery, circuitboards — brought you every metal implement you have ever laid hands on — and I was right in front of you, looking up a long winding path, or a daunting set of stairs, trying to get into your ritual space, what would you do?

If you knew I was going to show up, would you prepare your ritual or your space differently?

Consider me on your guest list. Permanently. Ask me what I need so that I can be in your space and participate equally. Because I assure you, there is nothing “less than” about me.


  1. It’s funny but even those of us who do struggle daily with illness or disability never seem to consider this. Especially in conjunction with the deities – because they aren’t corporeal and we assume they have no limitations like we have. Yet in each mythos there’s at least one who is crippled by something. When Hepaistos can take on a physical form and manifest on the Prime will He keep his disability? Or will He choose to be perfectly formed like His peers? A reminder for those of us who entertain those unknown to us. Thank you.

    1. I think he would keep his disability, because I think it is an important part of who he is and what he represents. Gods don’t look the way they look by accident.

      1. Also, it’s probably such a crucial part of him that he’s had for such a long time that he is almost used to it, except for inconvenience caused by it. Also, I don’t think he would have much of a choice, if he did manifest here, and I mean in a more permanent way, like shards or an avatar (which is from Indian mythos but still) he would probably get a disability eventually. Because it is apart of him almost, not him, but apart of what makes him, him. Am I making any sense, or?

      2. No. That totally makes sense. The sense I got from him was just that it was a non-negotiable fact of his existence. I’ve never seen anyone trance him, but even then, I think that facet of him is so integral that it would find a way to express itself while he was riding.

      3. Probably, that may be why he normally doesn’t, the pain would probably transfer over. Although I suppose in that case, when people horse Odin, wouldn’t they be affected by his lack of an eye, in some form or another, pain or just discomfort. I’m curious now about this.

      4. Odin is a god of very non-physical things. Wisdom. Intellect. Madness. Oracles, etc. I suspect his outward form isn’t the most important thing. Hephaestos, by contrast, is a very quiet, physical deity. His genius is expressed not through words, but through motion: motions that form paintings, amphoras, armor and swords.

        But all this is conjecture. It might just be that, when riding, he’d prefer to remain seated. His leg only bothers him when walking.

      5. Children of Odin frequently are affected by His lack of eye, yes. I know several people devoted to Odin who have eye afflictions in only one eye, and several of them developed it – sometimes rather suddenly – *after* becoming devoted to Him.

        I’ve also seen that when people carry (as in, trance possession) a god who is in some way impaired, they at least lose the ability to use the relevant body part, whether they take on any pain from it or not. Folks carrying Tyr whose right hands go numb, and folks carrying gods who manifest as old ending up stooped and arthritic.

        So yes, I would fully expect someone carrying Hephaestos to at least develop a limp while He is present, if not take on the full pain of it, or a permanent injury from serving Him in the long run.


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