To Sannion, for his continued health, a song to the Queen of the Gods:
Hera Ludovisi, 1st cen. BCE
Hail, Hera, Queen of Olympos!
Your Name, renowned and true.
Your crown is wrought of star and cloud,
and your mantle, sapphire blue.
Queen, you are, undoubted:
wife and sister to Heaven’s King.
Cow-eyed mistress of gods undying,
unto whom do kingly birds sing.
Your hand is firm, like the queen you are,
Yet your heart is soft like morning dew.
Your voice commands all rain and gale,
and the hearts of many mortals, too.
This song is made for you, O Queen:
that which is yours can never die.
For you are Queen of every hero’s heart,
though body rot and spirit fly.
In other news, today at the altar:
Many Gods, one household.
Can’t go wrong with Ganapati.
May the fourth of the waxing moon be with you!
Or better, “Hera Comes, the Queen of Olympos“!
It’s been out for more than a week, but I just wanted to let you know that Bibliotheca Alexandrina‘s latest devotional, Queen of Olympos, is out.
Maligned in scholarship and modern popular culture as the shrewish wife of Zeus, Hera was much loved in ancient Greece. Worship of the Queen of the Milky Way spread from Argos to the sacred isle of Samos, from the mountains of Asia Minor to the shores of Carthage, from the hills of Rome to the banks of the Thames. The Protector of Women and the Guardian of Marriage, She was also called White-Armed and Cow-Eyed as the Goddess of Cattle. The mother of Ares, Eileithyia, Hebe, Hephaestus, and the monstrous Typhaon, Hera championed such heroes as Jason and the Argonauts while driving others — most notably Herakles — to madness and greatness.
I loved Guardian of the Road, and I’m sure I’ll love this one just the same. I just need to find some way to order the paperback copy without getting charged for shipping so much.
I wrote something there, too. I hope you all like it!
It can be purchased in paperback format from our online store, and through Amazon, and will be available through Barnes and Noble shortly. It is also available immediately for the Kindle and Kindle app here. If possible, we would ask you to purchase it through Createspace since that will give the Bibliotheca Alexandrina a higher portion of the royalties without changing the price for you.
Also, help rebuild the Library of Alexandria one book at a time by contributing to forthcoming titles such as a devotional to Charon. May the light of Alexandria never fade.
Tonight, as the light of silver-shining Selênê returns to the heavens, we leave the month of Poseideôn (Ποσειδεών) and enter the month of Gamêliôn (Γαμηλιών).
Before I post pictures of last night’s Noumênia rites, let me share two modern Greek festivals that are happening tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.
Quoting Neos Alexandria‘s festival calendar:
This modern Greek festival occurs on 4 Audenaios (the Makedonian equivalent of Maimakteriôn).
Festival of Hermes as Luck-bringer – games, role-reversal, gambling. Sacrifices for good luck for the coming year.
This modern Greek festival occurs on 5-6 Audenaios.
This festival celebrates the resolution of the antagonism between Hephaistos and his mother Hera. On the first day Hephaistos is banished from Olympos. His image is concealed and all fires are extinguished and technology avoided, since this is what the world would be like without the god. No lights are permitted to be lit, whether lamps or electric ones. All food consumed on this day must be eaten raw, without the benefit of fire. Avoid television, radio, internet, or other electrical devices unless your job depends on these and if possible walk to work. Spend the day in gloomy meditation, thinking about all the ways that the Smith god impacts our lives, and how horrible it would be without him. Then around midnight bring the image of Hephaistos out of hiding: present him before the image of Hera and pour out bowls of wine since Dionysos is the one who facilitated their reconciliation. Turn on all the lights in your home and celebrate the joyous return of Hephaistos with offerings to him, Dionysos, and Hera.