Devotion Day 16; Hades

“How do you think this deity represents the values of their pantheon and cultural origins?”

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Well, as far as I can tell – the Greeks didn’t like dying.

They would avert their eyes when they made his offerings, he was generally worshiped once a year, and they’d pray to him by banging on the ground~ meaning they *literally* believed he was down there.

Despite his generally chill nature, let Heracles borrow Cerberus, let Eurydice go when Orpheus asked, tends not to cheat on Persephone… the Greeks appeared to fear and avoid him, often calling him names that weren’t “Hades”so as not to arouse suspicion.”Plouton” was a common substitute.

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In his marriage to Persephone, he does kidnap her, which from my reading, is how one generally got their bride. The tradition was that the potential groom (or groom’s family) made a deal with the would-be-bride’s father and then he arrived with a chariot, and took the girl. They all followed to the Groom’s house, where the nuptials were carried out and celebrated. (I’ll put in with you that unless the Bride is in on the deal, there doesn’t seem to be a lot to celebrate.) So in that, the tale seems to reflect society’s workings at the time.

 

 

 

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devotion Day 15; Hades

Any mundane practices associated with this Deity?

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Are there any mundane practices? I’d imagine that rock hounding, panning for gold, funereal preparations and rites, caring for dogs~ (If you can’t find a three headed dog from Hades, a single headed dog from Earth will do.) ~farming, planting trees, sleeping, and dreaming are all things that I associate with Hades. As honey is a common offering for chthonic deities in Hellenic practice, I’d imagine beekeeping is also associated with him, same for wine making and oil production.

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Day 14 Devotion; Hades

Has worship of this deity changed in modern times?

I’d think so. I’ve said multiple times through this series that there wasn’t a lot of worship of Hades in ancient Greece and today, I see he has more followers than I’d expected, including some Brides. He will be the focus of an upcoming anthology from Biblioteca Alexandria, and he appears to be receiving a lot of attention overall. Attention doesn’t exactly equal worship or devotion, obviously, but I’d say he’s having a moment in the Pagan sphere, regardless.

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This anthology is seeking pieces for publishing:

The Host of Many: Hades and His Retinue

Comics:

https://www.webtoons.com/en/challenge/punderworld/pilot-episode/viewer?title_no=312584&episode_no=2&fbclid=IwAR0L18AfXKd3ZYzL5ANubVR2ipmf7maEXpqn-wL3zwemZgMf58JbI8Tbc3c&webtoon-platform-redirect=true

https://www.webtoons.com/en/romance/lore-olympus/list?title_no=1320&webtoon-platform-redirect=true

 

 

Modern Ideas for Worship: (I can’t seem to make this be just a link, so enjoy the entire post …)

 

 

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Devotion: Hades Day 13

What modern cultural issues are closest to this deity’s heart?

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As far as I can see, he is interested in Ancestral Repair work, especially in doing what we can  for those who perished and were given no pomp or circumstance in their honor. Prayers and offerings for those who died in wars, in the slave trade, in dangerous industries (whaling, factory fires, etc) , in conquest, whether they be ancestors by blood or circumstance, tradition, or affiliation~ he appreciates all that is done in their names (known and unknown) for their healing and after life well-being. In addition, staying with your fur babies as they leave this world through accident or euthanasia. Please don’t abandon them to strangers for the last moments of their lives after they’ve given you so much.

By extension, cemetery clean ups, leaving offerings for the Dead, and caretaking of those liminal spaces of the Dead are all appreciated. If there’s an accident near you and one or more lives are lost, you can go there after the inevitable uproar has calmed, and pray, make offerings, or even take on that place for ongoing care and ceremony. (Be sure you are protected and have cleansing protocols in place for this sort of work. )

Pray for the unloved and uncelebrated among us who have passed. The Addicts, the Homeless, the Domestic Violence Victims, the Trans People, the Sex Workers, Immigrants and Children dying at the border, the animals who lose their lives for meals, in shelters, through cruelty… you can devote yourself to praying for one or more categories of the forgotten dead, once a month or so.

More importantly, do what you can for them while they are alive, whether that means signing a petition, showing up to a city hall meeting, volunteering at a homeless or animal shelter or sharing a meal.

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For more bang for your buck, engage with your feelings, fear, or expectations around your own death. Can you get some life insurance? My credit union gives me $1,000 of life insurance, just for being a member~ but I had to sign up. I can buy more for very little money if I’d like. It’s worth looking into so costs at end of life can be covered with less stress. Death is often a surprise no one is prepared to pay for.

Make a will, no matter how little you own, and speak to friends and family about the care of your children and pets. It may seem a bit morbid, but it need not be a big thing. I have two friends whom I have agreements with about the care of our pets in the event of death of my husband and I.

Telling your friends and family what you want out of death will make their grief easier, because they won’t be guessing at what you would have liked best. Pour some wine, put on some music, play a round of cards and just have an “At my memorial, I want…” round table with close friends. Songs, flowers, colors, foods, and poetry readings are all things to consider.

For bonus points, engage in end of life care for others and volunteer to visit hospice patients. That is very appreciated.

Gratitude for the food you’re eating, for the lives you take for your nourishment, is a wonderful practice to devote to Him.

Hades is most definitely a Lord of Death, but he wants to meet you after a life well led.

And Always, and I do mean Always, be very, very, very, nice to Persephone.

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Devotion, Day 12, Hades

Places associated with this deity and their worship.

As has been mentioned, Hades had few places of worship in ancient times, and according to Theoi.com, had only one in ancient Greece-  The Oracle of the Dead in Thesprotia, which is thought to be where Odysseus petitioned the Dead in “The Odyssey”.

There are however, whispers of him in other places, like The Palace of the Erinyes in Athens, Eleusis, all over Argolis he has statues and altars – though often in the palaces or sanctuaries of other deities, among them Artemis . In Amyclae, in a temple of Apollo, he stands among other deities, like Aphrodite, The Horae, and Athena. In Elis, he had his temple, but it appears he was only worshiped there once a year.

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In Coroneia, there were statues of Athena and Hades before the city. In Acharaca (Asia Minor) there was a sanctuary for Kharon (Chiron), Perdephone and Hades. He also had a shrine in Heriopolis. In Cumae, (Southern Italy) there was another Oracle of the Dead, dedicated to Persephone, Hades and “Underworld Gods” ~ it is also said to be the place that Odysseus petitioned the Dead.

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Modern places for worship would be~ historic battle grounds, cemeteries, funeral homes (maybe just leave an offering outside), mausoleums, morgues, memorial statues and monuments, rivers, farms, (in New England, a cemetery often abutts against farmland~ I often spend time in one that stands between two swaths of farmland. (Hades is often shown with food and cornucopias,one may argue that is Persephone’s influence, but  roots and root crops grow beneath the ground).

Places of tragedy, such as floods, fires, etc that end in the death of some, leaving flowers and coins is a nice service you can offer to victims, after all is said and done.

Resources~

https://www.theoi.com/Cult/HaidesCult.html

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Devotion Day 11; Hades

Times of year, day, celebrations and festivals associated with this deity.

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Regarding the Eulisinian Mysteries:

“In the month of Anthesterion (February) the lesser mysteries were conducted near Athens, at Agrai by the Ilissos River, as something of a preparation for the greater mysteries celebrated in Boedromion [September].”
– The Ancient Mysteries: A Sourcebook, Marvin W. Meyer, Editor

“Pausanias, Description of Greece 6. 25. 2 :
“The sacred enclosure of Haides and its temple [in Elis] are opened once every year, but not even on this occasion is anybody permitted to enter except the priest. The following it the reason why the Eleans worship Haides; they are the only men we know of so to do.” https://www.theoi.com/Cult/HaidesCult.html#General

As you can see, there’s not a ton of details of when Hades was worshiped. The Festival at Eleusis was definitely part of his cult, as are funeral processions and so on.

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My UPG ideas:

Times of death and rebirth~ for instance, midnight, the death of one day and the birth of another, sunset and sunrise, mealtimes~ as everything we eat is dead (hopefully), the end of relationships, jobs, literal times of death, harvest times, transitions, rituals aligned with funeral rites

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Devotion, Day 10- Hades

Offerings, Historical and UPG

Black animals, were offered to Hades and the blood was allowed to pour into a pit, because Ancient Greeks were very literal. I honestly can’t find much to tell you.

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UPG offerings: Watered wine, (popular in Hellenic traditions), pomegranate liquer, pomegranate anything, cypress, asphodel, hellebore, coins, honey, olive oil, dolmades, goat cheese, chocolate, candles, resinous incenses, cleaning up a graveyard, leaving flowers for the Dead, ancestor work, working on behalf of the neglected Dead, black licorice, figs, tobacco, bread, spices, prayer, hymns

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I find that he is a pretty worldly deity who doesn’t really need a lot, in that he has access to most everything he needs. He has gems and money, cornucopias full of food, unguents and so on.  I often feel “What do I get the man who has everything?” about making offerings to him. Of course the exchange of gifts and favors builds bonds between the practitioner and the spirit, so I do suggest you make them for any relationship to thrive.

I believe he’s not a terribly popular deity, though that that does seem to be changing and so I imagine that time and attention are the most unique and meaningful things anyone can offer him. He appears to appreciate the reading of any piece of poetry, literature, or prayer that puts him in a good light, or that praises his queen. I often play a reading of the Hellenic Hymn to Hades in Ancient Greek for him, because wow can I not speak Ancient Greek. Anything you give with an open heart will probably be appreciated.

Hades Hymn in 3 Languages

My lovely friend Hester has written 3 beautiful Hades prayers.

 

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