New gods on the horizon?

As we go through our lives, gods naturally step in. Some never leave and become patrons, a major influence, partners in both the good and bad days, life-long devotions. Some tap us on the shoulder once we enter their realms and step back once that connection ends. They may hang around us for a while after we raised one or more divine eye brows or They may develop an early interest and be with us since our childhood, waiting for the right moment to make Themselves “visible”. Our bonds with Them may be short or life-long, sporadic or deep-rooted, affectionate or practical, professional or familiar. Or any combination of these options. As it happens, two gods may be in the process of entering my religious life: Apollo and Hercules.

Apollo is not intellectually unknown to me. As a child, growing up with mythological dictionaries at hand, I read a few things about Him with a mixture of pleasure and curiosity, but it never went beyond a reading topic. And that despite the fact that He is a god I could relate to, since homosexual love, academia and sports are part of my life and part of His world. I just never took it to the next level, but that may be changing: academic pursuits are a factor here, so a few days ago, on the 13th, I made a simple offering of incense to Apollo as a sort of first contact. Whether it will develop into regular worship and for how long remains to be seen, but there is one thing that can clear the path in the blink of an eye: archery! Oh how I’d love to practise it! I know where to get bows, both traditional and modern, but the problem is where to use them on a regular basis, since it’s not something you can do in any normal city garden or park. That has always been the problem. Archery is an old fascination of mine that goes back to my early childhood, yet there are no equipped facilities nearby, so either I’ll wait for a suitable opportunity or just go nuts and buy a bow anyway and then look for a deserted place where I can shoot it.

Hercules may get there first, though. A few years ago, I made New Year offerings to Him on my father’s behalf and, a week later, he got a job. Needless to say that Hercules has since been part of our January 1st celebrations and, several days ago, I had a dream where He showed up. I can’t remember much, basically just a statue of His and the word “persistence”, which I now take as what I need to be if I want to succeed in the academic world: persistent! Or, as it says in the Neos Alexandria’s page on Him: “If one is stubborn enough, they can accomplish anything.” Stubbornness! Heard that one recently from an oracle.

So I’ll be adding Hercules to my pantheon, though I haven’t picked a day yet. Traditional Roman dates were June 29, August 12 and 13, and December 21, all of which celebrated the anniversary of temples of His. Will have to give it some thought. As for Apollo… maybe I’ll just go crazy, buy a bow and dedicate an arrow to Him.

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6 thoughts on “New gods on the horizon?

  1. It’s always neat–but a bit nerve-wracking–when new deities walk in and out of our lives. Good luck with Apollo and Hercules. I don’t know much about Hercules, but Apollo’s cool.

  2. That sort of has happened to me, with Wōđanaz (in the absence of a more culturally precise theonym), though he’s been around since before I even decided to become a Gaulish Recon. Sadly, I’ve never managed to have the “time” to insert him in my practices, since it’s hard for me to get things going steadily.

    And, by the way… I don’t mean to pry, but are your parents polytheists too?

    • One ceremony per year is a good way of introducing a god into one’s practice 😉

      And my parents are… open-minded. When asked, they’ll say they’re Catholics, though I reckon that’s because they don’t know what else to call themselves. In reality, they don’t attend any church and will take part in whatever practices they consider good. My mom, for instance, enjoys the shrine to Mercury here at home and likes to helps me with the altar do Diana.

  3. That’s what I’ve been trying to do, but I haven’t succeeded yet (I bet I sound lazy 😛 ). I’m thinking of dedicating the times of the winter solstice to him, but I barely manage to get offerings ready in time for the Gaulish Gods. The whole Christmas thing really – and I mean REALLY – gets to me in a bad way.

    Well let me tell you that you’re very lucky to have such open-minded folks! Mine would never allow me to be what I am, though my father’s probably an atheist or agnostic, and my mother is the die-hard catholic.
    Fortunately, my friends – all of them catholic or atheists – are open to the idea of me “doing stuff” when they visit me, so at least they support me. 🙂

    • In that case, trips, dinner parties and long walks with your friends sounds like a good group option. Several years ago, I managed to get together 6 or 7 of mine to celebrate May’s Eve and it was a pretty decent thing: we had torches, drums, wreaths, a decorated pole, a half improvised play and one wild run through the woods.

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