Today on the way back from school, I stopped by the printer and picked up the Hades prayer cards (they’re available here). The printer always sends me a proof via email of the card with a colored border on it. Usually they offer two or three options and I pick one. Sometimes that works out and sometimes it doesn’t and today it definitely didn’t.
The other day when I approved the proof online, I selected two different borders: a gold one (which looks awesome) and what I thought would be a deep, dark grey-green. We have had problems before with colors looking one way at the printer and another when I open the files on my laptop and that cropped up again today. When I picked up the cards, the gold border was fabulous. It works really well with the image of Hades. The green border was a pastel mint green. It was rather jarring and I let them know that it looked significantly different from what I’d seen on my screen and we discussed options for next time (I’m probably going to bring my laptop in and work with them awhile to sort this out). The cards were printed though and there was nothing else wrong with them except that the color didn’t quite sit right with me. So I brought them home.
After opening up my mail and getting some tea I laughed and said to Sannion, “well, the Hades prayer cards came in…they’re not quite what I expected.” I pulled out the two sets, “the gold looks wonderful but this one” showing him the mint green and he put his hands to his mouth in horrified shock and blurted out “you have to burn those!”
I sort of stared at him and before I could say anything he continued, ‘I’m not pissing Persephone off!”
At this point I was horrified and I asked him, with some urgency, “is there a taboo against this color and Hades? I don’t think it works well but I didn’t know about any taboo.”
He told me that there was a huge taboo against Hades and any kind of mint, including the color. Why? Because Hades had an affair with a nymph Mintha and this so offended Persephone that She turned the nymph into the mint plant and yes, it’s probably best not to have it around Hades in any way, shape, or form.
[Edit: J. Agathokles provided the full story: “To my knowledge the Host of Many had a relationship with Minthe before he married with Persephone, so it wasn’t an affair per se. However, Minthe did brag that this marriage with Persephone was just a fad and he’d come back to her once the novelty of his bride wore off. Demeter and Persephone then ripped Minthe to shreds in vengeance over this insult, until nothing but the plant bearing her name was left.”]
I immediately apologized to Persephone and moved the mint-green bordered Hades cards to the fire bucket. (I keep an iron cauldron in one corner of my breakfast nook. Anything that needs to be ritually burned goes in there and at the next fire-oriented holy tide, I kindle a sacred fire and burn it all up). Then, after pacing for a few moments, I asked Sannion, “You don’t think I owe reparation to Persephone, do you?” His response was exactly what I would have counseled someone in the same situation, “Probably not, but don’t assume. Do divination and find out.” So I did, invoking both Hermes and my ancestors.
The result: no, I don’t owe any reparation (it was an honest mistake), but I need to be far more careful about such things in the future.
It’s been a good reminder tonight of the need to take care in every detail of one’s practice, not to rush or let the little things slide. They matter and sometimes, as the saying goes, the devil really is in the details.
[And speaking of prayer cards, we still need $60 to finish up the fundraising on the Frey card. If anyone is interested in donating toward this project, contact me at Krasskova at gmail.com).
Posted on January 22, 2016, in Etsy shop, hellenic things, Lived Polytheism, Uncategorized and tagged Divination, Etsy shop, Hades, Hellenic Things, Lived Polytheism, miasma, Not pissing off gods, Persephone, Prayer Cards. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.