I Hail the Lame God

He of the crooked and twisted foot,

Master of smithcraft, sorcery, and beauty,

He born of the heavens and tethered to the earth,

Mighty One and wise. I hail Him.

That would be Hephaestus and while I don’t have any particular devotional practice to Him, I will honor Him whenever the chance presents itself and I will do so by His ancient titles, including Κυλλοποδιων: lame/of the crooked-foot. The epithets of a God are mysteries in and of themselves. They are doorways into a unique and particular experience of that God and contain keys to understanding – in as much as any human may—one small aspect of a Holy Power. It is never for us to discard an epithet because we feel too “woke” for devotion. To do this is a disgusting display of arrogance, stupidity, and impiety.

Yes, folks. This issue is coming around again. I’ve written about it twice before here and here in more depth. Those who pay cultus to Hephaestus should batten down the proverbial hatches because this idiocy is back, running like shit through a goose in the more polluted corners of tumblr (which means, we’re going to have a new crop of converts who have zero idea of how to properly address this Deity, and feel ashamed when they are pulled to honor Him as Κυλλοποδιων. Wooooo. Fun times. *Sarcasm*).

I’m seeing nonsense like, “you can only use this epithet for Hephaestus if you yourself are mobility impaired.” Well, wrong. Anyone may use it whenever that person wishes to connect to Him and gain deeper understanding of His power. That’s what this epithet is about: His power. You do not have to be mobility impaired to call Him by this name.

I’ve also seen this one: “even if you’re mobility impaired, if you choose to use this, be sensitive to our feelings.” NO. Your feelings simply do not matter here. Not where devotion is concerned. They are yours to manage, not ours. Your feelings do not take center stage in the matter of devotion—especially when the devotional relationship has nothing to do with you– and certainly not in the relationship between a devotee and his or her Gods. You go on feeling oppressed by a title – this is what, in part, an epithet is: a title, an expression of a God’s power—while the rest of us will go pour out some offerings.

I’m done even trying to be conciliatory or nice about this. The people who spread this bullshit are spreading pollution, lies, and wickedness to newcomers too new and inexperienced to know any better and they’re peddling their pollution through the vehicle of being socially aware and “woke.” It’s foul and disgusting and so are those who push this crap.

It is not our place to start removing, burying, and ignoring the most sacred epithets of our Gods. Instead, we’d be better served by contemplating what those epithets mean, what they teach us about the Deity in question, and how we can better honor the Holy Powers in our lives. Of course, that’s not going to get you a pat on the head or allow for the acquisition of oppression points.

Now this crippled bitch, who belongs to a one-eyed God, is going off to bed. Good fucking night.

About ganglerisgrove

Galina Krasskova has been a Heathen priest since 1995. She holds a Masters in Religious Studies (2009), a Masters in Medieval Studies (2019), has done extensive graduate work in Classics including teaching Latin, Roman History, and Greek and Roman Literature for the better part of a decade, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Theology. She is the managing editor of Walking the Worlds journal and has written over thirty books on Heathenry and Polytheism including "A Modern Guide to Heathenry" and "He is Frenzy: Collected Writings about Odin." In addition to her religious work, she is an accomplished artist who has shown all over the world and she currently runs a prayer card project available at wyrdcuriosities.etsy.com.

Posted on June 7, 2021, in devotional work, hellenic things, Lived Polytheism, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Rest well, Galina. You are not alone in this struggle. Thank you for taking point on this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So tired of this “woke” mentality, especially applying to Deities. They are not offended by what some think as limitations. The Deities are honored by the titles that are theirs exclusively. PC culture sadly picks what they think applies or sounds right to them.
    Galina gives the correct answers to this. To newcomers, please read. To spiritual mentors, don’t push this “woke” theory to Deities to your students. You do a great disservice to the Gods & Goddesses.

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  3. Imagine being a deity that was literally thrown from the sky, ended up getting your legs busted up beyond repair, worked your way up to until the rest of your family started to notice you again for your talent, created a situation where the Gods had to appease you in order to return to business as usual because you have taken the Queen of the Gods hostage and have thus far kept the strongest deities at bay, you finally earn your rightful place with the other major Gods, and then thousands of years later some overly sensitive kids have the gall to assume that you’re offended by being called “the Lame God” or even worse has the hubris to state that this name is offensive to human beings.

    Honestly? I’m offended. How dare these people think a literal God needs PC language used for Them. If that’s how they’re going to treat a being that helps run the fucking cosmos then I really don’t want to hear how they treat crippled humans. And for the crippled kids whose feelings are hurt by the epithet? They need to grow the fuck up. They should be proud there is a Lame God. We have a God for literally everyone no matter your station in life or the cards you’ve been dealt. Not only do we have a Lame God but He’s one of the most powerful. If that doesn’t fill you with anything other than awe or pride then you need to grow the fuck up

    Liked by 2 people

    • Keith McCormic

      Exactly. Yes, there is such a thing as calling out a person’s difficulties in a minimizing way, q.v.- “disability porn” in news media. Calling out to Hephaestos by one of His chosen epithets, especially one that points out His badassness, is not that.

      I wonder if these same people feel like no one should talk about Stephen Hawkins’s wheelchair or voice synthesizer. I mean seriously, there’s a huge difference between acknowledging excellence in the face of extreme challenges and the kind of exploitative pablum they should legitimately call out.

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  4. In addition to projecting modern attitudes onto an ancient God, they are also further stigmatizing disability. Various words historically were used to described disabled people, many of them were simply descriptive and plain rather than euphemistic & cutesy. They became derogatory because of stigma & disdain. It seems far more advocacy is done to change language use than actually fully including disabled people in society.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Reblogged this on Urd's Well and commented:
    I like Galina Krasskova’s direct way of calling a spade a spade. Much to be learned from taking some devotional time with the Lame God, God of the Smithy and Iron Working…

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  6. People would actually rather be fucking politically correct than truthful. Consider the qualities of character developed in disability: strength of will, purpose, learning to deal with reality… I have nothing but respect here. Having done “smithy” work myself at one time, deepest respect.

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  7. Oh for fucks sake. Seriously?

    Let us not forget, the name is not only an epithet, it was a career marker. Many cultures depict blacksmith Gods as being lamed, disabled, handicapped, or even physically malformed in their legs in someway, and that’s because Their depiction imitated the real-life occupational hazards of the craft. In antiquity blacksmiths used arsenic in part of the process to make bronze, as a result many blacksmiths suffered from lameness and cancer caused by the continual exposure to the arsenic.

    And think about the real imagery and portent of that symbolism. That to commit to one’s craft is to sacrifice. Power has a price. And Gods are not disconnected from us, but can understand the suffering of mortals too.

    Blacksmiths represented the luck, fortune, and self-reliance of a community. The weapons the blacksmith made defended the home, supported daily aspects of everyday domesticity (cooking, sewing, dinnerware, utensils, etc.), and also helped make the very tools used in agricultural aspects of life: from working the fields, to contending with the livestock. Having a blacksmith in your community meant not only wealth, but that your community was not vulnerable to being preyed upon by others who may literally steal your fortune, or who figuratively would steal your fortune in charging outrageous sums/barters for what you needed. For these reasons, blacksmiths granted a community both fortune and a certain level of independence as well.

    Blacksmiths have to be masters of all the elements. Obviously metal ore is used to craft the tools of his trade, but other elements of the earth from clay, to sand, to dirt, and various minerals are also sometimes used. Fire is an element used to heat and anneal the components so that they can be shaped. Air must be used to both control the flames and heat, but also used to air cool and quench certain items during the annealing process that you can’t afford to use the more rapid method of water-quenching on. If we look to the natural world, these processes are essentially at a geothermic scale the very elements that drive plate tectonics.

    These asshats are literally trying to erase the prayers written that have survived to us, to piss on the foundations of these cultuses, on those who died because of their beliefs, those who risk their lives today to worship these Gods. These nithlings are trying to strip the Gods of their names. And as anyone with common sense should know, when you build a castle on sand, instead of bedrock, it isn’t going to last.

    I may not have a practice to Hephaestus, but I do to another blacksmith god, Weyland. He was a god that was enslaved into bondage, hamstrung in captivity, and who ultimately became free. I’m going to go lay out offerings to the hamstrunged one who yet overcomes.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. As an aside, there’s probably a new wave of folks on Hellenic related tags on Tumblr because of the Netflix anime Blood of Zeus. So they’re already coming in skewed. *sighs*

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  1. Pingback: Names, Epithets, and ‘Lame’ Gods – Wyrd Designs

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