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Bookversary: In Praise of Hermes

🏺Today is the three year bookversary! 🏺

Hellenics especially might enjoy this devotional to the Greek God Hermes. ⚕️

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“In Praise of Hermes” is a novena booklet to the Greek God Hermes. It provides an introduction about this God and nine days of prayers in His honor.


Available on Amazon

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Cooking for Hermes

It is hotter than hell today in New York, even with air conditioning. I’m taking a break from a full day of cooking to write this and it’s a nice chance to sit own under a fan and rest my feet. I have deepest respect for the women in our ancestral lines who spent the majority of their time running a home, cooking, cleaning. I love to cook but don’t have to do so daily and I forget how exhausting it can be. It’s good to be reminded sometimes and I find it helps me connect more to my female ancestors overall.

Anyway, Hermes did us a good turn recently and asked for chicken. I divined to see if He wanted full sacrifice but the answer was no, cooking chicken for Him would suffice and since He always seems to approve of citrus dishes (especially sweets) when we offer them, I’m making lemon chicken. (I’ve included all the recipes below. He also wanted pie). Whenever I do a divination session, I ask if it’s ok to close the session. We literally could not close the divination until we’d worked out what meal to cook for Him. Unlike with sacrifice in our house, we’ll share in this meal too, unusual for us, but something He wanted.

So, in case anyone is interested, I wanted to share the recipes. Don’t poo-poo the vinegar pie. It’s an Appalachian dish, dating to the early 18th century, a poor-man’s lemon tart. It does not taste like vinegar at all, but like a lemon pie or tart citrus custard. So, give it a chance. You won’t be disappointed.

Lemon Chicken

Ingredients: 3 pounds of chicken or 4 breasts with bone.
4-6 lemons cut into slices
2 TBLS dried oregano
salt, pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 F. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Coat bottom of baking dish with olive oil. Arrange lemon slices on olive oil. Combine spices and rub thoroughly over chicken. Place chicken skin side down over lemon. Bake 20 minutes. Turn chicken skin side up. Reduce heat to 350 F and continue cooking 35 minutes (longer if necessary but until chicken is very tender You can, if you wish, broil it for a few minutes to cook the skin).

 

Basic White Sauce and Creamed Spinach

Equal parts butter and all-purpose flour (about 1/3 stick of butter). Put it in a pan. Melt and whisk together. Add spices – since I’m doing this with spinach, I used red pepper flakes, salt, and nutmeg. Add at least two cups of milk – eyeball it. Add until you think you’ve added too much. Stir continuously until it thickens. Add spinach. Keep stirring – it WILL cook down and get creamy just when you think it won’t.

 

Oven-Roasted Potatoes

Two and a half pounds of all-purpose potatoes
1 TBLS salt, 1 tsp pepper, olive oil, 4 finely chopped shallots
3 large chopped garlic cloves.

Preheat oven to 450 F. Coat bottom of pan with 2/3 cup olive oil. Cut potatoes into quarters if they’re small, or dice them if large. Spread in a single layer on the oil. Add spices, shallots, and garlic. Toss thoroughly. Cook for 20 minutes. Turn and stir. Cook for another 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

Vinegar Pie

4 eggs, 1 ½ cups white sugar, ½ cup butter melted (one stick), 2 TBS. apple cider vinegar, ½ tsp. cinnamon, ¼ tsp. nutmeg, 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract.

Preheat oven to 425 F. Combine everything and mix well with mixer. Pour into 9” pie shell. Cook 25 minutes. This WILL BE WOBBLY when it is done. Just relax. Let it cool before you cut it and it’ll firm up as it cools. LEAVE IT ALONE UNTIL IT IS COOL. Trust me on this one.

(I made a whole-wheat pie crust today for this, but you could use any type of pie crust. I have various recipes that I use and it just depends on how lazy I’m feeling. Lol).

Now I’m off to finish my prep for dinner.

In Gratitude to Hermes

Thank you, Hermes,
Oh, Giver of Good things.
Before my prayer was even fully uttered,
You answered it.
What a sweet and unexpected gift,
a grace and an utter delight!
I rest safe in the knowledge
that You, clever and generous God,
most gracious, most loving,
protect and provide.
Before the shape of my need
has even been formed in my heart,
You have spied it out.
You have showered me
with unexpected blessings,
large and small.
I am grateful, Oh my God,
so immensely grateful,
and ever will I honor You.
Hail Hermes, ever my Champion.(1)

(by G. Krasskova)

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1. One of His by names is Promakhos – champion.

Close up of my Hermes shrine

My friend Carlton was visiting recently (we go to school together) and, not being a polytheist, he was fascinated by my various shrines. Since he’s teaching a theology class this semester, he asked if he could take photos to use in his class (and i’m ok with that). This is the photo he took of my Hermes shrine. I love the angle of the close up, and the drama of the black and white,  so I got his ok to share it here. 

Hermes shrine aug. 31 Carlton

(Photo by C. Chase. Used with permission).

May’s Agon is for Hermes’ Mother Maia

The Agon for May, because I kept getting signs and omens from Hermes, is for His Mother Maia. 

Contributors will receive a Maia prayer card and the winner will receive a copy of my Hermes novena book and a full set of the Mothers prayer cards. 

I’ll be posting the winner of the Nerthus agon later tonight. 

Shrine pictures

After running about making various offerings to Hermes, I spent the rest of the morning redoing my Hermes shrine, and my Loki and Sigyn shrine. 

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Hermes’ place. ^

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Loki and Sigyn’s place.^

The icon above is by Grace Palmer, and belonged to my mom Fuensanta. 

Spending the Morning with Hermes

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I woke up not in pain this morning (a rarity in winter) and decided to spend the day cleaning my Hermes shrine and my Loki shrine. They are overdue for it. First though, I decided to leave offerings for Hermes in a local park. It had come up for me some time ago that I should leave a random offering to Him in a park, and I’d inadvertently put off dong so.

So that means that after breakfast, I headed to the store to buy the oddest, quirkiest assortment of things for Him. I came out with two shopping bags of games, food, and – I kid you not, an eight ball. (He wanted an eight ball. I said the offerings were quirky). Then I set out. I realized quickly that I wasn’t going to be leaving these at one park, but at several.

Putting on some music I associate with Hermes, I first left the majority of the food offerings at the foot of mount Beacon. I venerate the Mountain spirit there, so the offerings were given to both Hermes and the mountain itself. Then I went to one of the local cemeteries. One of the games Hermes had me buy was a set of dominoes. I left that at the top of the cemetery on a bench, with some of the food offerings. He is guide of the dead and in one of the divination systems I know, dominoes represent the bones of the dead. It seemed fitting.

Then I went down to a park abutted by an out of commission train track. He’s been coming to me with hobo imagery of late, so I left some of the non-food offerings at the tracks, and more at the park itself. The eight ball got left in a park between my home and the next town over. (I used the eight ball and asked, “is this a good place to leave this offering,” nestled in a cleft in some rocks, and the answer “you can rely on it.” LOL.). So that’s where that offering ended up.

Then I wanted to give flowers to Hygeia, and make an offering to Sigyn so I headed to the flower store. While there, I thought that I could make another offering to Hermes (leaving flowers on a random grave) so I put together a nice bouquet of yarrow and belladonna (it’s a really pretty purplish blue color), with some baby’s breath and headed over to one of the cemeteries.

I received a couple of omens while coming home upon which I will be pondering long and hard and a gift (no kledones, though I kept an ear open).  Now I’m going to take a break for lunch and get on with cleaning those shrines. So far, it’s been an awesome morning.

Submission to Hermes Agon

Here is another [gorgeous] entry to my 2017 Hermes Agon.  Ellen, the creator, is willing to send this to the first person to make a minimum $50 donation to the Mothers Prayer Card Project. Any takers? (The image de Morgan’s painting “Mercury,” the same as on the cover of my Hermes devotional). 

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First Entries for the Hermes Agon

“Propylaios”

There is a gate
at which the hero waits.
Quietly, sizing his chances,
flexing his thoughts,
until the dawn of movement
and the sun of a new day.

He tilts his hat at its coming,
tightens his grip
on an ever-present staff,
and then boldly steps forward.
There is a gate,
and from it the hero goes forth.

(by Agi Samothrax)

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Hermes
Melia Phosphorou

Messenger, storyteller, and dreamer
Protector of home, bringer of fortune
Clever and sarcastic god,
Guide us in dreams and over roads,
You, the giver of grace and of the lyre:
salve for sorrow and despair
Inspiring love, joy, and sleep
Son of Zeus and Maia,
grandson of Atlas who bears the world
Beautiful brother and loyal friend to Apollo,
far shooting lord of the silver bow
Lord of all birds of good omen, all flocks and all herds, and of the lion – wild and free
Sly thief with beguiling charm,
Be remembered, and remember us, too.
Accept this gift, my prayer in song.

A Song for Hermes
Melia Phosphorou

Clever and sarcastic
Guide over roads and through dreams
Athletic and fantastic
Protector of home, Lord of schemes

Wherever we roam
We call you
Save us from harm
Help us pass through

Keeper of flocks
Please count us
Among your own

Trickster and Deceiver,
With your wit, guide us through
You are heart delighting
and Giver of Joy

Bringer of luck and of grace
We glory in your embrace
Hear our song and join us
It is you, Busy One
It is you that we praise
with this song.

Starting 2017 Off Right. :)

Happy New Year, folks. I’ve finally flopped down on my sofa after doing my New Year’s Eve ritual — ancestors, Asynjur, then the Roman Deities that I typically honor on this night, so three rituals in all plus setting out offerings to all the vaettir– and I very much hope that 2017 brings health, joy, and wealth to us all. Let it be a year of happiness and success. I pray that the good, immortal Gods block misfortune and malintent from entering our homes and our lives this year. May They bless us with all good things throughout the year, even in the midst of our challenges.

I want to start this year with something creative, fun, and that emphasizes the love and devotion we have for our Gods. As I was making offerings tonight to Pietas and Pudicitia, I kept thinking that if i could pick a keyword to govern my 2017, I’d choose devotion a thousand times over.

Anyway, each month I want to run a mini-Agon. I’ll choose a God or Goddess and offer a ‘prize,’ inviting you, my readers to submit prayers, poems, or art. On the last day of the month, I’ll choose a winner via divination. Everyone who submits may have a prayer card (just let me know which one you want when you submit), and the winner will get a card plus a small gift. I’ll alternate between Greco-Roman Deities and Norse-Germanic Deities since that’s the nexus at which I work.

January’s Deity of choice for me is Hermes. 🙂 He’s awesome and I think it fitting to start the year with a Hermes agon. So those of you who are interested, submit your art (photos of), prayers/poems to krasskova at gmail.com. Make sure to put “Hermes Agon January 2017” in the subject header and to let me know what card you want. The winner will get a card and a signed copy of my Hermes novena book, plus a small surprise gift.

Happy 2017.

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