by Rebecca

He is the God of all Craftsmen, particularly those who work in metals, a sometimes
God of Fire and Volcanoes. He also was an exiled child who became a disgruntled
and disfigured adult. Then he went on to construct the most important items in all of
creation. When you talk about overcoming handicaps to achieve great things, look
no further then Hephaestus.

Some stories say this Greek deity is the child of Zeus and Hera, other stories
explain that Hephaestus was conceived by Hera alone, without you know, having
known anyone (wink, wink). One telling of his life’s tale explains that Hephaestus
stood up for his mother Hera when she was fighting with Zeus, and thusly Zeus
expelled him from Olympus. Quite forcefully in fact, he literally tossed him out and
Hephaestus fell for nine days. When he landed it caused him to become crippled
and disfigured. Another version says that Hephaestus was born crippled and that
Hera was so repulsed by her newborn son that she discarded him, which also
involved him doing some falling from Mount Olympus. No matter how it happened,
Hephaestus is always shown as unattractive and misshapen, lame and hunched
over his anvil. He walks with the aid of a stick because of his physical ailments,
which are sometimes played up to such an extreme that his feet are actually back
to front! An interesting note here is that some people mention that Hephaestus’s
physical appearance could be a caused by low levels of arsenic poisoning. This is
interesting because arsenic was sometimes added to bronze to help it harden,
which resulted in many smiths of the Bronze age suffering from low levels of arsenic
poisoning. This meant that many smiths of that era would bear some of the same
marks as their patron Hephaestus. It should be noted that I am not a medical
expert, nor a history buff, so I cannot vouch that this is 100% true, but I found it to
be an interesting theory at the very least.

Hephaestus was crippled and tossed aside. He only made it back to Olympus by
being dragged there drunk after having constructed a chair that held his mother
Hera prisoner. Athena, a suitable partner didn’t want him, Aphrodite, his sometimes
wife cheated on him. Also, let’s call it a hunch; I’m guessing Mom and “Dad” never
really welcomed him back like the long lost son he was. Overall, Hephaestus had it
tough, but to get all symbolic ironic on your ass, sometimes the hottest fires forge
the toughest steels.

It’s true, Hephaestus did not have a lot in his favor, but what he did have was mad
skills (as the kids say) at the forge. Once the gods realized this, he was the go to
guy for all your legendary item needs! Firstly, it is said that he built all the homes
for the gods on Mount Olympus, but that’s child’s play compared to his other
creations. Hephaestus is credited with having constructed Achilles’ armor, Hercules’
s bronze clappers, Helios’s chariot, the Aegis breastplate, Eros’s bow and arrow,
and much more. Anyone who was anyone in the Greek pantheon’s prime had to
have at least one item that Hephaestus created, but all the mythological bling bling
is overshadowed by one very important creation, woman.

When the gods decided to give man the gift of woman, Hephaestus created her out
of clay. So ultimately it was Hephaestus that gave man the gift of woman, a
beautiful woman named Pandora that was bestowed to man bearing a very special
jar (or box). Of course, that is another story all together….
Magical Buffet Mythology: Hephaestus
The Magical Buffet
www.willhobbsdesign.com