Hero-God who teaches us to face struggles and achieve greatness.
The blessings of Herakles are strength, discipline, and courage. When it seems like there’s no way to get through an obstacle, Herakles appears and helps us to dig deep and find what it takes to overcome it. If one is stubborn enough, they can accomplish anything. Herakles, the mortal who became a God, is proof enough of that.
- Struggle and achievement
Primary Cult Centers
- Alexikakos – Averter of Evil
- Alkaios – original name
- Custos – Guardian
- Hegemonios – Leader of the March
- Heros Theos – Hero God
- Invictus – Unconquered
- Kallinikos – Glorious Conquerer
- Kyrios – Lord
- Melqart – King of the City
- Musagates – Leader of the Muses
- Saxanus – of the Rocks
- Soter – Savior
- Victor – Victorius
Lion’s head, club
- Fourth (4th each month) Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros’ sacred day
- Herakleia (Metageitnion (August-September)) .
- Olympic Games (Hekatombion, 1st year of the Olympiad) .
Ways to honor
Keep fit. Take up a sport, especially boxing, wrestling, running, or the discus. Don’t give up, no matter how hard things appear. Enjoy life. Drink, eat, and have lots of sex. Herakles is a God of titanic appetites, and he appreciates watching others take their pleasure – but don’t try to outdo him. Only Dionysos has been able to drink Herakles under the table!
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Ancient Hymns and Texts
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Modern Hymns and Devotions
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- Apollodorus’ Library 1.6.1-2, 1.9.19, 2.4.9, 2.4.12, 2.5.4-12, 2.6.1-2.7.2, 2.7.8, 3.15.2
- Apollonius Rhodius’ Argonautica
- Dio Chrysostom’s Orations 4.29-32, 8.28, 8.36, 9.8,
- Epictetus’ Enchridion 2.16.44, 3.22.56-57
- Euripides’ Alcestis
- Euripides’ Heracles
- Herodotus’ The Histories 2.43-44, 4.8-10, 8.43
- Hesiod’s Catalogues of Women 10-11
- Hesiod’s Shield of Heracles
- Hesiod’s Theogony 313-318, 523-531, 950-55
- Homer’s Iliad 5.395-402, 14.249-62, 19.96-133, 20.144-148
- Homer’s Odyssey 11.601-625, 21.22-38
- Homeric Hymn to Heracles the Lion-Hearted 15
- Hyginus’ Fabulae 29-36
- Hyginus’ Poetica Astronomica 2.3, 2.6, 223-24, 2.38
- Emperor Julian’s Orations 7.220
- Ovid’s Metamorphoses 9.280-323, 11.194-217
- Pausanias’ Description of Greece 1.27.9-10, 2.15.1, 2.18.7, 3.15.3-6, 5.1.9.-5.2.2, 5.8.3-4, 8.22.4, 9.27.6-7, 9.29.9, 10.13.8, 10.29.7
- Pindar’s Isthmian Odes 6.27-54
- Pindar’s Nemean Odes 1.33, 1.37, 1.44, 1.67-69, 4.22-30, 7.94-97
- Diodorus Siculus’ Bibliotheca 4.31.1-8, 4.9.1-4.11.2, 4.26.2-4.27.5
- Sophpcles’ Philoctetes
- Sophocles’ The Women of Trachis
- Heracles: Hercules by H. A. Guerber, William Smith and Gregory Zorzos