The Merry Month of Maia

The Merry Month of Maia April 30, 2012

My mind is full of car-shopping panic and to ease it I made something for my new car (she says with grim optimism). It’s an ornament to hang from the rear view mirror, and on the back is inscribed the names of Hera Hyperkheiria and Hermes Pompaios. One of Hera’s cult titles in Sparta was Hyperkheiria, or the goddess who holds her protecting hand over a thing. In this case, that thing is the car I’m hoping to get since my current car lacks a working engine. Pompaios mean “the Guide,” and seems fitting for the God who protects your home as well as protecting travelers. So this is a charm for me to touch while saying a quick prayer before pulling out of my driveway.

Tomorrow begins the month of May, which is either named for the elders in the community or it is named for the nymph Maia, mother of Hermes. I think what I find most interesting about Maia is that she is an introvert. Zeus required no machinations to conceal his seduction of her because she preferred to be alone. I find no reference to this union, or it’s offspring, incurring Hera’s wrath. In fact, Hera makes use of Hermes gifts, particularly in returning Hephaestus to Olympus. Which makes me wonder what was different here. Perhaps the issue Hera has is not Zeus’ promiscuity but his deceit? Perhaps she simply dislikes being kept in the dark? Or perhaps it’s because Maia was shy and retiring that Hera felt she wasn’t a threat? Hermes may have been less threatening because he doesn’t resemble his father in temperament as much as Hercules does. It’s something to ponder.

Weddings have long been considered unlucky in May. Perhaps this is because Maia is a bit of a loner, or because her son is a bit of a trickster. The next month, June, is considered sacred to Hera and very lucky for weddings. So I have been considering the idea that May is about planning weddings, planning unions, and planning partnerships. It is not the time to act on combining two lives, but the time to consider, plan and prepare.

Today I’m doing a good bit of planning. Not only for the dreaded prospect of car payments, but also for the upcoming Noumenia. My last Deipnon and Noumenia weren’t very impressive and I feel a need to step up my game this month. Thankfully, my kathiskos, or offering jar, to honor Zeus as a protector of the home and pantry was not disgusting when I emptied it, but it did smell rank. I attribute this to a good dose of kosher salt. It was surprisingly satisfying to clean out the jar carefully and refill it with water and pinches of pantry staples.

Just an old pickle jar, but with a local artisan's clay snake decorating it.



Browse Our Archives