Well folks, I’ve finally come up with an intro I feel comfortable with. Therefore, to thank you all for your patience and support, I figure I’d share that intro with you as a teaser. Feel free to comment and leave some feedback/criticism.
Ares is a god not often worshipped in our time. Seemingly as unpopular as in the past, few modern pagans worship Him in any form. However, as more and more people discover Hellenic polytheism, they cannot help but be brought before the Lord of War. This book serves to look at how we, as modern worshippers reconstructing ancient practices, can pay due honor to Ares and incorporate His lessons into our lives.
This book is being written primarily within the framework of Hellenic Polytheistic Reconstructionism, or Hellenismos. This can mean different things to different people. For the purpose of this book: “Hellenic” means I shall be focusing on the ancient Greeks and their colonies, while avoiding over-reaching syncretic practices; “Polytheistic” means that while the primary focus of this book is on Ares, other gods that are important to His cult and mythology will be noted and addressed; “reconstructionism” means using an academic methodology to reconstruct old practices and use those as a guideline for any new creation.
This book is also written with the understanding that the reader is already familiar with the basic practices of Hellenic polytheism, such as saying prayers and giving offerings, as well as a certain familiarity with myth. While this book is meant to introduce Ares, it is not meant to introduce Hellenismos as a whole. Refer to the back of the book for sources on basic Hellenic practice.
Within these pages, we will look at the various practices and cults related to Ares’ worship both in the past as well as today. From daily devotions, monthly observances, and festivals to the myths, stories, and insights of the modern or bygone, we will examine all aspects of Ares together, leaving no stone unturned.
For the growing number of Hellenic polytheists, the worship of Zeus, Dionysos, or Aphrodite is commonplace. No-one in our small community will bat an eye at a devotee of Apollon, and the worship of gods such as Pan, Demeter, or Hermes is quite common even outside of reconstuctionist groups. Bring up Ares however, and you may see confusion, contempt, or even disgust. After all, even Zeus in the Iliad calls Ares “… most hateful of all the gods who hold Olympos.”
Despite a common contempt for Ares, we do know that he was worshipped in hundreds of cities and towns throughout the ancient Greek world, for a variety of reasons. Besides a war-god, Ares was a protector, justiciar, and provider. As merciful as he was savage, Ares continues to play on the imaginations of men and cause them confusion as they try to sort through the evidence.
This book is split in two main sections, Theology and Cult. The first section will look at mythology, history, and the evidence we currently have regarding Ares’ worship and His place in the world. The second half is a collection of liturgical material: rituals, prayers, and the like. Hopefully, you will find each section to complement and fulfill the other, and will serve to deepen your understanding of contemporary Ares worship.
Regardless of how you feel about Ares, His domains, and His worshippers, I challenge you to read through the following pages and meditate on the meaning of the passages within. Ares is and always be a god, deserving of our unwavering worship. Find the strength to follow me in the wake of Sharp, Bloody Ares.
 Homer, Iliad 5. 699 ff