Starting this new month, I will be posting various articles with what I would consider beginner information to help people build their own cultus with Ares. After a while, there should be enough posts to merit their own searchable section. While I generally despise the “101” moniker (it seems almost condescending), I learned last night that even many long-time polytheists sometimes struggle to approach the god. To that fact, I hope to convey some important, if sometimes obscure, information in easily digestible pieces.
A few weeks ago, I wrote this post about getting started with Ares. While I could have simply referred you back to that post an be done with it, However, I felt it might be more helpful to outline a few approaches, as some may want more than the simple once-a-month sort of relationship that approach offers. Besides, some of you might still feel that’s a bit emotionally superficial (it is in a way). So here are a few more tips for approaching the war-god and beginning your worship.
1) The Direct Approach
Ares is a sower of chaos and the father of tears; with all the fun wars and other conflicts going on around the world right now, he’s a busy god. It can be rather easy for a god to miss the small voices of mortals who leave quiet notes, timid requests, or whispered prayers. My advice? Try shouting. This can be metaphorical, but is literally fun, too. It is possible to forceful with a god without being rude or blasphemous.
The structure of ancient prayers is a great approach to use for this. You begin by listing off epithets and then perhaps extolling how you have exalted the god in the past, finally moving on to the purpose of your prayer. Some of my favorite epithets are Man Slayer, Father of Tears, and a personal epithet of my own, Strategos (general).
2) The Wingman Approach
Some people are concerned Ares isn’t impressed with non-soldiers. That’s not true, but that’s a topic for another time. So if you don’t know what a god (or a person) is like, and you want to approach them without coming off as a creep, what do you do? You get to know that god’s/person’s friends, of course! Looking to see the nicer side of Ares? Ask Aphrodite to set up a meeting. Feeling a little more business-like? Check out his partners in crime/justice Dike and Hermes. Wanna see the fun side? Ask Harmonia about dancing at her wedding.
3) The Waiting Game
One way to approach Ares is to simply wait for him to come to you. I would think this is probably the most involved and difficult method, as Ares is known to go after only the most notable and forceful types, like the heroes of the Iliad or the great criminal Sisyphos. It may just be safer to go for methods one or two.
Hopefully this should be enough information to get you going. If you want to go deeper into Ares’ cult, I suggest staying tuned in. In the next few post, I will be covering offerings, symbols for representing Ares, musical resources for worship and more. If you have any topics you wish to see covered, or have any suggestions for approaching Ares, let everyone know in the comments. Until then, hail Ares!