Hero Cultus for Modern Heros and Heroines

There is a strong focus on Hero cultus in Hellenic Polytheism. Although the heros being honored are not at the same level as the Undying Gods, they provide for us examples of arête in how they lived (and sometimes died). When it comes to giving cultus to modern heros and heroines, there is sometimes debate as to who is a hero and if it is appropriate to honor them. However, people who led by example, like Martin Luther King Jr. and Susan B. Anthony are  — at least in my mind — worthy of honor similar to what was granted to Perseus and Heracles.

If a person wishes to pay cultus to modern heros and heroines, the question becomes HOW to do so. I honor the Gods first each day. When I pay cultus to people like Susan B. Anthony, I make a physical offering along with the one I make to the Gods. More importantly, I also do acts similar to what the hero I am honoring would do. I offered my service as a volunteer Official Election Watcher in honor of Susan B. Anthony and ALL the suffragettes who fought, were jailed, and sometimes even died, in the fight that allowed woment the right to vote.

Sports stars and performers, both actors/actresses and musicians, may inspire us, but unless they also work to benefit humanity in some way, this is not enough to call them heros in the sense of being worthy of cultus. In my opinion, it is people who stand up to what they see as wrong in the world. Be overcome by justice (Ηττω υπο δικαιου) is one of the Delphic Maxims that help illustrate this point. People who are heros ACTIVELY work towards what is just and what moves our society forward. It is not enough though, to make an offering in the name of a hero or heroine. We must also offer our ACTIONS because if we do not strive to show the virtue that we honor in a hero, then that is a lack of arête on our part.

There are as many ways to offer cultus to a hero or heroin as there people worthy of that title. All of these involve acting the virtue that they exemplify. We cannot sit out on the sidelines and hope that others will pick up the slack.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s