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HEPHAESTUS (huuh ‘fess tus)
Ancient Greek God of fire, metallurgy, and crafts, Hephaistos (Hephaestus) was the brilliant blacksmith of the Olympian Gods, for whom he fashioned magnificent weapons, armour, beautiful jewelry and ingenious devices. The most defining characteristic of Hephaestus, other than his creativity, is his lameness.

He is the only one of the Pantheon who is not physically perfect yet he is still included among the twelve, despite the Greek’s revulsion for the ugly and lame. Why is this? It is no accident that he represents fire, which is a symbol in cultures worldwide of purification and regeneration, of passing through an ordeal and coming out the other side stronger. Hephaestus has done this. He becomes lame through an act of violence committed against him by his family, but still he returns to Olympus, bringing beauty and useful tools to that world.

He does not allow his infirmity to stop him from making art, he uses it to transform. His brokenness is the catalyst for the creation of his art, and the vehicle of his clever approach to problem solving. He doesn’t let the fact that he is imperfect keep him from using his skills in service to his world, and it would be a lesser place if he had done so.