The Greek god of metalworking has been trying to get me to pray to him for some time now, and honestly, it’s getting a little old. I’m all about being open to new religious icons, but before I pledge my spiritual allegiance to a greater power, I need to know that my needs are being addressed. Here are four ways Hephaestus needs to step it up before I’ll even think about worshipping him.
1. He needs a cool place of worship near my house: Half the fun of choosing a higher power is getting to meet up with all the other people who have wholly devoted themselves to the same immortal entity and do potlucks and movie nights and stuff. Right now there isn’t a place near me for people who are devotees of Hephaestus to kick it, and I have zero interest in hosting at my place. If Hephaestus wants to find his way into my heart and soul, he’d do well to make sure his house of worship is decked out with high vaulted ceilings, great light, and maybe a pool table. And he better not pull some bullshit like claiming that he is “working through me” and suddenly I’m the one who is supposed to build his church. That’s a shortcut for me running right into the arms of Muhammad or Vishnu.
2. He needs to find a name with fewer consecutive vowels: One of my biggest pet peeves is when I tell my friends which child of Zeus I’m considering praying to and then I have to repeat myself three or four times until they finally understand what I said. “Hephaestus” is three syllables’ worth of unappealing noise, and it simply doesn’t roll off the tongue quite like “Buddha” or “God.” I’m not about to do all the work for him, but if Hephaestus was looking for a classy, simple name to rebrand with, I’ve always been fond of “Charles” or “Liam.”
3. He needs to get mentioned in more movies, TV shows, and songs: I don’t want to worship a deity that no one has ever heard of, so getting some cultural cachet is a must for Heph. A god like Jesus Christ is seemingly everywhere. From The Passion Of The Christ to Jesus Christ Superstar to South Park, even people who don’t personally believe in Jesus know who he is. It may be a bit shallow, but it’s nice when people see your savior in popular media, which is why if Hephaestus got depicted in an episode of This Is Us or name-dropped in an ASAP Rocky song, it would go a long way to making me a devotee.
4. He needs a fresh and fun take on the afterlife: From what I can tell, the Greek version of the afterlife is basically a big ocean of souls who don’t really do anything, which might be cool for some people but isn’t really my style. If Hephaestus wants to be my one and only higher power, he needs to conceptualize a unique, exciting posthumous experience that will make my eternal consciousness feel totally special. All I’m saying is that if there were a Greek god out there who could promise that I would come to rest in what is essentially a large buffet-style restaurant with a state-of-the-art entertainment system and a second season of Freaks And Geeks, I would be seriously inclined to sign up. So what do you say, Heph? Ball is in your court now.