Calendar of the Moon
Altar: Upon a red cloth light two torches, and lay weapons, a lion, a chalice of wine, and chains.
Daily Meal: Red Meat.
We remember today the hero Hercules,
Strongest man of his age,
Yet stricken by madness like a curse.
What is it worth to be the greatest warrior
When you cannot control your anger
And quarrels follow you like stinging bees?
What is it worth to be the strongest man
When your hands, in madness,
Tear apart your helpless wife and infant children?
What is it worth to be great in fame
When you are sold into slavery for your crimes,
And made to humbly serve the rich
Who find their amusement in challenging you?
For our gifts do not rule our life,
They are not all that we are.
We may be fortunate in many things,
But if we cannot use them for the betterment
Not only of ourselves but of the world,
The Gods do what they must to teach us differently.
What is it worth to be Hercules
If to be Hercules is a lifetime of sorrow?
Yet out of sorrow he rose, out of humbled circumstance
He brought triumph, and in the end,
A much older and wiser man than the warrior he began,
He was brought up to the height of the Gods.
Hail Hercules, who learned his lessons the hard way!
May we all in turn learn from your story.
(The wine is passed and the remainder poured out as a libation. Each should go forth to the altar
and touch the chains, and think on them.)
[Pagan Book of Hours]