Ares has many epithets. Father of Tears. Slayer of Men. The Blood-Stained. The Helper of Themis.
But I think my favorite, and the one most poignant to me at this particular point in my practice, is the Gynaikothoinas, he who is feasted by the women. The title commemorates a battle between the hoplites of Sparta and the women of Tegea, where the women ambushed the hoplites and decidedly won the battle. They created a feast after that which they celebrated alone, sans men. While I am no great feminist and generally against gendered-only things in modern society, this is an exception for me. There is something special about the relationship between Ares and his female devotees, I think. Maybe it echoes something of his relationship with Aphrodite. I do not know. But more women should open themselves to worshiping this god. Ares has a frank delight in women, I think, and challenges to them overcome society’s tendency to coddle us into a sense of entitlement. Most of all in my time worshiping him, Ares has challenged me to get the fuck over myself. And that’s something the world could use a whole lot more of.
That’s all for now.