Hêphaistos/Vulcan: God of the Forge 🔥 a Living Journal

:fire: Intro & Mission Statement :fire:

Hey there, witchy folks! It is my understanding that there is limited knowledge on the god Hêphaistos/Vulcan. I’d love to use this thread as a deep-dive into the characteristics, myths, legends and lore, as well as any other findings regarding him and his worship.

As someone who feels tentatively connected to this deity, I would love to offer my service in searching for and analyzing information regarding his nature. I will be treating this thread as a living, daily journal of discovery.

Hephaestus at the Forge or Vulcan Seated by Guillaume Coustou the Younger (Louvre)

:fire: One God, Two Gods (Red God, Blue God?) :fire:

Classicists in the realm of the arts often address the Greco-Roman god of the forge as either Vulcan or Hêphaistos interchangeably, leading to understandable confusion as to the origins of myths and legends associated with one aspect or another. In fact, ancient Romans identified their own Vulcan with the Greek Hêphaistos, adopting his gifts of the forge in addition to the original attributions of fire and volcanoes.

Can we interchange Hêphaistos and Vulcan? Consider the pantheons: each god or goddess in the Roman pantheon has a Greek equivalent, and many of the myths of the Romans are adopted from the Greeks. Similar to many monotheistic cultures, the Greco-Roman pantheons can be explained as a matter of perspective on portfolios of deities that translate themselves differently according to culture, language, and society’s needs.

I believe both the aspect of the Greek Hêphaistos and the Roman Vulcan are equal, but ought to be evoked properly, similarly to epithets.

N.b., the popular spelling of “Hephaestus” is actually a Romanized spelling! I have tried to use the Greek (with pre-Greek influences) transliteration in the post above and below.

:fire: Portfolio :fire:

Hêphaistos is the god of a number of things, including but not limited to the following:

  • artisans
  • blacksmiths
  • carpenters
  • craftsmen
  • fire
  • metallurgy
  • metalworking
  • sculpture
  • volcanoes

Walter Burkert, Greek Religion 1985

:fire: Symbols :fire:

Hêphaistos is associated with the smith’s hammer, the anvil, and the pair of tongs, tools all used in the forging process. He is also associated with disability and, truthfully, ugliness. Many scholars attribute his appearance to skin cancers linked with arsenicosis, or arsenic poisoning from exposure to the element while smithing. However, as he is an Iron Age smith, as opposed to the Bronze Age when use of arsenic was more prevalent in the smelting of bronze, this is unlikely. But not to be discounted!

Saggs, H. W. F. (1989). Civilization Before Greece and Rome

:fire: Epithets :fire:

Amphigyḗeis, literally “lame on both sides,” representing him as a disabled god

Kyllopodíōn, “club-footed” or “of dragging feet” doing more of the above

Khalkeús, “coppersmith” as he is literally the divine smithy

Klytotékhnēs, “renowned artificer”, known for his miraculous inventions (such as women!) (Κλυτοτέχνης)

Polýmētis, “shrewd”, “crafty”, “of many devices”, devices can be defined multiple ways! (Πολύμητις)

Aitnaîos, given that his workshop and forge were supposedly beneath Mount Aetna

Polýphrōn, “ingenious” and “inventive”, as many of his devices served divine purposes

Agaklytós, “very famous” and “glorious”, as which I can see an aspiring smith referring to him

Aithalóeis theós, “sooty god”, which strikes me as more reverent than it sounds
(Αἰθαλόεις θεός)

Autenrieth, Georg (1891). “Hephaestus”. A Homeric Dictionary for Schools and Colleges.


I don’t know much about him, but I know a website that’s always been a good starting point for Greek deities and information! Theoi.com!

HEPHAESTUS (Hephaistos) - Greek God of Smiths & Metalworking (Roman Vulcan)


Wonderful resource, thank you so much for sharing!! :star_struck:


This is so interesting. Thankyou for sharing :sparkling_heart:


Absolutely! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: More to come!


Can I just say I am SOOOOOOOO excited that you are doing this and sharing? Why am I so excited? I’m not entirely sure tbh, suppose it’s mostly the curiosity of knowing this god from mythology but never thinking to or seeing anyone else work with him.

This is his card in the Mythos Tarot deck


One of my favorite sleep stories was from Soothing Pod:


Thank you for sharing this @Whippodee :hugs::blush::purple_heart:


I don’t know much about the roman pantheon but if you like I help with the greek one :face_with_monocle:

Poor soul he is one, I mean Hera throw him off a mountain because of his looks as a baby :melting_face:


This is amazing, @Whippodee! :raised_hands: :star_struck:

Thank you so much for sharing all this wisdom about Hephaistos/Vulcan. I’ve gone ahead and added a link to the Greek/Roman Deities Masterpost. I’m sure your resources and information here will be very helpful for all those learning about Him!

Thanks again! :pray: :fire: :volcano: :sparkles:


Of course! And expect more today, hopefully: I plan on doing some more research this week. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :fire:


Woohoo! I’ll look forward to reading and learning more :open_book: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Happy researching, @Whippodee! :heart: