I can't sleep, because someone is running through my head, insisting I tell you this story. The story was told to me (and to one other; you know who you are) quite some time ago, but now its for everyone. I'm sorry I'm not a better writer.
The Great Temple at Delphi, home to the Pythian Oracle, is among the holiest places in all of Greece. Long before it belonged to Apollo, the Temple belonged to Python, the Great Dragon of Mt Parnassus. In those days, every eight years, on the third day of Gemelion waxing, the Temple hosted a great contest of magic. From time immemorial, Hekate, the Queen of Witches, had always won the games. It came to pass one year, however, that Hekate did not attend, as she was Under the Earth. And so the favored contestants that year were Hermes, Lord of Games, the most quick witted of all gods, the lightbringer, the sorcerer-king, and Aphrodite, the radiant goddess of love, a Game Player extraordinaire.
The contest was fierce, and the competitors rejoiced to exercise their skill. When it came time for the final competition, the two were tied. And so Pythia proposed a final competition, a contest of love spells. Ganymede, the beautiful young cupbearer of Zeus, was to be both judge and prize. Both Hermes and Aphrodite enchanted long into the night, weaving magics both subtle and potent. They whispered incantations and they sang them. Hermes played a golden lyre. Aphrodite beat a bangled timbrel. They plied Ganymede with wine laced with philtres. They fed him the choicest morsels until his lips were shiny were shiny with butter. They painted sigils on his lithe young body in honey, wine, and blood. Ganymede's eyes glazed over with lust, and his heart beat quick with infatuation. His pupils dilated to the size of the moon, and his cock was a pillar of basalt.
The contest continued for hours that seemed like days, stretched into days that seemed like years. The air grew hazy with lust, and the crowd dissolved into frenzied orgy. Ganymede, mad with love, lost in ecstasy, rocked slowly back and forth between the sorcerers, never choosing a favorite. In the end, however, Hermes threw the match. And so Ganymede, the most beautiful of mortals, fell into the arm of the Beautiful One. And yet, Hermes cast one final love spell, and perhaps the Lord of Games won after all. He presented a gift to Aphrodite, a token of her great victory. A beautiful zither, wrought all from copper, magic woven in its strings. Aphrodite was enchanted by the beautiful lyre. And so, nine months later, Aphrodite bore a child, as dark and mysterious as her mother, as quick and as bright as his father, the genderqueer godling of alchemy, Ἑρμαφροδιτος the winged and twice-crowned.