One of my best friends contacted me today to tell me the results of her latest battery of tests were inconclusive. She says her doctor is highly frustrated with the limited options for diagnostic care that are available in her area. Her medical problems are severe and life-threatening. This sort of thing seems to fall pretty squarely into Asklepius’ hands - the need for diagnostic assistance and medical resources.
I hang with a good number of atheists, and it seems one of their pet peeves is when people thank God (or the gods) for things that human professionals, especially doctors, have accomplished. I understand why this bothers them - doctors, for instance, go to school for years and years, bust their asses doing research, serving unpaid internships, working terrible hours, and submitting themselves to the gauntlet of Klingon Pain Sticks that is ‘peer review’ before they arrive in a position where they can serve as a medical authority. They spend years sometimes up to their elbows in cadavers to learn how to take out your appendix. They deserve credit for their craft. I’m not saying all doctors are wonderful people, or even intelligent people, because I know there are plenty of assholes in the profession, but the fact remains that becoming a doctor is a lot of work, and continuing to be a good doctor, especially to patients with chronic conditions, is a lot of work.
A note: I like to begin petitions, especially to deities I don’t often work with, by introducing myself and delineating the relationship between my Patron and the deity in question. I do this as a sign of respect, because I know if some johnny-come-lately started demanding my assistance out of the blue I’d be giving them the side-eye and wondering why I should help them. For instance, in this case, Hekate and Asklepius are first cousins once removed. I then address the deity by titles and lineage, another show of respect.
So my petition looks something like this:
I am Sonneillon
Servant of Hekate
Daughter of Asteria
Whose sister was Leto
Whose son was Apollon
Who by unfaithful Koronis
Whose aid I implore.
To the divine medicus, Asklepius, son of bright Apollon
Father of Hygeia, Panakeia, Iaso, and Aceso,
From whom the people seek solace from ills of every kind
Greatest of mortal physicians, conqueror even of Hades curse,
Condemned for thy skill and later exalted among the stars,
I petition thy aid.
May the fire of divine inspiration descend on Dr. (redacted for privacy)
May the truth reveal itself to her
May the resources she desires fly to her fingertips
May any hurdles in her path fall before her
May she walk in the blessings of the Great Healer
May her peers see blessing shining from her and aid her in her quest for knowledge
May the right path lay itself down under her feet so that she cannot err
May she be justly rewarded for her dedication in seeking truth and healing