On the heels of figuring out where I went wrong, I felt I owed Hermes an apology. After an early shower (combining ritual purification and regular hygiene for efficiency), I made offerings to Hestia and to him, at their respective shrines.
To Hermes, I explained what I had figured out, and offered wine in addition to the usual frankincense. Then I turned to the oracle. Here are the results and my interpretation.
Am I correct in my understanding?
Eta: Yup. The unworthy motivation of my earlier offerings was plain to the gods.
Is this offering sufficient to make amends?
Gamma: Yes, but always remember that reward comes from labor. That is, honor the gods continually rather than coming once in a while to ask a favor.
Any further advice?
Phi: Take responsibility for your actions; don’t blame the gods for your own mistakes.
Honored Hermes, my patron god, thank you for your instruction.