The return of Hephaistos to Olympos, as a myth, concerns the establishment of a balance of power among the Olympian gods. Many visual representations of the myth in Archaic and Classical Greek art give visible form to the same theme, but they do so in a manner entirely distinct from the manner in which it is expressed in literary narratives of the tale. In this paper, I argue that vase-painters incorporated elements of Dionysiac processional ritual into representations of the return of Hephaistos in order to articulate visually the principal theme of the myth. The vase-painters structured the myth along the lines of epiphanic processions in which Dionysos was escorted into the city of Athens. Like Dionysiac epiphanic processions, the procession of Hephaistos, Dionysos and the wine-god's followers is distinguished visually by drunkenness, ostentatious display of the phallus and obscene or insulting behaviour. To judge from the aetiological myths associated with them, the epiphanic processions symbolized the triumph of Dionysos over, and his belated acceptance by, those who denied his status as a god. By structuring the visual representations of the return of Hephaistos along the lines of such Dionysiac processions, artists conveyed visually the idea that the myth also concerned the triumph of a god over those who rejected him, and his acceptance among the Olympians. It is not necessary to assume that the vase-painters relied on a detailed poetic account of the myth to create their representations of it, because they employed elements of religious spectacle, an inherently visual phenomenon, to convey the essence of the story.