Poseidea Rite

Honoring: Poseidon
Date: Likely held during the month of Poseidion, most likely on the 8th ; on the modern calendar this is around December 19
Season: Probably held when the seas began to grow rough with the winter
Region: Athens

Items needed:
Bowl of water and stick (incense, punk, or natural) to light and douse
Candle, matches or lighter to light the stick.
Bowl of barley
Libation bowl

In the ritual script, italicized text refers to directions and actions and isn’t meant to be spoken.


Assemble and prepare to process to the altar.

We go to the holy place with reverence and love, to honor the gods.

Proceed to enter the sacred space.

Purification of participants

Light a stick and extinguish in the bowl of water, creating lustral water.

May all be made pure who wash in this water.

Pour water over the hands of each person so that they may rinse their face and hands in the lustral water.

Purification of space

Pass the bowl of barley among the participants so that each may take a handful of barley.

May all that is profane be gone from here!

Each person throws barley onto the altar, gently if indoors, with force if outside.


We call to Poseidon, great son of Kronos
and beautiful Rhea, lord of waters fresh and briny,
king of the broad blue seas and of each sweet spring
and fountain that issues from the earth. Poseidon,
trident-bearer, mighty one, master of the beasts
of the sea, companion of the ocean-nymphs,
yours is the source of life, the water and the salt,
yours are the treasures beneath the waves. Good friend
of the sailor and the fisherman, granter of food
and riches to mankind, Poseidon, we call to you.

If ever we have honored you, poured out sweet wine
in reverence and love, O great ones, deathless ones,
hear now our prayers, grant now your blessings. Praise be to you!

Statement of purpose

Today we honor Poseidon, lord of the oceans, who holds in his hands a force that can throw the mortal world into chaos, whose might it is that brings the ship safe to harbor or wrecks it on some stony shore. The winter seas are yours, Poseidon, the perils faced by those who sail them late in season; yours too is the wisdom won by the wayfarer, the good we gain by time and travel, the wealth that comes to those who dare. As the cold winds come, as we settle by the fire, as we make good use of that which we gained during longer days, we praise your might, Poseidon, O god to whom the rise and fall of a nation is merely a moment, O god whose gifts we praise, whose blessing we ask.

A prayer of thankfulness and joy

This day we offer our praise to Poseidon,
older than words, older than the world of men,
maker of the horse, master of the waves,
granter to men of all that carried us from land
to land, friend of the merchant and the trader,
O god who lay the stones on which we built our bridges,
the base that bears the life we make. Poseidon,
earth-shaker, holder of the bones of the world,
ancient one, mighty one, your names and titles lost
to time, your power hidden in seabed and crevice,
held in check by your goodness and benevolence,
we thank you for your mercy, for the care you take
of humankind. As the nights grow long and the waves
grow rough, we take joy in your gifts, we give thanks
for your many blessings, O fathomless one.

Libations and offerings

Pour wine, milk, or other liquid offering into cup, hold up filled cup.

To noble Hestia, who ever comes first and last,
We offer this drink; all praise to you, O Hestia!

Pour out some wine into the libation bowl; hold up cup, refilling if necessary.

To mighty Poseidon who rules the waves and the depths,
We offer this drink; all praise to you, O Poseidon!

Pour out some wine into the libation bowl; hold up cup , refilling if necessary.

To noble Hestia, who ever comes last and first,
We offer this drink; all praise to you, O Hestia!

Pour out some wine into the libation bowl; hold up cup, refilling if necessary.

We share this drink among ourselves with love for the gods
and gratitude for all we have been given.

Pass the cup among the participants.


We thank you, Poseidon, for your presence this day
as we celebrate your festival with reverence and joy.
We thank you, Poseidon, for your many blessings,
for the great gifts you grant to humanity.
With love and devotion we praise and honor you.


We leave this holy place, with reverence and gratitude for all we have been given. The rite is ended.

Step away from the altar and leave the sacred space.

A PDF version of this ritual script is available here.

For more information on ritual format, see Some Elements of Hellenic Ritual at my other blog.


Deep-dwelling Poseidon, shield of sailors,
stiller of storms, shaker of the earth beneath us,
I praise you. Well known you were in days of old,
honored above all others in far-famed Corinth;
your temples stood throughout the ancient lands,
each floor well polished by the feet of the devoted.
In times still longer past, still further lost in time,
were you among the first of gods whose names
were known to men, the first whose might was honored,
the first who answered desperate pleas with dear blessings.
Poseidon, whose voice we hear in the crash of waves,
whose hand guides the fate of all who venture out
upon the sea, to whom we owe thanks for transport
and trade, for salt fish and sweet water, I praise you.


Poseidon of the white-capped waves, dark-haired
god of the the cold salt sea, of raging rivers
and sweetwater springs, ancient one, in Knossos
and in Thebes your name was known, carved with care
on tablets of clay, spoken softly, prayerfully,
in old Mycenae. World-shaker, god who holds
in hand the bones of the deep earth, in Corinth
were you well honored with games of skill and prowess;
throughout the land your temples stood, shining and tall.
The sea depths are yours, Poseidon; your palace lies
on the ocean floor, far removed from Olympos’ heights
and yet a glorious dwelling in your wondrous realm.
Bearer of the trident, stirrer of storms, master
of horses, granter to mankind of many gifts,
Poseidon, mighty son of Kronos, I praise you.

Prayer to Poseidon that the Earth be Calm

Poseidon, earth-shaker, master of all
the waters of the world, your hand we see
in the trembling earth and the roiling seas;
by your will does the land beneath our feet
convulse and split open, by your might do waves
crest and crash on the shore, breaking the works
of men beneath. Many are the names
we give to your rage–tremor, tsunami,
landslide, surge–yet all are within your power
to compel or to conclude. Poseidon,
I pray to you, have mercy on the children
of men, still and subdue the wrathful earth.

Litany to Poseidon

Poseidon, lord of the clear blue sea and all
the fair waters of the world, throughout the depths
your might is well known, well governed, well wielded.
O god who commands the white-capped waves, Poseidon,
I praise and honor you, I thank you for your blessings.

Poseidon, friend of the sailor, the fisherman,
of those who find their livelihood on seacoast and shoreline
or on the broad ocean, keeper of the harbor,
god of safe havens who wards the ways of commerce,
I praise and honor you, I thank you for your blessings.

Poseidon who holds all waters in his hands,
by whose might a land is beaten with deadly waves
or deprived of spring rain and made barren of life,
master of flood and drought, we pray for your good will.
I praise and honor you, I thank you for your blessings.

Poseidon, holder of the earth, world-shaker
who moves the land to tremble and quake,
casting humanity to the ground like dice
from a cup, who opens the sod and stone beneath us,
I praise and honor you, I thank you for your blessings.

Benevolent Poseidon, whose gift to man
of the useful horse brought trade and swift travel
to the small old world and made it a greater place.
Hard-handed driver of wild and willful horseflesh,
I praise and honor you, I thank you for your blessings.


Poseidon, lord of the darkest sea-depths,
lord of the crashing surf, your hair wet with brine,
your eyes cold and blue, keen as winter waters,
you hold in your hands the life of the sailor,
through fair weather or foul you guide ships to safety
or ravage them with waves. Within your domain
we live only by your goodness and forbearance;
with ease do you lay waste to great cities, do you
shake the earth till the works of men crumble.
You raise the four great winds, you hone the rain
to a cutting edge, you turn the waters of your realm
to cruel ice. By your might do floods destroy us,
Poseidon; yours too is the deadly drought,
the hard cracked dirt that signals famine and fear.
Our lives depend on your balance, Poseidon,
on your generous heart and open hand. God of oceans,
god of the salt of life, I praise and honor you.

To Poseidon

I call to Poseidon, great god of the seas,
fond husband of ocean-dwelling Amphitrite,
son of ancient Kronos and wild-hearted Rhea,
father of noble kings and mighty heroes.
In distant days were you well known; in Crete your name
was carved in clay; in Corinth were you honored well,
and in all the provinces. Dark-haired Poseidon,
you hold in your hands the waters of the world,
those briny depths that brought us all into life;
that carried mankind to many lands, to gather
wealth and wisdom; that nourished our furthest forebears
and formed the patterns of our lives. Poseidon,
maker and master of horses, trident-bearer,
earth-shaker, lord of the beasts of the deep,
lord of the thrashing waves, sea-god, I call to you.


Poseidon, holder of all the seas,
of all the many waters of the world,
I honor you. Lord of the blackest depths,
master of horses, patron of seamen,
we see you in the high-cresting waves,
in foam-dashed shores, in mighty ships made weak
by your hand. Poseidon, ocean god,
ruler of the deep, soul of this sphere,
anchor of mankind in your swirling chaos,
I thank you for your many gifts, both common
and sublime–for the means to commerce
and to play, for the beasts of the sea,
for sweet water to drink, for a way
to the wider world. All praise to the sea-god!