Tag Archive | hellenic paganism

To Anteros

Kindly Anteros, good of heart and great of mercy,
son of brave Ares and sea-born Aphrodite,
brother of Eros who aims his sharp shafts
at one and all, yours is a treasure more precious than gold:
a love requited and returned. Shining Anteros,
bright-winged as the butterfly, a love long-lived
is yours to give, a heart filled full with all delight,
the solace of a life’s companion, the sweetness
of fulfilled desire. Friend of the faithful, good Anteros,
your blessing comes to the tender-hearted–
your wrath to those who play at love, whose cruelty snuffs
a steady flame. Grant me your favor, compassionate one.

To Thanatos

To Thanatos, so kind and so good, I offer my praise.
Son of the darkness and the night, of wise Erebos
and raven-haired Nyx, brother of Hypnos who grants a respite
ephemeral and sweet, O Thanatos, you bring a repose
of a longer span–an endless sleep is yours to bestow.
Beautiful Thanatos, well-wreathed with poppies red as blood,
black-winged god, fleet-footed one, bearer of the sharp-edged sword
with which you cut a lock of hair from each who enters Hades’ realm:
some call you merciless, hard of heart, O god who takes
from us those we most love–and yet, dear Thanatos,
yours is a mercy great and freeing, a boundless comfort,
a final peace. O god who gives us life’s last blessing, I praise you.

To Themis

All praise to wise Themis, great mistress of order,
great friend of the seer and the sibyl
whose words were once heard in Delphi and Dodona,
great lady of the law who holds the balance,
whose blessings fall on the just and the true.
Daughter of deep earth and stellary sky,
mother of the ancient Fates who grant to each their share,
mother too of the Seasons who give the stars their course,
merciful Themis, kind of heart and even of hand,
fair and benevolent goddess, I call to you.
I honor you, good and gracious Themis,
I offer you my praise and seek your blessing.

To Mnemosyne

All praise to wise Mnemosyne, mother of Muses,
mistress of your mother’s wisdom,
buried deep within the earth, with bone and stone.
Mistress of memory, the sweet and the sharp,
protector of history, preserver of stories,
maintainer of tales of sorrow and joy,
yours is the truth within the fact,
the shadow cast on what we know
by what has been forgotten.
O mother of sight and inspiration, I call to you.
I honor you, good and gracious Mnemosyne,
I offer you my praise and seek your blessing.

To Coeus

All praise to Coeus, deep-minded and wise,
son of the earth and the far-reaching sky,
beloved of Phoebe, shining bright,
father of Leto and farseeing Asteria.
Northmost upholder of all the heavens,
challenger, questioner, seeker of truth,
god of the intellect, god of the mind,
granter of reason, of judgement, of sense,
friend of the scholar and the sage, of science
and philosophy, I call to you.
I honor you, good and gracious Coeus,
I offer you my praise and seek your blessing.

To Tethys

All praise to wise Tethys, great goddess of seas,
daughter of earth and star-strewn sky,
companion of bountiful Oceanos,
mother of sea nymphs and river gods.
Gentle goddess, nourisher of the young,
help of the helpless, friend of the caregiver
and the nurse, guide of those lost at sea,
teacher and counsel of unsurpassed Hera,
Tethys, mistress of the tides, mistress
of the waterflow, I call to you.
I honor you, good and gracious Tethys,
I offer you my praise and seek your blessing.

Theogamia Rite

Honoring: Hera Teleia and Zeus Teleius
Date: 27th day of Gamelion
Season: In ancient Greece, marriages typically took place during midwinter.
Region: Athens

Items needed:
Bowl of water and stick (incense, punk, or natural) to light and douse
Bowl of barley
Offerings
Cup
Libation bowl

In the ritual script, italicized text refers to directions and actions and is not meant to be spoken.


Procession

Assemble and prepare to process to the altar.

We go to this 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.

Invocation

We call to aegis-bearing Zeus and noble Hera,
great queen and king of bright Olympus. We call
to you, O mighty ones whose strength and wisdom
guide the gods themselves, we pray to you, join us
on this day, hear our words of praise and devotion,
accept the libations we offer. You who ward
and watch over the family, who protect the home
and household, who maintain the refuge of order,
Zeus Teleios, Hera Teleia, 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

We gather today to celebrate the Theogamia, the sacred marriage of Hera and Zeus, and to honor the love and bond of cherished and committed partners, the sharing of lives, the creation of households, the building of family, the lives we live within our community.

A prayer for partnership

O thundering Zeus and Hera of the fine eyes,
who hold dear the ties that bind the souls of men
and women, who are the safekeepers of promise
and vow, who mark the deeds of all who so swear,
your will it is that pledges be honored and words
well kept, that those who forsake them shall find no shelter
from your wrath. O gods who know the worth of a life’s
companion, the solace of a story shared,
a journey taken hand in hand, we ask your blessing.
May we find a love that flourishes and grows,
may we honor our partners, be loving and kind
and have that gift returned. May we know the joy
and heart’s ease, the comfort and good cheer of a life
lived long and well with love and companionship.

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 Hera, fair one of matchless wisdom and wit,
We offer this drink; all praise to you, O Hera!

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

To Zeus the merciful, gracious lord of the heavens,
We offer this drink; all praise to you, O Zeus!

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.

Thanks

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

Close

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.