Tag Archive | hellenic polytheism

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.

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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.

To Rhea

All praise to Rhea, bright queen of the heavens,
great and mighty among the immortal gods.
Mother of many, saviour of your children,
O Rhea who wears the high-towered crown,
whose rites ring out with a joyful sound,
who is honored by dancers, by seekers
of solace and delight, O gentle goddess
who eases our sorrows, our troubles, our pains,
O lady of the lions, enthroned in glory,
worshipped in temple and in wood, I call to you.
I honor you, good and gracious Rhea,
I offer you my praise and seek your blessing.

Boreaia Rite

Honoring: Boreas, god of the north wind, and his daughter Chione, goddess of snow
Date: Beginning of winter
Season: Winter

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
Offering of a paper snowflake or other gift(s).
Libation
Libation bowl
Cup

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

Procession

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 the stick or incense 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

Boreas of the bitter winds, lord of the north,
lord of distant Thrace, master of the wintertime,
purple-winged god of the darkening days,
I call to you, O Boreas, O god of cold and ice.

Chione of the snows, of the softly falling flakes
and the keen and biting storms, the billowy drifts
and the treacherous ice, daughter of the north,
I call to you, O Chione, O goddess of the frost.

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

As the days grow short and the nights grow long,
as the air grows chill and the earth stone-cold,
we gather to welcome the gods of the season,
to greet you with reverence and love.

Prayers and Offerings

We welcome you, O Boreas, who rules the lands
of ice and rime, who in your season brings to us
a frost to rest the weary earth, a chill to set
our bones a-shiver, to set the world anew.
We welcome you, O Chione, mistress of the snows,
whose might it is that cloaks the land in alabaster white,
whose hand it is that dips each tree in shining ice,
whose gift it is to grace the world with beauty.

O gods of the cold and silent lands, O gods
on whose power we rely, in whose good will we trust,
we thank you for your many blessings, we praise your might.
For your care and warding in seasons past, we thank you;
we pray to you, O gods, grant us your enduring favor.
For a safe return from uncertain travels, we thank you;
we pray to you, O gods, grant us your enduring favor.
For abundance granted each wintertide, we thank you;
we pray to you, O gods, grant us your enduring favor.

Hold up paper snowflakes or other gifts.

We offer you this token of our reverence and thanks, O gods.

Place gifts on altar.

Libations

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 drink into the libation bowl; hold up cup, refilling if necessary.

To Boreas of the cold north wind, winter’s lord,
We offer this drink; all praise to you, O Boreas!

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

To Chione of the snows, capricious and comely,
We offer this drink; all praise to you, O Chione!

Pour out some drink 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 drink 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 humanity.
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.

Maimakteria Rite

Honoring: Zeus Maimaktes, or Blustering Zeus
Date: Exact date unknown, presumably held during the month of Maimakterion (late November-early December)
Season: The beginning of 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
Offerings
Libation bowl
Cup

Procession

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.

Invocation

To Zeus Maimaktes, Zeus who comes when the north wind blows,
we offer our praise, we make you welcome!
As the air grows chill around us, as the ground grows firm
beneath our feet, as the fields and trees grow barren,
as the earth takes its rest, then does the sky grow bold,
the gales grow fierce, the storm grow deadly cold. O Zeus
whose hand is in winter’s bluster and blast, who chooses
a season cruel or mild, we call to you this day!

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 for the Maimakteria, to celebrate Zeus Maimaktes, wild and blustering Zeus, who rules the winter months, to honor your power and to ask that you be merciful in the coming season.

Ritual body

To Zeus of the wild winds and the knife-sharp cold,
the snow and the sleet that cover road and field,
we call to you, O Zeus, be good, be gentle.
In your name of Maimaktes your might is great;
the storms that rise by your hand can stop the works
of men, can end the lives of those caught far
from shelter. O Zeus whose will it is that the season
be harsh or fair, be kind to us, we pray,
and spring will see us praise your name once more.
O Zeus Maimaktes, we thank you for your blessings.

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 Zeus Maimaktes, Zeus of the storms of winter,
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.


For more information on ritual format, see my other blog.

A PDF version of the ritual script is available here.