Tag Archive | zeus

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.

Prayer to the Gods for the National Day of Prayer

May Hestia, who warms the hearth and brightens the home,
who is ever first in the hearts of mankind,
be with us: we honor you and praise your might.

May great Zeus, bearer of the firebolt, granter
of rule to the worthy, upholder of the right,
be with us: we honor you and praise your might.

May peerless Hera, friend of those who seek the joy
of marriage, the solace of companionship,
be with us: we honor you and praise your might.

May grey-eyed Athena, protector of cities,
keeper of wisdom, who favors the virtuous,
be with us: we honor you and praise your might.

May Demeter of field and flower, mistress
of all that grows in the earth, founder of the feast,
be with us: we honor you and praise your might.

May golden Aphrodite, whose gift it is
to bring us together in love and compassion,
be with us: we honor you and praise your might.

May swift-footed Hermes, guide of words and meaning,
who clears the way for unity and understanding,
be with us: we honor you and praise your might.

May bright Apollo, lover of knowledge and beauty,
who keeps away all ill, who banishes all blight,
be with us: we honor you and praise your might.

May Artemis of the woodland, mistress of beasts,
guardian of all that is innocent and wild,
be with us: we honor you and praise your might.

May noble Persephone, queen of light and dark,
comfort of the sorrowing and the bereft,
be with us: we honor you and praise your might.

Election Day Prayer to Zeus

I call to Zeus, upholder of the good,
Zeus of the citizen, Zeus of the free,
whose favor falls on the honorable,
whose wrath strikes down the evil. Zeus
who knows the worth of service and of duty,
I pray to you: grant that we choose wisely,
for the good of our nation and of the world.

Brief Prayer to Zeus

Father Zeus, protector of the weak,
help me to be strong against my fears.

Father Zeus, protector of the wronged,
help me to do right by all I meet.

Father Zeus, protector of the home,
help me to safeguard those within my walls.

Father Zeus, help me to do what I must,
be with me as I walk in the world.

Prayer to Zeus for Protection Among Strangers

Great Zeus, Father Zeus, master of Olympos,
bearer of the thunderbolt whose might it is
that draws together the darkening clouds,
well-honored one, kind-hearted god to whom we turn
when we are far from home and family, I call to you.
Zeus, I am alone; I stand in the sphere of strangers.
Friend of the foreigner, friend of the visitor,
friend of those who must rely on the good will
of those unknown, the kindness of the host
to the outsider, I pray to you, lead me
to a place of welcome, bring me safely home again.

Zeus

Zeus of the lightning-strike, Zeus of the sturdy oak,
we hear you in the clash of thunder, we see you
in the bright-lit night, we feel you in the air,
in the exhilaration of the storm. I praise you,
O god whose will it is that the clouds gather low
in the sky, whose gift of rain pulls life from the earth.

Great Zeus, friend of those who wander the world,
of those who are ever again among strangers,
friend of those who rely on the honor and virtue
of others, I praise you, O god of the righteous
whose wrath falls on those who prey on the exile
and the outcast, the recluse and the solitary.

Zeus of the prophets, Zeus of many oracles,
kindly one whose words we hear in silent voices
or see in the throw of the bones, whose messages
we know by their truth alone. I praise you,
O god who is the source of all visions and signs,
of all that is foretold by mortal seekers and seers.

Prayer to Zeus for Safety from the Storm

Glorious Zeus, king of the starry heavens, master
of the thunderstorm, swift-striking hurler
of firebolt and hailstone, we know your might well,
in torrents of rain, in winds that tear a man
from mother Gaia’s embrace. The summer showers
are yours, O Zeus, that bring the earth to life each year;
yours too is the windstorm, the cyclone, the typhoon.
Each season’s storms, O Zeus, that bear the names
of women and men, are yours to guide; your hand
it is that brings winged death to one house
while its neighbor stands untouched. I pray to you,
O god of the lightning, god of the wild winds,
grant to us your blessing, grant to us your favor,
grant to us your good will. O kind-hearted Zeus,
I pray to you, keep from us the terror of the storm.