Holy Huntress Who roam these valleys, Hallowed by your footfalls, Lady of the wild, Who wend your way amidst the resinous Pines, Who wander these mountainsides in the moonlight, Mighty savior, I call to you. Pray bless this land, Holy and dear to you. Bless us who dwell here. Bless all who call upon you, By whatever names they know you. Holy Huntress, Mighty savior, Hear my prayer.
Hail, O Terpsichore, ever flowing Blessed mistress of the dance Fluid, graceful in every motion Body bending, firm in will. Unbind the tension I bear; Unknot, unwind, and loosen me, That I, too, might move Gracefully, in love and service, Swept up in the rhythm Of your holy, sacred dance.
Zeus, mighty sovereign, lord of Olympos,
You reign through persuasion, by empowering others:
With your brothers you share the sovereignty
In starry sky, wine-dark sea, misty realm beneath the earth.
Zeus, ever confident, sure of your power,
You are not jealous, as those who came before you:
You spread your gifts far and wide;
You enrich the world, who father countless Gods and Heroes.
Zeus, whose kingship enriches and empowers all,
Whose sharing of power brings the cosmos to completion,
Teach our rulers to govern as you govern,
Helping all people come to their perfection.
Zeus, who reign through persuasion,
Help us to rule as you rule,
Not through force, but encouraging,
Finding the way for all to flourish.
Zeus, blessed father, share your gifts with us, we pray.
Lift us up as we lift each other,
Setting each in a sovereignty among sovereigns,
In fellowship and in harmony.
Apollon of good counsel, lord of the assembly,
Be with our nation in this time of unrest;
Bring us together in compassion and understanding.
Turner of seasons, lord of the winds,
Cool the fires of anger and rage;
Calm the winds that would fan these flames.
Leader of the Muses, lord of inspiration,
Show us the way, the song to sing:
A story of hope and freedom for all.
Mighty archer, lord of the bow,
Defend our nation in this hour of need;
Protect us from those who seek our destruction.
Bright shining one, lord of the Sun,
Dispel the darkness that would blind and confuse us,
Give us clarity of vision, sincerity and truth.
God praised by the paian, lord of healing,
Heal our nation, heal our communities;
Restore us to health, in body, mind, and spirit.
Holy savior, lord of harmony,
Be with us in our need;
Bring us together, in true peace and concord.
Daughter of Leto,
Filled from your first breath
With compassion for your mother,
Newborn guide to birth,
You led your twin brother to life
On the rocky shores of Delos.
Our world groans in travail.
Guide us through the dark hour,
Through our pain and confusion.
Help us, heavy laden,
To bring forth life.
Deliver us, O holy maiden,
And deliver our children—
Children of flesh, blood, and bone,
Children of thought, mind, and spirit.
Bring forth life and health,
New stories, new lifeways.
Deliver us, O holy savior.
Help us to birth a new world.
Bring forth hope from sorrow,
Joy from anguish,
Radiant life in a barren place.
Deliver us we pray, O blessed Artemis.
Khaire Artemis Soteira!
Hail honored successor, divine Plato’s heir,
Philosopher Proclus, in virtue most fair.
When you first came to Athens in search of the truth,
You showed reverence and piety far beyond other youth.
You welcomed Athene into your own home
When the impious mob cast Her out of Her own.
Ever pious, you kept all the nations’ great rites,
A priest for all peoples, inspired and wise.
You expounded the doctrine of unity found
Beyond being itself, being’s own source and ground.
You carried the torch, tending Wisdom’s bright flame,
While outside, gathering darkness told the end of an age.
So we honor you, Proclus, this day of your birth:
Theologian, philosopher, man of great worth.
Some months ago, Kaye at KALLISTI suggested that we polytheists “need to up our printables game.” She posted one printable image with a prayer to Dionysos, which I’ve had on his shrine for a while now. (Thanks, Kaye!)
In honor of Lord Apollon’s holy day (the 7th of each lunar month), I offer the following humble contributions, which I invite fellow polytheists to use freely and share widely. (Three PDF versions linked below.)
The prayer is an oracle quoted by the Emperor Julian the Faithful, the last pagan emperor of Rome, in his “Letter to a Priest.”
The text and translation are from volume 2 of the Loeb edition of Julian’s works, translated by Wilmer Cave Wright, first published in 1913 and now in the public domain. I have slightly adjusted Wright’s punctuation and transliteration of Greek names, but otherwise left his translation unchanged.
The image is from here under a CC4.0 license.
There are three versions:
- In English, with the first line of Greek below
- In Greek, with a full English translation below
- In Greek only
Depth of rage and anguish.
Tears flow, hearts break.
Sky darkens, hopes fade.
The folly of pride, revealed at the last:
The foolish and the luckless brought low
Before Gods and mortals.
Bitter cleansing. Katharsis.
Yet that is not all.
That is not the only story
On one stage.
Sky brightens, Dawn’s fingers
Bring day where once was night.
Tears flow once more,
But now of levity,
Mirth too much to contain.
The lost restored, hope triumphs:
Lightness and blessing. Success.
The bitter with the sweet,
The fullness, from high to low,
On one stage.
While in the wings,
Bless’d sisters watch,
Hand in hand, side by side.
For Thalia and Melpomene, of course.
One quiet evening, taking things
Perhaps too easy on myself.
Here at my patrons’ shrine,
A reminder, a holy prompting:
“Look! See what is possible!
Will you go deeper, strive
For more, reach the heights?
Now, tonight, do the work!”
Praise, thanks for this call.
May I never grow complacent.
According to the Athenian lunar calendar, this weekend (6th and 7th Thargelion) are the birthdays of Artemis and Socrates (on Saturday, 11 May = 6 Thargelion) and of Apollon and Plato (Sunday). In honor of the latter, I wrote these two poems last year. I post them here again here for others to enjoy, and perhaps to use in your own commemorations.Continue reading “For Plato, on his Nativity”