Hellenistic Pagan Hymns

These posts includes several invocations to Chthonic deities (offerings to them should be burned in a hole in the ground rather than on an altar).

Hades/Pluto

“Blessed lord of the immortals holding the scepters of tartaros and of terrible fearful styx and of life-robbing Lethe, the hair of Kerberos tremples in fear of you, you crack the loud whips of the Erinyes, the couch of Persephone delights you, when you go to the longed bed, whether you be the immortal Sarapis, whom the universe fears, whether you be Osiris, star of the land of Egypt, your messenger is the all wise boy; yours is Anubis the pious herald of the dead.”
-Curse tablet
Source

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Chthonic Pantheon

“Chthonic Hermes and chthonic Hekate and chthonic Acheron and chthonic flesh-eaters and chthonic god and chthonic Amphiaraos and chthonic attendants and chthonic spirts and chthonic sins and chthonic dreams / and chthonic oaths and chthonic Aristc and chthonic Tartaros and chthonic witchery, chthonic Charon and chthonic escorts and the dead and the daimons and souls of all men: come today, Moirai and Destiny”
-PGM

“Abodes of Tartarus and awful realms of insatiable Thanatos, and thou, most cruel of the brothers, to whom the shades are given to serve thee, and the eternal punishments of the damned obey thee, and the palace of the underworld, throw open in answer to my knocking the silent places and empty void of stern Persephone, and send forth the multitude that lurk in hollow night; let the ferryman row back across the Styx with groaning bark. Haste ye all together, nor let there be fore the shades but one fashion of return to the light; do thou, daughter of Perses, and the cloud-wrapt Arcadian with rod of power lead in separate throng the pious denizens of Elysium; but for those who died in crime, who in Erebus, as among the seed of Cadmus, are most in number, be thou their leader, Tisiphone, go on before with snake thrice brandished and blazing yew-branch, and throw open the light of day, nor let Cerberus interpose his heads, and turn aside the ghosts that lack the light.”
-Statius, Thebaid

“O house of Haides and Persephone! O Hermes of the Underworld and holy Ara and divine Erinnyes! You who watch over those dying unjustly and those being robbed of a marriage bed”
-Suidas s.v. Persephone

Zeus

“Star-grouping god, you thunderbolt-with-great-clap-Zeus-confining-world flashing-abundant-bolt-bestowing daimon, cracking-through-the-air, ray-producing mind-piercing you who produce cunning.”
PGM XII. 160-78

Aphrodite

“O foam-born Kythereia, mother of
Both gods and men, etherial and chthonic,
MI-Mother Nature, goddess unsubdued,
Who hold together things? who cause the great
Fire to revolve, who keep the ever-moving
BARZA in her unbroken course; and you
Accomplish everything, from head to toes,
And by your will is holy water mixed,
When by your hands you’ll move RHOUZO’ amid
The stars, the world’s midpoint which you control.
You move holy desire into the souls
Of men I and move women to man, and you
Render woman desirable to man
Through all the days to come, our Goddess Queen,
Come to these chants, Mistress”
-PGM IV. 2891-2942

Eirene

The Olympian goddess of peace and member of the Horae.

“Hail! hail! thou beloved divinity! thy return overwhelms us with joy. When far from thee, my ardent wish to see my fields again made me pine with regret. From thee came all blessings. Oh! much desired Peace! thou art the sole support of those who spend their lives tilling the earth. Under thy rule we had a thousand delicious enjoyments at our beck; thou wert the husbandman’s wheaten cake and his safeguard. So that our vineyards, our young fig-tree woods and all our plantations hail thee with delight and smile at thy coming.”
-Aristophanes

Hesperus

Hesperus is a minor titan and the god of the evening star, he is associated with the worship of his mother Eos.

“Hail, golden Star! of Ray serene,
Thou Fav’rite of the Cyprian Queen,
O Helper! Glory of the Night,
Diffusing through the Gloom Delight;
Whole Beams of all other Stars outshine,
As much as silver Cynthia thine;
O! guide me, speeding o’er the Plain,
To him I love, my Shepherd-swain;
He keeps the mirthful Feast, and soon
Dark Shades will cloud the splendid Moon.
Of Lambs I never robb’d the Fold,
Nor the lone Traveller of Gold:
Love is my Crime: O lend thy Ray
To guide a Lover on her Way!
May the bright Star of Venus prove
The gentle Harbinger of Love!”
-Bion

Muses

“Hither now, O Muses, leaving the golden
House of God unseen in the azure spaces,
Come and breathe on bosom and brow and kindle
Song like the sunglow;
Come and lift my shaken soul to the sacred
Shadow cast by Helicon’s rustling forests;
Sweep on wings of flame from the middle ether,
Seize and uplift me;
Thrill my heart that throbs with unwonted fervor,
Chasten mouth and throat with immortal kisses,
Till I yield on maddening heights the very
Breath of my body.”
-Sappho

Euneica

Euneica is a water nymph.

“Aphrodite’s handmaid,
Bright as gold thou earnest,
Tender woven garlands
Round thy tender neck;
Sweet as soft Persuasion,
Lissome as the Graces,
Shy Euneica, lovely
Girl from Salamis.
Slender thou as Syrinx,
As the waving reed-nymph,
Once by Pan, the god of
Summer winds, deflowered.
On thy lips whose quiver
Seems to plead for pity,
Mine shall rest and linger
Like the mouth of Pan
On the mouth of Syrinx,
When his breath that filled her
Blew through all her body
Music of his love.”
-Sappho

Phales

Veneration of Phales is largely part of Dionysian worship.

“Oh, Phales, companion of the orgies of Bacchus, night reveller, god of adultery and of pederasty, these past six years I have not been able to invoke thee. With what joy I return to my farmstead, thanks to the truce I have concluded, freed from cares, from fighting and from Lamachuses! How much sweeter, oh Phales, Phales, is it to surprise Thratta, the pretty woodmaid, Strymodorus’ slave, stealing wood from Mount Phelleus, to catch her under the arms, to throw her, on the ground and lay her, Oh, Phales, Phales! If thou wilt drink and bemuse thyself with me, we shall to-morrow consume some good dish in honour of the peace, and I will hang up my buckler over the smoking hearth.”
-Aristophanes

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