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Daily Devotions with the Orphic Hymns

From the Nomos Archaios WWW site
Reposted with permission

"...propitiate the gods with libations and sacrifices, when you go to bed and at the coming of holy day, that toward you they might have a propitious heart and mind" - Hesiod, Works and Days

This modern system of daily devotions blends material from two sources: Hesiod's sacred month, as described in his Works and Days, and the Orphic Hymns. Although the theology of the Orphic Hymns is sometimes at odds with the more mainstream beliefs of the polis, using the collection has the advantage that every major divinity, and many minor ones, will be honored during the month. Other hymns may of course be substituted at the individual's discretion. The numbers given for the hymns correspond to those in Apostolos N. Athanassakis, The Orphic Hymns: Text, Translation and Notes (n.p.: Scholars Press, 1977). If you are using a different edition of the hymns, please refer to this page.

Morning and Evening Devotions

Morning

Evening

A shortened version of the devotions may be done by simply lighting a candle, reading "Orpheus to Mousaios," saying any personal prayers, and extinguishing the candle.

Monthly Hymn Cycle

  1. Noumenia; Apollon (34, 76)
  2. (73, 20)
  3. Athena (32, 33)
  4. Hermes, Aphrodite, Eros (28, 55, 56, 60, 58, 6)
  5. Horkos (59, 61, 62, 69, 70)
  6. Artemis (36, 2, 35, 72)
  7. Apollon (34, 76)
  8. Holy; Poseidon, Asklepios (17, 83, 67, 68)
  9. Holy (30, 42, 44)
  10. Holy (26, 11, 51, 43)
  11. (4, 5, 10, 21)
  12. (40, 41, 27)
  13. Athena (32, 33 )
  14. (13, 14, 37)
  15. Horkos (59, 63, 64, 69, 70)
  16. Artemis (36, 2, 35, 72)
  17. (45, 46, 47)
  18. (16, 19, 66)
  19. (12, 65, 38)
  20. Apollon (34, 76)
  21. (48, 49, 50)
  22. (31, 39)
  23. Athena (32, 33)
  24. (52, 53, 54)
  25. Horkos (59, 69, 70)
  26. (74, 75)
  27. (22, 23, 24, 25)
  28. (77, 79)
  29. (80, 81, 82)
  30. or Last Day; Hekate and the dead (1, 57, 87, 18, 29, 71)

Notes on chart:

  1. Days mentioned by Hesiod as sacred to specific deities are marked.
  2. Horkos is the god (or, if you like, personification) of Oath. Days sacred to this deity are considered difficult.
  3. As the lunar calendar months range between 29 and 30 days in the Greek reckoning, it may be necessary in short months to recite all the hymns for both day 29 and day 30 on the day of the dark moon. As the last day of the month is sacred to Hekate, Her hymn should always be included.

About Incense

The Orphic Hymns specify particular types of incense to be offered to each deity. In cases where one is saying multiple hymns with differing instructions, one might either choose a single type or make a blend of all those indicated. Pure frankincense makes a good all-purpose offertory incense.

The incense specifications from the Orphic text are as follows: