Any excuse to take a bath.
Written for Coven Life
The Hymn to Health (Hygeia)
(Fumigation from Manna)
O Much-desir’d, prolific, gen’ral queen,
Hear me, life-bearing, Health, of beauteous mien,
Mother of all; by thee diseases dire,
Of bliss destructive, from our life retire;
And ev’ry house is flourishing and fair,
If with rejoicing aspect thou art there:
Each dædal art, thy vig’rous force inspires,
And all the world thy helping hand desires;
Pluto life’s bane alone resists thy will,
And ever hates thy all-preserving skill.
O fertile queen, from thee forever flows
To mortal life from agony repose;
And men without thy all-sustaining ease,
Find nothing useful, nothing form’d to please;
Without thy aid, not Plutus’ self can thrive,
Nor man to much afflicted age arrive;
For thou alone of countenance serene,
Dost govern all things, universal queen.
Assist thy mystics with propitious mind,
And far avert disease of ev’ry kind.
Pluto– refers to the God Hades, He was the God of the underworld. This is where those who died from ill health went to sent by Hygeia herself .
Manna– is a type of resin, the sap from a tree. Various sources describe it in the bible and in the Torah as a food sent from the ‘God’ that was given to the Israelite’s. In this instance it is the resin from an Ash tree. You can also use Frankincense from the Boswellia tree.
So who was the Goddess Hygeia?
This hymn is dedicated to the Goddess of Health, in Greek called Hygeia.
It’s where the word hygiene derived from in the English language.
Her father was the great God of health Asclepius holding a staff with the serpent wrapped around it. Till this day his staff is still used as a medical symbol all over the world.
The symbol of Goddess Hygeia is reserved for pharmaceuticals. It is the chalice with the snake wrapped around it.
The Caduceus that is mistaken as a medical symbol is actually the symbol of the God Hermes. This trend began in the US in the 19th and 20th century.
Hermes was the God of commerce, travel and messages. He was especially popular in the underworld, heralding messages back and forth from the underworld, to the middle world and the upper worlds.
The serpent as the healer has been used throughout time in various cultures and religions across the globe. It was believed that the poison from the serpent in certain doses could be used as medicine.
In fact these ancients were not too far from the truth. Modern science is discovering that venom from snakes and spiders can treat anything from cancer, nervous disorders to blood pressure.
Now I’m sure I don’t need to mention that PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. Science has devised a way of extracting and converting this venom to be conducive to our health, otherwise it is toxic and lethal.
But what you can try is this beautiful prayer to the Goddess of health Hygeia Herself imploring her powers and assistance to support you and your loved ones in times of need.
May the Goddess Hygeia Bless You.
After many millennia the Greeks still mention her name, before and after a meal, at leaving and arriving. Στην υγειά μας! (Stin igia mas!) -Translating to our Health- or Our Goddess of Health.
This will be the only post for today. Please light a candle in memory of the people and animals who have died over the centuries to keep the restof of us safe.
May those who remember rest peacefully in the Summerlands.
May their family and friends find comfort and support to help ease their grief.
So mote it be.
Written by Hypatia
For Coven Life
Who was Orpheus?
In the ancient world of Hellenism, Orpheus was a legendary musician, poet, psycho pomp, dream Iatromantis (shaman) and prophet who was later associated with the Orphic Mysteries .
His Oracular abilities were translated through his music and poetry, mesmerizing all animate and inanimate beings on this planet and beyond. People, animals, plants, water bodies, rocks, mountains all succumbed to his lullabies produced through his poetry and music. Some of the most beautiful hymns ever created and still used to this day during various Pagan Ceremonies dedicated to the God’s were written by Orpheus. These hymns were also later used in the Eleusinian Mysteries.
There are many versions translated of the Orphic Hymns. As I have been reading Hymns of Orpheus by Thomas Taylor I will include this version.
This hymn is dedicated to the Goddess Nyx (Night).
Each Hymn is performed with a specific fumigation. In other words the burning of. In this case it is the burning of torches. Other Hymns may request the burning or certain resins, spices, herbs, all in the honor and dedication to the Gods.
(The Fumigation with Torches- We can also use candles)
“NIGHT, parent goddess, source of sweet repose,
From whom at first both Gods and men arose,
Hear, blessed Venus, deck’d with starry light,
In sleep’s deep silence dwelling Ebon night!
Dreams and soft case attend thy dusky train,
Pleas’d with the length’ned gloom and feaftful strain.
Dissolving anxious care, the friend of Mirth,
With darkling coursers riding round the earth.
Goddess of phantoms and of shadowy play,
Whose drowsy pow’r divides the nat’ral day:
By Fate’s decree you constant send the light
To deepest hell, remote from mortal sight
For dire Necessity which nought withstands,
Invests the world with adamantine bands.
Be present, Goddess, to thy suppliant’s pray’r,
Desir’d by all, whom all alike revere,
Blessed, benevolent, with friendly aid
Dispell the fears of Twilight’s dreadful shade.”
So who was the Goddess NYX?
She was the Greek primordial Goddess of the Night.
Nyx is the wife of Chaos and is known by many names, Grandmother Spider, Dawn, Kuan Yin, Earth Mother, Gaia…….
Hers sons where Oneiros (dream), Hypnos (sleep) and Thanatos (death). They are siblings for a reason as they are all one and the same.
It is said that every night we sleep we fall into an ethereal death. This is the land of the ‘Dream Shaman’ a place where the Iatromantis goes to heal and be healed and to commune with the spirit world. This was practiced thought the Orphic and the Eleusinian mysteries.
I have explained the significance of dreaming further in a recent post I did about ‘The dream world of a Witch’.
In the Hymn above, Orpheus compares Venus with Nyx. Venus therefore in the sensible world is the same as Nyx (Night) in the intelligible.
Orpheus also mentions the ‘Fates’ known as Moirai. These are 3 and are known as Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos. They were the weaving Goddesses that assigned individual destinies to mortals at birth.
Another Goddess he mentions is Necessity that was known as Ananke
Ananke or Necessity was responsible for splitting the Primordial Egg to create the order of the Universe. This is known as the Orphic Egg
I will try and do further posts of various Orphic Hymns and explain a little bit about each.
I encourage you to use these Hymns during your dedications, they truly are a wonderful way to honor the energies of the Gods.
I woke to see Ra shinning down on us after being buried behind nasty storm clouds for the past week. The temperature is a balmy 70F with Air providing g a gentle breeze. The only drawback is for those of us allergic to mold spores which are out in full force. I’ll still take this gift of this beautiful day and I just take some allergy medicine. I’m writing this while sitting outside watching my almost 4-year-old grandson play. Plus because of the Maple tree in their yard, I was able to explain where big trees come from. The seed from any Maple tree has about a 1/2 inch seed encased in a thing that looks like a wing sort of. As kids, we called them “whirlybirds.” There was also a couple of small new birth twigs with 3 different size leaves on them, so we talked about how trees and the leaves on them start out small like any baby and geta bigger as they get older.
Whirlybird/Maple tree seed pod
Then we watched, played, and talked about where ants live and what they might eat. I had yo hold in my laughter when he asked me if I would make lunch for the ant so the 2 of them could have a picnic. LOL
Next came the different birds he pointed out. Some of them I could tell him the name of others not. Time for grandma to learn the names of the birds that are in this area.
The most important part of these in prompt to lessons was how important it is to respect everything that is gifted to us by Mother Earth/Gaia and that we should live in harmony with the plants, animals, birds, insects, etc that are around us instead of helping to destroy our Blessed Mother. When school is out for summer and break it is time for me to take these 2 grandsons, the one I’m with has a 6-year-old brother, on walks with trash bags in hand to pick up whatever garbage other people leave out of laziness, apathy, and zero respect for the living breathing entity shaped like a huge ball floating in space as a solitary planet called me earth by those who don’t realize she is the Mother that nurtures us.
I ask that where ever you may go by foot or bicycle to please take some type of disposable bag with you, you know the ones you have to bring groceries and other things home in, and either gloves and/or hand sanitizer than pick up behind those that are less caring about our Mother than I know you are. I use desirable bags for shopping now I like many are on a tight budget, even tighter now with buying WOTC, so each month I saved my change in a container and than counted before leaving to go shopping the next month. Whatever it added up to I would use it to buy as many reusable shopping bags as I could. I even saved enough over 2 months to be able to have an insulated bag for my freezer stuff. Now I’m saving to get another insulated bag for refrigerator stuff. That way if my hubby and I have other errands to run I do not have the to be concerned about as much with possible spoilage or melting.
My brain feels like its gotten scrambled from looking at so many websites yesterday, last night, and this morning… but shhhhh don’t tell anyone. Yeah me I got my first real post one WOTC this morning so that’s a step in the right direction I think. My almost 4-year-old grandson whom I am watching today and tomorrow came up from playing downstairs and I was scrubbing my face with my hands trying to wake up more. As they say the truth from the mouth of babes he said, “Grandma you need to go nite, nite.” Can’t really argue the point with him after only 3 hours sleep. So now you have some idea of my mindset…bed – sleep – dream…POP the bubble goes and I am back to reality hence the need for a new affirmation mantra which is “I am strong and intelligent enough to do this!” The “this” is overseen WOTC and CL websites, Coven Life’s online witchcraft school and online coven. Another of my favorite affirmations is “Positive thoughts and deeds lead to positive results in your life.”
Again I ask you for patience with the post I am putting up this week while I am trying to figure out a new routine so neither Coven Life or Witches of The Craft websites go down in quality. A HUGE thank you to Priestess Hypatia, my right-hand witch here on Coven Life, for taking over some of the day to day things I do while I get used to posting on WOTC.
I wish each of you to be blessed with a restful slumber and a pleasant journey in your dreams.