30 Days of Hekate: 27 – Hymns to Hekate

This post is part of a series, 30 Days of Devotion to Hekate.  It’s day 27 and today I am sharing some classic hymns to Hekate.

30 days of devotion hekate

This post was not part of the original list for the series, but as we know I merged several days and so have added this one to make up for the lack.  These 3 hymns are translations of classical texts, ranging from BCE times to about 500CE.

Orphic Hymn to Hekate

The Athanassakis translation is considered the best, being closer to word for word.  Some however prefer the Taylor translation as it is more poetic in nature.  It is up to the individual which they would prefer to use, personally I like to use both for different occasions.

The 1896 Thomas Taylor translation is no longer subject to copyright, so you can download the original version.  The hymn to Hekate is actually on the end of the Hymn to Musaeus.

Translation by Thomas Taylor

I call Einodian Hecate, lovely dame, of earthly, wat’ry, and celestial frame,
Sepulchral, in a saffron veil array’d, leas’d with dark ghosts that wander thro’ the shade;
Persian, unconquerable huntress hail! The world’s key-bearer never doom’d to fail
On the rough rock to wander thee delights, leader and nurse be present to our rites
Propitious grant our just desires success, accept our homage, and the incense bless.

Translation by Apostolos N. Athanassakis

Hekate Einodia, Trioditis, lovely dame, of earthly, watery, and celestial frame,
Sepulchral, in a saffron veil arrayed, pleased with dark ghosts that wander through the shade;
Perseis, solitary goddess, hail! The world’s key-bearer, never doomed to fail;
in stags rejoicing, huntress, nightly seen, and drawn by bulls, unconquerable queen;
Leader, Nymphe, nurse, on mountains wandering,
Hear the suppliants who with holy rites thy power revere, and to the herdsman with a favouring mind draw near.

Hymn to Hekate and Janus

Proclus Diadochus (410-485 AD)

Hail, many-named Mother of the Gods, whose children are fair
Hail, mighty Hekate of the Threshold
And hail to you also Forefather Janus, Imperishable Zeus
Hail to you Zeus most high.
Shape the course of my life with luminous Light
And make it laden with good things,
Drive sickness and evil from my limbs.
And when my soul rages about worldly things,
Deliver me purified by your soul-stirring rituals.
Yes, lend me your hand I pray
And reveal to me the pathways of divine guidance that I long for,
Then shall I gaze upon that precious Light
Whence I can flee the evil of our dark origin.
Yes, lend me your hand I pray,
And when I am weary bring me to the haven of piety with your winds.
Hail, many-named mother of the Gods, whose children are fair
Hail, mighty Hekate of the Threshold
And hail to you also Forefather Janus, Imperishable Zeus,
Hail to you Zeus most high.

Hymn to Hekate

Fragment from the play Root Cutters, Sophocles

O Lord Helios and Sacred Fire
The spear of Hekate of the Crossroads
Which she bears as she travels Olympus
And dwells in the triple ways of the holy land
She who is crowned with oak-leaves
And the coils of wild serpents.

Orphic hymn to Hekate
Orphic hymn to Hekate. Translation Thomas Taylor. Background image, public domain via wikimedia commons.

30 Days of Deity Devotion

– A basic introduction of the deity

2 – How did you become first aware of this deity?
– Symbols and icons of this deity
4 – A favourite myth or myths of this deity
5 – Members of the family – genealogical connections
6 – Other related deities and entities associated with this deity
7 – Names and epithets
8 – Variations on this deity (aspects, regional forms, etc.)
9 – Common mistakes and worst misconceptions about this deity
10 – Offerings – historical and UPG
11 – Festivals, days, and times sacred to this deity
12 – Places associated with this deity and their worship
13 – What modern cultural issues are closest to this deity’s heart?
14 – Has worship of this deity changed in modern times?
15 – Any mundane practices that are associated with this deity?
16 – How do you think this deity represents the values of their pantheon and cultural origins?
17 – How does this deity relate to other gods and other pantheons?
18 – What quality or qualities of this god do you most admire? And find the most troubling?
19 Art and music that reminds you of this deity
20 A quote, a poem, or piece of writing that you think this deity resonates strongly with
21 Your own composition – a piece of writing about or for this deity
22 – A time when this deity has helped you, and refused to help
23 How has your relationship with this deity changed over time?
24 Something you wish you knew about this deity but don’t currently
25 Any interesting or unusual UPG to share?
26 Bonus: Hekate in popular culture – TV, movies, plays, fiction books
27Bonus: Hymns to Hekate
28 – Bonus: Beginners Ritual Outline
29 – Any suggestions for others just starting to learn about this deity?
30 – Bonus: Resources and Sources about Hekate

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