This November, 2017, is the first time I will be trying to observe every single ritual that I have added into my personalised Men Kata Theion, or Sacred Month.
Day 10 is Promethean and is for Prometheus, Medea and Hekate. The reason for this is slightly obscure – but it is quite hard to find much in the way of cultus to Prometheus, so obscure is the best I could do. The tenth day is what I chose because, according to Gaius Valerius Flaccus’, Argonautica (book 7), Medea harvests the herb that grew from the blood of Prometheus on the tenth shining of the moon. This is sometimes translated to English to mean the tenth month, but it could also mean the tenth day of the lunar month. Either way, it gives me the number ten, and so I ran with it. This month the 10th day is on the evening of the 28th and continues into the day of the 29th.
Prometheus, Medea and Hekate
I have written a few times about Prometheus before – He is a fairly new part of my religion, yet He has become an extremely important part of it. He came into my life through multiple coincidences and several dreams. I have shared a post about His mythology and His aspects, but a quick recap might be helpful here.
Prometheus is a Titan God who sided with the Olympians during the Titanomachy (war between the Gods and Titans). He is cunning and known for His foresight – he can not only see the future, but is able to see what is possible based on how well He understand trickery. And He is a bit of a trickster as well. He is the creator of mankind, as well as our protector and greatest benefactor. He gave us fire, He taught us various crafts including smithing and writing, as well as some forms of divination. His theft of fire from Olympus to give to humans is what resulted in Him being chained to a mountain and having His liver torn out and eaten every day. He was eventually freed by Herakles and welcomed back by Zeus, but He also wears part of His chains in the form of a ring so that Zeus can say that Prometheus is still bound.
During her travels with Jason, the sorceress and priestess Medea was shown a magical plant by her Goddess Hekate. This plant She picked for Her magic, and when She picked it Prometheus cried out in discomfort or pain. This is because the plant grew from His blood and fluids that had fallen on the ground while He was chained.
We begin with the usual Hellenic ritual forms, preparation, procession and cleansing with Khernips. This is followed by the lighting of a ritual fire or candle/s, and the tossing of barley if you happen to do that. Then we call on the Gods to attend the ritual. Our first hymn and libation is to Hestia, which is then followed by the hymn to Prometheus and to Medea and Hekate, with libations to each of them. We finish with another libation to Hestia.
A good offering for Prometheus is fennel, as this is what He was said to have carried the forbidden fire in. For all of them, if you have any mandrake at all, I would consider that a good offering too – don’t eat any yourself though. I personally like to offer simple apples to Hekate, and so offered the same to Medea. Generic honey cakes would be perfect too. For the libations simple wine is probably the best for this odd mix of deities, but I used grape juice since I never have wine available. And for the incense I used opium, I am not sure why but it felt like the right thing to offer – but the generics would do too, frankincense for example.I call on the Gods of the Hellenes,
Deathless Ones, most glorious,
Chthonic, Oceanic, Ouranic,
Protogenoi, Titanic and Olympian.
Attend this rite and bear witness
Hail to Hestia, First and Last
Hearth Keeper, Guardian of the Home,
Accept this our first libation. Pour libation.
I call Prometheus, great Titan,
Creator and protector of man,
Cunning, clever, trickster and liar,
Bringer of the forbidden gift of fire,
Hail benefactor who suffered for us all,
Hearken to my voice, answer my call,
This offering is for you, Prometheus unbound,
To show my gratitude, for all that I have found. Pour libation.
Hail to Hekate Goddess of witches and magic,
And to Her Priestess Medea, story so tragic,
Who plucked the herb grown from Titan blood,
Father of Deucalion, survivor of the flood.
For Goddess and witch, I pour this offering,
And with these simple words, your praises I sing.
Pour libation. Light incense. Say any prayers you have, and give any offerings.
Glory to the Theoi, I offer my thanks to you. Pour libation.
And to Hestia, first and last. Pour libation.
Drink whatever remains of the libation offering (if it is potable) and eat what is left of the offerings, it’s good to share a meal or drink with the Gods. Spend some time in after ritual practice, for this day divination would be a good idea, since Prometheus helped us understand divination, Hekate is the witches Goddess and Medea is a witch. Mandrake is said to be the plant that grew from Prometheus’ blood, so if you are able to plant one of these and then pay special care to it after this ritual every month, that too would be fitting.
I have done rituals to Hekate and Prometheus before, but not together and none for Medea, so this was a new experience for me. The mix of these three together in a single ritual is perhaps a bit odd, and I am not sure that many people would consider doing this one. But it seems right to me, and divination pointed to it being right.
The most difficult aspect of this ritual was the end, sharing the food and libations. The issue is that Medea is essentially a Chthonic being, and a compromise was accepted and I drank of the libation but did not eat any of the foods I offered to Hekate and Medea, but did eat from Prometheus’ food. It makes the ritual a little complicated really, because knowing my luck I will forget this little rule at some point in the future. Hopefully it won’t be too bad though.
Outside of that issue the ritual interesting and enjoyable, even a little fun. I think the oddity of it appeals to me and Them as well, so it was quite nice.