Hymns to the Hellenic Gods

I have a complicated relationship to Hellenic paganism—my relationship to religion in general is pretty complicated, and eventually deserves an essay on here—but it is the sort of complicated relationship that often leads to poetry. I’ve included several of my poems addressing the Greek gods below: they focus particularly on Hestia, who I have felt an increasing connection to of late, but it’s worth noting that some of them, particularly my approach to Hekate, may be a bit idiosyncratic.

The poems below include two dedicated to Hestia: “Of Hestia and the Hearth,” written for some friends’ Imbolc ritual, and “Eldest and Youngest.” The former was written for some friends’ Imbolc ritual, and addresses the myth that Hestia gave up her seat among the Twelve Olympians to Dionysus to “preserve harmony” or something along those lines. The latter addresses her title as “Oldest and Youngest,” which comes from her being the first-born of Rhea and Kronos’s children, and thus the first swallowed and last vomited up by Kronos.

“Of Hestia and the Hearth”

“Eldest and Youngest”

“Hymn and Prayer for the Athenian New Year” was written for use at a Athenian New Year ritual run by a Hellenic pagan group. It’s the only time I’ve ever attended a formally-organized Hellenic ritual, as opposed to my own occasional personal practice.

“Hymn and Prayer for the Athenian New Year”

“Samhain Prayer (to Hekate and Persephone)” is a poem about Hekate as psychopomp and Persephone as Queen of the Dead, despite the fact that Samhain is a Celtic holiday, and I don’t think the Greeks associated late October/early October with the dead in particular.

“Samhain Prayer (to Hekate and Persephone)”

“A Song for Four Goddesses” is notable in that it’s a rewrite of sorts of Rudyard Kipling’s “A Song to Mithras”, focusing on four goddesses I feel connections to and the differing parts of human life I associate them with.

“A Song for Four Goddesses”