Samhain Prayer
(to Hekate and Persephone)

This poem, addressing Hekate as psychopomp, is rather non-traditional, since Hermes usually takes that role, and since I don’t believe that the mid-Autumn cross-quarter day was particularly associated with the dead by the Greeks. However, I was inspired by reading the Homeric Hymn to Demeter and noting its focus on Hekate and Persephone’s close friendship and Hekate’s role of escorting her friend between the underworld and her mother’s house twice yearly. (Note: “kore” means “maiden” and is a traditional form of address for Persephone.)

“Samhain Prayer (to Hekate and Persephone)”
31 October 2018, in Catonsville, Maryland

Hekate, you who bear your torches high
and guide your cousin ‘tween her realms:
we ask your blessing and your aid
for all who cross the mighty Styx.

Please join swift Hermes in his rounds
to help them leave the many cares
that keep the dead still bound to life,
and let them find a place of rest
within the Host of Many’s halls.

Kore, you who go to rule the dead
and bring us spring on your return:
we ask your blessing and your aid
for all who cross the mighty Styx.

As autumn’s failing plants make mulch
to feed the springtime’s burst of growth,
please help your shadowed subjects fade
and free their breath and all their worth
to follow you to sunny realms.

Dear cousins of the spring and night,
of death and torches shining bright:
our lives must end and be forgot,
but grant that Life shall still go on.