This modern system of daily devotions blends material from two sources: Hesiod's sacred month, as described in his Works and Days, and the Orphic Hymns. Although the theology of the Orphic Hymns is sometimes at odds with the more mainstream beliefs of the polis, using the collection has the advantage that every major divinity, and many minor ones, will be honored during the month. Other hymns may of course be substituted at the individual's discretion. The numbers given for the hymns correspond to those in Apostolos N. Athanassakis, The Orphic Hymns: Text, Translation and Notes (n.p.: Scholars Press, 1977). Numbering conventions differ slightly between editions, so if you are using any edition of the hymns other than the Athanassakis, please refer to this page to help match up your edition's hymn numbers with those used on this site.
Morning and Evening Devotions
Wash hands and face
Wash hands and face
A shortened version of the devotions may be done by simply lighting a candle, reading "Orpheus to Mousaios," saying any personal prayers, and extinguishing the candle.
Monthly Hymn Cycle
(1) Days mentioned by Hesiod as sacred to specific deities are marked.
The Orphic Hymns specify particular types of incense to be offered to each deity. In cases where one is saying multiple hymns with differing instructions, one might either choose a single type or make a blend of all those indicated. Pure frankincense makes a good all-purpose offertory incense.
The incense specifications from the Orphic text are as follows:
Frankincense: Apollon, Ares, Artemis, Asklepios, Bakkhai, Dike, Eos, Hephaistos, Herakles, Hermes, Hygeia, Kouretes, Muses, Nike, Satyros, Silenos, Tethys, Themis, Titans
Myrrh: Leto, Nereus, Poseidon
Storax: Chthonic Hermes, Dionysos, Eleusinian Demeter, Erinues (also frankincense), Graces, Kronos, Semele, Zeus
Aromatic Herbs: Adonis, Athena, Eros, Eumenides, Fates, Hera, Hestia, Horai, Nereids, Nymphs, Okeanos, Rhea
Various: Mother of the Gods, Pan, Chthonic Dionysos (any except frankincense), Gaia (any grain; no beans or aromatic herbs)
No Incense (underworld deities): Hekate, Nemesis, Persephone, Plouton
This article originally appeared on Andrew Campbell's Nomos Arkhaios site which is currently on hiatus.
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