Lesser Mysteries

This is from my old blog, The Geekie Hellenist.

This is the Lesser Mysteries ritual. Even though I don’t consider myself a follower of Demeter and Persephone, I do honor Demeter. Thus, I will be doing this ritual. So below is the ritual and I hope that you can find use of them. This ritual, for me, is not to become a initiate but to just honor Demeter and Persephone.

Purify the Altar area.

2) Take the barley and say, “As it was done in ancient times. I purify and cleanse this altar with this barley. With this barley I purify this altar and space so that I may give offerings, libations, and speak with glory and respect the gods of Mt. Olympus.”

3) Light a candle and say a hymn to Hestia.

Hestia, you who guard the sacred shrine of the Lord Apollon. The far-darter at goodly Pathos. With soft oil dripping ever from your locks. Come now to this house, come having one mind with Zeus the all wise-draw near, and with all bestow favor upon my song.”

Prayer to Hestia

Hestia, gracious goddess who sits at the heart of each home, who lives in the heart of each one who reveres you, each one who holds you dear, each one who turns to you for strength and harmony.

Hestia, goddess most needful, goddess most serene, goddess most esteemed, the heart of the city is yours as well, great goddess; within your realm are those who serve the state, who work for all the good of all–your blessings fall on the honest, goddess, your wrath on the corrupt, on those who betray their trust for gain. Defender of the householder, guardian of the hearthfire, Hestia, I praise and honor you.

4) Tell Demeter and Persephone that your here by saying, “Demeter, hear me,” and “Persephone, hear me.” This isn’t a command, but telling them that your here. Tell them why your here and if you have given them anything, let them know what kinds of offerings that you’ve given. If they have done anything for you, then let them know as well.

5) Do an Invocation to Demeter.

“I call to Demeter, great lady of the land, friend of the farmer, sustainer of mankind, daughter of deep-hearted Rhea and wily Kronos, loving mother of rich-tressed Persephone.

In Ancient times were you honored by country folk above all others; in all the provinces did men and women pray to you and ask your blessing.

Goddess, we see your hand in the rows of golden grain, in heavy-fruited trees, in fields of scarlet poppies blooming amongst the barley, in the passing of seasons, in the fury of a mother wronged.

Demeter, lauded in storied Eleusis, mistress of those cherished mysteries and sacred rites, by your might and your compassion do we endure, do we live our lives.

Demeter, I call to you.”

6) Do a Hymn to Demeter

I begin to sing of rich-haired Demeter, awful goddess, of her and her daughter lovely Persephone.

Hail, goddess! Keep this city safe, and govern my song.

7) Do a prayer to Demeter

Fair-haired Demeter, daughter of nimble-footed Rhea, grandchild of deep-hearted Gaia, mother of bright-eyed Persephone: in you, as in them all, is the soul of the earth.

The golden grain is yours, O Demeter, and the heavy fruited trees, the dark rich soil and the seeds that hide within.

Friend of the farmer, friend of all who rely on your goodness and kindness, your gift of growth, your gift of bread, your gift of all our lives.

Demeter, bountiful lady, with each spring’s greening of the land you give us hope; with each rich harvest that hope is answered.

Demeter, good mother, I praise you.

8) Do a Invocation to Persephone

“I call to Persephone, fair child of Demeter and thundering Zeus, springtime-loving goddess, light-footed goddess, in fields of flowers you dance; the lovely nymphs are your dearest companions.

Beloved bride of noble Hades, gracious mistress of the deep underworld, of such stark beauty and tranquil majesty, queen of ghosts, advocate of the dead.

Always beauty surrounds you, goddess, whether with your feet amidst the brightest blossoms, the light of ever-watchful Helios bright against your unbound hair as you roam the green meadows, or enthroned in splendor beneath the earth among the brilliant stones, the gold and silver that were your bride-gift.

Blessed Persephone, who knows much of life and much of death, I call to you.

9) Do a Hymn to Persephone

Persephone, Daughter of Zeus, blessed
Only begotten, gracious Goddess, receive this good offering,
Much honoured, you, overpowered by Pluto, you are beloved and lifegiving,
You hold the doors of Hades under the depths of the earth;
Transactor of Justice, your beloved hair the sacred olive branch of the enemy
Mother of the Eumenides, Queen of the Underworld, You, maiden from Zeus through secret begetting.


Mother of loud-shouting, many-shaped Bacchus.
Playmate of the moving seasons, lightbringing, of beautiful form,
Holy, ruler of all, maiden, showering fruits,
Radiant, horned, you alone are longed for by mortals.
You are Spring, delighting in fragrant meadows
Your sacred body appears to us in growing fruits and branches.

Raped into your marriage bed in the late autumn
You alone are life and death to distressed mortals.
Persephone. You are forever the nourisher and the death bringer.

Listen, blessed Goddess and send up fruits from the earth
In peace, flourishing in health from your soothing hand;
And, in life abundance, leading to richness of old age
Then to your realm O Sovereign, and to powerful Pluto.

10) Do a prayer to Persephone

Fair-haired Persephone, daughter of Demeter, friend of the nymphs, merry-hearted girls who dance bearefooted and play, carefree, in grassy fields, wreathed in bright spring flowers.

The joy of life is yours, goddess, the comfort of sun on skin, the dear bonds of friendship, the refuge of a mother’s love.

Well-crowned Persephone, bride of noble Hades, queen of the afterworld, clothed in fine silks, adorned with jewels, enthroned in glory, friend to those who have passed from this world into yours, advocate of the dead and the wronged.

Kindly Persephone, womanly one, of transformation do you know much, of the ways of the earth do you know much; of the life after life do you know much.

Gracious goddess, friend of mortals, I praise you and thank you for your gifts.

11) Make a drawing of a piglet and tear it, burn it, or bury it. As we don’t actually sacrifice baby pigs anymore.

12) Offer incense, saying, “To Demeter and Persephone, I burn this incense as an offering to you both. On this, the Lesser Mysteries.”

13) Pour Libation to them. Remember that Hestia receives first of everything. Say, “To Demeter and Persephone. I offer this libation to you both, On this, the Lesser Mysteries.”

14) Give food offering, saying, “To Demeter and Persephone. I offer this food as a sacrifice to you both. On this, the Lesser Mysteries.

15) Pray to both Demeter and Persephone.

16) End the ritual by saying, “Hestia, goddess of home and hearth, to you I offer last of all as a pious mortal should. Tend to those whom I love and guard the houses of the pious. As the gods will it, so it shall be.”

It is so!

Dump the entire container that you’ve poured your wine or grape juice into outside and then that ends it.