Sacrifices to the Nymphai, Akhelōos, Hermēs, Athēna, and Gaia.

This is from my old blog, the Geekie Hellenist.

This is the ritual for this festival. I hope that you enjoy them and thanks for reading.

1) 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) Let Athena know that your here. Use any titles and what you’ve given to her in the past.

5) Do an Invocation to Athena.

I call to Athena, clear-eyed daughter of Zeus; from his head you burst forth, all in brilliant armor, a warrior from your first breath, born with all the skill, all the insight, all the guile of an old warlord.

In ancient times were you well honored, goddess; in every town your name was spoken with love and reverence; above all in Athens, the finest of cities, did you receive the greatest devotion.

Bolt Athena whose favor falls on the brave and on the clever, who hones the wit of the scholar and quickens the nimble fingers of the artisan, who offers counsel reasoned and reflective, farsighted builder of cities who leads humanity towards concord and community, granter of the gift of civilization, I call to you.

6) Do a Prayer to Athena

Steel-eyed Athena, wisest of goddess, daughter of thundering Zeus and Metis of good counsel, patron of great heroes and adventurers, advisor of princes and kings, your favor falls on the bold and the clever, on those who dare and those who tempt the noble Fates.

Athena, weaver of the finest, fairest tapestries, teacher of art and craft to mortal artisans, worker of metals, your soft hands guide the flow of molten ore.

Leader of battles, warrior maid, of tactics and of strategy you know all, of clever trickery and wiles you are the master; with words and wit you may win much, with strength of arm and sharpened sword, at need, you take all contests.

Athena of wisdom, Athena of skills, goddess of the agile mind, for your works I praise you.

7) Do a Hymn to Athena

Of Pallas Athene, guardian of the city, I begin to sing. Dread is she, and with Ares she loves deeds of war, the sack of cities and the shouting of the battle. It is she who saves the people as they go out to war and come back.

Hail, goddess, and give us good fortune with happiness.

8) Let Hermes know that your here by saying, “Hermes, hear me” Use any titles that he has and remind him of what offerings that you’ve given to him and what he’s done for you.

9) Do an Invocation to Hermes

“I call to Hermes, son of thundering Zeus and gracious Maia, fair of face and kind of heart; father of Tyche, granter of serendipity.

In rugged Arcadia, land of your birth, were you well known and praised by one and all; in all the ancient world did you receive honors.

Throughout the land stood herms and mounded stones, at crossroads and at boundaries, in all the far-flung provinces, marking the path and holding your gift of fortune, Far-journeying Hermes, guide of the traveler, fleet-footed god of merchants, god of gamblers and thieves and all who live by wit and while and clever words, master of discretion and finesse.

Hermes, protector of the home, provider of feast and frolic, courier of dreams, kind Hermes, I call to you.”

10) Do a Prayer to Hermes.

Hermes of the ready wit and the lightning smile, wing-footed one who carries the words of the gods, compassionate one who guides the newly-dead to the halls of Hades and fair Persephone, quick-thinking one who takes interest in the world and works of mankind, whose hand we see in the run of luck and a clever scheme, I call to you.

Hermes, bearer of the herald’s staff, your gifts are great.

You guard the homes with constancy and care, you grant to us a portion of your own craft and while, you join with us when we revel and are merry, you stand with us when we are far from home, alone.

You are ever with us, O Hermes; O god who holds in hand the good of men, I honor you.

11) Do the Hymn to Hermes

“I sing of Cyllenian Hermes, Slayer of Argus, lord of Cyllene and Arcadia rich in flocks, luck-bringing messenger of the deathless gods. He was born of Maia, the daughter of Atlas, when she had made love to Zeus,–a shy goddess she. Ever she avoided the throng of the blessed gods and lived in a shadowy cave, and there the Son of Cronos used to lie with the rich-tressed nymph at dead of night, while white-armed Hera lay bound in sweet sleep: and neither deathless god nor mortal man knew it.

And so hail to you, Son of Zeus and Maia; with you I have begun: now I will turn to another song!

Hail, Hermes, giver of grace, guide, and giver of good things!

12) Let Gaia know that your here. Use any titles that she has and let her know what offerings you’ve given her.

13) Do a Invocation to Gaia.

I call to Gaia, broad-bosomed mother of all; from Chaos were you born, goddess, first among the gods. Mighty Ouranos you made, gentle Gaia, to be your mate, to father your many offspring. Great are your children, mother of Titans, mother of giants, each one dear to your great heart. In every province you receive due honors, for every city you provide a steady seat. Gaia, you stand witness to the oaths of men, you give your counsel with the voice of the seer, your vengeance falls on those who profane the ground with blood wrongly shed. Within you lie the honored dead who receive, with you, libations of sweet wine; within you lie the roots and seeds that bring us all to life. Gaia, I call to you.

14) Do a Prayer to Gaia

Gaia, elder god, first among the worthy ones, first out of the void, who brought all things into being, kind-hearted goddess, loving mother of many; broad-bosomed Gaia, home to all who breathe your sweet air, benevolent one, we look, go to you for comfort, for solace in sorrow, for counsel in chaos, we seek your wisdom, we seek your foreknowledge, for you have ever been and ever will be, so long as we have walked upon your sod and stone, so long as we have shared in your bounty, so long as we have lived, have we known you, and have we relied upon your goodness and compassion.

Gaia, gracious one, upholder of order, we have drunk of your clear, clean water, goddess; we have eaten of your fruit, we have taken of your riches.

Gaia, from whom all life arose, we thank you for your gifts; we thank you for your blessings.

15) Do a hymn to Gaia

I will sing of well-founded Earth, mother of all, eldest of all beings. She feeds all creatures that are in the world, all that go upon the goodly land, and all that are in the paths of the seas, and all that fly: all these are fed of her store. Through you, O queen, men are blessed in their children and blessed in their harvests, and to you it belongs to give means of life to mortal men and to take it away. Happy is the man whom you delight to honour! He has all things abundantly: his fruitful land is laden with corn, his pastures are covered with cattle, and his house is filled with good things. Such men rule orderly in their cities of fair women: great riches and wealth follow them: their sons exult with ever-fresh delight, and their daughters in flower-laden bands play and skip merrily over the soft flowers of the field. Thus is it with those whom you honour O holy goddess, bountiful spirit.

(ll. 17-19) Hail, Mother of the gods, wife of starry Heaven; freely bestow upon me for this my song substance that cheers the heart! And now I will remember you and another song also.

16) Let Akhelōos know that your here. Since I don’t know the titles you’ll have to figure that one out yourself.

17) There is no invocation, that I’ve found, to him.

18) To a Prayer to Akheloos

This is my own prayer to him. You may use it, if you like. “God Akheloos, horn pulled off by Heracles. May you rain down your plenty upon us, humble mortals. On this, your festival, may we always have what we need but not what we want.”

19) There’s no hymn to him, not that I’ve found.

20) Let the Nymphs know that your here by saying, “Nymphs, hear me” This isn’t a command, this is letting them know that your here. The Nymphs have no titles, but if they have done anything for you then let them know that you still remember. Make sure that you have the offerings ready.

21) Say a prayer to the Nymphs.

“I praise the lovely nymphs, maids ever fair who dance and play, friends of the beasts, companions of the gods, in all the wild world we see you, see your might in the work of the wind, hear your voice in sweet birdsong.

Blessed ones, in the wilderness you make your home; each tree, each stone, each winding river, in all of these we find you.

The field of flowers, gaudy, rich with scent; the free-growing forest, artful yet unwrought; the shady grove famed by arching oaks; the moss that clings to stump and stone, all these you touch, all these you shape with skillful hand and artist’s eye.

Lovely ones, gracious ones whose gifts are well-sought, I honor you.

22) Offering Incense, saying, “I offer this incense, as I’ve done before, in names of the gods.

23) Give Food Offering, saying, “I offer this food as a sacrifice, as I’ve done before in the names of the gods.

24) Pour libations to the gods. Remember: Hestia gets first and last libations.

25) Pray to gods, if you want, or meditate.

26) 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.