Skirophoria

This comes from my former blog, the Geekie Hellenist. Enjoy.

This is my ritual for Skirophoria. I hope that you find this interesting and useful.

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 Poseidon know that your here by saying, “Poseidon, hear me.” Then you list his titles and any offerings that you have given him. Also let him know why your here, which is to celebrate his birthday.

5) Do a invocation to Poseidon.

I call to Poseidon, great god of the seas, fond husband of ocean-dwelling Amphitrite, son of ancient Kronos and wild-hearted Rhea, father of noble kings and mighty heroes. In the distant days were you well known; in Crete your name was carved in clay; in Corinth were you honored well, and in all the provinces. Dark haired Poseidon, you hold in your hands the waters of the world, those briny depths that brought us all into life; that carried mankind to many lands, to gather wealth and wisdom; that nourished our furthest forebears and formed the patterns of our lives. Poseidon, maker and master of horses, trident-bearer, earth-shaker, lord of the beast of the deep, lord of the thrashing waves, sea-god, I call to you.

6) Do a Prayer to Poseidon.

Poseidon, lord of the darkest sea-depths, lord of the crashing surf, your hair wet with brine, your eyes cold and blue, keen as winter waters, you hold in your hands the life of the sailor, through fair weather or foul you guide ships to safety or ravage them with waves. Within your domain we live only by your goodness and forbearance; with ease do you lay waste to great cities, do you shake the earth till the works of men crumble.

You raise the four great winds, you hone the rain to a cutting edge, you turn the waters of your realm to cruel ice. By your might do floods destroy us, Poseidon; yours too is the deadly drought, the hard cracked dirt that signals famine and fear. Our lives depend on your balance, Poseidon, on your generous heart and open hand.

God of oceans, god of the salt of life, I praise and honor you.

7) Do a hymn to Poseidon

I begin to sing of Poseidon, mighty god of the sea. Mover of the earth and barren main, who is lord of Helicon and broad Aegae. Twofold is the honour, O Earth-shaker, which the gods have granted thee to be Tamer of Horses and Savior of ships. Hail! Poseidon, dark-haired Girder of Earth! Do thou, O Blessed God, with gracious heart aid the mariner.

8) Tell Athena that your here by saying, “Athena, Hear me,” this isn’t a commend, this is just telling Athena that your here. Use her titles (Of Ares, Warlike, Of Council, Dewfall, Of Horses, Golden), and then tell her why that your here and remind her of things that you have given her.

9) To an Evocation 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.

10) 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.

11) Do a Prayer dedicated 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.

12) Let Apollo know that your here. Say, “Apollo, here me!” This isn’t a command. Then let him know what you’ve done for him in the past and let him know why your here. Then add his titles. I’m using three of them in this ritual (Hunter, Leader of Colonies, Best) and then say your reason for being here, which is to honor him.

13) Say an Invocation to Apollo.

I call to Apollon, radiant and beautiful god, son of fair Leto and ligthning wielding Zeus, brother of swift-footed, true shooting Artemis. In ancient Delphi you lent your wisdom to all, in Delos and in far-off shrines your words did sound; across the land, in all the provinces, Phoebus, were temples raised in your name, did men and women gather in your honor, wreathed in sweet flowers, words of prayer upon their lips. Many loves were yours, bright Apollon, and many noble sons and daughters; father of kind Asklepios, your healing hand can cease the most poisonous of plagues. Apollo, we see you in beauty–in art and in song, in the perfection of numbers, in the words of poets, in the drive towards truth. Apollo, I call to you.

14) Do a Hymn to Apollo.

Of Thee, O Phoebus, even the swan sings clearly with the music of its wings, leaping on the bank by the swirling river Peneius, and of Thee with his tuneful lyre the sweet voiced minstrel ever singth first and last. Hail to thee, Oh King! I pray to thee in song.

15) Say a prayer to Apollo.

O shining Apollo, son of lightning-wielding Zeus and blessed Leto, brother of swift-footed Artemis, father of gods and galant heroes; great Apollo, whose sun-bright hair is yet unshorn, whose fair face and well-built  form, ageless and abiding, hold ever the beauty of youth.

Laurel-weathed god, child of Delos, far-shooting one whose shafts fly staight and true, you keep the evil of the world at bay, you deliver mankind from plague and disease, and yet your arrows carry death and well to men, swiftly and suddenly.

Sweet are the songs men sing to laud your name, sweet too the spark of insight, O companion of the excellent Muses.

In Delphi, O Apollo, was your name well spoken, were you well honored with gifts and libations, and you shared the words of father Zeus with men.

Apollo, protector of humanity, brilliant one, I praise and give thanks for your blessings.

16) Let Demeter know that your here by saying, “Demeter, here me.” Then mention her titles, any offerings that you have given her, and what she has done for you.

17) Do a 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 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.

18) Do a Hymn to Demeter

I begin to sing of rich-haired Demeter, awful goddess — of her and her trim-ankled daughter whom Aidoneus rapt away, given to him by all-seeing Zeus the loud-thunderer.

19) 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.

20) Pour libation to Athena, Poseidon, Apollon, and Demeter. Remember: Hestia gets first libations. Say: I offer this libation to Athena, who gave us the chariot, the loom, and things that make toiling the earth easier, to Poseidon, who created the horse, to Apollon, who warms the earth so that we can grow our crops, and Demeter, who allows crops to grow.”

21) Give food offering to Athena, Poseidon, Apollon, and Demeter, saying, “I give this food to you, the sacrifice of this going to you instead of my stomach. For I know that offerings and sacrifices must be given to you instead of devouring it myself.”

22) Offer incense, or scented oil to Athena, Poseidon, Apollon, and Demeter, saying, “I give this incense, or oil, to you. As a sacrifice of something that I could of used for myself.”

23) Pray to gods.

24) 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.

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