Sacrifices to Leto, Pythian Apollo, Zeus, Hermes and the Dioskuri

This is from my old blog, The Geekie Hellenist.

This is my ritual for this holiday. Note: This one will be pretty long and so if you are not connected to any of these deities then you might want to skip it. I hope that you do enjoy it and that the gods will bless you.

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 Hermes know that your here by saying, “Hermes, hear me”  This isn’t a command, this is letting him know that your here. Say his titles (if you know them) and then tell him which offerings, if any, that you’ve made to him. Also let him know of any thing that he’s done for you. It’s a kind reminder that you still remember what he’s granted you and what you’ve offered to him in the past. Now tell him what you intend to give to him and make sure that you have the offerings there.

5) 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.”

6) 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.

7) 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!

8) Let Leto know that your here by saying, “Leto, hear me”  This isn’t a command, this is letting her know that your here. Say her titles (if you know them) and then tell her which offerings, if any, that you’ve made to her. Also let her know of any thing that she’s done for you. It’s a kind reminder that you still remember what she’s granted you and what you’ve offered to her in the past. Now tell her what you intend to give to her and make sure that you have the offerings there.

9) Let Apollo know that your here by saying, “Apollo, hear me”  This isn’t a command, this is letting him know that your here. Say his titles, (if you know them), and then tell him which offerings, if any, that you’ve made to him. Also let him know of any thing that he’s done for you. It’s a kind reminder that you still remember what he’s granted you and what you’ve offered to him in the past. Now tell him what you intend to give to him and make sure that you have the offerings there.

10) I call to Apollo, radiant and beautiful god, son of fair Leto and lightning 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 lovers were yours, bright Apollo, and many noble sons and daughters; father of kind Asklepos, 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.

11) Shining Apollo, bright-haired son of Zeus, strong of arm and flawless of form, of all the gods none are your equal in beauty or grace.

Apollo, of Leto were you born on well-favored Delos; in Athens and in Sparta and in all the lands were you honored.

To you did men and women offer prayers for health and healing in days of old; to you did the poets call for inspiration, O leader of the lovely Muses.

Apollo, driver of all ills and evil from the land, in Delphi were you served by the faithful Pythia, with whom you shared your prophecies.

Apollo, never has your glory been forgotten; throughout the centuries have artists turned to you for light and vision.

Great god, I praise you and your gifts.

12) Phoebus, of you even the swan sings with clear voice to the beating of his wings, as he alights upon the bank by the eddying river Peneus; and of you the sweet tongued minstrel, holding his high-pitched lyre, always sings both first and last.

And so hail to you, lord! I seek your favor with my song.

13) Let Zeus know that your here by saying, “Zeus, hear me”  This isn’t a command, this is letting him know that your here. Say his titles, which is Ktesios (storeroom) and Herkeios (courtyard) and then tell him which offerings, if any, that you’ve made to him. Also let him know of any thing that he’s done for you. It’s a kind reminder that you still remember what he’s granted you and what you’ve offered to him in the past. Now tell him what you intend to give to him and make sure that you have the offerings there.

14) I call to great Zeus, father of the deathless gods, ruler of bright Olympos, master of storms, child of mighty Kronos and deep-hearted Rhea, consort of blessed Hera of the splendid eyes.

Ancient Zeus, honored in Crete so long ago and well known in high-reaching Arcadia, all-knowing Zeus of Dodona and Didyma whose wisdom was granted to seekers of old, Zeus of the broad sky, Zeus of the marketplace, Zeus of the householder, Zeus of the city.

Protector of the just, avenger of the wronged, friend of the stranger and of the traveler, friend of the guest and the generous host.

Zeus whose eye is ever on the world, whose hand is ever in our lives, great Zeus, I call to you.

15) Father Zeus, defender of cities, defender of homes, defender of the traveler, of those far from home, of those who rely on the refuge of civilization; kindly Zeus who watches the world, friend of the fates, giver of good fortune, by your good will are our larders full, our children strong, our minds and bodies  sound and vital; Zeus, from whom all good derives, whose gifts are sought by all, who knows our troubles and our joys, who hears our calls, who answers them with wisdom and with care; oh Zeus, whose wrath falls on the wrong-doer, whose blessings come to those who are fair-minded and good of heart, who stands behind the guest and the stranger, I praise you!

16) I will sing of Zeus, chiefest among the gods and greatest, all-seeing, the lord of all, the fulfiller who whispers words of wisdom to Themis as she sits leaning towards him. Be gracious, all seeing Son of Cronos, most excellent and great.

18) Let the Dioskuri know that your here by saying, “Dioskuri, hear me”  Tell them what offerings, if any, that you have given them and why your here.

19)  Give Food Offering, saying, “I offer this food as a sacrifice, to Zeus, the Dioscuri, to Pythian Apollo, Leto, and to Hermes

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

21) Pray to gods.

22) 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.