2018 Khalkeia: Opening Hymns

“Offering to Hestia”
by Mari Shahrizai
from Laureate

Make your offerings, father, mother
children, beloved. At the hearth,
say her name, eldest daughter
of mighty Kronos and mother Rhea.
Bring her the first taste and the last,
the origin and source of our well-being.


“Rondeau to Athena Agoraia”
by Alexeigynaix

Athena of the Marketplace,
Where coins and craftwork interlace
And people one another meet
In booths, or passing on the street—
It almost is a sacred space.

With artisans here to showcase
Their works of art—jewelry, a vase—
Protect and guide us, I entreat,
Athena of the Marketplace.

The open air, debate’s birthplace,
With new ideas to embrace,
Where no one is all that elite
And minds may change in a heartbeat—
Protect and keep this common place,
Athena of the Marketplace.


“Strong-armed Hephaistos, maker of miracles”
by Hearthstone
from In Praise of Olympus

Strong-armed Hephaistos, maker of miracles,
creator of the inconceivable, deviser
of clever machines, from your skillful hands
come intricacies undreamt of, gold and jewels
to please a goddess. Artisans and blacksmiths,
craftsmen and wrights of every trade, all look to you
for insight and revelation, all feel your hand
upon their own when in need of inspiration.
Hephaistos, visionary, you see beyond
what is practical, beyond what is beautiful.
In your hands molten metal flows like water,
takes its form like clay, swift and precise, each work
becoming more than what it is, each piece instilled
with the spark of the divine. Deep-hearted god,
Hephaistos, I praise you for the gifts you grant us,
I praise you for the ideal of artistry.


“To the Titanic Muses”
by P. Sufenas Virius Lupus
from Seasons of Grace

Three daughters of Gaia and Ouranos,
of the broad-brimming earth and speckled heaven,
were Melete, Mneme, and Aiode.
But soon, two more came forth:
Arche and Thelisinoe, the completion,
for without them, practice was aimless,
memory was endless, and song was soulless.
But with a beginning, practice and song
could be distinguished from one another,
and what was remembered was clear
from what was extraneous to music,
and songs delighted the ears of all
and brought words to common thoughts
within the thrall of rhythm and melody.
The five Muses of the Titans made their age,
the Golden Age under Kronos,
an endless period of pleasure and beauty,
for there was no epic or lyric,
no ill stars above nor tragedies,
no comedies or dances (save in war),
but all was united through notes and tunes
in a continuous hum of peaceful mien.


excerpted from “An Artist’s Prayer”
by Alexeigynaix
from Seasons of Grace

I seek not to command but to entreat,
because, artist myself, the last thing I
could want is to offend my muse. It’s meet
that I give back to you, though I am shy,
what you, O Muses, kindly gave to me.
I thank you, and I mean to use it well.
For I believe that creativity
is meant for great things: stories ours to tell,
in the artistic medium we need
to tell the story best. The world is quite
imperfect; it’s our sacred task to feed
the good parts so that they grow strong and bright,
to starve the bad parts so that they will fade.
I thank you, Muses, for this art I’ve made.
Sing, queens of art!