Third Night of Anthesteria
This ritual is in honor of Hermes Psychopompus…who guides the souls of the dead to the Underworld.
A pitcher of Red Rose Tea is made at least two hours prior to the ritual and is cooled. The spring water for purification is poured one hour before the rite and sits on the altar while the Hiereus/Hiereia prepares their bodies. The Ancestor’s Cup or libation dish has been moved to the altar the morning prior to this rite as they are the main focus of the ritual.
The participants, after purifying themselves carry the offerings to the altar. The flames of Helios and Selene are lit:
Helios, the Sun! Selene, the Moon!
Divine protectors of all those who walk beneath Thee
Upon the blessed Gaia;
Come down and bless me with your protection during this
Sacred act of holy sacrifice!
Hestia’s flame is lit:
Hestia, you who tend the sacred dwelling
Of the far-shooting lord, Apollon, at holy Pytho,
From your tresses flowing oil ever drips down.
Come into this house! Come in gentle spirit
With resourceful Zeus and grant grace to my song!
(Homeric Hymn to Hestia)
The Hiereus sprinkles the khernips around the altar.
Oh Great Lord Apollon who makes everything pure! Let your waters cleanse and consecrate this sacred space, making it free of all the profane!
Ekas, Ekas! Este bebeloi!
The khernips is then placed outside of the ritual space as it is now impure.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:
I come now before the blessed Hermes Psychopompus!
And also before my Ancestors and their everlasting spirits!
To sing praises to Them and be merry
To be thankful for the gifts they have given me,
And to honor them with joy, prayers and sacrifice!
I praise you, bright Hermes, clever son of great Zeus.
On the day you were born was your craftiness known,
You whose cattle-theft angered brother Apollon,
Whose quick words appeased Him, whose lyre-gift made Him friend.
Bringer of luck, good fortune ever follows you,
Who is so dear to merchant and gambler alike.
Friend of travelers, you watch us on our journeys,
Honored Hermes, and see us safely home once more,
Fleet-footed one whose agile wit may accomplish
What strength and wisdom cannot. God of the crossroads
Guide of the dead, messenger of the blessed Gods,
Hermes so swift and sure, I praise and honor you.
(To Hermes by Hearthstone)
Blessed Hermes, who has for millennia guided countless souls
To their final resting place,
You who are the eternal messenger of Gods and men alike;
See that my prayers go to their proper destinations.
Help me to enhance my life with games and other forms
Of entertaining pleasure so that when it is my turn to be guided by you I will have a good life to look back upon;
Before you lead me back to the world of the living to live once again
And experience a new existence, if that is what’s in store for me.
My Dear Ancestors,
You who have been there all of my life,
Aiding me in the directions I have taken,
Protected me from those who have wished me harm,
And blessed those who have made my life full of joy.
Look upon me now and grant your approval of my boyfriend,
Gordon. And help us to maintain a happy relationship
Full of joy and laughter.
The cards are taken off of the shine and prepare for a divination. This is done directly on the floor below the altar. Unlike the usual divinations which are done upon the altar.
Ancestors, if you would have anything to say to me,
Bless these cards of art with your wisdom and your knowledge.
I welcome all of your conversations.
Hiereus draws the invoking pentagram over the offerings with the sacrificial knife:
I bring you gifts!
See these things,
And partake of them as you will!
A handful of barley is sprinkled into the cauldron with the incense.
For You, Hestia, the first and last!
Spring water is poured into the libation cup. The participants take a sip:
Sponde Hermes Psychopompos!
Participants pour the rest into the libation dish. Spring water is poured into the cup again. The participants sip:
Participants pour the rest into the Ancestor’s cup.
Holy Immortals, my rite has ended. If it be your will, I shall come again unto your altars, bearing offerings and sacrifices; singing hymns of praise and thanksgiving!
Khairete! I rejoice!