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MUSIC FOR RITUAL


in Hellenic Polytheistic Religion

                                                       

HellenicGods.org

"...it is an act of piety and a principal concern of man to sing hymns to the Gods, who have granted articulate speech to him alone; Homer (Iliás [Iliad; Gr. Ἰλιάς] i.472-474, cited again at 1146 c, infra.) moreover adverted to this in the words:

'The Greeks made supplication to the God
All day in beauteous song, chanting a paean,
Hymning the Archer; he, well pleased, gave ear.' "

[Ploutarkhos (Plutarch; Gr. Πλούταρχος) Ithiká (Moralia or Morals; Gr. Ἠθικά) Pærí Mousikís (On Music; Gr. Περί Μουσικής) Section 2, trans. Benedict Einarson and Phillip H. De Lacy, 1967. As found in the volume entitled Plutarch's Moralia XIV, LCL 428, Harvard Univ. Press (Cambridge, MA USA) and William Heinemann (London, England UK), where this quotation may be found on p. 355. Note that the words Gods and God have here been capitalized, unlike the book.]

And from Ómiros (Homer; Gr. Ὅμηρος):

"Thus all day long the young men worshipped the God with song, hymning him and chanting the joyous paean, and the god took pleasure in their voices; but when the sun went down, and it came on dark, they laid themselves down to sleep by the stern cables of the ship, and when the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared they again set sail for the host of the Achaeans. Apollo sent them a fair wind..."

[Ómiros Iliás (Iliad; Gr.  λιάς) Book 1.472-479, trans. Samuel Butler, 1898. Longmans, Green and Co. (London. New York and Bombay).]

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Music is an excellent offering to the Gods, if you are so inclined. Click on the below links take you to pages with contemporary songs for ritual. When singing hymns, and even for the recitation of hymns, consider learning a little about how opera singers breath when performing. Bring in air all the way to the bottom of your lungs by extending your stomach as you inhale. While you sing or recite the hymn, allow the sound to come more from the center of the throat rather than higher up. The breathing will enable you to sing/recite longer lines without having to take as many breaths and the concentration of sound lower in the throat is less stressful to the throat lining, reducing strain and hoarseness if you are reading many hymns:

Fanfare to All the Blessed Gods

Hymn to Apóllohn (Apollo)

Hymn to Áris/The Hymn to Struggle (Ares or Mars)

Hymn to Ártæmis (Artemis or Diana)

Hymn to Íphaistos (Hephaestus or Vulcan)

Hymn to Æstía (Hestia or Vesta)

Lullaby to Zagréfs (Zagreus who is Dionysos or Bacchus)

Hymn to Zefs (Zeus or Jupiter)


The Freedom-songs of the Scottish Heroes: The Historical Novels of Konstantina Ritsou


The logo to the left is the principal symbol of this website. It is called the CESS logo, i.e. the Children of the Earth and the Starry Sky. The Pætilía (Petelia; Gr. Πετηλία) and other golden tablets having this phrase are the inspiration for the symbol. The image represents this idea: Earth (divisible substance) and the Sky (continuous substance) are the
two kozmogonic substances. The twelve stars represent the Natural Laws, the dominions of the Olympian Gods. In front of these symbols is the seven-stringed kithára (cithara; Gr. κιθάρα), the lyre of Apóllohn (Apollo; Gr. Ἀπόλλων). It (here) represents the bond between Gods and mortals and is representative that we are the children of Orphéfs (Orpheus; Gr. Ὀρφεύς).

 

PLEASE NOTE: Throughout the pages of this website, you will find fascinating stories about our Gods. These narratives are known as mythology, the traditional stories of the Gods and Heroes. While these tales are great mystical vehicles containing transcendent truth, they are symbolic and should not be taken literally. A literal reading will frequently yield an erroneous result. The meaning of the myths is concealed in code. To understand them requires a key. For instance, when a God kills someone, this usually means a transformation of the soul to a higher level. Similarly, sexual union with a God is a transformation.

The story of the birth of the Gods: Orphic Rhapsodic Theogony.
We know the various qualities and characteristics of the Gods based on metaphorical stories: Mythology
Dictionary of terms related to ancient Greek mythology: Glossary of Hellenic Mythology.

SPELLING: HellenicGods.org uses the Reuchlinian method of pronouncing ancient Greek, the system preferred by scholars from Greece itself. An approach was developed to enable the student to easily approximate the Greek words. Consequently, the way we spell words is unique, as this method of transliteration is exclusive to this website. For more information, visit these three pages: 


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