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In the following article an ancient hymn to Hekate will be presented saved by the christian philosopher and theologist, Ippolytos. The hymn is unknown to the community of the Goddess Hekate and as this blog has the goal to present rare material and information from the ancient texts, about our Goddess, this article is another great contribution to our goal. The hymn can be used to invoke the Goddess during Deipnon (=Supper) or the darker aspects during waning of the moon.
Ippolytos or Hippolytos was an Hellene philosopher from Lyon. He was a student of bishop Eirinaios. He studied ancient philosophy. He also wore the trivonion, the cloth of the philosopher. He became a christian and used his education to speak for christianity to people. He used the power of his knowledge to defend christianity from inside enemies, like sects. He was announced as a bishop from 222 to 235 a.C. when Maximinos from Thrace expelled him to Sardenia. One year later he died out of barbaric treatment.
The orthodox church announced him as saint. He is celebrated in 30th of January. The catholic church honors him in 13th of August.
He wrote many books, one of the most important was Examination Against Every Sect. This book was constituted by ten volumes. In 1701 and 1842 a part of the ten books work was found in Agion Oros of Hellas (the biggest orhtodox christinanic monastery). The following hymn was saved in that book. An unknown writer has wrote it but Ippolytos saved it in his work. One of the characteristics of the hymn is the use of many epithets to address the goddess, which is an orphic characteristic. The ending of the hymn is also heavily influenced by the orphic hymn to Hekate. The language is a common hellenic form, from the Roman Period. It was probably used for offering burned animals to Hekate Chthonia, so it is a part of a ritual. It can be easily used in Hekate's Deipna, at the offering of the Supper.
(Ippolytos Examination Against Every Sect, 4, 35, 5)
Νερτερίη, χθονίη τε και ουρανίη μολέ Βριμώ,
εινοδίη, τριοδίτι, φαεσφόρε, νυκτερόφοιτε,
εχθρή μεν φωτός, νυκτός δε φίλη και εταίρη,
χαίρουσα σκυλάκων υλακή τε και αίματι φοινώ,
εν νέκυσιν στείχουσα κατ' ηρία τεθνηώτων,
αίματος ιμείρουσα, φόβον θνητοίσι φέρουσα,
Γοργώ και Μορμώ και Μήνη και πολύμορφε,
έλθοις ευάντητος εφ' ημετέρησι θυηλαίς.
This part is useful for the Hellenes readers. Νερτέριος = υποχθόνιος, μολέ=ύπαγε-έλα, νυκτερόφοιτε=περιπλανώμενη τη νύχτα, εταίρη=συντρόφισσα, φοινός=βαθυκόκκινος, στείχω=περπατώ-πορεύομαι, ηρίον=τύμβος, μνήμα, τάφος με λόφο, ιμείρομαι=λαχταρώ, ευάντητος=φιλικός, προσηνής, θυηλαίς=οι θυσίες που γίνονται με φωτιά, δηλαδή όταν καίμε τμήματα ζώου προς τιμήν των χθονίων θεών. Για να χρησιμοποιήσετε την επίκληση στο δείπνο, αλλάξτε την τελευταία λέξη σε προσφοραίς.
Nerteria, Chthonia, Urania come Brimo,
Einodia, trioditi, phaesphore, nykterophoite,
enemy of light, friend and companion of night,
you who like the howling of the dogs and the dark red blood,
who walk in cemeteries among the dead,
who desire blood and bring fear to mortals,
Gorgo, Mormo, Mene and polymorphe,
come to meet us, with good will, at our burning offering.
Nerteria = of the underworld, Chtonia = of the earth, Urania = of the sky, Brimo= angry one
Einodia = of the roads, trioditi = of three roads, phaesphore = who bring light, nytkerophoite = who wander in the night
Gorgo = here it means the monster with golden wings, hands of copper, tusks, snakes on the head instead of hair, who is stoning everyone who is seeing it. It is one of the most frightening monsters
Mormo = a monster who drinks blood, eats hearts and brings illness and death . A more common name was Lamia. Lamia had also the ability to change forms as Hekate too. Both Gorgo and Mormo connect Hekate with the dark side of Her personality, as well as the part which address her as an enemy of light, thus the invocation is suitable for the waning phase of the moon to call chthonic and katachthonic aspects of our Goddess.
Polymprphe = of man forms
Mene = means Selene, the moon Goddess, Mene gives the word month, as the ancient Hellenes ruled a month by the circle of the moon
Theurgy and Philosophy are two different methods which lead to the union with God.