16 Oct 2016
HYMNS TO APHRODITE (VENUS)
13 Calls/Response to Aphrodite/Venus
(All chant:) I was born of the love of the Body,
I learn to give and receive love of the Heart,
I open myself to the love of the Soul.
Call: I sing of Aphrodite Anadyomene, She Who Rises From The Waves!
Response: May love wash over us like foam upon the sea.
Call: I sing of Aphrodite Antheia, Lady of Flowers!
Response: May love bloom like the rose opening to the dawn.
Call: I sing of Aphrodite Camaetho, Bright-Haired Autumn Leaf!
Response: May love endure even into age and waning.
Call: I sing of Aphrodite Doritis, Giver of Gifts!
Response: Lady, may you be generous to us.
Call: I sing of Aphrodite Euploia, Lady of Fair Voyage!
Response: May our paths to Love be free of thorns.
Call: I sing of Aphrodite Genetrix, Matron of the Marriage Bed!
Response: May we never forget that life comes from love.
Call: I sing of Aphrodite Philomedes, Lover of Genitals!
Response: May we never forget that my flesh is sacred.
Call: I sing of Aphrodite Porne, Matron of Whores!
Response: May we always value those who carry on Her sacred work.
Call: I sing of Aphrodite Urania, Builder of Bridges!
Response: May we be open to love strange and unexpected, in myself and in others.
Call: I sing of Aphrodite Parakouptosa, cold marble statue of unrequited love!
Response: May we learn the value even in that which is unattainable.
Call: I sing of Aphrodite Androphonos, Man-Slayer!
Response: May we not drown in the torrential power of your gift.
Call: I sing of Aphrodite Epitymbidia, Lady on the Tomb!
Response: May we remember the lessons of those who slew themselves or another for love.
Call: I sing of Aphrodite Pandemos, Goddess of All People!
Response: May we remember that Love does not judge, coming to worthy and unworthy alike.
(The sweets and wine are given as libation, and all take a flower and go to feast.)
Invocation to Lakshmi
Hail to Lakshmi, Wife of Vishnu!
Divine Princess of the sky
Whose stars lie like spray
Of scattered drops of milk
Wrung from the sacred cow,
Around whom flowers bloom eternally,
Your divine presence ensuring their life,
Whose lotus opens trustingly
To sun and rain and hail and sun again,
Teach us to trust that fortune can be kind,
And even when it is not,
All things will come around
To goodness again in their time.
For a wise man adapts himself to circumstances,
As water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it.
So it is that we pray to Lakshmi,
Wife of the Preserver of Life,
Whose hands bring forth riches and blessings.
Bless us now, Lakshmi, with all that we need,
And let us live trusting that we shall get
Everything that we may need,
As a child trusts that the rain
Will fall everlastingly from the sky.
Chant: Lakshmi Mahadevi
Aphrodite – Eden Drumming
Iridescent-throned Aphrodite, deathless
Child of Zeus, wile-weaver, I now implore you,
Don’t–I beg you, Lady–with pains and torments
Crush down my spirit,
But before if ever you’ve heard my pleadings
Then return, as once when you left your father’s
Golden house; you yoked to your shining car your
Skimming down the paths of the sky’s bright ether
On they brought you over the earth’s black bosom,
Swiftly–then you stood with a sudden brilliance,
Goddess, before me;
Deathless face alight with your smile, you asked me
What I suffered, who was my cause of anguish,
What would ease the pain of my frantic mind, and
Why had I called you
To my side: “And whom should Persuasion summon
Here, to soothe the sting of your passion this time?
Who is now abusing you, Sappho? Who is
Treating you cruelly?
Now she runs away, but she’ll soon pursue you;
Gifts she now rejects–soon enough she’ll give them;
Now she doesn’t love you, but soon her heart will
Burn, though unwilling.”
Come to me once more, and abate my torment;
Take the bitter care from my mind, and give me
All I long for; Lady, in all my battles
Fight as my comrade.
Ode to Aphrodite
Aphrodite, subtle of soul and deathless,
Daughter of God, weaver of wiles, I pray thee
Neither with care, dread Mistress, nor with anguish,
Slay thou my spirit!
But in pity hasten, come now if ever
From afar of old when my voice implored thee,
Thou hast deigned to listen, leaving the golden
House of thy father
With thy chariot yoked; and with doves that drew thee,
Fair and fleet around the dark earth from heaven,
Dipping vibrant wings down he azure distance,
Through the mid-ether;
Very swift they came; and thou, gracious Vision,
Leaned with face that smiled in immortal beauty,
Leaned to me and asked, “What misfortune threatened?
Why I had called thee?”
“What my frenzied heart craved in utter yearning,
Whom its wild desire would persuade to passion?
What disdainful charms, madly worshipped, slight thee?
Who wrongs thee, Sappho?”
“She that fain would fly, she shall quickly follow,
She that now rejects, yet with gifts shall woo thee,
She that heeds thee not, soon shall love to madness,
Love thee, the loth one!”
Come to me now thus, Goddess, and release me
From distress and pain; and all my distracted
Heart would seek, do thou, once again fulfilling,
Still be my ally!
When the drifting gray of the vesper shadow
Dimmed their upward path through the midmost azure,
And the length of night overtook them distant
Far from Olympus;
Far away from splendor and joy of Paphos,
From the voice and smile of their peerless Mistress,
Back to whom their truant wings were in rapture
Chilled at heart and grieving they drooped their pinions,
Circled slowly, dipping in flight toward Lesbos,
Down through dusk that darkened on Mitylene’s
Columns of marble;
Down through glory wan of the fading sunset,
Veering ever toward the abode of Sappho,
Toward my home, the fane of the glad devoted
Slave of the Goddess;
Soon they gained the tile of my roof and rested,
Slipped their heads beneath their wings while I watched them
Sink to sleep and dreams, in the warm and drowsy
Night of midsummer.
Bride, that goest to the bridal chamber
In the dove-drawn car of Aphrodite,
By a band of dimpled
Bride, of maidens all the fairest image
Mitylene treasures of the Goddess,
Are thy playmates;
Bride, O fair and lovely, thy companions
Are the gracious hours that onward passing
For thy gladsome footsteps
Bride, that blushing like the sweetest apple
On the very branch’s end, so strangely
By the gleaners;
Bride, that like the apple that was never
Overlooked but out of reach so plainly,
Only one thy rarest
Fruit may gather;
Bride, that into womanhood has ripened
For the harvest of the bridegroom only,
He alone shall taste thy
Vesper is here! behold
Faint gleams that welcome shine!
Rise from the feast, O youths,
And chant the fescennine!
Before the porch we sing
The hymeneal song;
Vesper is here, O youths!
The star we waited long.
We lead the festal groups
Across the bridegroom’s porch;
Vesper is here, O youths!
Wave high the bridal torch.
Hail, noble bridegroom, hail!
The virgin fair has come;
Unlatch the door and lead
Her timid footsteps home.
Hail, noble bridegroom, hail!
Straight as a tender tree;
Fond as a folding vine
Thy bride will cling to thee.