Alphabet prompt: A is for…
A friend and blogger has started an alphabet prompt in their blog this year. Firstly, I have always enjoyed their blog, and a project like this helps me shift away from last year’s focus on working through my anniversaries. Secondly, it also holds me accountable as well by doing something collaboratively. Additionally, hopefully, it will help get my creative juices flowing. I’ve never really done a writing prompt before, so I think it will be a fun thing to do. So let’s start with A is for…
A is for.. Ancestors
To start with, in honour of their blog, I began with Ancestors; then it kind of became a free association of epitaphs from there!
As part of my daily devotionals, I have recently written this prayer.
I honour The Ancestors
Those of Spirit and Love as well as those of Blood
The Known and the Unknown
Including Those whose names have been washed away
By the Rivers Styx and lost to the sands
Of the Plains of Lethe.
I wasn’t comfortable with Apollo for a very long time, but His support and presence became a huge part of my ability to navigate chemotherapy. At this time, I’m still not sure what words I use for that experience: endure, survive, and suffering doesn’t align with the lens I chose to view the experience through. Persist is much too active somehow. Surrender is closest, but has all kinds of connotations that make me uncomfortable, so I’m currently sitting with acceptance. If anyone has better words, drop them in the comments.
Prayer for Apollo whilst convalescent in the Sun
Let me transform to honey under Your molten gaze.
There are multiple layers in this for me. Firstly, honey of course, and bees are the first association: in my new rental, I have seen native Blue Banded Bees for the first time. Secondly, honey is of course, sweet, and I wanted to embrace that as a contract to the bitterness of being so unwell. Thirdly, there are the healing properties of honey that I wanted to harness. Additionally, honey has a rich history.
I have a little travel devotional practice of taking a little of my local honey to wherever I am going (where appropriate international travel doesn’t allow for this). This is offered upon arrival. I then try to source some local honey to make offerings with whilst I am wherever I am, and then I bring a little home with me to make offerings of here, in the place where I live.
Asklepios has become very important to me and has been a steadying and guiding presence in my life, especially over the last couple of years. I honour Him and his family pretty much daily. So to honour another few family members, there are His children, Aceso, Aglaïa, and Telephorus (also named Akesis). There are others, but for this blog, I am focussing on the Letter A!
Aceso: Healing Process
Aglaïa: Beauty, Splendour, Glory, Magnificence, and Adornment
Telesphorus (also named Akesis): Recovery from Illness.. the Accomlisher.. bringer of completion.
A is for Anchor
I have been anchoring myself to the South Pole and to the Southern Hemisphere as a fundamental orientation since I first started practicing as a pagan. I experimented with many directional alignments, but this is part of what seems to work best for me. This has become part of my regular devotional practice.
I raise my eyes to the Southern Cross
( A is for… Acrux (Alpha Crucis) bottom star in the Southern Cross)
I seek the Pointers:
I anchor through the South Pole
I honour Sirius, the brightest in the sky
The Seven Sisters
The Milky Way
I honour the Southen Hemisphere in which I live.
A is for… Hekate?
Hear me out! I have been in a devotional relationship with Hekate for decades. Over the years, I have been incredibly grateful for the work of Neheti on the epithets of Hekate. I have worked with them in a lot of my prayers and meditations. I’m a big fan of simply reciting Names and Epitaphs as a devotional practice.
Abronoe: Gracious: PGM IV 2441-2621. See Pachoumi’s “A List of Epithets from the Greek Magical Papyri…”.
Admetos: Unconquered: PGM IV 2708-2784. Also said of Atalanta.
Aenaos: Eternal, Ever-flowing: PGM IV 2785-2890.
Agallomenen elaphoisi: Rejoicing in Deer: The Orphic Hymn to Hekate.
Agia: Sacred, holy, saint: PGM IV 2241-2358.
Aglaos: Radiant, bright, beautiful, pleasing: PGM IV 2241-2358. As a term, aglaos connotes festivity and song.
Agriope : Wild-eyed, Fierce-faced, Savage-watcher, wild-voiced : A name associated with Eurydice, Orpheus’ wife, likely came to be attached to Hekate when the two were conflated.
From Orpheus and His Lute: Poetry and the Renewal of Life by Elisabeth Henry, SIU Press, 1992 p. 3. Also, Maass’ Orpheus, 1895.
Aidonaea: of the Underworld (lit. of Hades): PGM IV. 2708-84 and PGM IV. 2855. Beware spellings such as Adonaea, which more properly refers to the gardens dedicated to Adonis. Aidonia also may apply to a site in Mycenaea.
Aimopotis: Blood-drinker, murderer. Footnote from Catharine Roth discussing the term and its association with Hekate on http://www.stoa.org
Aionaios: Eternal: PGM IV 2241-2621.
Aizeos: Vigorous: PGM IV 2241-2358.
Akrie: Extreme: PGM IV line 2277.
Aktinochiatis: Radiant-haired, with rays for hair: PGM IV 2241-2358.
Aktiophis: of unknown meaning: various hymns to Selene and Hekate in the Greek Magical Papyri.
Alexeatis: Averter of Evil: A 5th c. BCE inscription to Enodia mentioned by Sarah Iles Johnston in Restless Dead.
Alkimos: Strong, stout, brave, powerful: PGM IV 2241-2358.
Ambrotos: Immortal: applied to all the Gods and many Titans. PGM IV 2241-2358.
A is for… Ameibousa: (this was a powerful one for me)
One that transforms: Oracle Table from Pergamon dedicated to Hekate. (Special thanks to Florian Schlie for the information.)
Amphiphaes: Circumlucent: Proclus. Damascius. trans. by Stephen Ronan.
Amphiprosopos: Double-faced: The Chaldean Oracles, also Reading Plotinus: A Practical Introduction to Neoplatonism by Kevin Corrigan.
Amphistomos: Double-mouthed. Proclus’ In Timaeus.
Anassa: Queen: The Orphic Hymn to Hekate. Applied to a variety of Goddesses.
Anassa Eneroi: Queen of the Dead: A title which is perfectly appropriate, though historically was most often applied to Persephone. theoi.com/cult/hekatecult.html
Angelos: Messenger: The Chaldean Oracles. Associated with numerous Gods. Karl Kerenyi discusses the shared role of Angelos between Hermes and Hekate in Hermes: Guide of Souls.
Antaia: She Who Meets, Besought with prayers: Sophocles’ Rootcutters.
Aoroboros: Devourer of the Untimely Dead: PGM IV 2785-2890.
Apanchomene: The Hanged One, The Strangled, One Who Hanged Herself: assoc. with Artemis in particular, but Farnell mentions a story about a woman Artemis named Hekate after she hanged herself.
Aphrattos: Unnamed One: In “Taranto” by Enzo Lippolis, Salvatore Garraffo, Massimo Nafissi by the Instituto per la Storia e l’Archeologia della Magna Grecia, 1995, p. 194- 5.
Apotropaios: Averting, Averter: Supplementum epigraphicum Graecum (SEG) 42 1816.
Archikos: Royal: The Chaldean Oracles, xx (Psellus) and xxbis. See Ronan.
Aregos: Helper: PGM IV 2241-2358.
Ariste: The Best: See Zeus: A study in ancient religion which posits that Ariste Chthonia is Hekate. The epithet also applies to Artemis and Demeter.
Arkyia: Entrapper: PGM III.1-164
Astrodia: Star-coursing, Star-walker: PGM IV 2441-2621. See Pachoumi’s “A List…”
Atala: Tender, delicate: Hesiod’s Hymn to Demeter.
Atala Phroneousa: Gay-Spirited: The Homeric Hymn to Demeter.
Atasthalos: Reckless, Presumptuous, Wicked: PGM IV 2241-2358.
Athanatos: Immortal, of Immortal Fame: PGM IV 2241-2358.
Autopheus: Self-Begotten: PGM 4.2274.
Azonos: without Borders: See The Chaldean Oracles, xx (Psellus), Ronan.
Azostos: Ungirt, without a belt: The Orphic Hymn to Hekate.
Hermes is the Mysterious One that I became aware of first – before I was even into double digits. We have kind of reconnected over the past few years. These epithets are from Galina Krasskova‘s excellent devotional In Praise of Hermes.
Agoraeus: Belonging to the market (the agora)
Ampolaios: Deity engaged in traffic and commerce
Akakesios: Of Arkadia
Aipytos: Of Aipytos
Hermes Areis: warlike Hermes (a very Mycenaean epithet)
Athanatos Diaktoros: Immortal Guide
Angelous Athanaton: Messanger of the Gods
Angelous Makaron: Messenger of the Blessed Ones
Archos Pleleteon: Leader of Robbers and Thieves
Aglaos: splendid, bright, glorious
I have shared a little about how I have come to be in a devotional relationship with Pan, and maybe when we get to P, I might write about that more deeply.
Agreus: Of the Hunt, Hunter
Agrotas:Giver of Pasture
Acrorites: Of Mt Acroria (Sicyon)
A is definitely for Asterion: the Starry One
I have never written that much on my view of the Minotaur. A different understanding of Him arose when I first started to be intrigued by labyrinths. I may never write more deeply publically about this as it steps into the realms of Mystery of me.
If you are interested in labyrinths, check my blog page here.
And last, but not least, another Beloved Mysterious One and Their epithet.
Hades Aidoneus: Unseen One
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