Posted by: aediculaantinoi | September 26, 2013

The Orphic Hymn to Antinous


The Orphic Hymn to Antinous

Incense: Storax

A thousand times hail to you,
best beloved of the gods:
Antinous, who sports with Bassarids
on the wild mountainsides of Arcadia–
Mother Antaia has taken you
to her breast with her daughters,
Persephone, Melinoe, and Hekate
by the fires in Eleusis’ temple;
Leukothea saw your sad fall
into the waves of Neilos,
and Palaimon sang your funeral dirge
upon waves against Egypt’s shores–
Pankrates Paion, the leader of Muses
who gives true oracles in his temples,
the Bithynian who shelters
under the cover of Nyx.
Selene has placed your face as a shield
to crown her white shining orb in the heavens,
and Mise has come dancing
to be a fruitful nymph at your feet.
Sabazios has handed you the thyrsus
as he passed the serpents between your breast,
and Hermes Psychopompos has shown you
all the secret paths between Thanatos and Hypnos.
Mnemosyne has given her approval
to all words that praise your beauty,
and the thunderbolts of Zeus himself
peel and pale at the sight of you.
Physis makes the cosmos to praise you,
and Hipta calls you foremost of her children;
gold-winged Aphrodite ties your kynodesme
as you contend with Eros at wrestling.
O fortunate Neilos, who kissed your flesh,
who made flowers to bloom in the black land;
O Artemis Kourotrophos in Ephesus,
a hero comes to birth at your favor!
May I seek your face in the fields below
and find solace greater than white cypress,
I, child of Gaia and of Ouranos,
but my soul is of Nyx alone.


  1. Outstanding. Really captures the flavor of the Orphic Hymns.

    • Thank you!

      This one came out of nowhere (which, as physicists will tell you, doesn’t exist since there is no such thing as nothing–take that, Taoists!–and thus, “nowhere” is probably equally well described as “where gods are”), and didn’t occur to me at all until I was at the end of my walk earlier today. An hour later, there was a poem!

      • Damn, that is good!

      • Thanks very much indeed! Glad it landed well with you!

        (We premiered it ritually today, with storax and all, and it seemed to go over pretty well!)

  2. This is replacing my usual Antinoan hymn as my primary Antinoan hymn.

    • Hurrah! Glad you found it likable! (Is that a two-fer’ for me with you now?)

      • This is why you’re not a pop star. Your later stuff is amazing.

      • I’m not sure I follow you…?

  3. Beautiful! I’ll definitely be using this from now on.

    • Wonderful! Glad to help with your own devotions!

  4. Really beautiful.

  5. One of the most beautiful pieces of poetry I’ve seen from you – and I’ve read pretty close to everything you’ve put out there!

  6. I am stunned by the beauty of this. It dances upon the tongue in a a most delicious way.

    Your posts are luring me into a fit of insomnia reading. This is so very enjoyable!

    • Many thanks! 🙂

      Insomnia reading can be such a joy, and yet also such a difficulty…Often, just when I start finding something interesting, is when I can likely get some sleep finally, and yet I happily yield my sleeping time to reading.

  7. […] though, and I’m glad I had a chance to do it. After that, Michael Sebastian Lvx also read the “Orphic Hymn to Antinous,” which was great to hear in a ritual context; we got all storax’d up during it, too. We had […]

  8. […] as it were…) “Nine Days Along the Nile,” I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX “The Orphic Hymn to Antinous” “Eleusinia Goetia” “The Last Hunt” and “The First Flower” (A […]

  9. I just found your blog and am greatly enjoying your devotional writing so far. This is one of the loveliest hymns to any God I’ve ever seen! Thank you so much for sharing it; I feel the awe and delight in these words each time I read it.🙂

    • Thank you very much indeed! 🙂

      This particular hymn came as a bolt out of the blue, so to speak…I was walking back to my office after lunch (or maybe breakfast) on the day I posted it, and then there it was moments later after getting the inkling of the first few lines while I was walking. Glad I was able to sit and write it on that occasion and had the time to do so–it’s been used in many of our rituals since then. It was a gift to me on that occasion, and I’m glad that I have been able to share it with others!

  10. […] other times, I’ll get the hint at something of that nature, and then sit down and write “The Orphic Hymn to Antinous” or “A New Isis Aretalogy” over the next few minutes after it. Moments like that are […]

  11. […] thousands of years!) to Memnon, and any number of other things…and then they closed with “The Orphic Hymn to Antinous”! ‘Twas grand, like! Thank you to Galina and Sannion for inviting me […]

  12. […] that has generated a great deal of material. Not all of it may be good as last year’s “Orphic Hymn to Antinous,” but that should never stop anyone from doing anything…nor should fear of critique or worries […]

  13. […] thankful to all of you for your continued presence, reading, and support!), I then did the Orphic Hymn to Antinous, and then the brand-new Orphic Hymn to Hadrian, which were quite amazing. I also did […]

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