Heliogenna (Suez Version)

Melia Suez

[See also Suez’ song, The Nine Days of Heliogenna]

I celebrate my own version of the modern celebration of Heliogenna. It is a nine day festival celebrating the gods, family, and the return of light. It is arranged so that Winter Solstice is always on the fifth day of the festival.

– On day one of the Heliogenna, I honor the First Ones (eg, the Protogenoi such as Gaia and Nyx) and the fey.

I honor The Protogenoi! I call to thee this first day of Heliogenna and give to thee the honor that is thy due, oh Protogenoi.

First, I honor gracious Mama Gaia; draped in island-spotted waters and patterned with mountains and valleys, you hold us and all animals to your bosom and provide the bounty to survive.

Next I honor he that resides above Gaia, the dome of Heaven, her lover of old, who is decorated with stars and light.

I honor he that cradles Gaia from below, the pit of the underworld, rival to the dome.

I honor those that move between this triad: the blue lght of Heaven who illuminates the dome and his wife who daily scatters the dark mists of her father, spread out nightly by her star-spangled mother.

There is Khaos who laughs at one’s confusion and all-encompassing Necessity, mate of eternal Time.

Finally there is Phanes, driver of the cart of procreation, and his consort, the wise and beautiful Thesis. For this I honor you, despite your disinterest in any individual.

Let me not forget the nymphs and fey who are Gaia’s attendants.

Gods and fey, you designed and decorate my world. Hail, Glorious Protogenoi!

– On day two, I honor the Olympians (Zeus, Hera and company) and the Celestial gods (such as Selene and Eos).

Honor Hestia, Keeper of the Flame, for wherever she is, the Gods have a home.
Hail Zeus, Father of Gods and men, I am thankful for your loving care,
Honor Queen Hera, for she is the lovely wife of my beloved lord.
Hail Hekate, Lady of Land, Sea and Sky, you do me much honor.
Honor Hermes, for he is messenger, wanderer and wordsmith.
Hail Aphrodite, loveliest of all the Goddesses who entwines around all.
Honor Eros, whose darts pierce the hearts of mortals and Gods alike
Hail Tykhe, Keeper of the Horn of Amalthea, may you bless me with enough.
Honor Ares, Beloved of Aphrodite, strong warrior who keeps our soldiers safe.
Hail Demeter, mistress of fields, I look forward to the end of your mourning.
Honor Kore, flower loving maiden whose return always makes me glad.
Hail Artemis, Lady of Nymphs, help me to be strong.
Honor Apollo, Protector of youths, for the guidance he gives my son.
Hail Asklepios whose healing skill is admired by all.
Honor Hephaestus, Master Craftsman who watches over my husband.
Hail Dionysos, Lord of Laughter and Tears, who wears the ivy and dances in and out of my life.
Honor Ariadne, Beloved of Dionysos, Lady of the Labyrinth
Hail Dioskouroi, Zeus’ twins, both mortal and divine, who protector my home.
Honor Poseidon, Lord of Sea and Shaker of Earth.
Hail Athena, wise Lady, grey-eyed and crafty.
Honor Nyx, star spangled lady who darkens our day.
Hail Selene, Lamp of Night and symbol of the feminine.
Honor Helios, whose fiery light warms my day and has wandered too long away.
Hail Eos, who wakens my son earlier than I would like.
Honor the Anemi who keep everything moving.
Hail Iris, messenger of Hera, who brightens a rainy day.
Honor the divine attendants of all the divinities who often go unnoticed, I seek to remember you.
Hail Eris, who brings discord among the Immortals, but also laughter.
Honor to all the many Gods I have not mentioned by name, may they remember me favorably.
Hail Hestia, Lady of the Hearth, who encourages harmony in the home, both mortal and divine.

– On day three, I honor the Chthonic gods (Hades, Persephone, et cetera) and the Beloved Dead.

Honor Hestia, Keeper of the Flame, wherever she is, the Gods have a home.
Hail Zeus, of earthly mien, I am thankful for your loving care,
Honor Hades who is strong and firm in his rule yet not unkind
Hail Persephone who is fierce and merciful in her duties
Honor Kronos, Father Time, who is now ruler of the blessed isles
Hail Hekate, Guardian and Guide, you do me much honor.
Honor Hermes who guides the dead to their soul’s resting place.
Hail the Dioskouroi, Zeus’ twins both mortal and divine, protectors both.
Honor the Moirae, thread-handlers, who know all plans and schemes
Hail the Eumenides as they are pleased with atonement.
Honor Thanatos, whose touch brings death, wanted or not.
Hail Hypnos, gentle lord of sleep, may you aid me in my nightly rest.
Honor to Helios who has been spending too much time down below.
Hail the divine attendants of all the divinities who often go unnoticed.
Honor all the many Gods I have not mentioned by name, may they remember me favorably.
Hail Hestia, Lady of the Hearth, who encourages harmony in the home, both mortal and divine.
Honor the blessed dead, those of blood, spirit and country.

– On day four I celebrate Demeter visiting Persephone and Hades to ensure that her daughter is treated well, and in doing so reconciling with her brother. When Demeter leaves, she brings Helios with her; he has been tarrying longer and longer in the lower realms because of Demeter’s decree that nothing shall grow.

Solstice Plea to Demeter

By the command of Zeus,
we live within the pattern of creation.
By the command of Zeus,
we are given blessings and trials
By the command of Zeus,
a drama, a change.
All that happens, happens
because Zeus wills it to be so.
I bow to you, Father Zeus,
And praise your works.

Hestia, Lady of the Hearth, Keeper of the Flame
Where ever you are the Gods have a home
For you are the center of all
Giving warmth and comfort,
Uniting those that are estranged,
Bring peace to troubled hearts.

Demeter, tonight is the longest night of the year
A time when spring seems so very far away.
Helios has been taking his cue from you.
He has been tarrying longer and longer
In his visits with Persephone and Hades.
Tonight we ask you to bring him back to us.
Reconcile with your daughter.
Make your peace with her husband.
Remember the pomegranate,
While it is a the cause of her departure,
It also symbolizes her return.
Sooth your troubled heart.
See for yourself how she fares.
While there, send back Helios.
Send back the light so that warmth can follow.
Give us a beacon of hope
as we await Kore’s return.

***

We thank you Mother,
For answering our plea yet again.
With the sun’s happy return
We will gather with loved ones.
Giving and receiving hospitality
Of friend, family and stranger alike.
Sharing food, drink, laughter and gifts.
We shall celebrate your reconciliation.
We will toast Helios’ return.
We look forward to the return of the light
For it heralds spring and warmth once again.

Demeter and Persephone,
Mother and Daughter
Queen above and Queen below
All that lives, dies.
And in turn, is born again.
All pass through their realms,
Even Helios, the sun.
For they compose the Dance of Life,
Never ending and ever changing.
Each day, each season moves the dance
Flowing seamlessly one into another.
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall.
Life balances death.
Activity balances rest.
Growth balances fallowness.

Hestia, Lady of the Hearth, Keeper of the Flame
Where ever you are the Gods have a home
For you are the spiritual center of all.
Thank you for the warmth and comfort.
Thank you for uniting the estranged.
Thank you for giving peace to the troubled heart.
By your agency, the light will return.

Zeus, by your command
a daughter’s hand was given
And a mother mourned.
By your command,
a compromise was achieved.
By your command,
Winter, spring, summer, fall.
All that happens, happens
because Zeus wills it to be so.
I bow to you, Father Zeus,
And praise your works.

May the returning light warm your heart!

– Day five is Solstice, a celebration of Helios’ return and his promise to strengthen day by day.

Last night, when I said my Solstice prayer to Demeter, I lit a larger candle than usual. Dedicating it to both Demeter and Helios, it burned through the night, giving Helios encouragement to show his face on this, the shortest day of the year. When that candle went out, I lit a smaller one, saying a prayer from the heart as I have not yet written Helios one. There is a hymn that you could use instead. Not long after Helios came up, my family got up to open our gifts.

I hope your Solstice is Merry and Bright.

– Day six of the Heliogenna is in honor of Demeter and all mothers, whether mortal, divine, blood-kin or heart-kin.

Hail Demeter,

Mother of All, Gentle Hearted Lady, Bright Goddess,

Hear my prayer and come to me.

Let your radiance pour upon me

Until my heart is full of joy;

Until laughter comes easily to my lips;

Until the only tears that I shed are of happiness.

Into your hands I give my needs and my sorrows.

Bless me with your wisdom.

Teach me to hope when all is dark.

Teach me patience when all seems fallow.

Teach me to accept both stillness and change.

Grant me a life that is just, joyful and bounteous.

I ask your blessings for my family and my home

Bringing peace and well-being to all.

Hail Demeter!

– The last three days are the day of thanksgiving and days to honor friends and family. The days to honor friends and family always fall on the 24th and 25th of December. This leaves the day of Thanksgiving as a floating day; depending on when the Solstice falls, it will either be the seventh day or the ninth day. This is the day to count your blessings and to give thanks wherever thanks is due. This year it falls on the 23rd of December.

We always spend the 24th (aka Christmas Eve) with my family. The 25th (aka Christmas Day) we celebrate with my Husband’s family and open gifts and empty stockings from Santa. In my opinion, Santa is real in that he is the spirit of giving unconditionally, without expectations of return. As such he should be welcomed and celebrated with much enthusiasm! This method of celebrating allows me to acknowledge my own spiritual beliefs yet celebrate with my Christian family, too.

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