In Praise of Hades

I’m not a devotee of Hades but I felt I had to write this prayer to Him after one of my classes today. We were discussing salvation and the afterlife and the teacher insisted that the less educated classes in the ancient world didn’t believe in anything but darkness and death, that they had no reverence for Hades and the ancestors. He acknowledged that more educated folks had a soteriology and sense of immortality of the soul but not the regular folk. Obviously, I disagree and while, just like today, there were people who believed in nothing after death, your average person was more pious than the average person today simply by virtue of living in a society in which acknowledgement of the Gods was the norm. It hurt to see Hades and His realm misrepresented and this is what I can do by way of remit.

For Hades

I must pray to Hades,
Beloved of Persephone
Master of the land of the dead,
Master of the haven where souls go
for healing and restoration.

You are just and merciful, oh Lord.
It is not out of cruelty
that You ignore the pleas of the living
when they pray for their dead
to be returned to them.
Far from it. Rather You know
the balance of things, that death
is necessary, and that the dead need the gift
of Your healing sanctuary.
All things change and are renewed
and the worlds are ever sustained.

Your mysteries are writ into our flesh.
You call to us from the moment we are born
and You are patient.

You can bear the weight of our grief.
As Herakles died, so must we
and this tells us it is not a horror
but sweet release and reward.

Pluto, there is a wealth of treasure
in the land of the dead,
in their songs and their stories,
and these too, You secure, for eternity.

Hail to You, Lord of the Dead,
Silent Protector of our ancestors.
Hail to You, Hades.

hades_and_persephone_by_jodeee_d9zkfyr-fullview

(image of Hades and Persephone by Jodie Muir Art).

About ganglerisgrove

Galina Krasskova has been a Heathen priest since 1995. She holds a Masters in Religious Studies (2009), a Masters in Medieval Studies (2019), has done extensive graduate work in Classics including teaching Latin, Roman History, and Greek and Roman Literature for the better part of a decade, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Theology. She is the managing editor of Walking the Worlds journal and has written over thirty books on Heathenry and Polytheism including "A Modern Guide to Heathenry" and "He is Frenzy: Collected Writings about Odin." In addition to her religious work, she is an accomplished artist who has shown all over the world and she currently runs a prayer card project available at wyrdcuriosities.etsy.com.

Posted on October 25, 2019, in Bacchic Things, devotional work, hellenic things, Lived Polytheism, prayers, Roman Things, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. That is an awesome hymn! Hail Hades! You’ve captured my thoughts about him better than I could put forth in words.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve always loved that image of Him with Persephone.

    I’ve always been annoyed by the cocky statements of religious belief by those outside a tradition, and far removed by years. A lot of things that were considered common knowledge were never recorded.

    Liked by 2 people

    • to be fair, this particular professor is one of the world’s leading scholars on the New Testament. I can’t fault him there.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Edward P. Butler

        Of course, as a New Testament scholar, he most likely has a deep ideological investment. And not to be bitchy about it, but pagan Hellenic eschatology is not within his specialization. I’m not an authority on the subject either, but I would question what sources we even possess that give us genuine insight into the beliefs of “ordinary people” in ancient Greece with respect to the afterlife. He presents a highly synthesized interpretation; what is he really basing it on?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for another thought provoking post.

    I often imagine Death as a Parent sending her child to school, promising that they will be there waiting for her when it’s time to come home.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Beautifil prayer and image!
    Galina have you seen this? https://www.inprnt.com/gallery/loreolympus/dreadqueen/
    It is from a new zealand artist.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Awesome and powerful prayer to Hades. To have life, we also need death. Also, beautiful image of Hades and Persephone. Io Hades!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Edward, he was basing his opinion on tombstone inscriptions alone. and yes, i agree w/ you. i love the class and his connection to the material and enthusiasm makes it really interesting but, but, and but.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Edward P. Butler

      I figured that it was tombstone inscriptions. Depending on those for people’s beliefs is so tricky, in my view. They are expressing *grief* more than anything else, and we have to remember that, unlike Christianity, Hellenic polytheists felt no obligation to advertise their faith with confident assertions about that which every mortal faces with uncertainty. He also seems to base his judgment on the lack of traditional temple cultus for Hades, but this ignores the fact that chthonic deities have a *different* cultus.

      Liked by 1 person

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