Hymns for Helios at Sunrise and Sunset

In a post on this website, Ancient Egyptian hymns for sunrise and sunset are adapted for use in morning and evening rituals. While useful for certain esoteric individuals, the hymns are best suited for followers of Kemeticism. For some readers of this website with more of a Hellenic or Hellenistic background, the Ancient Egyptian tradition is foreign and inaccessible. The Ancient Egyptian hymns are not particularly useful for much of the audience of this website. So, I decided to write two short hymns for followers of the Hellenic faith or those folks with more of a multi-cultural or Hellenistic approach to rituals and gods. The hymns use materials about Helios, are based on hymns like the Homeric Hymn to Helios and the Orphic Hymn to Helios, and are written in iambic hexameter, an auspicious meter for sacred works in the English language. They also adopt wholesale wording from Platonist Proclus’s hymn “To the Sun.” The three hymns are shared below for public use. Alternatively, one could use the Orphic hymn to Helios or the Homeric Hymn to Helios at dawn and sunset if they so desired. Old translations of the three hymns are also shared in this post.

 


Prayer for Helios at Sunrise

 

At the start, eyes shining bright, orb in the east, light 

Leaving your golden palace in the waters of 

Ocean at dawn, fly, ascend to the sky, fly, fly 

But carry rays of light, righteousness, truth, manna 

Dominion over land, ruler of the world 

Titan, brother of Eos and Selene, blessed

Four-horse chariot’s guide, Helios, lord of light

Golden all thy instruments, carriage, the crown too 

Driving towards the highest point in heaven and beyond 

to Ocean’s periphery, the fringes of the 

Waters, seven-rays project in many places 

All-seeing, all-observing, lustrous, high deity 

Brilliance and heat for earth’s living things    

Mental fire, ruler of light, the beating heart

Guardian of oaths, bestower of honor, respect 

Deference gets your favor, divine royalty

Ruling the middle world and aetherial realm 

To your supplicant have goodwill, be generous

Give blessings, give divine insight, and give honor

 

 

Prayer for Helios at Sunset 

 

Helios, see you drove your chariot utmost 

Skillful, quick, behind you the highest heavens, winds 

Aloft, warm, in a golden four horse chariot 

Steeds with wings and Titan with a draped purple robe 

And a golden Aureolis, shines high and far

Helios, horses, and chariot now unseen 

Losing visibility over the earth’s lands

Not forgotten, as you descend in the far west 

Destined for the fruit groves of the Hesperides 

Now continue the voyage, going in a cup 

Brought by Oceanus northern waters back east 

Whilst wondrous Night and Asteria rule the skies 

Thy nurturing sibling Selene over Gaia

Helios, fare thee well, aid of living things

Mental fire, ruler of light, the beating heart

All-seeing, all-observing, god of brilliance

Journey well, until next dawn, kingly health-giver

Benevolent leader of the seven planets

Cause of visibility unto the dark world

Let the supplicant express gratitude to you

Give enough fame, honor, glory, successful times 

Give golden blessings and knowledge of the divine

 


The Orphic Hymns

TO THE SUN [HELIOS]1

The Fumigation from Frankincense and Manna.

 

Hear golden Titan, whose eternal eye with broad survey, illumines all the sky.

Self-born, unwearied in diffusing light, and to all eyes the mirrour of delight:

Lord of the seasons, with thy fiery car and leaping coursers, beaming light from far:

With thy right hand the source of morning light, and with thy left the father of the night.

Agile and vig’rous, venerable Sun, fiery and bright around the heav’ns you run.

Foe to the wicked, but the good man’s guide, o’er all his steps propitious you preside:

With various founding, golden lyre, ’tis mine to fill the world with harmony divine.

Father of ages, guide of prosp’rous deeds, the world’s commander, borne by lucid steeds,

Immortal Jove [Zeus], all-searching, bearing light, source of existence, pure and fiery bright

Bearer of fruit, almighty lord of years, agil and warm, whom ev’ry pow’r reveres.

Great eye of Nature and the starry skies, doom’d with immortal flames to set and rise

Dispensing justice, lover of the stream, the world’s great despot, and o’er all supreme.

Faithful defender, and the eye of right, of steeds the ruler, and of life the light:

With founding whip four fiery steeds you guide, when in the car of day you glorious ride.

Propitious on these mystic labours shine, and bless thy suppliants with a life divine.

 


Homeric Hymn to Helios2

 

And now, O Muse Calliope, daughter of Zeus, begin to sing of glowing Helios whom mild-eyed Euryphaessa, the far-shining one, bare to the Son of Earth and starry Heaven. For Hyperion wedded glorious Euryphaessa, his own sister, who bare him lovely children, rosy-armed Eos and rich-tressed Selene and tireless Helios who is like the deathless gods. As he rides in his chariot, he shines upon men and deathless gods, and piercingly he gazes with his eyes from his golden helmet. Bright rays beam dazzlingly from him, and his bright locks streaming form the temples of his head gracefully enclose his far-seen face: a rich, fine-spun garment glows upon his body and flutters in the wind: and stallions carry him. Then, when he has stayed his golden-yoked chariot and horses, he rests there upon the highest point of heaven, until he marvellously drives them down again through heaven to Ocean. Hail to you, lord! Freely bestow on me substance that cheers the heart. And now that I have begun with you, I will celebrate the race of mortal men half-divine whose deeds the Muses have showed to mankind.

 


Proclus

To the Sun3

 

HEAR golden Titan! king of mental fire,

Ruler of light; to thee supreme belongs

The splendid key of life’s prolific fount;

And from on high thou pour’st harmonic streams

In rich abundance into matter’s worlds.

Hear! for high raised above th’ ætherial plains,

And in the world’s bright middle orb thou reign’st,

Whilst all things by thy sov’reign power are filled

With mind-exciting, providential care.

The starry fires surround thy vig’rous fire,

And ever in unweary’d, ceaseless dance,

O’er earth wide-bosom’d, vivid dew diffuse.

By thy perpetual and repeated course

The hours and seasons in succession rise;

And hostile elements their conflicts cease, 

Soon as they view thy awful beams, great king,

From deity ineffable and secret born.

The steady Parcæ, at thy high command,

The fatal thread of mortal life roll back;

For wide-extended, sov’reign sway is thine. 

From thy fair series of attractive song,

Divinely charming, Phœbus into light

Leaps forth exulting; and with god-like harp,

To rapture strung, the raging uproar lulls

Of dire-resounding Hyle’s mighty flood. 

From thy bland dance, repelling deadly ill,

Salubrious Pæan blossoms into light,

Health far diffusing, and th’ extended world

With streams of harmony innoxious fills.

Thee too they celebrate in sacred hymns 

Th’ illustrious source whence mighty Bacchus came;

And thee in matter’s utmost stormy depths

Euion Ate they for ever sing.

But others sound thy praise in tuneful verse,

As fam’d Adonis, delicate and fair. 

Ferocious dæmons, noxious to mankind,

Dread the dire anger of thy rapid scourge;

Dæmons, who machinate a thousand ills,

Pregnant with ruin to our wretched souls,

That merg’d beneath life’s dreadful-sounding sea,  

In body’s chains severely they may toil,

Nor e’er remember in the dark abyss

The splendid palace of their fire sublime.

O best of gods, blest dæmon crown’d with fire,

Image of nature’s all-producing god, 

And the soul’s leader to the realms of light—

Hear! and refine me from the stains of guilt;

The supplication of my tears receive,

And heal my wounds defil’d with noxious gore;

The punishments incurr’d by sin remit, 

And mitigate the swift, sagacious eye

Of sacred justice, boundless in its view.

By thy pure law, dread evil’s constant foe,

Direct my steps, and pour thy sacred light

In rich abundance on my clouded soul:

Dispel the dismal and malignant shades

Of darkness, pregnant with invenom’d ills,

And to my body proper strength afford,

With health, whose presence splendid gifts imparts.

Give lasting fame; and may the sacred care

With which the fair-hair’d muses gifts, of old

My pious ancestors preserv’d, be mine.

Add, if it please thee, all-bestowing god,

Enduring riches, piety’s reward;

For power omnipotent invests thy throne,

With strength immense and universal rule.

And if the whirling spindle of the fates

Threats from the starry webs pernicion dire,

Thy sounding shafts with force resistless send,

And vanquish ere it fall th’ impending ill. 

 


 

 

Bibliography

  1. Trans. Taylor, Thomas. The Orphic Hymns. “The Orphic Hymn to the Sun. 1792. Last accessed December 10, 2022. <https://www.theoi.com/Text/OrphicHymns1.html>

2. Trans. White, Evelyn. The Homeric Hymns. “The Homeric Hymn to Helios,” 1914. Last accessed December 10, 2022. <https://mythopedia.com/library/homeric-hymns-evelyn-white-1914/31-to-helius>

3. Trans. Taylor, Thomas. The Hymns of Proclus. “To the Sun.” 1816. Last accessed December 10, 2022. <https://ascension-research.org/Hymns_of_Proclus.html> 

 

Photo Credits

  1. The sun rises over the Sea of Azov. Photo by Anton Vakulenko. 
  2. The sun god rides in his chariot in the sky. Photo by Midjourney. Prompt: the god Apollo smiles. Apollo wears a white tunic and rides in a chariot. Username: @davidk.9
  3. The sun rises over the sea. Photo by Midjourney. Prompt: the red sun over the gray waves of the sea, a bluish man with a trident swims  Username: @davidk.9