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.
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.
- 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>
- The sun rises over the Sea of Azov. Photo by Anton Vakulenko.
- 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
- 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
David has studied traditional astrology since 2014. The Bay Area native completed Chris Brennan’s Introduction to Hellenistic Astrology course, and attended courses taught by Austin Coppock, Nina Gryphon, and Ryhan Butler. He is interested in exploring the less well known aspects of astrology, divination, and spirituality.