Hymn to Asklepios

For Johanna

To Asklepios

I call to you Asklepios,
black-robed God of healers
who holds a coiling serpent
in one hand, and on the other
is perched a raven with night-dark wings,
potent symbols of your power and dominion,
and also your divine parentage.
Asklepios who visits the dreams
of the sick and despairing
and reveals life-saving cures
and clues to the mystery of who we are,
Asklepios who places inspiration
in the mind of the therapist
so that their words can untangle
the threads of trauma that hold
their patients fast,
Asklepios who unseen guides the hand
of the surgeon, the dentist and the root-cutter
preparing pills, philters and fumigations
for the restoration of mind and body
from assorted plants and fungi
just as the ancestors once did,
Asklepios who burns up pollution,
and causes the daimones who feed on
those afflicted with illness, pain and insanity
to flee in terror before your might and righteous wrath,
please, O Great One of Epidauros, be with those
who praise your beautiful name, and offer plentiful
sacrifices on your altar, and hold your image dear
in their hearts, and obey all your prescriptions,
and Asklepios please bring swift relief
and an end to soul-gnawing suffering,
and I promise you will always be honored.

4 thoughts on “Hymn to Asklepios

  1. I am curious did Asklepios come to you in dreams? I just recently resubscribed and am catching up. I know healing comes in different forms. I still have my traumatic brain injury, but I feel differently about it. I am curious how you are doing with your amputation, which is just as devastating since it means there was an end, and now a beginning, that came suddenly.


    1. Not really. This was a commissioned piece, though he was present while I was recuperating thanks to the prayers and offerings of my household, so I wanted to write something to honor him anyway. I had a year-long devotion to him a while back, and I’ve had a fondness for him ever since,


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