To Haides Katachthonios

For Aidonian

Hail Zeus of those beneath the Earth, shadowy dwellers
in the Invisible Kingdom whose gates are never closed,
land of dreams and riches from which no soul ever escapes,
fortunate prize won by Haides, wearer of the wolfskin,
during the war between the Gods and Titans,
when brutal conflict decided control of the cosmos.
None were more brutal in that devastating fight than you,
eldest son of Kronos the Raweater, nor could the three-tined
trident or the fiery lightning-bolt compare with the ferocity
of your double-bladed axe, O Aidoneus, driver of the war-chariot
pulled by four swift midnight steeds. Once all the foemen
of the Gods lay beaten on the ground you locked them away
in remotest darkness, and placed the Hundred-handed Ones
as sentries over them to ensure that they stay put, building
your hall that receives all on the borders of Tartaros as added
protection, stout defender of shining Olympos, even if the
laughing divinities above do not often remember to invite you
to their lavish banquets. It is no concern of yours, handsome
and debonair Ploutos who carries the cornucopia, for you
and your tenebrous Queen hold splendid feasts of your own,
with the lucky ones among the dead as your honored guests,
along with your dear friends Dionysos who makes the wine flow,
Hekate mighty in magic, Hermes the guide of souls, veiled Despoina,
enticing Kirke daughter of the Sun, and Herakles tamer of wild beasts
who often are in attendance. Dark-minded God who once was moved
to tears by the music of Orpheus and to rage by the impiety of Pirithous,
they lie who say that you are cold and severe with a heart made of stone;
you feel things richly, perhaps even more so than your brothers, you
just don’t show it everywhere and to everyone, and it usually involves
your flower-lovely wife, Persephone the expert weaver, most valuable
of all the treasures in your broad kingdom, O dread sovereign who sits
upon the basalt throne surveying all that is yours in the gloomy twilight
of the underworld. Dis Pater who favors the myrtle and shuns the mint,
abominator of the red mullet who delights in the smell of asphodel,
oracular God served by priests who walk barefoot over flaming coals,
crafter of the enchanting narcissus and the horned owl who hunts by night,
master of the three-headed hound whose spittle turns to aconite
and the black rooster who heralds the arrival of the weary Sun
in the world below, invoked by those who seek to summon ghosts
and those who cleanse with sacred smoke, O white-robed Lord who hears
the prayers of the dying and grieving and never looks askance
at our suffering, renowned Klymenos, may my praises prove pleasing
to your ear and may you remember me fondly when I come before
your court and give an account of my days to your unbribable judges
Aiakos, Minos and implacable Rhadamanthys.
I will name the tokens and provide the appropriate passwords
which the venerable elders of my tradition entrusted me with,
and in return I hope for a better lot in the afterlife,
and that I may prove worthy to join the eternal feast
of the heroes and blessed initiates.

5 thoughts on “To Haides Katachthonios

  1. Hail Plouton!

    What do you think of all the reported experiences of people today that say that Hades is incredibly friendly? I don’t necessarily doubt them but I question why they are so radically different from ancient accounts of the Receiver of Many Guests. Now, of course you’d have to be at least a little welcoming somewhere in your personality to be okay with “I’m going to take all of humanity into my home when they die” but a lot of people make Him sound almost sunny


    1. Personally, I’ve found Him incredibly welcoming, courteous, and friendly if reserved but Gods do what They do and can present as They wish to various people. I often think, and this is something I sort of learned from Loki, that They take the openings we give Them. if we are hell bent on seeing a God as harsh, then They’ll start there and work with that.


      1. I think it makes sense. I’m not quite sure how I would describe Plouton from my own interactions. Formal perhaps? Certainly not harsh or unwelcoming. More so, “Greetings, mortal. You have the audience of the King Below.” I actually get the same feeling from Him that I get from Zeus though with a darker feel. I’ll have to be more open with Plouton’s welcoming side next time I give Him offerings


    2. I think that there are a lot of people who have access to the internet who probably shouldn’t.

      Whether or not these experiences reflect the reality of the divinity I think it important to form our own conceptions and impressions about them via prayers, offerings, other rituals, dreams, visions, etc. The lore, other people’s UPGs, pop culture, etc. can point the way, but in the end it’s about forging relationships, and that must needs be personal.

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