85. Ὕπνου, θυμίαμα μετὰ μήκωνος.
To Hypnos, God of Sleep
Divine medium: meta meekonos (opium poppy)
Ὕπνε, ἄναξ μακάρων πάντων θνητῶν τ’ ἀνθρώπων
Hypnos, blessed ruler of all mortal humans
καὶ πάντων ζώιων, ὁπόσα τρέφει εὐρεῖα χθών·
And all living beings, as many as are fostered on the wide earth,
πάντων γὰρ κρατέεις μοῦνος καὶ πᾶσι προσέρχηι
Over all you rule alone and all enter into your
σώματα δεσμεύων ἐν ἀχαλκεύτοισι πέδηισι,
Body-binding chains of non-metallic shackles.
λυσιμέριμνε, κόπων ἡδεῖαν ἔχων ἀνάπαυσιν
You release worries and fatigue, sweet foundation, giving rise to cessation
καὶ πάσης λύπης ἱερὸν παραμύθιον ἔρδων·
Of every pain, providing blessed relief,
καὶ θανάτου μελέτην ἐπάγεις ψυχὰς διασώζων·
And to attentive mortals bring the Soul’s preservation,
αὐτοκασίγνητος γὰρ ἔφυς Λήθης Θανάτου τε.
Born of the mother who gave birth to Lethe and Thanatos.
ἀλλά, μάκαρ, λίτομαί σε κεκραμένον ἡδὺν ἱκάνειν
But, blessed one, with this simple prayer sweetly mixed, come,
σώζοντ’ εὐμενέως μύστας θείοισιν ἐπ’ ἔργοις.
Keep us safe from death, kindly power, upon mystai’s sacred works.
Hypnos (Ὕπνος) is the immortal God of sleep, which all mortals are subject to, literally “pure (Ὕ) + under-the-same-roof (π) + tipping-point (ν) + ος.”
Psyche (Ψυχή) is the immortal Goddess of the soul which enters the body at birth’s first inhale and departs the body when the last breath is exhaled in death.
Thanatos (Θάνατος) is the immortal God of death.
Lethe (Λήθη) is the river of forgetting in the afterlife. Souls who drink from Lethe are reborn into another mortal life, while those who are initiated and drink from the river of Memory remember their earthly life and go on to the paradise of the Elysian Fields in the afterlife.
Night (Νύξ) is the immortal mother of Sleep, Lethe, and Death (Θάνατος).
“In works of art Sleep and Death are represented alike as two youths sleeping or holding inverted torches in their hands.”
-Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, Vol. 3, page 863.