Translated by Catherine Proppe
November 20, 2014
Hymn to Korybantos
translated by Catherine Proppe
November 20, 2014
39. Κορύβαντος, θυμίαμα λίβανον.
Divine medium: frankincense (libanon)
Κικλήσκω χθονὸς ἀενάου βασιλῆα μέγιστον,
I call Earth’s eternal Basilea majestic,
Κύρβαντ' ὀλβιόμοιρον, Ἀρήιον, ἀπροσόρατον,
Kurbant', whole life fated, Ares’ warriors, unseen
νυκτερινὸν Κουρῆτα, φόβων ἀποπαύστορα δεινῶν,
Nocturnal Koureta, terrifying, arresting, powerful,
φαντασιῶν ἐπαρωγόν, ἐρημοπλάνον Κορύβαντα,
Phantasm’s friend, lone-roaming Korybanta
αἰολόμορφον ἄνακτα, θεὸν διφυῆ, πολύμορφον,
Eternally morphing, ruler divinely two-natured, many-shaped,
φοίνιον, αἱμαχθέντα κασιγνήτων ὑπὸ δισσῶν,
Murderously blood-stained, maternal siblings twice-saved by
Δηοῦς ὃς γνώμαισιν ἐνήλλαξας δέμας ἁγνόν,
Deos, who mindfully exchanges embodiment pure,
θηρότυπον θέμενος μορφὴν δνοφεροῖο δράκοντος·
Beastly, lawfully morphing into dark-born serpents
κλῦθι, μάκαρ, φωνῶν, χαλεπὴν δ' ἀποπέμπεο μῆνιν,
Hearken! blest, loud, savage: dispatch wrath
παύων φαντασίας, ψυχῆς ἐκπλήκτου ἀνάγκας.
Pause phantasies, Soul outstrike Necessity.
Note: This creepy and strange hymn suggests multiple affiliations, alliances, genealogy, and even body shapes. Perhaps Korybantos hold many allegiances, as a result of adoption, abduction, colonization, initiation, or as mercenaries.
 Chthonos (χθονὸς) is the foundational aspect of Earth. Also, the immortal Goddess Chthon (χθών).
 Basila (βασιλῆ) means “Queen,” and contains the root word “base.”
 Kurbant (Κύρβαντ) means: legitimately/properly (Κύρ) + placed/established (βαντ).
 Areion (Ἀρήιον) means of the immortal God Ares, that is, warriors.
 Kouretes are known as youthful (κουριος) armed warrior dancers. Note the feminine form ending in -a: koureta (Κουρῆτα).
 Korybantes are devotees of the immortal Mother Goddess Kybele in Phrygia (modern Turkey). The name means: youth (Κορύ) + placed/established (βαντα), suggesting, perhaps, adoption or assignment as children. Note the feminine form ending in -a.
 Of two (δι) + natures (φυῆ) may mean androgynous or of two races, i.e. Greek and Phrygian.
 Deos (Δηοῦς) is the immortal Goddess Demeter.
 The word dragon (δράκοντος) is usually translated as “serpent” or “snake.”
 Psyche (ψυχῆς) is the immortal Goddess of the Soul.
 Ananke (ἀνάγκας) is the immortal Goddess of that which is, often painfully, Necessary. “Soul outstrike Necessity” could be an invocation to impart the strength to endure something difficult, inevitable, and perhaps painful.