Hymn to Melinoe
translated by Catherine Proppe
December 12, 2014
71. Μηλινόης, θυμίαμα ἀρώματα.
Divine connection: aromatics
Μηλινόην καλέω, νύμφην χθονίαν, κροκόπεπλον,
Melinoe beautiful chthonian Nymph saffron-robed
ἣν παρὰ Κωκυτοῦ προχοαῖς ἐλοχεύσατο σεμνὴ
Of Kokytos, river of childbirth, revered.
Φερσεφόνη λέκτροις ἱεροῖς Ζηνὸς Κρονίοιο,
Phersephone lay with holy Zenos Kronian
ἧι ψευσθεῖς Πλούτων’ ἐμίγη δολίαις ἀπάταισι,
Disguised as Plouton, enmixed to lure deceitfully.
θυμῶι Φερσεφόνης δὲ δισώματον ἔσπασε χροιήν,
Enraged Phersephone, double-bodied, drew in the surface
ἣ θνητοὺς μαίνει φαντάσμασιν ἠερίοισιν,
A mortal manic phantasm in midair
ἀλλοκότοις ἰδέαις μορφῆς τύπον ἐκπροφαίνουσα,
Otherwise-contained ideas form impressions brought to light
ἄλλοτε μὲν προφανής, ποτὲ δὲ σκοτόεσσα, νυχαυγής,
Other powers illuminated when out of darkness night shines
ἀνταίαις ἐφόδοισι κατὰ ζοφοειδέα νύκτα.
Offsetting the approach of dark night
ἀλλά, θεά, λίτομαί σε, καταχθονίων βασίλεια,
Yet, Goddess, please, thou pure earthly Basileia,
ψυχῆς ἐκπέμπειν οἶστρον ἐπὶ τέρματα γαίης,
Dispel Psychic madness to the ends of the Earth
εὐμενὲς εὐίερον μύσταις φαίνουσα πρόσωπον.
Gracious holy mystae enlighten before silence.
 Melinoe is the immortal Goddess of the moon’s phases and effects on the Psyche, literally “medium of (Μ) + the Sun, Helios (ἥλιος).»
Melinoe’s mother is P(h)ersephone, Goddess of the afterlife and new life in Spring. Melinoe’s father is Zeus, the immortal God of the Sky. Disguised as Pluto, the immortal God of the afterlife and realm beneath the earth, Zeus tricked P(h)ersephone into sleeping with him. Melinoe’s ambiguous paternity and dual-realmed mother are consistent with the rising and setting and dark and light phases of the moon.
 Chthonian means having to do with foundational divine Earth.
 A Nymph is a beautiful young Goddess who prevails over a particular location.
 Saffron is a yellow dye made from the stigma of the spring-blooming crocus.
 Kokytos is one of the five rivers of the afterlife, the “River of Wailing.”
 Perhaps Kokytos is the River of Childbirth because childbirth leads to mortality and, inevitably, death, which is lamented with shrieks and wails. Another interpretation is that Kokytos is associated with the River Lethe, the “River of Forgetting.” If a soul drinks from Lethe the soul will be reincarnated into another life on earth. Finally, the travail of childbirth often elicits shrieks and wails of pain.
 Zenos is another name for Zeus, the immortal God of the stormy sky.
 Zeus is the son of Kronos, the immortal Titan God of time.
 Plouton is the immortal subterranean God of the afterlife.
 Basileia means Queen.
 Psyche is the immortal Goddess of the Soul.
 Gaia is the immortal Goddess of generative Earth.
 Mystae are initiates in the Mysteries.