Translated by Catherine Proppe
March 3, 2015
44. Σεμέλης, θυμίαμα στύρακα.
Divine connection: styrax/storax
Κικλήσκω κούρην Καδμηίδα παμβασίλειαν,
I call daughter of Kadmeia, all-Basileian
εὐειδῆ Σεμέλην, ἐρατοπλόκαμον, βαθύκολπον,
Beautifully-shaped Semele, lovely-braided, deep-bosomed
μητέρα θυρσοφόροιο Διωνύσου πολυγηθοῦς,
Mother of thyrsus-bearer Dionysos’ many earth’s blessings
ἣ μεγάλας ὠδῖνας ἐλάσσατο πυρφόρωι αὐγῆι
The great travail driven by fire-bearer dawning
ἀθανάτου φλεχθεῖσα Διὸς βουλαῖς Κρονίοιο
Immortal blaze-slayer Dios, as counseled by Kronos,
τιμὰς τευξαμένη παρ' ἀγαυῆς Περσεφονείης
Honored creative power for august Persephone
ἐν θνητοῖσι βροτοῖσιν ἀνὰ τριετηρίδας ὥρας,
In mortal humans giving rise to three yearly Seasons.
ἡνίκα σοῦ Βάκχου γονίμην ὠδῖνα τελῶσιν
When thou Bacchos’ birth travail completes
εὐίερόν τε τράπεζαν ἰδὲ μυστήριά θ' ἁγνά.
The holy altar forms mysteries divine, pure,
νῦν σέ, θεά, λίτομαι, κούρη Καδμηίς, ἄνασσα,
Here, thou Goddess, simple daughter of Kadmos, Anassa,
πρηύνοον καλέων αἰεὶ μύσταισιν ὑπάρχειν.
Gentle, beautiful, eternal, mysterious underlying foundation.
 Semnos (σεμνός) means revered, august, exalted, honored, solemn.
 Kadmeia is the acropolis of ancient Greek Thebes, founded by Kadmos.
 Basileia means ruler, Queen.
 Semele is the mortal mother of Dionysos, the immortal God of wine and its effects. While pregnant Semele was consumed by flame when Zeus came to her as the God of lightning. Zeus sewed the fetus of Dionysos into his thigh to complete gestation.
The name “Semele” is associated with the word for “toad (φρύνη).” It is interesting to note that some toads lay their eggs in bunches like grapes and the male “common midwife toad” twines the eggs around his thighs until they are ready to hatch. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amphibian#mediaviewer/File:Alytes_obstetricans_almogavarii_-_male_with_eggs_2.jpg )
 The thysus is the pinecone-tipped staff associated with Dionysos.
 Dios is another name for Zeus, the immortal God of lightning storms and the spark of fire/spark of life.
 Kronos is the immortal God of time, father of Zeus.
 The Horai are the immortal Goddesses of the seasons and the natural time (hour) for things to occur. The three season are, perhaps, spring (growth), summer (fruition), winter (decline).
 Anassa means Queen, Lady.