Hermes of the Divine Foundation
Divine connection/incense: styrax
Κωκυτοῦ ναίων ἀνυπόστροφον οἶμον ἀνάγκης,
Kokytos’ dwellers divorce from the path of Necessity
ὃς ψυχὰς θνητῶν κατάγεις ὑπὸ νέρτερα γαίης,
Of Psyche’s mortals, separated beneath nether Gaia.
Ἑρμῆ, βακχεχόροιο Διωνύσοιο γένεθλον
Hermes, the Bakchian chorus’ Dionysian’ offspring
καὶ Παφίης κούρης, ἑλικοβλεφάρου Ἀφροδίτης,
and the Paphian son of curly-lashed Aphrodite,
ὃς παρὰ Περσεφόνης ἱερὸν δόμον ἀμφιπολεύεις,
Traversing Persephone’s holy domain on every side,
αἰνομόροις ψυχαῖς πομπὸς κατὰ γαῖαν ὑπάρχων,
Dark-fated souls guide, pure Gaia’s beginnings
ἃς κατάγεις, ὁπόταν μοίρης χρόνος εἰσαφίκηται
Arise separately, when the Fated Time approaches.
εὐιέρωι ῥάβδωι θέλγων ὑπνοδώτειρα πάντα,
With good holy wand magical lull all to sleep
καὶ πάλιν ὑπνώοντας ἐγείρεις· σοὶ γὰρ ἔδωκε τιμὴν
And arouse all from slumber. So then give
τιμὴν Φερσεφόνεια θεὰ κατὰ Τάρταρον εὐρὺν
Honored Phersephone, Goddess of pure Tartaros’ good flow of
ψυχαῖς ἀενάοις θνητῶν ὁδὸν ἡγεμονεύειν.
Souls, eternal mortal journeys lead.
ἀλλά, μάκαρ, πέμποις μύσταις τέλος ἐσθλὸν ἐπ' ἔργοις.
Yea, happily, guide the mystae in fulfillment of good works.
 Hermes is the immortal God of who serves as a medium of connection between the divine and the mortal. In this hymn he is depicted as the son of Dionysos (Wine) and Aphrodite (Love) (perhaps because wine and lovemaking make people sleepy). In other instances he is depicted as the son of Zeus (Sky) and Maia (Earth). This hymn focuses on Hermes’ role as a guide of souls in the afterlife and as well as the God who induces and wakes mortals from sleep. (Homer, Odyssey 24. 1 & 99 ff (trans. Shewring)) It seems to suggest that going to sleep and waking from sleep is a Hermes-led journey to the afterlife.
 Chthonian means the foundation (Χ) divine (θ), that is, Earth.
 Kokytos is a dismal river or lake in the afterlife where the souls of those who have committed wrongdoing wail and lament in pleas for forgiveness from those they have wronged. (Plato, Phaedo 112e ff (trans. Fowler))
 Ananke is the immortal Goddess of Necessity, here referencing the required punishment for unforgiven wrongdoing.
 Psyche is the immortal Goddess of the Soul.
 Gaia is the immortal Goddess of generative Earth.
 Dionysos is the immortal God of Wine and its effects.
 Paphian is an epithet of Aphrodite derived from her famous temple at Paphos on the island of Kypros.
 Aphrodite is the immortal Goddess of Love, of the urge to merge.
 Persephone is the immortal Goddess of the afterlife and new life in Spring.
 The Moirai are the immortal Goddesses of Fate.
 Chronos is the immortal God of Time.
 Phersephone is the immortal Goddess of the afterlife and new life in Spring.
 Tartaros is the deepest place beneath the earth.
 The mystae are initiates into the holy Mysteries.