18. Εἰς Πλούτωνα.
To Plouton, God of the Before- and After-Life
Ὠ τὸν ὑποχθόνιον ναίων δόμον, ὀμβριμόθυμε,
Come forth from subterranean domain, mighty soulful power,
Ταρτάριον λειμῶνα βαθύσκιον ἠδὲ λιπαυγῆ,
From Tartarian meadows deeply shaded and deprived of dawn’s light,
Ζεῦ χθόνιε, σκηπτοῦχε, τάδ' ἱερὰ δέξο προθύμως,
Zeus of the foundation divine, scepter-bearer, extend your sacred right hand, welcoming soulful power,
Πλούτων, ὃς κατέχεις γαίης κληῖδας ἁπάσης,
Plouton, pure foundation, Gaia’s key for all,
πλουτοδοτῶν γενεὴν βροτέην καρποῖς ἐνιαυτῶν·
Wealth-giving genesis of mortal fruit each year,
ὃς τριτάτης μοίρης ἔλαχες χθόνα παμβασίλειαν,
The third portion allotted, all-ruler of the foundation divine,
ἕδρανον ἀθανάτων, θνητῶν στήριγμα κραταιόν·
Dwelling midst immortals, mortal-sustaining might,
ὃς θρόνον ἐστήριξας ὑπὸ ζοφοειδέα χῶρον
Enthroned firmly below in the nether dark region,
τηλέπορον τ', ἀκάμαντα, λιπόπνοον, ἄκριτον Ἅιδην
Where far-reaching passages extend unsupported, without air, indiscriminating Aidon, the place of departed souls,
κυάνεόν τ' Ἀχέρονθ', ὃς ἔχει ῥιζώματα γαίης·
Darkly stretching to Acheron, the foundation rooted in Gaia.
ὃς κρατέεις θνητῶν θανάτου χάριν, ὦ πολυδέγμων
Ruler of mortal death, charitably receive the multitude,
Εὔβουλ', ἁγνοπόλου Δημήτερος ὅς ποτε παῖδα
Good counselor, pure axis, when the child of Demeter
νυμφεύσας λειμῶνος ἀποσπαδίην διὰ πόντου
In the Nymphs’ meadow was torn away across Pontos
τετρώροις ἵπποισιν ὑπ' Ἀτθίδος ἤγαγες ἄντρον
On four yoked horses to beneath Attica’s central cave,
δήμου Ἐλευσῖνος, τόθι περ πύλαι εἴσ' Ἀίδαο.
In the deme of Eleusis, where surrounding gates lead to Aidon,
μοῦνος ἔφυς ἀφανῶν ἔργων φανερῶν τε βραβευτής,
There alone nature’s invisible works are made visible, then judged.
ἔνθεε, παντοκράτωρ, ἱερώτατε, ἀγλαότιμε,
With thee, all ruler, holy power, gloriously honored,
σεμνοῖς μυστιπόλοις χαίρων ὁσίοις τε σεβασμοῖς·
Solemn mystic charitable axis, devoutly revered,
ἵλαον ἀγκαλέω σε μολεῖν κεχαρηότα μύσταις.
Generously summon thou transplants, your grace extend to the mystae.
Plouton (Πλούτων) is the God of the after- and before-life. He bestows the wealth (πλοῦτος) that comes from the earth, including precious metals, gems, and the harvest. He is a son of Kronos (Time) and Rhea (Flow).
Plouton is also known as Aidees (Ἅιδης) or Aidoneus (Ἀϊδωνεύς), commonly translated into English as “Hades.”
Aidon (Ἅιδην, Ἀίδαο) is the dwelling place of deceased souls.
The sky is allotted to Zeus, the sea to Poseidon, and the realm beneath the earth to Plouton. Zeus is the immortal God of lightning storms and the spark of fire/spark of life: spark (Ζ) + essence (ε) pure (ῦ). Calling Plouton “Zeus” suggests that Plouton is the God of the spark of life in the afterlife.
Tartaros is the deepest realm beneath the earth’s surface, according to Hesiod’s Theogony, the cosmic inverse of the highest point of the heavens:
“For a brazen anvil falling down from heaven nine nights
and days would reach the earth upon the tenth: and again, a
brazen anvil falling from earth nine nights and days would
reach Tartarus upon the tenth.”
Acheron is the river and lake of the afterlife. One of Sappho’s poems speaks of a longing to see Acheron:
"but a kind of yearning has hold of me—to die
and to look upon the dewy lotus banks
It is very interesting to note that the nymph Mintha (Μίνθη), whom Plouton loved, was metamorphosed by Persephone into the plant called mint (Strab. viii. p. 344; Ov. Met. x. 728). In the neighbourhood of Pylos there was a hill called after her, and at its foot there was a temple of Pluto, and a grove of Demeter. (Strab. viii. p. 344; Ov. Met. x. 729; Oppian, Hal. iii. 486; Schol. ad Nicand. Alex. 374.)
This is particularly relevant because the mint Mentha pulegium (βλήχων) is specifically named in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter as part of the kykeon drink of barley and mint that Demeter drinks while she is in mourning over the loss of her daughter. Notably, Mentha pulegium is pennyroyal, a known abortificaent. This is consistent with the Orphic belief that the body is a tomb of the soul and the presumed desire of Plouton to keep souls from returning to mortal bodies and within his domain.
Lucia Nixon writes an apt analysis in “The Cults of Demeter and Kore:”
“In the HHD (Homeric Hymn to Demeter), Demeter requests a drink, kykeon, made of barley meal, water, and tender pennyroyal, Mentha pulegium L. The text is clear as to the species, and translators do no service by rendering it simply as mint. Aritosphanes makes it clear that he and his audience know of its use as an anti-fertility drug. In the Hippocratic Corpus, pennyroyal is recommended for opening the uterus for various reasons: preconceptual purgation, hysteria, emmenagogue, expulsion (of foetus/afterbirth), and stimulation of lochia. Dioscorides, Pliny, and Galen also recommend it as emmenagogue and abortifacent . . .
“Pennyroyal and its extract, ketone pulegone, work by stimulating contractions of the uterus, hence its use in preventing or ending pregnancy. It can also be used to strengthen contractions in labour, to help expel the placenta, and to assist the involution of the uterus after birth, though these uses are not specifically mentioned in ancient sources.”
So, Gloria Steinem and Florynce Kennedy may have been on to something when they said, “If men could have babies, abortion would be a sacrament .” When women were the religious leaders, and when the civilized world worshiped the Divine Mother and her Divine Daughter, abortive medicine was part of the most esteemed and sacred sacramental ritual, the Eleusinian Mysteries.
Gaia is the immortal Goddess of generative earth: generative (γ) + arising (α) + divine power (ί).
Basileian means ruling base.
Nymphs are beautiful young Goddesses who preside over a particular location in nature.
Pontos is the immortal God of the sea, suggesting that Kore was spirited away over the sea when she was abucted by Plouton.
Attica is a region that includes Athens and Eleusis.
Eleusis is the city of the Eleusinian Mysteries of the immortal Mother Demeter and her Daughter Kore/Persephone.
Mystae are initiates in the Mysteries.
 Hesiod. Hesiod, The Homeric Hymns, and Homerica, “Theogony 722.” Translated by Hugh G. Evelyn-White. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; London: William Heinemann, 1914; Reprinted in English by Dodo Press dodopress.co.uk, 2011, p. 45.
 Sappho. If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho, Fragment 95, translated by Anne Carson (New York: Vintage Books, a division of Random House, 2000) 189. http://inamidst.com/stuff/sappho/
 Schmitz, L. (1870). HADES or PLUTON (Ἅιδης, Πλούτων, Ἀΐδης, Ἀϊδωνεύς and Πλουτεύς). In W. Smith (Ed.), Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (Vol. 2, p. 319). Boston: Little, Brown, and Company.
 Schmitz, L. (1870). MINTHA or MENTHA (Μίνθη). In W. Smith (Ed.), Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (Vol. 2, p. 1091). Boston: Little, Brown, and Company.
 Lucia Nixon, “The Cults of Demeter and Kore,” Women in Antiquity, edited by Richard Hawley and Barbara Levick, Routledge, London and New York, 1995, p. 85.
 In her 1983 memoir Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions Gloria Steinem indicated that the statement was spoken to her and Florynce Kennedy, author of Abortion Rap, by the “elderly Irish woman driver” of a taxi in Boston.