Communal Hymn of the Old Thiasos
Queen and Maiden,
maiden and slave,
abducted into your kingdom,
you understand what it is like to be taken from one’s family and home,
you embrace us in a new land and new family.
Sweet and dark,
dark and deadly,
console us in our fears of what we cannot see,
comfort us in our initiation of what we cannot know.
Maiden of light and shadow,
whose secrets ripen like the darkest fruits,
first mother of the Starry Bull and last mother of my becoming,
protect the souls of my ancestors,
and welcome me to your meadows at my last breath.
My soul rises at your name,
like the flower coming through the snow,
like the earth splitting to reveal Death,
like the fruit splitting to reveal Life.
I bow my head and bear my neck
– beneath your scepter, oh Queen, may I serve;
beneath your garland, oh Kore, may I rejoice.
I pray to Persephone, the Iron Queen of Erebos,
who welcomes and transforms the reveler.
I [take action] for Persephone of the Starry Bull.
To the Great Queen Below
I sing of Deo’s lovely daughter, dear Persephatta,
she who is mother of sorrows and mistress of pain,
the barren goddess who mourns the joyful bull unjustly slain.
She is clothed in ashes and her eyes are white as bone,
her hair is used to wrap the dead and her skin is pale as falling tears.
She comes to welcome the souls and guide them home,
to ease their suffering in those frightful moments before they breathe their last.
Each body she holds reminds her of the one she lost,
and how she washed his flesh with her tears and kissed those soft lips once more,
before he descended into the West, never to return.
She walks among the shadows, hard to see unless your time is near,
though if you listen closely, you may just hear
the whisper of her black wings.
O lovely Goddess of the lovely arms and lovely ankles,
nurture the seed that I plant and guide it until it reaches fruition.
Be just as gentle to me, Maiden, as I undergo the journey into wholeness.
Show me the source of true being,
which survives every transformation, even that of death,
so that I might see just how small and powerless my fears are.