the orphics


Been slightly ( depressed? lost? not sure what the right word is ) and found trouble coming up with something to paint. Commissions have been quite challenging so I tried making something to lift my spirits. Painted Tammy from Blindsprings! I’ve become a huge fan of the artist and the webcomic, truly inspirational and the comic in terms of style and story are right up my alley <3

(yep, the first photo is for my tumblr theme haha )

The Spirits' Princess
The Spirits' Princess

New piece for my fansong project: This time for the lovely webcomic “blindsprings”. Check it out, it’s really cool!

The music is more playful and happy this time, as that’s what I associate with the comic so far, but also a bit mysterious.

Other fansongs: Clockwork I - Namesake - Clockwork II -  Clockwork III - Tubeclash I  - Tubeclash II -  Never Satisfied

Κυανέοις κόλποισιν ἐνημένη, ἀερόμορφε,
Ἥρη παμβασίλεια, Διὸς σύλλεκτρε μάκαιρα,
ψυχοτρόφους αὔρας θνητοῖς παρέχουσα προσηνεῖς,
ὄμβρων μὲν μήτηρ, ἀνέμων τροφέ, παντογένεθλε·
χωρὶς γὰρ σέθεν οὐδὲν ὅλως ζωῆς φύσιν ἔγνω·
κοινωνεῖς γὰρ ἅπασι κεκραμένη ἠέρι σεμνῶι·
πάντων γὰρ κρατέεις μούνη πάντεσσί τ’ ἀνάσσεις
ἠερίοις ῥοίζοισι τινασσομένη κατὰ χεῦμα.
ἀλλά, μάκαιρα θεά, πολυώνυμε, παμβασίλεια,
ἔλθοις εὐμενέουσα καλῶι γήθουσα προσώπωι.
Seated on blue-black swells, o cloud-shaper,
Hera, queen of all, blessed wife of Zeus,
offering gentle, life-nourishing breezes to mortals,
o mother of rainstorms, o feeder of winds, o ancestor of all;
for without you nothing at all would know the quickening of life;
for you have a share in all, mingled with holy air;
for you alone have power over all and rule over all,
brandishing lofty blasts upon the water.
Yet, blessed goddess, many-named, queen of all,
may you come, gracious, rejoicing, with lovely countenance.
—  Orphic Hymn to Hera (16)


Melinoë  (Ancient Greek: Μηλινόη) is a chthonic nymph or goddess invoked in one of the Orphic Hymns and propitiated as a bringer of nightmares and madness. She may also be the figure named in a few inscriptions from Anatolia, and she appears on a bronze tablet in association with Persephone. The hymns, of uncertain date but probably composed in the 2nd or 3rd century AD, are liturgical texts for the mystery religion known as Orphism. In the hymn, Melinoë has characteristics that seem similar to Hecate and the Erinyes, and the name is sometimes thought to be an epithet of Hecate. The terms in which Melinoë is described are typical of moon goddesses in Greek poetry.

Hymn to Melinoe:

   I call upon Melinoe, saffron-cloaked nymph of the earth,
   To whom august Persephone gave birth by the mouth of the Kokytos,
   Upon the sacred bed of Kronian Zeus
   He lied to Plouton and through treachery mated with Persephone,
   Whose skin when she was pregnant he mangled in anger.
   She drives mortals to madness with her airy phantoms,
   As she appears in weird shapes and forms,
   Now plain to the eye, now shadowy, now shining in the darkness,
   And all this in hostile encounters in the gloom of night.
   But, goddess and queen of those below, I beseech you,
   To banish the soul’s frenzy to the ends of the earth,
   and show a kindly and holy face to the initiates.

Anthesteria 010.

There are many uncertainties regarding the Anthesteria that makes it a bit difficult to reconstruct the festival. In my comic I will adjust things to suit my story rather than trying to be as correct as possible. For one thing, it’s probably one month too late for the Anthesteria, since the festival took place at the end of winter/beginning of spring, but in my comic spring seems to have fully arrived already.

The first day of the festival was called Pithoigia, “jar-opening”, when people tasted their new wine. One account says that the Athenians used to bring samples of their new wine to the shrine of Dionysos in the Marshes and there mix it with water. The first mixed wine was offered to the god and while pouring the libation they prayed that the wine would be harmless and beneficial to them. I’ve borrowed parts from the Homeric Hymn 26 to Dionysos and the Orphic Hymn 50 to Lysios Lenaios to the priestess’ prayer.

Ζεῦ πάτερ, ὑψίδρομον πυραυγέα κόσμον ἐλαύνων,
στράπτων αἰθερίου στεροπῆς πανυπέρτατον αἴγλην,
παμμακάρων ἕδρανον θείαις βρονταῖσι τινάσσων,
νάμασι παννεφέλοις στεροπὴν φλεγέθουσαν ἀναίθων·
λαίλαπας, ὄμβρους, πρηστῆρας κρατερούς τε κεραυνούς,
βάλλων ἐς ροθίους φλογερούς, νεφέεσσι καλύπτων
παμφλέκτους, κρατερούς, φρικώδεας, ὀμβριμοθύμους,
πτηνὸν ὅπλον δεινόν, κλονοκάρδιον, ὀρθοέθειρον,
αἰφνίδιον, βρονταῖον, ἀνίκητον βέλος ἁγνόν
ῥοίζου ἀπειρεσίου δινεύμασι παμφάγον ὁρμῆι,
ἄρρηκτον, βαρύθυμον, ἀμαιμάκετον πρηστῆρος
οὐράνιον βέλος ὀξὺ καταιβάτου αἰθαλόεντος,
ὃν καὶ γαῖα πέφρικε θάλασσά τε παμφανόωντα,
καὶ θῆρες πτήσσουσιν, ὅταν κτύπος οὖας ἐσέλθηι·
μαρμαίρει δὲ πρόσωπ’ αὐγαῖς, σμαραγεῖ δὲ κεραυνὸς
αἰθέρος ἐν γυάλοισι· διαρρήξας δὲ χιτῶνα
οὐράνιον προκάλυμμα βάλλεις ἀργῆτα κεραυνόν.
ἀλλά, μάκαρ, θυμὸν κύμασι πόντου
ἠδ’ ὀρέων κορυφαῖσι· τὸ σὸν κράτος ἴσμεν ἅπαντες.
ἀλλὰ χαρεὶς λοιβαῖσι δίδου φρεσὶν αἴσιμα πάντα
ζωήν τ’ ὀλβιόθυμον, ὁμοῦ θ’ ὑγίειαν ἄνασσαν,
εἰρήνην τε θεόν, κουροτρόφον, ἀγλαότιμον,
καὶ βίον εὐθύμοισιν ἀεὶ θάλλοντα λογισμοῖς.
O father Zeus, driving the fire-glittering cosmos in lofty course,
flashing the apical brilliance of ethereal lightning,
shaking the seat of the all-blessed with godly thundering,
blazing the scorching thunderbolt in cloud-dense streams,
casting tempests, rainstorms, hurricanes and mighty lightning bolts
into roaring red flames, veiling them with clouds,
all-blazing, powerful, terror-inspiring, mighty-spirited,
frightful winged weapon, turmoil-hearted, hair-raising,
unforeseen, thundering, invincible holy missile
with whirlings of immense shrieking, all-devouring in assault,
unbreakable, heavy-spirited, inexorable, the hurricane’s
heavenly keen weapon of burning downfall
which makes even the earth and the radiant sea shudder
and wild beasts cower when the crash enters their ears;
the vault sparkles with rays, thunderbolts boom
in the hollows of heaven, and breaking through the webbing,
the veiling of sky, you hurl glancing-bright lightning.
O blessed one, your heart is in the waves of the brine
and the crowns of mountains; your strength we all know.
Rejoicing in drink-offerings, may you grant in your plans all fate permits,
a happy-hearted life, and likewise queenly health
and divine peace, nurse of the young, splendid in honor,
and a life ever flourishing with generous accounts.
—  Orphic Hymn to Zeus Keraunos (19)
Εἰνοδίην Ἑκάτην κλῄιζω, τριοδῖτιν, ἐραννήν,
οὐρανίαν χθονίαν τε καὶ εἰναλίαν, κροκόπεπλον,
τυμβιδίαν, ψυχαῖς νεκύων μέτα βακχεύουσαν,
Περσείαν, φιλέρημον, ἀγαλλομένην ἐλάφοισι,
νυκτερίαν, σκυλακῖτιν, ἀμαιμάκετον βασίλειαν,
θηρόβρομον, ἄζωστον, ἀπρόσμαχον εἶδος ἔχουσαν,
ταυροπόλον, παντὸς κόσμου κληιδοῦχον ἄνασσαν,
ἡγεμόνην, νύμφην, κουροτρόφον, οὐρεσιφοῖτιν,
λισσόμενοις κούρην τελεταῖς ὁσίαισι παρεῖναι
βουκόλωι εὐμενέουσαν ἀεὶ κεχαρηότι θυμῶι.
I summon Hecate of the Wayside, lovely crossroads-dweller,
she of the heavens, underworld, and sea, saffron-robed,
sepulchral, celebrating Bacchic mysteries with the souls of the dead,
daughter of Perses, lover of solitude, delighting in deer,
nocturnal, protector of dogs, inexorable queen
who roars like beasts, ungirded, with irresistible form,
bull-hunter, ruler and key-holder of all the cosmos,
governor, bride, nurse of the young, mountain-wanderer;
be present with those who pray, Maiden, at the hallowed rites,
gracious to the herd-priest, with an ever-joyful heart.
—  Orphic Hymn to Hecate (1)

Hey hey, all you lovely people! First of all, thank you to all who liked and/or reblogged my last recording, it means a lot! I wasn’t expecting much of a reaction from Tumblr since I don’t have many followers, but I was very pleased to see that my post found its way to a fair number of you. And really, so long as what I do is useful or meaningful to at least one person, I’m happy :)

For the second recording of my project, I’ve chosen the Orphic Hymn to Artemis. I’ve been her devotee for eight years now, so this text is very close to my heart. I hope you enjoy it. I’ve tried to fix a few issues I had in the previous video, particularly the rhythm and the distinction between long and short vowels. Again, please let me know if you have any suggestions for further recordings!


Κλῦθί μου, ὦ βασίλεια, Διὸς πολυώνυμε κούρη,
Τιτανίς, βρομία, μεγαλώνυμε, τοξότι, σεμνή,
πασιφαής, δᾳδοῦχε, θεά Δίκτυννα, λοχείη,
ὠδίνων ἐπαρωγὲ καὶ ὠδίνων ἀμύητε,
λυσίζωνε, φίλοιστρε, κυνηγέτι, λυσιμέριμνε,
εὔδρομε, ἰοχέαιρα, φιλαγρότι, νυκτερόφοιτε,
κλῃσία εὐάντητε, λυτηρία, ἀρσενόμορφε,
Ὀρθίη, ὠκυλόχεια, βροτῶν κουροτρόφε δαῖμον,
ἀμβροτέρα, χθονία, θηροκτόνε, ὀλβιόμοιρε,
ἣ κατέχεις ὀρέων δρυμούς, ἐλαφηβόλε, σεμνή,
πότνια, παμβασίλεια, καλὸν θάλος αἰὲν ἐοῦσα,
δρυμονία, σκυλακῖτι, Κυδωνιάς, αἰολόμορφε·
ἐλθέ, θεὰ σώτειρα, φίλη μύστῃσιν ἅπασιν
εὐάντητος, ἄγουσα καλοὺς καρποὺς ἀπὸ γαίης
εἰρήνην τ’ ἐρατὴν καλλιπλόκαμόν θ’ ὑγίειαν·
πέμποις δ’ εἰς ὀρέων κεφαλὰς νούσους τε καὶ ἄλγη.


Hear me, queen, many-named daughter of Zeus,
Titanian, resounding, illustrious, arrow-bearing, holy,
visible to all, torch-bearing, Huntress Goddess who ensnares, presiding at birth,
assistant in childbirth and uninitiated into childbirth,
you with the undone belt, lover of madness, huntress, disperser of troubles,
fast-running, arrow-shooting, lover of the hunt, you who wander at night,
welcome at every door, liberator, shaped like a man,
Upright, you who hasten childbirth, divine nurse to mortal children,
immortal, chthonian, killer of wild beasts, good-fortuned,
you rule the mountain forests, tracker of stags, holy,
sovereign, queen of all, forever possessing beautiful youth,
wood-dwelling, protectress of dogs, Kydonian, ever-changing;
come, saviour Goddess, welcoming friend to all initiates,
to bring us the beautiful fruits of the earth
and pleasant peace and beautiful-haired health;
and may you send to the summits of the mountains sickness and suffering.

A few insights:

  • Artemis having an undone belt, λυσίζωνε, refers to her role in childbearing. In Ancient Greece (as in most cultures, I’d wager), women would loosen or undo their clothing while giving birth.
  • Orthia, Upright, is a Spartan and Arcadian epithet of Artemis.
  • while I translated ὀλβιόμοιρε as “good-fortuned”, it literally means “being assigned a happy fate” (ὄλβιος: happy, blessed + 
    μοῖρα: portion assigned by destiny). This term is probably used in opposition to θηροκτόνε, “killer of wild beasts”. Artemis has the power to kill, but she herself was assigned immortality.
  • in ἣ κατέχεις ὀρέων δρυμούς, “you rule the mountain forests”, the verb for “rule” can also mean “inhabit” or “preserve” (as well as a dozen other translations which don’t fit into the context). Artemis not only fills the forests entirely, but protects them and keeps them intact.
  • θάλος, youth, is a metaphor. In its original meaning, the word describes the freshness of a new plant, which I think fits nicely into Artemis’ imagery.
  • Kydonia is a city on the northern coast of Crete.

this song makes me think of @stalk-softly because you’re actually the first thing that comes to mind these days when i think of vienna. the other is asshole director of an unproduced film, big squares with many many cafe chairs, and pastry.

mirron91  asked:

So, I just heard someone singing an Orphic Hymn. It somehow never dawned on me they were sung. Do you have any resources to help with learning to sing them?

I do not, I’m sorry. But I’m posting this publicaly so if any of my followers have tips/advice or resources they can add them here for you.